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Essential Ingredient

Essential Ingredient

Maggie’s daughter, Lydia, has been spending more time out with her friends than at home with Maggie and her five-year-old brother, Justin. Husband and father, Michael, is on a military tour of duty.

This Saturday, Maggie has decided that Lydia needs to spend family time so she’s not allowing her to go out tonight with her friends. Lydia is livid. Oh, the episodes of the teenage years.

Maggie has a much admired lasagna recipe that she’s assigned Lydia to prepare for this evening’s dinner. Lydia is pouting and sure doesn’t want to cook, but she has no choice. Mom has spoken.

Lydia’s in the kitchen slamming utensils and muttering angrily. She does, though, follow the recipe precisely. Her attitude is sullen throughout her culinary exercise.

Maggie chooses calmness in the midst of her daughter’s mini meltdown.

Despite her demeanor, Lydia looks forward to eating the lasagna because Maggie’s recipe for it results in super delicious.

The three of them sit down at the table, Maggie thanks God for the food, and they commence to eat.

After her first taste, Lydia looks puzzled. She says, “I followed your recipe exactly, Mom, but this lasagna doesn’t taste near as good as yours.”

Justin smiles and responds, “You left out love.”


Justin’s words penetrated Lydia. Maggie is so pleased that Justin understood and uttered those words to his big sister.

Over time, the atmosphere in the household improved considerably. It became more loving and cheerful.

Lydia now better balances her time with her family and friends. And to her surprise, she enjoys her family time more because of her altered disposition and wiser choices. Yes, Lydia learned some valuable lessons — spearheaded by her little brother, Justin.

1 John 3:11 – KJV
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

Isaiah 11:6 – KJV
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

I Samuel 2:11 – KJV
. . . And the child did minister unto the Lord . . .

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