Chapter 5 – Obedience

20160311_180218_picmonkeyed.jpgLittle Joe loved being the youngest kid, well most of the time he did.  For one thing, he did not have to do as many chores as Emily and Molly.  He didn’t have to go to school, or do homework and he got to play most of the day.  Even though he was free to explore and have fun he was also learning to be, what Mama calls, responsible.

Little Joe was learning how to make his bed, pick up his toys after playing and brush his teeth after eating.  His favorite time of the day was when his friend Timmy came to play.  Timmy was little Joe’s neighbor.  His mommy let Timmy play with Little Joe whenever he wanted to.

Even though Little Joe was always allowed to play with Timmy he had to stay in his yard at all times. That is one of the things, about being the youngest kid, little Joe did not like.  Molly and Emily could cross the street whenever they wanted to, why couldn’t he?

One day when Timmy and Little Joe were playing ball outside, the ball rolled across the street. Little Joe knew that he could not leave the yard but he was so tempted.  It would only take a split second to grab the ball and bring it back to the yard.  Before he knew itScreenshot 2016-03-10 at 20.53.47 his little legs were running as fast as they could.  He wanted to get that ball and bring it back before anyone saw him.  Just as he was about to run into the street he heard a loud SCREECH and as he looked left he saw a big white car swerve so close to him he could feel it’s

Just as he was about to run into the street he heard a loud SCREECH and as he looked left he saw a big white car swerve so close it almost hit him.

Uncle Joe came running from behind the garage and yelled, “Little Joe, are you okay?” But Little Joe could not speak and he could not move.

Just then Mama came out the door.  Her beautiful face looked terrified.  “Little Joe, get out of the street Right Now!” she ordered.

Little Joe backed up until he felt the safety of the curb.  He stepped up on the curb and felt his legs go weak.  Suddenly he was on the ground.  Little Joe pulled his legs up close to his body, dropped his head to his knees and wrapped his hands behind his neck.  Hot tears welled up in his eyes.  He felt his legs and his whole body shaking.  He was afraid to look up.  “If only I could go back and call for Uncle Joe to get the ball for me,” he thought.

When Little Joe looked up Uncle Joe was standing next to him and Mama was waving at the big white car.  Uncle Joe spoke softly, “Little Joe, are you okay?”

Little Joe shook his head yes and then he began to cry loudly.  “I’m so sorry Uncle Joe.”  Just then Mama came walking up to Little Joe.  There was fear in Mama’s eyes.  Little Joe whimpered, “I almost got killed, Mama !”  

Uncle Joe bent down and rubbed Little Joe’s head.  “Come on Wee Man, get up, you’re safe now.  As little Joe stood this his feet he said, “Why do I always disobey the rules, Uncle Joe? I know the rules but I just don’t want to obey them.”  

Uncle Joe’s face got serious and that far away look washed over him. “Well, Wee Man, ever since the beginning of time people have had a problem with rules.  Every person wants to do things their own way, nobody really wants to obey the rules.  It’s only when we understand that God gave us rules to protect us not to hurt us that we begin to see why we must obey the rules.” 

Little Joe looked up at Mama as a tear slipped from his eye.  “Mama, I’m sorry I disobeyed you. Sometimes I think the rules are dumb but I know that you give me rules to protect me, just like God gives me rules to protect me.  Will you forgive me, Mama?”  

Mama’s face softened and the corners of her mouth turned up as her eyes twinkled.  “Yes, Wee man, I do forgive you.”  Mama wrapped her arms around Little Joe, picked him up and twirled him around two times.  Little Joe loved his Mama and he was so sorry he disobeyed and frightened her.

Little Joe understood that the rules in the Summerfield family must be obeyed.  If a rule was broken, there was alway a consequence.  “Mama, what is my consequence?”  asked Little Joe.

 Mama held Little Joe’s hand and looked directly into his eyes, “What do you think your consequence should be?”

Little Joe hung his head and thought about it. “Well Mama, I think I should go to bed without supper and I should be grounded to the house for a whole month.”  

Mama patted Little Joe’s head gently as she bent down beside him.  “Wee man, I think you have punished yourself pretty hard all by yourself.  I believe you learned an important lesson today.  I’ve decided to give you grace.”  

“What do you mean Mama?  What does grace mean?”  said Little Joe.

Looking up into the trees, Mama took a moment to think, as if she would find the right words falling like the leaves around her. “What I mean when I say Grace is that I will not give you a consequence this time, even though you deserve one.”

“Really Mama!  No Consequence!”  Little Joe said as he looked at his mama in amazement.

