A New Book & A Give Away!

The heart of hospitality is where people feel loved, cherished and valuable. So says Sandy Coughlin, who encourages us to let go of perfectionism and focus on people in a book that is as gracious and beautiful as its author.

Reading through The Reluctant Entertainer's inspiring pages made me feel as though Sandy slid her arm through mine and whispered words of encouragement. "Hospitality is not about you. It's about making others feel warm and welcome." It's also about grace. "Graces removes stress and is a gift that I both give and receive," Sandy says.

She points out that becoming a gracious hostess is more than just serving a nice meal. It involves conversation and keeping things simple enough that you can actually participate in conversations with your guests. Sandy implores us to keep things real--in so doing, our guests will relax and feel more at ease with our company.

If you've ever whipped yourself into a frenzy cleaning your home before dinner guests arrive (I'm guilty!), Sandy suggests we ask ourselves "Am I having people in to my home to impress them or bless them?"

The Reluctant Entertainer includes mouth watering recipes, tips and ideas for good dinner conversation, and best of all, it shows you how to make soul satisfying connections with your guests. If you feel you cannot open your home because cooking for guests intimidates you--or because your house is just a wreck--this encouraging, practical book is an absolute treasure.

Leave a comment sharing your number one excuse for not inviting guests over for a meal (along with your e-mail address) and you'll receive the chance to win a copy of The Reluctant Entertainer!

Visit my friend Sandy's beautiful blog and be blessed!


Susie said...

I love Sandy and her blog! I finally ordered my copy, and I would love to win another copy since I am giving a few for gifts this Christmas.

My biggest excuse is my hubby. He is such a people person on stage and in front of a mic, but not very social at home. Most of my entertaining is during the day with bible study girls and friends while he is at work.

Betsy Markman said...

Excuse number one: "My house is a trash heap."

(I prefer not to leave my email address on a public forum. If I win, please leave a comment to that effect on my blog. I won't post it, but I'll get the message that way!)

Lora @ my blessed life said...

Lately my #1 excuse has been that our budget is too tight to entertain much. And I LOVE to entertain and really miss it.

Rhonda said...

I love Sandy - she's great!

I would love to win a copy of her book.

My biggest excuse is that I'm just not organized enough.

Diane said...

Her blog is lovely!

Usually it is a time thing for my husband. Pinning him down to co-host with me is difficult at times but otherwise I love to have company over. :O)

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

myletterstoemily said...

hey julie,

thank you for sharing the wonderful
blog and book. i do get myself into
a tizzy when i entertain and need to
remind myself it is about my guests
not my house or my food.

thanks for the admonition that i
really needed@


Karen said...

That sounds like a great book. Don't we all do that. Me--I'm guilty.

the girlfriend gap said...

I am a follower of the Reluctant Entertainer. Love her encouragement and would love a copy of her book. It is always a blessing to have people in our home but we don't do it often enough. Excuse.....not following through with good intentions because of the time it takes to tiddy and prepare. I have a mantra..." Work to Welcome NOT Crazy for Clean" which has helped to keep my focus and the stress level down, But I still hesitate to open my mouth and invite others in. I guess my heart struggles to make myself available. I have set aside Wednesdays as Work to Welcome day focusing on decreasing the piles that seem to accumulate here and there, working to create a habit of welcome. For me it is just trying to be more intentional with my days and Watching to see how others do it with a SMILE! Thank you for the chance to win.

Kelly said...

Hey - I'd love to have that book! I have major entertainment stress.

My biggest excuse is that I feel like people will findmy cooking, or housekeeping inferior to others. It's an area, where I didn't have any example growing up so it's kind of trial and error.

Ginny said...

My favorite excuse for not entertaining is that I am afraid that I don't cook good enough to serve guests. Plus I hate my kitchen. It is 70's ugly and we cannot afford to re-model. So, I don't like people seeing it.
I truly like to entertain, but with people I already have done it with. It's the new people in our life that I shy away from having over. excuses, excuses...

Terri Tiffany said...

I have had many people over in the past but my main reason right now is I hate to cook anymore now that is is just my husband and I! the last time, a few months ago, I made a dessert and that worked.


Hi Julie,

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today (Gg - Notes on the Journey.) I appreciate your sweet comment.

This is my first visit to your blog and it looks great. I just became a follower.

We have people over a lot, but the things for me that makes it the hardest is simply the cost.


Anonymous said...

Probably my house is not clean enough or things are picked up enough etc...a

KelliGirl said...

Sounds like a book I need! I think the main reason we don't entertain more is the advance planning it takes and our unpredictable schedules. I've found that more spontaneous, casual gatherings have worked well.

Hope you're doing well, Julie! How's the writing going?

Erin MacPherson said...

Hi Julie! Thanks for coming by my blog... I really appreciated it. You friend Sandy's blog is awesome. I also often feel like a reluctant entertainer, but her point about how it's not about me, but about others is so true. Anyway, my #1 excuse is time... I always feel pressed for it with a bazillion projects, assignments and two precious kids to care for.

Melinda said...

Wow! I need this book!! ;0) I was just telling Mike the other night that I wanted to have more people over, but I didn't feel like my house was "together" enough (because we've been doing remodeling and it's half-done). I think I have to get a new oven to entertain (ours is 20 years old and just looks sad). This book might just inspire me to let go of my perfectionism and enjoy fellowship -- in MY house!

Sorry Emily still has a long road to go with her braces. I think God knew Molly & I could not handle the struggle much longer! ;0) I'm in for a MUCH longer road with her brother, whose teeth are in much worse shape. Hopefully, we'll survive.

Melanie said...

I start feeling stressed out if I invite people over way ahead of time. It makes me feel like I have had plenty of time to prepare so all should be "perfect."
I actually do better if it is more spontaneous then I feel there is a good excuse for things not to be in perfect order.

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