After Miley stomped home, Emily had to figure out what to do about her friend’s bad behavior and temper tantrum. She did not like it when Miley tried to control people to get her own way. Selfishness only spoiled a kids day and made everybody feel bad.
As Emily was thinking about what to do next she looked over at the girls and observed that Sara was twisting her hands and Katie was looking down as if studying her shoes.
Emily determined right then and there that she would not let Miley’s bad behavior ruin everybody’s day. She knew what she must do first.
A Heart of Forgiveness
Before Emily talked to the girls she recalled a very important talk she had with Mama not too long ago. Emily’s Mama had talked to her about having a heart of forgiveness. She warned Emily about the dangers of holding un-forgiveness in her heart.
Mama also explained that when we allow someones bad behavior or angry words to make us feel guilty or out of sorts we are actually giving them power.
When Emily was little she used to think mama meant supernatural power, like in fairy-tale’s with wizards and magic wands. Emily could never figure out how that worked. How could she give people magical power?
One day Emily asked Mama about it; Mama laughed softly as mouth turned to a smile. She explained that the word power, in this case, meant that you give someone else permission to control how you feel.
Mama said, “Let’s say your friend does something mean to you or to some one else. How do you respond? If you let that bad action affect how you feel .. you give your friend power to control your feelings. You don’t have to do that Emmy. No one can ruin your day unless you give them power to do that. It is your choice honey.”
Mama said, “Emily, we have choice, to forgive or to allow the hurt to grow inside of us. When we choose to hold on to angry feelings toward anyone … there are consequences. Your feelings will not stop with just being angry, it will grow into really bad feelings like bitterness, maybe even hatred. When we allow our feelings to take us to a bad place we are actually giving that person permission to control how we feel.”
Emily was beginning to understand that she did have a choice about her own responses. Mama took a moment to form her next words. “Emmy when we give our power away to someone else, by NOT forgiving, it’s kind of like putting ourselves behind bars and becoming a prisoner. “But my dear Emmy, it is even worse than that. Not only do we put ourselves behind bars (as a prisoner to anger, bitterness or hatred) but we also hand the key right over to the person who was mean or unkind. The key is yours Emily,” Mama said, “Don’t give it to anyone.”
Emily knew what she must do. She needed to forgive Miley before she did anything else. She needed to let the bad feelings go. She reasoned that she did not have to feel bad because she was not the person who made Molly choose bad behavior. She was NOT going to be a prisoner on this beautiful sunny day.
Who is the Boss?
AS Emily was praying for Miley she pictured herself holding hands with her. Then as she talked to God she let go of Miley’s hand as she put it into Jesus strong hand. “Dear God,” Emmy prayed, “Miley tried to ruin our day and she hurt our feelings too.
I pray for Miley God and I hope you will teach her how to share and be kind. I am choosing to forgive her right now, like mama taught me. I give her to you Jesus … and now I will be free to be happy. Thank you Jesus, Amen!
Emily turned towards the girls while thinking, We’ll just start over. “Girls, What do you want to do?” asked Emily. Katie said that anything was fine with her as long as they were together but then she paused and asked, “Who is the Boss Emily?” “Let’s just talk about what we all want to do and decide together okay?” answered Emily. Katie smiled as she shook her head happily; “And you ….?” Emily asked Sara as their eyes connected. Sara thought a moment and while twisting her hands asked, “Well, I still would like to play house, can we take turns being the mom?” “I think that is a great Idea Sara.” answered Emily enthusiastically. Turning to Sara’s sister she continued, “Katie, how would you like to be the mom first?” Katie smiled brightly and jumped up and hugged her pretend daughters as she said, “Okay girls, let’s play house.”
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Emily began their play time by looking at Sara and asking, “Mama, can we make chocolate chip cookies?” “Why, of course sweetheart,” answered Sara in her most grown up voice, “What type of cookies would you like to make? We can make chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies.”
Emily thought it was adorable when Sara pretended to be a grown up because, as hard as she tried to sound like a grown up, she still had a squeaky little girl’s voice. “I’d like chocolate chip cookies please” answered Emily politely.
The girls played for a long time. They went grocery shopping by the big Pine Trees imagining the place to be Pine’s grocery store. The girls picked up pine cones as they pretended to gather ingredients. Emily carried the basket as the girls dropped each ingredient they needed to make cookies. Katie smiled at her girls, “You girls are such BIG helpers to Mama, I don’t know what I would do without you.” Emily and Sara beamed back at Katie (Mama) delighting in her kind words.
When they got back to the playhouse the girls pretended to make the cookie dough. Sara an”d Emily were making a mess with the pretend flour. Some was falling on the floor. Katie, in her serious grown up voice said, girls, girls, pay attention – look at the floor”. Both girls stopped and looked down at the imaginary flour covering the floor. Katie (Mama) told Emily to get the broom and she told Sara to grab the dustpan. She instructed Emily to sweep slowly so the flour dust didn’t fly all over the place. The girls worked together quickly and carefully. They then joined Katie to put the cookie dough on the pans.
They pretended to plop a scoop of dough, one at a time, on the cookie sheet. Next they put the cookies in Emily’s play oven. After about five minutes the girls looked excited as they pretended like the whole house smelled like chocolate. “Oh, I can hardly wait to eat my cookie!” Sara spouted as she jumped up and down. Katie told Sara she could take the cookies out of the oven.
Sara put on imaginary hot pad gloves as she opened the oven door and pulled out a tray of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. She expertly served up 2 pretend chocolate chip cookies on each girl’s pretend plate. As the girls lifted their imaginary cookie to their mouths they made sounds like mmmmm and ooooo to show how delicious the cookies tasted. Suddenly Emily realized she was hungry.
Just then her sister Molly called for Emily. “It’s time for lunch Emmy.” Emily told the girls she had to go but they were welcomed to stay and play. The girls told Emily they were hungry too. Sara said, “We’ll go home to eat too Emmy but we will be back as soon as we are done.” “Great!” replied Emily, “See you after lunch.”
As Emily and Molly were walking to the house they saw Miley slowly making her way towards them. “Emily,” Miley, began with a sadness in her voice, Emmy noticed her head was bent down, “I’m sorry I was being bossy again, can we start over?” Emily smiled big as knelt down so Miley could see her face, “Of course we can Miley!” Emily said with joyful conviction. “I have to eat first and then the Anderson sisters are coming back. It will be fun to have you play with us too.” Miley let out a big breath of air as a smile of relief traveled across her face, “Oh thank you Emily, I know I need to work on my bad behavior and I am so thankful that you forgive so quickly.” The girls hugged each other and then Miley turned and skipped all the way back to her house.
Mama had taught Emily to be quick to forgive. She said that forgiveness was very important. In fact it was so important that Jesus said whenever we pray, we need to forgive. Emily understood what Mama taught her and she always took time to think before she prayed. Mama called it examining your heart.
Before praying she would ask herself if she was mad at anyone or if anyone had hurt her feelings? If she was mad or hurt she knew she needed to forgive that person. Even though Emily would sometimes feel very angry, Mama said it did not matter how she felt, Emily should forgive with her words in prayer to Jesus.
Mama explained that as we obey, Jesus heals our heart and turns our anger into compassion. Emily knew one thing for sure; She always felt so much better after she forgave people.