Hello Kids, It’s almost Easter! In most households kids are dying eggs and getting ready to find their Easter baskets on Sunday. While these activities are fun, I want you to remember why we really celebrate Easter.
This is the day we celebrate our Jesus. Up from the grave He arose! He died on the cross, then they put him in a tomb, They wrapped his body in grave clothes BUT he rose from the grave and today – He’s ALIVE!
He gave His life so we could live eternally in heaven someday. God, his father, cannot look at sin – and we all sin. So God sent His only son to take our sin in his body and pay the price for sin – death. “The wages for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Ask Mommy or Daddy to explain how you can receive the gift God offers to anyone who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
I have a special treat for you today. This little girl is just precious. Tears pooled in my eyes as I listened and watched her worship her little heart out! Is He Worthy? He is!
During these days of being called to stay inside, we need hope. We need peace.
Sing along with 5-year-old Claire Ryann Crosby and her Dad.
There is peace in Christ – When we learn of Him – Feel the love He felt for us When He bore our sins – Listen to His words – Let them come alive – If we know Him as He is There is peace in Christ – He gives us hope – When hope is gone – He gives us strength When we can’t go on – He gives us shelter – In the storms of life – When there’s no peace on earth There is peace in Christ – There is peace in Christ – When we walk with him Through the streets of Galilee to Jerusalem – Mend the broken hearts – Dry the tear-filled eyes When we live the way He lives – There is peace in Christ – He gives us hope When hope is gone – He gives us strength – When we can’t go on – He gives us shelter In the storms of life -When there’s no peace on earth – There is peace in Christ – He gives us hope When hope is gone – He gives us strength – When we can’t go on – He gives us shelter In the storms of life – When there’s no peace on earth – There is peace in Christ When there’s no peace on earth – There is peace in Christ
I hope Claire and her Dad filled your hearts with Peace. That peace is in Christ Alone. He never leaves us and he is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Climbing up the steps of the school bus, Emily’s thoughts felt heavy. She slid into the first seat by the window. Gazing outside, the vivid colors of green grass, yellow flowers, and blue skies caught her attention. “God made such a beautiful world,” she thought. Then everything blurred. The other kids laughed at each other’s stories but Emily wasn’t listening. Yes, Emily was in her own little world again.
Compassion for a Friend
Today, when Emily’s friend Bethany walked into class, her cheeks and nose were super red. Tears trickled from her eyes. Emily’s heart filled with compassion. How could she comfort her friend?
At recess, Emily determined to learn what upset Bethany. She spotted her friend sitting on their favorite rock. As she approached Bethany, she said, “Hey, Bethany, is something wrong?” Bethany looked down at her shoes and bit her lip. Emily waited while Bethany gathered her thoughts, then she reached for her friend’s hand. As she did, Bethany’s lip quivered. “Tell me what’s wrong, Bethany.” Bethany looked up at Emily, tears lay heavy on her lashes
“I don’t know what to do Emily.” Her voice trembled, so Emily reached over and hugged her friend around the neck. A giant wave of sobs came out of Bethany’s mouth. Emily could not imagine what hurt her friend. Bethany never sobbed out loud in public before.
My Mom Wants a Divorce
When Bethany’s tears slowed, she said, “My Mom and Dad had into a huge fight last night. They were shouting and my Mom said she wants a divorce. My Dad told her, ‘Go ahead, see if I care, I hope you find the life you are looking for!'” Emily crinkled her nose, she did not understand how parents could act like that. Her mama and daddy got crabby sometimes, but they had a big fight and they never talked about divorce.
Jesus Cares and He Answers Prayer
Emily sent up a prayer asking God to help her be a good friend to Bethany. “I’m sorry, Bethany, I can see this is hard for you.” Bethany shook her head, up and down. Fresh tears filled her eyes. Emmy patted her hand and looked deep into her eyes. “I will pray for you and you can pray too, Bethany. Jesus cares and he hears our prayers.”
Emily knew Bethany didn’t go to Church. In the past, when Emily mentioned Jesus, Bethany changed the subject. But today she didn’t, instead, she asked, “Emily, do you really believe that Jesus is real?” “Yes, I do, I really do. There is no one who will ever care for you more than Jesus.” Emily heard Bethany take a deep breath, she looked relieved.
