It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Michigan. The past two days we have soft white twirling flakes falling everywhere. Oh, how I love this time of year.
Since Christmas is coming soon, so are the days of shopping for the ones we love. If you have little one’s may I ask that you take a look at the newest book in my Children’s Series?
🎄 The Christmas edition of the Love Lilly Series is called Lilly’s Colorful Lights.
In the Love Lilly Series, the main character is a delightful eight-year-old, named Lilly. Lilly is sure to capture your child’s heart.
In ‘Lilly’s Colorful Lights,’ Lilly takes you and your child on a fun filled adventure which soon becomes a mystery. As Lilly sits under the tree, waiting for the mystery to unfold, she is reminded of the heart of Christmas.
Enjoy connecting with your little one as you remember the reason for the season.
On the way home from school the kids on the bus were laughing and telling each other stories about their day. Emily sat quietly, looking out her window with her eyes glazed over. Yes, Emily was in her own little world again.
Caring for a Friend with Compassion
Today, when her friend Bethany came to school, Emily noticed her cheeks and nose were super red and she had tears running down her face. Emily’s heart filled with compassion and she wanted to comfort her friend.
At recess, Emily determined to find out why Bethany was upset. “Bethany,” Emily began, “Is something wrong?” Bethany looked down at her shoes. She didn’t answer Emily right away. It looked, to Emily, like she was trying to hold back the tears. Emily waited patiently. Emily decided to reach for her friend’s hand and as she did Bethany’s lip began to quiver. “Tell me what’s wrong Bethany,” said Emily. Bethany looked up at Emily, her eyes lashes were heavy with tears.
Bethany began, “I don’t know what to do Emily.” Bethany was trembling so Emily reached over and hugged her friend around the neck. Just then a giant flood of sobs came out of Bethany’s mouth. Emily could not imagine what would hurt her friend so badly that she sobbed out loud in public.
My Mom Wants a Divorce
When Bethany’s tears slowed down she spoke. “My Mom and Dad got into a big fight last night. They screamed at each other and then my Mom said she wants a divorce. My Dad didn’t care, he told her, go ahead, see if I care, I hope you find the life you are looking for!” Emily thought about what Bethany said, it was hard for her to understand. Her Mama and Daddy got crabby sometimes but they were never that mean to each other.
Jesus Cares and He Answers Prayer
Emily said a prayer, in her heart, asking God to help her be a good friend to Bethany. “I’m sorry Bethany, I can tell this is really hard for you.” Bethany shook her head, up and down, as fresh tears filled her eyes. Emmy patted her hand and looked deep into Bethany’s 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 and when Emily mentioned Jesus to Bethany, she 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 on earth 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 stopped in front of Emily’s house she ran 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 large front teeth. They had a big space between them and Emily thought they made Mr. Charlie special. She didn’t know anyone who had teeth or a smile like Mr. Charlie’s.
Walking toward the house Emily turned her thoughts back to Bethany. She wanted to talk to Mama about her friend.
Emily Felt Safe at Home
Opening the door she smelled 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. But when she thought of Bethany’s home she felt sad.
Mama was taking cookies out of the oven as Emily walked into the kitchen. “Mama I need to talk to you.” Emily began. Mama looked up and observed the worry lines on Emily’s forehead. Walking toward Emmy, Mama pulled her into a hug as she 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 some 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 tell her Emily?” “I told her I would pray for her and then I told her that she could pray too. I also told her Jesus cares about her more than anyone else does.” Emily paused for a moment and then remembered, “You know what mama? usually, Bethany doesn’t want to hear about Jesus, but today she asked me if I thought Jesus was real. I could hardly believe it!”
A Heart of Compassion
Emily watched Mama’s face and knew she was thinking everything through. “Emily, God has gifted you with a heart of compassion and I am thankful for how much you care for Bethany.
Mama continued, “I’m also happy Jesus used you today!” There was a twinkle in Mama’s eyes as she continued, “He used your words to prompt 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.
Did you know, Emily, many times God allows us to go through hard things to get our attention? Emily thought about that, it was a new idea to her.Mama placed her hand on Emily’s shoulder as she 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 heartache. “Mama, it felt so heavy in my heart to think of Bethany living in a house like that. But you helped me see it differently. Maybe God will use this hard time to grab Bethany’s heart.” “Yes, honey, I believe he will. We need to pray he works not only in Bethany’s heart but with her Mom and Dad too.” Mama continued, “Emily, how else do you think you could encourage your friend?” Emily’s eyes rolled up and to the left, which was her thinking expression, and then she said, “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 she felt like a weight lifted off her heart. She would give her friend to Jesus and ask him to help Bethany understand how much Jesus loves her and wants to make her his child. She would pray for Bethy’s Mom and Dad too. She will pray that they will learn to love each other. Emily’s excitement grew as she thought about all the ways God might answer her prayers.
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 understood the value of investing in a child’s life.
Emily’s Little Life is a kids story that builds character. Through Emily and the characters in the story, kids will be learning about the value of possessing character.
Teach Through 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 wish is to capture a child’s attention and teach through story. This website will be the place I will write kids stories that build character.
