Going back to School

My eyes are beginning to glaze over.  I’m tired but energized.  I know the moment my head hits the pillow, I’ll sink into my mattress and wish I had laid there sooner.

It’s been a busy day.  Many of them are.  Today, however feels like life is really about to start.  I feel as though I’m sitting in a ferarri.  I’m excited, exhillarated.  The engine is revving and I’m about to put my foot on the gas and floor it!  Scared, excited, a little crazy perhaps.  This Saturday I start my online Masters in Film.  As a single Mum to a 3yr old gentle but active son and an energized 7yr old going on 15, life is already full.  It’s been a year and a half since my ex husband and I separated and in that year I have moved 5 times, gone to court, dealt with numerous phone calls, emotional issues, health concerns and counseling.  It’s also been a year of self discovery, rebellion, exploration and freedom.  We’ve been building a new life and getting a new vision for the future.  Well..in reality it’s the vision I’ve always had since I was little but now it’s getting back on track.

Being able to get my Masters in Film is a dream come true for me at this point.  I didn’t think it would be possible and here I am continuing this dream.  I’ve been wanting to move forward for some time now but had the chains of a controlling and vengeful ex trying to pull me down.  Each time I think I’ve been released from it, something happens that makes me have to work that much harder for the life I want for my kids and I .

This morning I plowed through my to-do list, scratching out my scribblings and feeling on top of it all.  I had started the day with a meeting with a friend who is employing me to do some administration work for her business.  It’s exciting to get a part time job I can do from home and use my skills as a writer.  I was thrilled when she proposed the idea to me but also scared at the idea of taking on more work.  I feel like I barely have any hours in the day and once I get my kids to bed and the cleaning done, I’m shattered.  Now life will consist of earlier starts and late nights writing to study and earn some money.

As I was feeling empowered this morning, I began to tackle some financial matters.  You see, divorce really can be very messy, particularly when one party is out to take revenge on the other.  My ex decided to file for a consumer proposal this year, thus dumping a substantial, shocking, frightening amount of debt solely onto me.  I live a pretty humble life as it is and with creditors calling…no… hounding and harassing me every day it’s a challenge, at the very least.  One of the creditors put a lean on just my half of the house I co-own (but do not live in) with my ex.  My ex in-laws put a lean on my house too and tried to sue me for a lot of money.  More creditors are taking me to court over money owed and I have nothing I can give them.  As I try to move forward to building a future career to provide for my children I am faced with only one option, bankruptcy.

When life gives you lemons or shitheads give you shit… you either take it and let them win or you simply rise above it.  I’ve been beaten down over the years, many years in fact and while today was filled with this horrible, complicated mess I sit here having had a rather successful day.

My children and I had a great time playing together, reading in funny accents and giggling lots.  They played with their friends, I cleaned and kept things clean (big achievement in our home), I spoke with my friends, completed my to-do list, ate 3 meals (huge feat), completed my first hour of work for my new employer and began prepping ideas for my Masters and thinking of options for my Research Question.

This year is going to be hard.  I am going to be very, very tired but I have a feeling it’s going to be one of the greatest years of my life.

Follow this space to see how on earth I manage to get through it and just how crazy I’ll get in the process 🙂

It’s 12:18 am and I’m off to make school lunch for my daughter then head to bed for my 6:30am wake up call.




I Am From

I am from…

Tea and scones, royal families and pubs, fish and chips and wine. I am from Pretzels and Laugenbrotchen, Spagetti Eis and German Christmas Markets.    Long walks through the forest filled with imagination and wonder.

I am from Operatic and dance masterpieces, Jazz music and wine tours.                                                                                                                                                                                                 I from experience, travel, culture and adventures.

I am from mocking and taunting.  Suppressed tears and bottled up emotions.                                                                                                                                                                            Licking my wounds and swallowing the lumps in my throat.  Vulnerable and sensitive

I am from cages.  Trapped, held down and locked away.

I am from different, lonely and marching to the beat of my own drum.  But I am from different, exciting and unique, creating delicious possibilities full of imagination and dreams.

I am from strength and fighting.  Justice and education. Love and embracing.

I am from God’s endless love. Created in His image.  Seeing myself new.

I am from creativity, hard work and determination.