Emily’s bus stop was next. After the bus pulled up to Emily’s house, she dashed to the front. The bus door opened, and Emily turned to the bus driver saying, “Thanks, Mr. Charlie, I will see you tomorrow.” Mr. Charlie smiled. Emily spotted his two front teeth that had a big space between them. She didn’t know anyone who had teeth or a smile like Mr. Charlie’s.
Walking toward the house Emily’s thoughts turned back to Bethany. She wanted to talk to Mama about her friend.
Emily Safe Place
Opening the door, Emily breathed in the smell of cookies baking. Mama called to her, “Emmy is it you?” “Yes, mama, it’s me.” Emily felt warm inside when she heard Mama’s voice. She felt safe when she was home.
Mama was taking cookies out of the oven as Emily walked into the kitchen. “Mama, I need to talk to you.” Mama looked up and noticed the worry lines on Emily’s forehead. Mama pulled her into a hug and gently kissed her on top of the head. “What is it, sweetie?” “Mama, Bethany’s parents got in a big fight last night and said awful things to each other. Her mom said she wants a divorce and her dad said, he didn’t care. Mama, poor Bethany was a mess today.”
Mama looked concerned. “What did you say to her Emily?” “I told her I would pray for her and she could pray too. I also told her Jesus cares about her more than anyone else.” Emily paused for a moment and then remembered, “Know what mama? Usually, Bethany doesn’t want to hear about Jesus, but today she asked me if I thought Jesus was real. It surprised me!”
A Heart of Compassion
Emily studied Mama’s face. Her eyes looked beyond Emily. She was thinking everything through. “Emily, God has gifted you with a heart of compassion and I am thankful for how much you care about Bethany.“
Mama continued, “Jesus used you today!” There was a twinkle in her eyes. “He used your words to cause Bethany to think about Jesus. Your friend is hurting and we both know that only Jesus can reach into Bethy’s heart and give her peace.”
“Do you know, sometimes God allows us to go through hard times to get our attention?” Emily thought about that, it was a new idea to her. Mama placed her hand on Emily’s shoulder and said, “Let’s pray that Bethany continues to ask questions about Jesus and that Jesus opens her heart to receive his gift of salvation … In the meantime, she also needs a loyal friend to walk beside her in her pain.”
Mama always knew how to help Emily work through a hard time. “Mama, it felt so heavy in my heart to think of Bethany living in a house like that. But you helped me look at it differently. Maybe God will use this hard time to get Bethany’s attention.” “Yes, honey, I believe he will. We need to pray he works not only in Bethany’s heart but with her Mom and Dad’s too.” Mama continued, “Emily, how else do you think you could encourage your friend?” Emily’s eyes rolled up and to the left, “Hmm, Maybe I’ll ask her to come to our house this Friday night. It will give her a break from the fighting and let her have some fun with our family?” Mama smiled and said, “Good idea, Emily, I like how you think!”
Turning Her Friend over to Jesus
After Emily talked to Mama, a weight felt lifted off her heart. She asked Jesus to help Bethany understand how much he loves her and wants to make her his child. She would pray for Bethy’s Mom and Dad too. She would pray that they learn to love each other. Emily was excited about all the ways God might answer her prayers.
Meet the Summerfield’s, is an introduction to Emily’s Little Life. In this chapter, you will catch a glimpse into the heart of each member of the Summerfield family.
The Summerfield family lives in the small town of Greenberry. The Summerfield’s are kind, caring and fun. If you pass one of the family on the street, you can count on a cheerful smile and a warm hello.
The Summerfield house sits on three acres of beautiful grassy land. The big, white house has a large, welcoming porch that wraps around the front of it. There are colorful rocking chairs spread all across the porch. The chairs seem to call out, “Come, sit awhile and enjoy the family.” When you visit the Summerfield’s, it seems like time stands still. Everything that goes on, at the Summerfield’s seems more exciting than anywhere else.
Love for people and Love of God
The Summerfield’s respect people and they love God. On Sunday mornings, the family walks hand in hand, on the road to Greenberry Community Church.
Some skip, some hop and others stroll. As they talk amongst themselves, smiles light up their faces. Sometimes, the family melts into fits of laughter, echoing merrily through the streets.
