Darlene Brock

Darlene, President of The Grit and Grace Project, is crazy enough to jump in the deep end then realize she may not have a clue where she’s landed. She has spent her adult life juggling careers in the music business, been an author, a video producer, and also cared for her family ... some days drowning, other days believing she’s capable of synchronized swimming.

Race With Grit and Grace

Running the Race with Grit and Grace

On Saturday, May 11th, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender, along with Grit and Grace Writer Amanda-Lee Pitzer, will be Running the Race with Grit and Grace in Middletown, Ohio. No, they aren’t running exactly; they are joining Chosen, the women’s ministry of Berachah Church, to share wisdom, laughter, and fun as we celebrate This Grit and Grace Life together. The event begins at 10:00 and ends by 3:30. It includes brunch, shopping, and main and breakout sessions that will encourage you in all aspects of life. You get to pick two breakout sessions as well as the main events, and they include: Marriage—Building it Stronger. If you feel your marriage is steady and in a healthy place but want to keep it […]

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Easter, the greatest love story ever

Easter, the Best Love Story Ever Told

I sit this morning alone, watching as the sun crests the peak of my home. It is quiet, with a waterfall in the background and nature sounds playing their melody. I ponder the gravity of this season. It is once again Easter, the celebration of the best love story ever told. I am reminded of the week’s beginning. The triumphant entry of Jesus, in humility, seated upon a donkey as he arrives at the city of Jerusalem. Greeted as the conqueror, the expectations of those who lined the streets were high as they placed palm fronds before him, expressing their delight at his arrival. The same people who were there to laud his entry, within a few days, were absent from his

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Beauty Treatments of the Past That Will Make You Laugh and Cringe

Beauty Treatments of the Past That Will Make You Laugh and Cringe

Have you ever wondered who determined that we ladies should take small metal tongs and pull hairs out of our face, one at a time, to achieve perfectly arched eyebrows? Or who was the masochistic individual who believed the removal of hair under the arms and on each leg was a great idea for our gender? What did they have on hand to accomplish this new task? A very dull blade, or were they kind enough to provide a sharp knife? We all know that Gillette’s Venus four-blade with lotion was far from being invented that year. I imagine a smoke-filled lounge with men enjoying their cigars and glasses of bourbon as they determine beauty treatments of the past that might make

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The Everyday Mom Moments That Will Make You Laugh

The Everyday Mom Moments That Will Make You Laugh

So you’re on the mom road. The one that is filled with every emotion—fear, joy, frustration, laughter, angst, and frenzy all colliding within the same 30-minute window of your day. You want to teach your child what they need to live; you want to be great at this job, but some days you just shake your head at the places you find yourself. Just to give every mom a pass, I want to share a few of those everyday mom moments that we all live through: 1. Since your first child was a girl, you quickly learn that face first when changing your newborn son is a dangerous place to be. 2. You mumble “good job” in your sleep because it appears to be the only

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10 Funny Things All Women Do

10 Funny Things All Women Do

I obviously have spent a whole bunch of years being a female, well actually my entire life (no surprise there). But something I have realized is that we are a funny bunch, aren’t we ladies? There are some things we do and say that are unique to us. I’ve done them, and I know if you admit it, you have too! So I’m just going to step up and confess to some of the funny things all women do. 1. When we ask, “How do I look?” There is only one acceptable answer. 2. We remove our bra the moment we get home. Then spend the next few minutes scratching the indentations caused by said bra. 3. When disrobing for a doctor’s visit, we

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Can We Know God Loves Us

Can We Know God Loves 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 him as a young adult as he relentlessly pursued me, and I have sought to follow him since. There have been seasons filled with faith, believing every promise, and feeling so confident in my purpose and the warmth of his presence. I have also had seasons when I felt as if I was drowning in heartbreak, despair, and discouragement, wondering if he was even there or heard the cry of my heart. Wondering as I have believed if God loves us. In the discouraging times, when God felt so absent from my life, I immediately thought that I

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Womens History Month Be Inspired by Strong Women of the Past

Women’s History Month: Be Inspired By Strong Women of the Past

In celebrating Women’s History Month, I had to go back in time. To a season I first learned about the great women who paved paths before us. I grew up in a tiny Indiana town where generations of families worked their farmland or found employment in the factories for union wage. You knew the names of almost everyone in the community and also knew their “business.” As in cities large and small, there were classes of citizens, from the bank president to the school janitor. You held a position, and it was there you stayed. In the summer, we rode our bikes for miles to the local swimming pool or dropped them at the side of the road to explore the woods,

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7 Money Tips When You Are Thinking Marriage

7 Money Tips When You’re Thinking Marriage

Before you take the plunge from dating to marriage, there are a few things that you and that “oh he’s so darn cute and sweet—nothing else matters!” guy you’re smitten with need to discuss. One biggie that every couple needs to have a serious conversation about is money. Yep, the subject we all want to avoid… but this is one of the top issues that lead to divorce. So a smart girl takes care of business applying these money tips before it ever becomes a problem. Here are the top money tips you need to know and do: 1. Talk about it! You need to discuss everything before you put on that wedding dress, so don’t avoid this subject; jump in. It

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Feeling Lonely?

