This Time Tomorrow


My Kids Made Me Ugly

Stephanie Gorsky4 Comments



Nothing could have prepared us for becoming parents. We tried our best to prepare as we read through books like "The No-Cry Sleep Solution", "Baby Wise", "The Happiest Baby on The Block", and "Good Night Sleep Tight" all the while keeping close reference to the classic, "What to Expect When You're Expecting".

Well, I can tell you what I wasn't expecting: to cry more than my kids do somedays. 

Parenting is hard.

Disclaimer:  Guys, I absolutely love my kids. This isn't a post to bash them. They are two of the funniest, sweet-hearted, thoughtful, smart and generous kids. They are all sorts of cute and cuddly but, they are also just that: kids. Like all us "adults", they have their moments of sweet and their moments of sour. This post is a little about both.   

So, back to my point.

Parenting is hard. (but, don't we make it look fun? It's got it's serious silly moments too ^) 

But what I realized as I sobbed on our bedroom floor to my husband about their lack of listening and stubbornness, their strong-wills and blatant ignorance of authority; wiping warm tears and #allthesnot from my face with a kleenex was, as much as their behaviours (that are both very real and challenging) were an issue, what really wasn't sitting right with me was what my responses to their behaviours was birthing inside of me.

I felt ugly.
An fun and agreeable, [but authoritative] parent when they were listening to instruction but as soon as they veered toward challenge,
I would quickly shift back into this authoritarian persona who I simply never imagined I'd be.
Everyone has been there. Saying a phrase or using a tone your own parents did with you that you vowed you'd never say. Oh the things you think and say before you have kids of your own. Can I get a witness? 

Raising my voice without a thought and barking,
"Stop IT!"
"Don't do that."
And the all-time-favourite, "Because I SAID SO!!!!!!!" 

This controlling attitude had developed over time.
A reliance that the first time I lay out an expectation, that they see it as a firm regulation to implement into their lives immediately, expecting in return all their respect and obedience. Not allowing any grace for them as kids to have some space to learn. To push the boundaries. To test their own voice and authority. To develop their own thoughts toward my expectations and to *gasp* be given the freedom to question them. 

Why is it that the moment we feel we're starting to lose control, we try to regain it by flexing any power we think we have?

I think this can be a question asked in every aspect of life, it's not just married to challenges in parenting. When insecurity pops up in business, friendship or within leadership, what and why is our default response to flex power?

When something is unknown, it's scary. The only way to control that unknown is to attempt to control the other side of the equation which is often another persons' response. Why why why why why do we do this. It doesn't work with adults, why do we expect it to work with little ones?  

Being a parent is hard. But, being a two and four year old is way harder. There are days I put my head on the pillow and ask God for forgiveness for my tone of voice toward them when they were yelling at me from the bathroom to come wipe their bum, the words I chose in frustration because they opened the fridge for the 10th time in a minute and spilled the milk everywhere or the time I spent on my phone, escaping mentally on social media out of exhaustion from answering what felt like a hundred "WHY" questions instead of intentionally connecting with them. Not out of guilt but out of wanting to be better. One very important thing I've learned in the last 5 years of parenting is: grace.

Grace to grow.
Grace to fail.
Grace to fail again.
Grace to sustain me.
Grace to make me better. 
It's not about how much I messed up today, but how much each mess up is teaching me to love my kids in a different way; with different words, tones, actions and intentions. When I choose grace instead of guilt, I grow. As a Mom, wife, friend, woman, leader and business owner.

My kids made me ugly, yes.
They revealed all of the ugly things I thought I had already worked out of my character like a lack of patience, being quick to anger in tense situations, succumbing to negative self talk and thoughts and holding onto possessions more tightly than I should, just to name a few. My kids have been one of the best refiners I've ever experienced. Full of grace and love themselves whenever I humble myself (and I do) to ask their forgiveness if I modelled something that I would never want them to copy like, becoming easily frustrated with them in a situation where they aren't doing what I've expected of them. 

This is the greatest and most challenging journey I've ever been on: the honour of parenting two (almost three!) kids and doing all I can to prepare them with for the world we live in. I've been taking more time lately to just acknowledge how absolutely incredible they are instead of how challenging they can be in some situations. My prayer in this next season is to be able to consciously shift my perspective when I'm frustrated to awe and understanding instead of constant correction and disagreement. While they still require structure and I do have expectations which require to be met (like being saying please and thank you, not using potty words while praying or saying goodbye to someone ... "Goodbye poopy face" just doesn't sit well), I want to be able to respond with a different kind of understanding instead of a quick, unthought-through response based on my emotional state at the time. Instead of yelling, "Hello! LISTEN TO ME NOW!" I want to be able to take a deep breath and connect with them. "Why are you choosing not to listen right now?" I want to open the lines of communication instead of deflate them with a raised voice. I want to understand instead of demand. I was to praise and smother with kisses over 15 times in a day instead of sigh and wish my co-parent were off of work sooner. I want to connect instead of always correct because in that connection is where the Holy Spirit will do His correction in me and my ability to parent effectively will span that much further. 

What are some of your struggles in parenting? Are they similar to mine? Different?
I'd love to hear your side.

X, s.

Dear Baby

Stephanie Gorsky

I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to put into words our short time together but, your impact, however quick was far too precious for me to not write it out. So here is Mama's tribute to you, dear baby, by way of my love for stringing words together. 

I wish I had been able to know you. 

Share in your laughter. 

Weep with you in your sorrows. 

Cheer you on as you played your favourite sport or instrument or performed your favourite song or read aloud a poem you'd written or perhaps, you would have been a dancer. 

I wish I'd been able to feel you breathe as you filled your little lungs with air.

I wish I'd been able to see you play with your older brother and sister. 

I wish I'd been able to hear the sweetest coo's you'd make. 

I wish I'd be able to kiss your sweet face and smell your sweet baby smell.

Of all the moments I wish we'd had, I just wish I'd been able to hold you.

My husband and I decided in June that we were ready to once again expand our family. We always knew we wanted more kids, but after a bout of postpartum depression after my daughter's birth, my gung-ho-ness took a little detour into fear. "What if I get depression again?", "What if I just can't handle three kids?", "What about finances for three kids as they grow?", "What is we ruin our 'million-dollar family' and add a child that's even crazier than our girl-child?" (for those of you that know our B-girl, you'll laugh, 'cause you know she crazy)  ... The list goes on. Fear crippled my mind until one day, it just didn't anymore. You know those moments of clarity (often times during or just after an espresso beverage). I was looking at my kids and it just made sense. You guys are nuts, that much is obvious. But, I want more of you little-incredibly-cute-and-frustratingly-joyful-handful-of-human-beings. It was a no-brainer. So, we tried and tried for a couple months until one day, we saw the + sign we'd be waiting for. We were beyond excited. I sobbed with joy and told just about everyone because after all, I wasn't going to live in fear of miscarrying just like I wasn't going to live in fear of adding another little person to our tribe. 

I woke up one rainy Saturday morning in September, away on a women's retreat with a close friend, I was newly pregnant, filled with excitement for the future, unbeknownst to me what was about to unravel soon after my feet hit the ground.  As I sat in the washroom, my hands were shaking at the discovery that I was bleeding. With my heart rooted in faith, I whispered to myself, "Everything is going to be fine." We ended up attending the first session at the women's retreat. While my attention was directed to the teaching, I was very aware of the sharp pains starting in my stomach and that I had started to cramp more intensely. We quickly packed up our things and headed for home after lunch. (Side note: I'm so thankful for a friend like Mandy who held my hand and heart the whole time. Encouraging me. Loving me. Not giving me any cliche encouragements but just being real. I couldn't have been with a better person in that situation. Thank you Mandy for being the greatest friend to me during the time we had away and the days that followed.) 

The process of confirming that I had miscarried spanned 72 long hours. We were in and out of the hospital. However, each time I went to the washroom, I just knew, by what I was seeing and by the physical pain my body was experiencing, that I was losing our baby. I walked the tension of hoping for a miracle and acceptance of the obvious according to the symptoms my body was experiencing. I so badly wanted to have hope, clinging to the words I told myself, "Everything is going to be fine." But, I wanted everything to be fine according to my standard of fine. 

Hearing the words, "You've miscarried." was earth-shattering. As they came out of my Doctor's mouth, they were heavy. All of the sudden, the once loud emergency waiting room went entirely silent to me.

My ears were ringing.

My hands shook.

My eyes welled up uncontrollably with tears.

My voice trembled as I tried to formulate a response while shifting back and forth in my chair, trying not to look at my husband who's eyes were welled with tears too.

To be honest, I don't even remember what I said next or last. 