Most everyone who knows the Summerfield family wished they were a Summerfield. If you play at their house, Mama and Papa Summerfield take you in as one of their own. The doors of the Summerfield house are always open, especially to the neighborhood kids.
Papa Summerfield Loves Kids
Six people live in the Summerfield house. Papa Summerfield, the Dad, is tall with a head full of dark curly hair. After work each day he heads for the big porch with an energetic jig and an expectant smile on his face.
Papa Summerfield loves kids, and he always has time for the kids on the block. When one of them wants help with a problem, Papa focuses and helps as best he can. When he plays basketball with the kids, Papa plays harder than any of the kids.
Most of the kids think Papa lets them win. He is not like most Dads who are too busy with so much to do. No, he is like a big kid unless he needs to be the authority. When a kid is disrespectful, acts up or sasses, they can count on seeing the adult side of him.
The neighborhood kids like it when Papa Summerfield ruffles their hair and pats them on the back saying, “Atta boy” or “Atta girl.”
Mama Summerfield Beautiful and Kind
Mama Summerfield is beautiful and kind. There is laughter in her eyes and a curling up at the sides of her lips. Her long blonde hair sparkles in the sunshine.
No one can ever remember Mama Summerfield getting mad. That does not mean Mama Summerfield doesn’t give the kids a-talking to if they misbehave. If a kid is selfish, rude or ornery, Mama Summerfield stops everything and takes that little squirt aside to impart a little wisdom.
After a Mama Summerfield talk, no can be mad at her because her eyes move from stern to soft and sparkling in a split second. The kids love Mama Summerfield, and she loves them right back. Laughter, hugs, cookies, and a listening ear is what Mama brings to the neighborhood kids.
The Mystery of Little Emily
The star of our story, Emily, is nine years old. Her family and friends call her Emmy. Her hair is bright red and blends perfectly with the crimson freckles that dance across her nose. Every day Mama puts Emily’s hair into a ponytail, pigtails or braids But by the end of the day, there is no evidence that Mama worked to make Emily’s hair look pretty and neat.
As Emily’s day flies by, Mama’s styling skills get destroyed. Bits of Emily’s hair fall loose and blow wildly in the wind. Hair is not something that matters to Emily but playing, running, skipping and laughing with her friends matters.
Emily has a lot of spunk, and she knows how to stand up for herself and for her friend’s too. If somebody is mean to a kid, Emily challenges the bully and protects her charge. The thing is, bullies back down when Emily gets through confronting them.
Emily is a bit of a mystery. Sometimes, it seems she gets lost in her own little world. She is always thinking, thinking, thinking! You never know what is going on inside that red head of hers unless she tells you.
Molly Rises Above Most Other Kids
Molly is the oldest kid in the Summerfield family. She is eleven years old and pretty, like her mama, but her long dark hair is thick and black like her Papa’s.
Her unusual large gray eyes, along with her rich dark hair make Molly look like an Egyptian princess.
Molly is one of those girls who rises above most other kids. She is courteous to everybody at all times.
Molly sees the best in people and does not choose favorites, so guess what? Everybody likes Molly, except for the kids in clicks who get mad because she won’t join their group.
Molly won’t be part of a group that excludes other kids pretending like no one else exists. Nope, Molly, will not join them; One of her sayings is, “It is mean to ignore some kids while thinking you are better than them.”
Little Joe is Adored by All
Little Joe is the youngest member of the Summerfield family. His Papa calls him Wee Man. He is six years old and has golden hair.
He too has freckles spattered across his nose. Mama Summerfield calls his freckles angel kisses. Little Joe’s eyes are twinkly and bright blue; They seem to smile whenever his mouth turns up on the sides.
Little Joe is always ready with hugs for anyone who opens their arms to him. He is animated when he plays with his toy cars making those horrible, loud, boy noises like brummm and Urrrrrrrrrk, Pshhhhhhhhhh as he plays with his cars and crashes them together.
When Papa wrestles with him, the two of them fill the whole house with laughter and fun.
Everyone adores little Joe even though he annoys and pesters his sisters. They just can’t stay mad at the baby of the family.