“Really Little Joe, no consequence at all!” answered Mama

Just then Timmy, who had been watching the whole thing, ran up to Little Joe and fell into his arms.  He gave his friend a full bear hug and as he tucked his face into Little Joe’s shoulder he said, “You could have got killed, Little Joe! You could have got killed!! I am so glad you didn’t!  You are so lucky!”

Mama laughed softly as she reached out to ruffle Timmy’s hair. “Timmy, I’d say Little Joe was protected, not lucky.”  Timmy’s face turned red because Mama always made his face turn red.

Little Joe gave Timmy a friendly punch on the arm, grabbed the ball, which was now in the yard, as he said, come on Buddy let’s play ball!

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas, What Can I Give Him?

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CHRISTMAS SONGS FOR KIDS

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Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

Hi kids,  are you excited about Christmas!  Our family is buzzing with activity and anticipation of Christmas Day.  I have a treat for you today, it is a song by a little girl – it has a very special message too.  Merry Christmas and don’t forget that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

This precious little girl is singing a story about her wish to give Jesus a gift for Christmas; because after all it is His birthday.   She knows that Jesus gave everything, even His life, for her.  She sings, “What can I give Him?”

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Give Him My Heart

In the song you will hear her trying to figure out what she will give Jesus for Christmas.  She finally has a GREAT idea.  She will give Jesus the gift of her heart.  It is not a gift He can hold in his hand …  NO …  her present is way bigger than that.  It is the BEST and most important gift she could ever give to Jesus because it is the GIFT he wants most.

You see this little girl understands that Jesus loves her more than anyone in the world could ever love her.  Why, Jesus love is so gigantic that He could not stand the thought of living in Heaven without her or without you.

Even though Jesus gave His life so we could live forever, we all turn our backs on Him and we do what we want to do no matter if it is good or bad.  We want our own way!  God calls this SIN.  There is always a punishment for sin and doing wrong.

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Sin Separates us from God

Here is the BIG problem.  We learn in God’s word that the payment for our sin is DEATH.  Whoa, hold on there Georgie!  Now that’s a thought to stop you in your tracks!  You might be thinking, You got to be kidding me?  No Way Hosea!   Nope I am not kidding you .. not one little bit!

Let me explain to you why the payment for sin is death.  You see Father God is perfect and Holy; He has NO sin and He cannot have sin in His presence.   He cannot let sin (any thought or action that is displeasing to God) into Heaven.   But we have ALL sinned and decided to live our lives exactly the way we want!    If God cannot let sin into Heaven that means none of us can go to Heaven or even talk to God.

Here is what God says in His Word:   “The wages (or payment for sinning) of Sin is Death BUT the Gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”   Romans 6:23

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Cookie Monster
Cookie Monster

Have you ever been punished for doing something wrong?  Your payment is what you get for doing wrong.   If you take a cookie without asking permission, it is the same as stealing.  Your mom knows she must punish you for stealing.  She gives you a punishment and sends you to your room to be alone for 30 minutes.  Afterwards she talks to you about the sin of stealing and you tell her you are sorry and ask her to forgive you.

God also punishes wrong doing or sin.  He tells us in the Bible (TRUTH) that the punishment for sin is death.  That’s a deadly punishment that lasts forever.

When the word death is used in this verse it means to be separated.  Our sin separates us in two ways.  It makes it so we cannot talk to God and He cannot hear us.   It also keeps us from Heaven;  Forever separated.   Now that you know the bad news, let me tell you the GOOD NEWS!

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GOD HAD A PLAN

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All We Like Sheep

God tells us that we are just like sheep.  Sheep are sort of dumb animals.  They just wander all over the place and away from the Shepherd who is there to take care of them and protect them.  They wander off  the path and get lost and even worse sometimes they are attacked by wolves.

God says we are like sheep.  We go our own way and get into trouble all the time … BUT God loves us and He made a plan to bring us back home to His heart.   “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD (Father God) has laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity (sin) of us all.”  Isaiah 53:6

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Jesus Loves
Jesus Loves

Do you understand how much God loves you?  Even though you and everyone else turns their back on Him,  He still made a way to save us from death (the punishment for our own rebellion and sin.)

Jesus, God’s one and only son, so loves us too.  Jesus has NO sin and He is the ONLY way to Heaven and the only one (without sin) who could take our sin in His own body and die for it.

God’s plan was to send Jesus to earth to die.  It should have been me and it should have been you who died for our own sin BUT Jesus took our place and paid the price for our sin.   He wanted to do this because He could not stand the thought of living without you.

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The Cross

Yes, we deserved to die for our own sin BUT Jesus willingly gave up His own life to pay for our sin.   The wicked people, blinded by sin, were so angry with Jesus  that they hit Him over and over again with leather whips.  They beat Him until he had huge sores on his back and legs.  His body was bruised and bloody.  They made fun of Him and spit on Him.  Eventually they forced Jesus to carry a heavy wooden cross on his bleeding beaten back.  He carried it through the crowds and up to a Hill where they nailed Him to that cross through his hands and into his feet.  He hung on that cross until he died … His very last words were,  “It is finished!”   The payment for our sin was finished or complete when Jesus died that day.

