Today’s guest post comes from my friend, Sandy Coughlin of Reluctant Entertainer. I met this fun mama awhile back at a Blissdom conference (can’t remember which one), and I thought she was all kinds of fun. She’s a treasure. And! Her book, The Reluctant Entertainer, released not too long ago, and today she wants to give away five copies of her book to Simple Mom readers. Find out at the end how you can win one!
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!).
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 lime juice and spices. And preparing my steak the simple way, I rubbed olive oil on each steak, sprinkled with Stevia (or Splenda, or regular sugar), and Costco’s steak seasoning – all on both sides. 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.
Sandy’s book, The Reluctant Entertainer
If you’re a recovering perfectionist, like me, then you need this book. It was such a breath of fresh air when I first flipped the pages, perused the photos and recipes, and read Sandy’s encouraging words.
Personally, I love entertaining, but in my life stage of three little ones wreaking havoc on anything that moves in my house, I tend to be a bit reticent to open my doors willingly to friends and family. That shouldn’t be.
The Reluctant Entertainer gives us women of all ages a much-needed boost of encouragement to take a step of faith and use our home in service to others. Filled with practical ideas, this book is a great tool for helping you flex those atrophied entertaining muscles.
Sandy shares both nuggets of wisdom from her personal experience and practical tips for setting the dinner table, so that you can courageously roll up your sleeves and prepare for guests in your home.
Win a copy!
This giveaway is now closed.
Five of you will win one copy of Sandy’s book, The Reluctant Entertainer. Here’s how:
1. Leave a comment on this post, answering Sandy’s question: “When was the last time you were flexible and able to go with a later dinner time? Or that you were willing to try something different?”
2. For an additional entry, tweet about this giveaway on Twitter, including @SimpleMom, @SandyCoughlinRE, and the URL of this post (http://bit.ly/cJyNer) in your mention. THEN – and this is important – come back here and leave another comment, telling me you tweeted. Don’t mention it in the same comment for your first entry, or else it won’t be counted.
This giveaway will close this Saturday, September 25 at 11:59 p.m., and I’ll announce the winners soon after. I hope you win!