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I grew up in a loving home in the Midwest suburbs, and my life was essentially absent from heartache until I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata at 21 years old. That was a defining moment in my life, and I’m so grateful to say it refined me into a woman of strength and depth. With a burning desire for my pain and healing to have a greater purpose, I threw myself into volunteer opportunities at my local college ministry and ended up working for the church that ran it the following year. I spent close to five years on staff, and my favorite responsibility was working with the adoptive and foster families involved in our Every Child Initiative. It was during this time that I met and married my husband, Stephen, who happened to be my coworker. I also shared an office with my current coworker, Julie Graham, and it’s through her that I was introduced to The Grit and Grace Project. As a Communication major and Journalism minor, I was instantly drawn to the opportunity to use my formal education while also fostering my love of writing, editing, and encouraging other women. I now live in the balance of Editor, wife, mom, and all of the other titles us woman carry. Though it can be challenging to juggle, I count myself lucky to be surrounded by love, strength, and purpose.
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I have a confession to make. This article began from a place of pride and pain. Feelings of insignificance, hurt, and loneliness fueled the


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My husband asked me recently if there’s anything I’ve learned since being pregnant for the first time. Thinking of my chronic morning sickness and

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Have you ever felt like you were treated unfairly? Perhaps you've worked hard on a project, but someone else on your team got the

The Grit and Grace Project Is Three Years Old!

The Grit and Grace Project is celebrating its third birthday, and our little team is feeling quite full—full of gratitude, awe, excitement, and, of


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Summer vacations are coming to an end and the school year is almost here. Now that we’ve all got that summer glow, it’s time to start


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In a podcast episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Julie and Darlene talk about ruts that women fall into. (You can listen to

Starting the New Year With Grit, Grace, and Inner Beauty

There’s something hopeful about a new year. Who doesn’t love a fresh start? A new year often incites determination to tackle big projects, resolution


I’m a long-time flounderer. In fact, floundering has marked almost every area of my life at some point or another. You know why? Because

On Courage Strong People Have Weak Moments

Mary Anne Radmacher said, "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try




I would have never considered myself a strong woman seven years ago. In fact, I wasn't a strong woman seven years ago. I was

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Hurry! The clock is ticking and you need to binge watch the first season of This Is Us before the show returns on September 26! In case you've

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On the day that America celebrates freedom, I was handcuffed with the diagnosis of Alopecia Areata (a stress-induced autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss).