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Summary

Is it possible to pursue your passions, love your family, and not feel guilty about wanting to do both? One Beautiful Dream is your invitation to the unexpected joy of saying yes to the life you long to live.

Work and family, individuality and motherhood, the creative life and family life - women are told constantly that they can’t have it all. One Beautiful Dream is the deeply personal, often humorous tale of what happened when one woman dared to believe that you can have it all - if you’re willing to reimagine what having it all looks like. 

Jennifer Fulwiler is the last person you might expect to be the mother of six young children. First of all, she’s an introvert, only child, self-described workaholic, and former atheist who never intended to have a family. Oh, and Jennifer has a blood-clotting disorder exacerbated by pregnancy that has threatened her life on more than one occasion.

One Beautiful Dream is the story of what happens when one woman embarks on the wild experiment of chasing her dreams with multiple kids in diapers. It’s the tale of learning that opening your life to others means that everything will get noisy and chaotic, but that it is in this mess that you’ll find real joy.

Jennifer’s quest takes her in search of wisdom from a cast of colorful characters, including her Ivy-League-educated husband, her Texan mother-in-law who crushes wasps with her fist while arguing with wrong number calls about politics, and a best friend who’s never afraid to tell it like it is. Through it all, Jennifer moves toward the realization that the life you need is not the life you would have originally chosen for yourself. And maybe, just maybe, it’s better that way.

Hilarious, highly relatable, and brutally honest, Jennifer’s story will spark clarity and comfort to your own tug-of-war between all that is good and beautiful about family life and the incredible sacrifice it entails. Parenthood, personal ambitions, family planning, and faith - it’s complicated. Let this book be your invitation to the unexpected, yet beautiful dream of saying yes to them all, with God’s help.

©2018 Melanie Shankle and Jennifer Fulwiler (P)2018 Zondervan

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Frances
  • 13-09-18

I couldn't finish

I bought this after receiving a recommendation. So sad. I got to chapter 30, reluctantly, and stopped when she described how her tyrannical child insisted on Shawn the Sheep at 4-something a.m. How about putting on your parenting hat and saying no?
As a mom of 7 close in age, I get it. I was in it deep. I hung in to this story for as long as I could, I just couldn't take it anymore. Yes, women have interests outside of changing diapers and making meals. I have taken on large roles outside of traditional motherhood, outside of my little homeschool, and you can incorporate those things into your family life. This book made me cringe, not reflect. A better representation of Catholic motherhood and mom's "blue flame" must exist.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Faith
  • 13-06-20

A wonderful journey

I feel I know Miss Jen and I could be her friend. Thank you for allowing us in to the process.

1 person found this helpful

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  • lila j.
  • 25-04-20

Could you live this dream?

I was amazed at what the author accomplished while having and raising six children. I could really relate to the story being an only child with no cousins living near by. I also have always been fiercely independent. It is only aging and wisdom that brought me to the realizations that the author found at a much younger age. I enjoyed the humorous tales throughout the story.

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  • Joanna Rakoski
  • 13-12-18

Not SAHM friendly.

Although I enjoyed this book, as a happy stay at home mom it made me feel like crap most of the time that I don’t have these crazy passions. It’s ok to have your passion be your family #teamkristi

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  • RedGirlinBlueState
  • 30-04-21

Funny, & inspiring!

Thanks, Jen, for a story that women need to tell each other, including the honor you give to your husband, Joe,, and the faith filled surrender that your life choices as a couple demonstrate. Zondervon, I thank you for promoting this Catholic author as a sister in Christ, even though you are a Protestant publishing house. It represents an important step of healing for the Body of Christ. Bravo for that as well as an enjoyable, uplifting & hilarious book!

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  • K. Rogers
  • 20-01-21

Inspiring, thought-provoking read

I loved the story and the story-telling. It strengthened my commitment to my family and my care of myself - they go hand in hand.

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  • berenice
  • 20-11-20

This book made me cry at least 5 times, beautiful

I love this book, it really touch my heart, my mind and my life. Im a mother of 4 child and it made me realize a beautiful treasure I have and that I can also do many things “to change the world”

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  • Nathan
  • 19-11-20

BEST Book I've ever listened to!!!

So incredibly funny and super relatable! A wonderful pro-family-pro-Catholic MASTERPIECE! Hope to meet author someday!<3

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  • Carrie
  • 25-06-20

Thought Provoking

The author's experiences showed me a new way to look at God's work in my life.

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  • Mary O'Regan
  • 25-01-20

A mother lives out the parable of the talents

A work of great integrity. Jennifer proves it's possible to embrace the culture of life and develop one's God-given gifts.