I am so excited to have an extra copy of Leslie Verner’s new book Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness! 

Coffee and sharing life while 6 kids destroyed our already disheveled upstairs with a new friend was a reminder that my kitchen does not need to be clean or my life “together” to invite people in- because let’s be real- if we are waiting for that it will NEVER happen. 

Leslie is a friend from our time in Chicago and after she spent years in China and I spent years in Tanzania we joined together to help do cross cultural training in the city and found it so comforting when someone else understood some of the unique challenges and blessings of living overseas. Although we taught together I can say I have learned so much more from her and am celebrating her so much with the release of her first book! She somehow found time to write in the midst of having 3 small kids & moving across the country. She writes beautifully about how isolation and the American Dream has robbed us of true community and belonging. She offers insightful and vulnerable personal stories that point us to Jesus and His invitation to all us to be close, to get messy, and to invite and allow yourself to be invited. This book is for anyone who wants to dig deep and transform the way we think about hospitality as being a perfect Pinterest worthy table setting to truly inviting and accepting invitations to love and be loved well with our neighbors. Her writing is insightful and accessible- not preachy but practical and inspiring. I am honored to be a part of the book launch team and want to share the goodness with you all so we are giving away a copy!!!

An excerpt from the introduction: 
She was frustrated at trying to be hospitable in the chaos of daily life with small kids…
“You do hospitality anyway. God seemed to say. You do it in the stress and the mess and the raisins smashed into the carpet. You do it when you’re hollering over 3 preschoolers telling knock knock jokes with no punchline and talking about poop and pee at the table. You do it when your children throw tantrums and blatantly disobey you in front of your friends and family. You do it because doing life together means not hiding behind closed doors but inviting people into your actual life. And your actual life is not pretty. It’s not organized, perfect, or pristine. 
You do it because I am a hospitable, generous God and because Jesus was a model of serving despite inconveniences. You invite because I invited you, and you welcome because the Bible says you may beings angels in disguise into your home. And you invite because you are inviting me.”
Check out Leslie’s 4 Simple Ways to Practice Hospitality post here. 

To enter, comment with a time someone showed you amazing but messy hospitality- Or enter on instagram   (roxengstrom) & tag up 2 friends you think might be interested in this book (no tag backs!). Giveaway ends Saturday August 24th at 7pm CST. Sorry, only U.S. residents.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Our family was shown amazing hospitality over and over again in DR Congo during our 3 week visit there this summer. People without electricity or running water, with chickens and goats (their “savings account”) walking around inside and out of the house, with clothes to wash by hand and put out on the line, with children to feed – many of whom are nieces or nephews or grandchildren, took time to sit with us, to pray over us, and to sacrifice their precious food resources to serve us a meal or gift us a live chicken as a symbol of their joy in seeing us. I was humbled over and over and experienced the generous love of Jesus who invited (and still invites!) us into a restored relationship with himself through his death and resurrection.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Two woman come to mind immediately. My friend Summar always prioritizes hospitality. She first invited me in and there was laundry on the coach. I knew we’d be friends when she let me help her fold it while we talked. My friend Nancy always has an open door even if the food she sets out is a buffets if left overs and one always feels loved. She taught me most when she brought over a grilled cheese sandwich to a new neighbor unpacking a moving truck across the street. She did not apologize that a grilled cheese was all she had. She brought it with a cold drink and said “welcome! I noticed you haven't taken a break for lunch and you must be hungry.” She mad a friend immediately. I likely would have thought “what if they are gluten or dairy free or a health but or think grilled cheese are for kids?” I would have missed an opportunity worried that what I had wasn’t enough. What I learned is that even if they had gone inside and thrown it away they would have known a neighbor cared and that would have been worth it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And the winner is…..@saungrl on Insta or Jenny Bautista!