I'm a small-town Saskatchewan girl, turned Catholic coach and Founder of both Fully Integrated Ministries and the Woman of Strength Program.
Some facts that might surprise you: I am French-Canadian (yes, I still speak it fluently), I started off studying commerce before I 180 flipped into catholic psychology, and I grew up with a priest as a grandpa. (And for those of you who are curious, no, he was not a Ukrainian Catholic but a widow!). This was particularly cool because he was there to celebrate all of my sacraments - from baptism to marriage!
It was a slow process to build this life:
A happy marriage, a stable emotional life, a husband who wants to pray with me and grow intentionally, let alone a healthy balance in my life where I know how to rest and take care of my own needs.
In fact, just seven years ago you could have found me crying alone in my my cockroach infested basement apartment, wondering if I had just made the biggest mistake of my life in getting married. I thought I was starting a new and exciting life as a married woman, but instead, I felt I had just stepped into what felt like a nightmare.
At the age of 26, and just 3 weeks into 'newlywed bliss', my life was flipped over by the discovery of my husbands addiction to alcohol. I have never been so devastated (and this is coming from someone who's suffered abuse and tragic grief in her childhood). Little did I know that this crisis would lead to the most profound transformations, first within myself and then within my husband. I feel like God gave me a front row seat to the coolest show in the world and it still makes my heart explode when I look back at all of the crazy, miraculous, never in a million years could I have ever come up with this stuff, that God made possible.
Most days you can find me cozied up on the couch, sipping on my coffee, nerding-out on a good textbook... usually about theology, philosophy or psychology, (all that stuff that makes most people yawn!) praying and dreaming about ways to help Catholics find more joy and freedom in their lives.
My favourite place to do this, aside from a good coffee shop or a comfy couch, is in the outdoors. Slow walks by the river, snowshoeing, and meditating near a lake are staples in in my day-to-day life. (Pretty awesome, right!?)
Want to know what fires me up?
Bringing the body back into our spirituality as Catholics (Bye Bye over-spiritualization!). Equipping the faithful through practical strategies that integrate both psychology and catholic tradition. And BEST of all! Teaching why these things are good for us in the first place!
I'm a HUGE believer in helping faithful people get unstuck by teaching them the mechanics of how God has designed them, both body and soul. I mean, how are you supposed to fix something if you don't know how it all works together? I firmly believe that once you understand these founding principles, the creativity and effectiveness of problem solving your own relational and moral issues skyrockets!
But what I want MOST is to help rebuild Catholic marriages and put an end to the plague of addiction we currently face.
I truly believe that we, as woman, and most especially as wives, have an incredibly powerful role to play in this war. Our Mother Mary showed us the tremendous power and grace that comes from docility to God's Will. She has earned herself the titles of co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate! Her virtue has quite literally helped to redeem the world and I believe that we are called to imitate her in a very real way through our vocations as wives. It's our call and our duty.
Will you fight alongside me?Join the Woman of Strength Waitlist
A little look at this 'wild ride' called life these past 7+ years...
- We said 'I Do' in Toronto, Canada, on April 22.
- Came home from the wedding to a cockroach infested apartment!
- Discovered his addiction to Alcohol in May and I started my Master of Psychology a few days later.
- The first of eight months of un-employment began for him in early September that year.
- He admitted to the addiction for the first time in September.
- Daniel took started his first course in Personal Training in Nov.
- By December, we were struggling so much financially that we started delivering papers at 3:00 am, before I had to head out for my already full-time job, in order to pay for food.
- Decided to take a mental health and financial break from my Masters Degree starting in January.
- Daniel became certified in Personal Training in March and started work in April!
- We were able to quit delivering papers and I was able to get back to my education in May, but...
- MAJOR BURNOUT hit me incredibly hard that same month. My body started to relax and the stress of the previous year crashed down on me like a tone of bricks; I couldn't even physically lift myself out of bed in the morning.
- Started seeing a naturopathic doctor in June and God started doing some major reconstruction on my spiritual life at the same time.
- Then we were hit with another whammy... My mom was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in September, and that took over our lives for the rest of the year.
- By the EARLY January, I felt God tell me to take a break from my Masters... again... because my mom wouldn't live till the summer. This felt totally crazy to me because she hadn't been diagnosed as terminal yet, and was doing OK enough, but I took a leap of faith and did it anyway.
- By February, mom was diagnosed as terminally ill. I took a break from work too and moved back home to help take care of my mom in her last months. This was the first time Daniel and I were going to live apart since we were first married.
- In March, Daniel and I's apartment flooded! We had to find a new place for Daniel to live, so we moved him out and into a friend's unfinished basement because we didn't have renter's insurance.
- My mom passed on April 11th. <3 and I still miss her so much. (that's her in the picture with me.)
