Sandy Coughlin from Reluctant Entertainer
Sandy Coughlin is a wife and mom of three teenagers, and is the voice behind Reluctant Entertainer, a hospitality blog dedicated to helping people in search of a lifestyle that says, “I can do this!”. Her book, The Reluctant Entertainer, was recently published and is in bookstores now.
I’m glad I could be flexible with our dinnertime last Sunday night. We really wanted to see our friends. And their commitments on this particular Sunday were going from one thing to another. They weren’t commitments of wasted time. They were commitments of reaching out. Touching lives.
So when we asked our friends to come over for a steak dinner, we were willing to push our dinner out and wait for them, as eight-thirty was the soonest they could get to our house. Not only did we want to see these friends, we knew that coming to our home would be a relaxing way to end a very busy day for them. I had also purchased some steaks at the “10 lb. Meat Sale ” that we wanted to barbeque, along with veggies and salad from our yard (and of course yummy bread). My friend brought the dessert ( delegation, delegation!)
We pulled fresh potatoes from our garden and after baking them first, we sliced and seasoned them. Using crookneck squash and lemon thyme from the garden, we added sweet onions and peppers, olive oil and fresh limejuice and spices. And preparing my steak the simple way, I rubbed olive oil on each steak, sprinkled with Stevia (or Splenda or regular sugar), … recipe in my new book. The bread was sliced, wrapped in foil, and placed in the oven.
All food was prepared in 30 minutes and ready for the grill!
One thing I noticed early in the evening was that we usually have music playing as we’re preparing for our company. But as I was setting the table outside on our patio, in the quietness of the evening, I heard the popping sounds of the barbeque. It smelled and sounded just like a campfire. I loved the silence that surrounded this magical sound. I stood there and shut my eyes and took it all in. I thought of our guests who were coming to dinner. I knew that our time would be good. It would not be taken up with wasted chatter or filled with dreary gossip. While eating our dinner, we’d be talking about things we are passionate about. Mostly relating to people and goals in life.
We all long for connection. We all long for purpose. And what this couple doesn’t know is that they actually help my husband and me to become better people. By cheering, supporting and encouraging us in many ways.
Yes, I’m thankful that I could be flexible last week. I wasn’t always that way! And part of what I am continuing to learn about flexibility is that it starts with a willingness to do something different. To be able to go with the flow, and make a schedule change.
With that willingness a blessing is usually right there ready to follow.
When is the last time you were flexible and able to go with a later dinner time? Or that you were willing to try something different?
(You can read back through my 30 Days of Summer posts for more inspiration!)
♦ For more inspiring entertaining ideas, Visit Reluctant Entertainer
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♦ Sandy’s new inspirational book, The Reluctant Entertainer ♦
is available in bookstores now
A growing number of people across the world are realizing that something deep is missing in their lives. And that something is connection to others, often through the blessing of hospitality. Hospitality can be a blessing to both the hostess and her guests, but for many women today, it simply doesn’t happen. Feelings and beliefs of inadequacy, unrealistic expectations, fear of failure, and a lack of time all conspire to steal the joy that comes from opening one’s home and sharing fellowship with others. Reluctant Entertainer encourages readers to put image and perfectionism aside in order to live a more authentic and connected life with others. Sandy shares her entertaining stories, little tidbits about her family, what’s growing in the garden or cooking on the stove, bargains and thrifting ideas, along with recipes on her blog, and inspires us to keep in mind the simple art of hospitality along the way. She shows us that dinner parties are attainable, affordable, and that they can be beautiful even when on a budget.
In Sandy’s new inspirational book, The Reluctant Entertainer, she relates to many apprehensive hostesses in real ways with genuine encouragement and advice. Emphasizing the forgotten goal of entertaining – connecting deeply with others – Sandy shows how women can use who they are and what they have to create memorable experiences.
Thank you so much Sandy for inspiring us today and continually changing the lives of those around you by sharing your encouragement.