Growing Up A Back…

People have asked, “What’s it like growing up a Back?” I usually look at them like they are stupid because I haven’t experienced any other way of growing up… Often I just shrug, but, let me clue you in to what it is like growing up a Back.

I come from what is affectionately called “The Back Clan.” I love it, every bit of the chaos of it.

Let me explain it this way: if you only know me without my family, it would be natural to assume that many of my mannerisms, tendencies, convictions, humor, view of Christ and the world are very much “Krista” things… And then, if you meet one of the other members of my family, you would think “oh yeah, they’re definitely related.” And then,  if you met the rest or a few more members, you would realize that I am actually totally a product of my environment. Every one of us have different personalities that are uniquely our own, but we definitely come from the same place.

My older brother and I were laughing not long about how much we are alike; how our foundations, mannerisms, and view of Christ and the world are ridiculously similar, but how we express all of those things entirely different. He and I are of course about as opposite as they come. That is, until you put my entire family together, and you realize we are like a grayscale; a slow blending… Or we are each a piece of the puzzle. When we are all put together, we make a great picture all filling our role.

There are now 13 of us total between my parents, three siblings and myself, my brothers’ two wives, one assimilated sibling, and four munchkins… and of course let’s not forget the four dogs and four cats between all of us.


Copious amounts of chaos and noise is pretty much the norm when we all get together.

We genuinely love being together and talking, joking, discussing, playing games or simply cuddling and watching a movie. We enjoy being friends and hanging out together. But, in the spirit of total honesty, there are also disagreements, arguments, and different perspectives on all kinds of things (especially between the siblings). Yet, we all come from the same foundation, the same bottom line of beliefs, and each one of us have a desire to serve Jesus whenever and however we can… And, to say we are all passionate would be a laughable understatement.

My siblings and I often joke about how the vast majority of our normal dinner conversations when we were growing up we considered mundane and normal, but other people have never heard, discussed or even considered them before. I mean, normal discussions for us have always and continue to vary from whatever Biblical topic is on our minds, to re-telling our favorite parts of movies and books, to talking about the meaning behind songs… We talked about our days, conversations we had, what we thought about things going on in the world, and our interpretations of things. We also ask a lot of questions. Come to think of it, there really aren’t any taboo topics, and we usually find a way to laugh and joke about most things. Really though, while we are in the midst of debating opposite sides, even though we get loud, we rarely get angry with one another. Annoyed? Definitely, but humor usually quickly finds its way back into the conversation, usually because someone (9 times out of ten, my little sister) makes a sarcastic comment or random observation that sends us all roaring in laughter.

Really, the entire atmosphere of our house is due to my parents, and because they have exposed us constantly to discussions about where, when, why, and how things in the Bible and world happened… and really for teaching us how to think.

If you know my family at all, you would also realize that an often forgotten part of the DNA of our family is the martial arts. We love it. While most people refer to us as “ninjas,” we really just enjoy learning how to protect those around us… and perfecting our skills on each other… Which, now that all of us siblings are older and much bigger, mom tends to try to corral our fighting and wrestling to where we can do the least amount of damage to the house…

But, when all is said and done, to this day, my siblings (and family) can make me laugh like no one else in the world… All for different reasons, and with different senses of humor, but I laugh all the time at one of them… Or, in the case of my brothers, they can make me laugh or cause my temper to explode unlike anyone else, and almost instantly… Yet, even still, as much as I hate to admit it, I go to them and my dad if I feel insecure and in need of protection…

My brothers (yup, even my baby brother who is six years younger) are also what I would classify them “stupid protective”… and jokingly (sorta) blame them for my still-singlehood 😉

But, if I boiled down the “secret” to our family it would be two things: Jesus and communication. We seek Jesus and push each other towards Him constantly, and we talk…. a lot. Whether we are happy, sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, confused or excited.. whatever the emotion, we talk, share, forgive, love and move on.

So, growing up a Back has been fabulous, and every other emotion out there. I love my family, but I also really enjoy being around them.

Through Eve’s Eyes…

I have been mulling for a while over what the world was like through Eve’s eyes. We know about her, she is the first woman ever, she is the one that was taken from a rib, and the one we wonder if she along with her husband Adam even had belly buttons… But, she is also the one we blame for.. well pretty much everything. She ate the fruit first, and ruined everything.

