I’m glad I could be flexible with our dinnertime last Sunday night.

We really wanted to see our friends. And their commitments on this particular Sunday were going from one thing to another. They weren’t commitments of wasted time. They were commitments of reaching out. Touching lives.

So when we asked our friends to come over for a steak dinner, we were willing to push our dinner out and wait for them, as eight-thirty was the soonest they could get to our house. We Coughlins love to eat early, so this was a stretch for us. But not only did we want to see these friends, we knew that coming to our home would be a relaxing way to end a very busy day for them. I had also purchased some steaks at the “10 lb. Meat Sale” that we wanted to barbeque, along with veggies and salad from our yard (and of course yummy bread). My friend brought the dessert (delegation!)


We pulled fresh potatoes from our garden and after baking them first, we sliced and seasoned them. Using crookneck squash and lemon thyme from the garden, we added sweet onions and peppers, olive oil and fresh limejuice and spices. And preparing my steak the simple way, I rubbed olive oil on each steak, sprinkled with Stevia (or Splenda or regular sugar), and Costco’s steak seasoning – all on both sides. The bread was sliced, wrapped in foil, and placed in the oven.

All food was prepared in 30 minutes and ready for the grill!

One thing I noticed early in the evening was that we usually have music playing as we’re preparing for our company. But as I was setting the table outside on our patio, in the quietness of the evening, I heard the popping sounds of the barbeque. It smelled and sounded just like a campfire. I loved the silence that surrounded this magical sound. I stood there and shut my eyes and took it all in. I thought of our guests who were coming to dinner. I knew that our time would be good. It would not be taken up with wasted chatter or filled with dreary gossip. While eating our dinner, we’d be talking about things we are passionate about. Mostly relating to people and goals in life.


We all long for connection. We all long for purpose. And what this couple doesn’t know is that they actually help my husband and me to become better people. By cheering, supporting and encouraging us – in ministry and in the throws of parenting – they always seem to be there for us. Thank you B and J!

Yes, I’m thankful that I could be flexible last week. I wasn’t always that way! And part of what I am continuing to learn about flexibility is that it starts with a willingness to do something different. To be able to go with the flow, and make a schedule change.

With that willingness a blessing is usually right there ready to follow.

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