03 April 2009

Entertaining Reluctantly?



Do you like to entertain friends, family and neighbors? Maybe a stranger or two? Or are you reluctant to open your home because it's too much work and too much stress? That second sentence describes my instincts pretty well. I tend to feel like entertaining and fellowship at our home is stressful.

However, when we built our new house last year, The Hubster and I felt like part of the deal was that we needed to use our home to connect with people. We needed to be generous with what we had been given and open our home more often.

Today, I wrote a guest post for Sandy at 4 Reluctant Entertainers that describes one way that makes entertaining at home easier for me. Come visit me at 4 Reluctant Entertainers and let me know what you think.

I've loved Sandy's blog since long before I could call her a real-life friend. Part of her mission is to help reluctant hostesses become confident and gracious. I viewed her as a mentor in this area before she even knew my name. Her passion for hospitality and connection has inspired me to be a better hostess and a better friend.

But the really great thing about Sandy is that she is not over there preaching perfection and 5-course meals. She's all about real life and real connections. Here are just a few of my favorite posts from 4 Reluctant Entertainers.

Bulbs in a Jar - A Gift of Friendship
No Rigidity and Upside-Down Chip Cake
Model the Good - For the Lonely


And her Balcony Girls series might be based on the group of 5th grade girls that she works with regularly, but there are wonderful lessons in there for this grown-up girl too.

In Sandy's own words, "Our new focus for 5th grade will be: to build one another up and not tear down. To learn the value of friendships, to learn that words can go deep into the marrow of a girl’s soul and impact her for the rest of her life. To learn how applauding one another impacts their every day life."

Love you Sandy!

27 comments {Click here to leave a comment}:

AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage said...

Wow - I almost published a post today about all of the excuses I create for not entertaining in my home. I'm going to run over to check out your suggestions for making it easier. Thanks!

Heidi Ashworth said...

I love that Juliska glassware you have pictured!

marty39 said...

What an appropriate post. It does seem that we all make too big a deal about entertaining. I think more people are comfortable with a very casual atmosphere, and we should try to keep it that way. Hugs, Marty

Tara said...

Good post. Sharing our homes and lives as Christians isn't really an option.

-Romans 12:13 b (NLT) ...always be eager to practice hospitality.

1 Peter 4:9 a (NLT) - Cheerfully share your home...

Thanks for sharing the encouragement and inspiration :)

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

Oh cool. Thanks for sharing such a great blog with us. I certainly could use an inspiring blog like hers.
Katie

Runner Mom said...

I'm with you, KImba!! My house is never magazine perfect! With kids and friends anda dog...it's never going to happen! I think I'm just gonna have to get over that!! Great post!!

I have a decorating question on my post today! Visit if you can!

Hugs!
Susan

Gray Matters said...

I think I discovered her blog awhile back through you - her blog is a very refreshing read and full of great ideas.

Pretty Organizer said...

Sounds wonderful! Thanks Kimba:) Hey, Kitchen cabbys are up on hinges at the Pretty Palace! Go check em out!

Flip Girl said...

I always find it easier to entertain in Spring and Summer. Backyard Grilling makes me so much more relaxed about the inside, and the plates, and the table....it gets more complicated sitting down in the dining room.

I'm good when I feel like paper plates are OK!

~Flip Girl

Susan of Very Pretty Things & Pink Portuguese Roses said...

That was a wonderful article!

I am a reluctant entertainer...your suggestion for dessert night...is fantastic!!!!

I'm going to do that!

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Kimba,
I actually love to entertain. When we first started entertaining, it was stressful for me, but as time went on, I realized that I needed to be able to enjoy and fellowship too and being stressed out wasn't allowing me to.
Hopping over to read your guest posts at Sandy's. I am sure I will learn something I don't know already.
Thanks for posting this.

Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Ahhh...you know that is why I love you both!! Hospitality and making your home a haven...you have it both.

SoBella Creations said...

Great post!

