Christian mom blogger and author Mary Katherine (M.K.) Backstrom shares how God uses each ‘mess’ in our lives to bring us closer to Him.

Christian mom blogger Mary Katherine (M.K.) Backstrom is a writer, viral blogger and founder of Mom Babble, a growing community of more than 480,000 followers. Backstrom has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and awarded The Today Show Iris Award. She is married to her college sweetheart, Ian, and together they are raising their two children and two golden retrievers. Although the family recently relocated from Florida to Huntsville, Alabama, Backstrom still considers Florida as a second home to her family.

Recently, Backstrom finished her new book, Holy Hot Mess, and it’s already receiving rave reviews; although still in the ‘pre-order’ phase, it launched in the top 10 on Amazon and is considered a best seller.

“Writing is my creative outlet, but it’s also so much more,” said Backstrom. “It’s how I process emotions, traumas, growth experiences. Having the ability to share my heart and ideas in long form was something I always dreamed of doing, but getting a book deal is no easy feat.”

Backstrom spent more than six years building a following, freelance writing and posting content for free before she had the opportunity to traditionally publish.

“When I got that chance, I had a million different ideas, but the word ‘mess’ just kept showing up. Turns out, I’m an expert in that category, so writing a book about life’s mess was a natural progression of what I was already doing. And after hugging strangers in gas stations, calling a vet to schedule my daughter’s vaccines, etc., I think it’s what my audience expects.”

She is currently under contract for another book through Hachette Book Group.

“I feel the need to clarify that I am an expert on nothing but mess,” said Backstrom. “I am not a prescriptive writer; I am not here to Oprah-fy your problems and give a secret solution to your most confusing problems. I’m just a friend who has also walked through the valley, and I’m still here. My goal as a writer is to make people feel less alone, and to validate my audience in their journey.”

Backstrom ended up in the spotlight after a viral video became a social media sensation when she filmed herself in a Wawa parking lot, hysterically laughing as she recounted how she hugged a complete stranger who she thought was cleaning her windshield, as she was thrilled with the Christmas spirit of paying it forward. The man, in fact, was cleaning his own windshield and was confused by Backstrom’s gesture. Shortly after this, she received a call to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“Ellen is seriously like hugging an ice cream cone,” said Backstrom. “She’s as kind and joyful as I ever imagined, and her team made me feel very loved and comfortable throughout the process.”

Between writing books and raising a family, Backstrom is also committed to speak at the Mom 2.0 Summit in Miami held from Sunday to Tuesday, September 26-28.

Backstrom wants people to know that it’s okay to exist in a space where everything isn’t perfect.

“I struggle with marriage, parenthood, faith and every other possible area of life, but I am a joyful and deeply fulfilled person. Adulting is hard, but it doesn’t mean that life can’t be beautiful. We can find God in the details of our life’s biggest messes if we stop and dust for fingerprints. He’s there, making us holy and giving purpose to our pain. Just hold on to hope,” she said.

For more information, follow Backstrom on Facebook and Instagram or visit her website at www.holyhotmess.com. You can preorder her book through Amazon.

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Kelly Legg has been writing for the Osprey Observer as a freelance writer for three years, and has recently taken on the role of managing editor for the Christian Voice newspaper. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications. She currently resides in Riverview with her husband and three children.