Cover Image: Holy Hot Mess

Holy Hot Mess

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Member Reviews

I've never laughed so hard and yessed so hard than i did with this amazing book. In Holy Hot Mess, Mary Katherine shares relatable stories on Family, Friendship and life in general whilst encouraging and pointing us to be ourselves and God's love- Mess and all. 
I highly highly recommend this book to anyone doubting themselves or thinking they're such a mess. This book is for you.
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This was a lovely book. Backstrom tackles serious and everyday issues with humor and Grace. A wonderful read!
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Mary Katherine Backstrom is a down to earth, caring, Christian woman. Her stories with her parents, husband, children and other family members are too preposterous to be fiction.  They, in fact, comprise her title for this book Holy Hot Mess. If you love humanity, and having a good time, reading this book will not disappoint.
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I could not get into this book.  I kept waiting to feel like I was reading something I could connect to, but that moment never arrived for me. It almost felt a little disjointed and because of that I had a difficult time connecting to the author's story.
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First, Mary Katherine Backstrom is hilarious! She is so open about her life, including the good, bad and full-belly laughs. She's captured all that in her collection of thoughts, essays and experiences. Yes, she's a Christian author, but most importantly she's a mom, wife and cancer survivor. Because she's willing to share her crazy, messy life with her readers, men and women alike can find something to smile about no matter how rough their day is.
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The author, in clever language unfolds everyday stories, some are heartbreaking and some are hilarious, but all are  stories of how God uses each "mess" in our lives to bring us closer to Him. She demonstrated how one can celebrate even while standing in the middle of a  holy, hot mess. 

 The author shares evidence of God's work in her life through faith, friendships, motherhood, marriage, and depression. She covers  topics that plague the hearts of most all women.  She reminds us that we are all a work in progress, and as long as we are alive, we are under construction. And if you’ve ever been to a construction site, you know they tend to be messy.

Below are just a few passages that are indicative  of this fun  and inspiring book. 

“Now I’m homeschooling kids while working from home, which is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. On a national scale, our politics have been playing out like an episode of Maury.”

“How beautiful that God has embraced our worst and presented it as His best. He loves us, adores us, and has a plan for.”

Doesn’t that last quote just make you want to love the Lord even more?
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I wanted to like this book so so much. The author seems so fun and my goodness, as I began the book I just felt like GOT me, you know. I mean even said, “I know you,” then began to describe me. She talked about the “Lie of Curation” so visible on social media but also in real life. How we have begun to compare ourselves so fully to a filtered, curated world that we won’t ever be able to match up against.
Wow.
She just got me.
Plus she was fun and pretty funny.
But then came a few think that made me pause. I mean it started out with some simple doctrine differences, which isn’t a deal breaker in books, so I kept going.
But then came a reference to something that kinda sounded like evolution…”sand and water with a million years gone by.” *scratch my head* 
But then, oh boy. She actually got a very common Bible story completely wrong and even quoted it wrong. So much so that I second guessed myself and looked it up. (Not in a weird translation either, mind you, but NKJV.) She says that when Nicodemus asked Jesus about being born again that Jesus talked him “and the crowd that day” then references that he was also talking to other rabbis in that conversation. Ummmmm, no ma’am. It very clearly says in John that Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and alone. In fact, all three times that John mentions Nicodemus, he references him as having “first come to Jesus at night.” (John 3, 7, and 19) Kinda a big mistake not only for the author but also for the editor. Especially considering how much she talks throughout the book about reading your Bible and getting deeply into it. Well, please check and recheck your references, ma’am.
It didn’t completely ruin the book, but left it kinda tainted for me. 
Plus, some of the chapter felt kind of choppy for me. Like jumping from childhood story to adult life and raising her kids for like two paragraphs then back to her own childhood with zero transition between…..almost like it was actually placed in the wrong spot of the book. A few choppy moments like that actually. Maybe they meant to be flashbacks or flash forwards, but they were actually very distracting and a bit confusing. 
I know a lot of people will love this book and the author. She reminds me a bit of Jen Hatmaker (which many will find to be attractive and complimenting, even though I’m not a big fan). So I know she will get a lot of buzz. It just wasn’t all for me.
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I was intrigued by the concept but could not enjoy it since I couldn't relate to anything she said. The book is fine, but it isn't relatable if you don't have kids. I understand how having children is a big part of your life, but I wish she wrote more about herself as an adult woman than as a mother with kids.
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This was a fun inspirational read that’s title caught me right off that bat with its title Holy Hot Mess. 
Premise