Even though I had prepared my heart for the possibility of having to say goodbye, I didn't want it to be true. I wanted God to do a miracle. The pain of not having a choice in the matter became a lot to process over the next couple of days. I allowed myself space to mourn. I leaned in hard to my husband, our close friends, family and my faith. One benefit of telling people early was that I had an army behind me as support. I have never felt so sad. There's no other word for it but feeling a deep, all-encompassing sadness. I was sad for myself, for my husband, for our kids, the grandparents, the aunts and uncles; I carried the weight of all their loss. Not in the sense of taking blame, I know there was absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent this miscarriage. But I felt their sadness as well. This baby was so loved already. 

In all the grief, there was a great amount of peace in our hearts and in our home. We didn't question God. But just because we didn't question Him doesn't mean our responses weren't emotional. I snot-faced-ugly-cried and used swear words to communicate my feelings to Him and sometimes, used those same swear words to describe my feelings with friends. Something God has been working in me over the last 6 months is knowing Him, inside and out, His goodness, and how my heart is so very connected to Him and that Goodness. Experiencing the loss of a baby wasn't something I ever wanted to do, but it's something that has changed me and my relationship with God forever. Why would I blame God for killing my baby? He didn't. Why would I question Him? God is good. His character is good. His ways are good. I will not question the good character of the God who has held me close, carried me in most of my days, restored and rebuilt my identity and taught me how to absolutely and unashamedly love Him and who I am.  

Over the next few weeks, I received messages from people trying to encourage me by saying, "Everything happens for a reason." While I appreciated the attempt to lighten the mood [and love them for their efforts] to make me feel better by trying to give me a "reason" for losing our baby, I needed to respond bluntly that I don't believe everything happens for a reason. To be honest, I think that sometimes, life just sucks because of the world we live in. God didn't "allow" me to lose my baby to teach me a lesson, or pay me back for something I've done wrong in the past; that is not like God. Sometimes, life is just messy. Life circumstances and people can be hurtful, it can get bad, heartbreaking, scary and really, really hard. But, I believe, I've seen and I've experienced the goodness that God can bring from absolutely awful situations. That's His part to play. Picking up the pieces and crafting them back together beautifully and weaving them into eternity with Him. 

I was talking to a friend throughout the miscarriage who worded it perfectly, my spirit is much less tethered to this side of eternity now. I feel less invested into the unimportant, petty and superficial things of this world and reminded of the things that truly matter. As much as losing a child hurt - and somedays, it still hurts just as bad - it does get better. The days get easier, it gets easier to talk about it, you cry less but one thing that doesn't change is the hope that I have to see that sweet face one day.

So thank you, dear baby.

Though your time with us was short-lived, you strengthened the bond in our family. You reminded me to cherish and be thankful for the two healthy beautiful little people we have. You drew me closer to Jesus and His goodness and you placed a hope in my heart for a healthy baby one day. You taught me that releasing control is one of the most beautiful surrenders we can give in this world as it frees us. We will not forget you and all the good that came even after sadly losing you. 

Is the fear of miscarrying again something I worry about? Yes. All the time. But that won't be my focus. 

I refuse to meditate on the thought that there's no hope because there is always, always hope.

Everything will be fine.

Even if it's not the type of fine I'd imagined. 

Bethel Church, She Women's Retreat

Ready For Launch

Stephanie Gorsky

When I launched out almost 5 months ago now with my at-home personal training business, I really had no idea what to expect. In college, I studied social work but just couldn't see myself going back into that field after my son was born. I had always planned to stay home after having kids; my Mom was able to be at home with me growing up and that was such an organic experience. She was a pillar, a beautiful safety net for me to fall back on and it created a bond that I'm forever thankful for. She sacrificed so much so that I could have so much. Her time, her friendships, her energy, her ability to bring in money, etc., but what an example she set of the importance of knowing her priorities.

Disclaimer: This is not a slam toward working Moms. All Moms are heroes and this is a judgement free zone.

For me, I'm thankful that even though it can be tiiight some months, we are able to do the same for our kids as my Mom did for me. BUT, and this is where I'll be honest, it is hard being home all day. Pouring into your kids, keeping up your home and then at the end of the day having enough energy to spend time with your husband really is more than a full-time job. You can easily fall into a rut and forget who you need to love first (other than Jesus) so that your children, home and marriage can thrive. It's easy to put yourself, your wants, your needs, your dreams, on the back burner but I don't believe that as Moms we are to let our dreams die while we raise our kids. I think that both raising stunning little personalities and caring for our needs are very much attainable by finding a beautiful balance in the chaos. Though the world can sometimes make you feel as though you should put those things aside because you are, after all, "just a Mom" now. Honestly, when people introduce themselves and I ask what they do for a living, and they respond, "Oh, I'm just a Mom." I can't even. One week in your job as "just a Mom" and some people would crumble. You're a Mom. If you're a Mom, you can do anything. Stop adding the just. You're a MOM. And that makes you a total badass.  

My new staple t-shirt compliments of the Be Still Clothing Co

So, I thought about going back to work part-time and that made me want to barf. The thought of going back into social work just wasn't what I wanted anymore. I love the side of social work that involves life-coaching but just couldn't picture myself in the thick of that field again. Taking home my work emotionally every night. Being exhausted. I wanted to work a more holistic job that reflected who I was as a person and involved some aspects of life-coaching with a primary focus on fitness, health and wellness. So, what started out as an endorphin-seeker's hobby quickly transitioned to passionate interest and dream. I began to take courses in fitness with my little 1 year old in tow, adjusting my own nutrition choices and educating myself via magazines, blog and newspaper articles and really just asking the right people the right questions.

(insert the birth of our second baby and a year to wrap my mind around life again ;) ) #MomLife

A couple months after our daughter turned 1, I thought I should take a leap of faith. I didn't just yet but, I was in the contemplative phase. I could feel God nudging me to trust Him, but ignored it. It wasn't until we moved into our new home last November that I really felt training from my home would even be a possibility. The moment we stepped into our home for the first time, even when it was filled with other peoples' furniture, design schemes, paint colours and smells, I just knew that an amazing opportunity was being presented and that a bigger plan was beginning to unravel. 

I had worked as a personal trainer for a largely franchised gym in the past but had graciously been given a full roster of clients upon hire. So, to say I was nervous coming out of the gate would be an understatement. I had to get all my own equipment ($$$), find my own clients without asking if they wanted a personal trainer ("Are you calling me fat?") and  s o m e h o w  find a balance between working (writing programs, hosting consultations, seeking clients, etc) and adulting (doing the groceries, parenting, laundry, cooking dinners, dating my husband, etc.) 

I felt unqualified, unprepared, unworthy and intimidated at what seemed like a huge dream and a little me.  I'm so thankful for the community of women in my world and my husband who saw the realness of the insecurities floating around in my head and spoke to them with authority and giving me the encouragement (or kick in the butt) that I needed to know that I can literally do anything (Philippians 4:13).  

Thank you. 

You all know who you are. x

So, with a whole lot of love and support, I took a leap of faith. With, at the time, very limited equipment and a whole lot of passion, I acquired a full roster of clients. I'm still blown away at it. Weekly I say to myself, "What is even happening!" 

Just goes to show you what God can do with the little you have. If you have the passion and are standing in faith, you have all you need for Him to do the rest.

A dream I really never thought I could be doing: working part-time (evenings), bringing in a little extra income for our home, while doing something I absolutely love and still being able to be at home with my kids during the day, is now my reality. It's not easy. It's a whole lot of hard work, shifting things and trying to create a flow and balance but man, I still pinch myself somedays. I get the privilege of helping people change their lives through pushing them physically and mentally. I have the honour of saying, "See! I told you that you could do it." when they accomplish something they didn't think they could. 

And to think that the best is yet to come. 

This brings me to the purpose of my post.

There are two women who I want to honour and they are Jaime and Mandy.

This is Jaime, AKA Sasha Fierce.

This is Mandy, AKA #BeastMode. I've literally seen this woman transform before my eyes. Body AND mind. 

These two women don't know each other but have much more in common than they know. Both teachers, they are always working away for everyone else in their lives. From their kids, to husbands, to their school-kids, to prepping dinners, to extra-curricular activities and their own kids activities - they are both truly extraordinary women. They were also the very first two people who said YES to, believed in and made a financial commitment to 12 weeks of a whole lot of sweat and hard work in my ghetto basement! 

And, I just wanted to say THANK YOU.

For the laughs, the tears, the great days and the hard days, for the way you both SMASHED your workouts and how that energy just poured over into your daily lives, how you both believed in me, attempted ANY workout circuit I prepared for you with a smile (most of the time) except those #cleanandpressburpees and literally and simply just brightening my days even more. 

You are both something fierce.

I feel so honoured to have had you both as my very first at-home clients ever and I'll always remember that and never take it for granted. And, let me tell you: You both set the bar high.

Jaime firmed up all around and tackled killer leg workouts.

She gained the confidence she needed to continue running after her goals.

 "You've brought me from 'I can't' to 'more'. The physical change is great but the mental change has had the greatest impact in my life. I'm not intimidated by my goals anymore!" - Jaime 

Mandy has lost almost 30 POUNDS and over 25 INCHES off her ENTIRE body!

She's completed two back to back sessions (12 weeks) of 3x a week. #COMMITTED; she then continued on 1 day a week for another 6 weeks and JUST renewed for another 6. This girl is on FIRE!


What are you ready to launch into? What dreams do you have that you didn't think were possible? What whispers from the Holy Spirit are you hearing? With a little bit of faith and a whole lot of Jesus, anything is possible. Get launching! 

Xx, s.


What's In A Name?

Stephanie Gorsky4 Comments

One of the longest running arguments I've ever had with my husband was 9 months long. Did you know that naming a baby is actually really hard? It's kind of like when you don't have kids and you make outrageous statements like, "I would never do that if that were my kid," as you watch people feed their kids Kraft Dinner. And then you find yourself boiling that KD water (and doing basically almost anything) to survive parenthood. When you're kidless, you think naming your kid something like 'Oregano' would be cool.


And, "up with the times". 

Then, you get pregnant and imagine the little gaffer being nicknamed horrible things for the entirety of his/her school career and you re-think your strategy. 

One thing my husband and I did agree on while I was pregnant was that we wanted our kids names to mean something. We weren't big on continuing any family names; we wanted our kids to have a new name. They were fresh from heaven and we wanted their names to reflect that. 

Gotta love that pregnancy peach fuzz on the belly, eh ;) 

Parker Levi Cruz
Park keeper // Joined in Harmony // Cross

Blythe Harlow Lux
Happy, carefree // Army // Light

"For You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath." - Psalm 139:13

Now, I know what you're thinking:

"Park keeper???" 

I made up for the lack of meaning and UMPH in his middle names. (But, he really did love Curious George for the greater part of his terrific two's so, maybe he will be a zoo keeper ;)) 

My kids' names define who I believe God has destined and dreamed them to be when they were in my womb. They aren't just trendy, different names. While that was important to us and is considered to be an added benefit to their personalities, the purpose behind naming them was to help remind them of their identity. It was to help mould them into who we believe God has called them to be. Ultimately, it was to remind them who they are and to whom they belong. 

One thing God has been speaking so clearly to be to me about in this season is my identity.

Who am I? And to Whom do I belong?

Where do I find my identity and who has access to speak into it? 

We can find ourselves with a position, with titles beside our names (earned or self-acclaimed) and part of a hierarchy that is important to keep structure and while all these things are important, at the end of the day, what matters most is who God says we are. 

In every season, in every workplace, in every marriage, in every friendship, in everything. 

My identity, self-worth, assurance, security is ultimately in who Jesus says that I am.

My identity isn't tied to anything but Him.

My future is dependant on knowing who He says I am and knowing it to the pit of core. 

It can be easy in seasons to look to others to confirm your identity.

To validate it, to encourage you in it, to remind you of it.

While living in community and having friends to turn to, a "tribe" to keep you accountable is beautiful and so part of God's plan for us here on earth, the danger is when we begin to take their word over Gods. To give more weight to their words than the words God has spoken to and over us. 

Our sense of worth and value isn't dependent on the approval of man.

Jesus already affirmed our value by His willingness to die for us. 

Stephanie means "crowned in victory"; while many beautiful friends have reminded me of the significance of my name recently, if I don't draw a personal revelation from it and lean into God with the knowledge of it for myself, it's all for nothing. I believe that I was named on purpose and I will devote my life, my marriage, my friendships, everything I do, by continually finding my identity in Him. 

This is a version of something I stumbled onto in one of Joyce Meyer's devotional books all around identity. I've made it my own and posted in multiple places around my home as a reminder of who I am and to whom I belong. 


1. I know that God created me and that He loves me. 

2. I have faults and I have weaknesses. I want to change and better who I am. I believe He is working in my life and that He changes me every day. While He is working on me, I can and will still enjoy my life and myself.

3. Everyone has faults. I am not a failure or a disappointment because I'm not perfect. I am a broken vessel; still able and worthy to be used and loved. God has made me whole; "Daughter, your faith has healed you." (Mark 5:34)

4. I will always work with God to become a better person but realize there's always going to be something to work on in my life so I won't get discouraged or frustrated with myself, or God, when He reveals something else to work on in my life.

5. I want to make people happy and have them like me but my sense of worth will not be dependant on that. Jesus has already affirmed my value by His willingness to die for me. 

6. I will not be controlled by what others people think, say or do. Even if they totally reject me, lie about me, slander my character; I will get through it. God has promised to never reject or condemn me. (John 6:29)

7. No matter how many times I fail, I won't give up because God is with me to strengthen and sustain me. He's promised to never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5)

8. I like myself. I don't like everything I do, and want to be continually transformed, but I refuse to reject myself. 

9. I have been made right with God through Jesus. I have been saved by grace (Romans 3:22).

10. God has a good plan for my life. My destiny and favour are tied to and woven into Him. I am going to fulfill my destiny and calling and be all I can for His name. So will my husband, and so will my children. I have God-given gifts and talents that will be used to glorify His name. 

11. In myself I'm nothing and yet in Jesus I'm everything I need to be (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). 

12. I can do anything, everything, #AllTheHardThings, through Christ who continually gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). 


So, who does God say you are? Where are you finding your identity?

Does it shatter when people don't affirm it? 

Or do you let God affirm who you are? 

What's in your name?

If your name doesn't have a meaning, (#ParkKeeper), what have you been naming yourself?





Or what words have come against you that you've taken on? 

Are you carrying words someone has spoken over you that you shouldn't be? 

Who does HE say that you are? 

Just sit and think about that for a second. 

He will tell you all of the ways,

all of the reasons,

all of the why's, 

and all of the how's of His great love for you. 

And just exactly who you are in His eyes. 

I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
— Ephesians 3:16-19



Good Morning, Monday.

Stephanie GorskyComment


It's also the FIRST day of a brand new week. 

What's in your calendar?

Maybe it likely looks a lot like mine: work related meetings, coffee dates, a day dedicated to writing (currently with focus on this blog that you're reading with such great interest ;) haha), play dates, rehearsals for SISTERHOOD and Easter weekend (COME!), daily workouts, phone calls, working the dream of a part-time job doing what I love (personal training), getting the kids to daycare/preschool and other various activities (on time, fed and fully clothed, might I add), date night with my man, connect groups, meal prepping for dinners ... not to mention some of the littler things I have in my heart to do around the house like buying a picture frame for a new print I received <thanks Meg!> (and tasking my husband to hang it) or getting in a couple of chapters in the book I'm reading and potentially making muffins so my house smells delicious. There is no question that my week is jam packed. I bet yours is too. Or at least that's how it probably feels on a Monday! 

But guys, Monday's are beautiful.

Disclaimer: I'm not writing from this perspective just because I'm full to the brim with a yummy Americano and because it's the only day I'm by myself for the entire week, ha
This is truly how I've come to see Monday's.

It can be quite easy for us to fall into a "case of the Monday's" some weeks, or maybe it's every week for you. No judgement here. From my own experience, I believe that cultivating the skill of being self-aware and distinguishing exactly where your head and heart are at every Monday is vital to the success of the rest of your week. 


verb (used with object), cultivated, cultivating.

  1. to prepare and work on (land) in order to raise crops; till.
  2. to use a cultivator on.
  3. to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention.
  4. to produce by culture:
    to cultivate a strain of bacteria.
  5. to develop or improve by education or training; train; refine:
    to cultivate a singing voice.
  6. to promote the growth or development of (an art, science, etc.); foster.
  7. to devote oneself to (an art, science, etc.).

Being intentional and becoming self-aware isn't just something we stumble into. We must cultivate it in our own lives through intentionality and investment in the time given toward it.

Monday's can sometimes be hard, especially after coming off of a restful weekend or perhaps it was an energizing one where you've ran yourself ragged with nothing left in the tank. In any case, I'm aware that everyone's Monday's look different but;

Monday's are a day to re-group.  


To plan ahead.

To set goals.

To re-evaluate the previous week and how we scheduled our time effectively or ineffectively. 

They are days to create space for new dreams.

They are days to feed your soul with perspective that will set you up for a win and carry you through your entire week. 

I realize that not everyone has a Monday to themselves, most are just getting back to the grind and can feel overwhelmed by the commute, line-ups the encounter, ̶̶c̶̶r̶̶a̶̶n̶̶k̶y people dynamics, a long list of 'to-do's; trust me. I get the hustle and bustle of Monday's. However, I think we can sometimes miss the opportunity that a Monday, a fresh week has to offer. 

Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.
— Robert H. Schullar

Your preparation on a Monday might not be glamorous or involve any sort of quiet; Maybe you're currently reading this blog while kids jump on you or are screaming their heads off around you thinking "Right Steph ... Like I have time to prepare my week." I so get that life. I live it Tuesday - Sunday right now. So please hear the heart behind my words. The time we take to prepare for our week mentally is the foundation of our entire week. Even amidst the noise when I wasn't able to take a day for myself - I intentionally carved out what started at 5-10 minutes of quiet time to prepare my heart and prepare my schedule for the week, and grew to 60 minutes. Maybe to start, it looks like getting up 10-15 minutes early and writing out the week, or mentally taking note of all it's details (that just doesn't work for me #MommyBrain). Maybe it looks like listening to an encouraging podcast or sermon on the bus every Monday to set your week up for success. Maybe it looks like ensuring you get to the gym every Monday #NeverMissAMonday so that your body is full of endorphins and ready to propel you into the week with excitement and anticipation. Maybe it looks like sitting down and having a weekly family meeting with your spouse to plan out the week schedule wise and financially. Maybe it looks like all of these and more! Wherever you are in your scheduling, where do you find yourself today

One thing my hubby does every week that is so inspiring to me is that he goes to the grocery store on Monday mornings and he purchases what he needs for his lunches throughout the week. He does this so that when he's hungry for lunch or for a snack at work, he has something to eat. He is intentional about carving out that time at the beginning of his week so that the rest of his week is set up with food to nourish his mind and body so that he can smash it at his job. If he didn't do this because of the time it would take or the money it would cost or just lack of desire to be intentional about doing it (which in all honesty, sometimes happens because he's human #RealLife), he just isn't prepared for the week; because he hasn't planned ahead to nourish his body to replenish his energy, his capacity at work just isn't be as sustainable on Wednesday as it was on Monday. When my hubby needs to be replenished (food), he knows where he can go (fridge). 

When you need to be replenished, do you know where you can go? 

Monday's are days to be intentional about scheduling the time we are investing, the time we are spending, with whom and where. 

Monday's are days to cultivate a sustainable schedule that will both replenish and challenge you. 

Don't let a case of the Mondays become a bad week, month, year or life.

Today is a fresh start. 

A NEW week.

A GREAT day to plan for the beautiful week ahead of you.

And when you're feeling the need to be replenished on Wednesday, it'll be there. Because you planned it and pencil'd it into your schedule.

Challenge: Take a peek at your calendar this week. Does it have time for you? Does it have time for pouring into people? Does it have time to get poured into? Does it have time to be in church? Take some time to be intentional about your calendar and the things that matter this week and see how amazingly your week takes shape.

Xx, S.

Do You Talk To Yourself With That Mouth?

Stephanie GorskyComment

We’ve all been there. 

Sitting in front of or maybe walking past the mirror, catching a glimpse of yourself through the fingerprints (#momlife), you quickly think or begin the mumble under your breath things like: "You're so ugly." or, "You're so fat." or, "You don't look good in these jeans." Or maybe just something as simple as, "Ew". Have you ever caught the thoughts racing through your mind in those moments? My thoughts have been known to speak to me in ways that I would never allow another human being to speak to me.  Often times, they're screaming out all of the things I'd change about myself. Bigger boobs (maybe smaller for some), a tinier butt, more toned arms, instant abs, healthier hair, bluer eyes, poutier lips, prettier looking feet #realtalk, that last one is mine … if you ever see me checking out your feet, now you know why ;)  

I love how Blythe looks in the mirror with a smile; I pray that would never change. 

We’ve all had those moments of feeling like what we own just isn’t enough. Whether it be our bodies or our possessions. We have all diminished what we have to offer in lack while desiring to fulfill the need for something better out of want. 

How many times have you talked to yourself today? In your head or out loud?


I bet you’ve already lost count because I know that I have. Our thoughts are constant. They are continual. We are always processing something, whether it’s a conversation we are going over and over in our heads, or if we’re daydreaming about being on a beach instead of in - 0 rainy weather, or even taking note of the cute boyfriend jeans that girl walking past you is wearing while at the same time trying figure out how you can afford to buy them too #ithappens — our minds are always on and always processing something.

I’ve gone through seasons in life where I’m hyper aware of my thoughts and how they are affecting me and I’ve also gone through seasons with the wool over my eyes, believing that my thoughts don't have any power. I recently listened to a podcast where the speaker said, 

“What you dwell in, you dwell on.” 

And, I’ve been stuck on that sentence ever since. It's on a loop in my mind.

How many times have I let my thoughts, insecurities or bad attitude dictate my mood and responses to situations throughout my days? If I’m constantly being consumed by negative body image thoughts or insecure thoughts that cause worry around what people think of me, if people like me, fear of failing, anxiety in social situations, being misunderstood and/or constantly trying to prove myself to people, etc., I’m robbing myself of not only the freedom found in confidently just being who I am but also the amount of free space in my brain that I’m allowing to be taken up by negative thoughts. 

A bold request from me to God going into this next season is that He would baptize my mind. 

All of it. 

In it’s entirety. 

All of my thoughts, all of my perspectives, all of my mindsets , each and every thought that goes in and out of my mind daily - conscious and subconscious. That I would be intentional about what I'm thinking on and what I'm thinking about

Baptism in itself is an outward expression of an inward change. A decision that we make as adults to love God and serve people for the rest of our lives - likewise, I envision baptizing a mind to be a similar process; an intentional decision to love God and serve people in the thoughts we have and as we process things in our minds. It's an outward expression (my words, actions, responses) of inward change (the love for myself and others as I accept and learn as much as I can around God’s unrelenting love for myself and humanity as a whole). 

We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.
— 2 Corinthians 10:5, (THE VOICE)

When we have negative thoughts about ourselves (or others), we've got to know that that's not how God sees us (or them). Therefore, it's not the truth of God over our lives (or theirs).

This bible verse (above) is something I so want to master.

Demolishing thoughts that are negative, not true or not mirroring the heart of God AND taking them prisoner and SUBDUING them into obedience with God's truth over my life. And yours; this bible verse is a promise over your life too. 

What powerful language and revelation.

Our thoughts (self-talk), attitudes, self-worth and identities become secure when they are based on the opinion of one and his name is Jesus

A simple step I'm taking to progress toward gaining deeper revelation from that verse is by writing out declarative bible verses around the house where I've discovered a negative, untrue or spiritually detrimental thought pattern develop.

Here's where it gets real.

The Bathroom Mirror: There is power in the words that we speak. Out loud and inside. To our friends or to ourselves. But, especially when it comes to the words we're speaking over ourselves and into our own lives. When the words I speak to myself while looking in the mirror aren't the positive ones I should be speaking, I look at this verse to help me gain perspective:

Words have power in matters of life and death, and those who love them will savour their fruit.
— Proverbs 18:21, (THE VOICE)

Would you tell your friend she's ugly? Or fat? Or "ew"? Or has a full face of zits and looks terrible today? I hope not, ha. I'm trying to get in the habit of talking to myself like I talk to others:

With encouragement.

With love.

With forethought and positivity.

With a strong slant in hope and grace through Jesus.

When I talk to myself in the tone of love - I change the trajectory of my day and to be honest, my life (the present and future fruit produced). Try it. When you find yourself being caught in a negative thought, correct it.

Give yourself a compliment.

Find something great about yourself every day until you can love your whole self easily.

The more life and God's truth you speak over yourself, the better. You are worth it. 

The Fridge and Home Gym: When I was in Grade 6, I developed an unhealthy relationship with food that led me to battle with an eating disorder until well into Grade 11. I hated food and became obsessed with working out. I was admitted to an out-patient program at CHEO that ultimately saved my life and restored my relationship with food/fitness and my body-image/perspective but, I claim that healing every day. Much like being healed from postpartum depression (see blog post here); it's an active part of my life that I acknowledge daily, without giving any power to, and make conscious choices to feed my body with food that will fuel, energize and nourish it. Sometimes the fridge (and the gym and the mirror) can be a trigger point where the enemy whispers lies like, "You are fat", "You don't need food today", "You should work out more", etc. And that is where I put this verse: 

Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who comes from God and dwells inside of you? You do not own yourself. You have been purchased at a great price, so use your body to bring glory to God!
— 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, (THE VOICE)

When I love my body by nourishing it well, when I work it out with a passion in routine and zest for a healthy and strong body but not over-use, that is bringing glory to God. I am honouring my body, not abusing it. 

The Laundry Room: This might seem strange ha - but this is where I battle the most insecurity about being a Wife and Mom.

