The One Solution For Your Struggle For The Perfect Summer Body

Styldbygrace_Struggle For The Perfect Summer Body

There’s a motto I use quite frequently to describe what Styld by Grace is all about. “Grace over perfection”. I had come to the realization that God wasn’t asking perfection from me. In reality, He was extending His grace towards me. How could I live by faith if everything in my life was perfect? How could I see God’s miracles at work if life was always perfect?

During the summer when there’s an endless amount of pressure to look our best, this motto of grace over perfection kind of goes out the door for me. I don’t know about you but that number on the scale really scares me sometimes. Actually, it bothers me and even makes me feel disgusted. The struggle for “perfect” bodies is real. Skinny is never skinny enough. And having the right amount of curves isn’t enough either.

The struggle for perfect bodies and the pressure that comes with it has caused me to question my conviction about God’s grace. Do I believe grace only applies to my habits, to-do list, and actions? And do I believe it also applies to my identity? Do I believe grace declares “you are enough”? My body, my soul, my personality, my wide hips, my short stature?

Is grace also the cure for my endless struggle for the perfect summer body?

I think so! I believe that God’s grace allows us to be who we truly are without shame. Even the imperfections. And it empowers us to grow and become better versions of ourselves. It gives us favor to be who we are meant to be and strength to keep going in that direction.

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Last 4th of July weekend I knew I’d be out in the sun. I really wanted to be in the water. But I also knew what that entailed. Putting on a bathing suit. Did I feel super confident? Was my stomach flat and sculpted? NOPE. But I made a conscious decision to love myself right where I was at. To love my imperfections. To receive God’s grace and be conscious that I didn’t need to be ashamed. And that I’m a work in progress.

This summer, I give you permission to put a bathing suit on and feel happy. Extend grace to yourself. Love your body right where it’s at. Know that you are enough, even if your body isn’t where you’d like it to be. For all you moms out there, rock that mom bod like nobody’s business! And for the girls who’s hips don’t lie (like me), embrace them and love them. If you’re thin and self-conscious of what you’re “lacking”, don’t believe that lie. You too are enough.

So, here’s to a happy and healthy summer. Embracing grace and loving our perfectly imperfect bodies right where they’re at today.


For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1:16)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)


P.S. Stay tuned for some healthy body image advice from my friend Angie Gonzalez, who helps young women overcome eating disorders.

 

Grace: The cure for perfectionism

grace_perfection_artwork_2In a world where flawlessness, immaculately chiseled bodies, and baby-smooth skin is the norm, there’s very little room to show weakness or imperfections.

Being a girl boss, a hustler, a workaholic, is admired. I cannot lie. I would love to be able to live a perfect life. A life where I can juggle every single opportunity, event, outing, and project that comes my way. All the while nurturing every relationship, making time for the gym and eating only organic food.

What kind of life would that be, though? Where failure, hang-ups, and imperfections never existed. There wouldn’t be any room to embrace, and receive the benefits of a wonderful and mysterious thing called Grace.

God’s grace is better, more reliable, and more stable than any physical or material thing we may obtain. Recognizing that we cannot do it all, let alone do it all perfectly, helps us understand the beauty and empowerment that come from God’s grace. Grace is looking to God to do for us, what we cannot do for ourselves. 

Following our dreams and working hard to accomplish our goals is not the problem. After all, faith without works is dead (James 2:17). When we embrace God’s grace, we surrender our need to be in control. The idea that our deeds, religious rituals, and resources, are the source, is what gets us stuck and overwhelmed.

If we would shift our thinking and allowed His grace to wash over us, the striving, the struggle, and the hustle would have a purpose. Our calling would take a shift and His grace would be the catalyst to achieve what He’s placed in our hearts. Essentially, our striving would turn to worship.

Even in the middle of being wrapped up by His grace, life will have it’s ups and downs. But when we choose grace over perfection, we become aware of God’s forgiveness, mercy and favor. Oh, how reassuring that is for me. And I hope it is for you, too. Regardless of what we do or don’t do, He loves us and cares for us.

When people see what a hot mess I am sometimes and wonder how the heck it all gets done, I have no reason to boast. It is not that I’m perfect or live by a standard of perfection, it is the grace of God that empowers me, gives me strength, and self-confidence to push through.

How freeing it is to know that I don’t have to have all my ducks in a row to receive God’s blessing. His grace is enough. We don’t have to live a “perfect” life or be the “perfect” person. His grace is enough. There’s no amount of good, pretty, nice, or perfect, we can create or strive for, that will ever satisfy. Only His grace is enough to empower, encourage, strengthen, bless, and motivate us on. 

[Bible verse references: Romans 5:8, 1 Timothy 1:16, Ephesians 2:8-9]


What does “Grace over Perfection” mean to you?

I would love to know what God’s grace means to you so I’ve made available free printable “Grace over Perfection” journaling pages. You can download them below! Share pics of what you’ve written about God’s grace on Instagram using #graceoverperfection. Can’t wait to see what you have to share!