He suffered all of this for you and for me.   Jesus did not have to die for us.  He could have saved Himself the pain and shame of being nailed to a cross by those rebellious people.   But Jesus knew that He was the only one who could pay for your sin.

He gave His life’s blood for you and for me.   He gave His all to save us from the penalty of our own sin .  That’s how much He loves you and me!  Today, anyone who believes in Him and gives their heart to Him becomes part of God’s family.  As God’s child we bow down and say thank you Jesus for giving your life so we could live.

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Baby In Womb

We give God our lives because of what He did for us.  When we give Him our heart  He wipes away the sin and ugliness inside of you and me.  He even gives us a new heart and a new life as a Child of God.  He adopts us into His family … how cool is that!

We trust God the Father and Jesus the Savior after-all, we were made by Him.  The Bible says He knit us together in our Mother’s womb.   He knows you inside and out!  In fact He knew you before you were in your mommy’s tummy.  He even knows the number of hairs on your head.  He is God and He knows everything.  He is almighty and powerful.

The God who created you wants your love and loyalty.  He wants you to trust Him with your whole heart.  He asks you to confess your sin and He will forgive you.  When God forgives your sin you can  talk to Him any time – He loves it when His children pray to Him.  Someday His children will live with Him forever and ever and ever.

He is a gentleman and He will never force His way in .. He knocks gently and asks if you will let Him in.

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Baby Jesus

Merry Christmas to each of you.  Don’t forget the reason we celebrate this special day … Jesus came down from Heaven and He was born in a manger knowing He would someday die to pay the price for our sin.

It was the ONLY way we could be restored to our Father God.  Listen to what Jesus tells His disciples:   “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.   If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going …. No, we don’t know, Lord,”  Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.”

close to Jesus
close to Jesus

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Jesus is calling to you.  He wants you to get close to His heart.  He talks to you through the Living Word of God.  Be sure to thank Him for ALL He does for you, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:17   

Thank Jesus for giving His life up so you can live BIG and have peace on this earth and live eternally in Heaven.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Luke 18:17

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CHRISTMAS  FOR KIDS

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by Susan Ream

Forgiveness – Resource for Parents

FORGIVENESS

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As Parents we are entrusted, by God, to raise up a godly generation.  My hearts desire is to light the fire of responsibility that belongs to you.

Your children are dependent upon you to teach them about life, morals, God’s word, and how to live life victoriously and abundantly.  God made each of us uniquely, like a snowflake, no two are alike.  Each child must be raised according to his/her bent and it’s up to you, the parent, to learn your child’s bent and raise them accordingly.

God loves us and longs for us to draw near and know that He is God.  Read the verses below and weave them into your everyday experiences teaching them to observe ALL things.  Watch them thrive as the word of God shapes them into the kids God blesses and uses for His glory.

GOD IS FORGIVING                                                                                            

Psalm 86:4-5   “Gladden the soul of your servant,  for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.”   

Psalm 103:12  “As far as the East is from the West so far has HE removed your sin from you.”

How Far is the East from the West?   When do they ever catch up with each other?        

The Lord Abounds in Steadfast Love                                                                                    Psalm 103:8-11The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him”                           

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JESUS INSTRUCT US TO BE RECONCILED

Matthew 5:22-24 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

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FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER

Ephesians 4:31-32                                                                                       “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  (attitude: loving and forgiving just like God forgave you)

Be Forgiving as God has forgiven you.  He gave His son who gave His life so that we could be forgiven.

Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. “Love one another even as God for Christ’s sake forgave you.”

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BEFORE YOU PRAY – FORGIVE

Forgive

Mark 11:25  “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

“Forgive your enemy, do good to those who persecute you. ” Matthew 5:44

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Famous Quotes on Forgiveness

 “A forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note, torn in two and burned up so that it can never be shown, against the man. “ ~ Henry Ward Beecher

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

“Man has two great spiritual needs. One is for forgiveness. The other is for goodness.” ~ Billy Graham

“You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.” ~ Lewis B. Smedes

“Forgiving and being forgiven are two names for the same thing. The important thing is that a discord has been resolved.” ~ C.S. Lewis

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ~ Alexander Pope

 

Chapter 4 – Forgiveness

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Temper Tantrum

After Miley stomped home, Emily had to figure out what to do about her friend’s temper tantrum.   She did not like it when Miley tried to control everyone and everything 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.