I dedicate this blog to kids and to any adult who takes the time to invest in their lives. The stories in Emily’s Little Life impart practical examples of character qualities like integrity, obedience, gratitude, compassion, responsibility, forgiveness and more. If I carry out the goal of reaching kids hearts and drawing them into the desire to live lives of character, it will be an incredibly 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 passion to communicate character qualities grew stronger after having children of my own.
A properly nurtured child protected the evils of this world, glow with innocence, wonder, and gratitude. This child is like a blank slate. Children learn from what they see, hear and experience through their sphere of influence.
A Children’s Series that Teaches Morals
You may wonder, what inspired this series, and 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 birthed that day, one that became reality when it dawned on me that I could write a children’s series that teach morals.
Story Characters who Possess 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, are sprinkled throughout. The child reader will learn from story characters who display different character qualities. The characters in the story learn lessons about integrity, responsibility, honesty and the many attributes of goodness and godliness.
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 Darndest 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. I have used them in my writings to convey 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 response to each story is encouraged. I would love to hear how your child responds to Emily’s Little Life.
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. This family is well-known for their friendly smiles, kindness, and busy lives. If you pass one of the Summerfield’s, 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 all around the front of it. There are colorful rocking chairs spread all across the porch which 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, is more exciting than anywhere else.
Love for people and Love of God
The Summerfield’s are known for their love for people and their love of God. On any given Sunday morning, the family can be seen walking hand in hand, walking to Greenberry Community Church.
Some of the Summerfield kids skip, some hop and others just stroll thoughtfully. As they talk amongst themselves, smiles light up their faces. Sometimes the family melts into fits of laughter which echoes happily 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 listens attentively and helps as best he can. When he plays basketball with the kids, Papa plays harder than any of the kids.
Most say that Papa lets them win. He is not like most Dads who are always busy with so much to do. No, he is like a big kid, except when he needs to be grown up. When a kid acts up or is rude or disrespectful, 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 always 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-talkin’ 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 go from stern to soft and sparkling in a split second. The kids all love all love Mama Summerfield, and she loves them right back. Laughter, hugs, cookies, and a listening ear is what Mama’s brings to the neighborhood kids on her Front Porch
Little Emily Is Mysterious
The star of our story, Emily, is nine years old. Her family and friends affectionately 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 carefully worked to make Emily’s hair appear neat and in order.
As Emily’s day goes by Mama’s styling skills get destroyed. Bits of Emily’s hair come loose and blow wildly in the wind. I guess hair is not something that matters to Emily but playing, running, skipping and laughing with her friends is what really 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 fearlessly challenges the bully and protects her charge. The thing is, bullies back down when Emily gets through talking to them.
Emily is a little mysterious too. 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 chooses to tell 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 sort of like an Egyptian princess.
Molly is one of those girls who rises above most others 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; it is mean to ignore some kids 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 bright red hair just like Emily’s.
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 very 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.
Little Joe is adored by all even though he can be annoying to his sisters, they just can’t help loving the baby of the family.
Viet Nam War Vet, Uncle Joe
Uncle Joe is Papa Summerfield’s Favorite brother. Little Joe, was named in honor of his Uncle. Uncle Joe has a walking stick, and he 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 Summerfield, but his hair is bright red. He has ginormous freckles splashed all over his face.
Sometimes Uncle Joe’s eyes look far away but at 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.
Somebody said Uncle Joe got 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 of the kids forget and blurts something out about the war, the rest of us hold our breath and cringe as we watch the pain escape from Uncle Joe’s eyes.
Uncle Joe never says a word but quietly 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 2
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 go outside and 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 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.”
Little Joe shrugged his shoulders and smiled innocently as Mama entered the room. “Emily dear, is it true you were going to 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 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, that’s right Emmy!
Completing Tasks on the Chore Chart
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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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. Looking up from the sink and into the mirror and noticed how dirty it was. 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 vigorously, little by little the splatters and smudges disappeared. Emmy stepped back and admired her work. As she looked into the mirror her focus went to her face, as she thought,“Mama says my freckles are angel kisses … but I sure wished they weren’t so 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, “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.
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.”
In Chapter three of Emily’s Little Life, we learn that Emily is going to spend her Happy Saturday with her friends Miley, Katie, and Sara.
The girls will 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 of the girls get mad and stomps 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 turn away from bad feelings and back to play? Will Selfishness Spoil Little Emily’s Day?
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! Emily squinted and stood still while her eyes adjusted.
The sky was filled with fluffy, white clouds. 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. 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 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 Miley she tried to take over and tell everyone what to do. Emily liked to be the boss too but Papa told her that she could not always be in charge. He explained that when you only think about what you want, it is 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 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 like the mop Mama used to wash the kitchen floor. It was hard to see Muffins eyes, her unruly fur covered them. In spite of the fact that 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. 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.
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. Her Mom, “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 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
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?”
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 and considerate 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 happy 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 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!”
This chapter is a short story on forgiveness for children. If you are a parent trying to teach the principles of forgiveness to your child; Know that teaching with stories for kids 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.
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!”