Comparing Yourself and Summer Chicken Salad Sandwiches

These Summer Chicken Salad Sandwiches are made with fresh grapes and pineapple, and good enough for company!

Chicken Salad Sandwiches | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Contentment can’t happen until you decide to be yourself, whatever that means. Being yourself is so much better than being a poor imitation of someone else. —Shauna Niequist

Just last night I found myself falling back into it again. The painful, unfruitful act of comparing. I found myself reflecting on the idea that I often want what others have–a newer home, a perfectly decorated home, a spotlessly clean home, a bigger home—when realistically and deep in my heart, I’m actually wanting simpler, and less stuff. How can that be? I’m like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when it comes to what I want. This feeling often comes after visiting our friends who have brand new homes—so shiny and clean and fresh. My head starts to ache, and then I realize, this is not good. My house is perfect the way it is, even though it does have many imperfections.

Comparing Yourself to Others + Summer Chicken Salad Sandwiches | ReluctantEntertainer.com

I’m a work in progress, friends. Even in my 50s, I struggle with the comparison game, wanting more, struggling with discontentment. It’s easy to look at what others have and want more for ourselves.

Gratitude works every time!

But … I’m catching myself much sooner now. The minute I get that “feeling,” I immediately turn my thoughts to prayer and gratitude for what I’ve been given. It works, folks!

Quickly make a mental list, or written, of the things that you are thankful for.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches | ReluctantEntertainer.com

I focus on my gifts, my home, the blessings around me. When I do this, I realize that I do not want to squander these gifts, but use them.

The other stuff is peripheral—the outside things that look shiny and pretty and new. They can sort of be deceiving.

Focus on what my hands can do.

Here’s another thing I try to do when I feel inadequate or unhappy. I focus on what my hands can do. I can give out to others by cooking a meal, inviting people over, and serving people.

Serve until you can’t stop.

How beautiful is that?

Serve until you can’t stop.

Almost 25 years ago, when Paul and I got married and moved into a tiny 1000 square foot house, I remember sooooo longing for more. But my lesson was to wait, and learn how to love and and serve in that tiny house, with very little money.

All good things happen in time, friends. And for me, learning contentment was a part of the journey.

Use what you have today, and don’t wait for tomorrow!

Chicken Salad Sandwiches | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Summer Chicken Salad Sandwiches.

We rarely invite others over for lunch, but this time we did. Our kids all happened to be home on a weekend, so we invited a couple over who are very dear to our family.

I made Pioneer Woman’s easy Chicken Salad (with a twist of my own), and toasted it on buns with a delicious cheese.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Grapes and pineapple — oh, boy!

Chicken Salad Sandwiches | ReluctantEntertainer.com

We sat on the back porch and told stories and caught up.

We don’t know how long we will have each other, but we were thankful for that day.

Big or small …

Simple food, sitting together, listening, caring, loving …

Big or small, I’m really the most content when I’m surrounded by people and love.

What hospitable moment in your life helped you focus on the people you were with, rather than the new, shiny setting?

Chicken Salad Sandwiches | ReluctantEntertainer.com

Chicken Salad Sandwiches | ReluctantEntertainer.com
Print Recipe
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Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Rotisserie Chicken
  • 2 stalks to 3 Stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 whole green onions finely chopped
  • 2 cups grapes halved
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 cups pineapple chopped in small pieces
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, cilantro or oregano (optional)
  • Favorite cheese I used Gruyere

Instructions

  • Chop all fruits and veggies and place them in a bowl with the chicken.
  • In another bowl mix mayonnaise, yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh herbs (optional).
  • Pour the dressing over the chicken/veggie/fruit mixture and stir gently until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Allow the salad to chill for several hours (or even overnight). Serve on a slice of bread with your favorite cheese; broil for a bout 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve!