“I am so mad at Miley right now.  All I want is to have fun with my friend’s, but Miley’s bossiness ruined it all!”  Right in the middle of the anger, firing up in her heart, she remembered a talk she had with Mama.  Emily knew she needed to calm down and do the right thing.

A Heart of Forgiveness

The talk Emmy was remembering, happened on a day she was very angry at a boy at school.  Mama told Emily it was important to have a heart of forgiveness.

“Mama, I am so angry at Cooper. He makes fun of everybody!  He picked on Kathy today.  He laughed at her and teased her.  He said, ‘You look like a beaver with those teeth,’ Kathy was in tears.  He got all the kids laughing at her.”

“Oh, poor Kathy,”  Mama answered, “Mean words really hurt people.”  Mama paused then said, “Cooper must be hurting too.”

Emily looked puzzled.  “No, Mama!  Cooper is not hurting, he is the one hurting kids.”  Emily insisted. “Why would you say Cooper is hurting?”  Emily felt defensive for her friend, Kathy.

Mama looked at Emily with her serious, kind eyes, the way she always looks whendownload she is about to say something important.   “Emily, there is a saying I want you to remember. It’s a true saying, it goes like this … Hurt people … hurt people.”   Mama was quiet as she looked deep into Emily’s eyes.

Emily wiggled uncomfortably and then responded,“Well, I don’t know about that Mama but I’d like to hurt Cooper!”

Mama shook her head slightly as she said, “So Emily, how long are you going to hang on to anger?” Emily pulled her lips tight against her teeth and then opened them to say, “I don’t know Mama, I’m really mad!”  Mama put her hand on Emily’s shoulder as she said, “Do you know, honey, it is dangerous to hold on to anger?  We must never allow anger to feel at home in our heart’s Emily.”  Mama continued, “There is something else you need to know about anger.  When we allow a person’s bad behavior to control how we feel we give that person power.”

“Mama, what do you mean by power, do you mean like superhero power?”  asked Emly.

Mama laughed softly as her mouth turned to a smile. “No honey, the word power, in this case, means that you give someone else permission to control how you feel.  Today you gave Cooper the power to make you feel angry, so angry, in fact, that you wanted to hurt him. Emily, no one can make you angry or ruin your day unless you give them the power to do that.  It is your choice, honey.”  

Mama gave Emily a lot to think about.  “But Mama, what do I do when I AM angry” urged Emily.

“First of all, understand that you have a choice.  You can be angry or you can forgive.”  Emily’s eyebrows came together as she considered this. “Honey, you can hold on to a hurt and let it grow inside of you or you can release the hurt to God.”  Mama continued, “When we choose to hold on to angry feelings toward anyone  …  there are consequences. 

What kind of consequences? asked Emily.  

Well, when you let anger stay in your heart, that feeling will not stop there.  When anger is held in your heart it grows into really bad feelings like bitterness, maybe even hatred.   When you allow your feelings to take you to such bad places you are actually hurting yourself.”  

Emily began to understand that she did have a choice about her own feelings.

Mama took a moment to form her next words. “Emmy, when you give your power away to someone else, by NOT forgiving, it’s kind of like putting yourself behind bars and becoming a prisoner.  It is even worse than that.  Not only do you put yourself behind bars (as a prisoner to anger, bitterness and hatred) but you also hand the key right over to the person who was mean or unkind.  You give them control.  The key is yours, Emily,”  Mama said, “Don’t give it to anyone.”

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Prison Of Unforgiveness

Emily knew what she must do about Miley.  “I will forgive Miley and let the bad feelings go and  I won’t feel guilty because Miley went home.” Emily knew it was not her fault that Miley went home.  She did not make Miley choose bad behavior.  Emily was NOT going to be a prisoner on this beautiful sunny day.

Who is the Boss?

Before Emily talked to the girls she released her anger and sent up a quick prayer for Miley.  Emily pictured herself holding hands with Miley.  As she talked to God she put Miley’s hand in Jesus’s strong hand.   “Dear God,” Emmy prayed, “Miley tried to ruin our day and she hurt our feelings too.  I pray for Miley 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 to forgive.  I give Miley to you Jesus … and now I will be free to be happy.  Thank you, Jesus, Amen!

Emily turned toward the girls thinking, “We’ll just start over.” “Girls, What do you want to do?” she asked.  Katie said that anything was fine with her but then she paused a second before she asked, “Emmy, Who is the Boss?”  Emily smiled at Katie and said, “Let’s talk about what we ALL want to do and decide together okay?”

Katie smiled back as she shook her head happily;  Turning her attention to Sara Emily asked, “And you ….?”   Sara thought a moment and while twisting her hands she 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 back to Katie she continued, “Katie, how would you like to be the mom first?” Katie smiled brightly, shook her head yes as she jumped up, ran to her pretend daughters and hugged them.  “Okay girls, let’s play house.”