I am not gonna lie, I have thought: “I wouldn’t have made that mistake” … But, the reality is, I probably would have because the Bible is pretty clear about what happened leading up to that fatal day:

**For those who don’t know the story or need a refresher, here’s the background:

(After everything was created except for Eve) “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.‘” (Genesis 2:15-17)

AKA – You have total freedom to eat anything except this tree or you will know death.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (2:18)

In the next two verse God has Adam name all the animals. All. Of. Them. — Uhm, how long did that take?!.. And seriously, who has that kind of creativity at a day or two old?!

Then, the remaining four verses in chapter two are all about how God created Eve. Adam sleeps, God surgically removes a rib, creates a mate for Adam, then, as if Adam hasn’t had enough creativity for the day (or year), he names her woman because she came from him… (Probably his least creative naming job.)

Ok, so that is the little bit of the show that plays before the opening credits.

Genesis three is really where our little crappy story starts… And, as all good things gone bad, it starts with a crafty evil thing (a snake.. any wonder why they still look evil?!). The snake has a conversation with Eve,
“and he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:1b-6) He totally played to her practical side, and her love of beauty dang it.

I want to stop and call your attention to something real fast. In chapter two, God told Adam not to eat from the tree well before Eve was created… She gave the fruit to Adam who was with her, and he ate also. Which means that God told him, and he said nothing while Eve carried on a conversation with this snake (is that normal for animals to talk?!)

From there, the story goes on, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll summarize. God calls out to them, and they hid, when questioned they said they were afraid because they were naked. — First, why would they suddenly be afraid of God?.. And, why would they suddenly feel naked?.. That’s basically what God asks them, and Adam instantly accuses God by saying “That woman YOU GAVE ME…” *facepalm* When God asks Eve what happens, she owns up to the fact that she was deceived.

You see, Adam knew, Eve was deceived.

I guess to be fair, they are only young children in adult bodies.

From there, God curses both of them, but differently. Adam gets a cursing on his accomplishments, and Eve gets a cursing on her relationships. Awesome.

At this point, God kills an animal to clothe them (note, this is the first death of any kind in the Bible), then they are banished from the perfect wonderful Garden of Eden. But, it is my belief that God kicked them out of the garden to be merciful. You see, there was another tree. The tree of life.

When we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil… if we had THEN ate from the tree of life.. we would never die, and thus we would forever be stuck in our sin.

Death makes a way for us to find redemption.

But, I digress.

Adam and Eve both lived HUNDREDS of years. As in Adam died in the 900 range. They both saw a lot of life come into this world. But, they both saw a lot of life die in this world as well. In fact, Cain and Abel (their two sons) had an epic sibling rivalry with each other and Cain ends up killing Abel. And, while it’s technically Cain’s fault Abel died, it is actually Eve’s fault.

This is where I want to dwell for a moment. The first bloodshed she experienced was an animal’s, she got to see and experience as God killed something to show mercy towards her and Adam. Life was lost because of her. But, when her son dies, human life was lost, and it is her fault. Before Abel, no human had actually died, so their closest understanding was the death of animals.

Imagine the grief.

Not only are you grieving the loss of your son, at the hands of your other son, but the blood is on your hands because you put your mouth to the fruit, and tasted the juice that dripped over your chin as you bit into it.

Eve got to see life and civilization take off, grow, form into clans and cities. Imagine the joy and wonder in those things. And then, she had to watch as it all crumbled for hundreds of years. And, it is her fault.

Now, think about this from yet another perspective. In the garden before that blasted fruit, her and Adam were walking and talking with God… He actually just kinda would visit them daily and they would have tea (no not really.. but maybe). And then, afterwards.. Never again do they hear the voice of God or feel Him like they did back then. Imagine the lonely feelings that would ensue from that alone. You know exactly what if feels like to be close, intimate, and talk with God… and then not at all. And, it is your fault. That would feel like a death all unto its own.

Suddenly the closeness you have with God, and the oneness with your husband is replaced with strife, arguments, loneliness, and a faint whisper of the memory of what it was all supposed to be like.

The heartache must have been almost unbearable at times. Especially, late at night when thoughts take over in the depths of the darkness.

We think of Eve as the one who “ruined everything,” and she did… But, I am fairly certain no one blames her more than she blamed herself. We are always harder on ourselves than others are on us. The guilt she carried as she watched her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren struggle and die, knowing it. is. all. her. fault. No one can relate to her, she is entirely alone in that weight.

But, there is hope. Always hope with God.

Little did she know, God had a plan that took Adam and Eve’s lack of faith in God being honest and upfront with them, and decided that since they could see Him and still had no faith, our savior would require us not seeing and yet still having faith.

So, in the depths of the weight of Eve’s story, there is hope. In the middle of the painfully dark and lonely nights, there is mercy. And, no matter what she heard or did not hear any longer, she actually knew God unlike any of the rest of us ever have, and God chose her.

Unchosen Change…

Late night writing has pretty much always been my thing. There is just something about the silence and stillness that comes late into the evening that just causes my mind to think differently. Tonight, as I sit in my soon to no longer be mine living room, with my incredibly large puppy sound asleep at my feet, I am struck once again by one thought: Unchosen change is the hardest.

I have said for a very long time that change is hard, even for someone like me who tends to really enjoy change (yes, 7 different hair colors in the last year). Change brings a lot of things, many of which take the form of uncertainties that simply cannot be answered. But, I will always stand by my personal view that it is actually the unchosen change that is the most difficult.

The complex situation can sometimes be caused by someone else choosing and making decisions on your behalf, other times it is because of illness, and every so often it is because of a series of tragic events. Regardless, the things you did not decide, but have no choice except to walk through is where the grieving of the change comes in.

My mantra for the last year has been pretty simple: “It’s just different, it’s not good or bad, just different.” And, that could not be more true for my life right now.

This week, I have had such a whirlwind of emotions play through me.

I am 7 weeks out,
100 job applications in,
23 rejection letters received,
15 packed boxes later,
2 cans of primer required,
and a solid 50/50 mixture of sorrow and joy.

Sorrow because I am painting my place back to white (which is never my favorite), and not preparing for a new exciting place yet.
Sorrow because I do not see the plan nor do I have a plan for what is coming next.
Sorrow because I am not excited about my next steps.
Sorrow because I did not just lose a job, I lost my community, and my home.
Sorrow because I learned a lot of bad habits due to some difficult people.
Sorrow because I miss and am going to miss a lot of people immensely.
Sorrow because it all just sucked.

And then, mercifully, I also find joy has just as much room in my heart and emotions.

Joy because I really do love adventure.
Joy because I get to take a furry companion with me this time.
Joy because a safety net fell into place exactly when I needed it to.
Joy because a terrible situation provided the means to get me through this season.
Joy because I know without any doubts that in a few days/weeks/months/ this time next year, I will be focused on other things.
Joy because I am loved by so very many people.
Joy because I trust that this all happened for a reason.
Joy because tomorrow brings new things.
Joy because I by my choosing or not, I am taken care of and Loved, and I know that when I look back, I would gladly choose every time for this all to work out exactly as it is playing out currently.

Unchosen change honestly sucks and it is hard. But, if we only ever got to choose the change, we would only ever do what we knew we could… And, where’s the fun adventure in that?

Can and Will…

Lately, I have come up to many situations where the conversation with people has boiled down to God’s ability and His willingness to do something (really anything).

There are a few passages of scripture where Jesus clearly says, ask anything in my name and you will get it:

“In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.” – John 16:23

The problem is later, we see Paul ASK three times, and God simply tells him no, and why He is saying no:

“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!
Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” 
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong”. –2 Corinthians 12:7-10

I want to really quickly draw your attention to a few things. First off, God just said no. Secondly, Paul ends his thought by saying that he is content over a plethora of things.. Some of which could be menial: distresses and difficulties.

Nowhere in that passage does Paul say that if he just presses into Christ more, that will solve it/fix it/undo the situation. No amount of prayer is fixing this sucker. He is stuck, and God tells him that is good enough for him at this time.

So, just in those two passages it seems like there is a contradiction; yet, that is not at all what I see. I view these as the beautifully complex perspective of God, and our invitation into Him, and our story with Him.


