About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. what a great idea! i’ve had a similar idea rolling around in my head and this is very reaffirming 🙂

    also, i love how you worded this – “An ache echoed…”

    have an awesome day!

  2. I love this! I’m always trying to connect with folks. If I lived near you, I’d sign up. I, and I believe a lot of other women, crave connections in a safe environment. For me, I heavily rely on my church community women. We put on a free community lunch twice a month and it is well attended.
    Hmm. You have me thinking now. Thanks for a great idea.

    • What I’ve realized with this is that those of us in a faith based community have access to gatherings that may be planned for us. I know I take that for granted. so Many of these women don’t belong to a church so hearing their stories of many of these women who didn’t even necessarily care about learning to crochet but just wanted to meet other women reminded me of how important it is. Can’t wait to hear what you do.

  3. Oh my word I absolutely LOVE this idea!!!! I also love your heart for hearing the quiet plea of a total stranger for something as simple as wanting to be taught to crochet. This message really touched my heart xx Thank you for sharing it

  4. What a great Valentine’s message about loving. Being hospitable is something everyone can do with their own flair.

    I recently started a pickle ball group which was hard because I am not that good but…other ladies can learn along with me! It’s fun and it extends beyond the four walls of the church.

    Thank you Jen for leading by example!

    • YES!!! Pickleball is such a great connector and perfect for ages whether really athletic or not. Love that you’ve started this!! Way to GO!!!

  5. Wow! I believe this story you shared is going to inspire many to find ways to connect with others! As a few others have already connected, my creative juices are flowing, but trying to not overthink and to just let God use me right where I’m at.
    Thank you for a motivating story!

    • Exactly Susan, we definitely don’t want to overthink this because when we do, we overstress and then don’t step forward in faith. For me, it ended up that the woman who made the original request only had one day she could come due to working third shift and it was five days after I put out the invite. I’m so glad I didn’t have more time or I would have leaned towards overthinking. CAn’t wait to hear what you do with this. 🙂

  6. My sister lives in NC and this would be a super place for her to meet people and have group to share with. She loves to crochet too! Where in NC?

    • We’d love to have her although NC spans a large area. This is in Stokesdale about 20 minutes north of the PTI airport. We’ve had four meetings on crochet and now we are moving onto gardening but I’m sure we will circle back to crochet in a few months.

  7. This is amazing! It shows that people are hungry for connection. We/I as God’s children need to be better at reaching out and drawing them in. Lord, help this introvert find a way to connect with my neighbors with your love. ❤️

    Jen, you are always an inspiration to me.

    • Yes, Gail. I hear that prayer. As an encouragement for your precious introvert heart, many of my introvert friends are the best welcomers because they are good listeners and don’t always feel they have to fill the space with words. While this may have been a large group, honestly, a small group with only a few really allow people to gather comfortably so never think it has to be this big group of women to make it completely life changing. My motto is “How ONE invitation can change a generation” and I can’t wait to hear how He uses you right where you are.

      For neighborhoods, I recommend “Mug and Muffins.” just ask neighbors to bring their coffee mug and you provide the muffins and women can get to know each other. 🙂

  8. OH MY GOODNESS Jen. I can’t believe what a great idea this is! I’m sharing this awesome ministry with my women’s study group. We are a great God loving, kind, funny group of women, but I admit, we can get a little “stale”.
    I’m so excited. Prayers everyone else thinks it’s a good idea hahahah
    Have a blessed day \0/

    • Janet – your capital letters at the start made my day!! I can feel your excitement through your comment and am thrilled on your behalf because I KNOW that amazing things happen through a simple invitation. How can they not think it’s a good idea but I highly recommend it happen outside the church walls in someone’s home. IT makes all the difference to gather people from varying backgrounds. 🙂

  9. Jen, I loved your “true story” of what God can do when we follow His lead. What an encouragment!

  10. You know, long before anyone had ever heard of the internet, women used to gather together to share information or stories or learn from one another.
    My mother, whose mother died when my mom was 9, learned all she needed to know from a community of women. As the eldest of 3 sisters it became her job to be the surrogate mother and home maker. Something that in today’s world seems impossible. Yet we hear of it all the time. Survival is inbred in all of us and community support is a huge role in that survival.
    May we all become the crochet hook in someone’s life.
    Thank you for the reminder that we all have something to give and to share.

  11. This is wonderful and true! I had a friend who started a knitting group, some believers, some questioning. As they knit together they talked and shared. They called themselves the Knits or Knots! Isn’t that a cute name? More importantly was how some of the younger women grew spiritually!

  12. Girl, you read my mind! Not sure if I’m in your neck of the woods in NC (I’m in Cary), but I’ve been thinking of starting a driveway girl gathering on our street this summer. I’m praying about it. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s encouraging!

  13. Jen,

    This is such a great idea! People need & crave connection. We were made for community. God has equipped me to encourage the patients in my unit (hospital). Each day at work I try to engage the patients or families. You can find me trying to make them smile or comforting them when bad news comes. This past week I was walking the ICU hallways & saw a woman standing there. I asked if she as all right. She began to pour out her story about mom. Told her I would pray for her. She came in from our healing garden & said “there’s my angel mom is getting out of ICU when a room is available.” Last night (02/16) I saw her at a food bank where I volunteer. She again said “there’s my angel-mom is out of ICU on a step down floor.” I danced a happy dance. We both hugged.

    Blessings 🙂