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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?”   

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. They named the place, Pine’s grocery store.  The girls picked up pine cones as they pretended to gather ingredients.  Katie (Mama) 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, they were so happy to hear her kind words.

When they got back to the playhouse the girls pretended to make the cookie dough.  Sara and Emily were making a mess with the pretend flour.  Some of it fell 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.  When it was all cleaned up they joined Katie to  put the cookie dough on the pans.

The girl’s 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 to smell the cookies baking. “Oh, I can hardly wait to eat my cookie! Sara exclaimed as she jumped up and down.   A few seconds later, Katie (mama) told Sara she could take the cookies out of the oven.

Sara put imaginary hot pad gloves on.  Next, she opened the oven door and pulled out a tray of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  Sitting them on the counter she grabbed a pretend spatula and pretend plates.  She expertly served up 2 pretend chocolate chip cookies on the girl’s pretend plate.  As the girls lifted their imaginary cookie to their mouths they made sounds like, “mmmm” and “oooh,” in order to express how delicious the cookies tasted.  Suddenly Emily realized she was hungry.

Just then Emily’s 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 and eat lunch too Emmy but we will be back as soon as we are done.”  “Great!” replied Emily, “See you after lunch.”

Forgiveness

As Emily and Molly were walking to the house they saw Miley slowly making her way toward 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?”

forgivenessEmily smiled big,  “Of course we can Miley!”  Emily said with joyful conviction.  “I have to eat first and then I can play.  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.  I am so thankful that you forgive me so quickly.”  The girls hugged each other and then Miley turned and skipped all the way back to her house.

Emily was so happy that her Mama taught her to be quick to forgive.  Jesus said whenever we pray, we need to forgive. Emmy tried to remember to think before she prayed to make sure there was no unforgiveness in her heart.  Mama called it examining your heart.

Before praying Emily would ask herself if she was mad at anyone or if anyone had hurt her feelings?  If she found anger or hurt in her heart, she forgave.  Even though Emily would sometimes feel very angry, Mama said, just obey Jesus and forgive no matter how you feel.  Emily was learning to forgive with her words in a prayer to Jesus.

Mama told Emily, “If you obey, Jesus will heal your heart and turns your anger into compassion for the person who hurt you.”   Emily knew one thing for sure; She always felt so much better after she forgave people.

Chapter 3 – Selfishness

Selfishness

In Chapter three of Emily’s Little Life, Emily will be spending her Happy Saturday with her friends Miley, Katie, and Sara.

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The girls will experience some trouble in this chapter when one of them tries to take over and be the boss.  Emily takes a stand that results in one of the girls getting mad and stomping home.

It is Emily’s favorite day and she doesn’t want anything or anyone to spoil it.  What will she say to help her friends to turn away from bad feelings and back to play?

PLAY DAY

Happy Saturday

Now that Emily’s chores were done, and mama approved, she ran out the door feeling like a bird set free from its cage.  She was hit by the brightness of the sun.  “Wow, it’s really bright out here!” she thought.   Emily squinted her eyes tightly and stood still while her eyes adjusted.

The sky was filled with big, fluffy, white clouds that were scattered here and there. “That one looks like an elephant,” Emily observed as she studied one of the clouds.  Standing in the rays of the sun, Emily closed her eyes and bent her head back so she could feel the warmth on her face.  “I love it! it is a perfect day for play.”

 Emily’s Friend Miley

Emily’s friend Miley lived across the street. Miley was Emily’s age but she did n’t go to school with Emily.  Miley went to a private school.

Miley

Miley was taller than Emily and she wore glasses. Emily thought the glasses made her look smart. She had short, dark brown hair that poofed out in the back.   Miley  said her hairstyle was called a Bob.  Emily thought it was a peculiar name considering Miley was a girl.

Emily liked to play with Miley, most of the time, but sometimes she didn’t.  It was usually fun to play with Miley but sometimes, she was difficult.  Miley always wanted to be the boss and tell people what to do.  Emily liked to be the boss too but Papa taught her that she could not always be in charge.  He explained that when you only think about what you want, without thinking about what others want, you are being selfish.  Emily figured Miley had not yet learned that it was selfish to try to be the boss all the time.

Emily shared her little life with Miley from time to time and today she decided was one of those times.  Emily didn’t always need a playmate, she was quite content to play in her own little world but sometimes it was fun to bring someone into it with her.

MUFFIN PUTS ON A SHOW

Molly’s Dog Muffins

As Emily walked toward Miley’s house she heard Muffin barking wildly.  It didn’t take much to get Muffin going, especially when someone came to Miley’s door.

