5 Honest Questions And Answers On How To Cultivate Our Friendships

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These are my sisters, Monica and Olga. To me, they’re Mimi and Tata. Not pictured is our crazy/fun big brother, Fernando. Or as we like to call him, Chico. I love the unique friendships I have with each one of them. This post goes out to my #1s: Mimi, Tata, and Chico ❤

Friendships are difficult to nurture and cultivate. In all honesty, the area in my life that I’m constantly thinking about, trying to make better, and evaluating is the area of friendship.

Today, on #NationalBestFriendDay, I’m just going to share questions I’ve had myself (and even googled lol) about friendship and what I believe God’s truth tells us about them. Alrighty, here it goes…

1. Should I “break up” with a toxic friend?

I guess it depends what we consider toxic. Personally, I believe someone is toxic when they steer you in the wrong direction. When you feel like you have to compromise who you are around them. I also believe toxic friends are people considered “frienemies”. Also known as people who act nice but behind closed doors hurt their friends (gossip, slander, rival, covet, envy, etc) or use them for selfish ambition (See James 3:16).

I’ve come to the conclusion, that YES, I should break up with these people. If they lead me away from Jesus, if I feel comfortable doing the wrong stuff around them, if there’s clear indication that they’re envious or deceitful, then it’s time to “break up”.

When I think of what Jesus came to earth to give us–freedom, abundance, life–none of the above things equal that.

Which leads perfectly to…

2. How do I deal with comparison, competition, and jealousy amongst my friends?

Keeping the last question in mind, sometimes they’re just going through their own struggles in life. We live in a world that tells us we need to keep up, we need to be better, we need to have it all.

I’ve come to terms with the reality that only God knows people’s true intentions. So if I’m on the receiving end of comparison or competition or jealousy and this person is a good friend and is simply going through a personal struggle, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. I will try to find out what’s going on in their life. I won’t make assumptions.

And if I’m the one feeling all these ugly emotions, I will work diligently to repent, give them up to God and ask Him to help me celebrate my friends. I will ask for His joy. I will ask Him to protect my heart and friendships. I learned this important lesson from our struggle with infertility and seeing loads of my friends become moms. Believing that God will work ALL things together for my good (see Romans 8:28), has helped me understand that who I am, what I have, and what I do, right at this moment, is enough.

3. Friends, best friends, close friends, what is the difference?! And why is it such a big deal?

I think we’re called to love everyone. No, we won’t have intimate relationships with everyone. And some relationships change with time. I truly want to avoid putting people in categories. I do it all the time and it’s just not healthy. If you’re my friend and I’m yours there’s no further validation needed. I will be there for you. I will love you. I will be there for the good and bad. We’re called to love our neighbor. Regardless of how close or not we are to them. (See John 13:34).

4. Why is this person pushing me away?

I’ve noticed that the people I push away or avoid are always the people that bring the most wisdom and value to my life. They are the ones that give me tough love. They are the people who give it to me how it is. They are the people who aren’t afraid to call me out and stretch me.

Why are we so weird? I heard this great line in a movie the other day. The lead character said, “when you see certain people, you just can’t pretend anymore. Because they know you. The real you. And maybe that’s why you avoided seeing them for so long”.

I’ve totally been there. And I’ve also been the neglected friend. Both sides suck. And can really damage a relationship. BUT, it’s never too late to make things right. As children of God, we are called to be reconcilers. Not grudge keepers. (See Ephesians 4:32. Also here’s a great passage to determine HOW to do reconcile the right way: Matthew 18: 15-17).

5. Why am I being rejected and left out?

When this thought pops into my head, I’ll be honest, I’ll let it linger and linger and linger. But every time I bring this to God he reminds me that those thoughts are lies. I am NOT rejected or left out. He has already picked me, made me worthy, accepted me, and I am loved by Him (See Ephesians 1:4-6).

In bringing this to God, I usually feel the Holy Spirit ask me why I so desperately need to be accepted and recognized by people? It’s good to feel loved and known by others. But it shouldn’t be something we depend on.

We won’t always be friends with the people we think we “should” be friends with. We won’t always be accepted by people. We won’t always “mesh” with the group of people we long to connect with. But we can rest assured that God knows who we need in our lives. And He is directing our steps towards the right people (See Proverbs 16:9).

Well, that’s all for now

That was a lot, actually. And if you got to this point, THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading all of it. And I hope you’re encouraged. And since today is #nationalbestfriendday, why don’t you send this to ALL your friends. Or simply let them know you care.

P.S. Go to my Instagram Story today and enjoy some free sharable templates I created. I’ll also add them to my highlights just in case you miss them. They’re meant for you and your friends to connect and have fun together. ENJOY 🙂

Christmas Collection Inspiration

I’m amazed at how quickly the month of October has gone by. I feel like I was just getting excited over Pumpkin Spice Lattes and everything fall. Now we are prepping and working hard for our CHRISTMAS COLLECTION! (Yes, all caps, because… CHRISTMAS!).

I wanted to share some of my inspiration for the collection and my creative process. I love everything rustic but I love minimalistic and modern design just as much. How can you combine the two when they seem like total opposites? Well, that was my challenge.