This is where I'm not enough.

The laundry is in piles and my kids are screaming-hot-messes running around the house half naked because nothing is clean; and there go my thoughts, spiraling downward as I fold miniature sized underwear.

From my kids to my floors to what's for dinner to processing a disagreement with my husband: If you want to see a mid-week breakdown, join me in the laundry room ;) And so, that is where I've put this verse: 

Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future.
— Proverbs 31:25, (THE VOICE)

"... with nothing to fear, she SMILES ...", how GOOD is God? When my heart and thoughts are resting in Him, there is nothing to fear, but everything to be joyful in.

I can be a worrier, or I can be a warrior (saw that quote on Pinterest this week, brilliant.) 

I am choosing to fight for my thought life to come into a strength that I've never experienced before. For my smile to find a new strength that is rooted in a beautiful relationship with Jesus that provides the ultimate comfort to all my worries. Not by my own strength, but His.

Beside The Bed: This is another place in my home where my thoughts can wander or where I seek the comfort or wisdom in my husbands perspective of a situation instead of seeking God's perspective. And that's where I put this verse, 

Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.
— Romans 12:2, (THE VOICE)

God's perspective is the best perspective.

People can be wise, but God's opinion gives the wisest insight into every situation.

God's perspective gives the wisest corrections through conviction, and the clearest direction amidst the fog.

I want God to renew (baptize) my mind. Every thought. Even the ones that seem to be little. 

All thoughts start small. 

So, a baptism of the mind.  

All of it.  

Every thought that goes in and out of my mind daily;

the conscious and the subconscious; 

all perspectives,

all mindsets .  

So, what are you thinking on and about? And, why

A question I will be asking myself over and over in this next season. 

Be brave as you answer that question honestly and see yourself grow like crazy. 

Xx, s.


Energy Balls

Health & Fitness, Food, Kids, MarriageStephanie GorskyComment

Baking makes me feel uncomfortable. Really though, if you look at my Pinterest search history, what you'll likely find is: "Healthy no bake snacks" or "Easy no bake desserts". I get so nervous baking. Don't even ask me about my struggle with pancakes. It's a situation! It's my own doing though - my hub always makes fun of the way I bake: with abandon and not following the recipe fully ... I'm a free-spirited baker, what can I say! 

Anyhow - THESE are my go-to energy bites. Tried, tested and true. They are a no bake, no hassle recipe. While they may look similar to the pecan date bites I posted a couple days ago, they are MUCH DIFFERENT in taste and consistency. These energy balls were based off of another recipe, but I (of course) made them into something of my own. My kids call them "chocolate balls" and my hubby take handfuls of them on his way out the door!

They are yummy.

Tip: Add a scoop or two of your fave protein powder for a quick pre or post-workout snack or if you need some energy to keep up with your busy kids!

I need all the energy I can get to keep up with these two! 


Here are the ingredients you will need:

1 cup wheat-free oats (I buy mine from Bulk Barn; the "Only Oats" brand)
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
1/2 cup of sliced or shredded almonds
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter (or almond butter) 
1/3 cup all natural honey
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp hemp hearts (optional; increases protein) 
1 scoop protein powder (I use a plant based one called VEGA; click here for more info on it)
1-2 tsp (or to taste) cinnamon (I LOVE cinnamon, so taste test this as you go!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup ground flaxseed (I buy the seeds from Bulk Barn and grind them myself)
1/4 - 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips or raw cocoa nibs (dependent on how sweet you like it)

Start by mixing all your dry ingredients in one bowl, all the wet ones into another. 

Then combine.

Use a wooden spoon or your hands to make sure the ingredients are fully combined. (I use my hands)

Put "dough" in fridge to chill for 20-40 mins, covered (I use saran wrap or put the "dough" in an airtight container)

Use a spoon (or mini ice-cream scoop to scoop up a teaspoon worth of "dough", roll it in your hands, put into airtight container ...

Or eat it right away. :) 

Xx, s.





Pecan Date Bites

Health & Fitness, Food, KidsStephanie GorskyComment

You guys, confession: I’m a snacker. 

But, I’m a picky snacker. 

I don’t like feeling full, tired or icky after snacking. I want to feel GOOD about my decision and that means I need snacks that rejuvenate and energize me.

My girlfriend Sarah came over a couple weeks back and she is a lover of health, wellness and all things paleo. She pulled these out of her purse and her kids gobbled them up. Like, GOBBLED. 

I had one. 

They had one. 

I reached for another just as her daughter did and our eyes met — neither of us wanted to share ;) 

*DROOOOOOOOOL* These are so yummy, I ate one before sending them off to the freezer!

Most of the time, I’m on a mission, so these are the perfect grab-and-go snack that makes you feel full and satisfied because you’re nourishing your body. Nom.

They’re also munchkin approved! My littles (Almost 4 and 2) LOVED eating these with their lunch. Filled them up and also gave me some cool-Mom-points for making something from scratch that looked like a Timbit! (Ha)

It’s so simple: 

Put all your ingredients (6–7) into a food processor and bam! I pit my own dates - so that's the only extra added step, but you don't have to do that.

It's easy

The recipe isn't time consuming (took me maybe 10 minutes, and that’s while entertaining the kids between each ingredient #momlife) and then 1–3 hours in the freezer. But, let’s be honest, I ate it right out of the bowl. 

Note: my first batch disappeared in the same day — between the kids AND my husband, this snack is a huge win. I’ll be making a double batch next time! After I freeze them for 1–3 hours, I put them into a sealable container in my fridge so they loosen up a tad but still keep their shape and overall deliciousness. 

You can click here for the yummy recipe! 

I hope you guys love it just as much as we do ! Thank you Sarah for the yummy recipe share.

Let me know in the comments if you try it OR how you re-created your own with substitutes! 




I Am Free

Stephanie Gorsky

This post is the final post in a third part series. If you haven't read my first post, check out {breathe} and "It has a Name". 

So, disclaimer: Please keep in mind, I had been dealing with depression for almost a year all alone before it was given a name. This wasn't an easy, instantaneous fix that required little to no effort on my part before receiving healing. It really did feel like a gruelling, intense and lonely season. But, there is hope on the other side. And His name is Jesus.  

I serve on the worship team at our church and decided, in the thick of the season that I was in, to take a step back from serving on Sunday team just after Easter at the start of April. This wasn't an act to isolate myself; I believe we are meant to be in community with each other. But instead, to give room for God to move where I was so desperately wanting and needing Him to. I also didn't stop serving in church. I surrounded myself with people every Sunday and served where there was need. If you are walking through a lonely season, I want to encourage you right now not to do it alone. Get yourself in community with people. There is healing in being in relationship with people.

So, that same Wednesday I blogged about previously, the day that the darkness I was experiencing was given the official name of "depression", our worship leader decided that the entire team needed a worship night. Wait, what? The timing was perfect. I could have called it coincidence, but I knew it was God. And I gave Him all the Glory in that. He had some things to do and that was the night He was going to do them. I felt unprepared and caught off guard, which is exactly where God wanted me. He needed some unplanned room to move and man, did He ever. 

The band started to sing "Holy Spirit you are welcome here . . ." and I just knew God's healing Hand was ready to move. I began to declare freedom from depression over my life (like I had many times over the past year) and to thank Him for the freedom I knew that I was going to receive. And I'll be totally honest, I didn't think or know it was going to happen that night. I just believed that it would happen one day and spoke it out as though it were. This is a perfect example of an area where God has been challenging me in: not knowing His timeline and yet still believing, still trusting that His best for me is always coming, regardless of what my circumstance or feelings may say. Knowing His promise for me in the moments where I don't see it happening in the physical. I was experiencing a mixture of thankfulness and complete powerlessness. The word depression was far too big, far too vast and consuming for me to even understand. Why had it chosen me? Why had it manifested itself at this specific time in my life? Why had I allowed 'it' to rob me of days I couldn't get back in my motherhood? Does this mean I am weak? Does this mean I'm not fit to lead people? Ironic how in the very moment God is about to move in your life, the devil is just as ready to pounce. There is this teetering line of vulnerability that allows you to choose whether or not you're going to take a leap and trust in God or go back to what you know, the cozy comfort zone, and believe the worst. 

So, I teetered. 

There is no way I could overcome this without Jesus.

I needed prayer.

I remember saying to God, "IF this is something you want to deal with tonight, I need someone to stand with me and declare truth into my mind and spirit." Isn't it funny how we give God a list of demands before He performs a miracle? Like we think WE yield all the power? I wonder if He finds it just as funny ;) Anywho, not even a minute passes and a beautiful woman on team (who I adore) and who has been walking arm-in-arm with me while fighting this battle came over to me and did exactly that. She spoke truth, life, God-breathed words of affirmation and in power dismissing of the spirit of depression from my life. I have experienced the power of prayer before - but, never in my life have I experienced the freedom of feeling something actually break inside of my body. It was a crazy sensation that almost had me leaping out of my skin screaming "I AM FREE". 

