Shannon Dittemore



You turn four years old today and there is something I want you to know. But not just today.

This is a truth for always.

First, you’re the most beautiful girl in the world. You are. And, I hope every mother and father feel the same about their child.

But your worth, baby girl, does not come from your appearance.

It doesn’t come from how tall you are or how short. It doesn’t hide in the pockets of skinny jeans or baggy sweatshirts.

Your importance doesn’t even come from how smart you are or how funny.

You can’t inherit value from your dad or me. It doesn’t come from the strength of our marriage, our flaws, or the cash we have in the bank. It doesn’t come from surviving the lack in those things either.

Your merit doesn’t swell from a pool of inner-strength or tumble down mountains of fortitude. It’s not determined by the friends you have or the ideals you cling to. It’s not even secured by the tragedies you overcome.

You are worth more–so much more–than any ring placed on your finger. More than any guy will ever pay for your dinner.

Worth more than your father and I could ever, would ever give you.

Because true worth, baby girl, doesn’t come from any of these things.

It is found only in the price already paid for your soul.

Your value was determined long before you were born, when the Creator of the Universe sent His only Son to die in your place.

You’ve been bought. God’s life for yours.

You’re worth so much more than you’ll ever comprehend, Jaz, and only now, as a mother, am I even remotely aware of the cost your Heavenly Father paid.

His child for mine.

It’s a cost unfathomable to me.

And yet, I’m so very glad He paid it.

For you.

For me.

For boys and girls ever-confused about their worth.

Be the light, baby. Point to Christ. To the price He paid.

Show the world how much they’re worth.

For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:7-8

NOTE: I first posted this last year, just before Jaz’s third birthday. I’ve made a few small changes to reflect the passing year, but the heart of my letter remains the same. There is nothing more important I could tell my baby girl as she turns four. Or five. Or thirteen. I hope she never forgets these words.




  • Comment by Jessie Andersen — August 10, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    Thanks for making me cry, Shannon! You words are ringing truth. I pray that my children will understand this truth as well.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment by Alicia Johnson — August 10, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

    This is beautiful and so very true. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Comment by Caryn Caldwell — August 14, 2012 @ 8:19 am

    That’s so sweet! I hope she had a wonderful birthday!

  • Comment by Lacey — August 14, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

    Love that you share these words for Jazlyn. Even better I get to read them and be reminded! 🙂 Thank you…

  • Comment by Holli Lyn Blanchard-Carrer — August 20, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    This has got to be the most beautiful thing I have ever read a mother say to her child. I commend you! Oh if all parents would pass on a holy inheritance of Christ’s love and sacrifice to their children! We would have a better world! God bless you, Shannon! 🙂

  • Comment by Jenisa — September 20, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

    Wow. Amazing.

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