Viet Nam War Vet, Uncle Joe
Uncle Joe is Papa Summerfield’s Favorite brother. They named little Joe in honor of his uncle. Uncle Joe has a walking stick, and wears a patch over one eye. Most of the time, Uncle Joe wears a black hat with the word Vietnam running across the brim of the cap.
Uncle Joe is tall like Papa, but his hair is bright red. He has enormous freckles splashed all over his face.
Sometimes Uncle Joe seems far away but other times he’s right there whistling, singing or wrapping a kid in one of his big bear hugs.
Uncle Joe is a Vietnam Vet and though he rarely talks about his life in Vietnam; the kids know he is proud that he served his country. The kids are proud of Uncle Joe too.
Somebody said Uncle Joe got a hit when a grenade blew up right in front of him. Papa says Jesus is the one who saved Uncle Joe’s life and brought him back home to the family.
The kids know not to ask personal questions of Uncle Joe. When one kid forgets and blurts something out about the war, the rest of them hold their breath and cringe as pain escapes from Uncle Joe’s eyes.
Uncle Joe never says a word but turns away and busies himself with a chore. The kids have learned to wait until Uncle Joe is in the mood to tell them about the days of war.
EMILY’S LITTLE LIFE – Chapter 1
The next chapter on Emily’s Little Life will be about Chores and Responsibilities. On a bright and sunny day, Little Emily can hardly wait to play. She’s almost out the door when Little Joe stops her in her tracks. Come along and see what happens in chapter two of Emily’s Little Life.
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. But today, the sun is shining and inviting. Can Emily have fun with chores and responsibilities?
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 didn’t do her chores.” Emily stopped dead in her tracks and scowled, “Little Joe! Thanks for tattling on me!” She huffed.
Little Joe shrugged his shoulders and smiled innocently. Just then, Mama entered the room. “Emily, is it true you would sneakout 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 Teaches Responsibility
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 love to play, but you must remember there are chores to do and as your Mama, my job is 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, that’s right, Emmy!
Completing Tasks on the Chore Chart
Emily ran to the hallway to see the chore chart hanging on the wall. Her bedroom was the first room on the chart. She studied the chores for her bedroom and set off toward her room.
She began by making her bed. Emily pulled the top sheet over the bottom sheet until centered on the bed. She tucked the corners of the top sheet under the mattress and placed her pillow at the head of the bed.
Next, she picked up the end of her pink and green comforter and fluffed it in the air. On the last shake, she threw it over the bed and it landed neatly. “amazing!” She pulled the quilt toward the foot of the bed. She smoothed out the wrinkles and stood back to admire her work.
Happiness skipped across her heart, as it always did when Emily did an excellent job. Next, Emily picked up the toys and books on the floor. She placed her books on the bookshelf and arranged them.
Picking up her toys, she spotted her favorite doll. “Come here Melinda,” she murmured as she reached for her. Emily was only 3 years old when Mama and Papa gave Melinda to her for Christmas. Opening her present, she gasped as her eyes fell on an adorable, soft doll who looked like her. She even had red hair and freckles. Emily named her doll after her cousin, who also had red hair and freckles. Melinda was her favorite playmate and the one who knew all her secrets.
Before placing Melinda toward the end of the bookshelf, Emily hugged her close and kissed her on the top of her head. “Now our room is tidy and clean, enjoy your day, Melinda!” Emily smiled as her eyes scanned the room. She grabbed Berry, her teddy bear and Scotty, her stuffed puppy and tucked them on either side of Melinda.
The last thing on her list was to pick up the clothes on the floor. She gathered the clothes and 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.
Cleaning the Kids Bathroom
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 showed her how to squirt just enough cleaner into the sink to clear it of yuck and dirt. While the cleaner was working, Emily grabbed a soft cloth from the cupboard and sprayed a bit of cleaner on it. She rubbed the faucet with the cloth until it sparkled.
Next, she found the scrubber under the sink. Emily scrubbed the sink hard, being careful to scour every inch. When she was certain she cleaned every bit of dirt, she rinsed the sink. Emmy was careful not to splash.
The sink was clean and sparkly. Looking up from the sink and into the mirror, she saw the dust. She reached under the sink, grabbed the window cleaner and went to work on the mirror. First Emmy lightly sprayed the cleaner all over it. Then she rubbed her cloth over the splatters and smudges until they disappeared. Emmy stepped back and admired her work. As she looked into the mirror her focus went to her face, “Mama says my freckles are angel kisses, but I sure wished they weren’t so big and red!”