In that moment of complete surrender, when I had finally come to the end of myself, with no where to go but to my knees, at the feet of Jesus; I let Him into the darkest part of my heart and He just did His thing. In the moments to come He spoke beautifully and profoundly into my spirit. Affirming. Highlighting. Loving. Encouraging. Nudging. Reminding. Sewing. And in the end moments of worship, He told me that my freedom wasn't for me. I had been focused on me for far too long. Consumed and trapped in my own mind. While on some level, the freedom He gave was very much for me, now, being 'free' was no longer something I could afford to keep all to myself. Freedom is for sharing. Freedom is for anyone and everyone. Once we gain freedom, we need to give it away. Turns out, that's biblical! 

It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?
— Galatians 5:13-15 (MSG)

 "... Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows..." Freedom grows. Freedom grows? A verb. An action. Freedom grows. I believe that when we are healed or set free from something, first step is to give God all the glory and second is to pass it on. 

How does that look practically speaking? I think sharing your story of freedom is huge. That's exactly why I blogged about my experience. Not only are you gaining more freedom by putting what was once in the dark into the light (I feel like the entirety of my healing was found after I published my first blog, 'breathe'); but you being to experience the impact of making a difference in someone else's life. There is nothing more inspiring than encouraging someone to let God work on their broken heart. And that is what it's about: helping people. Not gaining attention or fame, but experiencing the freedom that only Jesus can give and wanting that for every other person, full-stop. Secondly, I believe that standing with people while they walk through the lows in life and speaking freedom from whatever it is that they are going through is how we pass it on. Speaking to the truths and reminding them of their own God given promises and potential. We simply can't do this life alone. 

It's now been three months since that worship service (I know, I know; I'll blog more) and I know that I was healed that night. I still have days just like every other Mom where I cry, am short with my kids and feel like a failure, have dirty floors and stacks of laundry to wash and fold (or re-wash if I've left them to mould in the washing machine for days on end) - I'm still human! But, I AM FREE of the despair that controlled my mind and thought pattern. I'm free of the deep-rooted sadness that would cloud my vision. And ultimately, I am responsible for maintaining the freedom I've been given by simply spending time with the One who gave it to me. I've moved out of the season of learning to breathe and now, I'm boldly jumping into a season that requires me to be brave. 

THANK YOU for all the of the support that has poured in through messages, voicemails, texts and incredible in-person conversations. Each one has meant so much to me. 

Xx, s. 

Digestion Smoothie

Health & FitnessStephanie Gorsky

I am shamelessly addicted to the 'Happy Digestion Smoothie' created by Angela Liddon, author of the Oh She Glows cookbook (which I'm also addicted to).

I was skeptical of it at first because of the ingredients (I wasn't big on ginger) but tried it and fell in love.

I added some unsweetened shredded coconut on top today - delish!

It's light on the tummy and a super refreshing start to my day - or it can even be a yummy an afternoon snack! I ate it paired with almonds and a hard boiled egg this morning. 

One of the things I love about drinking this specific smoothie is that I know I'm drinking something that's going to benefit not only my digestive track but my energy levels throughout the day.  It totally sets up my body for a win from the get go! 

My hubby also enjoys it which means that if you hate healthy smoothies, healthy food or anything good for you at all, you may just love this ;) (love you babe) 

Click here for the recipe.

Try it!  

Note: I do NOT consider this smoothie to be a meal supplement but a digestive enhancer in addition to a healthy breakfast that can provide you with the energy throughout the day


Arm Day

Stephanie Gorsky

Half the battle of working out is actually just waiting for feeling like you want to.

Stop waiting, just do it.
You'll feel better after ;) get some happy music on and let's start with something simple: Arms! 

Grab 8-10 pound weights to start. 

10 bicep curls

10 bottom half bicep curls
- Instead of having the movement go up to your shoulders, stop when you get to the middle of your chest

10 hammer curls
- Instead of holding the weights like you do for bicep curls hold them like you're using a hammer, the flat part of the weight is aligned with the ceiling 

10 shoulder presses 

10 push ups 

10 plank ups 
- you're in a plank on your elbows, walk up onto your hands, alternate which hand leads every time 

10 plank walks 
- start standing up, walk yourself out into a plank, hold for 3 seconds and walk back 

Try this circuit 2-4 times, rest in between each round not between each exercise! 


"It" has a Name

OpinionStephanie Gorsky

This post is the second in a three part series. If you haven't read my first post, check out {breathe}.

So, I made a Doctor's appointment for my threenager (see definition, signs and symptoms here, ha) and decided that maybe I should book one alongside of him. I had noticed for months that I just wasn't able grab a thought. I would be thinking so many thoughts at any given time, but was never able to fully grab hold of a specific thought and think it through to the end. I had also noticed my emotions were out of whack and that I was no longer able to experience extreme joy or extreme sorrow. I felt very disconnected from my feelings which was something that I'd never felt before. I'm usually great at feeling and defining my emotions. I had also felt a deep rooted sense of worthlessness that spanned the majority of the last year. I knew I was a little bit off; I kept telling my husband that some days I felt "foggy" and other days I felt like I could more easily rationalize feelings and situations in my mind. But, for the most part, I felt really clouded. I felt like I couldn't keep up with my mind - let alone real life. 

So, I called to book the appointment. When the receptionist asked me what the reason for my visit would be I swear I heard crickets on my end.

"Hello?" she asked, probably wondering if we'd been disconnected.

It took me probably 20 seconds (that felt like 20 minutes) to muster up a voice crackling, "Well, I, uh, I've just been feeling really sad lately. I had a baby this year and I just feel...sad. I have a toddler too...Yeah, so, I just feel sad. A lot. Like, mostly all of the time that I'm awake." This woman. This sweet, sweet woman was just so lovely. She replied in such a gentle tone, "Awe. Ok! Well. We'll see you Wednesday morning!" 

* * *

So in we walk to the Dr's, standing to check-in at the front desk, B-girl screaming at the top of her lungs while throwing and spitting soggy veggie sticks everywhere #SnackTrapsSuck and PK going on about how he wanted the automatic doors to STOP OPENING because he had JUST GOT HERE and he WAS NOT READY TO LEAVE YET! (if you know PK, you'll laugh.)

I felt so flustered.

"Why am I here? Maybe I'm just feeling overwhelmed all the time because I put myself in trying situations like this exact one." < that, amongst many more, was my thought while dodging veggie sticks, verbally confirming my address to the receptionist while helping PK stack blocks he'd found and brought over from the designated child play area and filling out an electronic "Are You Feeling Anxious or Depressed" questionnaire form. (mercy)

* * * 

Fast-forward to when the nurse came out to s̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶m̶e̶ take us to the room where we would see the Doctor. "Maybe I shouldn't even mention it? Maybe I should just leave it, address why we're here for PK and go home? He's probably going to think you're crazy anyway... Yeah. Don't even mention it." 

I am so thankful for a Doctor (and a God) who asks me the questions I need to be asked when I don't want to be asked them. It's like when you're in school and the teacher asks, "Who wants to read the next paragraph aloud?" and  e v e r y o n e  looks down to avoid eye-contact with the teacher.
Don't pick me, don't pick me, don't pick me. 

"So, tell me, how are you feeling these days?" 

Sigh, he picked me

That question opened a whole can of tears. I began to list off all the emotions that I was feeling and all the things and areas where I believed the absolute worst about myself. I began to give language to and recite the words that I believed at that time, defined me: failure, incompetent, alone, ugly, unworthy, overweight, purposeless, demotivated, tired, just to name a few. After a couple minutes of explaining where I was at, he looked at me and said: "Well, I think you are definitely experiencing a bit of a depression." 

We dialogued back and forth about all my thoughts and feelings for as long as the kids would let us and then went our separate ways after his diagnoses and recommended intervention strategy.

I got in the car and took in a deep breath.

Just, breathe. 


It had a name now. It had a face and it had a description. My feelings felt justified.




I could finally see so clearly what I was dealing with and man, was it ever ugly. It's name is ugly. It's feelings are ugly. It's thoughts are ugly. 

Driving home, I mulled over everything that was exchanged between the Dr and myself. I hadn't had any initial response yet - I had just been thinking it through. When I got home and could sort through my thoughts while the kids napped and I realized I wasn't responding in fear or shame or hopelessness. It was actually the exact opposite: I felt confident.

I felt now that I knew exactly what I was dealing with, I could call on it's ugly name and release it from my body.
(I realize that statement may sound intense and extreme but if you know me, you know that those two words describe me well at most times.)