From my perspective (and the view from which this post is written), literally every single thing in the Bible actually is and was exactly as it is written… That makes the story CRAZY. Seriously. And, the story is intense, and complex, and dynamic. Why would God be anything less than those same things?.. Yet, He is also never-changing. So, it cannot be said then that the “angry” God of the Old Testament is different from the “loving” one in the New Testament because stepping back and looking at the whole thing, you realize the entire story is showing us how complex He really is.

So, complex and dynamic… That is why comparing John 16 and 2 Corinthians 12 is fabulously difficult.

The first thing that I know from this is that, in John 16, Jesus is telling us to stand before God and ask for anything. Nothing is to big or too small, God wants and is able to answer anything. So, tell Him what we want, need, and desire.. because while Jesus said, “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8b) God also invites us into a relationship with Him.

Why? What is the purpose of asking if God already knows right?…

I firmly believe that it is more for our benefit and growth than anything else. Because if you do not know, do not ask for it, and somehow it magically appears in your life, it is exactly that, coincidence or magic. The need or want ceases being a blessing from God and becomes a lovely thing that has happened to you, which means He does not get glory or praise over it.

Hear me out.

God loves you. He loves me. He loves his creation desperately. But, His goal is to bring Himself glory because He rightfully deserves it.

Answering your prayers brings Him glory, and I believe it brings Him great joy.

Telling you “no, but praise me anyway and trust my plan” also brings Him glory.

And, let’s call a spade a spade here for a moment, we suck at being in control of our own lives. We suck at asking for the right things, and we forget that a different perspective might be a better one. If you doubt that concept, check out the news for two minutes or take a moment and think back through some majorly difficult times in your life that were caused by poor decisions you made. We are just bad at controlling our own lives.

So, I praise God all the time for telling me no, even when I used “the right formula” and asked in His name. I praise God all the time for telling me yes because no matter what or how I pray, I recognize that I need God’s plan more than anything else.

God CAN answer ANY of your prayers, He is able to, and He actually WANTS to. The difference is, He does not promise to ALWAYS. Only a loving God would tell us: “no, and it’s none of your business why” regularly. Just like any good parent tells their child no regularly.

God CAN bring me a husband at any time. He wants to, I truly believe that, but, He also has not promised it to me, and He certainly has not told me the timing behind His plans. So, as much as it sucks often, I do not regret following Him or seeking contentment in His timing and plan.

God CAN heal you and he WANTS to. But, He will not always because sometimes His answer is simply “no.” And, I believe in those moments, when the no hurts, and causes ridiculous amounts of pain and grief in our lives, God hurts because we are hurting. But, just like many painful things, often more pain is required for true healing to take place… And sometimes, instead of healing, death is found. As much as death hurts, and sucks, God knows because that was not how he originally designed for us to live. We were never supposed to know what death feels like. Trust me, God hurts then too.

God CAN remove temptation and afflictions, but that does not mean He promises to every single time. What He does promise is to be there, unwaveringly, unending, in every moment, and in every emotion. He will be there no matter how it feels or where He feels like He is in the moment.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

What Will You Do If…

That edge of darkness takes on the form of all sorts of thoughts, comments, and whispers.

Have you ever known in your core that everything will turn out ok, just like it has every other time? But, no matter what you know to be true, and no matter how often you have experienced things playing out exactly perfectly, there is a thought at the edge of darkness muttering, “But, what will you do if….”

The edge of darkness is a little disconcerting because things take on a little bit more of a menacing demeanor, everything looks uninviting, and simply cannot be seen well.

Currently, I find myself in an interesting place. I know that my God, my sweet savior will in fact take care of everything just like He has every single other time. And yet, every time I feel the stress and emotions of the edge of darkness creeping in and tickling with doubtful thoughts, I find myself having to purposefully not allow movement towards it in the slightest. Perpetually forcing the uncertainty out of my head, and instead replacing it with what I entirely know to be True.

What will I do if I do not have a job or place to move by October 1? – I don’t know, but that doesn’t change the situation or fact that God is taking care of every bit of my situation.

What will I do if the money runs out? – I don’t know, but that doesn’t change the situation or fact that God isn’t scrambling.

Where will I go if September 30th comes, and I don’t know where to move? – I don’t know, but that doesn’t change the situation or fact that God knows the next move.

What will I do?… Exactly what I have been doing. Applying for jobs (oh good grief have I been applying for jobs), slowly pack my apartment in preparation of moving on the 30th (or sooner), enjoying the time I have here right now with my friends and family, and pray.