When Muffin’s fur wasn’t combed she looked just like the mop Mama used to wash the kitchen floor.  It was hard to see Muffins eyes because her unruly, floppy, fur covered them.  In spite of the fact that her eyes were covered she romped through the house, like a crazy messy mop, as fast as she could go.  Muffin put on a show, for Emily, that was so comical and her antics never failed to send her into fits of laughter.

Emily prepared herself to greet Muffin as she knocked on Miley’s front door. When Miley opened the door Muffin jumped up on Emily as if to exclaim, “Finally, you came to play with me!”  Muffin barked and danced happily jumping up on Emily over and over again.  Her tail was wagging like it was on fire. Emily laughed as she bent down to hug her neck.  In return, Emily received slobbery kisses all over her face.

Emily backed away as Muffin continued with her show by spinning and dancing around in circles on her back legs.  Miley and Emily laughed as they watched Muffin show-off.   As Emily was caught up in Muffin’s escapade, Miley glanced over at Emily and smiled affectionately.  “I’m so happy Emily came to my house, Emily is the kindest girl I know and she’s fun to play with too.”  

As Muffin tore through the house on another mission Emily asked, “Hey Miley do you want to come out and play with me?” “Sure” answered Miley, “I’ll go ask my mom and grab a jacket.”  As Miley took off toward the kitchen Emily hollered after her, “You won’t need a jacket, the sun is out and it is getting  hot!”

Miley quickly asked her Mom she if she could play with Emily.  Mom told Miley it was fine but to play in Emily’s yard or their own year.   Molly said, “Okay Mom, we’ll be at Emily’s,” and off she ran to grab Emily’s hand to head out for an adventure.

THE SUN FOLLOWS ME

As the two girls crossed the street Miley was chattering away “How about we play house?  I’ll be the Mom and you can be my little girl.”  Miley smiled happily as she looked at Emily, only to discover that her friend had that familiar glazed-over look in her eyes. The stare meant Emily was in her own little world.  Miley felt her cheeks get hot.  She knew Emily did not hear a word she said.

“Emily!” Miley scolded, “I’m talking to you!”  Emily, as if in deep thought responded, “Miley have you noticed that everywhere I go the sun follows me?” Miley wrinkled up her face in confusion, “What do you mean?” she chided. “Look,” explained Emily as she pointed to the sun, “When I walk this way, the sun follows me and when I turn, the sun turns with me.”

THE MORE THE MERRIER

Anderson Sisters

Just when Miley was about to tell Emily that the Sun most certainly does not follow her, the Anderson sisters, Katie, and Sara, came running up to them. “Hi guys,” Sara called out, “Can we play with you today?”

Emily quickly answered the girls question before Miley had a chance to say anything, “Yes, of course, you can play with us, the more the merrier,”  that’s what mama always said.

Emily thought the sisters were so cute. Sara was 6 years old and she had blonde hair that sometimes looked orange when the sun shined on it. Her big blue eyes were the color of the sky.  When she was afraid or excited she had the habit of twisting her hands over and over.  Sara was shy but Emily could always get her to talk and forget about being afraid.  Her sister Katie was 8 years old.  Katie’s hair was straight and very long.  The color of her hair was a brown but it changed, like magic, when the sun shined on it.  It had sparkling shades of red, yellow and brown.

Emily found it interesting to watch Katie’s green eyes because they were curious and an unusual shade, almost the same color as an emerald.   Emily thought of Katie as Sara’s other Mother because she was always close-by making sure people were nice to her sister.

Katie and Sara’s mom taught them from home.  Emily liked how polite and considerate both girls were.  They were a lot like their Mom who reminded Emily of her own dear Mama.

Who is the Boss?

The girls all ran to Emily’s playhouse. Their hair was flying in the wind.  All of the girls wore happy smiles on their faces. As Katie was about to go in the playhouse Miley yelled, “Hey, wait a minute, take your shoes off before going in the house!” Katie stopped and sighed deeply before taking her shoes off.

Once all the girls were inside Miley started to tell them her plan.  “Okay, girls!  We are going to play house today.  I am the Mom and all of you,” She said while pointing to each one, “will be my daughters.”

Emily studied Katie and Sara, who were looking at each other as if to say, “Here we go again.”  Emily decided someone had to stand up to Miley.  She turned to face Miley and said, “Miley you can’t always be the boss.”  She took a deep breath and continued, “There are four of us playing together, we can take turns being the boss or maybe we can talk about what we ALL want to do.”

Miley’s face turned red and her eyes darkened.  She glared at Emily, “Well!” said Miley with a huff, “If you don’t want to play house and be the daughters then I am going home!”  The sisters never said a word.  They looked at Emily to see what she would say.  Emily shrugged her shoulders and said, “Okay Miley, if you want to go home, it’s your choice.”  When Miley realized that they were not going to let her be the boss she turned around and stomped out of the playhouse hollering out,  “FINE, I know when I’m not wanted!”

