Jan 16, 2013


It is official, my blog is moving!

After much deliberation and processing, I decided for where I want to go it makes sense to make the change!

You will soon be able to find me and my blog at kristaback.com.

The four years of posting I have here will be migrating with me, and much of the content will stay the same.. Except, I will be expanding, putting more elements and speakers into my blog!

Jan 15, 2013

Toying With Possibilities...

I have been toying with the idea in my head to change things up a bit... Shocker right?

Although really, the change would only take place online, and it would be in the form of creating a new blog and website for myself... But, it would be change none the less.

I love blogging, I love sharing my thoughts and life with the digital realm. But, mostly I love the people that my blog connects me to. I love how God uses this platform and medium to speak to the hearts of people (not just the one I write, but soo many others).

For example, I am considering doing something a little bit more like my online friend Renee Fischer, or like this collection of women, or even still like this blog for new or soon to be marrieds. Obviously it would be like these in terms of the fact that it would become more dynamic and engaging, but it would be in my flare and style.

Honestly though, my biggest worry against making this move is my ability to move all of my 700+ posts to this new site. I mean, as much as I love change, this blog is an intimate history and chronological description of God's story in my life... it would have to come with me. Although, I am fairly certain I can make the transition... But, it would of course take work and time to make the move.

However, the thought of making the transition and exploring what it would look like to invest more in my writing online.. I like this thought just because I have talked to people and received numerous e-mails or messages about how much a particular post helped someone. I love that. In the moments and times when I have nothing to share or I hurt too deeply to express well, I write and put whatever I can out there because there is a chance that it might impact someone else.

How could I say no if all of this work sews just one seed for Jesus?.. Or waters just one fertile plant? Or encourages someone struggling? Or reminds someone they are loved unconditionally? Or helps someone express forgiveness? Or gives words to the voiceless?.. How could I choose not to write if just one post has the chance to change someone's eternal life?

No, I will continue to write, because what if?...

The real choice now is do I stay here or migrate and give myself more possibilities?

Jan 13, 2013

Why Help?...

I have been thinking lately about the idea of why we help others.

Sometimes I think we "help" those "less fortunate" than ourselves for credit or recognition. Not always obviously, but sometimes it is even just wanting credit from the person we are helping... Then there are other times when I think we are told to help, and we obey, but in obeying find ourselves feeling incredibly awkward. I have had several instances lately where I feel like God has told me to step in and do something instantly without question. Ironically I find I get incredibly awkward in those moments because I am purely following the Holy Spirit, yet I want no recognition, so it is almost as though I do not want anyone to notice... Even though the particular situations require lots of people around to notice.

Then, on a totally different side, we help people despite themselves. We fight for what is right on their behalf, even though we often are fighting them instead of someone else...

***Pause*** Let me be explicitly clear here, I am not referring to everyone or even close to everyone... It will be clear in a few moments what I am talking about, just stick with me.

Helping can be frustrating business sometimes. I mean really, I have DOZENS of stories of helping people at my church, some funny, annoying, frustrating, infuriating, and many more emotions... and it has only been a few months! Yet ironically, I spend most of my time helping by actually fighting for change within themselves; usually nicely.. but sometimes bluntly... and still other times I completely ignore their bad behavior in order to get them one step closer. (Yup, I just referred to some Christian adults as having bad behavior...)

I find that I keep having to remind myself is that this is purely a season, this is where the heavy lifting comes in, and quite frankly, no matter how I feel I have been told to go and do, and I have no choice but to be obedient. 

My job, or at least a huge portion of it is to be a catalyst for change... Actually, if I am being honest, my job is a lot of things... But, mostly my job is to teach people HOW to change. Not because we want everyone to look the same, act the same, smell the same (ew), or speak the same.. But because we want everyone to serve as God has made them uniquely and specifically to do. We want everyone to grow in a way that speaks to their own hearts and minds. A Christ follower should be serving and growing constantly, and in order to do that, we have to change... constantly.

Yet, if we have not ever been in a place or position that has forced change, we tend to stay mostly the same. Sometimes staying the same is reflected in our hair (clearly not mine), our manner of speaking or in the case of "the church" it comes in the form of our comfort zones and the places we are terrified to touch or go. So, my job is to create the space and opportunity for people to learn how to change... I work to give them the tools that will make the process one that each person understands how it works on their level. What makes creating space for change difficult is that, it looks as different as each person that attends our church... which means that everything I do to create space and encourage growth becomes a full frontal assault to someone no matter what I do.

Thankfully (not even joking), the Lord has been with me, and in moments where I was about to lose it on some poor afraid of change soul, God intervened and took care of me and the person I was engaged with. In some instances I was able to clearly see the words and actions for what they were, nervousness. In other cases I was able to respond to what they meant instead of what they were saying. While still other instances, I was given the gift of silence.. No really, for me that does not come easily or often...

I have also been thinking about all of the minor little things I do every. single. day. to help institute change in the hearts of the hundreds of people who attend my church, and subsequently the hundreds of people they have then contact with on a regular basis outside of "the church"... Cause let's be honest here, it only will mean something if the people who currently go to my church learn to grow and change, and then in turn reach out to those they have contact with who do not currently go to church or know Christ.

What I have also been thinking of is how no matter what I do, someone doesn't like it, while at the very same time it is an answer to someone else's prayers. How bizarre... And, talk about having to know where you are going, why you are headed in that direction, and then on-top of it all pray.. lots.

So, if it is so difficult sometimes, why do I help? Because I care. Genuinely. Deep down in my very core, in every fiber of who I am, I care. I was made to care, I was broken to have compassion, I care what happens in your eternal destination. I care what happens to the eternal destinations of the hundreds of people in your sphere of influence. It matters to me that each person be pushed to in turn learn why it matters that they help.

And, no matter what people think or say, I can, and will change the world.

Not me as in Krista by herself, in her own strength; but, "me" as in God created me uniquely and specifically, and He is going to use me to make His kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven unlike anyone else. Just like He will use each one of us to do the exact same thing, especially if we intentionally bow and bend our hearts towards Him.

Why do I help others in the joy, fun, exciting, frustrating, awkward, infuriating, and uncertain things? Because God has told me to. There is no other reason.

Jan 9, 2013

January 2013 Life...

This month seems filled with randomness, and we are only nine days in...

I got new tires on my car!.. Expensive, but I love that I can feel the difference in the way it handles! I also was able to get my windshield washer/squirters fixed so I am no longer in danger of not being able to see through the dirt! My excitement is only an indication of the fact that I am solidly an adult now haha

Yesterday, I spent the majority of the day planning and putting together trainings (FINALLY!). I mean, let's be honest, I have had this on my to-do list for 2 months now. I was also able to (again finally) jot down the basic topics I need to write a script for in order to complete the trainings.. Dang it. I hate when I do not have the time to do things exactly how I want when I need to be organized and linear. Instead I will be forced to complete the written portions of these trainings, and send them to my focus group sans the much more helpful videos explaining things... Oh well, such is my life currently I suppose.

I had a revelation last night, and not that this will surprise anyone who knows me I guess, but I hate and get incredibly agitated when people I am talking to are clearly misunderstanding me, but do no try and understand what I mean, and instead they just argue with what I am saying.. Which just leaves me to know full well we are not understanding each other, but also having no clue how to communicate my point better. So. Frustrating.

I know that I am like that obnoxious cat lady.. or the new parent who thinks their child is the most adorable thing on the planet.. But, I cannot express how much having my puppy makes my temperament better when I am stressed. That is when he is not stressing out too and subsequently having accidents in my house. However, he does little things like squeeze himself between me and whatever I am standing in front of, just to stand there until I pet him. It makes me laugh.

