I want to be like Betsie ten Boom when I grow up.

She was a sister to Corrie ten Boom, who wrote The Hiding Place, which chronicles their family’s courageous decision to hide Jews in their home during WWII. Betsie found joy in flowers, cups of tea, and the blue sky. Even while in the concentration camps, she was astoundingly able to create a place of order and beauty. God gave Betsie dreams and visions of establishing places of refuge and peace for those ravaged by the war…even though she never saw it actually come to pass. She wanted these places to have gardens and lots of flowers.

Betsie told her sister, “It will be so good for them…watching things grow. People can learn to love, from flowers.”

I love that. I want to create a place of beauty and welcome for those around me.

One of the first places that we create beauty is in our own homes. We create places of peace for those who daily live in our home, and we also open up our homes to others.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. In a way, this is opening up your life and heart to people, and extending the invitation for them to do the same.

To invite people into our homes is to respond with gratitude to the God who made a home for us.

It can be simple. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Use what you have. Be creative. Improvise. One of my favorite things is to have a bowl of mints on my desk at work. In a small way, I am saying, “Come in, you are welcome here; you are valuable.”

It does have to be intentional. As impersonal as it may sound at first, get out your calendar and write down when you want to have people over. Schedule a time and stick to it.

Take time to make things around you beautiful. What does beauty look like for you? What makes you take a deep breath and relax a little bit more? What makes your heart happy? Surround yourself with these things.

When you are at ease and your heart is open, your guests’ will be, too.

This post was written by Heather Dillard. To read more about her, click here.