I write about all kinds of things here on my blog. And every once in a while, I have to get a little sappy as well. I can’t help it, really. That’s one reason why I love Valentine’s Day so much. It gives me an excuse to get out my hopelessly romantic side and wear it around for awhile.

You’ve seen how I am. I do Valentine’s vignettes, handmade cards, love-themed treats & hearts to my heart’s content.

How did I get this way? I’m a big fan of love. I’ve been surrounded by it all my life. It was all over my house growing up because my parents put it there. And then I met my husband who’s also a big fan of love. And together, we’re pretty much ridiculous.

As I was writing out my little Valentine quote on my kitchen chalkboard a few days ago, I turned around to see my 5-year-old, with chalk in hand, making her own little message on our mini chalkboard. She knows how to spell about 7 words: each of the names of our family members, and the word “love”. I love that!

And later on, I walked into my 8-year-old’s room to see that she had done the same thing on the chalkboard in her room…

And then, because I was seeing a trend, I checked my 13-year-old’s room, and sure enough…

That was when I had one of those proud mom moments because I realized that they realize that love lives here. Not just the chalk dust kind of love that only lasts until Valentine’s Day is over, but the true, less-than-perfect, no-matter-what, willing-to forgive, whatever-it-takes kind of love that they’ll pack up in their suitcases with them when they leave for college. The kind that only the God of the universe can give us the power to keep alive inside of us and in our homes.

The Bible says in Proverbs 15:17: “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.”

Maybe you’re reading this and you’re at a place in your life where you’re just getting by with “dinners of herbs”. Maybe you’re living paycheck to paycheck, constantly concerned about how to make ends meet. Be encouraged that a life of love is more satisfying than anything money can buy. And the good news is, even the poorest of people can be rich in love. Maybe you won’t be getting diamonds for Valentine’s Day, but if you have true love in your home, you already have what no amount of money can buy. Don’t be defeated by the disappointment of not being able to buy material things for the people you love. Spending time together, making a hand-made card, or saying to someone that they are important to you is totally free, yet priceless. There are countless ways to show your spouse and your children you love them without spending much money at all.

Or, maybe you’re the one reading who has an “ox in the stall” and never has to think about money because you have everything you could want and more. Maybe you’ve given your kids or your spouse the latest & greatest of everything to try to prove your love, but do they have your heart? Have you given them the gift of being told what they mean to you, or kind words after a long day, or the gift of being the first to say you’re sorry?

And to those of you who may be single parents, admittedly, I know nothing of the individual experiences you have had or the difficulty you face on a daily basis. However, I know from experience that one of the best gifts you can give to your children is to love your spouse. And if that love is dead or non-existent and you’re no longer together, you can still give respect and the gift of not tearing them down to your children. Don’t let hatred rent a room in your house.

I know there are many issues some of you are facing that cannot be summed up in one or even one hundred blog posts, but if you’ve seen yourself in one of these scenarios, make up your mind to let love into your home. What better time than Valentine’s Day to let it start. How will you love them today?