Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Live Big, Love Bigger: Getting Real with BBQ, Sweet Tea, and a Whole Lotta Jesus” as Want to Read:
Live Big, Love Bigger: Getting Real with BBQ, Sweet Tea, and a Whole Lotta Jesus
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Live Big, Love Bigger: Getting Real with BBQ, Sweet Tea, and a Whole Lotta Jesus

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Winner of a 2020 Catholic Press Association book award (third place, first-time author).

Popular blogger Kathryn Whitaker is a Dr Pepper super fan, Aggie-loving, type A mom of six with a personality the size of her native Texas. The stressful premature birth of her fifth child threw her orderly world into chaos and ultimately led her to rethink her priorities. In Live Big,
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 30th 2019 by Ave Maria Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Live Big, Love Bigger, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Live Big, Love Bigger

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  213 ratings  ·  58 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Live Big, Love Bigger: Getting Real with BBQ, Sweet Tea, and a Whole Lotta Jesus
Jamie Degler
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This author and speaker is a gift from God , walking in his grace every single day. She can make you laugh, cry, and let you know you are not alone. She lights up the room and if you ever have the pleasure of meeting her, it will be a gift!
Kathleen Brunnett
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This author gave a presentation at my church. A funny thoughtful look at her Catholic life with her large family. Parts made me think which is always a bonus.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC from NetGalley and I so enjoyed this book. The story is Kathryn Whitaker, her family, and Jesus. There were sad times, happy times, stressful times and at all times Jesus was right there with them. My favorite part of the book was when she was thinking about her family and how busy they were, it seemed like everyone was cramming as much as possible into their life now, striving for perfection so she decided to have a six-month moratorium. There were mistakes along the way, but ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not what I expected - and that was a good thing! From the blurb, I thought it would be more of a travelogue of the Whitaker family's barbecue pilgrimage, and that's not at all the case. Since I've never been to Texas nor had barbecue, I didn't expect to relate to this book. Instead, I found that it's full of honest talk from a mom who had to learn the hard way a lesson we all need to learn: perfectionism doesn't get you anywhere. If you have a quiet place to read and a bottomless glass of sweet ...more
David Uebbing
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kathryn covers a lot of sacred ground in this delightful and engaging read - you won't come away feeling like her marriage or motherhood are unapproachable or remote, but with the sense that she has been there, done that, and turned back to extend a hand to moms in the trenches a few steps behind her. A really honest, beautiful look at life through the lens of faith, contentment, and finding joy in unexpected and ordinary places.

- Jenny Uebbing, Mama Needs Coffee
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I knew I’d love this book but I didn’t realize how hard I’d love it. Reading it (with Kathryns voice in your mind) is like chatting with a friend; a friend who is willing to open herself up for your gain. We are blessed that she allows us into her crazy life!
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When it is hot as heck outside and there is nothing "cool" to do but reading sitting in front of the a/c as everything else makes you end up a sweaty mess, it is the perfect day for a speed reader. (Yes it is hot and humid in Canada!)

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this.

I’ve followed Kathryn online for a while and I like her style. The organization of this book wasn’t my favorite. It seemed each chapter was written in a silo as if it may have been the first chapter. Many many details were repeated throughout the text and for me this greatly distracted from the narrative.

Because the timeline was all over the place, an overall arc would have been helpful to tie it all together. It is better written than some other blogger memoirs that read like a
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you have a family and think everyone’s life is better than yours; if you look around and think, “why me?” and wonder if God is ever going to take your burdens from you; if you know constant motion is not the way to a great life but can’t seem to stop – read this book. I say that as a woman in a very different season of life than Kathryn. I believe that we all have a story. Some of us share that story in a big way and some do it in a small way. All of us need to tell our story in some way beca ...more
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My copy of Live Big, Love Bigger by Kathryn Whitaker arrived just as our family prepared to hunker down for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian off Florida’s East Coast.
As the winds picked up and the rains moved in outside our home, I read about Kathryn’s journey, as she and her family have weathered the “storms” of life with “BBQ, Sweet Tea, and A Whole Lotta Jesus.”
With a combination of vulnerability, honesty, warmth and humor, Kathryn shares stories about her marriage and family-of-six struggles
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve followed Kathryn’s blog for years and year (and years!) My enthusiasm couldn’t be contained when I heard she wrote a book. She’s one of those women you watch and wonder “How does she do it? How does she have it all together?” Her family is not immune to the hardships of life, especially in the medical area with her fifth child being born premature, having an extended NICU stay, and multiple surgeries. And yet, she lives her life with joy, peace, and gratitude. This book answered those quest ...more
Laura McAninch
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have followed Kathryn's blog for over ten years of the roughly thirteen years that she's been blogging. By following her for this long you begin to feel like you know them. Any review comments I could share would seem too personal or coming from a too invested vantage point; however, I do want to state that Kathryn is a genuine, sincere soul who has always replied with her heart to my emails over the last decade. She's one of the few bloggers that exist who do not feed you a candid, generic re ...more
Samantha Grimmell
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've followed and loved Kathryn's blog for years, and her debut book did not disappoint. Her writing is deep yet entertaining, relatable yet wise. Throughout the book, she shares her missteps made and lessons learned while navigating a life of faith and raising her family. Above all else, Kathryn strives to live authentically. And after reading her book, I feel inspired to do the same.

