Hospitality is making a comeback — or perhaps really trending for the first time in America. I have caught the bug, being inspired to love my neighbors (both literal and stranger) as a way to show kindness and God’s love. Leslie Verner has taken it up a notch — living out a life of hospitality in beautiful ways — taking from things she learned living 5 years overseas in China and traveling the world.

She’s not only tangibly living out love — by inviting refugee friends into her home, welcoming lonely mom friends to a group outing, making food and offering a place of rest to new church members (to name a few things) — she wrote about it all in her new book, “Invited: The Power of Hospitality an Age of Loneliness.”

The book is full of simple stories of welcome and kindness, and offers statistics and anecdotes about hospitality around the world. I found myself surprised at multiple bits and revved to ensure I don’t allow anyone I meet to feel unseen. Leslie is a gorgeous writer — and I can’t say that about every book I read. If you can appreciate a beautiful sentence with words in all the right places, almost singing a song with the way it is written, you will totally indulge in this book.

A mother of three young children, she also addresses how we can be there for others even when life is busy and chaotic. The reality is that we can’t afford not to be hospitable and there are a TON of ways to do it, things you probably don’t even realize. As Christians, I think this concept is one of the most important, especially as people become more isolated, depressed and lonely in a technological culture. Seriously, take some notes and get the book.

Leslie and I also chat about writing, the creative process, finding time and what it means to feel called to be a writer. Oh man, I could have chatted with her all day!

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