Welcome is My Word|Beginnings

Welcome“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

“One Word That Will Change Your Life”
The book title sparked my curiosity. One word? Really? The book’s been around awhile and I have to say, I like this idea. Instead of lofty New Year’s resolutions, it holds to a one-word theme for the year. Smaller actions center around that word. The smaller acts compound throughout the year, where the meaning of the word takes root and becomes the impetus for real, long-lasting change.

One word. So simple. And I love anything simple. The author recommends using the entire month of December to choose a word. Mine surfaced immediately.


It was certainly different from some of the other suggested words like joy, health, and patience. But I really liked it. I knew it was mine. And as I thought about it, I realized it was a pretty hefty word. In fact, I started to visualize other words like spokes on a wheel hub. Words like hospitality, cooking, decorating, and gardening. Such fun! I’m liking this! I envisioned thumbing through magazines filled with luscious gardens and yummy recipes. But other ideas surfaced, too. And that’s where it got hard.

Words like housework, unexpected dinner or overnight guests, digging in hard clay dirt, keeping the kitchen and great room cleared of surface clutter, keeping bathrooms presentable. Then there’s my love-hate relationship with the screened-in porch. Ugh! Those cobwebs and outdoor dust cling with a vengeance. And how can I forget the spare bedroom—that extra “space” meant to be space for overnight guests? Sometimes instead of a spare bedroom it turns into a spare-parts room, filled with assorted what-nots that have no particular space yet.

Not that I am a clean-freak, (am I?) But I do find myself filled with excuses for a lack of invitation to anyone outside my grown children and grandchildren because of one simple word–ready. I am not ready, or at least I think I’m not. Well, in my mind it’s more like not ready enough.

But another excuse really gnaws at me–invitation. I do not  invite in an intentional way like I used to. Oh, I’ll throw out a “just drop in whenever”. But “whenever” turns into “never”, which never becomes “when”. Yes, the kids drop by on a continuum, but that even lends to another excuse. “My cup is full and there is no more room.”

Welcome Closer

But there is room. If I make room. You see, welcome is not just for others. It’s for me. And it’s good for me. It’s good for me to reach outside myself and into the world of someone else. To provide a comfy room for weary travelers. Have the neighbors over for dinner. Extend a listening ear. I can get so self-centered and forget that the blessing of my home was not meant just for me and my family. It was meant for others, for the world. I may not change the world, but my welcome may touch a life that will. “Welcome” speaks love and love is not love til it’s given away. May I live generous.

I am ready!

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”~ Maya Angelou
This is my contribution to the Weekly Photo Challenge with the theme “Beginnings”.  Also, I’m wondering if you noticed the ferns at Christmas? It just happened to be a warm stretch so they got to come outside. Why not? 🙂
My favorite “manuals” to stay welcome-ready. Time to pick them up again!
Once-A-Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg
Dwelling: Making the Most of the Space You Call Home by Mary Beth Lagerborg

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  1. Welcome is a wonderful word for the New Year. Or as they say here in South America–bienvenidos.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  2. Beautiful….I’m sure we are all much more critical of our own space than any visitor would ever be! Well, at least I know I am! It seems as though the flaws just jump out at me when I have visitors in my house, when in reality, for the most part, the visitor has come to see me…not my house! 🙂
    Your house is beautiful, and it certainly looks very “welcome” to me! Enjoy your New Year of “welcoming”.

    • You are so right. Most visitors completely miss the flaws if they are met by a warm welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Have a great day!

  3. Very nice – and I love the Maya Angelou quote!

  4. Beautiful pictures….and I’ve been hearing a lot about people doing the one word idea. It’s great. But for my brain it would hurt my head to much to think about one word and try to apply it too much to my life situations for one year. I’m a multi word person…and most of those words just fly around in my head all the time, making no sense at all.

    • To each his (or her) own. It’s important to always find what works for you, what doesn’t. Thanks for dropping by. And Happy New Year!

  5. Loved it Alexandria – and love the word you chose. What an interesting idea!!!

    • Thanks, Tina. I’m finding it very thought-provoking. Chicken soup this week for the family, also for the soul—mine. Some to keep, some to give away. 🙂

  6. A beautiful home. Home is where our heart is. Where love and joy are around, we are home.

  7. Is the book titled, One Word That Will Change Your Life? I guess I could have Googled it—now there’s a word that changed my life, haha. My daughter, the Interior Designer says, ‘Make a good first impression.’ Mission accomplished:)

    • You’re fine, Kelly. Yes, that is the book title. One thing with regard to that—right now my only two at home are my moving-up -the -career-ladder son (i.e gainfully employed so he pays room and board) and husband. Both these guys got me so spoiled when it came
      to cooking that we were falling into the pattern of not eating together. I feel the need to include them in the welcome theme and return to the sacred dinner hour. It is going great and I think they appreciate and enjoy the time. I say this because it’s easy to exclude my current “residents” in that daily welcome. It has multiple applications, as I’m finding out.

  8. I feel like “welcome” is a word that needs to be in my life more, as well. Interesting post!

  9. “Welcome speaks love and love is not love til it’s given away.” I’ve read innumerable quotes and philosophies of love, this may be the best one, yet!

  10. “Welcome” sounds so heartwarming here, Alexandra… One simple, sincere word. Maya Angelou quote is a good one. Thank you!

  1. Beginning… | Words 'n Pics...

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