I am from bound and am becoming… from FREE.

I Have Loved You


“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.” John 15:9

I have always known this to be true.  I knew that God loved me.  I knew that he accepted me but for some reason… “so I have loved you” gets stuck in my throat as I read it.  My whole body tenses up, my brain seems to twitch and I find myself saying ‘I don’t believe that.’  Logically, of course I know it to be true…for everyone and yet…here I am, that person, not able to connect that statement to my heart.  Why do I feel like God doesn’t love me…not that way…?

I became a Christian at the age of 4.  I was living in Germany at the time and after my mother had told me that if I wanted, I could invite Jesus into my heart.  I did…repeatedly..waiting for something big to happen.  No, fireworks don’t go off, my heart doesn’t skip a beat, it is simply an invitation and a belief that He is there with me.  I remember walking through the woods (it was safe back then) and holding Jesus’ hand.  We would walk together and talk and spend the most amazing moments together in the forest.  He was my Daddy, He protected me, He listened to me, He loved on me.  I always knew He loved me…so why not now?

Lately, there have been a number of life altering events that have occurred and events that seemed to have spiraled me and my emotions out of control.  I didn’t realize that this pain, or this change in my belief system (not in God but in how he views me and others) has built up for sometime.  So why didn’t I know about it?

When you become a mother, you literally have to make a decision to push many emotions aside (not the love ones) such as “I’m too tired to get up”, “I can’t be bothered to make dinner and another snack”, “I don’t want to clean up that mess again” – it doesn’t work.  There becomes a turning point as a mother where you just focus on the doing because no matter how tired we feel, there are children depending on us..so we become dependable.  That doesn’t mean to say I don’t enjoy being a parent because I really do.  My children are truly amazing, but over time the focus of getting things done has become…well…a focus.  There often isn’t time in a busy Career-Mom’s life to just stop and think, let alone pray and read the bible..not to make excuses…just simply to paint the picture of how I got here.  There were also other family challenges that arose in which only I could take care of..and it felt very much like I was doing it alone.  I wasn’t happy…(big sigh)…that was hard to admit…I wasn’t happy……..I’m not happy (that one is even harder to say).  There were many moments of happiness…but overall in my heart, something was missing.

I became so wrapped up in taking care of everyone else, tending to their needs that I forgot about my own and in time started to “believe” that I did not need to have my “needs” taken care of.  Everyone always tells me how strong I am…and in many ways, I am strong.  I can push my emotions to the side when need be.  I can stand up to bullies.  I stand up for my children, for others.  But what is strength without vulnerability?  With so many people telling me how strong I am, I continue to remain in that box afraid to step out of it.  What if the strength wasn’t there?  What if I just revealed what I am going through and face the reality that lays beneath the surface?  I might crack…..or worse…completely break…

Turns out…I broke… everything had piled up.  I had had no rest; spiritually, emotionally and physically and I broke.  I had tried to present myself as ‘perfect’…why would I do that when I pride myself on being real? I think part of it is that I want to be a good friend to others.  I want to tell them that God loves them no matter what and does not judge them.  But after all of this…I find myself laying in bed, reading my bible and crying out to God because I think that He cannot love me just the way I am…because no one else does….what is that?!  In my mind I know that not to be true but in my heart it is a struggle.  I have always felt judged by others.  I have always felt that so many people want desperately to put me in a box but I don’t fit in any.  Who I am as a Christian, as an artist, as an English woman, as a Canadian Permanent resident, as a mother…none of those boxes are accepted…because I live in all of them and move freely between them all…why must there be one box and why must it live up to one persons standards?  In the past I would say “judge me, I don’t care.  I know that God knows who I am and accepts me that way” but in all honesty not finding your fit in life can be confusing and hard.

I imagine that all this change and things I have struggled with on the inside have simply accumulated up to this point.  Being English/European has not been well received here, my style of parenting (which takes on a more nurturing and listening approach vs. the ‘children should be seen and not heard and spanked) has been criticized.  I am not a ‘good enough’ Christian to some and to others I am too much of a ‘goody two shoes.’ I don’t clean enough.’ ‘My film work is too out there or too serious’.  It seems that too many people want me to conform to be like ‘everyone else’ – Too many negative voices.

