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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
240 pages
Oct 2006

A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others

by Karen Ehman

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Karen Ehman has written a book that will be a help to many mothers struggling to learn to practice hospitality in today’s American society. Ehman is a well-known Hearts at Home speaker at home women, and her book, A Life That Says Welcome, is subtitled Simple Ways to Open your Heart and Home to Others. She makes a clear differentiation between entertaining for the sake of impressing people, and showing hospitality for the purpose of blessing others. The author relates many practical ways to overcome the barriers to showing true biblical hospitality: limited living space, limited finances, non- cooperative spouse, circumstances that make entertaining difficult, feelings of inadequacy, a dirty or cluttered house, time constraints, and unreasonable expectations.

This book has eleven chapters, and in them the author gives mini-courses on house cleaning, decluttering, time organization, simple decorating, and cooking for company. Some fine recipes are included, and Ehman also recommends further reading on these subjects. The most unusual angle Ehman presents is the idea of hospitality on the road. She recommends ways to feed and bless people without having them into your home, such as meeting other moms at a park, museum, or restaurant, visiting shut-ins with meals, feeding the homeless in shelters or soup kitchens, taking hot cocoa and cookies to Salvation Army bell-ringers, or treats and drinks to other outdoor workers.

The most important chapter, I felt, was Ehman’s advice to put family first in this realm—to minister to husbands and children by making home cozy and welcoming for them first—to consider them as our first responsibility in ministry.

Ehman’s main contention is that hospitality is a biblical teaching and that it is possible in almost every situation, inside the home as well as out. She offers much practical advice to that purpose in this tightly-packed book. I recommend A Life that Says Welcome to housewives and mothers, and to all women who want guidance, advice, and ideas for reaching others and serving God by sharing their hearts and their homes. – Elece Hollis, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Great hospitality isn't about gourmet food or gorgeous décor (what a relief!)

When it comes to hospitality it doesn't matter what size your house is, how it's decorated, whether or not it's spotless, or what you cook or don't cook. The secret to making guests feel comfortable is more about the condition of your heart than the condition of your home.

A Life That Says Welcome helps you make others feel refreshed, rather than impressed, in your presence. It's packed with inspiring tips on how to

decorate well on a budget
make the most of your space (no matter how small)
be prepared for unexpected company
create delicious, simple dishes your guests will enjoy

You'll be encouraged to not only open your home but to open your life as an avenue for God's love everywhere you go.