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.