So time to refresh…time to stop hearing what everyone else is saying and to simply “Be Still…and know that I am God” (as in know that He is God).  I have allowed all these imperfect people to speak horrific things over my life and not listened to the one who really knows me…the one who Is perfect.

Why am I being so transparent?  This is just where I am right now.  It’s not perfect…in fact it is downright messy and hard and I have never cried as much as I have the last 3 months..but boy am I thankful for these tears because I am feeling, I am opening my heart again, I am finding myself again and falling so very much in love with Jesus all over again.

Perhaps you are going through a similar situation.  Perhaps my story can encourage you.  I decided to not only take a lot more time at night to read my bible and talk with God but have also been reading a wonderful book called “Captivating” – to quote the back of the book:

“The message of Captivating is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation.  The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel as a woman – they are telling you of the life God created you to live.  He offers to come now as the Hero of your story, to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully feminine woman.  A woman who is truly captivating.”

Through this recent journey I have realized that I just want to be loved.  I thought I could live without that but give it to others.  How stupid.  You cannot give something away that you do not have and I know this logically.  I thought I could get away with not being romanced when in reality God made me full of a desire for romance.  So after thinking that He did not love me for me or accept me despite my shortcomings I have started the work on ALLOWING God to love me.  Because that’s all it comes down to.  His love is abundant but I wasn’t letting Him give it to me.

My goal right now…and my only goal, is to draw near to Him, allow Him to romance me.. and begin to allow Him to heal so many wounds.  I cannot wait for what lies ahead.

A Love Letter To My Body

Image              Image

We danced around the room, wanting everyone to look at us.  You followed my every command.  The fun we had as we ran through the grass and slid down slides.  But as we grew older, we grew further apart.  I didn’t know you anymore.

You confused me.  When all my hurts and pains in life began to arise, you were not there for me.  You made me look bad.  Parts of you developed quicker than others and I didn’t know if you were still a little girl or a woman.  Every day I looked at you, I was haunted by the image staring back at me.  You taunted me.  You laughed at me.  You weren’t there to hold me together.  Others laughed at you and commented on how big your nose was or pinged elastics at your newly developed breasts, joked about your large hips and skinny legs…and especially made fun of your pinky toe.  It made me sad when they hurt you but more so it made me angry.  How could I ever feel comfortable with you?


I’m sorry I abused you.  I’m sorry I didn’t have the strength to stand up for you and love you just the way you were.  I’m sorry I pulled your insides out and ruined your whole digestive system to cope with my pain.  I’m sorry I tried to get rid of you again, and again and again.

I’m sorry that when others began to appreciate you and like you that I still didn’t and I’m sorry that in that time I allowed others to do whatever they wanted with you.  I’m sorry.

In time I began to really like you and even flaunted how good you looked.  You made me feel more confident in myself.  But it saddened me that the only way I could really like you was if you looked good and made me look good.  That is not love.  I soon realized that when you grew bigger and bigger and bigger.  All I could see was fat, when all you could see was the beautiful child growing inside you.  Once again I found myself in complete chaos and confusion.  I thought we had finally worked things out.  I thought that we understood one another.  As long as you stayed thin, we could be friends.  But you changed.  You changed everything!  I was so mad at you.  I was mad that you made me feel old.

Image               Image                    Image

I am sorry for that.  I know now that you were helping me to see once again who was on the inside.  You were changing me for the better.  As I started taking care of you and helping you remain healthy, you kept me healthy on the inside.  When you grew again, the second time I didn’t get mad at you. We had already learned some great lessons.  This time I understood that when you grow and create a new life in you, you become larger but it was my responsibility to take care of you and love you no matter what.

You may not look exactly how I want you to look but that’s okay.  Love is not conditional and in order for me to love you and to love myself I have needed all the lessons you have taught me most of all, this lesson; that in order to love you, I had to first love who I was on the inside.

Now you carry the scars and the marks of our life together.  You show me what I have experienced and the wisdom I have discovered along the way.  I love you because you are unashamedly you.  You are not perfect…you are YOU..and I will continue to love you as and teach me many more lessons and as we age gracefully together. I vow to treat you with care, with love and with dignity. xox

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Today my best friend faces her last chemotherapy session.

