A friend loaned me a book on Sunday…about hospitality, of course. I opened it to scan and saw that the author lived in North Carolina, in the country. My curiosity was piqued. Hospitality in the country is unique, and I was looking to see how the author accomplished her brand of hospitality. “Where does she live?”, I wondered. With a bit of of research, I saw that the author lives in Greensboro where I used to live. A bit more research told me that her name is not only Jen Schmidt, but Jen Van Eerden Schmidt. Now that was a significant piece of information for me.
Dwight and I crossed paths with the Van Eerden family about fifteen years ago. Jen’s parents, Dick and Donna, organized a teacher-exchange program for several years. Read about it at here. Lisa from China was observing at the school I had just retired from, Caldwell Academy. She was our guest for six weeks. We’re still in touch with her today.
Jen Schmidt, in her book Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, does a beautiful, honest, down-to-earth introduction to hospitality. It’s encouraging and well worth the read. Sometimes at the end of her chapters, Jen includes an Extra Helping from some of her family members with their thoughts on hospitality. Here’s the Extra Helping from her dad with a Personal Life Purpose statement the older Van Eerden’s have adopted and have lived out:
To support others in discovering the truth so that their expectations will be realized, their lives will be enhanced, and both of us will experience the peace that comes from obedience to God.
It took a lot of word-smithing for the older Van Eerdens to finally arrive at their final Personal Life Purpose statement. If you were to write such a statement, what would you say? Please share.