Printable ‘Grace over Perfection’ Journaling Pages:

Black & White ‘Grace over Perfection” Journaling Page

Pale Pink & White ‘Grace over Perfection” Journaling Page

Pale Seafoam Green & White ‘Grace over Perfection” Journaling Page

 

Styld by Grace at RAW: Miami presents SIGNATURE

Hello there!

I am beyond excited to announce that Styld by Grace has been chosen to be part of an art showcase on April 21st, in Miami! The showcase is put on by RAW, an international indie arts organization for artists, by artists.

Thanks to the power of the internet and God’s favor, my prints were found on Etsy and selected to be part of the showcase. So we are booked to showcase them (and our Tees) this Spring.

It would be so great to have YOU there to support the vision and art of Styld by Grace.

Theresa Palma-RAW-Miami presents SIGNATURE

Here are the details:

  • The showcase is on April 21st at 6:30 pm.
  • Tickets are $20 online and $25 at the door. You can purchase tickets here.
  • The showcase is a 21+ event.
  • The showcase will be located at Revolution. Here is the address: 100 SW 3rd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312.
  • You will be able to purchase our prints & tee at the showcase.

Want to know more about the showcase? RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there!


 

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P.S. All ticket purchases come with a 20% discount on our Styld by Grace Tee! Once you purchase a ticket, email us at info@styldbygrace.com with your receipt and a coupon code will be sent to you. 

 

How to Satisfy our Hearts Desire for More

“God, I know there’s more. Why do I feel so empty? I have everything I ever wanted and everything I need”. I prayed that with tears flowing heavily from my eyes. I had this feeling like something was missing, but I didn’t know what it was.

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Have you ever been there? How ungrateful on my part to feel discontent. At least, that’s what I thought. I have a roof over my head, never go without eating, a great husband, and amazing family and friends. What was wrong with me?

There was a longing in my heart that I couldn’t put my finger on. All the “things” I had, even the people in my life, couldn’t satisfy it. Feeling drained and tired, I cried out to God. “Whatever this feeling is, fill it with you, Lord”. At the time, I didn’t realize that’s exactly what God wanted.

The closer I got to Him, the more I stepped into His presence, the lighter and more joyful I felt. That burden and heaviness I felt slowly diminished as I listened to what God had planned for my life. I didn’t realize that the thirst I was experiencing was God himself drawing me to Him.

I have to admit that many times I try to dismiss that feeling by filling my schedule with more stuff to do. Or I avoid taking a moment to be with God, by being on my phone for hours. (By the way, why is social media so addictive?!) When we come face to face with God, there are things He wants to show us and maybe, just maybe, deep down, we are afraid to know.

The truth is that we all long for more. And we think that the “more” we desire will be satisfied by things or people. We see in the media, that celebrities, millionaires, the rich and famous have it all, but many are addicted to drugs or live promiscuous lives.

Some put their achievements and goals on a pedestal that only God should occupy. Our marriages, the people we love, can also start to occupy the place God is supposed to fill in our hearts.

The reality that I’ve come to discover is that the “more” we long for can only be satisfied by what God has for us. Stepping into His presence to hear from Him can totally be scary because many times His “more” doesn’t align with what we have put first in our lives.

Friend, I invite you to let go of your phone, laptop, open up your schedule and press into His presence. Lean into, walk in, run into His presence. There’s more for your life. Let go of the fear, of the excuses, the idols, and let Him satisfy your longing for more. What He has for you, is greater and grander than any plan, achievement, or material desire, you have in mind.


“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in His way.” Psalm 37:23

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Mountain Top Experience

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A couple weeks ago, the youth and young adults from my home church (Metro Life Church) went up to the mountains of Jasper, Georgia (at Sharptop Cove) to hear from God and have some good ol’ summer camp fun.

The sites were amazing, the food was mouth-watering (it wasn’t your typical camp food. It was homemade deliciousness), and the words/prayers that we were covered with were life changing. Lots and lots of people were baptized, we worshipped, we zip lined, we danced, and we shared the amazing things God has done in our lives.

My top 3 “takeaways” from camp are:

Be open and vulnerable
When God asks us to pray, to speak, to share, to listen, let’s just do it. And let’s do it with a humble and open heart. Sharing what God has done in your life can be scary and it takes vulnerability. But you never know who is listening. There are people needing to hear what YOU have to say.

Embrace the unknown
Going into an environment or place we’re unfamiliar with can cause us to put up walls and become isolated. But the unknown is a great place for us to discover what God wants to show us. The daily grind has a way of masking and muffling the voice of God. When we are in a new environment, with new faces, and new scents and new sites, our eyes are opened and our ears become alert. Let’s be willing to embrace the unknown so we can hear from God more clearly.

Make a remembrance
Whenever I travel or have an experience that marks my life, I make it a point to create a remembrance of it. This year I bought an arrow necklace at the camp site’s store that has inscribed “Be Brave”. It’s a reminder that I must continue to be courageous and do the things God asks of me. Going to camp was a step of faith. And by taking that step of faith, God used me and affirmed me in ways I wasn’t expecting. I also took a load of pictures to remind me of all the fun we had up in the mountains of Jasper, Georgia.


What experiences or trips did you have this summer?

Have you set some time apart to meet with God this summer? What are some ways you can do so before the hectic fall season starts?