Valentine’s Dinner for Women’s Shelter: LAVISHED and ADORED

Hello all!  If this is your first time to stop in for a visit, I’m so glad you’re here … and I hope you feel welcome and return often.  If you’ve been here before, you’re making my day by stopping in again!
As I’ve told you, one of the items on my Sally List was to host a Valentine’s Dinner for the ladies at our local women’s shelter … complete with tablescape, of course.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and when I started my Sally List, it was near the top.  (What’s a Sally List?  Click HERE to read about it.)

On Valentines Eve, I put a big check mark by that item, and I do believe a nice time was had by all. I set three different tables … in three slightly different styles … but all done in soft pinks and having a “sweet” romantic mood.  (For more on “moody” tables, go HERE and HERE.)

I was so excited to finally be able to share with the ladies the gorgeous Theodore Haviland plates I won from a wonderful giveaway at Entertaining Women.  Thanks again, Cherry Kay!  You blessed me and allowed me to bless others …

Table One

I’m afraid the ladies at the shelter were a little intimidated at first (so afraid they’d break something!), but I’d anticipated that, and I believe I was able to quickly put their minds at ease so they could enjoy themselves.  They certainly seemed to, and they were so very appreciative.
One woman said it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her; she’d never sat at such a pretty table with such a nice meal.  It was her first day there.  She later told me she’d spent most of her life taking care of other people; now she had to learn to take care of herself …
Another young woman said she didn’t feel worthy ..
I don’t know their stories, but I do know that the women wouldn’t be living at the shelter if their lives had been “a bed of roses.”
I also know how quickly a single choice — our own or someone else’s — can change the course of a life.
The shelter isn’t long-term, but while a woman is there, she receives encouragement, guidance, job skill training …
She has a chance to make her own choices … to wake up each morning and decide how to put one foot in front of the other.


Table Two

To catch a glimpse of Hope and a future … perhaps for the first time in her adult life.
To address that issue of “worthiness.”
I happen to think the ladies are “worthy” of every tiny little bit of love they received.
After all, it pales in comparison to the lavish way God loves and cares for me … and you.
It was a blessing to be able to share a little “lavish” with the ladies.  I was also blessed by a wonderful husband who helped prepare a delicious meal … and a dear friend who provided dessert and her presence for the evening.  Everything worked together to make the ladies feel special, and I’m so glad … because that’s exactly what they are!


by St. Francis of Assisi

I think God might be a little prejudiced.
For once He asked me to join Him on a walk
through this world,

and we gazed into every heart on this earth,
and I noticed He lingered a bit longer
before any face that was

and before any eyes that were

And sometimes when we passed
a soul in worship

God too would kneel

I have come to learn: God
adores His


Table Three

Do you feel adored today?  You are.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

1 John 3:1


Marinated and smoked pork tenderloin
Wild rice with cranberries
Baby spinach with heart-shaped strawberries, feta cheese, toasted almonds and raspberry vinaigrette
Dinner rolls
Red velvet cupcakes
I’ll be partying at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, At The Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday, How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday, Blogger Spirit for Spiritual Sundays, and The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.

Want to keep spreading the Valentine love?  Join the Valentine Project — ongoing through April.
Click HERE to learn more



  1. This has to be the best way I’ve ever heard of spending a Valentine’s Day. How absolutely wonderful of you to share your beautiful things and talents with this women who are in so need of a little love. You are so inspirational. And I love the tables!

    – The Tablescaper

  2. There’s some weeping…tears of joy…going on her right now. I’m humbled and blessed that in a tiny way, I was allowed to be represented at these special, beautiful tables. Thank you for following the leading that God placed on your heart. Cherry Kay

    • Oh, friend, you were most definitely there in spirit! I intentionally used the very traditional vintage etched glass pedestal hurricanes and goblets on “your” table because I know how much you love traditional beauty. But one of these days I’d like to use “our” Haviland plates with the bright pink cloth under the lace. (The feather boa table.) The “pop” of the pinks and purples was amazing!

      Thanks again for your generosity, your prayers, and your rejoicing with me tonight.

  3. Such a fabulous idea, Susan. You blessed my heart through this post! Thank you!

  4. I am touched and inspired! You blessing others… blessed me.
    Many sweet thanks… dee dee

  5. You really are such a wonderful person. The special touches on the table and the lovely menu must have made the women feel fantastic that you were taking the time to care. This gesture alone can only bring them hope for their futures. I really must get back to my own Sally List…you shame me. Beautiful Susan! xo wendy

  6. Not only is the table beautiful, the spirit behind it is even more beautiful! So touching! You are such an inspiration. I didn’t do anything this special but we did take dinner and dessert to an elderly couple. The wife is very sick and the husband was actually going to McDonald’s to get food. I had planned an evening of fun and games for my kids but was glad we did that instead. It was a lesson of real love.
    I can just imagine the women sitting down to that gorgeous table and all the feelings that were inside of them. We are so blessed, we forget about those less fortunate. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Tammy, you absolutely did do something “this special” — and more — because not only did you minister to the couple, but you taught your children to do the same by setting the example – and including them in the ministry! They would have enjoyed the fun and games, but this will make them better people. You made the perfect choice, and I’m really proud of you!