Chapter 2 – Chores and Responsibility

EMMY’S FAVORITE DAY

Saturday is Emmy’s favorite day of the week. On Saturday, after doing the chores on her chore list, she is free to do whatever she wants to do.  One Saturday morning Emily was so excited to go outside that she almost forgot about her chores. I say ‘almost’ because little Joe caught her just as she was rushing out the door.

“Mama,” Little Joe yelled, “Emmy is going outside and she did not do her chores. “ Emily stopped dead in her tracks and looked back at little Joe, “Oh, little Joe,” Emily said frowning, “I might have made it outside if you had not opened your big mouth and tattled on me.”

Happy Saturday

Little Joe shrugged his shoulders and smiled innocently as Mama entered the room. “Emily dear, is it true you were going to sneak out before doing your chores?” “Well,” Emily said, “I was not really going to sneak out.   I just plain forgot, mama.  All I could think about was getting outside.  It’s a beautiful day and you know how much I love the sunshine.”

Mama smiled softly and Emmy noted the kindness and understanding in her eyes. Emily loved her Mama.  Looking at Emily, Mama said, “Emmy, I know how you love the sunshine and that you love to play, but you must remember that there are chores to do and as your Mama it is my job to teach you responsibility.  Do you remember what that word means Emily?” Emily tried to be pleasant and answered, “Yes Mama I do. Responsibility means to do the stuff I’m supposed to do so I can grow up to take care of myself and not be lazy.”  Mama shot Emily a bright smile and said, ,

RESPONSIBILITY

Emily ran to the hallway to look at the chore chart hanging on the wall. Her bedroom was the first room on the chore chart.  She read the chores for her bedroom and then set her feet toward her room. She started by making her bed. Emily carefully tucked in the corners of the top sheet and placed her pillow at the head of the bed.  Next, she picked up the end of her pink and green quilt and fluffed it in the air.  On the last

She started by making her bed. Emily pulled the top sheet over the bottom sheet until they were centered on the bed.  Then she carefully tucked in the corners of the top sheet and placed her pillow at the head of the bed.  Next, she picked up the end of her pink and green quilt and fluffed it in the air.  On the last shake, she landed it as close as she could to cover the whole bed.  She did a pretty good job!  She only had to pull the quilt a little bit down toward the foot of the bed.  Now she smoothed out the wrinkles and stood back to admire her work. A happy feeling skipped across her heart, just as it always did when Emily did an excellent job. Next, Emily picked up the toys and books that were on the floor.  She placed her books on the bookshelf and arranged them all neatly.

Red hair and freckles just like Emmy.

After arranging her books she picked up her toys.  The last toy Emily picked up was her favorite doll, Melinda.  Melinda was a Christmas present from Mama and Papa when Emily was only 3 years old.  Emily still remembered opening the present and finding an adorable, soft doll who looked just like her with red hair and freckles. She named her Melinda, after her cousin who also had red hair and freckles too. Melinda was her favorite playmate and the one who knew all her secrets.

Before placing Melinda on the end of the bookshelf, Emily hugged her close and kissed her on the top of her head.  After placing Melinda on the shelf she lovingly tucked her Teddy Bear named Berry and Scotty her stuffed Puppy on either side of her.

The last thing she had to do is to pick up the clothes on the floor.  She gathered the clothes, she should have picked up the night before, and hurriedly carried them to the laundry room.  Now it was time to check off the boxes on the chore chart.  Emily always got excited to check each chore off the list.

Chores and Responsibility

Emily’s extra chore for the week was to clean the sink and mirror in the kids bathroom.  Emily was a pro at this job.  Mama taught her how to squirt just enough cleaner into the sink to get rid of yuck and dirt. While the cleaner was working, mama says to let it set, Emily took a soft cloth from the cupboard and sprayed a tiny bit of cleaner on it.  She rubbed the faucet with the cloth until it sparkled.

Next, she grabbed the scrubber from under the sink.  Emily scrubbed hard being careful to scour every inch of the sink.  When she was sure every bit of dirt was gone, she rinsed the sink.  Emmy was careful not to splash all over the place when she rinsed the sink.

The sink was clean and sparkly.  She looked up from the sink and into the mirror.  “Yes, this mirror is dirty, it needs to be cleaned!” Emmy decided.  She reached under the sink to grab the window cleaner and went to work on the mirror.  Emmy lightly sprayed the cleaner all over it.  As Emmy Rubbed her cloth vigorously, over the mirror the splatters and smudges disappeared. Emmy stepped back and admired her work, then she focused on her face, thinking, “Mama says my freckles are angel kisses … but I sure wished they weren’t so red!”

