Book Information – A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others
Author – Karen Ehman
Reading Challenge Book? Yes! This is my book about Christian living. For more on the reading challenge, there’s a Goodreads group going here.
I tend to be a tad introverted by nature. I love interacting with folks online (still wishing I could find a great online discussion group!), but I’m best with smaller groups in person. And maybe I’m a little bit of an anxious entertainer. I have a toddler, and my house reflects that. So, it’s hard to open my home without worrying about how it looks.
For that reason, I could relate to Ehman’s book. I really appreciated how she first grounded her ideas about hospitality in Scripture. She makes it clear that hospitality isn’t just a good idea, but something that we’re told to extend to others. And since we’re commanded to show hospitality to others, how do we go about it?
The word “welcome” gets used in this book, and that makes sense. Hospitality shouldn’t be about showing off how great we are, but more about making our guests feel comfortable and at home with us. For myself, I know that when I’m thinking about what will make guests feel cozy and well cared for, that takes away some of the anxiety. After all, extending hospitality isn’t about showing off what we have; it’s about sharing it.
Ehman peppers the book with musings on different aspects of hospitality, and she also includes some recipes and practical suggestions. There’s a wide variety of ideas, and so there’s sure to be something that will work for just about every kind of hostess. I also liked that Ehman’s ideas aren’t dependent upon one having lots of money or lots of space.
Some of the entertaining ideas seemed a little dated (wow, technology has changed a lot in the past 10 years!) and some of her anecdotes rubbed me the wrong way a bit rather than resonating with me. However, this is a very helpful resource overall, and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about hospitality. Rating: 4.5 stars.
Note: For easy, practical advice on entertaining at home, I also like Mary Carver’s Plan a Fabulous Party (Without Losing Your Mind).