  7. Susan, you are an endless bounty of God’s love expressed through your selfless giving! We are so very fortunate to share your graces through your beautiful blog.. You are a true inspiration for each of us to always walk in footsteps guided by grace… I am so very fortunate to count you as an angel on earth disguised as a wonderful friend… xxooxx wishing you joy

  8. Oh, Susan….such an incredibly selfless and loving gesture on the part of all who made this happen. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must feel like to be in the position so many women find themselves in at the hands of a crazy partner or a situation that seems to hold no hope whatsoever. I had good training from my parents on how to spot a doofus from 50 yards, and they taught us to ALWAYS, always, always tell and never be afraid to ask for help. I never had any guy to lose their ever-lovin’ with me, and I feel blessed in that sense. You just never know who is suffering at the hands of evil. And while I have definitely lived through some lean times as a divorced Mom, I was blessed to be able to bounce back on my own. For women who have never felt “worthy” or never felt in control of their own lives, a gesture like this can mean the world. You did good, girl. You did good!

    • “Blessed to bounce back…” I was, too, Alycia. …You’re so right. We never know who is suffering at the hands of evil. That’s why we have to choose to pay more attention to others rather than ourselves. So hard for me to remember that sometimes, but hopefully we’ll all keep encouraging each other to do just that.

  9. Such a beautiful heart you have, and one that is so tender to others needs. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful post with us. It truly blessed my heart to read each word. Each table was set and served with the such care, straight from the Father’s heart thru your hands.

  10. I’m speechless. What an absolutely beautiful and wonderful thing to do. I love everything. I’m sure those ladies were blessed beyond measure!!

  11. Lovely setting and a wonderful message

  12. Oh Susan, I just love this. I would love the tables no matter where they were set up because they are both so very much my favorite style. I love tables that are delicate in style. I can’t pick a favorite of the two.

    But then… the reason for the tables and the very WORTHY women who got to enjoy them makes them even more beautiful to me. I had a picture in my mind of their faces as they sat at them.

    I am firm believer that everyone stands just a little taller when they are surrounded by beauty. I’m not just talking about the tables, either. I’m talking about the servers too.

  13. What a wonderful generous person you are to spend Valentine’s Day with the less fortunate. The table is beautiful.

  14. What a beautiful table! Just simply beautiful!

  15. Your blog is so special I have no words.

    I am just weeping.

    What an amazing sweet wonderful gift you shared with these ladies.

    May God bless you and keep you in the Palm of His Hand.


  16. What a beautiful post, not only with the gorgeous table with all the dishes and pretty elements, but filled with selfless love for this ladies that for a couple of hours they lived and felt special attention with such lavish dinner and table for queens! God bless you all!…and yeah, it was a very happy Valentine’s!

  17. Hi!
    I’m visiting from Pink Saturday and I’m now a follower!

    This is one of the most beautiful posts that I have seen in blog-land.
    Your setting is so soft and beautiful and what a blessing to give of your self and your precious items to brighten the day for these women. God Bless You and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!


  18. what a wonderful incredible thing to do. Wow.

  19. Happy Pink Saturday Susan Sweetie…
    Oh I am so tickled to see you posted photos. I was so excited when you mentioned this beautiful dinner you planned for the Women’s Shelter. You really outdid yourself my dear and precious friend. I know God was smiling down on you, as he saw each little detail that you included. Shiny things to make their hearts shine, silver to make them feel worthy and your BEST china to make them feel a member of your family. What a wonderful gift from your heart.

    Everything, and I mean everything looked so beautiful. I love the little beads you strung about and the pieces that looked like diamonds amongst the china. The candle light was gorgeous and just perfect. I know you made each of these ladies feel like a Queen.

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am so tickled to have been invited along today. I hope you can hear me clapping out loud for you dear friend. Please take a bow. You did an exceptional thing for these women. Your menu was superb.

    Many hugs and so much love, Sherry

  20. What else can I add? Everyone has said what I am thinking and feeling. Bless you!

  21. Wow Susan, what a kind and inspiring thing you’ve done. This sets an example of a whole different kind of Valentine’s love. How sweet that you took the time to make each of these women feel loved and special, some for the first time ever.

    I love these beautiful tables and I love this beautiful gesture you and your husband made. Happy Seasonal Sunday!


  22. Your tablescape is absolutely beautiful but what you did for these women is inspiring. I was so deeply touched. You did such a wonderful thing for some very deserving ladies.

    I came over from Seasonal Sundays Link Party and am so glad I did. What a delightful blog you have and what a kind and gracious person you are. Thankyou for sharing it all.


  23. This brought tears to my eyes. What a heart you have! Your tables were beautiful and the menu sounded delicious. I don’t think the women will ever forget this sheltering experience.

  24. Wow, this is soooo beautiful. I’m glad you chose to share with us on Spiritual Sundays.

  25. A great example of sharing your talents and treasures

  26. Dear Susan~Thank-you for being a beautiful angel and casting your light so others can see. Denise

  27. Oh Susan, this post got me all choked up. You are priceless. Thank you dear friend for sharing this amazing act of kindness, I’m so touched by your actions.