Her memoir Live in Love is released on August 18.

By Betsy Cribb
Updated August 13, 2020
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Lauren Akins
Credit: Julie Paisley

They’re country music’s charmed couple: Close friends since childhood, Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins started dating in college, married shortly after, and now live with their three young daughters on a beautiful farm in Nashville, Tennessee. They’ve been labeled “#RelationshipGoals” a thousand times over, and it seems fair enough: Thomas Rhett won Single of the Year at the 2016 CMAs for “Die a Happy Man,” a love song he wrote for Lauren, and she appeared in the dreamy music video. But even with fans eager to label them the perfect pair, the down-to-earth couple has always been quick to point out and revel in their own humanity. And Lauren’s new book, Live in Love: Growing Together Through Life’s Changes, is just one more way the sweet duo is pulling back the curtain on their marriage and family life. “This is the real story of who Thomas Rhett and I are, what we believe, what our passions are, and why we do what we do,” says Lauren in her author’s note. Hitting shelves (virtual and real!) on August 18, Live in Love is the heartwarming and uplifting read we could all use right about now (BUY IT: $20; amazon.com). This week, Southern Living caught up with the mom and philanthropist about why she wrote the book, the importance of her community, and how her faith shapes her outlook on life.

On Why She Wrote a Memoir

“Honestly, it kind of fell into my lap. It’s not something that was on my bucket list, I will say that. But it was something that the people closest to me and around me felt strongly about, and the opportunities just kept falling in my lap, and I said, ‘If the doors are going to keep opening, I’m going to keep walking through.’ Everything just blew up in the best way possible! It was a breeze, every bit of it. [Throughout the process,] I met almost no resistance at all, and to me, that was my sign that this book was meant to be.”

On Writing the Book

“It felt like I was going through therapy, because there was so much I was pulling from memory and reliving. It was exhausting, but it was good, and I think it honestly was really healthy for me too. I had a lot of fun writing it and working with Mark Dagostino. He’s so amazing at what he does, and he really helped my story come to life on paper. I’m a little anxious about the book coming out, but the closer it gets, the more excited and more anxious I get. But it’s time. It’s ready.” 

Akins LIVE IN LOVE jacket art

On What She Hopes People Learn from Live in Love

“When you get to the root of most people’s struggles, they all look very similar at the heart. I think it’s important for people to know that and to have someone speak that truth into their lives… I’m just hoping that people can find themselves and their hearts and emotions in these pages. Especially right now, when it’s easy to feel alone, I want to encourage people that they’re not and that for the most part, everyone is feeling these same anxieties and fears.”

On the Importance of Having a Support System

“I can’t take credit for me being me. It’s the people around me, as well as the people I was raised with and raised by, who helped shape me into who I am today. I can’t tell my story without all the people who show up in the book, and even the people whose names you don’t see. I have a really big, incredible community… [and the book was my way] of trying to show how thankful I am for the people in my life. So much of who I am is who they are.”

On Keeping It Real

“It felt good at first to have people say that they looked up to [Thomas Rhett and me], and I think it’s good to have people you look up to, but I also think it’s really important for those people to be very honest about who they are and how imperfect they are. Because nobody’s perfect…It’s not reality, it’s not attainable. And the faster I can let people know that about me, the faster I can relax and be myself. I feel like that’s my way of allowing myself to be me: I let it be known that I am far from perfect, our marriage is far from perfect, our kids are far from perfect, and that’s okay, because everybody has that exact same story.”

On Having Faith in Tough Times

“As hard as it is to go through the valleys that we’ve all gone through in 2020, for me, as a believer, it’s been so good to cling to these truths: God has His hand in all of this and He’s constantly walking before me and my family. He’s taken care of it; whatever our life is going to look like, He knew it before it happened. So I have peace knowing those things and knowing that I can give it all to Him. Honestly, it’s a daily act, me giving Him these things over and over, but our faith has saved our family through this year for sure.”

Live in Love: Growing Together Through Life’s Changes is available wherever books are sold on August 18. You can also buy it pre-sale now (BUY IT: $20; amazon.com).

Answers have been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

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