10 Truth Bombs from RISE


She told us to go all in. To dance. To do all the things. To not let another women sit alone. To listen to each other’s stories. To cry. To dance it out. To be honest. Ane true. And real.

One week ago, I had the great privilege to attend the RISE conference in Los Angeles. You can read more about it in my post It’s Your Proud Moment – Take the Picture. I have attended several conferences in the past, but never a personal growth conference like RISE. I could talk to you for hours about every aspect and experience at RISE. I am still digging through everything myself. In order to save some time, and actually get this post written, I give you quick snippets from Rise. Also known as: 10 Truth Bombs from RISE.


I went to rise not knowing anyone. I had “met” a few women on Facebook including my two roommates, but I did not know anyone. My community was waiting. From the moment I stepped off my plane in L.A. women were ready to be real for each other. We all need real community, and sometimes we need to create it. I went alone. I left with sisters.



Women, we need to dress up! I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that many occasions to dress up for these days. Between dance recitals, baseball games and theater performances, I’m lucky to wear some cute accessories.

I was able to attend the VIP Garden Party at Rachel & Dave Hollis’ home. It was beautiful, and colorful, and L.A. and so much fun. We all wore floral and drank wine with flowers in it. I wore a strapless dress and RED heels. We share stories, and laughed and met “low-grade celebrities” as Jen Hatmaker call them.

I got to meet Rachel Hollis in person (even though I already feel like we are BFFs) and tell her all the things. My favorite picture is the one above where I am telling her who knows what, and she is completely listening. She was all-in during our conversation, even though there were 100 other women waiting to talk with her.


Rachel told us to go all in. To do everything that was asked of us, not matter how weird or uncomfortable we might feel. If you’ve never been to a personal growth conference, it might feel strange. We were asked to stand up, to dance, to yell things out loud, to hug, to meditate, to be honest. In order to get the most out of a conference, you need to do everything. So I went all in! I hugged strangers. I did the meditations. I dance on a stage in front of 700 women. I said yes to late night dinners and happy hours in hotels. I took selfies with women. I did ALL the things and came away so thankful for them.



Music and dance play a huge role in my family. We have always held dance parties in our kitchen and played music really loud to help change a mood. This conference was full of music and we stood up and dance at least once every hour, and sometimes a lot more. And that was before the epic 90s hip-hop dance party. I wrote about the role of music in my blog A Home Filled with Music so Rachel’s connection to music fit so well with me. Music and dance can pull you out of a bad mood in as little as one song. Give it a try!



Own your past, but know you are not stuck there. Jen Hatmaker says “you are far more than your worst day.” We are growing forward and we need to do it together.



Did you know that you’re not alone? That there are women who are ready to stand up with you? To support you, and help you, and cry with you? You are not alone in what ever it is that you are going through. I guarantee you that someone has walked in your shoes before and they are on the other side. Let’s start standing up for each other in love!



One of my favorite quotes from Rachel Hollis is ” Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” John Gordon says to kick those people off your bus. Jen Hatmaker said that Jessica Honegger calls it the “Itty-Bitty-Bulls**t-Committee.” We need to stop listening to the lies and listen to His truth!



Dave Hollis said “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” So true! So, what are you going to do to keep growing? I read at least one non-fiction book a month that pours into me and my dream. I listen to podcasts each week. I attend conferences like RISE every year. What you do might look different, but we can all keep growing in our own ways.



I heard from some amazing speakers at RISE, including Toi Sweeney (above) who said I must be made of sugar. 🙂 There are so many people we can learn from. Seek them out. In person or through their books or blogs or podcasts. Invite them into your life and listen.


Liz Smith (2)

This is who I am. Who God made me to be. I shouldn’t try to be someone else, or hide who I am because someone might not like it. God has given me a voice and is calling me to use it. I hope you will lovingly be authentically you!

So, I went to a conference called RISE. I did all the things! I talked with everyone. I danced on a stage in front of 700 women. I sat next to strangers. I listened to stories and I was real with mine. I shared Jesus. I cried. Oh, I cried. But then I chose to rise!

January Book Love

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“Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.”

As usual, I am in the middle of several books. Here are my January reads, for now. It’s only January 12th, so you never know what I might add to the list by the end of the month. Plus, I’ve already finished several of these. Here is a little snip-it about each one.


Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

My mom sent me this book for Christmas, and Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite fiction  authors. It is an engaging, riveting, hard and beautiful novel about parental love, friendship, privilege, prejudice, race, the justice system, compassion and loss. It was published in 2016 and is very fitting for the current times we are in.


The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkaneh

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher and have been helping launch this book. The Wife Between Us is a fast and fun psychological thriller. In similar fashion to Gone Girl, The Wife Between Us has the reader connecting to the characters in the first half of the novel without knowing the twists and turns that suddenly take place at the half-way point. This book had me guessing up until the final twist at the end of the novel. It is also being made into a movie by the same company that did Girl on a Train.


Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I just started this book today. Goodreads says “Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.” It’s also been turned into an award-winning show on HBO staring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Durn and Shailene Woodley. Sometimes, we just need a fun read!


Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker

I just finished re-reading this book last week. I was on the launch team for Of Mess and Moxie and received an advanced reader copy. With her wit and southern Texas charm, Jen Hatmaker reminds women how to find their moxie in the middle of thier mess. It’s a fun, inspirational read filled stories, recipes  and the connectedness that happens between women. I’m hosting a book club for this book later this month and Jen is doing some Facebook live videos for groups to join in. She makes me laugh out loud!


Girl, wash your face by Rachel Hollis

I love this book! It has been and continues to be such a blessing to be on the launch team for this. Rachel Hollis is the best friend I’ve never met in person! Girl, wash your face is like a letter from a best friend who see the God-given potential in you, and only wants the best for you. Rachel Hollis’ heart, passion and encouragement ring out pure and true in the pages of her new book. I just wrote a review for this book and you can read it here: Book Review: “Girl, wash your face” It is a perfect book to start in the new year.


The Dream of You by Jo Saxton

I am in the middle of this wonderful book. I also received an advanced reader copy of this book (Can you tell that I like to launch books?). Jo Saxton takes the reader on a walk toward our true identities and the dreams that we were created to live. She examines biblical figures and share her personal story as she invited the reader to turn to the One who know you intimately and love you deeply. Another perfect book for the new year.


A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I read this book in middle school, I believe, and our family read it together last summer as one of our summer reads. (We all read the same book, but on individual reading levels. Full novel, junior novel, graphic novel, easy reader book, picture book) I want to read it again before the movie comes out in March.


100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs

I am currently 12 days into this 100 day devotional. It’s all about unlocking your most courageous self. Annie encourages the reader to embrace the path and plan that God has for you. I started this book on January 1st and it’s been a great encouragement. I love the short chapters and the “Be Brave” moments at the end of each chapter, giving you something quick and practical to write down or to do.