Let the Giving Begin

Okay, okay.... it's been long enough. I've kept you in suspense for weeks waiting to see what I've been reading and am going to share with you.

Never mind that I thought the illnesses were coming to an end only to have me rushing our little guy into urgent care again 2 days ago with trouble breathing. New diagnosis. New meds. More breathing treatments every 4 hours. etc. etc. etc. You probably know the story around here by now...

Putting all that aside, you have all been waiting so patiently I couldn't stand to make you wait any longer, regardless of the craziness happening here in week 7 of it all. I'm beginning to wonder if this is my new normal?!

So, without any more delay... let's get this first book underway!

Do you know my friend Sandy? I "met" her in 2007 soon after she started blogging and have been a faithful reader of her blog and have exchanged e-mails since. I have not been disappointed.

I was so excited when I learned that Sandy would be writing a book. I was honored to be a small part of some of the process behind the scenes. Imagine my delight when Sandy's book "The Reluctant Entertainer" was released in August of this year.

Today... one of you are going to have the opportunity to be given a copy of her book!

I have learned so much from her and have been challenged in ways I never knew I even needed to be challenged. But then, isn't that what friends are for?

I wasn't necessarily reluctant to have people over, but I was reluctant to have people over if things weren't "perfect". Sandy has encouraged me that it's not the perfection that matters, it's the open door and warm heart that counts.

The first time I remember stepping out of my "perfection" box was inviting a family in for brownies when they dropped my son off from school. It was a last minute offer so my house was very lived in. I distinctly remember that my floors weren't even swept. Somehow, that didn't seem to change the taste of the brownies still warm out of the oven or affect the conversation of friends that seemed to flow.

Sandy has also helped me to see that inviting others over for simple things such as a BBQ, a bonfire or just a warm cup of coffee and time together is also serving up my heart in hospitality.

Her words and example have been an inspiration and increased in me a desire to do these types of things even more.

I was encouraged by the following quote from Sandy as I tend to be more of a spontaneous hostess. Often our invitations to others tend to be last minute.
"I so appreciate casual and last-minute invitations because people are just looking for connection..." (p. 94)
I was also challenged by this from Sandy:
"True hospitality is not always easy, and it's not always pretty- but it is about giving to others even when you're tired and you might not feel like it. I've felt that way many times, but I pushed through it and inspiration came." (p. 111)
I do not always feel like slowing the pace to extend of myself to others, or even feel like I have the time. However, I find that every single time I move forward in action and do... I am blessed!

Were I to want to do a more formal event or host a large event, I have every confidence I could pull it off. Sandy offers her experience on how to do such events. Her tips and advice would be useful, practical and so helpful.

This book will now be one of my first "go to" books for anything related to hospitality, entertaining or just a good read to curl up with over a cup of coffee to relish, relax, plan and dream.

More about the book:

This hardcover book is full of glossy pages and wonderful pictures. Typically with these types of books I tend to just browse through while glancing at the photos. I found myself being drawn into this one and read through it word for word.

I particularly enjoyed reading about engaging the five senses in entertaining. I had never thought about it that way before.

I also really appreciated the suggested pantry list included, the conversation starter ideas and the numerous other ideas and practical suggestions as it relates to entertaining.

Recipes can also be found throughout the book with an index at the back for easy searching later.

How can you get a copy?

You can purchase a personalized, signed copy directly from Sandy here.

It is even offered in a kindle version from Amazon here.


I am giving away a copy of Sandy's book. Leave a comment and tell me "Are you a planner or more spontaneous when it comes to having people over?"

The winner will be drawn Monday, Sept. 27. Be sure to leave a way I can contact you should you be randomly selected as the winner.

Finally, if you aren't already following Sandy at her blog, I recommend heading on over. First, you may want to grab your beverage of choice and be ready to settle in. You just may find yourself spending some time there.

Thank you to Sandy and Bethany House Publishers for providing this offer.


  1. I hope your little one feels better soon.
    I am a planner when it comes to having people over, but I would love to just have someone come over anytime..but I never do, mostly because I dont feel like my house is cozy, or clean, or just not right, and that gets in the way. Something I do try to work on..i get the idea in my head and then, i just dont do it. Sounds like this is a good book. Would love a chance to win it. Hope your having a great day!

  2. Anonymous1:47 PM

    I am more of a planner because I feel things have to be just right.I know I shouldn't be like that because I so enjoy being invited into others homes when theirs is not perfect!
    I have wanted to read this book for a while now.Thank you for the giveaway.
    monk5 at charter dot net

  3. I am more of a planner. I tend to blurt out invitations, okay, not blurt, but say, "Honey, we should have them over this week!" he nods, I ask. Never mind looking in the fridge, we know the pantry and freezer have us covered.

    I like to plan from the stand point that I like to think about the meal we will serve, but that is it. We have 2 children and the oldest is 5. There will be toys and crafting projects out, that is a given.

    But I will vacuum the crumbs and clean the bathroom downstairs, and give the girls a duster to run around the downstairs. After that, it is kind of negotiable.

    Had to laugh when I saw the title of the book, my immediate thought was, "Hey! A book about me!" I have been known to say that I hate entertaining! Being hospitable is great, come on over, eat, visit, be comfortable, but I do not entertain." A friend of mine says that she does not entertain either, singing and dancing is not her thing.... :-)

  4. Am I more of a planner or more spontaneous? Is there a category for a person who is avoidant? In years past, when we were pastoring college students, I had entertained all the time -- spontaneously and planned. But when we moved to a new city and into a 1000 square foot older house, and our friends had spacious newer homes, I started to become embarrassed about our meager home. I'd so much rather take someone out to dinner than have them see our tiny home! I'm a reluctant entertainer to be sure!

  5. Oh Donnetta, I feel for you as you still struggle with health issues- it is so stressful when your wee ones are seriously ill for such a long time with many Medicine changes & emergency trips to the hospital. this has been our "new normal" too and has given me huge lessons on what is really important & who is really in control around here! I am praying for your son and peace & healthfor your whole family- hugs sweet sister xo

    Funny that you put a post about this today-I have a girlfriend & her toddler coming for a cup this am & I got up about 15 mins ago & thought I will give her a ring & change the day or meet in town- I tend to need the house perfect & a cake baking if someone is coming over & perfect is something that doesn't really happen here anymore since this season if illness has come! Your reminder that it isn't about meaning being Martha but sitting and laughing together- in honesty that is so important- gotta go & put the kettle on!!- hugs D- thanks, have a great day!!

  6. I am more spontaneous when it comes to...everything! LOL! Especially entertaining. Things around here happen at the drop of a hat!

    Here's hoping your little guy kicks this once and for all, and the rest of you too. You need a break!

    God bless you, chica. XOXO

  7. Just praying that everyone at your place gets to total health and stays that way. And for rest and strength for you!

    What a lovely, generous giveaway! Thank you. I tend to be more of a planner, not that I'm into perfection in the least.

  8. I am more of a planner because I like things to be "just right" but I have noticed that spontaneous times seem to be more fun!

    I would love to win a copy of this book and thanks for the link to her blog!

  9. I am a planner. Being empty nesters, most of our entertaining is getting all of our kids and their families together for special memories and our favorite family recipes. I also hold Camp Grandma every summer. We had 5 grand kids attend this year, the oldest 13. We had a theme of Farm to Table and even watched a little of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. They made homemade ice cream for the first time and thought it was worth the work. Blessings for health in your home.


Thank you for taking a moment to stop and chat. I enjoy the presence of you!