3 Things that Build Lasting Relationships

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Let’s stop for a minute and think. Our lives revolve around interacting with other people. Some people we like and others we don’t. Some interactions are good and others are not so good. I wish all the relationships in my life were pleasant and easy. The reality is that relationships, whether it’s your marriage or a friendship, take effort. And whether we like to admit it or not, our relationships matter and mold who we are.

The effort we put into our relationships will influence the course of our lives. The people we meet, the people we love, the people we encounter, our relationships with them can lead to marriage, lifelong friendships, and even our dream job.

According to God’s word, loving God and loving people is our greatest calling. If it’s important to God then it should be important to us. And if we do all things through love for him and others, then our relationships and life will be a whole lot rewarding and meaningful.

Deep down inside, even us introverts, long to build lasting and deep relationships. Even when we have a billion walls up to protect us, we long for fulfilling relationships.

Being married, losing friendships, and leading others have taught me that to build lasting relationships we gotta:

Be consistent
I’m convinced that consistency is the substance that makes up success. When we are consistent we exude trust, reliability, and legitimacy. How can a person who’s late and unreliable keep a job or get a promotion? The same goes for our friendships, marriages, and people we mentor. We have to be there for the people in our lives, in the good and the bad. It’s pretty sad when I realize that I tend to push people away when things get messy. If we study Christ’s attitude towards His relationships, we see His dedication, consistency, and involvement. He was always present, always encouraging, and always showed up.

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Show Grace
Stepping out to be Jesus’ hands and feet at times can cause us to feel helplessness, discouraged or even downright angry. When we are there for people we see the stuff we wish we didn’t. We encounter people’s hang ups and faults. There’s one thing that gives us the strength and courage to keep building our relationships when they get sticky. It’s called grace. When I got engaged I wish I would’ve known that grace was something I was going to need more than ever. If marriage has taught me anything, it’s taught me that grace goes a long way. It actually is what sustains a relationship. Grace tells me to care and love my husband even when he has offended or hurt me. Grace tells me to reach out to a friend who is being distant even if it means disposing of my pride. Grace tells me to stop being so hard on myself when the fish I “cooked” tastes like crap.
P.S. My cooking has gotten a lot better 😉

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Be Vulnerable
The glue that binds it all together is vulnerability. When I hear the word vulnerability the first things that come to mind are exposure and fear. But vulnerability isn’t meant to expose us in a way that’s detrimental. If we lose the fear of being rejected, isolated, or judged, we are open to vulnerability. And when we are vulnerable with the people we love, meaning we are unafraid to show all of who we are, we can show grace when it’s hard and we can be consistent in their lives. The times I’ve been the most vulnerable, in my career or with my husband or with God, have lead to a total “vulnerability hangover”. Have you ever experienced that? I start questioning myself: “Was I too honest, too outspoken, too open, too caring, too loving? Will letting down this wall make me seem weak?” But looking back it’s those moments that have forged relationships, opportunities and have opened doors of success.

To learn more about vulnerability, connection, and letting go of fear, I highly recommend reading Brené Browns, Daring Greatly. It has been an extreme blessing in my life!


What have you learned from past and present relationships about building lasting connections?

What is one practical way you can build your most valued relationships today?

Valentine’s Giveaway Winner

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Thank you to everyone who liked, shared, and commented on our Valentine’s Mr. & Mrs. Giveaway!

This is such a sweet giveaway and I’m secretly jealous that I can’t keep the mugs. I’m especially happy to be giving a gift that celebrates marriage.

Well, without further ado, the winner is Lillian Roura! Congrats!

Lil, I hope you enjoy this gift with your hubby for many years to come! Please send me pics of where you hang the prints and a pic of you and your hubby enjoying some coffee in your new mugs 🙂

Please email me at info@styldbygrace.com with your contact info so I can mail out your gifts.

 

Valentine’s Day Mr. & Mrs. Giveaway 

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Happy Friday friends!

I’m excited to announce this months giveaway!

Whether you’re a newlywed, or know someone who’s engaged, or have been married for 15 years, you’re going to love this gift.

In honor of the month of love, I am gifting two beautiful Mr. & Mrs. mugs from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Sweet Water Decor. I’m also including Styld by Grace’s 8×10 Mr. & Mrs. prints.

To enter the giveaway, sign up for our newsletter and tag 3 friends in our Instagram giveaway post. For an extra entry, repost the giveaway picture.

The winner will be announced on Monday, February 8th! May the odds be ever in your favor 😉

**Giveaway ends Sunday, February 7th at 11:59 pm.**

A Newlywed’s Recipe for a Fulfilling Marriage

I had all the ingredients I needed, but didn’t quite understand the directions to the baked breaded tilapia recipe I googled. I really didn’t know what I was doing. The kitchen was a mess, with egg whites all over the counter, and the breading sprinkled on the floor. In the end, the tilapia was more like a spotted, gooey mess and it was not crispy at all. Yuck!

