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I could never have imagined what life had in store when I left home at the age of 18. From my early years as a receptionist at a prestigious law firm to living in a Christian commune then running a summer camp and conference center, my career has not been about coloring within the lines. I spent 20 years in the music business managing bands and producing award-winning music videos also serving as COO of ForeFront Records -- all while my husband and I raised our two amazing daughters. Looking back through the years, I realized that I survived through equal measures of grit and grace. I embraced these traits and was joined by my husband Dan to co-found The Grit and Grace Project, aimed at supporting strong women . . . and those who want to be. As an author and businesswoman, I've been featured on a variety of media outlets including FOX and CNN as well as ABC, CBS, NBC affiliates. I gain the most positive energy when I'm able to merge my personal and professional passions by helping women as they seek to find their inner strength. My formal education is limited to a high school degree, but I never let that hold me back from accomplishing my dreams while caring for my family. I have always been a firm believer that life challenges should neither defeat nor define you. It was in the busyness of producing award-winning music videos, managing music groups, promoting concerts and serving as COO of ForeFront Records that Darlene raised her two daughters. This unique blend of author, mother, businesswoman, wife, and creative producer has shown her that it is indeed true, “life challenges should neither defeat nor define you.” And just so you know, she wears the tool belt in her family.
feeling knocked down? lessons learned when bears attacked my trees

Several years ago, my husband and I built a home in the mountains of North Carolina. We made every effort to fit into the

5 Important Things to Discuss as a New Couple

I saw an article a while back on a men's website that shared what their gender thought they should talk about on a date

i am not woke because i never fell asleep

I am not woke because I never went to sleep. My faith wouldn't allow me. As a follower of Christ, it is His principles that

in a changing world we can rest assured that god remains the same

It feels like we have been thrown to the bottom of life’s ocean by the circumstances that surround us. Unrest, political conflict, shifting truth,

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I'm ditching perfection because my best is enough

Once again, I grabbed a shopping cart to complete what seems to be my four-times-a-week run to Walmart. As I was rolling down the

4 ways to build a successful relationship with your child

There are a few things a mother needs to do to secure a successful relationship with her child. Perhaps I need to clarify—a relationship

a strong woman shows grace and is not weak

Every year, the month of March brings a celebration of women’s history, and this year I want to highlight female inventors. Since delving into

True Beauty is Found in a Woman’s Strength

The often unspoken definition of a woman’s beauty appears on the cover of every magazine in the grocery store checkout aisle.  Gracing the pages

Mary, a Woman of Honor, Grit and Grace

Honor is the respect, trust, and confidence given to a person, earned by the character exhibited through the life they lived—the outgrowth of living

Dear God, You, God, are my Father, my eternal heavenly Father. Because You asked me to be your child, sought me, and found me. I

Grit and Grace After the Election

Election Day is over, and we are still awaiting the outcome, so what does a woman of grit and grace look like today, on

7 Dating Tips for Successful Relationships

Looking for a man worth your time? Here are a few tips that will help you avoid wasting time on Mr. What-Was-I-Thinking. 1. Make a man list. Every

Divorce Was Not In the Plan TWO

I have walked alongside two ladies I dearly love as they were suffering the heartbreak of divorce. Their disappointment, disbelief, and pain were palpable

What-My-Faith-Says-About-My-Purpose

I know that a woman of faith probably shouldn’t admit she thinks any book of the Bible is depressing, but there is one that

Beginning Faith Walking This Life With Grit, Grace, and God NEW

When I was loading the car to fly my elder daughter off to college, I stopped and made her look me in the eye

My Dad's Suicide and the Hole in My Heart NEW

I knew my father was having a difficult time in life. It was so very unlike this man whose smile warmed the hearts of

this is what jesus says about equality for women

Religion has often been used as an excuse for inequality between men and women. Historically, and even today within many world religions, women find

Does God Really Love Us

I have walked with God for a good many years. I met him as a child, ran from him as a teen, surrendered to

To my single friends

I have watched you, Single Friends. I have seen your days of discouragement, your seasons of loneliness. I have hurt when you hurt and

Is School Starting or Not? Hope for Stressed Moms

I was in Walmart recently as they were filling the shelves with the annual back-to-school supplies. It's 2020, and a new school year is

Grace is not weakness it requires strength

Defining Grace Grace is the anchor of our faith, the reason for the confidence we have in a God of mercy. It's what is extended

To the College Grad Who Is Freaking Out—You Got This! NEW

We have had the pleasure of having several college girls intern with us at Grit and Grace Life, and recently, a few have graduated. Shortly