FAQ’s About Me
All right, so maybe there aren’t any Frequently Asked Questions about me.
Let me take that back. There are, but they’re usually, “Mommy, what’s for dinner?” or “Mrs. McGee, do I really have to turn that research paper in on Friday?” But maybe you’re here and you’re not one of my children or one of my students. Maybe you just happened to type in “Krista McGee” and discovered this blog. Or maybe you’re looking forward to reading my book (if that’s you, you are now officially my favorite person!). Whatever reason you may be here, scroll below and read the parts about me that interest you. Have any questions? Shoot me an e-mail! I’d love to hear from you.
Where are you from?
I was born in Memphis, TN. The same hospital where Elvis used to go (please tell me you know who Elvis is!). Interesting coincidence: my daughter, Eliana, was born on Jan. 8. Elvis’ birthday. That made me very happy. Anyway, from Memphis, I moved to McKenzie, TN, which is one of my favorite cities on earth. When I was five, I moved to Winter Haven, FL. Winter Haven has a chain of seven lakes, and it used to have a great theme park called Cypress Gardens where there were amazing water ski shows and southern belles would sit in huge dresses on the beautifully landscaped lawns. Now, it’s Lego Land. I lived in Winter Haven until I left home to go to college.
Where have you lived?
- Memphis, TN
- McKenzie, TN
- Winter Haven, FL
- Pottersville, NY
- Land O’Lakes, FL
- Midlothian, TX
- San Jose, Costa Rica
- Madrid, Spain
- Tampa, FL
What did you like to do when you were a teenager?
I loved performing. I was in my first play when I was 5 — “Hansel and Gretel.” I had a double role. I was a mouse in the first act, and a villager in the second. Problem was, the make-up crew couldn’t get the black mouse-liner off my eyes, so I was a villager that looked like she got in a fist fight on the way to the market. Still, I loved theater, loved acting, loved singing, loved being in front of people. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been in over two dozen plays. I tried other stuff: dancing, sports, piano. Those were all a huge fail. So I stuck with performing until God intervened.
How did God intervene?
I was 16, and I went to a Christian summer camp in upstate New York. Although I had grown up in church and become a Christian when I was 11, my relationship with God was more of a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of thing. I figured as long as I was doing some good stuff, God would be happy, and I’d be able to keep performing. My goal: to be a world famous actress. On Broadway. (Because Hollywood is for sell-outs.) But that week at camp changed all that. There, I understood for the first time that God wanted a relationship with me. Like a best friend. But a best friend who was the creator of the universe. And he wanted all of me. Not just parts of me. Not just a Sunday/Wednesday/occasional youth outing me. Everything. So I promised him everything. “Whatever you want, God. I’m all yours.” He immediately began to work on me, and I knew that His goal for my life was not the same as my goal. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a famous actress on Broadway. That’s just not the life God had planned for me.
How did you know what God wanted you to do?
First, I surrounded myself with people who knew God better than I did. I was blessed to be in a public school with a lot of Christians. We’d meet for Bible studies before school, we’d hang out during lunch, go out together on weekends. I had some amazing Christian teachers and youth leaders who would make sure I wasn’t making stupid mistakes. And they’d call me on them when I did. I also started spending more time in God’s word, getting to know Him better. Then I started teaching some of the Bible studies at school. And I found I really liked that. I went to a Bible college for two years after high school because I wanted to know more about God’s word. During that time, I knew God was calling me into some type of ministry. I didn’t know exactly what, yet, but I knew that was the direction He was pointing me towards.
How did you meet your husband?
We were working together at a Christian camp here in Florida. I was 19. I heard about him before I saw him. His sister, Jill, was married to the camp director. Jill is beautiful, and I remember thinking, I wonder if her brother is as good-looking as she is? But then he came. And he was 25. I couldn’t even manage to see what he looked like because he was just so old. And he thought I was way too young. Just another teenager working at camp for the summer. He had already finished college and was moving on. He certainly wouldn’t want to get stuck with someone who just graduated high school. But we watched each other. Dave is a godly man. I was especially impressed that, when he taught some of the seminars at camp, his Bible was held together by duct tape. Obviously, he spent a lot of time in it. Plus, he was a good teacher. Then I got a good look at him. Yep, good looks did run in the family. It took him six months (yes, that’s SIX) before he formally declared his interest. He believes in taking things slowly. But in those six months, we talked a lot. We got to know each other. We didn’t kiss or even hold hands (seriously). And when he finally did admit that he was interested, our relationship was ready to be built on a solid foundation of Jesus first and friendship second. We were married a year and a half later.
How many kids do you have?
We have three kids. Emma is 14, Eliana is 12, and Thomas is 10. They are three of the most incredible people on earth, and I love being their mom. They have traveled with us all over the country and all over the world!
We were missionaries. In Costa Rica, we attended a language school so we could learn Spanish. The kids went to school there, too. Emma was just 6, Ellie 4, and Thomas 2. They all learned Spanish, and we learned a lot about the beautiful country and culture in Costa Rica. From there, we moved to Spain, where we worked with a church there. The kids went to a public school in Spain. It was a bilingual school – some classes were in Spanish and some in English. But the English was British English, so Emma failed her first test because she called a “pavement” a sidewalk, a “biscuit” a cookie, and a “boot” a trunk. And, once, when her teacher asked her where she lived, “a house or a block of flats?” Emma said neither. She lived in an apartment complex. But in England, that is “a block of flats.” Thankfully, Emma’s English teacher allowed her to pass that course, anyway!
What do you do, now?
Now, I answer questions about myself on a blog. I also teach English at a Christian school in Tampa, FL. I love that! I occasionally direct musicals there, too, which has been a lot of fun. God is so gracious to give me new passions while still allowing me to enjoy my old ones. And, of course, I write. Which I also love.
How did you get to be a writer?
I’ve always loved reading, but I never really thought about being a writer. It wasn’t something I excelled at in school. (I was just an average student, very content with B’s and C’s. Something my AP English students find very amusing, since I push them to get A’s!). But when we were in Spain, a friend encouraged me to submit an article to a Christian girls’ magazine. I did, and they published that article and a couple more. That really began my love of writing (thanks, Laura!). When we moved back to Tampa, I got the idea for my book, First Date (the original title was Get Real). I wanted to write a modern version of the Esther story. Partly because I love that story and how it teaches us that God is involved in every aspect of our lives. And partly because I want to encourage teens to get in God’s word and experience it for themselves. So I took my laptop to a local library and spent a summer writing the book. From there, God allowed it to be published.
Why do you write for teens?
I love youth ministry. Always have. From the time I worked at the youth camp after my first year of college, I knew this was the age group I wanted to invest in. Part of that is because I was so influenced by my Christian teachers and youth leaders. They gave me encouragement, a kick in the pants, a listening ear. I wanted to do the same for the teens that God allowed me to work with. My husband and I spent ten years working with middle schoolers, both in Tampa and in Texas. Since we have moved back to Tampa, I have been able to work with high schoolers as a teacher at a Christian school. But, with a middle schooler in my own house, and two more close on her heels, that ministry is still there. I know how hard it is to be a teen, trying to live for God and make wise choices while being flooded with hormones that make you want to scream and cry and hug people – sometimes all within the same hour. I want to help teens find God and cling to Him during those years, to know that there are people wanting and willing to help them do that. And I want them to know that serving God is fun and exciting and incredibly rewarding. There’s nothing like it!