I finished this book in one sitting -- despite the fact that I frequently stopped to re-read and dog-ear passage
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I heard that Kathryn was writing a book, my prayer was that she would somehow capture her encouraging, sassy self on the pages as she pointed people back to their relationship with Christ. Well, she managed to do just that. I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, and I have to tell you that my honest review included texting my best friend after I finished Chapter 1, telling her to preorder a copy for herself...and if she didn't, I would be ordering it for h ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Down to Earth

I don’t know where to begin. This was a beautiful book written about a life intertwined with the love of God. And it is so easy to read - I read it in a day! I love Kathryn’s down to earth narrative and southern-isms that remind me of my parents. As a Catholic, I loved the connections to the Church and how Kathryn clarified what she meant if you haven’t the faintest idea what she’s talking about. This is a relatable story line, but it’s all true. As an avid Instagram fan, I love re
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I see Kathryn’s book filling a new need in the publishing world. For many years, the target for the Catholic mom were books that challenge you deeply and need to be hashed out in book studies or mom’s groups. There is an upswing in books now for the mom that just wants to know that she is not alone in the trenches, a read that shows a mom that daily suffering- big or small, is a part of our sanctity. Kathryn’s book is challenging in the little ways- are we too comfortable in our current circumst ...more
KC  Powers
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I follow Kathryn on Instagram and eagerly awaited her book release. She's a warm and funny in print as she is on Instagram. I hear her voice as I read the book. The book explores the way we live our lives with Jesus front and center. She helps you to look inside yourself to see that what you thought was a really Jesus filled life really was just skimming the surface. She challenges you to live fully with Christ and within it to LOVE. To really, really love. The hardships included.

This book was
Katie Smith
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down! From the first paragraph in the forward by Fr Dwyer until the closing words in Chapter 10, Kathryn’s book kept me intrigued and captivated. I admire her raw honesty about the need for marriage counseling and the trauma of having a NICU baby. Her wisdom makes this book a must read - saying no vs HELL
YES, the types of friendships in our lives, and how to de clutter your home and heart - all of it made me really stop and reflect on how I’m living my life.

