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...

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  1. Jen,
    I love the idea that my home is not my own and that I am a steward of what God has given to me and my self-question should be, “How can I use it for God’s glory?” And wrapping paper for a table runner – great idea! I try to focus on hospitality and not “entertaining”. That way the focus is on my guest(s) and not on what I’ve tried to prepare or do. Conversation and communication are the things I remember about being shown true hospitality. Thanks for a great post – looking forward to our (in)RL gathering!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • The ladies at your (in)rl gathering will be blessed to meet you – the consummate encourager. 🙂

      One of my blog post drafts is that exact title – hospitality vs entertaining with exactly that focus. We get caught up in the entertaining side, which focuses all on ourselves, and forget that it’s about welcoming others into our story. 🙂

  2. My favorite… remember…small is the new big. Love this! I have recently been through an amazing about face… stop and let God restart my life. Small is the new big. My husband is the head of my family. And walking in God’s will sometimes means love stays home. Being still and knowing God is in control makes a world of difference. May God bless your times of sharing and simple hospitality.

  3. I want that for my daughters too and I need to stop and remember that when I am frantically getting ready.

  4. Thank you for this. It is the simple that is important. We get lost in the other things too often and God spoke to me this morning as I was reading this reminder.

  5. Hospitality is in my genes but I had to learn a big lesson first. When my husband was a new officer in the Air Force, we were in a Bible study with other military couples. All the men were senior officers with bigger homes, fancy décor and mementos from exotic places. We rotated homes but when it was our turn I was terrified at the thought of having these lovely women in my simple little townhouse with the old blue couch the baby had spit up on a thousand times! As time for their arrival approached, everything was ready and the food was tasty but I was nearly breathless with nerves. I just knew one refined lady in particular would take one look and leave. Well, God showed me a thing or two! She walked in the door and gasped over a Boston fern I had perched on a cream can by the window. Couldn’t get over how pretty it looked and asked my secret to keeping it so healthy. If she ever looked at those stains on the couch I didn’t see it. God taught me that night that it’s the followship of His people and heart of the host that counts the most.

  6. I will try out some of the recipes you mentioned. Joining in(RL) but not a community group. Just to busy with work and life. Plus living so far from most people I know.

    I enjoyed last year’s event and look forward to this years as well.

  7. Love all of this but especially this line…:”Whether I’ve lived in a rented one room apartment or a homestead in the country, I am merrily stewarding this gift that God has graciously given, so how can I not use it for His glory?” As a recovering perfectionist, I love the reminder that wherever…whenever…whatever…poor or rich…simple or grand…no matter the style or circumstance, as long as we’re doing it for His glory, it’s BEAUTIFUL. You rock, Jen. Thanks! (Oh, and P.S. the wrapping paper runners?!?! Genius!)