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A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others Paperback – October 1, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

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.


"Karen's book offers a good background in hospitality and today's form of entertaining as well as excellent ideas on how to put theory into practice."-Emilie Barnes, author, speaker, founder of More Hours in My Day

"Karen's practical strategies will help you open your heart and your home to whoever God sends your way!"-Jill Savage, executive director of Hearts at Home

"If you've ever longed for someone to demonstrate what it means to truly make your house a home, then your prayers have been answered."-Lisa Whelchel, bestselling author of Creative Correction, The Facts of Life and Other Lessons My Father Taught Me, and Taking Care of the "Me" in Mommy

Karen Ehman is a speaker for Hearts at Home and the coauthor of the popular Homespun Gifts from the Heart and Homespun Memories for the Heart.

About the Author

Karen Ehman is the director of speaker development and an online devotion writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries whose passion is to help women live their priorities and love their lives. Her latest book is entitled Let. It. Go. How to Stop Running the Show an
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800731395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800731397
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karen is a New York Times bestselling author with Proverbs 31 Ministries as well as a writer for Encouragement For Today, their online devotions that reach over one million women daily. She has authored eight books including the popular LET. IT. GO: How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith and her new release KEEP IT SHUT: What to Say, How to Say It and When to Say Nothing at All, both which include a companion DVD Bible study series. Karen has been a guest on national media outlets including The 700 Club, At Home Live, FamilyLife, Engaging Women, The Harvest Show, Moody Midday Connection, and Focus on the Family.

She has been married for over a quarter-century to her college sweetheart Todd and together they raise their three sometimes quarrelsome but mostly charming children in the boondocks of central Michigan. There she enjoys antique hunting, farm market strolling, and processing life with family, friends, and the many teens that gather around her kitchen island for a taste of Mama Karen's cooking.

You can connect with Karen at karenehman.com where she helps women to live their priorities and love their lives.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I loved reading this book. I gathered encouragement and practical tips on every page. The author's personal stories and humor make this a book that is fun to pick up and hard to put down. The book motivated me to plan ahead for cooking, invite others over more often, and do simple things such as lighting a candle at dinner to make family time feel more special. She gives great tips for cleaning that actually made me itch to pull out my cleansers and tackle my housecleaning! I would recommend this book to anyone, old or young, who likes practical suggestions shared in a warm, conversational tone. Tea, anyone?
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Format: Paperback
Hospitality is on the decline, in my opinion. We're busy and don't focus on the art of entertaining like we used to do. I admit I don't have the gift of hospitality. After reading A Life That Says Welcome, I realize that it's not about what I do, but the condition of my heart, rather than my home.

There are tips and techniques to open your heart and home to unexpected guests, use the space you have and maximize it, decorate with what you have and within your budget, efficient entertaining, 'put out' good food that won't consume your time or stretch your budget or challenge your talent--and so much more.

Peppered with stories and biblical references, Ehman offers up a challenge to let your heart be the home of hospitality.

Armchair Interviews says: It's a good read.
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Format: Paperback
Written by Hearts at Home speaker Karen Ehman, A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others is a practical introduction to the art of hospitality. Ad Ehrman explains, the secret of hospitality isn't primarily about how one's home is decorated or maintained, or what dishes are cooked; it's making one's guests feel welcome, and comes straight from the heart. Material matters are of course discussed as well, including the basics of battling clutter, dustballs and dirt; decorating on a shoestring budget; tips for hospitality on the road; and much more. As a devoted Christian, Ehman also shows how to open not only one's home to guests but also how to open one's life and soul as an avenue for God's love. An excellent selection of tips, tricks, and techniques for receiving guests with warmth and spreading joy.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book. I have 3 small children, a husband, and a hyper dog. We want to entertain more and hope that people feel welcome in our home. I found encouragement on every page of this book, and many chuckles through-out. The humor hidden within the pages always left me coming back for more.
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Format: Paperback
Ehman has written a wonderful introduction for incorporating hospitality into our daily lives, without ostentation or excess stress. She includes hints on basic organization that will enable us to avoid total chaos even if we never reach perfection in our housekeeping. She includes recipes that probably lean a little too much toward high fat and sweetness, but they are the kinds of "comfort food" that can make guests and family feel easily at home. Overall, a nice common sense book to remove the intimidation of God's call to hospitality for all Christians.

One weakness that drops this from 5 to 4 stars: there is no index! A book that includes more than thirty recipes scattered in several places and even more hints on quick cleaning and easy decorating definitely needs to have a better way for readers to find a favored excerpt or recipe quickly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This one certainly won't win the Shulamith Firestone award for non-fiction. If you find repugnant the idea that a woman should make her home a warm and inviting place to be for her man, her kids and her friends, then this book is not for you!

For those of us who are cool with that idea, the book offers some strategies and encouragement for women who want to practice biblical hospitality both at home and on the road. It's perfect for the pastor's wife - or really anyone who wants to make her home a place that fosters God-centered community and fellowship. The author repeatedly stresses that hospitality is not about making your home impressive and fancy; rather it's about creating a safe haven conducive to the caring of souls. The book is dedicated to describing what that safe haven will look like.

While not all her ideas and recipes fit with my style, there were a few I really appreciated:

1) The author encourages women to put their families first. She openly shares a moment from her past in which her children witnessed her cleaning and preparing a special meal, and asked, "Who's coming over?" Her point: We shouldn't reserve our hospitality stores solely for when we have guests. Christian hospitality should be something we practice on our families everyday. It requires some effort and some sacrifice, but it's worth it.

2) I love her simple strategies for keeping Sunday a day of rest. She not a strict Sabbatarian, but she is concerned when she sees that Sunday is the most stressful day of the week for some women. (As a person who has historically reserved most of her lesson planning for Sunday, I am guilty of this).
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