Feeling Lonely? This is a Battle You Can Win

As I sat down with my second cup of coffee to follow my morning ritual, I scanned my emails when an article caught my attention: Study Reveals Loneliness at Epidemic Levels in America. If you’re feeling lonely, realize you’re not alone. The results of the study conducted by health insurer Cigna stated that nearly half of Americans surveyed sometimes or always feel left out, with only 53% saying they have meaningful in-person social interactions.1 Loneliness has plagued all of us through time, sometimes leaving us feeling lost for a few hours or a few days. In other seasons, we may discover we awaken each morning and end each day with a chronic hurt and ache that lay within the feeling of aloneness.

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He Brings Me Flowers, Is that Enough?

My Boyfriend Brings Me Flowers, Is That Enough?

Your boyfriend brings you flowers, treats you to dinner, and maybe even buys you a gift. Sweet things that indicate he could be the “rest of my life” partner but is that all you want? Or perhaps that’s what he did when you first started dating, but less so now. And the other things you might be looking for haven’t yet appeared. Maybe you’ve compromised on some things you thought were important. Or accepted some that you didn’t think you would accept. This happens to nearly every woman who is seeking that ever-after relationship. The concessions don’t happen quickly; they occur slowly, often without even realizing you’re giving up what you thought you had found. Settling for the opposite of what you

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What to Do When You Need a Change

6 Steps to Take When You Need to Make a Change

One of the great things about the chronological advancement of life is you have brilliant hindsight. As the years pass by, glaring life realizations gain light. The biggest may be that the only time my circumstances ever changed is when I acted. Even though there were many times in life I wished I had a do-over, that cute little reset button, that’s not how it worked. There is nothing that will completely erase the past. There is no miracle cure that will fix the problem and change the future. But, there is always, may I emphatically without reservation repeat the word always, a path to create the change. Forever and in all things there is hope. Maybe I need to scream this

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Why You Should Just Have That Hard Conversation (And How to Do It)

Just Have That Hard Conversation (And How to Do It)

Have you ever had that sick, anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach? The one that occurs when you know there’s a hard conversation you need to have with someone you don’t want to have it with? Or maybe they don’t want to have it with you. A misunderstanding has occurred—or even worse—they are heading down a road you know you can’t let them travel without at least having an honest discussion before they do. In reality, it’s the last thing you want to take on. A tooth extraction seems more pleasant. But one thing I do know is if there’s a conversation you’ve been avoiding, it’s usually the one you need to have. Nothing will change if you don’t deal with

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Mary, a Woman of Honor, Grit and Grace

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 a life of grace. Not easily gained nor easily bestowed. There is one lady that exhibited these qualities in life, one that holds a place of honor in every Christmas Nativity. Sitting calmly aside an infant in a manger placed in a stable filled with animals, I’m not really sure today’s depiction is realistic. If you had birthed a baby in essentially a barn, amidst straw and animals, you probably would not be perfectly coiffed. Joyous but weary, not only from the long trip you made nine months pregnant abreast a donkey, but also suffering through a natural

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How to See Christ in the Christmas Chaos

How to See Christ in the Christmas Chaos

I was having one of those “discussions” with myself the other day, the kind where you are mediating an internal debate. There is no one else privy to the conversation; it is merely you talking to you. I’m one of those people whose facial expressions coincide with the dialogue taking place in their head. So, I’m sure that on this particular day, anyone watching me push my shopping cart would have wondered if I was having an emotional breakdown as I went from scowling to nodding my head to grinning slightly and then back to scowling. Why Do We Put Up with the Christmas Chaos? My thoughts went something like this: I am so tired of the insanity of this time of

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7 Unique Holiday Traditions to Share With Your Family

One of the very best things about the holidays is not the calorie-heavy, “guilt-free” food intake, the gifts, the family gatherings, or even the “you have outdone yourself” decorating. It’s the holiday traditions you create for your family and then repeat each year, ensuring lasting memories in the hearts of all you love. Looking to start some family traditions? Here are a few to get you started: 1. Fill a jar from Thanksgiving to January 1 with special notes for each family member. Write one note a week to tell them something about them you treasure. On January 1, each member takes the notes written to them to begin the new year knowing their worth. 2. Decorate your tree with ornaments purchased from

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Thank Sarah Hale (One Strong Woman) for Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving became a national holiday at the height of the Civil War—a most unlikely time to set a day aside for reflection and proclamation of one’s thankfulness. Yet President Abraham Lincoln did exactly that. Indeed, he was a brave man to declare this celebration in a season that seemed to have very little to be thankful for. But what is often overlooked is the woman behind the effort to make this a holiday worth celebrating. As is often true in life there is a “behind the scenes” lady of persuasion, a humble yet determined crusader of a concept. Sarah Josepha Hale’s Pursuit of Education Sarah Josepha Hale was born in 1788 to Captain Gordon Buell and Martha Whittlesay Buell. Having been educated

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True Beauty is Found in a Woman’s Strength

The unspoken definition of a woman’s true beauty often appears on the cover of magazines in the grocery store checkout aisle.  Gracing the pages is a photo-shopped image of an already nearly perfect-looking human being. The flawless skin, sparkling eyes, not a hair out of place, and unrealistic body type make me want just to turn every magazine backward, so we don’t have to endure. Social media is even worse. But having lived quite some time, walking alongside many women, I can honestly say that’s not the beauty I am drawn to. That is not to diminish the value of the physically beautiful women in our lives. Trust me, they really do have their own challenges, often insecure like every one of

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