- Our basement apartment was still being fixed up, so I had to move into my friend's basement for a few months too. No walls, just curtains for privacy! lol
- Our apartment was fixed by June, finally! So we moved back in for about 1 month and then moved to Calgary, AB after an amazing road trip to the states for our good friends' wedding. (MOVE #1). And yes... this was into yet another basement.
- This was such a nice calm year! (at least until the fall).
- Daniel and I both worked at a Gym that was walking distance from our house.
- I kept working on my Master's Degree and he kept excelling at work.
- We had just moved into our very first non-basement apartment! We welcomed the daylight and access to a full kitchen again. (MOVE #2)
- In September, we finally decided it was time for fertility testing, being that it had been 3 1/2 years without one pregnancy...
- We bought our first house in October!
- We took possession on December 2nd (MOVE #3), and found out we would never be able to have children on Dec 6th. Talk about a rollercoaster for the feels!
- Things were looking up!
- Daniel was a shoe in for a promotion at work and I was done my studies and looking at a few exciting job opportunities in my Diocese. We were looking at doubling our incomes, which was welcomed after the financial hardships we had encountered.
- But, as you probably guessed, it was the notorious year of 2020...
- In March, Daniel and I both lost our jobs within 3 days of each other. (this was just 4 months after buying a house... ouch).
- THEN, in July, my 4-year long plea with God was answered. Although Daniel had actively been working on his alcohol addiction, his pornography addiction had been causing a serious rift in our marriage. But that summer, God performed a miracle and convicted Daniel's heart of his need to repent!
- My husband changed, that hot summer afternoon, and became a devoted husband and faithful man. He started leading us in prayers every day and our marriage transformed into what dreams are made of... a deep, intimate, and joyful relationship rooted in God.
- In March, I moved back home to live with my dad for about 2 months again while Daniel kept working. Dad went in for heart surgery and had complications due to mistakes with his medication. At 7 am on Holy Saturday, my dad passed out on his chair and his whole body broke into sweat. He was unconscious so we called the ambulance. It took them 45 min to put in an IV because they couldn't find his veins because his blood pressure was so low.
- I spent a total of 17 days in the hospital with my dad, fully gowned up, and totally exhausted. I was the sole caregiver because they wouldn't allow anyone else, not even my brother, to come in and see him.
- By the end of the month, we decided to sell our house. Since we couldn't have children and were unemployed, it just didn't make sense to keep it. (MOVE #4)
- We decided to use that money to help me quit my job and start my own ministry. In May, Fully Integrated Ministries was founded and I started working with clients. It was a very rough start and took about a year for me to find my footing.
- Part of that rough start was us having to move back in with my dad. This was after both being unemployed for nearly 2 years and still not having any prospects for Daniel in the fitness industry. (MOVE #5)
- We spent the winter with my dad while Daniel and I tried to figure out what life was going to look like for us.
- Finally, in June, Daniel looked at me and said: "We have to move". I didn't feel ready at all but I could tell that his heart was convicted so I followed his lead.
- Within a week we had moved into my aunts basement (MOVE #6) and THE NEXT DAY I ran into my old boss, just to have him email me about a job two days after that.
- We both started working within a matter of weeks and found a nice little house to rent (MOVE #7).
- In September, I started discerning more seriously, with my spiritual director, if I was called to pursue the Woman of Strength ministry and program.
- By November, I started to discern it more actively by making big changes again and gave notice to my job to focus on it more full time. I stayed there until December.
- In January, I dove head-first into the ministry and took on more one-on-one clients to help pay the bills.
- In February, I started to feel unwell and by April my health crashed pretty hard and the ministry was put on hold.
- Daniel and I knew that I couldn't keep doing client work and get this ministry up and running with my health issues and so, in his great desire to support this ministry, he quit personal training and changed careers completely! He is now working on the oil rigs so that I can focus on the ministry full-time.
- We'll be doing a temporary move at the end of August (MOVE #8) before we hopefully find a more permanent home this winter.... (MOVE #9, and hopefully the last move for a while).
Our marriage has been... unconventional.
Between addiction, unemployment, a major loss in the family, major medical issues with my dad, my own health issues, infertility, and constantly moving from one home to another, life has given us plenty of reasons to feel unstable and chaotic.
Although we have very little to show for ourselves, when it comes to earthly success, the growth we have both experienced over the past 7 years is priceless. Despite all of these crazy obstacles, we have experienced more joy and freedom than I could have dreamed of!
I want this for you too!
I want to teach you the skills, the theology, and the psychology that have paved the path for Daniel and I to experience this level of happiness and intimacy, despite all the crazy that's happened in our lives, so that you can experience it in your life and marriage too.Join the Woman of Strength Waitlist Now!
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