Not all dreams are big.

Not everyone wants to climb Mount Everest.

Or becoming a billionaire.

Or leap over buildings with a single bound and save the world with a cape.

Truth?

Some dreams are smaller.

But that doesn’t make them less than.

That doesn’t make them insignificant.

That doesn’t make them unimportant.

To the dreamer?

They are the stuff of mountains.

This is Whitney.

One of my favorite dream followers.

She and her heart have always danced.

When she weighed 2.2 oz, she danced in her incubator.

When she was little she danced in her twirly whirly skirt.

When life handed her three eye surgeries she pointed her toes and danced up that mountain.

And then?

She grew up and danced for her drill team.

She learned to spin and twirl and point her toes and extend her arms and leap and jump and float across the football field.

(that’s little whitney on the left)

But the one thing she couldn’t get?

The one thing she couldn’t learn?

Her double turn.

No matter how hard she tried, no matter how much she worked on it, no matter how many times she twirled and fell and got up and twirled again…

…she couldn’t get it.

I watched her.

Try and try and try and try.

Months and months and months and months.

Over and over and over again.

It was heartbreaking.

So much determination.  So many times of life knocking you down.  So many times the dream was almost in your grasp.

Only to have it slip away.

And then last week this happened.

She was filming herself to see what she was doing wrong and see how to fix it and see what she needed to work on with her technique to figure out the elusive double turn.  It’s only 8 seconds.  If you blink, you might miss it.  To some people, it might seem small or insignificant or unimportant.  But I have watched it over and over and over again because to me, it’s so much more than just a video.

At the start you can see the look of determination on her face.  The trying.  The hoping.  The never-let-it-defeat you look.

And then?

At the end?

The instant

The split second.

The moment that happens after weeks and months and hours and hours and hours of falling down and getting back up.

The moment when she finally, at long last….

….achieved her dream.

I want to imprint that moment on my heart forever.

For the storms ahead.

For the mountains yet to climb.

For the challenges and difficulties that life sometimes puts in our path.

You will accomplish great things in this world my little dancer.

You are my spinner and my tumbler and my twirler and my dog walker and my scripture memorizer and the one who brings home all the strays in the world and fixes them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

You have great dreams.

You have giant hopes.

You will change the world with your heart.

And throughout the months and years and mountains and dreams ahead I hope you point your toes…

….and dance.

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Comments

  1. Image for Nicole Nicole

    So sweet! I might have hit replay a couple of times because her reaction to getting it is priceless : ) Tell her good job, her perseverance was rewarded!

  2. Image for Christie Christie

    I am sitting here at my desk at work, trying to hold back tears. My daughter just turned 30 a couple months ago and I think of her, those younger years I do miss. Hold tight, their gone Guick. Dream big Momma and daughter! Okay, here come the tears!!

    1. Image for Susan S. Susan S.

      My older just turned 30, as well!!! Where did the years go??? One can not put a price on the memories we have of our children.... <3

  3. Image for Denise Clements Denise Clements

    Yay Whitney! You go girl!!! Whoohooo!!! Praise the Lord!!! And yay KariAnne! I know it warms a Mother’s ❤️ To see an answer to your many prayers. He cares about even the smallest of things... because that’s just who He is!!!

  4. Image for Trudy Trudy

    What a beautiful moment and you've shared it so very beautifully. She's so lucky to have you as her cheerleader and greatest fan. Congratulations to both of you! Now onto a new dream to conquer!

  5. Image for beverlee lyons beverlee lyons

    you have given them such a gift. You have been given one, too, or many. However, the things you have given to them are so important and so priceless, and irreplaceable. Thank you for sharing this. Merry Christmas.

  6. Image for Jackie Eckert Jackie Eckert

    I love Whitney’s video! Beautiful young lady inside and out! Thankful for her sweet life and her amazing heart! Great job Whitney! Hugs from Nashville!

  7. Image for MerriJo MerriJo

    Rejoicing with Whitney & her wonderful mama! The triumph on her sweet face shows the humility of amazement, rather than the fist pump of boasting so common in our culture. Not only surface beauty, but soul beauty radiates from her sweet face.

  8. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Awe-some, Whitney! And how cute is that look!!! I won't say the old adage about practice 'cause we can all see what it does! Keep twirling, Whitney! And thank you, sweet Whitney's mom! ❤

  9. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Congratulations to your tiny dancer! There is a magical moment in a momma's heart that explodes when our child conquers a challenge! Thank you for sharing her moment of a challenge conquered. And now? You get to hit reset as she moves onto the next challenge. Awww. A Momma's life. Love it.

  10. Image for june june

    Priceless as I type through tears! Your words speak to my heart so much Miss Karianne...your dreams for her really touched home today. We all want so much for our children and when life sometimes brings them challenges they need to figure out...we practice patience. Tell Whitney I'm looking forward to seeing more whirly twirly moments in her life.

  11. Image for Betty Betty

    Congrats to Whitney! Her sweet moment of success is such an encouragement to so many. And honestly, I don’t think it was a coincidence that she was filming to see how to improve . . . . this moment was planned by the Big Guy - perhaps for YOU KariAnne, perhaps for some of your friends out here in the wild. A bit of a love note about possibilities . . . ❤️❤️

  12. Image for Jennifer Ferrell Jennifer Ferrell

    Awwwww.......we love that sweet little Whitney!! So proud of her!❤️❤️ Love for Kentucky! We miss you guys!

  13. Image for Katharine Moore Katharine Moore

    This should have come with a warning about "not for the office" - I just sobbed out loud! And nobody is going to believe a spread sheet caused that. Thank you so, so much for sharing!