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And so the idea of using an organic, yet very elegant color, came to mind. This year’s Christmas Collection is going to have mint green as its star. Rustic elements, along with golds and whites will bring this theme together. I enjoy the classic red and white Christmas theme but a little twist never hurt nobody, right? Red, you’ve been hogging the spotlight way tooo long. Give way for minty green goodness!

Be ready to see prints, stationary, chalkboard art, and other SURPRISES, in our very chic yet rustic, minty green theme! Here’s some of my inspiration…

Are you as excited as I am?! Can’t wait to share all the new goodies with you. Stay connected on Instagram and sign up for our newsletter, to know when our Christmas Collection hits our shop.

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The Not-So-Glamorous Life of Instagramming

Ever wonder how people can look so good on Instagram? How their life, their home, their business, their church, their kids, can look so perfect?

Yeah, I catch myself swooning over and over with all the beautiful and perfect lives I see pictured throughout the week. And then I catch myself comparing my life to their lives. And sometimes that ugly green monster called Envy wants to settle in my heart. No bueno!

Well, I have to admit that as a business owner and creative, I try very, very hard to make my appearance seem perfect, too. We all want people to think we have it all together. The reality is none of us do. We are all struggling with something. We are all secretly thinking why we weren’t invited to that get-together. Or why she always has a good hair day and we don’t.

Behind every perfect picture I post, is all the MESS I made to try to make it look perfect. We only see what’s in front of the lens in a 1:1 frame.

Next time you catch yourself wishing to have a better life, better kids, better whatever, remember you only see part of the story, not the full picture. Cut yourself some slack! (Geez, I need to say this to myself every day!) And as I like to say, chose grace over perfection.

Just for fun, here are some NOT-SO-GLAMOROUS pictures of my work space / home because we are all a work-in-progress and so are our lives:

P.S. Yes that’s me with no make-up and crazy hair. And nope, I’m not sorry. 😉

5 Questions And Answers on Body Shaming & The Struggle for Perfect Bodies

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A few weeks ago we published a blog that was all about The Struggle for The Perfect Summer Body. We resolved to extend grace to ourselves and love our bodies right where they’re at. We concluded that we ARE enough, even when we feel that our bodies aren’t “perfect”. As promised we sat down with my friend Angie Gonzalez, from 29J11, to give us some practical and professional advice on how to love our bodies.

Angie has been in the field of psychotherapy for more than a decade. She is known for her work with adolescents, young adults, adults, families, and groups. The primary objective of 29J11 is to provide Bible and evidence-based therapeutic interventions that can help heal teens and adults with food issues.

So without further ado, here are 5 Answers to Your Question on Body Shaming and The Struggle for Perfect Bodies:

1. How do we overcome our negative body image thoughts?
First, we need to be aware that we are speaking negatively about our bodies. Think of a girls bathroom, what comments do you hear most girls saying about their bodies?  Next realize God knit you perfectly in your mother’s womb.  No one has the body you have and he knows why. His purpose for your life requires you to have the body you have!  Once you identify the negative thoughts about your body, stop picking on yourself, and being your own bully, start replacing each negative thought with a positive one!

2. What techniques do you use with your clients?
One of them is realizing where the negative body image thoughts came from. Who influenced your thoughts about your body?  Then drop these negative thoughts at the foot of the cross and start seeing yourself as God sees you…a beautiful masterpiece. His Masterpiece. Take a post it and post it on the bathroom mirror with positive thoughts about your body. Also, if social media is not helping your image of self because you find yourself comparing to other, stop and take a social media break. Then when you come back, commit to posting only body positive and positive pictures and images.

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3. How do we change our conversation so we stop shaming ourselves and others?
Commit to being a conversation stopper. When you hear body shaming or negative body talk, then start a BODY positive conversation. Start telling others what you like about them that makes them special!

4. Is it normal to feel like we don’t like our bodies?
Unfortunately, Yes. There is something called Normative Discontent where most of society struggles with some body image. However, if your thoughts are consumed with body dislike, and you find that you don’t like the way you look to the extent that it interferes with your daily living, then you may want to consult a professional.

5. What is a personal story or lesson you’ve learned while learning to love your body?
My upper arms have always been a little bigger, and my friends as a teenager used to play with my arms and make them jiggle. I always thought that I really didn’t like them. But then one day in prayer, God spoke to me and let me know to stop hating on my arms because these arms are the arms that wrap around my family and friends, that love my hugs. These arms also hug my clients when they need it, without my fluffy arms, my hugs wouldn’t feel the same.


Thank you, Angie, for pouring out so much wisdom and insight! I know every SBG reader will be changed by your words.

If you would like to learn more about Angie and the services she provides through 29J11, please visit her webpage here.

Citrusy Summer Wallpaper

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Summers in Florida call for very cold, limey, lemony drinks. Am I right?! And nothing makes me feel cooler than a cold drink by the pool or beach. So in honor of the hottest summer EVER, here’s a tangy wallpaper for your mobile and desktop devices. Enjoy!

Download wallpapers below by long pressing or right-clicking on the image:

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