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My poor husband ate it anyway. I threw mine away. But, I  was so determined to not let this happen again. The following week I payed more attention to the recipe, prepared the ingredients correctly and had all the right pots and pans. This time around it turned out pretty amazing! And I’m so proud to say that Edward actually enjoyed fish for the first time.

I wish I could share all my crazy newlywed stories with you. (Like when I microwaved a METAL travel mug. Not kidding.) But this one in particular reminds me that to have a fulfilling marriage, we should follow some sort of recipe. Before marriage, I thought that if two people were in love, it would all work out. Well, now I know that it takes effort to keep that love alive.

In the last two years of marriage my ever-evolving recipe for a fulfilling marriage is:

Ingredients:
2 Cups of Joy
1 Gallon of Grace
2 Gallons of Devotion
1 Lifetime with God

Directions:
Take those 2 cups of joy and daily, laugh together. Also, don’t take each other or yourself too seriously. I do lots of silly, air-headed things around my husband. Before marriage, I would avoid doing those little quirks in front of him. Now, it’s inevitable. He sees the good, the bad, and the really silly. So I just decided to count it all joy and I learned to laugh at myself.

Pour the 1 gallon of grace over yourself and your spouse. I make mistakes and I fall short as a wife every single day. So I’m learning to give myself some grace. There is no such thing as a perfect person or the perfect marriage. The beautiful thing about marriage is that it helps you become a more grace-filled person towards yourself and others.

Use the 2 gallons of devotion to care, honor, and serve your spouse. We devote our time to our work, our hobbies, our dreams. Culture tells us that it’s perfectly fine to devote ourselves, and commit endless hours to those things. Yet, marriage is treated so casually.  If we want fulfilling, long-lasting marriages, then we must take time to care for the person we said “I do” to. Let’s make time to cook their favorite meal or help them get ready in the morning or listen to their worries and burdens.

The most important ingredient is 1 lifetime with God. He makes it all work together for our good. Like the times we argue and something mean slips out. Or the times we feel disappointed. He turns those things around for our good when He’s the one we seek after. He gives us the strength, the grace, the self-control to commit to having a fulfilling marriage. At the end of the day, no matter how amazing of a relationship we have with our spouse, it will feel like there’s something missing, if we don’t spend our days seeking God. He’s the source and the main ingredient for a lasting relationship.


A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesian 5:33)

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 3:5)


What is your recipe for a fulfilling marriage? I’d love to hear and learn from you!

P.S. Happy 2 year anniversary to my handsome, super funny, incredibly caring and supportive husband, Edward.

5 Things To Do While Waiting to Get Hitched

It’s wedding season! All my friends are either getting married, are newlywed or are thinking of marriage. It’s a great season! I’m a newlywed and I’m loving being able to take mini vacations with my hubby or have stay-cations at home, binge watching our favorite TV shows. But for the people who don’t feel close to getting married or don’t have a significant other, seeing their social media outlets filled with romance and all things weddings, it can be sad and even discouraging. So what do you do in the wait? What do you do while you wait for your other half? Don’t feel bad for yourself, girls, and don’t resent your friends. Read below for some tips I learned while waiting to get hitched.

1. Deepen the friendships you have
You’re going to need your girlfriends even after you find your guy. Ladies, let’s not lie to ourselves and say we’d rather not have girlfriends because of the drama that sometimes we encounter. We were created with a deep longing for connection with each other. We need each other. No matter how great of a guy you find, there are just some things only your girlfriends will understand. They will be your support system in good and bad.

2. Do the things you long to do
Do you want to go backpacking in Europe? Do you want to do missionary work? Do you want to live in a new city? This is the time do it. Once you’re married or once you’re in a committed relationship, you have to start thinking of the other person’s needs as well. It’s not that once you’re married, you can’t do the things you long to do, it just involves more planning and mutual agreement.

3. Serve God and learn what His word has to say about womanhood & marriage
The world wants to teach us about being a woman and what it looks like to be a woman. It also gives us models and ideas of marriage. I would say many of these teachings and ideas aren’t aligned to God’s purpose for marriage and womanhood. So in your wait, learn what God has to say about all this. Trust me, it’ll make the transition from being single to being married smoother.

4. Discover the vision for your life
Without a plan or vision for what you want out of life, it’s hard to choose the right person to come along side of you. If you don’t have a plan or a vision, pray and ask God to show you what it is. The best way to know if that special person is the “the one” is by sharing your vision with him, and seeing if his vision is similar or the same.

5. Establish healthy habits for yourself
If you don’t make your bed every day now, you won’t do it once you’re married. If you don’t work out and have a healthy diet now, you won’t do it to fit into a wedding dress. If you overspend and don’t manage money well, it won’t get any easier once you’re married. Take care of yourself now. Take care of your responsibilities now. If you do, once have more responsibilities to attend to, you won’t neglect the things that are most important. (I’m so speaking from experience on this one, ouchy.)

Hope this encouraged you and I pray you seek the Lord in your wait, more than anything else!

If you know someone who could use this pep talk, share it with them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!