A lot of people struggle with the concept of being holy. But the fact is, even the hottest of messes are being shaped—right now—into Jesus' likeness. In this book, Mary Katherine shares the sometimes-hidden evidence of God's work in her life and shows you that it's okay to embrace the hot messes.

I love how the book teaches readers to embrace the messes in their lives and how it helps shape us and molds us into who we are.
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Holy Hot Mess was my first introduction to Mary Katherine Backstrom, but I will be following her in the future. In the writing style of Melanie Shankle, she lets us do life with her and invites us into her life a if we are her BFF. She lets us see the bad and good she has experienced in life and how faith in Jesus upholds her though it. She manages to keep her humor during all of it.
This is a great book for all women to read as a reminder that all lives have peaks and valleys, but we will survive them all.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley, but all opinions are my own.
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Absolutely loved it! MK is very open and raw about everything motherhood, being a woman and a wife. We all may have a little man scenario happen now and again. But we can't be to hard on ourselves. This book reminds me to laugh at myself and innocent mistakes and reminded me to apologize for others that unintentionally hurt others. Give yourself the grace you give everyone else.
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What a refreshing memoir. MK is honest about her life. She has a good ability to combine life lessons with humor. I like to read books that share insights from life but I rarely laugh like I did with this one. Truth telling is important, MK says. We need to share our struggles and failures to develop real connectivity and trust with others. I really liked her comments about messy church. She is realistic yet encouraging, reminding us that church stretches our ability to love. After all, the church is a place for the broken.

This is a good book for readers who want encouragement to be themselves, messes and all. MK describes herself as “unfiltered” and some may raise an eye brow or two at some of her stories. You'll laugh at her stories and benefit from her insights into spiritual life because of them. You'll learn of the potential trouble with rescuing a goat. You'll be encouraged to never give a rat as an anniversary gift. (You have to read the book.) And you'll find out you're never too messy for grace.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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🙏 Book Review 🙏

🙏 Holy Hot Mess by Mary Katherine Backstorm

🙏 Publication Date  - 3rd August 2021

🙏 Mary Katherine Backstrom shares heartbreaking and hilarious stories of how God uses each "mess" in our lives to bring us closer to Him. She shows us that it's okay to celebrate exactly where we are right now—holy, hot mess and all.
 
🙏 Backstrom is open, honest, raw, and emotional in this book. She shares lots of stories about her life that shaped her and molded her into who she is today, and shows us God's presence in her life and the way He has worked with her throughout it all.

🙏 She shows us that it is perfectly OK to be a holy hot mess because God created us that way She encourages us to embrace our differences and to stop trying to be a "perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect life", and to just be us and be comfortable in doing so.

🙏 Backstrom writes with humour and cheekiness. It almost feels that she's still trying to hide behind her humour and ability to laugh at herself. Which is not necessary a bad thing because a lot of us likely do the exact same thing to cope with our own issues. It makes her seem more relatable and honest to a degree.

🙏 Holy Hot Mess will have you laughing, crying and really thinking about the things you've done in your life and the way you react to different scenarios. She makes you realise your quirks and traits may not be for everyone you meet but that's okay. God made you with them for a reason and He doesn't want you to be ashamed of them.

