Today is the 1st birthday of my precious Emma. Her birth was a WONDERFUL, MIRACULOUS time in my life.

I. God’s works are wonderful Psalm 139:4-16
A. Even before there is a word on Emma’s tongue, God knows it all. (v4)
B. God has created our baby’s inmost being and masterfully knit her together—tiny eyes, silky skin, & fragile bones. (v13)
C. She is truly fearfully & wonderfully made. (v14)
D. God watched over our baby in Amy’s womb—even as God weaved strands of DNA together and carefully selected genes that will imprint Lauryn with an utterly unique set of personal characteristics. (v15)
E. How amazing it is that every day of this baby’s future has been written in God’s book—even before one of them has come to be (v16).

II. With the Lord’s help Genesis 4:1
A. “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, ‘With the help of the Lord, I have brought forth a man.” The first mother must have felt so alone, confused, and overwhelmed during the first human pregnancy. But God stayed with her—even after Eve disobeyed God, failed her husband, helped ruin the Garden of Eden—God stayed with her to help her through all of the pain & joy.
B. Our delivery. Amazing!!!
C. Anne Tyler (Christian writer)—“I remember leaving the hospital . . . thinking, ‘Wait, are they going to let me just walk off with him? I don’t know beans about babies!’”

III. The Best-Laid Plans.
A. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
B. Our steps are directed by God, King of our lives—Prov. 20:24
C. And God’s plan for us will stand the test of time—Psalm 33:11
D. God knows our deepest wishes and concerns—Psalm 7:9
E. And God is always up to something wonderful for the ones God loves—Romans 8:28
F. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

IV. Oh, the Tiniest Toes!
A. “Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our maker.” Psalm 95:6
B. God has anticipated our Emma’s birth before time began—Psalm 139:15-16
C. Now that Emma’s here, ready to begin her life and to begin to do God’s will even before she can speak—she gurgles & coos God’s praises—Eph 2:10.
D. Everything God imagines & shapes is a wonder—Isaiah 25:1
E. How grateful I am that God’s unchanging goodness will always surround our Emma—Psalm 23:6
F. How God made our Emma in Amy’s womb is beyond understanding—Eccles. 11:5
G. He is the God who “forms the mountains and creates the wind”—(Amos 4:13)—and He made our baby’s ten tiny fingernails.
H. He is the God who “reveals His thoughts to man . . . who turns dawn to darkness”—Amos 4:13—and God put starlight in Emma’s twinkling button eyes.
I. He is the God who “treads the high places of the earth”—(Amos 4:13)—and He, the Almighty God, gave our child the softest feet.

V. Family Resemblances
A. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness.” 2 Cor. 3:18
B. May our baby’s beauty bring honor to God and grace to others her whole life.
C. May God protect her body, soul, and spirit from every harm. May He lift her up by His angels—Psalm 91:11
D. As she grows up, may God’s beautiful character glow from her like a light—Ephesians 5:8.
E. May she radiate what Paul described as “the fruit of the light . . . all goodness, righteousness, and Truth.”—Eph 5:9-10.
F. May her presence be prized because she is quick to share the good news of God’s saving love—Romans 10:15.
G. Like she looks like both me and Amy, our prayer is that with each passing day, may we increasingly reflect God’s glory as His Spirit transforms us into the beautiful likeness of Christ. 2 Cor. 3:18.

VI. A Dedication Prayer
A. As Hannah prayed for Samuel, we bring our baby before God, to give her back to Him because everything comes from God, and we are giving Him only what He has loving given to us. 1 Sam. 1:28 & 1 Chronicles 29:14.
B. We ask God to grant us wisdom to raise this precious gift of God.—James 1:5
C. May we always remember that Emma is a blessing from God, a reward and a heritage, and not a burden—Psalm 127:3.
D. We vow to raise her according to God’s ways and not our own, teaching her from day one to seek God with all her heart & soul. Deut. 4:29.
E. We dedicate our baby to God, confident not in ourselves, but in God’s wonderful faithfulness. 2 Timothy 2:13.
F. “How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people.” Psalm 116:12-14