what i hope you know sweet girl….

 We will not hide these truths from our children;
    we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
    about his power and his mighty wonders.He commanded our ancestors
    to teach them to their children,
 so the next generation might know them—
    even the children not yet born—
    and they in turn will teach their own children.
 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
    not forgetting his glorious miracles
(psalm 78)

i remember vividly that celebration on august 22, 1997.
she was one.
she was a  happy & healthy, loved, toddler
i felt some tender sense of accomplishment
& security.
we were gonna be ok.
the scripture tells us to remind our children of the wonders He has done
the goodness He has given us.
so while some of you that have read my blog from years back will feel you’ve already heard this story,
it’s really for em today.
the story of her 
& how the lord blessed & kept her, and  how His face shines upon her.
i found out i was pregnant with you sweet girl &
we were overjoyed.
your sissy madison was only 8months old and savannah was about to turn 3.
days later daddy gregg would find a lump under his arm that would take his life
months later.
i was so worried about your safety while i carried you as i was exposed to chemo
and all the other things that come with cancer treatment.
we induced you on a week where daddy wouldn’t be in treatment.
you looked, & still do, just like him!
the very night you were born
he began to get much worse, even needing care while we were in the hospital after your birth.
days later he began to display symptoms that the cancer had spread to his brain
& as you know, passed away when you were only 10 weeks old.

i had no idea how i was going to raise you three tiny little girls. alone.
but sweet emi, we never were alone.
the Lord saw every tear we cried & heard every prayer.
you three continued to grow & blossom into happy beautiful little girls.

while there are many ways i have failed you girls
there are so many things i’ve done wrong
there is one thing i pray that i’ve taught you…
you are never alone (psalm 23)
you were always in the palm of His hand ( isaiah 41.10)
He knit you in my womb (psalm 139) while sickness and fear were in our home
He knows the hairs on your head
& He has a plan for your life. ( jer 29.11)

i pray i have always reminded you of how good the lord is
& how he has blessed you ( numbers 6.24)

i called you my angel baby because i know the lord sent you as a 
light to remind me of all those same truths.

daddy & i are so proud of you & who you are
how you love on your friends
how you give the benefit of the doubt
how you are always happy
& most importantly, how you love the lord.

happy sweet sixteen little em
how i love you so…

 i will tell of the LORD’s unfailing love. 
I will praise the LORD for all he has done. 
I will rejoice in his great goodness
isaiah 63.7

August 22, 2012 - 11:52 am

Johnson Party of seven! - Beautiful love story. It never gets old. I love The Knudsens!

August 22, 2012 - 11:54 am

Maria - Happy Birthday Emily! Eeek, it's hard to believe she is 16, Paige:) xo

August 22, 2012 - 11:55 am

Lindsey - Nothing like a tear-filled coffee cup to start my day! Loved reading the story from a different lens. Happiest of birthdays to you, sweet Emi! Praying that the Lord continues to bless you abundantly this upcoming year. Be the salt and light of Jesus!!

August 22, 2012 - 12:02 pm

Paige - Oh my goodness I feel exactly the same way about my Julianne. I'll never forget sitting in a doctors office and him telling Jeff and me we can NOT have any more children because of radiation ect. I felt Gods presence wash over me as I heard him gently tell me that He knew all along and blessed me early with my Julianne. If I had gotten ” my” way ( haha) I would have ” planned” to give birth to her at that time, not the year before. God is so good!!!

August 22, 2012 - 12:04 pm

Dana - such beautiful words of Truth…to pass on to such a beautiful young lady~ Well done!

August 22, 2012 - 12:22 pm

3 Peanuts - Happy Birthday to sweet sweet Emi! I am crying as I read this story. Emi is such a warm and tender girl. I adored her when I met her and I loved how she gently sat talking to Kate all that time. All of your girls radiate very special qualities but I could tell that one of Emi's was a generous and tender, listening heart. I am so impressed that she is working at Chic fila too. It seems most kids around here do not work and I don't like that. I think teens need to work a little. Will is exactly 2 months older than Emi (6/22/97). Who knows? Maybe we can set them up when they are in college?????

Happy Birthday Emi from Kim and Kate! (and Will, Dave and Harry too)

August 22, 2012 - 12:25 pm

3 Peanuts - Oops…I made a mistake….she was 1 on 8/22/97. So she is 10 months older than Will. Anyway, they'd still be adorable together!!!!

August 22, 2012 - 12:34 pm

LLH Designs - Oh, Paige. I could never hear your story too many times. Happy birthday to your new driver! xoxo!

August 22, 2012 - 12:52 pm

3 Peanuts - Kate wants to call Emi and tell her Happy Birthday later. Is that okay???

August 22, 2012 - 12:59 pm

Kerri - Happy Sweet 16th to Emi! A very emotional post in so many ways! May God continue to bless the Knudsens! XOXO

August 22, 2012 - 1:20 pm

Just Ask Beth - what a darling Angel..and such a joyous reminder of how great our God is!

August 22, 2012 - 1:57 pm

Talia - Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter! Hoping every moment is celebrated.

August 22, 2012 - 3:11 pm

Joanne - Happy Happy Birthday to such a lovely sweet girl!

August 22, 2012 - 3:29 pm

Lemonade Makin' Mama - What a cute pie. Happy Birthday Miss Em!! 🙂

August 22, 2012 - 4:38 pm

kasey - Happy sweet 16 Emily;-) I love hearing the story again….

August 22, 2012 - 5:32 pm

Home: Inside and Out - Happy Birthday Emi! Beautiful post, as always Paige. You made me cry!

August 22, 2012 - 5:43 pm

Brantlee - Such a sweet story. Happy Birthday Emily! May God bless you and your family.

August 22, 2012 - 6:09 pm

Kelly - can't stop wiping tears. such a beautiful testimony to God and his child.

August 22, 2012 - 8:01 pm

Kristin - Happy Birthday Beautiful Emily!

August 22, 2012 - 8:44 pm

Kim - Great post, Paige – SWEET! Where did Emi find her awesome, striped skirt???

August 22, 2012 - 9:23 pm

Sophie - happy birthday to your beautiful girl Emily!! She is a stunning girl and such a precious gift. God bless her always.

August 23, 2012 - 1:30 am

Debby - Happy Birthday to your beautiful girl. God knew what he was doing when he blessed you with her.

August 23, 2012 - 1:46 am

courtney defeo - em – what's up supermodel! i told you i want to have coffee with you one day. i just think you are awesome and now we are super bonded because of chick-fil-a. gorgeous photos. gorgeous testament of faith. keep being YOU and shining your light so bright for Him.

August 23, 2012 - 2:08 am

teresa sheeley - I am so happy to share this birthday day with such a special young lady. This was a great day to be born!! 🙂 Wishing you a year of God's brightest blessings and treasures from His heart. Happy Birthday Em!

August 22 girls rock!!

August 23, 2012 - 2:14 am

Amy - *tears* that was beautiful, paige!

August 23, 2012 - 3:55 am

Anonymous - happy birthday em! you are one beautiful and fortunate girl! celebrate your day –

August 24, 2012 - 9:06 pm

Between You and Me - Happy day to your sweet Emily.

she is just breath-taking, Paige…all of them are!

writing through tears….tears of sorrow but also tears of joy at God's faithfulness to be near to you during that horrible, tragic time.

3, 8 months and 10 weeks…only by God's grace!!!

August 25, 2012 - 1:52 am

janet - Your daughter is beautiful..
Happy Birthday..

August 27, 2012 - 2:35 pm

Alecia - What a beautiful story. I sit here in awe of God & how faithful He is. Thanks for sharing your story…it brings Glory to Him every time! I get teary each time I read it…for multiple reasons…sad for the loss you all had to experience, sad Emi didn't get to know her birth father very long, thankful to the Lord for sending you & your girls the incredibly godly man & father, Dan to love & care for you…I'm sure the list goes on & on for you!

August 29, 2012 - 2:55 pm

Jeannine - Oh, my, your story always brings tears to my eyes and hope to my heart. Belated blessings on Emily's birthday. She is a lovely young lady.