He also does this when he's missed me:
Vormund laying on my lap before bed.
Melt. My. Heart.
... However, there are times he makes me lose my mind, like last Friday night/Saturday morning/Sunday afternoon when he was clearly stressed out/having bladder issues and having accidents every few minutes... Ugh. -- And, then there are the times that he makes my heart race, like this morning, when we walked outside and he barked the deepest bark and growled unlike any noise I have ever heard come out of him.. Scared. Me. So. Bad... talk about a "GOOD MORNING" call -- all because the maintenance guy was putting salt down (*facepalm*)! Thankfully he listened and stopped when I covered his mouth and told him it was fine and he was a good boy, but needed to stop barking lol...

And, not to be a complainer.. But, this is the longest winter I have had in 5 years... Which doesn't bode well since realistically we have only had 3 weeks of snow (if that), and we have another 2 months at the very least! However, thankfully, it has been sunny the last couple days!.. But, I absolutely must find at least ONE thing I like/love about winter in the north.

I am starting to read the Bible in a year today.. although, technically the plan doesn't start until the 15th, I am going to go ahead an get a jump start on it today.

What a strange and unique year this is going to be if the first 9 days are any indication...

Jan 6, 2013

Tired Change...

I am ridiculously tired right now.

I have spent the last three days directing, helping, and providing food and getting supplies for more than a dozen volunteers as we re-vamped the lobby/foyer area of my church and the sanctuary.

It. Looks. Awesome.

Seriously, I am so excited, and I am even more excited at knowing we are not finished, but that each additional thing we do is icing on the incredibly cool cake!

However, throughout it all, talk about a trying and tiring time! Thankfully the first two days went smoothly, we had lots of volunteers, laughter, and the majority of the work went smoothly... As is the case however, after working for more than 12 hours both Thursday and Friday, by Friday night me, my body, my homework, and my puppy were all suffering.

My puppy had spent two full days at this point in his crate with me home basically long enough to feed him, water him, and take him out for a potty break... needless to say he was an emotional almost 70lb wreck, and I was an exhausted and aching owner with homework to do and nothing but sleeping on my mind... It was a very poor combination that lead to multiple potty disasters Friday night and Saturday morning.

By Saturday morning I had basically not slept at all, my puppy had additional potty disasters, and I yelled, scrubbed, and held back tears... Then headed out to get supplies and start the last day of reconstruction.... Which had lots of difficulty getting things back together, directing the chaos, and figuring out how to manage the worse than terrible mood I was in. It wasn't a pretty moment (or hours worth of moments) inside my head or heart Saturday morning.

Thankfully, everyone around me was filled with grace, and the Lord didn't fail me in my petitions for help. We had lots of help that got everything together much earlier than I had hoped for... a friend took the pups to allow her dog to tucker him out, and I was able to see the completion of the project looking FABULOUS!

Saturday night I climbed into bed at 9pm.. fell asleep after some reading and homework at 10pm...... and promptly woke up at 1am. Heard a loud crash in the bathroom a few minutes after I woke up that scared both the pups and I (thank you suction cup holding up the razor), so I decided to take the pups out for a potty break..... which also included a potty disaster on the way to the door. -- Seriously, I might not survive this stage. Then I fell asleep about 45 minutes later..

Words simply cannot express how thankful I am that the majority of the response to the changes were positive, and those that disliked it kept it to themselves that I am aware of. Afterwards the pups and I packed up and headed to my parents house so he could get worn out even more, and I could get some time with my family...

Now, Sunday evening, after putting in upwards of 50 hours of work in 4 days, my entire body hurts and is sore, and my mind is swimming with fog. So, I wrap up my "weekend" with a cup of sleepytime tea, frozen berries, homework, facebook, blogs, and then some reading before I pass out...

Change is tiring!

Dec 31, 2012

Expecting 2013...

So, much like my Wrap-up of 2012, this is my annual post introduction into the next year.

For whatever reason I never do these posts the same.. or even similar. So, if you would like to check out previous year's looking forwards, here are the years:

For 2013, I have no real idea what to expect from this year, although I do know a few things I have planned...

I have my 10 year high school reunion. Whoa.

I graduate with a double masters degree in May! Two classes to go, and I simply could not be more excited!.. Then I have to decide if I want to pursue an M. Div... Oye!

