God knew what he was doing when he connected me with Julie Black and her daughter, Katie Black. They were preparing to launch the Contemporary Christian Women’s Academy and needed my help with marketing. I was honored to deliver. And what I received in return was a powerful dose of inspiration that only this amazing duo can provide! Since we met nearly a year ago, Julie and Katie have taken their business from “idea” to “inception” and are now in the midst of a whirlwind of speaking engagements and retreats. What I love most about them is the way they practice what they preach – pushing past their fears and conquering the self-limiting thoughts that prevent women from living the extraordinary lives God intends. In fact, Katie left a full time teaching position and moved her home to launch this business – and they are both beginning to reap what they sow.
Business Name: Contemporary Christian Women’s Academy (CCWA)
Business Description: We’re a mom and daughter team that writes, teaches, and speaks about living a life that’s aligned with who you are and who God intended you to be for Christian women all over the world.
I met my husband 45 years ago. He was handsome, ambitious and a Christian. After two children and five years of marriage, he told me he felt a calling from the Lord to go into the ministry full time. I wasn’t surprised at all. I could see the Lord working in our lives. Thirty-six years later I look back and see the glory of the Lord’s plan for us. Together we created a wonderful life.
But 7 years ago, in the midst of my busy life, God called me to serve my parents when they needed care in their final years and that calling changed the trajectory of my life in ways I never imagined. Shortly after they went to be with their Lord, I began to feel an urgency from God. I realized time was ticking away and there was something more important I was supposed to do with my life. I felt God calling me again, stronger and stronger, to look to His word.
By being open to Him, I discovered a whole “self- help” manual in God’s word that I never understood before. And I knew I needed to share it with others. My daughter and I broke His teachings down into easy steps and strategies that brought about huge changes in our lives. Our connection with God became closer and richer and with that came overwhelming joy, peace and a sense of fulfillment we had never felt before. Finally I was ready to share this knowledge with the ladies of our church, but Katie said, “Oh no mom, this is much bigger than St. Paul’s. We need to reach and teach women on a global level!” So that’s what we’re doing with CCWA.
Growing up as a preacher’s kid, my life was on display most of the time. But since I love an audience that wasn’t a problem for me (except when I did something stupid like being caught tasting the communion wine). I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and after graduating from Concordia High School, I embarked on my first spiritual challenge. I left the comfort and safety of my parents and moved to Fort Worth, Texas to attend Texas Christian University. To say I was “homesick” would be an understatement. This was the first time when the ONLY person I had to help me get through that difficult season of my life was Christ.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work, I worked in the corporate world. I hated it and knew for certain that this was not what I was intended to do in this world. By the guidance of God’s hand, I switched careers and soon found my way to a third grade classroom where I taught for 11 years. I developed a passion, enthusiasm and love for my students that filled me up and felt I was “on purpose.”And during my time there, I perfected my craft of teaching, motivating and encouraging people to be their best. I was committed to my students’ growth and progress. I was even voted Teacher of the Year by my coworkers twice. A recognition that to this day continues to fill me with pride.
Then, about four years ago, I began a path of self-improvement. I formed a deeper connection with God and during that time I learned about God’s promises for my life in a way I’d never understood before. Again, I felt the tap of God’s finger, pointing toward a path that I was silently imagining, but didn’t think possible. With that came an intense awakening. It was like the Holy Spirit whipped off the cover of my calling and said, “Ta-Daa!” So I called up my mom and said, “I know what I am to do with my life and you’re going to help me!” I took that giant leap of faith, left the security and comfort of my successful teaching career and a loving group of friends, and I followed God on His path. “Thy will” became my will. After just six months of starting CCWA, our calling is reaffirmed in the emails, messages, and testimonials from the women who are hearing our message.
Favorite Quote or Scripture:
“…For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves……Once that’s taken care of and we are no longer accusing or condemning ourselves. we’re bold and free before God. We are able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we are doing what he said, doing what pleases him…” 1 John 3: 20-22 (MSG)
Hobbies, Interests and Gifts:
Katie: Crossfit, Riding her bike, communing in nature, traveling (by any means). Gifts: A great storyteller with dramatic flair, loves to listen to other’s story.
Julie: Vocalist, soloist, seamstress, stained glass artist, metalsmith (silver, copper and bronze) and jewelry designer
Julie: 3 children: Amy: Currently living in Hanoi, Vietnam where her husband is the headmaster of Concordia International School. They have 2 children-Joshua 14 and Elizabeth 12. Andrew: Living in Sacramento, California working for the state government. Katie:Co-Founder of our ministry. Husband George: Married 45 years. Ordained Lutheran minister. He will retire May 2014 after 37 years in ministry.
Katie: Single,still looking and accepting referrals 🙂
Julie: Giving enough attention to my husband. My daughter and I are spending a lot of time together getting our business started. We are often together in the office until after 10pm and by then my husband is in bed sleeping. I know we’ll be able to manage our time better once we get past the “launch” stage so for right now, I have to concentrate on quality over quantity.
Katie: My biggest challenge? I’m not sure there is enough room to answer this question. In this stage of our business, my biggest challenge is pushing through the doubts. Is this good enough? Can I really help these women? I know these doubts come from Satan and he uses them to create fear. But the blessing that comes from this challenge is that it drives me right to the comfort of God. When Satan gets close, I get closer to my Savior. Oh, and one more challenge….. changing my status from “single” to “married.”
Advice for Other Mompreneurs:
God is calling you for a purpose. Keep your heart and mind focused on his love, his word and the power in his promises to become the woman he created you to be. By fulfilling your destiny, you honor God, your family and especially yourself.
Why I Love Being a Part of the Christian Mompreneur Network:
Theresa is fulfilling her purpose by sharing her love and expertise with Christian women everywhere. She has a special love for the mompreneur and has great insight into the hearts of these women. God is using her mightily and we are blessed to have such a Godly woman as a mentor and coach. With her direction, a safe Christian community of mompreneurs has been established where encouragement, support and hope is shared with all it’s members. This is what ensures success!
Facebook: We Are CCWA
Twitter: We Are CCWA
YouTube: We Are CCWA