Many Hands Make Light Work
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.
Mama Checks Emily’s Work
Satisfied with her work, Emily took off running toward the door. As she ran she called back, “Mama, 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 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. “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, I am not a baby anymore!”
Following Mama to the bedroom, she stopped and watched mama’s eyes as they surveyed the room. Mama smiled, “Great job Emily, I like how neatly you made your bed.” Emily was pleased 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, she 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.”
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Col. 3:23
In Chapter three of Emily’s Little Life, we learned that Emily will spend her Happy Saturday with her friends Miley, Katie, and Sara.
The girls experience some trouble in this chapter. One of them will try to take over and be the boss. Emily takes a stand against selfishness. One girl gets mad and stomps home.
It is Emily’s favorite day, and she wants nothing or anyone to spoil it. What will she say to help her friends hurt feelings and back to play? Will Selfishness Spoil Little Emily’s Day?
Emily’s chores are behind her and mama approved. Feeling happy, she ran out the door feeling like a bird set free from its cage. The blazing sun stopped Emily in her tracks. “Wow, it’s super bright out here!” Emily squinted and stood still while her eyes adjusted.
Fluffy white clouds hung in the sky. As Emily studied the clouds, one of them caught her attention. “That one looks like an elephant.” Standing in the rays, Emily closed her eyes and bent her head back to feel the warmth on her face. “I love it! It is a perfect day for play.”
Emily’s friend Miley lived across the street. Miley was Emily’s age, but she didn’t go to school with Emily. Miley went to a private school.
Miley was taller than Emily and she wore glasses. Emily thought the glasses made her look smart. Miley had short, dark brown hair that poofed out in the back. Miley told Emily her hairstyle is a Bob. Emily thought it was a weird name considering Miley was a girl.
Emily liked to play with Miley, but sometimes she didn’t. Every time Emily and her friends played with her, Miley tried to take over telling everyone what to do. Emily liked to be the boss too, but Papa told her she could not always be in charge. He explained that when you only think about what you want; you are acting selfish. Emily figured no one taught Miley about selfishness.
Emily shared her little life with Miley from time to time, and today was one of those times.
Muffin Puts On a Show
As Emily walked toward Miley’s house she heard Muffin barking up a storm. It didn’t take much to get Muffin going, especially when someone came to Miley’s door.
Before Muffin’s fur was combed she looked like the mop Mama used to wash the kitchen floor. It was hard to see Muffins eyes, her unruly fur covered them. Although her eyes were covered, she romped through the house as fast as her little legs could go. Muffin put on a show for Emily. Muffin never failed to send Emily into fits of laughter.
Emily prepared to greet Muffin. She knocked on Miley’s front door. When Miley opened the door Muffin jumped on Emily as if to say, “Finally, you came to play with me!” Muffin barked and danced while jumping on Emily over and over again. Her tail was wagging like it was on fire. Emily laughed and bent down to hug her neck. In return, Emily received slobbery kisses.
Emily backed away from Muffin. But Muffin continued her show by spinning around in circles on her back legs. Miley and Emily laughed as they watched Muffin show-off. Emily got lost 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.
When Muffin tore through the house on another mission Emily asked, “Hey, Miley do you want to come out and play with me?” “Sure, I’ll go ask my mom and grab a jacket.” As Miley took off toward the kitchen Emily hollered, “You won’t need a jacket, the sun is out and it is getting hot!”
Miley asked her Mom she if she could play with Emily.
“Sure, Miley, but stay in either our yard or Emily’s okay?”
“Okay Mom, we’ll be at Emily’s.”
And off she ran to grab Emily’s hand and 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. But Emily had that familiar glazed-over look in her eyes. The stare meant Emily was in her own little world thinking her own little thoughts. 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 blinked and squinted at her friend,
“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
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.
“Hi guys,” Sara called out, “Can we play with you today?”
Before Miley could answer, Emily addressed the girls,
“Yes, of course, you can play with us, the more the merrier.”