I get to travel to East Asia in February, as well as India in the fall. I. Am. Stoked. -- Seriously I get paid to travel!?

My baby brother -- who is not so baby and huge is getting married to the most amazing and wonderful woman that is not only a perfect partner for him, but she fits into the family like the missing link we never knew we were in need of.

My older brother is going to have a 4th little one. I am SO excited about another niece or nephew!... Even if the child is due in June.

My bff and her husband are having their first baby! My little cousin and her husband are having their first baby!! A couple other friends are having babies as well!... I am so excited about all the babies!

My beautiful baby sister turns sweet 16. Seriously, when did that happen?!

Because of my job, which I love, even if it is stressful sometimes and is pushing me more than I expected will provide lots of first experiences. I am stoked about what God is doing in my church. I am praying and expecting God to not only provide, but to supply more than enough of Himself to make it through. I am confident that He will change the hearts of those that need changing, and I know without any doubts that He will blow us away when we look back next December at all the things He has done. I am humbled and amazed at how He is choosing to use me, and I have a laundry list of prayers that compliment those feelings.

My little baby puppy will become a full grown beast haha

I fully expect to add at least 4-5 more 3x5 cards to my bathroom mirror!.. Which means I expect God to also do amazing things and answer my crazy prayers.

My 2013 Goals:
(In no particular order)
  1. I want to continue to try and post 3-4 times a week. -- I also want to continue to use this platform to reach and encourage others.
  2. I want to put a substantial down payment on my 90k student loans in the fall when I have to start paying them back... My goal is 12k.
  3. I want to continue to live off of 74% of my income. -- (Tithing 10%, saving 9%, gifting 7%)
  4. I want to cross 5 things off of my Before I Die list, and add 5 new things to the list.
  5. I want to get back to a regular workout schedule... which means healing my hip completely.
  6. I want to read through the Bible.. I've gotten half way through one year, and while I've read the whole Bible in random chunks, I'd like to read through the whole thing!
  7. I want to experience God this year unlike I have in any other time in my life. -- I have every expectation that I will be shocked at all the things God has done and revealed to me a year from today.
  8. I want to read 40 books this year (not counting school books or the Bible).
  9. Like last year, I want to pray my way through this year.
  10. I want to learn and understand love, compassion, and grace this year unlike any year before.

Dec 29, 2012

I Don't Like Christians...

At one point or another as Christians (or non I suppose), we deal with the fact that often times we struggle more with Christians than we do with non-Christians... We all have our theories as to why that is, some more emotional than others and some entirely logical... But, I have been thinking... Who is supposed to reach the Christians?

I have been thinking about the various responses to what Christian's say, what they do, and how each of us tend to either respond or want to respond to those Christians.

Yet, no matter how we feel or don't feel, each of us have a role to play. -- Each of us are told to go and make disciples.

No matter your role in the body of Christ, you were told to make disciples. There is no excuse, no option, no wiggle room. It is simply: Go... In fact, there really is no room for "seasons" of ministry either. So, no matter what is going on in your life, we are told to make disciples.. Obviously this looks different every moment of your life, but we are never given the option of not making disciples.

Now, there is no doubt that this looks different for every person, but what the command also does is remove our ability to have an aversion to other Christians.


Because, you cannot make a disciple out of someone who does not believe or want to follow and learn about the same Truth you are teaching. 

So, no matter how much Christians frustrate us, and no matter how much they say or do things we dislike... or we want to slap their face off for something they have said or done, we are told by Jesus Christ to make disciples of them. It pretty much takes away our "I hate being around Christians" excuse because Jesus didn't care how we felt about other Christians, He told us to go and love them and make them a disciple anyway.

In light of this thought, I challenge you in 2013 to refuse to make excuses for why you do not want to get involved with or hang out with or be around other Christians. Instead decide that no matter what you are going to reach out and make disciples of anyone who will allow you to... Refuse to make it about you, your feelings, and your dislike...

In 2013 choose to refuse to leave the Christians who do not understand, are misinformed, or hurting to someone else to care for. Decide it is your job to help them, love them, and disciple them.