Laura said...

I went over and read your post! What a great simple idea. I can do that!
Thanks for the inspiration today.
Hmmm. Let's see who to invite first...

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I loved that post!! I love having people over, but it's hard when our friends are all busy and also have young children and crazy schedules. I let the excuse of having a perpetually messy house get in my way. I've let my girls trash it with toys and haven't been great with teaching them to pick up...that needs to change. We hosted some girlfriends this morning for an informal Easter egg hunt party, and it was such a blessing to ME! I spent hours getting the house picked up, but it was so worth it. Made me renew my resolve to do a better job of teaching my littles ones about cleaning up after themselves (well, maybe not the 15 month old, but certainly my three year old!). Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one! :)

marty39 said...

How fun that your mom has a mantel clock also. I just love all the old clocks, their chimes are so interesting. I use to have them all going, but finally the chimes all got to me, so now I just enjoy the beauty. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate the visit and as always your wonderful comments. Hugs, Marty

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I've just recently started entertaining more at home. The benefits have definitely out weighed the negatives. I find that friends just love to be in a home environment. It's a very intimate way of getting to know your friends.

momof3girls said...

I checked out your post on the reluctant entertainers blog - I so agree when the hostess is happy she is able to focus on her guest!

I love your blog about her blog (I know a little confusing hang in there with me!) I really like the qoute you choose about her discussing the lessons with the balcony girls regarding "learn how applauding one another impacts their everyday lives" that is so true for all of us!! our words can give life if choosen wisely!!

Thanks for sharing! She is lucky to have a friend as kind as you.

Laretha said...

I love that last paragraph. It is so true. My goal is to honor my friends with my words.

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

We looove to entertain but don't do it enough. I stress like you would not believe the few hours before trying to clean (every time I say I'm not going to do that) but just LOVE having people over.

Dawn said...

Thanks for posting this Kimba. I like inviting people over for dessert because you can still have a pretty spread without all the stress that often accompanies serving dinner. (Though, serving dessert can "become" stressful if you feel you "must" have a pretty spread.) We have entertained so completely spur-of-the-moment that we simply inivited friends over for coffee resulting in a totally stress free and fun evening.

Victoria@WhimsybyVictoria said...

I do love to entertain! I will say that the stress it cause's is on my poor family! I have learned over the years to let go and not need perfection as much. Don't know if I will ever be there, but I love having friends over and cooking for them. I am in love with the goblets on your post! So pretty! Thanks Kimba for sharing!

Hugs to you,
~Victoria~

Juliet said...

Hi Kimba,
I really enjoyed your story.
I need to rethink how I entertain too, I think!
Thanks for the great posts.
Blessings, Juliet.

Jessica said...

Oh I am so "the reluctant entertainer" for exactly the reasons you mentioned...in the past I was always trying to make everything ...a huge spread...the whole 9. Stressing for days before. Since we moved to this small ranch a few years ago, I've been using the tiny rooms as an excuse to give up entertaining altogether (although it is true, it's hard to have a large gathering in a tiny space). But coffee tea and home-made cookies...I LOVE it! I miss the parties I used to have...not all the work...just the love and warmth of having family and friends in my home.
You've given me a new outlook on the whole thing. Less is best! Maybe fresh lemonade and fruit salad on the screened porch for a few close friends in a few weeks when it gets a little warmer. Thanks Kimba.

Paula said...

Kimba- Thank you, I usually avoid any possible reason to entertain. But, I love people.LOL Again, thank you for your post.
BTW- I love my jacket pin, I will be posting a picture of me wearing it today. :)
Paula

♥Aubrey said...

Entertaining doesn't have to be stressful...I completely agree!!! It's the connections you get from inviting others over that's the reward. Be a gracious hostess and your party will be successful. ~Love your post~

Sandy said...

Kimba, you are sweet, girl. Keeping it simple is what it's all about! And it usually means the hostess has more fun! :) Love ya!