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

 

#RelationshipGoals

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Can I share how daunting the new year can be?

I kind of feel obligated to be on my “A-game” because everyone else is trying to be on theirs. And honestly, I think resolutions are so 2015. 😉

So this year, in 2016, I have decided to set goals for the different parts of my life. There’s definitely health goals and professional goals that I have written down. I’ve also decided to set goals for a very important, and sometimes neglected, part of my life. My relationships.

Yup, I’ve written down what my relationship goals are. Our lives are made up of the memories and day-to-day activities we share with the people we make time for, the people we share a meal with, and the people we let our guard down for.

At times, I look back at an event or a conversation or a misunderstanding and I think to myself how it could’ve been better or maybe avoided. The habits we form relationally affect us daily. And some of the habits I’ve become accustomed to, are not very healthy and aren’t honoring to God. Some of those habits can be hurtful for me and others. That is why this year I want to be healthy. Not just physically, but most importantly, relationally.

Ok, so here’s some of my relationship goals:

  • LISTEN to people when they speak. Because sometimes I tune them out and I pretend to listen. Not nice.
  • Spend more time with my family. Because I’m not very intentional about making time for them and that is hurtful.
  • Be aware of the time I spend with my husband. Because my marriage should be a priority.
  • Stop gossiping. It’s toxic and it doesn’t honor God.
  • Set strict boundaries with people who have abused my trust. Because God’s word teaches us to guard our hearts.
  • Be generous and give others from the resources I have been given by God.
  • Learn when to say no and when to say yes. Because if I say yes to too many things, I’ll have to say no to the people that need me the most.
  • Be honest about my feelings and have the courage to say it without being rude.

All of these goals challenge me. And that’s why they should be goals. Setting goals for ourselves is inspiring and wonderful because they don’t ever have expiration dates. You keep trying till you reach them. I’m going to keep working on these goals, past 2016, until I reach them. In the process, I hope that the people in my life feel more loved, appreciated, and respected.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
(Ephesians 4:2-3)

What about you? Have you set your goals for 2016? What about relational goals?

 

 

 

 

Thank You for a Wonderful 2014

ThankYou_Artwork_2014

This year has been filled with many wonderful memories and lessons learned. I became a wife at the end of 2013 and wrote a post entitled: Confessions of a Newlywed. It was a very vulnerable post but the reward was great. That post had 143 views! In total Styld by Grace had 1,200 views. I’m hoping and praying that those 1,200 views, resulted in lives that felt encouraged, inspired, and motivated by God’s love and grace. Thank you for reading and supporting the vision of this blog.

In 2015, it’s my goal to reach even more people. And I can’t do it without you! Please keep reading, sharing, commenting, and sending me your feedback. If you feel connected to the vision of Styld by Grace and would like to share your story, contribute to Styld by Grace with fashion or design advice, or help design artwork for blog posts, please write to me in the About section. I’m looking forward to what God has in store for Styld by Grace in 2015!

And just for fun here’s a New Year’s Game that you can play with your friends and family:

2014 Year in Review Q&A Game
1. Day this year you’d live over and over
I’d relive my trip to San Diego. It was my first “big girl” work adventure. It was my first time taking a “red eye” back home, too (I wouldn’t relive the red eye, though). 

2. Best conversation you had this year
There isn’t a specific conversation I can remember. But I did have great conversation with my newlywed friends about the joyous, the crazy, and the fun moments marriage brings. 

3. Most memorable moment in pop culture
Hands down, John Travolta introducing Idina Menzel as “Adele Mazeem”. Need I say more?

4. Biggest lesson learned this year
I’m more selfish than I thought I was and I need to work on that. Another lesson I am learning is that I need to give people the benefit of the doubt and stop jumping to conclusions.

5. Favorite song of the year
I LOVE music. This is a hard one… Can I say my top 3 favorite songs?
3. Rude by Magic!
2. You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music
1. Heroes by Alesso 

I know super random… but I like all types of music

6. Best piece of advice you got this year
“The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep. The schedule you keep determines the life you live. And how you live your life determines how you spend your soul.” –The Best Yes  

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you have a very happy new year.

Cheers!
Theresa Palma