Tired and busy running her daughter’s 2nd birthday party, she looked as sensational as she always does donning a large brimmed black hat and cute black sundress.

On Saturday we went to Gwen’s birthday party.  Annette had invited us out and there she was on her last weekend before her final chemo round, throwing a party for her daughter to make her feel special.  Though I could tell she was tired, Annette moved around her guests, making them feel welcome, putting food out, chasing after her daughter and smiling, smiling, smiling….something she does very well.

My dear friend is the brightest shining light I know.  Ever since I first met her that day at an acting workshop and she sparkled her shiny personality across the room, I knew there was something different and special about her.  After being friends for 5 years now, acting together, starting a business together, going through pregnancy and child birth, girls nights out, fundraising and producing films together, a holiday to L.A, supporting each other in our marriages and…Annette being diagnosed with cancer.  So much has happened during the course of our friendship and I have only grown to love and respect her more.

Today I celebrate and honor my friend Annette Reilly.


It hasn’t been easy going through chemo as a mother and young wife.  But here are ‘some’ of the things she achieved while cancer invaded her body and then as she fought to cast it out and go through chemo.

  • She birthed her first child (she was potentially even pregnant when she had cancer.  Any mother will know this is a big feat in and of itself.
  • She re-booted her career; got her self an agent and started booking gigs.
  • She directed a play.
  • She directed and produced her first film (which received 3 nominations at an L.A film festival)
  •  After hearing the news of her cancer she continued to give to others and worked on producing a film that raises awareness on human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Canada – and she acted in it as well!
  • She took a 3 day trip to L.A for the screening of this film and returned the night before a chemo day.
  • She started her own Arbonne business that has been very successful so far.
  • She has been a full time Mom, wife and friend to so many.
  • She has led the worship team at her church and supported so many others.

Through all of this, Annette has been there for me in more ways than one.  Here she was with a very valid excuse to shut away life and people.  Be selfish.  Be mean.  Be emotional.  And yet she has shone her light even brighter than ever.  My friend is one of the most beautiful people I know.  It has broken my heart to see her face this but she has faced it with courage and inspired many of us.

If you know her…tell her how great you know she is.  Tell her what she has done to inspire you, to love on you, to build your dreams and “make no excuses.”

Annette Reilly…YOU ROCK!!  This is the last (and I am fully believing), the LAST of your pain in this chemo journey.  You have been to that hard place and back.  God has carried you and walked with you and shaped you and now is the time for healing, for renewing.  It is not a new start or a new beginning but a re-awakening.  Now you will carry your story and your journey with you in to the next chapter as a grown woman and walk in to HIS blessing using the challenges you have faced, the lessons you have learned and the people you have met and grown with.  IT WILL ONLY GET BETTER and I cannot wait to share in the joy and success with you.

I Love you my friend.

It’s Time to Act!


Fidgety and itchy

An unsettling deep within

Burning and yearning

My head a cloud of confusion

Must breathe


Feel, Feel, Why can’t I feel?!!

I have this greater need, almost an addition really to act.  Time may pass and I will get on with the daily necessities of raising my wonderful children, cleaning the house, trying to earn more money and be the secretary of our household. “There is value in doing all of this” I keep telling myself and I have chosen to do it. I want to stay at home with my kids. However, the longer time passes from one acting gig to another, the deeper the burning inside, the greater the fidgeting, the itch and tenser I become.  It’s almost a part of my creation; to act, to create, to express.

Ever since I was a little girl, performing came so naturally to me.  There was never a question of what I would do when I grew up.  No matter how hard anyone tried to mold me in to something else, the mold had been set before I was born and it moves and breathes within me.

The last time I acted was 1yr and 4 months ago.  I was 8 months pregnant with my son and shooting a film with my best friend and business partner.  The script had been written and based on a woman in her 70s.  We had just 2 weeks to put it together from writing to editing.  As the writer, co-executive producer and production co-ordinator I had my hands full.  The story, however was not complete and another role was written, my role.

A pregnant woman who had been hit by her husband takes a moment outside when her first love, who was lost in the war, returns for her.  Torn by her love for him and the social pressures of remaining faithful to her abusive husband leaves, making the toughest choice of her life.