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Chicken Salad Sandwiches with grapes and pineapple

13 comments on “Comparing Yourself and Summer Chicken Salad Sandwiches”

  1. Thanks for sharing! Chicken salad is a good one for entertaining since it can easily be GF or made into a heartier meal with the bread.

  2. These look so good! I love to have these kinds of recipes handy for showers!

  3. Thank you for this post. It is so brave of you to share your innermost thoughts. I, too, compare myself to others when I am invited to a dinner party at a friend’s house, and they have a shiny, newer home, and I have a 70’s “fixer upper”. But I remind myself that my house is beautiful, too, and how truly blessed I am. I have read your blog for a few years now, and I absolutely love it.! Thank you for all you do here!

  4. I once heard that those who compare are pessimists. I love the quote “A flower does not think about competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.”

  5. Hi Sandy,

    I get so little time to comment any more but I always read your blog! And today, although I am at home with a summer cold (ugh!), I am so happy I have extra time as I recover to really relish in your blog and also comment – especially on this very meaningful, heartfelt post!

    Sandy, you are such a warm and loving person, and you always are so genuine opening your heart to us. I know exactly how you feel – going from wanting more to wanting to simplify. As I get closer to 60 all I can think about is simplifying but then we’ll go for a ride through a new area and I’ll sigh…”Oh wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a nice new home.” Or I’ll get tempted by all the lovely dinnerware I’ll see in a catalog – but oh heavens – I need more plates like I need a whole in the head! HA HA!! ;-)

    And yes, you are so right – the best antidote for wanting more is to re-group and be grateful for what we already have. Which is so much – a loving family, a lovely home, bountiful gardens, dinner on the table every night – and hot showers! Amen!

    Thank you, Sandy, for this wonderful reminder that we’re all normal when we swing from wanting more to wanting to simplify – and reminding us that the solution to this flip-flop is simple gratitude!

    Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

    Much love to all,
    Mary

  6. Hello!

    I am a reader for some months, but I wanted to comment in this post to thank you about the way you write and the way you share your thoughts and experience about living and sharing with people.

    I really love read your blog, and you are encouraging me to start having people in my home, leaving worries and fears behind :). And even better, loving life.

    Thank you!

  7. Thank you for your words of wisdom, Sandy! I always feel so uplifted after reading your daily blog. I also compare myself to others, but then realize we all are special and have something to offer our friends and family. You are such a gracious person and I sincerely look forward to reading your daily posts:)

  8. I don’t think you grasp your own worth and words of wisdom that encourage me to reach out and invite people into my home. I have a really small older home (under 1,000′), but I love nothing more to have my family and friends over for a meal. You encourage me to do that with your example, easy recipes and heart for loving and serving others.

  9. Just to let you know how much I enjoyed your blog this morning. I do try to entertain widow ladies (since I am one now) at lunch time since so many do not drive at night. I know you are a great inspiration to my dear daughter and that you visited them recently!
    May our Lord continue to bless and use you!

  10. YUM! This looks so good. Great post too…it is so true how quickly we compare. When I look around my home and see the same things, nothing new bought, feeling un-creative in my decor, especially after visiting someones home, or blog, or pinterest…lol…it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. All those things are great, but that isn’t what makes my home hospitable and welcoming. It’s the people within and the atmosphere we manifest and cultivate in our home.

  11. I have done the very same thing. I actually did it with your blog. Comparing mine to yours thinking gosh I wish I could get , do and be like so and so’s blog blah blah blah. That is all it is is a bunch of blah’s. You keep blessing others with your hospitality. Your house seems perfect for the two of you……now that you both are empty nesters..me too….I look at my backyard and think do I really need all this and yet I can’t imagine life without it……and it is great therapy for my body to get out in the yard and move……motion is lotion…..love you girl and you keep doing what the Lord has called you to do. You are an inspiration to many of us…..xoxoxo
    Love,
    Barbara
    @madreminutes.com

  12. hi sandy – the chicken salad sounds delicious, but your words of wisdom are even more wonderful – thank you for both!

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