Monday, June 24, 2013

Doormat Words

By Elisa Morgan, Publisher of FullFill

The seasonal winds had picked up, scattering pale pink petals across my front porch from the potted geranium I’d tucked into what I thought was a protected corner. Just a few weeks earlier, I’d carefully troweled dirt about the roots of the plant before pressing it in place and watering it secure. I stepped back, adjusted the door wreath of fake forsythia and then took in the worn mat at my feet. Frayed threads, a pattern rubbed out by treading feet. Definitely needed a replacement there.

At Target I surveyed my options: floral. Nope had enough of that going on already. A foamy stone pattern. No, had that before. Needed a change. There was a tall column of worded mats – announcing mottos, commands, values. I considered the options:

A two-word greeting that read one way entering: HELLO and another way exiting: GOODBYE.

A warning: BEWARE OF DOG.

A whimsical: WIPE YOUR PAWS!

And the simple: Welcome.

I thought about that last one and discarded it quickly. Too trite. Too open? Too much of a promise? Too uncomfortable. Did I want this word plastered across the doorway to my home?

I paused.

What about the doorway to my heart? What word would I put on its doormat to communicate to all who approach? W-E-L-C-O-M-E. An open entreaty. A positioning of receptivity. Eagerly and delightedly accepted. Admitted gladly. Freely invited or permitted. With nothing expected in return. I’d like to say that’s the word I’d choose. But do I?

More often I post DO NOT DISTURB. I like my life the way I have it thank you very much. I’m busy with it. I’m not interested in another agenda: yours.

Then there’s COME BACK LATER. I want to choose who enters and when and how far.

NO SOLICITING. Leave me alone with whatever you’re selling, whatever you want from me.

GONE FISHING. I’ve taken off to places unknown and am unavailable until further notice.

I smirk – what about BEWARE? I think I actually have put this sign out from time to time in a particularly grouchy season. Oooohhhh…so telling, these doormat words.

In the aisle at Target, I sense the need to push further – beyond human relationships. What word do I put on the mat of my being when God draws near, when he lifts his divine finger toward the doorbell of my soul?



W-E-L-C-O-M-E. Come in. All the way. You are freely invited and admitted. I eagerly and delightedly accept you. Disturb me – deeply. Come now. Come, bringing your agenda for my life, including all you bring with you. Sell me whatever you know I need. I will stay and receive you. I am safe with you no matter my mood.

The point is made. I bend to select a thatch of plain brown. Bare of any words, it is ready to display the choice I need to make on a daily basis as I open the door to whomever and whatever arrives on its rectangular surface. To bar…or to welcome.

Elisa Morgan is the Publisher of FullFill. She is a speaker and the author of She Did What She Could, The NIV Mom’s Devotional Bible and the soon to be released, The Beauty of Broken. Book Elisa for your event at or connect with her on Facebook at Elisa Morgan.


  1. How I appreciate "Beware!" On rare, crazily deadline-pressed days, my office door has carried a hand-lettered sign saying: "If this is not urgent, do not even THINK about knocking!" Of course, most often I just shuffle priorities like everyone else. And the door mat has never had words. The "welcome" is up to me.

  2. Well said. And so convicting. Thank you, Elisa.

  3. Welcome, please enter is our hearts invitation to the Lord. Yet, since He abides within, He is already at home and with me at all times. So for those "others" who come knocking, intruding, needy and seeking us out; I think they are there for His purposes and plans. Sometimes to teach us discernment and how to exercise boundaries but others to give of ourselves when it wasn't convenient or desired but yet part of His Plan. If we want to bear fruit we will welcome each knock at our door and let the Spirit guide us from there. More easily said than done. : )

  4. This is such a great post. Made me smile even as it was convicting me. Well done. Thank you.

  5. Ahhh, this struck a chord of conviction (: I put those own words on my heart in the midst of the busyness of life...Thank you for the reminder that "welcome" is a good word after all!