from my book of the same title:
“LOVE ADDS THE CHOCOLATE”
A house is a house is a house….until love comes through the door, that is. And love intuitively goes around sprinkling that special brand of angel dust that transforms a house into a very special home for very special people…your family.
Money, of course, can build a charming house, but only love can furnish it with a feeling of home. Only love takes the time to arrange the furniture in cozy “talk centers” with colorful, comfy cushions (maybe hand quilted).
Money can paint a wall, but only love cares enough to invent a “kid’s korner” and cover it with their handiwork, bouquets, poems, leaves, and maybe even a crayoned autograph.
Duty can pack an adequate sack lunch, but love may decide to tuck a little love note inside. Or a coupon for a ”night out with Mom”.
Money can provide “tech toys”, but love controls them and cares enough to say “no” and take the guff that comes with it.
Obligation sends the kids to bed on time, but love tucks the covers in around their necks and passes out kisses and hugs (even to teenagers!). Love reminds them at this special sharing time of their heavenly Father and His great love for them.
Obligation can cook a meal, but love embellishes the table with a potted ivy trailing around slender candles. Or makes a centerpiece with a nest of Easter grass and a child’s picture.
Duty writes many letters, but love tucks a joke or a picture or a piece of gum inside.
Money buys gorgeous carpets, but love invites the kids to a floor scramble with lots of tickling. And..it uses that carpet for playing board games together when it’s cold outside.
Obligation can pour a glass of milk. But quite often love will add a little chocolate. Love asks itself, “What else can I do to make someone’s day easier?”
Duty boils potatoes, but love adds the parsley..and the pat of butter…and maybe a scattering of crushed, aromatic herbs.
Compulsion keeps a sparkling house. But love and prayer stand a better chance of producing a happy family.
Duty gets offended quickly if it isn’t appreciated. But love learns to laugh a lot and to work for the sheer joy of it.
Every home has a mix of duty, obligation, compulsion, and even routine. But unless these are generously garnished with love, home becomes too institutional, too clean, too functional, and clearly uninviting.
Every woman has her own special “garnishes”.
“But the greatest of these is love.”
I Cor. 13:13