No One Should Have To Lead Alone
I’ve been a pastor’s wife for over 20 years to my handsome high school sweetheart. People say I’m pretty down-to-earth; just ask my two teenage boys. I think being raised by a single working mom with some real-world challenges, growing up, has helped me stay grounded. I’m a practical person who’s grown spiritually since I became a Christian at the age of 15. A Bible college education in psychology and years of “coffee-shop counseling” dates developed me into a go-to for guidance. I encourage others in a truth-in-love kind of way. I love being a cheerleader AND a loving-challenger, all wrapped up in one. I’m often the one others look to when problems arise or advice is needed.
To be honest, though. Leading in ministry has led to many situations (sometimes hurtful, often hilarious, always confidential) that have left me feeling rather alone, with no idea who I might turn to. While I am close with many women who love me and support me and encourage me, there are just certain things that are too confidential or too private to share with some of my favorite ladies.
I’ve often felt a real need to seek advice from another leader who might be objective… who wouldn’t know the “characters” involved in my story and who would have no stakes in the outcome of my leadership decisions.
But, the thought of tracking down and asking talented, “already-too-busy” influential leaders for advice, care or prayer seemed too selfish. What if they felt like I do: So often drained of time and energy; too low on capacity? That barrier kept me leading alone for much too long.
Social Impact Entrepreneur
Pursue God's Purposes Together
Over the last few years, I started to discover that other leaders, from a variety of backgrounds, organizations and industries were wishing for the same kinds of connections I had been craving, as a ministry leader.
But, geography, competition with other ambitious women, overly-committed schedules and always “putting out the next fire” were keeping many of these Leading Ladies from experiencing the support, encouragement and sense of belonging they might find, amongst peers. Leaders from business, ministry, the non profit world or anywhere else are looking for mutual support, without judgment. I started to dream about connecting a group of influential women who weren’t interested in complaining or gossiping, but think-tanking creative strategies to prayerfully move ahead in all of God’s plans. I wished for a community of peers who might understand the unique challenges of leadership AND share a passion for God’s purposes.
But, that kind of authentic community just didn’t exist. YET.
So, I resigned from my safe and secure job and become an entrepreneur with a dream to bring together a Sisterhood of everyday Christian leaders for God’s purposes. I love to give back a % of profits to anti-trafficking organizations and raise awareness, through my business, about this important issue.
As I lead our Sisterhood, I am encouraged and growing like never before, alongside my Sisters! Making a difference, together is so fun!
It’s always been my dream: I want to be a writer when I grow up.
While I haven’t published a book, YET, I am practicing and growing as a writer and pouring my heart into my Sisterhood content and weekly Inbox Greetings for Leading Ladies who are interested in living for God’s purposes.
Every Tuesday, I email a special message to encourage, challenge, inspire and educate! My favorite topics are purpose & people. I often ask for a response because I believe relationships should be reciprocal… and I learn and grow so much because of YOU!
I hope my example of getting started on my big dream (a book!) by taking small action steps (weekly encouragements for you) will provide a positive example for you.
How might you begin to go after your big dream by taking small action steps?
When it comes to mixed media painting, I don’t claim to offer museum-ready or even small town art gallery material. I just love to be creative!
Soon after I learned about the issue of human trafficking for the first time, I began making goodies out of vintage books and old pages to sell at shops and art fairs for the benefit of victims and survivors… changing our stories to change theirs. That’s how Altered Story started.
My business has evolved. Now, I mostly love helping women like you. Offering creative strategies to alter your story and connect you with others lights me up. #PurposeParties combine personal growth activities with creative projects, like vision boards, one word banners and more. Plus, Altered Story still donates to the anti-trafficking cause.
How might adding a little creativity to your life help you tap into old enjoyments AND inspire new adventures?
Beyond writing and art, I love to use my other unique talents and abilities to make an impact.
The cause closest to my heart is modern day slavery. I am bold about bringing awareness. But, my favorite way to use the talents God gave me is to connect people!
I started a Facebook group to educate, inspire and connect people in my home state of Wisconsin about the issue of trafficking that now reaches over 1,500 people.
What unique interests or talents has God given you that you might put to good use for the benefit of others?
Nope. I’m not climbing mountains. But, navigating life as a mom, pastor’s wife and dream chaser is such an adventure! Researching, planning for and spending a week in Eastern Europe to interview leaders about human trafficking was an experience I will never forget! Resigning from my full-time job to pursue this entrepreneurial dream of a connecting a Sisterhood has been a risky but fulfilling journey, so far. God continues to lead.
I’m not afraid to go against the tide for God’s will. And, I love offering courage to others! Using what I’ve learned and what I continue to learn, I lead women step-by-step from dreaming to daring… with a goal of pursuing even more dreams.
It would be my joy to guide you, share what I’ve learned along the way AND connect you with a bunch of other amazing women who are doing the same! This is living!
What God-adventures might create a truly abundant life for you?
What Do Leading Ladies Say About Cristi?
“I’m truly thankful for her support as we reach for God’s purposes.”
“Her work has been life-changing!”
“I’m always so encouraged when I talk with Cristi.”
“Why be in the Sisterhood?! Ummm… CRISTI!”