About the Author

Sandy Coughlin is a wife & mom to three active teenagers, & author of The Reluctant Entertainer (Bethany House 2010). Based upon her inspiring blog, the book helps restore the lost art of hospitality and in the process helps women break free from isolation and into connection and deeper relationships...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. Thanks for this wonderful reminder Sandy 🙂 I too drive my family crazy rushing to be perfect when people are coming! It’s just not worth it is it? Lol. Besides, who notices crumbs on the floor when the table looks as pretty as yours does above???

  2. I needed to hear this, Sandy! My house is never up to “entertaining” standards, but I love celebrating with others.
    Hmm, I wonder how clean the stable was when the shepherds visited the Holy family?
    Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  3. Love this. I deal with this every week when we hold our Weds LifeGroup at our home. I figure there’s no point in cleaning very much earlier than an hour or two before people arrive because otherwise the kids will just come behind me and mess it up. But that leaves me stressed out right before -or right up until, usually – the guests arrive and I’m in a sweaty tizzy when they get there. My husband is always saying, “don’t worry about it, no one will care.”. But I think I too often don’t really believe him. I’m so concerned that how I present my home is a representation of who I am. And I don’t feel the mess is ‘who I am’ at heart. It’s a sign of life in my house, yes. The clutter says my children are lively and well. The dirty dishes & crumbs on the floor are signs that I feed them. Maybe that says something too. Maybe something louder and more real for my life *right now*. So thanks for the reminder to keep it real. Keep the focus on more meaningful, eternal things. It likely won’t change someone’s life for my floor to be vacuumed & the paper piles around my kitchen. Shoot, maybe it will change someone’s life to see it NOT vacuumed – to help drive this very point home for someone else I’ve welcomed in my home. It’s about relationship. About sharing the hope I know in my heart with others. Thanks, Sandy!

  4. A few weeks ago we visited a friend who had been given no longer then four months to live. She talked a lot about the past, retelling story after story of the fun times. Her future talk was about spending as much time with her family as time would give her. She did mention some regrets but her house not being spotless was not one of those regrets. In fact her house was a mess the day we were there and she never said forgive me for not having a clean house. She was so grateful that we stopped by.

    She had an excitment in her eyes as she talked about meeting her Lord soon and shedding her frail body. Hope was shinning through her and it fell on everyone who talk to her. Walking out to our car her daughter told us, Mom is the one who is keeping us from falling apart, her hope is holding us up through this.

    We heard she did a few days ago and I bet her hope grew brighter as she got closer to the one she put her hope on. No one knows when their time will come but if we can live like today could be our last day we won’t spend worry about dust bunnies.
    My mother use to say, that dirt will be there when I am dead and gone. How right she was….the older I get the more I want to live in the moment and my hope is getting stronger daily and I am enjoying people more.

    Great thoughtful post…good one for this time of the year when we can spend all our energy into getting things just so so instead of saving some energy to give out to others.