Today I’d like to welcome Sandy Coughlin to Imp3rfect Mom. With her permission, I have reposted one of her blog posts from Reluctant Entertainer about image and not entertaining:
What is it about human nature that we long to be loved and admired for what we do?
After reading this comment I was challenged to consider my own motives regarding why I do certain things when it comes to hospitality.
I am somewhat…yes I admit it…a “perfectionist” when it comes to entertaining. I have been a Chef/ Caterer for lots of so called “important” people, for almost 20 years. I always felt I had to put in 110% effort and wanted to be acknowledged and noticed for it!
But, yes…there is a huge BUT now……after reading your blog. I am immensely encouraged to use the gift God’s given me of “hospitality” without the perfectionism!!
I’ve said it before …
I think younger women have to be very mature – to have a mature mindset. Even with an excellent hospitality role-model in my life (my mother), I still aimed for perfectionism in my 30’s. As I grew stronger in Christ, and I became more at ease with who I was (created in His image), I then created a healthy balance and a style that was “my own.” I continued to have healthy women I looked up to, to help teach me and show me what true hospitality was all about. I was eventually able to put away perfectionism.
Put away the image!
Giving advice to younger moms, my thoughts would be based on the reader’s comment above! Put away the image. If that means staying away from magazines, or over-the-top entertaining articles or books, then make a pact with yourself that you are going to find out who you really are.
Are you entertaining to impress?
• Are you always worried about what other people may think?
• Are you going over the top, with your menu and décor, because you want to keep a certain image?
• Are you fretting and stewing over your menu for days in fear that your guests won’t be pleased with what you offer them?
If any of these things apply to you, then you are definitely struggling with perfectionism. You are letting “image” play a role in your hospitality. To be frank with you, you are missing the point of true hospitality!
Find a mentor!
Learning, growing, creating, and expressing – these were aspects that helped shape me into the woman I am today. I also found myself drawn to women who knew how to entertain better than I did, and I learned from them! I made mental notes of small things that they did. And then I’d tell myself, “I can do that!” (By the way, if you don’t happen to know any woman that you are “attracted” to, as a mentor – keep following my blog for more challenging posts and great ideas!)
I started small with the things that I learned from my mentors, and then I gained confidence along the way. I didn’t pile huge agendas onto my plate, like – I want to have a dinner party with 10 people, and I want to cook a prime rib (for the first time ever!) and I want to make the most elaborate dessert. Oh, and I don’t want my guests to bring anything. I want to do it all!
I put away the lie that things had to be a certain way, and that I had to do it all, and I allowed myself the room to grow and change through the process of practicing this beautiful art!
I started seeing that the reward of true hospitably was not in the details, and definitely not in me, the hostess. I began to see how lives were changed around our dinner table. How people began to feel “free” and open to discuss their life – their pains and their joys.
Oh, and I think I need to share with you the very last sentence that the above reader wrote, because it sums up this post.
I want to show true hospitality, but put away that “perfect” entertaining image!
Thank you, Sandy and in honor of my birthday, I’d like to giveaway her book, Reluctant Entertainer (Every Woman’s Guide to Simple and Gracious Hospitality) to one of my readers. So if you’d like to enter to win a FREE copy of Reluctant Entertainer, please leave your comment below by Saturday, May 21, noon (PST). I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner.
Here’s HOW to WIN:
1. Leave a comment telling me why you don’t entertain more often and what would help you to do so?
2. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a separate comment, telling me you did.
3. Facebook about the giveaway, and leave a separate comment, telling me you did.
This counts as three entries and three chances to win.