Do you struggle with things having to be “just right” before you will have guests over? Or maybe you’ve been that way in the past, and it’s burned out your desire to practice any form of hospitality?

Well I’m offering good news for the “try so hard to be perfect woman.”

The good news is that you can change your approach and attitude!

Let me start with this comment that I received on my blog:
Sandy, thank you so very much for blessing us “try so hard for perfection women” with your blog. In growing up where everything had to be perfect prior to and during entertaining and taking that into my adult life as the norm, I have over the years just stopped entertaining because I didn’t want that stress in my life anymore. My heart has changed in large part due to your blog and I am excited to entertain again with a whole new approach and attitude.

This reader was disillusioned by a home life where things had to be perfect. She probably grew weary of it and couldn’t stand the “measure up” attitude anymore. Although I did not have a mother who taught me this outlook, I did struggle with this slightly, right after I got married. I think it had to do more with image (read my post on Image or Reality, here).

I believe many younger women start their marriages off with this “trying so hard for perfection” syndrome. But then we start having kids, and we tend to mellow as life starts to knock perfection out of us! At least that is what happened to me.

I came up with 3 easy steps to keep in mind, or to cut out and hang on your refrigerator, when you feel the “P” word sneaking up on you:

· Be aware of the role of FEAR in your life. What is making you not want to reach out? Do people really see you in this role of having to have things perfect? Does God expect us to have a perfect household before we open our doors to others?

· Cross-examine FEAR to find the lie. Figure out what it is, or if it is an individual who makes you feel this way – don’t have that person into your home! Get down to the nitty-gritty and move on!!

· Show yourself some grace! Would you really be that graceless to another person in their home?

When you consider showing hospitality to others, what are you afraid of? What kind of advice or hurdle have you crossed to get to the place where you are now giving to others?

Hopefully you can relax when the pie comes out of the oven a little too dark (burnt!), or when you realize your kids are grungy and haven’t had a bath, or that you forgot to sweep the kitchen floor, or that you didn’t time your courses just right.

Reality hit me hard just the other day. My daughter asked if she could make a pie for dessert, when our out-of-town guests were here. I was thrilled, because she wanted no help from me, and it eased my mind to know that the dessert would be taken care of.

When the pie was finished, I realized that the bananas were put on TOP of the pie (not on the bottom, and also not soaked in lemon juice). Knowing she messed up, she let me know right away. I then found myself saying, “Don’t worry, Abby, the pie is beautiful! It’s going to taste great!” And it did!

Imperfect Entertaining: Abby’s banana cream pie was not perfect, and the bananas turned brown. Yet no one even noticed.

How about you – do you need to be reminded of the 3 P’s when entertaining?

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