This book i
Mary Cooper
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it wasn't longer! Kathryn bravely shares how being a mom of 6 has taught her that being a perfect mom doesn't come from social media. She discusses how quickly a "perfect" world can come crashing down on you, and how God teaches each of us humility.
Kathryn, being a Texan, had to include BBQ, football (Gig 'em! WHOOP!), and beer. This book was a fairly quick (mostly because I couldn't put it down) and easy read that will have you laughing, cr
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What is there not to love about this book? I read it all in one sitting, well not actually sitting, laughing, crying, a little bit of everything. This book is for anyone and everyone. As a single catholic looking forward to catholic motherhood when it is my time, this book, and everything Kathryn does, has helped me to not fear change and to embrace my upcoming life. That being said, anyone who has struggled in their life, questions life, fears life, this book will help you move forward, move pa ...more
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I eagerly anticipate this book as I love Kathryn's blog and well, her general approach to life and faith. In that sense, it didn't disappoint! The stories are great and definitely inspire you to love the people around you. Overall, I think it could have had more streamlined narrative, but it was still enjoyable. Reading this book is like having a savvy friend tell you about how she's experienced God's love in very real ways...the kind of conversations best had over some great food and drink. ...more
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I started following Kathryn a few months ago at the recommendation of my friend Stephanie so I was excited to read her new book. Life had been pretty great for Kathryn until her little Luke was born with a heart problem and their world was turned upside down.
There were so many great take-always even though I’m not dealing with a husband, children, or a NICU stay. She shares truths I’ve been saying for a while like “We don’t need to do all the things.”
Pick up the book, grab a tea, go for some B
Bonnie Engstrom
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was given an advance copy of Live Big, Love Bigger and I loved it. Kathryn is a strong writer and an excellent story-teller and she shares about hard things (rough spots in marriage, sick kids, death, etc) in a way that is both vulnerable and respectful of the delicacy of the situations. She is relatable, funny, and warm and it was as if I was sitting at her kitchen table while she shared the wisdom her life experiences had brought her. We all have crosses that we have to carry, and Kathryn's ...more
Missy Stewart
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved the book! Pull up a chair and visit with a good friend who doesn’t pull any punches! Isn’t that what good friends should do? Shoot straight with you? Authentic and vulnerable writing allows you to sink into to your favorite chair and feel like someone understands because they have been there too. She does pull for someone different in the SEC but we won’t hold that against her. LOL We are all passionate about football in the South. Highly recommend.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When you read this book, you feel like you are chatting with Kathryn over BBQ and sweet tea. She feels like a long lost friend. The book made me laugh, and it made me cry. I was truly challenged in the best of ways from Kathryn's humble wisdom. Her vulnerability is touching and inspiring all at the same time, and everyone will be touched by her passionate and genuine heart. You will not regret this read. ...more
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic
Enjoyable read. Love the Catholic Texas vibe and the glimpse into the life that has shaped her spiritual journey. Reinforced many ideas and principles for me. While not a deeply spiritual read, it was so positive and upbeat and authentically Catholic. It made me feel happy to be a Catholic mom on this journey doing the best I can with what God’s handed me. Thanks, Kathryn
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kathryn's writing style is honest, engaging warm and straight-forward. She approaches the crosses that have been laid upon her shoulders with deep faith, love, trust, humility and honesty. Followers of her blog, TeamWhitaker, will recognize her sass, verve and engaging writing style. She dishes on her life with great humor, wit and candor. A delightful book! ...more
Aileen Schwab
Apr 13, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a quick read with some cute jokes and heart wrenching stories from the author’s life. I had a hard time relating to some of her feelings on faith but also am excited to try some of the beautiful faith traditions she shared with her family (Like intentionally praying for each family when you receive their Christmas card! Beautiful!).
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to warm up to this author; I couldn't connect. I was thinking, "Sometimes blogs just don't transfer well to books." But at some point, she grabbed my attention and it felt like I was talking with a new friend about her faith journey. It's nice to meet you, Kathryn Whitaker, and I may have to check out that blog to keep getting to know you better. ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Be Brave in the Scared: How I Learned to Trust God during the Most Difficult Days of My Life
  • Your Blue Flame: Drop the Guilt and Do What Makes You Come Alive
  • 61 Minutes to a Miracle: The True Story of a Family's Devotion
  • When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Family, Faith, and Funny People
  • Theology of Home: Finding the Eternal in the Everyday
  • The Heart of Perfection: How the Saints Taught Me to Trade My Dream of Perfect for God's
  • Letter to a Suffering Church: A Bishop Speaks on the Sexual Abuse Crisis
  • The Grace of Enough: Pursuing Less and Living More in a Throwaway Culture
  • Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart
  • One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, Personal Passions, and Saying Yes to Them Both
  • Something Other than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It
  • Undone: Freeing Your Feminine Heart from the Knots of Fear and Shame
  • Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father
  • The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
  • Rediscover the Saints: Twenty-Five Questions That Will Change Your Life
  • Sisters and Secrets
  • The Summer Society (Gull's Landing Book 1)
See similar books…
Kathryn Whitaker is a Catholic author, blogger, speaker, and freelance graphic designer. A sixth-generation Texan, she was raised as an evangelical Protestant until she met her husband on a blind date at Texas A&M. On the eve of their wedding, Whitaker converted to Catholicism.

Since 2007—with honesty, authenticity, and a healthy dose of sass—Whitaker has shared on her blog what it’s like raising a

News & Interviews

  Die-hard mystery fans are always on the hunt for their next supremely satisfying whodunit. To help you stock that Want to Read shelf, we asked...
40 likes · 21 comments
“Forget about the destination and focus on the journey. Wherever you go, do it with intention and purpose. Travel with a heart anxious for accompaniment.” 0 likes
“Kathryn, you have to quit praying like a nun and start praying like a mom.” He was the second of twelve children” 0 likes
More quotes…