  14. Image for Be Be

    The look on her face tells it all!!!! Yahoo!!! Practice makes perfect!!!! This one act of determination will engraved in her mind and heart when that next challenge arrives. She CAN do it, whatever it takes!!!!!! Beautiful girl!!!!!

  15. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    She has my heart. That face when she got it-priceless. I cried for joy for her when I watched. So many bigger things for that tiny dancer’s future. What awesome plans God has designed for her.❤️

  16. Image for Charlotte S Snodgrass Charlotte S Snodgrass

    The small dreams, that are really big, contribute to making bigger dreams come true. God understands how this works so much more than I do. Congratulations Whitney on you're double turn!

  17. Image for Betty C Betty C

    Thanks for that. So beautiful. My beautiful twirler when to heaven on September 8th at age 33 and I miss her so much. I loved that move and remember so many of those.

  18. Image for Mary Caliendo Mary Caliendo

    Oh, KariAnne! This is such a lovely post! I'm so glad that she caught this on video. Thank you for sharing this little dream with all of us; so special! *grabs a kleenex.

  19. Image for Donna M Donna M

    My heart sings to read this!! My twin Grand-daughters were born 10 weeks early and one of them had her Left Achilles damaged in the emergency birth process and yet NOTHING has stopped her from anything. Falling while dancing, or running cross country (what??) or cheer leading. Loves life, and people and just keeps knocking down barriers. You go Whitney!! I believe God gives these miracle babies extra strength! You deserve to be a very proud Momma! Happy Holidays!!

  20. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    Love it! I've watched it about seven times so far! Totally understand the excitement for her, too, KariAnne! When Nika 'stuck' a pirouette for the first time, I almost screamed! LOL! So fun... so happy for Whitney, and you!

  21. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Oh, happy tears! This is an awesome post of an amazing girl’s determination and achievement! And she (as well as her twin sister), is beautiful! Thank you, KariAnne, for sharing them with us ...

  22. Image for phyllis phyllis

    Whitney-your achievement is not only beautiful; it is inspiring. I played it for my sweet husband who was paralyzed from the waist down in an accident 4 years ago. He asked me to play it several more times. He is learning to stand, and is again doing the exercises he must do to strengthen his legs to support his body. I hope to someday be able to capture his achievements and give you credit for helping him see that there is always hope for whatever mountain he must climb. Thank you for sharing this Karianne: I'm sure that your "cheerleading" skills must figure in to Whitney's success. I am just as confident that my husband will find success as well.

  23. Image for Karen Karen

    Such a beautiful girl.. and moment, and Mom. These are the post I love the most. The kind that are real life. Thank you and tell Whitney I have a beautiful 11 yr old (tomorrow) granddaughter that has some struggles and I will use this story to encourage her... to keep trying............ "you CAN do hard things". Christmas blessing to your family !

  24. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Okay, I’m in tears! Your girl has what the old timers would call grit or maybe spunk! This blessed me so much because I’m facing a mountain right now. I’m encouraged, so thank you for sharing Whitney’s story!

  25. Image for Judy Rogers Judy Rogers

    I have tears running down my face, thank you and from the bottom of my heart for sharing this incredible, inspiring, heart touching moment in Whitney;s and your life. Thank you, thank you, thank you. A young lady with moxie !!!!

  26. Image for Michele M Michele M

    WHOOOT! Way to go, Whitney!!!!! Must be something in the air - my cheer niece just landed her full the other day - she's been at it forever trying to learn it. So happy = for them both - and for those who love and support them. ♥♥

  27. Image for Janette Janette

    This is one post I just could not read and walk away from without saying a word....OMG....amazing that it was on film, I mean, how many moments get that kind of treatment, amazing, not 'close too' REALLY amazing, beautiful girl and those last seconds when the realisation kicks in, precious...you must be super proud and rightly so....well done Whitney your a super star.....xx

  28. Image for LInda LInda

    Love the drive and determination - makes a momma's heart swell! This is capturing parenthood - when you are rejoicing over their triumphs because their successes mean everything to us!

  29. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    Great job Whitney!!! Determination pays off!!! I like Christie got emotional over this! I remember my young girl with determination and she will be 51 on Saturday!!! Wow...the time flew by. Whitney I am so very proud of you and for you. A wonderful memory!!!

  30. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    I played that video at least 10 times! Whitney is a cross between my two: I have the dancer daughter (now 21, who dances in the living room instead of in front of hundreds), and the bringer-home of all those who are lost son (23, who will ALWAYS be giving the peanut butter sandwiches)! Merriest of Christmases to your sweet family.

  31. Image for Rev. Suzanne Taylor Rev. Suzanne Taylor

    What a beautiful story! Never, ever give up! Good job, Whitney! With God, and your determination, all things are possible.

  32. Image for BrocanteuseRose BrocanteuseRose

    I’m sitting next to my baby’s crib in the NICU, for the 8th week in a row and this made me cry. In a good way, because earlier this week Stella Rose turned her head from one side to the other, all by herself. If I had blinked, I might have missed it, if I didn’t know which way her head had been facing, I would have missed it. Such a huge step for her, yes most babies do that easily, most parents might not call everyone crying tears of joy, to tell them this amazing step. Most babies don’t have brain surgery at 7 weeks, (thankfully) and I have prayed so long and so hard for moments just like this one. For my little star to never give up and to keep fighting, breathing, moving, being brave. One day I will tell her about another little girl named Whitney who gave this mom hope, because that little girl never gave up and danced her way through life just as I pray Stella does!

  33. Image for Detra Coley Detra Coley

    This is my favorite too! Maybe because I know your sweet family and your girls will always be precious to me.

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