God's timing never ceases to amaze me.

The day I was officially told I had depression and had been struggling blindly with it for months since B-girl's birth was the day I allowed Jesus to free me from it and release it from it's hold over me. 

* * *


To be continued . . . 
Keep an eye out for part three soon :) 



OpinionStephanie Gorsky9 Comments

Breathe \ˈbrēth\; to move air into and out of your lungs; to feel free of restraint; to pause and rest before continuing. 

I'm in a season of learning to breathe deeply; taking time to pause and reflect and to not become overwhelmed or weary when I feel I'm at the end of my rope or feel like I'm about to unravel. God is breathing new life, thoughts and perspectives into my world and I'm constantly being reminded of His grace with every breath I'm given to breathe.

But there have been times throughout this past year where I've felt unable to breathe.

When our second babe, Blythe, was born (almost a year ago!) my heart was so  f u l l. Honestly, I felt like my heart could explode. I was giddy! I quickly fell in love with this beautiful little girl and felt like I had bonded with her even quicker than I had PK. For starters, I knew she was a 'she' when I was pregnant, whereas PK's gender was a surprise. So I had named her and prayed over her by name - 'Blythe' means 'happy + carefree' and that's exactly what I prayed over my belly daily. That she would be a light; that her smile would bring joy to all who see it and that one day, the light inside of her eyes would bring the love of Jesus to many. I was given specific bible verses and words to pray over her life as she formed in my womb. We had a beautiful connection even before I felt her skin on my skin, even before her little fingers entangled mine, and even before I saw her squinty eyes open for the first time as she snuggled against my chest. I knew my girl. 

We were also so excited to see PK jump into the role of 'big brother', loving on her, singing to her, praying over her and welcoming her into our family with such open arms. The capacity he has for love that I saw in him in those first few weeks she was home inspired me to no end. He loved her instantly; for no reason and with such abandon. She fit into our family so seamlessly - and still does!

I adore our little family. And as I continue, I don't ever want to miscommunicate that I don't or that I'm not in awe of what I have been entrusted with. I am forever thankful, so grateful and so in love with our kids. That being said, my hubby and I are in the business of being transparent and real; we won't 'fake it 'til we make it'. We will always be honest about what we are walking through, giving ourselves grace to grow and feel as we live this life loving Jesus and continually being moulded by Him into His likeness. Do we always get it right? Nah. Do we mess up? Yeah. But that's the beauty we have come to accept and know as the process.

There wasn't a specific moment where I felt I couldn't breathe, I just noticed one day that life began to feel overwhelming all of the sudden. Little things like doing my makeup, working out (which I once loved), doing the dishes, folding laundry or even playing with my kids began to feel so effort-full. There were mornings where I wake up to my husband in the shower and one or both kids screaming to get out of their rooms and I would just lay there in bed - sobbing. I didn't know why my first reaction in the morning was to cry, but I let myself cry. A lot. I began to face every day as though it was a crisis. I felt so ashamed.

Why wasn't I happy to be a Mom? I know women in my world that aren't able to have kids but so badly want them and here I am just wishing for a morning of silence or even a full day where I can catch up on sleep, dishes, laundry and clean my dark wood floors for the sixteenth time this week. Why couldn't I just do this? I see so many of my Mom friends that own being a Mom - why can't I own this? Why can't this just be the thing that comes easy? I've always wanted kids and the family life, why am I finding the Mom life so hard? Why do I feel so lost and purposeless? I looked in the mirror and didn't even recognize who was looking back. Where had my hope gone? Where had happiness gone? Where had I gone? Why did I feel depressed

I felt so much shame for thinking those thoughts ^ (and more) and feeling those feelings and THEN felt so much shame for not being able to snap myself out of it. Shame upon shame upon shame. For months. Without telling a soul. For no reason in particular but that I wasn't aware of what I had been walking through. I just felt like this was normal. I thought this was just my new normal: life with two kids. I didn't know any better (again, insert shame). So, it was just me and the devil, hanging out. I really don't like talking about the devil, because it gives him a name and recognition that he doesn't deserve but for the sake of this story and visual - the devil and I were hanging. We hung out in the bathroom as I did my makeup, in bed as I fell asleep at night, as I slept and when I woke up, as I was trying to motivate myself to workout, during my morning devotional and coffee time with God, etc. Our conversations were always one-sided; him talking, me listening and then me believing. I never responded or disagreed. I silently came into agreement with everything he was saying to me.

I slowly started to live in the reality that he was speaking into me - the fear, my lack, the comparisons to other moms, the self-criticisms and body image expectations I had put on myself, the could-have's and the should-have's of parenting two littles and being a wife. I started believing that the times I yelled at my toddler were actually the moments that defined me as a Mom, the times I let the dishes pile-up meant that I was lazy and not fulfilling my "job" as a stay-at-home-mom. There were days when my husband would walk through the door and I would apologize for not having everything tidy and neat. Not because he expected that of me, but I had put it on myself and had let myself believe that not completing those tasks meant I was a failure. I started believing that I would always be a failure as a wife, mom, daughter, friend, sister, worship leader, etc. These feelings went unnoticed and felt so normal until I noticed a shift in my thought patterns. They began to get more negative and debilitating. My reality began to terrify me. I felt trapped and lost inside of my life and my own body. 

Your perspective determines your reality.

- Krista Black-Gifford

Oh, how I was in need of a serious shift in my perspective. My mind had been under attack for so long that I hadn't realized just how warped my perspective had become. I had been living my daily life in lack and in the mistakes of the past; hoping that if I completed household tasks or a day without losing my cool on my kids, I would have arrived and somehow become a successful mother/wife/insert role of the day. I was waiting for myself to somehow fill that lack gap that only Jesus can fill. I remember days where I would cry out to Jesus asking him where my freedom was and why it hadn't arrived yet; how I could feel Him, hear Him and know that this freedom I hear about is mine for the taking but just not feeling like I had it? 

Those questions (and many more) began an intense process and season of seeking answers to foundational questions about my faith and trust in Jesus; it's an active season. I'm still walking through it so don't picture it as something I've overcome but something that I'm still working through. I can't even put into words what the series 50 Shades of Grace at our church has done in my heart and in the heart of my family. You can check it out here. My pastor owned that series and I'm forever grateful for the revelation of Grace and all the dialogues that happened in between and behind the scenes throughout that series. 


I am so expectant for this season I'm in.

And though it ain't pretty, I've seen and felt God move in what felt like an impossible situation and can't wait to share more of my story in the coming posts on the freedom I have found and make a choice to live in daily.    


At Home HITT Workout

Stephanie Gorsky

There’s never going to be a perfect time to work out. You’ll always be tired, have something better to do or not “feel” like it. Working out will never be fun if you see it as a chore. Working out should be this glorious alone time that you spend working on yourself. Working through thoughts, ideas, feelings - all the while getting your heart rate up and shedding fat. 

Today I needed a change. Usually I run 4x a week and do strength training 3x a week with either a Jillian Michaels video or a homemade workout regime. Today was homemade day and MAN was it KILLER! 

I use a Tabata timer app which I highly recommend (and you can find here). It’s a HITT (High-Intensity Interval Training) where you pound-it-out for 20 seconds at a time and then rest for 10 seconds, repeating 8x. It adds up to 4 minutes total. 

Sometimes getting a change of scenery from your basement or usual workout space helps to spice it up, so I moved to the backyard today and completed 4 rounds (that's a total of 16 mins + 3-4 min warm up and cool down stretching).  

Here was my workout:



It doesn't seem like much - time or effort - but it was! My heart rate was jacked and I burnt almost 200 calories. You get out what you put in! 

Feel free to try it and ask me if you have any questions. 


Run Right Through It

Health & FitnessStephanie Gorsky2 Comments

So, I love to run. It's a hobby that began after PK was born and quickly grew to an obsession. At the end of fall last year my sister gifted me her old side-by-side double stroller and I could. not. wait for the snow to melt so I could get out onto the open roads and run with my kids in tow! It's by no means glamorous; it's material is tattered and worn, the colour has faded from being out in the sun too long and it currently has ABC cheerio's stuck all over it - but, it's lovely to me and does the trick. PK, my almost 3-year-old son, often tries to keep a conversation with me while running. If you've ever run, you know that keeping a conversation with a friend while running is hard - let alone trying to maintain one with a inquisitive toddler. But, I love his spirit of curiosity, so I do try and keep up with answering his questions as best I can without getting frustrated - but most times, our exchanges go like this:

"Mommy, what's that guy doing?" - PK
"He's watering his flowers, bud." - Me
"Because they are thirsty!"
"Because he wants to have pretty flowers."
"But, why?"
"Because he likes flowers."
"But, why?"