🙏 Highly recommend to anyone! You don't have to be a Christian to read her book. She's not preachy or judgemental in the slightest but very open and honest about her own life, issues and situations she's found herself in.
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Loved the book! Lots of life lessons and very real stories about the chaos of life, and how to find God in those moments. Highly recommend!
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MK poured her heart and soul and sweat and tears and good days and bad days into this book I think it is one of her best works I loved Mom Babbel, And I know it by heart. In fact sometimes when she puts out a video or she talks about something now that I've read her book hot holy mess I can relate and remember that that blurb has come from this book hot holy mess I think it is wonderful that she dedicates this book to her father who taught her the meaning of life-changing messes and owning up to it because I think a lot of people in this world don't own up to their own mess but yet it's okay to own up to your mess it's okay to walk right into your own mess and not realize it until your face is smashed right into it and the tears and the heartache and the sweat is rolling down your face and the message just right there it's okay to look at it right in its eyes and say oh my goodness I realize now that it's okay to have this mess I can fix this. We all have messes every single one of us it's like skeletons in a closet we all have ghosts not everybody goes to church not everybody tells the truth but everything is a messy affair but sometimes when you look up to the sky and you see the moon and the stars and that wave comes over you that feeling of new birth and all of a sudden you can say to yourself I can fix that and you can get off that thing we call life that hamster wheel that just keeps going around and around and around and then you realize also that the messiness was the point of the whole thing to show you the way to bring you back on point someone like MK who's been through this hot holy mess just like the rest of us doesn't put her on a pedestal It puts her right in the crowd like the rest of us God bless her for just being one of the girls.
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I am glad that Mary Katherine Backstrom decided to overcome her fear,and write, Holy Hot Mess. This book is a good but slow read, but I would read the book again. MK thank you for the book, you showed me I wasn't alone when it comes to my life.God Bless you Mary Katherine, Tonya Laws
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I loved this book. I would recommend this book to anyone. It's a book that will make you laugh and cry. It's life. I can relate to her life in so many ways. We all live a messy life.
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Holy Hot Mess is a phenomenal read. It’s inspirational and funny. It will give you a sense peace and hope while entertaining you at the same time. Living day to day being judged by others isn’t easy.  What I “look like” to others, really doesn’t matter. In the book Mary Katherine wrote, “You are enough, exactly as you are. You don’t have to pretend anymore. You are more than lovable-you are already loved. By a God who made you by hand.” What an awesome reminder. You know what? That is the Truth. There are so many more things she wrote, that “hit home” for me as I’m sure it will for you too! I am so thankful I picked this book to read.  I recommend this but 100%!
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Mary Katherine (MK) strikes again!  Yes, that MK of the laughing videos and interview with Ellen.  Ladies, watch out!  She'll have you belly-laughing, so if you have "leaky valves", take precautions.  There is method and meaning to her hilarious humor.  That is where the 'holy' comes in.  With Jesus, to Whom MK directs the reader, helps make sense out of the hectic and/or hurting lives that seem to be one of mess after mess.  Lighten your load and nourish your soul, as expressed by MK in her book, you'll find, 

"glimpses of God in the mess, "

and that,

"He's got us in His hands" (Chapter 16, page 20).

Comforting thoughts.

~Eunice C., - Reviewer/Blogger~

July 2021

Disclaimer:  This is my honest opinion based on the review copy given by the publisher.

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I have to start off by saying that I really requested this based on the title alone. I hadn’t heard of the author before, but now that I’ve read this I feel like I’ve been missing out! She is relatable, authentic and flat out funny!  
This is full of real life stories that we can all relate to on some level because they either make you laugh or cry at having been there at some point.  She shares valuable insight into how she navigated various everyday situations in a realistic way but then also adds scriptural input on how she could have handled it better looking back on it and to share that bit of knowledge that helps us walk through the trials of this life and see God’s hand at work in the chaos of life. Everything from buying bras to little kids making messes is covered with humor and meaning. It is valuable as a Christian woman to see that I am not alone in my struggles and that I can get through it with a smile on my face! 
Will definitely be buying this for myself and as gifts for friends. 
Thanks to Worthy Books and Netgalley for this eArc in exchange for my review.
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