Tonight I’ll be entertaining eleven of my close blogging friends who are coming into town for a local blogging event with Harry and David.

My husband and I are hosting dinner, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

But, I’d be lying if I said my fears didn’t get the best of me.

Once I placed the invite, there was no backing out. Of course I have the blessing from my husband–who entertains right alongside with me–and who at one time was a reluctant entertainer himself. We’ve both learned to enjoy the process together, but it for sure takes effort to host a dinner party!

I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t find myself worrying about the food, the weather (blazing hot right now), our house, bathrooms that need remodeling — will it all be good enough?

How will it come together?

Will it be flawless? No.

Will it be worthwhile? Yes.

Will it be rewarding? Yes. A hundred times yes.

I have to fight with everything within me to overcome some of the stupidest, in my mind, worries and struggles. I think most people are this way.

I’ve come up with a list of barriers of why I feel so many of us struggle with hospitality …

Barriers that stop us from entertaining:

Perfectionism. People often feel that their house isn’t nice enough, they don’t have the right space for entertaining, their kids aren’t well-behaved, whatever. I think of perfectionism as the number-one source of party-giving stress.

Over-preparation. Striving to throw the “perfect” party can lead to the unrealistic expectation that you need to clean absolutely every surface, polish the floors, buy new furniture, maybe even cook too much food.

Fear of the unknown. Anxiety over what to cook (will it turn out?), how much food to prepare and how to keep the conversation flowing once the festivities begin can make the prospect of entertaining overwhelming.

Absent or bad role models. Many people are fearful of hosting, because they were simply never shown how. Many didn’t have hospitable parents, so they lack role models, or their parents got so stressed out in party-giving situations that they made entertaining a nightmare.

Tonight my goal is to love and enjoy my friends.

With a great meal. Not a perfect meal, or even gourmet, but a good meal.

Everything is counted and set out (covered up) to beat the heat. And I’ll set the table before the guests arrive. Flowers I’ll talk about in another post. Did I use flowers, or ??? (a fun surprise)! Menu all in place, thanks to Harry and David and a little shopping spree from Miz Laurie at the Country Village Store.

2 Drop Cloths for tablecloths @ $10/each.

Napkins ready with a fun surprise from The Hip Hostess (stay tuned, giveaway to come on RE!)

Tables put together. I love one long table!

Tonight I won’t look around at all the things that didn’t get done, but instead I’ll see the beauty of the gift of friendship before me, and relish each moment.

Which of the 4 barriers gets in your way and stops you from hosting others in your home?

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