Monday, November 9, 2020

Reach Out, Gather In By Karen Ehman

Reach Out, Gather In
by Karen Ehman
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764237959

As soon as I saw this book I knew I needed to check it out. When we were building our house I knew that I wanted to be able to open our home to friends, family, and to be able to serve people God brought into our lives. When I saw this book available for review, I requested they send it for me to check out.

Summary:

Do you long for a life of purpose and adventure? It's simple. 
Open your heart. Open your home. 

So, you'd love to use your home to connect with others. However, you fear you don't have the time or the ability. What if you could discover the secret to having both?

In Reach Out, Gather In, bestselling author Karen Ehman leads you on a 40-day journey that will enable you to put your good intentions into action. This book--part devotional, part practical handbook--will equip you with the tools and ideas for feeding both the bodies and the souls of those whom God has placed in your path. 
On this guided journey, Karen will share:

· The biblical "why" for practicing hospitality
· Creative and practical ideas to encourage family, friends, co-workers, and strangers
· Tips and tricks for getting your house guest-ready in a snap 
· Fabulous no-fail recipes, clutter-busting strategies, and clever traditions
· Real-life stories and biblical examples that will inspire you to love others well

Reach Out, Gather In includes space for you to journal your own 40-day experience of opening your heart and home to others, discovering a life of purpose and adventure along the way.

My Review:

Reach Out, Gather In is such an encouraging book for people who want to open their hearts and home to others. I have to admit, the thought of being an all out hostess gives me a bit of anxiety. My friends... they're the ones who have homes that are beautifully designed and are neat & tidy. Me? Not so much. My home seems to be in a constant state of disarray. I mean, when people come over we certainly tidy up, but I'll probably never have a home that could be shown in a magazine. I mean, I have 120 aloe plants in one of my windows. hahahaha

So, this is where Reach Out, Gather In comes in handy, especially for people like me. I know in essence that my heart of opening our home is what matters most when we look at the bottom line. I appreciate that Karen Ehman starts off with explaining what hospitality is and isn't. She speaks straight to what I mention above. Thank goodness for that, but that's a hard pill to swallow when you have a skewed idea of what a home "needs" to look like when practicing hospitality. I appreciate that she directs us to the back of the book where she has memory verses for us to memorize for particular topics.

At the end of each day there's a spot to "Ponder and Pray". We're given the opportunity to answer several questions that have to do with the day's topic. Can I just say, day 4 "Clutter-Busting Basics" is for people like me? lol A previous boss who also used to be an organizer called people like me "surface abusers", meaning that if there's a surface with an available space I'm sure to put something (or somethings) on it.

I appreciate that this book isn't just about hosting people in your home. It's about the how we reach out to others. When we first moved into our neighborhood, we were some of the first people here so we made it a point to be neighborly, even if people were just looking at the homes that were built or the land. 

And can I just mention all of the recipes in the book?! I wasn't expect to find so many... or well, any at all. Each section ends with a set of recipes that can make showing hospitality easy! Lots of things to be grateful for in this book with its wisdom and instruction.

What I realized before I even finished the book is that this book is more than just about hospital and hosting people in you home. It's about touching the lives of the people you come in contact with, including - and starting with - your family. How you love on each of these people will leave a lasting affect. So, whether you just want to know simple ideas on how to reach out to others with the love of Christ or if you want to gather them into your home and your heart, don't pass up this book.

About the Author:

Karen Ehman is a New York Times bestselling author with Proverbs 31 Ministries as well as a writer for Encouragement for Today, an online devotional that reaches more than four million women daily. She has authored fifteen books, including Keep It Shut and Settle My Soul. You can connect with Karen at www.karenehman.com, where she helps women live their priorities and love their lives.

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