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

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4.74  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  47 reviews
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, Love Bigger, Whitaker shares her journey and challenges readers to understand that they, too, canIn ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 30th 2019 by Ave Maria Press
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Average rating 4.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  47 reviews


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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!
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
J
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
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.
Barb
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
Janet
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 😸.

Popular blogger
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Deanna
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
Maureen
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 str
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Ann-Marie
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
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
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Wendy
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
Eksimmons
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
Annamarie
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
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Kristine
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
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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
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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
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Katie
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.
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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.”
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Pick up the book, g
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Lisa
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
Jen
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.
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
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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
Camie
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.
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.
kmm1985
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!
Celeste
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
Quilty Kayse
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t started and finished a book all in one day in a very long time. I couldn’t put it down. Thank you, Kathryn, for sharing your story. I cried, I laughed, drank Dr. Pepper, and even had BBQ! I don’t have a favorite chapter. I loved every single one of them.
Rebecca Dunn
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Honest, heartfelt, and oozing with the sweet southern charm that Kathryn Whitaker exudes. It’s relatable, with the perfect mix of faith and humor that will inspire and comfort many wives and mothers no matter their season in life.
Christi Arnett
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed reading this book. I laughed and found myself shaking my head yes as I related to so much in this book. Couples ministry is something that I am very passionate about and this book had my attention from the first page. Loved the truths in this book.
Lyndsay
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Short and sweet read with big lessons. I had to slow down to make sure I read them all carefully and considered how they apply to my family. Looking forward to hearing her speak soon because she has so much good and practical advice to share.
Danielle
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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’
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