“It was a season of needing to reinvent myself”
From burnout to “Holy, Happy, and Healthy”
On July 25, 2002, Janelle Reinhart found herself on the largest stage of her life at World Youth Day — a six-day youth festival in Toronto, Canada. Since the age of five, Janelle was used to a spotlight on her vocal ability (at town fairs and local competitions), but performing for a pilgrimage of 1.3 million people — and for Pope John Paul II — was enough to ignite her music career.
After spending the next decade on a tour bus (10 weeks on the road, with three weeks off while actively touring), Janelle’s body hit a wall. “About three months after I had our third child, Joshua, we did our last tour for just two weeks — just to see what it would be like touring with three kids.” Upon their return, Janelle couldn’t get out of bed the next morning. “Something was definitely wrong.”
Janelle’s singing career really started much earlier in Legal, Alberta, Canada (population 1,200) where she was born. Her father was a plumber and her mother raised Janelle and her two younger brothers full-time. “I was exposed to the studio and that sort of stuff early on because my mom recorded a pro-life album in the early 80’s. We were kind of dubbed “The Judds of Canada” because my mom and I would sing at weddings, funerals and other events together. Our voices mixed really well!” Janelle’s earliest songs were French folks songs, with French being her first language.
This small beginning for Janelle’s big voice continued in her uncle Gerald’s home studio at the age of 12. At age 15, she was invited to become the lead vocalist for a church band — leading Sunday evening services, averaging 500 people weekly. An electric guitarist, Jason, joined the band a year later. “By the time I was 16, he knew he wanted to marry me,” Janelle laughs. True enough, they were married three years later — Janelle at 19 and Jason at 24.
At this point in our interview, one of Janelle’s six children sneaks into the interview hoping to play on her computer. “Mommy’s doing an interview,” she whispers, smiling. Janelle and Jason are currently expecting their seventh child. “We were actually told we would never have kids!” she laughs.
“After Jason and I got married, we both really wanted to pursue music. We just started cold-calling producers listed on the backs of our favorite albums. We didn’t know that these producers are locked in with record companies, and that if you’re not signed with the record company, you don’t have access to these producers.” As luck would have it, Nashville producer and musician, Bill Baumgart answered the call. “He said, ‘You know what? I’m just between companies right now and have a six-week window on my own before starting with a new company, and I would love to take you on.’”
Janelle recorded her first album, “New Day”, with Bill in Nashville in 2002, whose decision to take the project on, was due in-part to Janelle’s being selected as the 2002 World Youth Day theme singer. The theme? A verse from the New Testament book of Matthew: “You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world.” In other words, being known for being distinct, different.
“Because I was a Catholic, the Christian music industry scene just didn’t know what to do with me, because I didn’t fit the Evangelical mold,” Janelle recounted.
This discrepancy provided an opportunity. “We were able to start an independent record company, Life Vision Communications, which was really a blessing in disguise because it didn’t put us in any debt. Getting signed to a mainstream label is basically like getting a really expensive bank loan.” With their own label, Janelle was able to produce and release, 2 subsequent albums, “Livin’ for Something” and “ What I Gotta Say”, followed by a single called, “Be Not Afraid” — a tribute to Pope John Paul II upon his passing.
Janelle’s family continued to grow and live on and off the road together until that last tour when her body gave out in 2012.
For the first time in the interview, Janelle’s radiant smile dims. “I went to see several doctors, several homeopaths. And basically, I ended up with thyroid dysfunction, adrenal failure, postpartum depression and mono all at once. That pretty much pulled the rug out from underneath my feet.” It took Janelle six weeks to recover enough to get out of bed and restart some normal routines like making breakfast. It took two years to recover fully.
It was during that dark season when Coachwell and Janelle’s coach, Dianna Salciccioli, came into her life.
“I really needed help getting out of the black hole I was in,” Janelle continued. “It was a season of needing to reinvent myself. I was on a spiritual, physical and emotional journey all at once. I had been riding a great wave for a really long time, and now I was in this stagnant lake not going anywhere. I needed some perspective.”
“Meeting this vibrant, talented, and passionate young woman,” Dianna remembers, “who had seemingly lost her way struck a core nerve for me.”
Janelle describes herself during her singing career as someone who was great at keeping all the plates of life, family and career spinning, but was weak in her own self-care. Being at home now, instead of on the road, she describes as… “It was a really, really hard season because you’re asked hard questions and have to look deep within yourself.” The dynamics of life on the road existed in stark contradiction to her new life at home.
“As Janelle began to unpack the changes and challenges of her life,” Dianna continued, “we were able to address some core issues of life balance, self-care, and the ability to speak up for herself. She began to give herself permission to have outside help for her growing family.”
Janelle remembers that same impact from her time being coached. “Dianna helped me realize God called me to my own specific reality as a mother. I would compare myself to all the great moms, including my own, who I wanted to be like. Who was God calling ME to be? Dianna helped me see what I could offer my own children, within the reality of my life, my own constraints and environment. That was a really rich experience that I’m so grateful for. It launched me into the next season of my life with confidence and grace…mostly grace toward myself. It was definitely a turning point for me as a person to step into my own.”
For the past four years, Janelle has merged her faith in God with a new career with Young Living Essential Oils. In just the past year, she has increased her $2,000 monthly income to $10,000, with a team of 1,500 under her — 35 of whom she coaches personally. It all started, however, with a sick child. Her son, Michael, was hospitalized with pneumonia as an infant and, by the age of three, suffered from breathing difficulties and made regular visits to the hospital.
“We went to visit family for Christmas one year and our son Michael had a breathing attack in the middle of the night. I wanted to get him to the hospital, but my sister-in-law convinced me to try her essential oils with him. While I was getting him and myself dressed to head to the hospital, his breathing had become less labored and his color was coming back. Normally he’d just cough until he turned blue and pass out.” After that first night, the use of essential oils became a staple in their home to support Michael’s breathing. The oils also helped other family ailments like allergies, snoring and Janelle’s own postpartum depression.
“For me being an established Christian artist and speaker, getting involved with essential oils was kind of a taboo, burn-my-bridges sort of thing. The main of part of music ministry was to Christians overall, but thankfully Young Living has opened up a whole other stage of people that would have never come to one of my concerts, or never listened to one of my albums. We’re able to have a much bigger impact.”
For Janelle, her music career was motivated by a desire to bring hope to people. Today, her heart for others remains the same.
“One statement Dianna used a lot is: Learn to navigate your life. That’s actually something Jason and I have been asked to speak on regularly — helping others to navigate their lives well. Serving others well requires me to be self-reflective, but not self-loathing…self-aware, but not self-dwelling. My ultimate worth is not found in what I do, but rather in who God made me to be.”
Janelle is truly in her element as a wife, mother, and business owner. Navigating life with its competing priorities is not only going well, but her health and faith, are as strong as ever.
“I like to be able to embrace God’s grace through his goodness that he’s already provided all around us. Everybody is looking for their big, revival miracle, and it’s literally right in front of our noses.”
Janelle Reinhart is an Independent Distributor with Young Living Essential Oils. You can find her “Holy, Happy, and Healthy” page on Facebook or Here. She is one of Canada’s most successful Christian music artists, winning multiple awards and nominations.
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Meet Ryan Stillwater
Ryan Stillwater brings ten years of nonprofit experience to his role of Development Director for a Bend-based organization. He plays in a band and enjoys telling stories for Coachwell.
Connect here: https://clearvoice.com/cv/RStillwater