As I mentioned before, hospitality rarely leaves my home in this increasingly busy season of life – but if it does, it goes with me in the form of a meal, cookies, flowers, or time to someone in need. Pick and choose what is important to you and what you want your kids to learn from it. Here's one practical example of reaching out on a limited schedule.

I got up early one morning last week and turned the oven on to 350 degrees.

I pulled my Ziploc bag of Snicker Doodle cookie dough out of the freezer. My daughter and I made up a double batch of dough this past weekend, rolled half of it up into balls, spun them around in a bowl of cinnamon and sugar, and then froze them in Ziplocs. This is the best way to have fresh cookies come out of your oven – in a snap!

I had pre-arranged to take dinner to a friend that morning, a friend who’d recently had surgery. Her family became the lovely recipient of freshly-baked Snicker Doodles plus a dinner of Mango Crockpot Chicken , fresh tortillas, and all the fixings to go with it (and canned salsa from my sis's garden)!

Even a quick gesture can make a big difference in someone’s life. I am still learning the art of this balancing act. I like to think that the older I get, the wiser I am becoming with my time as I learn from others.


Sandy Coughlin is a wife and mother of 3. She loves her family and loves blessing other people's lives by entertaining in her home. Sandy’s husband, Paul, (who used to be the reluctant entertainer) has come on board, and they often offer hospitality together. Sandy and Paul co-authored a book called Married but Not Engaged(Bethany House, Aug. 2006). It's written to women who are married to "checked out" or emotionally absent men and who want to create a more satisfying, intimate relationship. This article was adapted from Sandy’s regularly updated blog “4 Reluctant Entertainers,” which you can visit at www.reluctantentertainer.com. Get more information on Married but Not Engaged by clicking here. Visit Paul's website at: http://www.paulcoughlin.net/