Even though cleaning was not Emily’s favorite thing to do, she always felt proud of her work.  Emily learned a wise saying when she was a little kid, “Many hands make light work.” Emily was glad that she could help make the work lighter for her Mama.

 

Bear Hugs

Satisfied with her work, Emily took off running toward the door. As she ran she called back, “Momma, I’m done with my chores, I’m going to play outside now.” “Just a minute Ms. Emily,” she heard Mama call “Let me check your work.” Emily once again stopped dead in her tracks.  Another failed attempt to get outside, thought Emily trying hard not to be grumpy.

Mama came around the corner and smiled at Emily, “Honey, you know the rules; after you do your chores you need to ask me to check your work … right?” “Yes Mama,” answered Emily as she was thinking, “If I always did my chores like mama taught me, she probably would not have to check them every time.” Emily told herself that from now on she was going to do her best when doing her chores; After all, she reasoned, she was not a baby anymore.

Way To Go!

Following Mama to the bedroom, she stopped and watched mama’s eyes as they surveyed the room. Mama smiled as she said, “Great job Emily, I like how neatly you made your bed.” Emily was pleased that mama noticed; it made her feel happy inside. “Thank you, mama.” Emily replied. Next, Mama walked down the hallway toward the bathroom. As she turned through the door and walked into the room, Mama stopped suddenly putting her hand across her eyes. “Oh My,” she exclaimed, “The light bouncing off the faucet is blinding me.” Emily giggled and said, “Oh Mama you are silly.” “Yes,” Mama agreed, “I am your silly mama, and I am glad to say you did a super job with your chores today; now out the door with you before you miss any more of this beautiful day.”

KIDS STORIES THAT BUILD CHARACTER

Years ago I took a creative writing class in children’s literature.   It made sense to take this class because I loved to write and I understood the importance of investing in a child’s life.  The pen, is a powerful tool when it sets its tip to paper and engages the reader into its story.

I have always been drawn to children and their unabashed love for life, their transparency, and teach-ability.  It was a natural process for me to take my passion for writing and fit it to a child’s heart.  My desire is to make a difference in children’s lives.  This website will be the place I will endeavor to write kids stories that build character.

This blog is dedicated to kids and to any adult who takes the time to invest in their lives.  The stories in Emily’s Little Life are designed to capture a child’s attention as they impart practical examples of character qualities like  integrity, gratitude, honesty, forgiveness and more.  If I accomplish the goal of reaching kids hearts and drawing them into the desire to live lives of character, it will be an incredible worthwhile use of my abilities and time.

I believe that we, as those who influence, have been given a sacred responsibility to invest in children’s lives everywhere.  Children are the future.

CHILDREN ARE TEACHABLE

Young children are impressionable and teachable. It is vital to instill these character qualities in a child’s life while they are young. My desire to communicate character qualities grew stronger after having children of my own.

A properly nurtured child who has been protected from the evils of this world is filled with innocence, wonder, and gratitude. They are like a blank slate waiting to be filled. Children are learning by what they see, hear and experience through their sphere of influence.

 

HOW I GOT STARTED

when my children were growing up I purchased a series of books with stories that taught character qualities such as integrity, honesty, gratitude, responsibility, and More. I have searched for this category of children’s books for years with no success. A vision was birthed when it dawned on me that I could write a children’s series that teaches morals.

The story’s name popped into my head as I was thinking of the best way to teach a child important truths about morality. It appealed to me to write a story that would capture a little girl’s thoughts and impressions of her World. I named the children’s series Emily’s Little Life.

As the story of Emily’s Little Life unfolds character qualities and lessons, learned in Emily’s world, will be sprinkled throughout. The child reader will learn from story characters who possess character and morals. The characters in the story will be learning lessons about integrity, responsibility, honesty and the many attributes of goodness.

My goal is to convey these character qualities through the thoughts, feelings  and inner workings of living life and learning lessons in Emily’s Little World.

KIDS SAY THE DARNEDEST THINGS

Kids say the darnedest things. Over the years, I have collected the unique sayings and words I have heard from the kids in my life. Most of the sayings have come from my grandchildren but I also have used the words of other children.

I saved these words because I wanted to save the memories. I now realize these words, thoughts, and winsome conversations are treasures to be used in my writings from a child’s perspective.

I have kid tested the first three chapters of Emily’s Little Life with my grandchildren who laughed, “awed” and smiled as they listened to me read. They recognized phrases, sayings, and situations which were clearly something they said or did.  After reading the story to them, they asked when the next chapter would be finished.  It was just what I had hoped I would hear; like music to Nana’s ears.

Your input is welcomed with open arms.  I would love to hear how your child responds to one of my kids stories designed to build character.