That last sentence challenges me. I do want to give this gift to my children. I’ve had to learn to accept situations that arise when I’m least expecting them, to go with the flow and learn how to relax. But it hasn’t always been easy. Spur of the moment dinners or friends stopping in or calling one hour before they arrive challenged me, among other unexpected events in life.

Once I figured out that it wasn’t the food or presentation that people were coming over for, I let my guard down and began to enjoy.  Again, my willingness to not be so rigid turned into something far greater that had soul value.

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 Get more information on Married but Not Engaged by clicking here. Visit Paul's website at: