Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Friday 20th May 2011

For All the Daddies

Shoes of girls ready for the dance


No one can be all things to all people.

But to one little girl, a daddy can be everything.

I’ve heard it said that a little girl’s first impressions of her Heavenly Father are shaped by her earthly one.

Those are some big shoes to fill. But Daddy, she needs you.

She needs you to show up, just like those daddies last night, who traded their wrenches and workboots for pressed pants and neckties.  They showed up. And more than anything, that’s what those girls wanted: For you to show up.    

Twelve daddies showed up for twelve daughters. Those girls are in that awkward in-between place — just past little, but not quite yet big. It’s somewhere between Keds and high heels. It’s somewhere between flannel and sequins. It’s in that place where  gangly and graceful collide.

It that delicate place between Daddy Date night and the high school prom.

And it’s right now. It’s this moment.  

The girls wore chiffon and giddiness. The daddies wore sport-coats … and maybe a touch of nervousness? Some of your girls arrived while clinging to your arms; others ran six steps ahead. But they all think the world of you, you know. They need you to show up, Daddy.

And I watched you. You were available and dependable — with just the right amount of goofy. You did the Chicken Dance — all 12 of you — and you went under the limbo stick.

Yeah, I know. All earthly fathers mess up. And maybe you think it’s too late to be her hero.

But she still believes in you. She needs you to walk next to her. She still wants to bury her hand in yours. She thinks you’re funny and charming and the safest place in all the world.  

There is only one you, Daddy.

And trust me: She still thinks the best seat in the house — hands down — is right next to you.

Daddy Date Night

Photos from Daddy Date Night last night, a fitting close for a year with the local Daughters of the King club.

  • I wish I had daughters…but I know “being there” for my sons is something I’ll never regret. Nor will they.

  • So true…so very true!

    Thanks for making me cry this morning~

  • wow jennifer… beautiful.

  • Monica Duenes

    Thank you for the beautiful post! You made me cry too! 🙂 I did not grow up with a father and I know that is a big void in a little girl’s life. I am so very thankful that God has blessed me with a husband who is a loving daddy to his girls (and sons too!). It even helps to fill my empty “heart-spot” when I see him with them.

  • so lovely. makes me want to go hug my dad

  • omg Jennifer … there aren’t any words to express all the emotions running through my brain and heart right now because of this post.

    “But she still believes in you. She needs you to walk next to her. She still wants to bury her hand in yours.”

    After 30 years of not really having a relationship with my dad, these words are ringing loud and clear in my own life right now …

    Wow. Your words busted every wall I had today.

  • Oh, Jennifer. Between Keds and high heels. How true. My husband and daughter have Daddy Daughter dates. They ride bikes or just get lunch. I love to watch their relationship grow and change, and my daughter would jump at the chance to attend something like this. How fun.

    By the way, love your photos.

  • 12 going on 20.
    Slipping into sequins and makeup
    The child still there–barely

  • Oh, it makes me think of my brother and his little girl…..what a beautiful post! Lori

  • So sweet. The feminist takeover has, sadly, minimized the role of the man to where he seems disposable. But as you write, he is NOT. These girls will remember this and their daddies.

  • Love it! What a wonderful post with a beautiful message.

    Blessings, Joan

  • What a beautiful post. My father is so special to me still, and needed even though i am 28!

  • Yes Jennifer – just yes.
    That picture is beautiful.

  • McNarney

    Finally, a recent picture of Scott!

  • and now I miss mine … very much …

  • Dave

    Your post, Jennifer, determines this from me:

    I’m not allowing my 12-year-old daughter to EVER grow up.

    OK, OK – I’ll let her grow up so I can walk her down the aisle at her wedding – but I’m not giving her away to some groom; no one could ever possible be good enough to deserve my daughter.

    (Note to self: Always have tissues at hand while reading posts on the ‘Getting Down With Jesus’ blog)

  • I don’t care how old we are, we’ll always be our daddy’s girls. 🙂

    Thank you for this beautiful post, Jennifer. You have blessed my heart this day!


  • Beautiful and true. My girl is 12 and LOVES her Daddy!

  • You had me with that cute picture of all those legs and feet and shoes – and of course the boots. What a beautiful thing for a little girl to feel beautiful and special to her daddy.

  • This is so great, Jennifer. It is a huge responsibility and an source of incredible joy. Thanks so much for this.

@suzanneeller It's a short flight south! The guac awaits. ❤️🇲🇽🍹🌴🌊