It was such a meaty role to sink my teeth into, with such emotion and depth and I had a wonderful young actor to work with but did I feel satisfied with it at the end of the day?  No.  My head or should I really say by body just wasn’t in it.  I was busy making sure that everyone on set was fed, that each team was running smoothly.  So when it came to acting, I just went through the motions and didn’t really feel anything.  I wasn’t affected and if you’re not affected or affecting someone, you’re not doing your job.

Since then I have focused on directing and there is another joy that comes from that.  Directing also comes naturally to me.  It allows me to use my brain, to use the practical yet crazy thought process that goes on in my mind.  It lends itself to my natural way of shutting off emotion and getting down to work.  My brain can take the reigns.

But as of late, I need my body, my soul and my spirit to soar.  I need to move and be moved.  Just last night as my son wrapped his legs around my waist, rested his head on my shoulder and embraced me tightly as he slept, I was overcome with a wondrous awe and love. Nothing in the acting world can compare to this or give me those moments with my children.  At the same time, nothing at home can give me what the acting can do in and through me.

So here I am.  My skin is crawling, my muscles are tight…I have to move.  I have to SCREAM.  I have to breathe.  It’s time to act…again.   

Just do it

Today was my first run in 2 weeks.  It felt amazing…well at the beginning and at the very end.

I hadn’t run in ages.  Too many things kept getting in the way.  At first it was my hips.  They’re still making their way back to their pre-pregnancy state and running simply aggravates this process.  Then there was our biggest family decision to date.  We bought a house.  It was a very quick decision.  We were not planning on purchasing any property but knew we wanted to move.  Our 2 bedroom condo was getting cluttered and the kitchen was way too small to cook in.  I wanted to give our children their own home, with their own yard and eventually their own bedrooms.  In the midst of training an opportunity arose and there we were looking at our first home and signing papers to reserve it.  They gave us 2 weeks to arrange a mortage and all the finances.  Mortgage?  I only figured out what a mortgage was just 2 years ago and now I had to shop for a mortgage broker, learn all about fixed and variable rates and work the budget to death.  All day long for 2 weeks I was making phone calls, doing research and getting a little stressed.  I didn’t have the time to run!  At first, I cut myself some slack for not running.  I was sore and I was tired.  Edmund had a cold and then Amelie got sick so there really was no sleep.  No big deal.  I will run when I can.  But then I couldn’t find the time and then I lost any desire to run at all.  I was too tired, I was unmotivated and I couldn’t get my head around it.

I started hearing about all the success of other women who are also in training.  They were reaching 7km, 10km, 16km.  I was stuck at my 5km mark!!  How on earth will I do this?  I reached out to ask for prayer from the girls to help me get motivated and they were really encouraging.  But one voice of wisdom stuck out:  “don’t think about it, just put your runners on and run.”  I love it when you don’t get the superspiritual answer.  There is a time to pray but at the end of the day, God gave us legs to use.  Too often I can remember at bible college going to a friend and saying “I’m having a really hard time with…..” and their answer was “I’ll pray for you” or “talk to God” and they’d walk off.  What a copout! Like I said before, there is a time for talking to God and a time to ask for prayer but God gave us other people to talk to and often uses them to help us through our challenges.  All I needed was a good friend to talk to or maybe a pep talk to ‘snap out of it.’  The other She Loves girls could have said “we’ll pray for you that God will give you motivation” but at the end of the day I just need to stop thinking about it and put my runners on and run.  We should apply this principle to so many other things in life.

The homeless need feeding but we say ‘I need to pray about it’ or women are being ostrasized from society because their faces have been mutilated and need someone to stand up for their cause and we say…. “I need to pray about it”.  Well guess what?  There are many things we actually don’t need to pray about.  The bible says

Deuteronomy 15:7, 11
If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

Proverbs 31:8-9                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

So why ask God?  He already told you.  Most of the time when I hear this answer its because people are looking for an excuse to not do it.  I was saying ‘I can’t run because I’m not motivated’ when in reality I just didn’t feel like it.  Nike was on to something when they said Just Do It! I should know better.  I signed up for this.  I wanted to run for a cause.  I want to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

So today I didn’t think about it. I just got my runners on and ran.

Todays upbeat running song: