Reluctant Entertainer, The: Every Woman's Guide to Simple and Gracious Hospitality
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Hospitality can be a blessing to both the host and her guests, but for many women today, it simply doesn't happen. Feelings of inadequacy, unrealistic expectations, fear of failure, lack of time--all conspire to steal the joy that comes from opening one's home and sharing fellowship with others. In The Reluctant Entertainer, Sandy Coughlin relates to people in real ways about real meals that mortals cook, during which real conversations draw people together. Would-be hostesses will discover that true hospitality is not about being perfect, cooking a fancy meal, or spending a lot of money. Rather, it's about an open door and an open heart.
to make hospitality perfect instead of excellent, we isolate ourselves from others. Perfectionists have a hard time making and keeping friends. They are not very happy because they know they will never be able to live up to their own unrealistic expectations. And our unrealistic expectations can actually hurt those around us, because they feel they can never measure up. My parents were good role models. Our home did not have to be perfect before they invited people in. And they always included
menu simple (I served a recipe I had cooked over and over), the guests brought dishes, and my family jumped in and helped. I really enjoyed myself that evening because my intention was to keep it simple. In a way it was freeing to me, as I let go of the complicated and became a more effective hostess. My home felt warmer, and I’d go as far as saying it even had a glow to it. I’d love for you to consider this same effect happening in your own home as you invite others in. By watching your attitude
guests arrive. • Experience the power of rearranging. It always makes a room feel brand-new. Invite a friend over with an entertaining eye to give you some tips. • Scan a room, tidy up, and give the room a fresh touch of flowers or a basket of fresh fruit. • Straighten your magazines. Reduce any clutter. Clean off your fridge. • Use angles in decorating, arranging your furniture into conversation areas. Inside and outside! • Use your family artwork around the house—it adds a warm feel. •
with a joyful heart a part of ourselves that could easily be thwarted if we gave in to the voices of perfection that diminish our lives, our homes, and our ability to create close connections with others. The Bible sheds light on one of the secrets to gracious living: I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.
this definition because it shows just how important being authentic is to relationships. Authenticity is honest and doesn’t try to needlessly impress others. And the great thing about being authentic is that it attracts other authentic people—those who are soulful and who make the greatest friends. One hot summer night, my friend Selena and her family stopped in for a visit. I had met Selena through my blog, and when I learned they would be traveling through Oregon, we invited them to stop in