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.

 

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?

Mesmerizing Pottery by the Master Potter

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I’m a bit obsessed with videos of pottery being molded on a wheel. They are just so mesmerizing! When I need a little break from work or need to clear my mind, I go on Instagram to see these beautiful videos. (Check out some of my fave accounts: @tortus_copenhagen & @shopmazama).

When I was in school I took a pottery wheel class and it was one of the most therapeutic things I’ve ever done in my life. It was like being transported to another time and place. And my mind was solely focused on making the piece of clay into a piece of art. If you haven’t ever tried it, you should!

As I watch these videos, I’m reminded of what God’s word says about His role in our lives. He is the potter and we are the clay.

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and we are all the work of Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

The clay is made of minerals, soil, and sometimes metal. At first sight, it seems like a bunch of junk. Insignificant and without purpose. Sometimes that clay can be underestimated and even seen as ugly. I have to admit that when I look at the pieces of my life, my past, my dreams, my home, they seem so insignificant and like a bunch of mumble-jumble.

It’s our tendency to forget who we are in God’s hands. And what He does with the fractured, dirty, muddy parts of our lives. He digs deep into our hearts, mold us, and uses even the worst of who we are to make a masterpiece of our lives.

Being in the handmade business has made me realize that every piece is unique. Every piece takes time to print, cut, trim, package, and deliver. And somehow each piece has its beautiful imperfections.

We may not be perfect or perfectly crafted (both physically and spiritually), but God is constantly putting His hand of grace over every single piece and making into a “good work” for His glory.

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“Search me, O God, and know my heart…” (Psalm 139:23)

Would you trust God today and let him search the depth of your heart and scummy parts of your life? Can you place your faith in Him, knowing that the work of His hand is good?

Even if at first it seems like nothing, like junk, and you’re uncertain of what the result will be. The work that He can do in your life will create a perfect and mesmerizing piece of art.


What can you do today to allow God to mold the different parts of your life?

 

New Hand lettered Prints in the Styld by Grace Etsy Shop

Never Give Up Print | Styldbygrace.etsy.com

Last week Styld by Grace showcased its artwork at RAW Miami Signature Showcase. It was a huge success, we met lots of new faces, and we are glad that so many people connected with our message and art.

Love & Arrows Prints | Styldbygrace.etsy.com

At the show, we debuted a few new prints, which hit our Etsy Shop TODAY! Click here to view our newly revamped shop and purchase our freshly listed items.

Cafecito con Leche Print | Styldbygrace.etsy.com

Hope you love them as much as we do!


What new prints would you like to see in our Etsy Shop? Any Mother’s Day suggestions? 

The Arrested Heart Prayer

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Life can change in a matter of minutes. Jesus was praised and worshiped on a Sunday and betrayed and killed by Friday. Somethings happen that don’t make sense. And even when life is going pretty good, we can grow weary and discontent. When life happens, I pray that our response would be to run to our Father.

Maybe you’re the midst of chaos, turmoil, and uncertainty. Or maybe life is okay but you long for more. Jesus knows it, felt it, and overcame it. No matter the turn of events, the bumps in the road, or the monotony of life, because of Jesus we are victors.

My prayer this Easter is for my heart to be arrested by God. To be taken over, bound up, and hidden in Him. By faith, I know that if my heart’s tied to His, I’ll be able to navigate all the storms, valleys, mountain tops, so-so moments, and dry seasons in life.

My Easter Prayer for you & me:

“Lord, when life doesn’t make sense and bad things happen, arrest my heart to your Word, that I may cling to it and declare it over my life.

Lord, when I’m hurt, tired, and worn out, when it seems like the wells run dry, arrest my heart to your presence, that I may come alive and be washed over by Your Spirit.

Lord, when I’m scared and anxious, arrest my heart to your peace, that I may sleep through the night and feel your presence all around.

Lord, when my hope has come to an end, arrest my heart to the hope there is in Christ, that I may be reminded of my purpose and the plan you have for my life.

Lord, when nothing can satisfy me and I thirst for more, arrest my heart to your Spirit, that I may have rivers of living water flowing from within.

Lord, arrest my heart to yours, that I may see things as you do, and walk in your will all the days of my life.”

I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend, remembering Jesus. He is real, He is alive, and He’s coming back again. I pray you’d be reminded of the wonderful plan and purpose He has for your life.