Big Dreams & Crying Over a Picture Book

Untitled design (19)I believe in big dreams. I believe God gives us these big dreams for a reason. I also believe that no one has the right to tell you that your dreams are too big. No one. Not even yourself.

Our family dreams. We encourage our children to dream. Then we make solid plans and create steps to make those dreams become reality. A little while ago, I wrote about a time when my oldest daughter was told her dream was just a wish that would not come true. (You can read it here.) Her big, bold, beautiful dream. But her dream wasn’t crushed. My strong girl stood up for her dream and said it was a reality that was coming true! (A side note to you mommas: You’re kiddos are listening, so keep pouring God’s truth into them!!!) I was so proud of her boldness, and conviction and unwavering faith.

Fast forward to my weekend at RISE in Los Angeles. Day one we talked about our past. Day two we talked about our future. Our bold dreams. Steps on how to get there and to keep growing and how to not give up on your dreams. How to actually achieve a goal. And then Rachel Hollis sat in a chair, and pulled out a children’s book she reads to her children.


And. I. Lost. It.

I was crying on page one of this book, because all I could think of was my beautiful children and their beautiful dreams, and the people who tell them their dreams are not possible. The story was about Rosie Revere, but could have just as easily been about my children.

Rosie 2Rosie Revere was an engineer who had big dreams and loved to turn trash into treasure. She was always creating and inventing, but she kept her creations hidden. She kept them hidden, because at one point in her creative life, she was laughed at. Her invention, her dream was laughed at.


“I love it,” Fred hooted. “Oh, I truly I do.”But Rosie Revere know that could not be ture. She stuck the cheese hat on the back of her shelf and after that day kept her dreams to herself.

Rosie 3

She stopped making inventions until on day, her Great-Great-Aunt Rose came to visit. Great-Great-Aunt-Rose had big dreams herself and shared them with Rosie. Her biggest dream that she hadn’t accomplished in her life was to fly.

Rosie couldn’t sleep that night because she wanted to help her aunt fly. She was an engineer and she was going to figure it out. She worked very hard, not knowing if her invention would work. The next morning she got into her bold invention to give it a try, but sadly it crashed to the ground.

Then Rosie heard that familiar laugher. The one that made her put her dreams away. Once again, Rosie told herself that she would never be a great engineer. (Cue more tears!) She turned to see that it was her Great-Great-Aunt Rose, who pulled her into a tight hug and said:

“You did it! Hooray! It’s the perfect first try! This great flop is over. It’s time for the next!”

Young Rosie was baffled, embarrassed, perplexed. “I failed,” said dear Rosie. “It’s just made of trash. Didn’t you see it? The cheese-copter crashed.”

“Yes!” said her great aunt. “It crashed. That is true. But first it did just what it needed to do. Before it crashed, Rosie . . . before that . . . it flew!”

Great-Great-Aunt Rose knew that sometimes our dreams and inventions won’t work the first time. We will face failure and rejection and some days it will feel like you are swimming upstream in a storm. But as Great-Great-Aunt Rose tells Rosie:

“The only true failure can come if you quit.”

Rose Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated by David Roberts is a book you need to get today. Order it from Amazon or pick it up at Target. And read it to you children, no matter how young or how old they are. Tell them that their dreams are important, and real, and beautiful . . . and possible!

God places these bold and beautiful dreams in our souls for a reason. He wants you to live them. Breathe into them. Bring them to life. Then surround yourself with a community, a tribe, that will support you and pray for you and pick you up when you hit a roadbump. Because like Great-Great-Aunt Rose said, “The only true failure can come if you quit.”


“Rosie Revere Engineer”

by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated by David Roberts

Abrams Books for Young Readers, New York


Also be sure to check out these other books:

“Iggy Peck Architect” and “Ada Twist, Scientist”

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!

It’s Your Proud Moment – Take the Picture


In less than two weeks, I will be joining 700 other women at the RISE Conference in Los Angeles. “RISE is a two-day conference designed, curated, and produced by Rachel Hollis. Rise is a cultivated space where women from every walk of life can come together to be inspired, supported and envoloped in a community.”

Yesterday, attendees were asked to send in a picture of a moment when we were proud of ourselves. Examples included giving birth, running a race, taking an amazing vacation, graduating from college or starting your own business. I starting thinking about all of the things I am proud of in my adult life.

I’ve got over 20 years of adult moments to be proud of. I’ve recovered from back surgery. Gotten married. I’ve given birth to 5 children. I’ve completed half-marathons and won metals in other races. I’ve spoken in front of hundres of students. At women’s retreats and marriage conferences. I preached at our church. I’ve shared Jesus. Taught dance. Published a blog. I’ve created. Encouraged. Decorated. Restored a 100 year old home. I’ve been a friend. And probably hundreds of other things I can’t think of.

In all of my adult years of proud moments, I couldn’t find one picture. Not one. I know there was a picture when I finished my first half-marathon. It must be lost someone is cyberspace. There has be a decent picture somewhere of me preaching. I know I have pictures of me with my brand new babies, but that might be about it.

What I do have, are pictures of my children in so many proud moments. Awards at school. Gymnastics competitions. Dance recitials. Solos at church. Theater performances. Baseball, softball, soccer games. First steps. First words. First days of school.

I was behind the camera in all of these proud moments.

I love that there are so many proud moments of my kids. And I was so proud!

I just wish I would recognized that I have just as many proud moments.

Moms. Women. Let me tell you one thing. Step out from behind the camera. Have someone take a picture of you in your proud moments. And, be proud! Shine! Rise up to your amazing, God-given potential and shine!

It’s your proud moment.

Take the picture!