One year ago, I had an amazing opportnunity. In fact, I’ve been keeping a secret from you.

One year ago, I drove to North Carolina and had the chance to hug the sweetest friend I have found in Jen Schmidt and captured hospitality throughout her home. The same friend that hosts the conference I shared with you Tuesday.

Jen’s heart for home and hospitality is unmatched. The way her five children love each other, love others so well and how she opens her door without fear is inspiring.

Watching her daughters interact with everyone that walked through her door is something I mentally took notes of as I snapped away.

Watching Jen’s love for others expound and grow with each person that helped her, guided her and took time to prepare was inspiring.

Jen’s heart has been perfectly captured in her first book that we talked about last year, Just Open the Door.

And now this gift book—Open Door Living is available as a gift book complete with images of exactly how Jen works her magic.

To know these images we captured that sweet day in North Carolina is such a gift. A gift that simply overcomes my soul as I think about all God has done. The way He weaves these threads together of my story—of YOUR story and how they come together.

Just last night, a friend and I had this exact conversation. During Bible study, a prayer request was shared for a man moving to the Hospice house. My friend works at Hospice so I asked her if she knew him.

Quietly, she answered, “Yes, I worked on his case today. You just never know how people are connected.”

And that has resonated with me since. To Jen, it doesn’t matter your connections. Because in the end we are all connected to Him.

In this world of social media and connections that happen immediately, some can be taken advantage of, some too highly regarded so they take away from the connections right in front of us, but sometimes those connections can happen and they can connect friends that share a similar heart for hospitality.

They can connect souls that share the same passions. They can connect those that will simply open their doors.