Just Open the Door – Jen Schmidt

Only a few pages into this book and I found a section that hit me square in the face. Referring to a verse in Romans 12, Schmidt says,

This verse doesn’t suggest that some people have the gift of hospitality while others lack it. No, we’re all meant to be in the habit of pursuing hospitality.

pg. 9

Quite truthfully, I hadn’t expected much from Just Open the Door. It came highly recommended, and a relative owned a copy, so I decided to give it a try although it wasn’t my typical choice of reading material. I most certainly hadn’t expected to be verbally smacked in the face right from the get-go.

Personal Impact:

Just Open the Door showed me what has been missing in my own life. As an introvert, I never believed myself to need very much social interaction. A day or two a week with a friend, and time with my husband and I told myself I was content. With Just Open the Door, Schmidt has shown me that it’s not only what we are called to do as Christians, but it’s an empty place in my heart that is begging to be filled.

I loved that Schmidt answered how even an introvert could extend an invitation and showed real life examples of how introverts she knows are able to invite people into their homes and their lives. I do wish that she went more in-depth on that particular topic, however.

While reading, families that live this invitation lifestyle came to mind, and I was able to consider how much they changed the course of my life, much like the Schmidt family has changed many others (as evidenced by the stories throughout the book). Schmidt has shown me the truth of this lifestyle and it’s impact – something that until now, I believed was a spiritual gift that some had and some didn’t.

Practical Tips:

I particularly enjoyed the “Dear Jen” and “Elevate the Ordinary” sections at the end of each chapter, as well. The “Elevate the Ordinary” section was great for understanding how to apply the principles to everyday life, while “Dear Jen” addressed practical questions.

In addition, Schmidt shares a wonderful mindset throughout Just Open the Door – not the mindset of I have to – the mindset that I get to. So often we forget how much God has given us, how many privileges we are blessed with. We don’t have to open the door – we get to. We don’t have make friends – we get to. That is a great place to be, mentally.

Recommendation:

Just Open the Door is a great read for any Christian who wants to grow in new ways, but also for the reader who longs for more out of their life. More friends. More relationships. Deeper connections. Read this book and you might just realize what it is you’ve been longing for. I most certainly did.

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