• Rachel Penate

ONE BEAUTIFUL DREAM by Jennifer Fulwiler

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

An Unapologetic "YES" to Achieving Your Goals

I became a mom the day we found out we were pregnant with our first child. My heart grew in size, my prayer deepened, and my anticipation increased as we waited for her arrival. But, I'd say the day I really encountered the depth of my newly grasped motherhood was when I went back to work and quickly realized there is no more precarious balancing act of life than one that balances both a growing family and a growing passion.

For years, I've struggled to pursue my passion for writing while pursuing everything else in life, and becoming a mom — a working mom on top of that — has provided countless lessons in this balancing act — some good, others emotionally batty. Jennifer Fulwiler's newest book, One Beautiful Dream has proved to be one of those really, really good lessons.

From the moment the memoir begins, Jennifer takes her reader on a hilarious journey as she masterfully tells the "rollicking tale" of how she came to publish her first book. In this tale, I found myself profoundly inspired and simultaneously roaring in laughter. Slowly (and with delightfully humorous candor), Jen unveils that following one's passion is indeed a noble pursuit even amidst family chaos and uncertainty. Jen's story is incredibly uplifting and especially refreshing in a world in which motherhood can feel restrained to a simple tiny box. Jen fights to encourage parents that one's identity must not be lost in the title of "mother" or "father" and, that our gifts are worthy to share, despite the season in life.

Some may argue that Jen's message is selfish, that she intentionally (or unintentionally) paints the picture that "it's all about mom," but this is not the lesson I gained from her book. Jen shows that family is about the each individual supporting one another, that every person's God-given gift should be a passion the family shares and supports as a unit. Perhaps my favorite lesson in this book comes in Jen's recognition that parenthood isn't an "all or nothing" affair — either we are "all in" and sacrifice everything about ourselves to this role or we fall prey to our selfish desires. Jen encourages me that perhaps one of the greatest lessons I can teach my children is that I am more than just their mom - that I am an individual with my own gifts and talents - and there is nothing wrong with balancing the two.

One Beautiful Dream was truly a delight to read and I'm positive it is a story I will keep coming back to year after year. Jen's message of self-love and encouragement is one that every parent needs to hear.

Over and over again.


  • Genre – Light-hearted memoir about the never-ending, ever entertaining balance of family life and pursing our passions.

  • Liked – Jen offers a memoir that doesn't just tell her story, but invites each reader to enter into the journey of life alongside her. Although it focuses on her journey of parenthood, it is written in such a way that any person in any state of life can relate to.

  • DislikedOne Beautiful Dream is much too short. I was wanting for at least 200 more pages.


Link to Buy the Book

Other Reviews: Goodreads, Amazon, The Catholic Connection

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