How do I feel about everything? – Depends on the moment. However, there is a distinct difference between my emotions and my soul and spirit; which is at peace. My emotions are fickle and fleeting, so I try not to pay them too much attention.

But, no matter what I feel, what I know to be true is that in a few months this will be a memory and another piece of my adventurous puzzle of a life. In a short time, I will be stressing about something else entirely. Life will continue, I will get the chance to meet new amazing people, and continue to build relationships with the most wonderful people who are already in my life. But, above and through every bit of it, I will be thanking God for dancing me through my inability to see what is going on.

Life isn’t easy, and no matter my emotions, I really do love how my story is getting written.


Have you ever stopped to think about how much your stuff means to you?

I do, actually on a somewhat regular basis. In fact, if something is worth anything over the change in my pocket (just kidding, I don’t really carry change), I make the habit of deciding if I would be willing to give it away tomorrow. If my heart answers yes, then I green light myself to buy it. If however, my heart says no, or I find a hiccup in my reaction to giving it away, I simply do not buy it.

What would you do if you had thousands of dollars worth of stuff stolen from you? How would you react to having unknown people rummage through your things and take them without asking?

What if they took things that had no sentimental value?.. Would your response be different?
What if they took things of extreme sentimental value?.. Would your response be different?

How attached are you to things?

I have always kinda had the perspective “I don’t own much worth anything…” which is true to an extent. I do not own a lot of the typical expensive things… and, if we are being honest, the only reason I have a real bed instead of the air mattress I slept on for five years was because the bed was given to me…

When forced to stop and look at what I have, I have a lot of things, not necessarily expensive things, but mostly sentimental things. Mainly, I have a lot of jewelry. Not necessarily incredibly expensive to buy jewelry, but I got a lot of it from other countries, as gifts, and let’s be honest here, I have been collecting jewelry without necessarily realizing I was for more than 15 years… Replacing things like that now is way more expensive than it ever was to begin with.

I want to challenge you to look at everything.. and I actually do mean everything you own, and decide right now, this very moment, that it is all “just stuff.” None of it is more important than a person (any person), and if prompted, you would give it away… or maybe just not get angry if it gets taken from you.

My grandma always said, “People are more important than things.” Choose today to make your heart and mind truly believe that no thing is more important than even the most frustrating, messed up, and broken person.

Trust me on this one, you need to decide something this substantial right now.

Me 4 Me…

I have been reflecting recently about how much I have felt as though there are people who have gotten to know me simply because they have an agenda. I feel often that they do not actually care to be my genuine friend, nor do they take the time to actually know or care about my heart.

That is a fun place to be.

In December, I posted and asked, “Will You Love Me When I’m Ugly?” and while so many said yes, and even had actions to support their claim, many people spoke with their actions in the negative.

I simply cannot feel safe or allow myself to truly be seen, flaws, insecurities and all if there are people around whose actions and words are clear: “I have ulterior motives.”

The most difficult ones are when the words are supportive and caring, while the actions are anything but.

There are lots of times that I choose to carry on ahead and pull these agenda ridden people into my life anyway. I genuinely working to love unconditionally in return because, after all, maybe I am misunderstanding them and their intentions too right? But, that does not remove the sting or pain of their lack of reciprocation.

Many times I have found myself in situations and with groups of people who I so very badly wanted to connect with. I wanted to be close friends with them; and then, repeatedly, I have felt as though it just was not for me to receive authentic friendship in return… Simply put, I was perpetually on the outside, but I was being used for any number of reasons.

So, as I take a moment to truly and humbly check my heart to see who in my life I use or have an agenda with my reason for getting to know them, I challenge you to do the same.

It is not love if you have an ulterior motive.
It is not love if you have conditions.
It is not love if you cannot forgive mistakes.

It is not love if your actions towards them are less than how you should be loved.

“Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.” – 1 Samuel 18:1

” Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.” –1 Samuel 18:3

“Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life.” –1 Samuel 20:17

“…but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” –Leviticus 19:18b

“Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” –Matthew 19:19

“This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” –Matthew 22:38-39

“and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” –Mark 12:30-31

“And he (Jesus) answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” –Luke 10:27

“For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” –Romans 13:9

“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” –Galatians 5:14

“If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.” –James 2:8