Three Perks of Being Free from Party Panic

For years, I thought having the gift of hospitality meant throwing the perfect party. I got all serious and grim-faced. Stressin’ and obsessin’. Dusting. Cleaning. Straightening. Scrubbing. I wore myself out striving for perfection. But no more!

During my SURRENDER YEAR, I broke free (in lots of ways!) and discovered three secrets to throwing a great party.

My husband and I decided to celebrate Mother’s Day differently this year. We had our parents over for breakfast Saturday morning instead of eating out for lunch on Sunday. When you’re free of Party Panic, you can break traditions. 🙂

Did everything go perfectly? No. Would the old Julie have stressed over the flaws? Absolutely.

I used our wedding china and my grandmother’s stemware and green Depression glass serving pieces. I don’t have silver and Mother offered to bring hers.

While I was setting the table, she called. “Oops, we’re on the way and I forgot the silver.”

Ordinarily, I’d have panicked.

Fine china with everyday forks and spoons!

And I didn’t have enough of my grandmother’s green glasses, so I had to use a couple of yellow ones.

And I left the strawberries on the counter for two days and they got moldy.

And I burned the bottoms of the biscuits.

And I forgot to wipe the pollen off  the doo-dads outside on the front porch.

But you know what? None of my imperfections mattered because…

…being free of Party Panic meant I could…

1. Forget about myself.

2. Have fun at my own parties.

3. Love others from my heart.

The root of my Party Panic and Perfectionism was PRIDE.

What a waste of time and energy!

There won’t be a perfect party until we get to Heaven.




  1. Pat Garczynski says:

    “Honor thy mother (and thy mother-in-law)” Exodus 20:12 What an Oh-So-Pretty table and get-together, Julie! I see only perfection in love.

  2. There won’t be a perfect party until we get to Heaven. I will remember this as I stress and fuss and make my hubby crazy every time we entertain. I am going to try to take your advice and RELAX and enjoy myself! The table looked beautiful. I think mixing things up adds alot of charm. XO, Pinky

    • Pinky, I’m telling you the truth, it works!! I’ve been so deceived over the years. It’s NOT about fussing and stressing. I can’t wait to hear how your next party goes. Let me know!! Parties are supposed to be fun, right? xoxo

  3. I love your table, love your porch, love the pictures especially of the three of you moms. What a beautiful thing to share: your love for others. Perfectionism has always been one of my bug-a-boos. When I broke my elbow I learned to let it go in many, many ways; and besides, life is just too short to worry about being perfect. Thanks for the reminder, Jewels!

    • Love you, B.J. And I love talking through my surrender journey with you! So much love and so proud of how you made your way through the last year.

  4. Debbie Ewing says:

    Oh Julie, I can so relate to being a party panicker. For our Mother’s Dsy celebration we decided to have a picnic in our backyard. No one seemed to care if there wasn’t a tablecloth on the wrought iron table, some of us had to sit on a blanket on the ground. Everyone seemed to linger a little longer and enjoy our beautiful back yard and each other. I never thought of it as pride but that pretty much sums it up. Thanks again for your wonderful insight!

    • Debbie, that’s IT! That’s what I’m talking about exactly. NOBODY CARES about the things I used to stress over. What a waste! Your party sounds lovely. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  5. Brenda Greene says:

    Wonderfully delightful post, Julie Girl!! Love, love, love your Saturday Brunch to celebrate Mother’s Day with both your Moms…left Sunday open for your kids to celebrate you! Beautiful pics, loved the table setting and the “mama setting” on your porch. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that hospitality is more about sharing our hearts than our stress!

    • Brenda, I can’t tell you how much peace we felt on the porch. We talked about it–and it was nothing special that we were doing. Just being together, and what’s more important than that.

      Thank you so much for understanding. Sounds like the truth is something you’ve known for a long time. 🙂

  6. I’m with Pinky! My favorite things ever is: there won’t be a perfect party till we get to heaven! That takes all the pressure off!!! I love the mix of the gorgeous china and your rustic table! And love love love the photos …oh how I love that mama and MIL of yours! And you tooxoxo

    • I know, I know. That dawned on me while I was writing the blog!! So freeing.

      You’re my inspiration, Robin.

  7. It looks like the perfect party to me! Love your house and your porch. And you make me smile, Julie. You’re just adorable in every way.

    • Oh, thank you, Carla. Would have been even more perfect to have you there with us, rocking and talking.

      Love you, my friend.

  8. You live in a log house? LOVE it! I also appreciate your advice…relax, go with the flow and have fun!

    • Yes, Elizabeth…we live in a log house. We waited lots of years, and my husband did a lot of the building–though he’s not a builder. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to leave out in the trees inside my log house. I should blog about it sometime.

      Thanks for reading, my friend.

  9. I seriously ♥ your table! The beautiful china, the vintage green & yellow stems, the fabulous Battenburg lace mats… The silver would’ve been a sweet touch; but “every day” flatware certainly trumps eating with fingers, huh?
    I used to fret about what my table looks like, but living with 4 guys who don’t care about appearances — only if the food’s good… Kinda resets priorities, right?
    I confess, I too am a party fretter. One should be prepared, of course; but I agree with you that loving from the heart & spending time with guests is what really matters.
    (totally enjoyed your little alliteration there…)

    • Thank you, Melody! Yep. Everyday flatware (and that’s the word I couldn’t think of) trumps eating with our fingers. 🙂

      I love cooking for people who aren’t picky! It’s the decorating that has thrown me for a loop. But no more Party Panic!!


  10. Roberta Messner says:

    Sure hope the china isn’t matched in Heaven when we have that perfect party. I also love this definition of hospitality: “Treating your family like company and your company like family.” Sure loved seeing that pic of your precious Mom. She looked adorable as always. Love, Roberta

    • I know, Roberta. I do I love mismatched china. I thought about you when I wrote this–you have such a gift for decorating!!

      I’ve never heard the definition of hospitality. LOVE IT!!

  11. Sandra Walker says:

    Enjoyed the pictures!!! would love to eat at a table set for me like that! Did get to spend time with my 91 year old Mother but not my daughter (she lives in SC). Finally got to read your blog this week: had
    cataract surgery on Tuesday. Hope I get to attend a party in Heaven!

    • Sandra, so happy you got to see your mom. Hope your eye is healing just fine.

      Yes, we will party in Heaven! We can introduce our mothers and daughters to each other.


  12. It sure looks like the perfect party! I love the green depression glass. 🙂 So glad you’re free from that bondage! Maybe next time finger foods would be in order? 😉

  13. Oh, Julie–we are alike in so many ways we could be sisters and, in a way, I guess we are since we have the same Father. 🙂 I used to clean every nook and cranny in my house (even the closets because of course I did) before I had company. It was truly exhausting and made me not want to have people over–too much work! I’ve had to learn to relax, too. You’re party looks wonderful–wish I was there! xxoo

    • You’re so right, Sissy Marie! I’m praising our Father that we put all this nonsense aside!

      Thanks for your sweet words about my party. It was imperfectly wonderful!


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