AND SO ON. You get the point. There is usually a lot of chatter that comes with my runs and I try to enjoy it because it's extra cardio and an added ab workout.  #realtalk

Yesterday though, our run started a bit differently. I told him that I really wanted to focus on running fast today and that I might not be able to answer all of his questions but I would when we got home. He agreed and we started. About 15 minutes in, I guided the stroller down from the sidewalk to run on the road and dipped into a little hole that made the stroller jostle a bit.

Surprised, PK goes, "Whoa Mommy! That bump scared me. It came out of no where. I didn't even see it!" - I replied and said, "I'm sorry bud! I didn't mean to scare you. Sometimes that happens because the sidewalk is bumpy. We're not always ready for them because you can't always see them coming but we've just got to run right through it! Don't worry though - you're safe with yo Mama." And he said "Oh! OK." and continued on our route (and yes, I said "yo Mama").

That interaction consumed my thoughts for the rest of my run.

I can't help but feel like that was God speaking to me through the innocence of my son. Something so small, an interaction that could just as easily have had no meaning but it's literal one quickly turned into a very metaphorical reminder from God.

Life can be bumpy. I don't know why I walk through some seasons of life wondering why life is so bumpy and asking, "Lord WHY is my life so BUMPY?!" - because it just is. Life can hurt and makes us squirm in our seats because we either didn't see something coming or we were surprised by it. Sometimes life can scare us and take us off guard. And the response I gave to PK is the exact reminder I believe that I (and you) need to hear: Run right through it. What would have happened if I had not pushed the stroller through that pot hole? Well, we would have stayed right where we were. Stuck. So many times in life when things get hard, we get stuck. We stop and stay where we are; we allow thoughts to creep in that justify why we are stopping and refusing to move which allows space for isolation to creep in.

Why is it that our first reaction/instinct when things get uncomfortable or hard to just stop? I believe that's exactly the opposite of what God wants for us. Everything He has for us is on the other side of the bump(s) in the road. Everything He has for us is on the other side of hard conversation(s). Everything He has for us is on the other side of ... (fill in your own blank).

I love physically running! I run because it makes me feel good, keeps me healthy and challenges me. Am I going to stop running my route because there are a couple of pot holes/gaps in the sidewalk? Likely not, because I love my route.


Don't stop running. Remember why you are running and who you are running for. If you don't like your route, change it but, don't stop running. 


"Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes onJesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" Hebrews 12:1,2 (MSG) 

Peanut Butter & Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches {vegan + gluten free}

Health & FitnessStephanie GorskyComment

I've recently had to cut all forms of dairy from my diet - my daughter developed a sensitivity and because I'm breastfeeding, everything goes to her thus limiting my options for a while. One thing I'm missing painfully is ICE CREAM. I have quite the sweet tooth, so really, any form of dairy'd dessert (cupcakes, cake, strawberries and whipped cream, etc.), I'm CRAVING. I stumbled upon a blog and decided that I'd give it a try. I don't like using a lot of ingredients and/or having it be too time consuming - with a 2 year old and a 7 week old, things like cooking and baking have got to be QUICK. These turned out to be even more delicious that I thought they'd be.


Here is the recipe/blog I found; gotta give credit where credit is due. However, two things I did differently: I used spelt flour instead of oat || I didn't use a hand-mixer, I used my hands. Side note: this recipe is so versatile, you could substitute everything DAIRY if you're not vegan.

TIP: I WILL be using the cookie portion to make cookies next time.

They. Taste. HEAVENLY.






Quinoa & Black Bean Avocado Wrap

Health & FitnessStephanie Gorsky1 Comment

This recipe is easy, healthy and gives you left overs for days! Quinoa, Black Bean & Avocado Wrap

You'll need:

1pkg of organic quinoa 1/2 an avocado, diced or sliced 1/2 a red onion, diced 2 broccoli florets, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 1 can of black beans, rinsed 2-3 handfuls of spinach 1 clove of garlic, minced Organic balsamic vinaigrette A couple pinches of salt Onion powder to taste Avocado oil

1. Cook quinoa according to its packaged instructions 2. Sautee onions and garlic in a pan with avocado oil until they're tender, add broccoli and celery (chopped), cook until soft 3. Add spinach on top, let heat wilt them and stir 4. Add black beans and quinoa, salt and onion powder 5. Let cool in fridge for 2-3 hours 6. Put contents on ancient grains wrap, top with avocado and balsamic vinaigrette (to taste) OR you can use your favourite salad dressing




And Baby Makes 4

Health & FitnessStephanie GorskyComment

We welcomed Blythe Harlow Lux into the world on June 12, 2014 at 8:01PM. Blythe Harlow Lux

Weighing a solid 9.7lbs, she came in 8 minutes of pushing just 3 hours after my water broke, not leaving much time for an epidural to work.

Blythe means 'happy' and 'carefree' - Harlow means 'army' - and Lux means 'light'.

She is a little gem and perfect addition to our family!

Hate /hāt/

OpinionStephanie Gorsky1 Comment

... "to feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone)." I get hate. I get intensity. I get passion. I get dislike. I get it.

I have hated (and been hated, I'm sure). I get the feeling when someone lets you down, or when someone hurts you in action or with their words, I get the confusion and all the feelings that misunderstandings embody and the constant mental wearing and tear of the 'silent treatment' on your psyche. I get feeling alone and isolated, attacked and mocked, the feelings of devalue with a glare and general sense of purposelessness.

I get it. I think everyone gets hate. Everyone has experienced hate directly or indirectly. It's real. It's emotional. It's mean. It's not right. It happens. But, it doesn't have to continue past you.

I met God when I was 18 years old in a church youth group I'd never been to before. I experienced Him radically through an obedient speaker who told me that God had a message for me and it couldn't wait; He began to speak into my life. Speak over situations and circumstances he would know nothing about. Disclaimer: I'd never met the speaker, or talked to him - so, when God shows up in force like that, you literally have no choice but to respond and give your life to Him. So, that I did. My encounter and experience with Him was so real, so personal, so perfect. I was just a baby though, having never really been a church goer growing up let alone having this "relationship" I was apparently in automatically - it was overwhelming to say the least. It was challenging. It began a process of pruning in my life that I don't think (and I hope) never ends. I slowly (and I mean slowly) started to see things in my life that I couldn't keep doing if I wanted to serve God and His church wholeheartedly. This wasn't and isn't a painless process. When God prunes you, it hurts. He tugs, pokes and prods at things that you may have either a) hidden deep down or b) not even known existed. At the beginning, I saw it as punishment. Having not really known the character of God yet, I didn't get that He was (is) fundamentally GOOD. I saw the obstacles and challenges I was living through as punishment. And that's a great example of putting faith into your hurts and pain instead of putting your faith in God and His good nature. But that knowledge of God comes with both spiritual and emotional maturity, which I'm so grateful for. But before coming to accept the pruning process and stepping into the fullness of what God had for me, I walked in hate for years. I wasted many years in hate and in the lies that I believed to my core. One was that I was justified. Another, that I deserved that apology. Another that 'I didn't have to if they didn't' have to. That they started it (I kid you not, that was a thought. I know, I know - 5 year old mentality). But once you start believing and ALLOWING one lie to fester in your mind, it's easy for the devil to add another and another and another until your mind is this toxic cesspool of unforgiveness, bitterness and cynicism.

The truth is, sure, you may or may not deserve that apology you're waiting for. You may or may not be justified in being hurt or angry, and they may or may not have started it - but why do we allow ourselves to get so stuck in trying to seek justice for ourselves that we forget (and totally undermine) God's ability to bring justice to a situation Himself? It may not be in the timing we had planned - but one thing I know about the God that I serve, is that He is just. He is kind. He is compassionate. He cares deeply about your hurts, each and every one - but He also cares so much about you that He wants you to propel forward, through pruning, through trials, through personal and spiritual growth and come out better. Hungrier for Him and deeper in love with the people He created. We can't live in hate but say we love people. That's incongruent to God's characteristics and values. We can't live incongruently; it catches up to us.


The pain of staying the way we are is much more painful than changing.


People aren't perfect. We're flawed. We're emotional. We're all learning and all at different stages of learning. Refusing to forgive past hurts or refusing to move forward without an apology is only keeping you locked up from all your life is supposed to be. You can't serve your purpose on earth (which I believe is to serve and love others) if you're doing the same old song and dance in hate-limbo. I know we can all think of a person/situation that we haven't yet forgiven, and I just pray that you would find freedom. Even if you don't believe in God, freedom from grudges is there for you. Don't let one more day go by where you wake up and live in hate. It's time to stop waiting to 'feel' good about forgiving said person(s) and just choose it.

Choose freedom. Choose joy. Choose forgiveness. Everyday.

It's not easy, but it's so possible.