Emily thought the sisters were so cute. Sara was 6 years old. Her baby-fine blonde hair fell softly and framed her angelic face. Her big blue eyes, the color of the sky, were serious as they studied you. When she was afraid or excited, she had the habit of twisting her hands over and over. Though Sara was shy, Emily had a way of getting 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 chestnut brown. Emily found it interesting to watch Katie’s green eyes because they held curiosity and were an unusual shade, like the color of an emerald. Emily thought of Katie as Sara’s other Mother because she kept Sara close, making sure people were nice to her.
Katie and Sara’s mom taught them from home. Emily liked how polite both girls were. The girls were a lot like their Mom, who reminded Emily of her own dear Mama.
Who is the Boss?
After Emily welcomed the Anderson girls to join them, they all ran to Emily’s playhouse. Their hair flying in the wind and carefree smiles covering each face made quite the picture. But, as Katie approached 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. Sara looked at Emily as if to say, Who’s the Boss?
Once all the girls were inside Miley told 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, 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 my 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 would not let her be the boss she turned around and stomped out of the playhouse hollering out,
This chapter is a brief story on forgiveness for children. If you are a parent trying to teach the principles of forgiveness to your child; Know that teaching in story form helps your child absorb concepts. May God use this story to speak to the heart of your child.
Selfishness Spoils a Kids Day
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! 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
“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, “Could it be Cooper hurting is 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 when 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 Emily.
Mama laughed softly as her mouth turned into 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.
Forgiveness is a Choice
“First of all, understand that you have a choice. You can choose to 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.
Consequences of Holding on to Anger
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.
Don’t Give your Power Away
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.”
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 now like mama taught me to forgive. I give Miley to you Jesus … and now I will be free from resentment and choose 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 playhouse.”
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, “mm” and “ooh,” 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 could to stay and play, if they wanted. 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 eat.”“Great!” replied Emily, “See you after lunch.”
Emily Offers 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 hanging down, “I’m sorry I was being bossy again, can we start over?”
Emily 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 turn 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.
This writing is for parents and caregivers. It is centered on Forgiveness, which is vital to living a life free of bitterness and burdens.
As Parents we are entrusted, by God, to raise up a godly generation. My heart’s 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 103:8-11 “The 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”
Matthew 5:22-24But 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.
“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.”
BEFORE YOU PRAY – 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
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
Little Joe liked being the youngest kid in the family, 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 to make his bed, pick up his toys and brush his teeth after eating. He was learning to do the dishes and mama said he was getting good at becoming responsible.
His favorite friend to play with was Timmy. Timmy was little Joe’s neighbor. Little Joe was allowed to play with Timmy after his chores were done each day.
Even though Little Joe was allowed to play with Timmy, Mama said he must 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, why couldn’t he?
One day when Timmy and Little Joe were playing ball, the ball rolled across the street. Little Joe knew that he could not leave the yard but he was tempted. It would only take a split second to grab the ball and bring it back to the yard. Before he knew it his little legs were running as fast as they could. He wanted to get the 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 thought he was going to be hit.
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 pretty 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 as his legs went 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 around the back of his neck. Hot tears welled up in his eyes. His legs and his whole body started shaking. He was afraid to look up. Why didn’t I call for Uncle Joe to get the ball for me?
When Little Joe looked up the man from the white car was standing next to Uncle Joe. He looked a lot like his grandpa. Little Joe thought the man should be mad, but he wasn’t. He offered Little Joe his hand and guided him to the bench at the edge of the property. “Are you okay young man?” said the grandpa. Little Joe looked at his gentle blue eyes and answered, “I think so.” “Well, okay then son, I’ll be on my way, please be careful next time, okay buddy?” said the Grandpa as he patted him on the back.
After the man in the white car drove off, Uncle Joe looked at Little Joe and spoke softly, “Little Joe, are you really okay?”
Little Joe shook his head, yes but 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, chin up, you’re safe now.” “Why do I always disobey the rules, Uncle Joe? I know the rules but I just don’t want to obey them.” cried Little Joe.
Hard to Follow Rules
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 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 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 as she 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 was beginning to understand why Mama and Papa said the rules in the Summerfield family must be obeyed. If a rule is broken, there is always 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?” she asked
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 in 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 might 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 coulda got killed, Little Joe! You coulda 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, and said, “Come on Buddy let’s play ball!”