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.

One Man's Dream Women Can Believe In

One Man’s Dream Women Can Believe In

At The Grit and Grace Project, we usually write about women’s lives, telling their stories and sharing their vision. But we have found a man who has a dream we believe in, and we want to share it with you… What happens when a world-traveled, highly successful photographer takes the view that he sees through the lens of his camera and puts a voice to it? The images and needs that his expeditions have revealed to him are displayed in his photography; they are also etched in his heart. During a meeting in a hotel several years ago, in room 121, Jeremy Cowart noticed that the room had a name, and he began to ponder… What if the room’s name meant something more? “Imagine walking down the hallway with […]

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Take It Easy—On Your Kids

Take It Easy—On Your Kids

So you want to be a great mom. I’m sure there are some days you think the world expects you to be a perfect mom. Well, some people do expect that from you, those silly folks. They will also tell you that your child needs to tow the line with the expectations placed by the powers that be. But I’m telling you, no they do not. While we want to help our children grow up to be productive, loving, kind adults, we don’t want to force them into a one-size-fits-all little person. There are some things that the clamoring masses tell us we should deal with in our children that just aren’t true. The challenges you face with your little person may well be

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5 Tips for Successful Independence

5 Tips for Successful Independence

Ladies, whether you are single, dating, married, widowed or divorced, having the ability to live independently is a vital part of life. It’s important for every relationship to be built upon two healthy individuals as well as creating within us a strength that exemplifies unfading beauty. You may already be in a great marriage, but health issues could arise and prompt you to be the one to take the helm. Or, though you may have never expected to be alone, suddenly life forces change upon you. Maybe you’re the girl who has stayed single; you already know how to do this well… But I encourage you to take this as a refresher. To make sure you are prepared for every life contingency, let me give you a few tips for healthy independence. •

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After Years of Dating, Should You Keep Waiting?

After Years of Dating, Should You Keep Waiting?

I recently had lunch at a wonderful lakeside restaurant where my server was a cute, incredibly perky girl in her mid-twenties. Looking at her, I thought about what a great stage of life she’s in—one that so often brings the beginning of new life roads. Because I just have to know about every new person I meet, I asked her what keeps her busy when she isn’t working. Her answer was looking at bridal magazines. The obvious response from me came next, “That is so great! When are you getting married?” Her response, “My boyfriend and I have been dating for three and a half years and he hasn’t asked me yet, but I’m sure he will. So, of course I am thinking about a

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6 Halloween Survival Tips for Moms

The Grit and Grace Project ladies banded together to share some of their best Halloween tips for you and the kids… 1. Buy candy you don’t like. Then if there’s any leftover it won’t land in your mouth. 2. Don’t break the bank on kid’s costumes. Make something from what you have—and it doesn’t have to be “Pinterest worthy”—just have fun! Plus it will create great photos for future teenage embarrassment. 3. Leave the family pet at home. Chasing your pet who is chasing the kids in costumes is never fun. 4. Buy your candy early, during candy sales or use coupons. 5. Avoid opening said candy bag before October 31—unless you were smart enough to follow tip one! 6. If your

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4 Don'ts of Great Parenting For Moms

4 Don’ts of Great Parenting For Moms

What not to do for your child: 1. Don’t fight all their battles. They won’t learn to fight for themselves. 2. Don’t fix all their mistakes. Consequences are one of life’s best teachers. 3. Don’t give them everything they want. What they want may not be what they need. 4. Don’t keep them from all hurt. They will never learn how to heal. Remember, while you’re protecting your child you must also learn to prepare them. The goal is not to only protect them from harm, but to prepare them for life. — For more articles with encouragement in parenting, start here: How to Be a #Girlmom Teaching Your Daughter How to Stand Out from the Crowd Parenting Adult Children—The Great Shift of Motherhood Raising

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Can You Have a Fairy Tale Love?

Can You Have a Fairy Tale Love?

Life’s fairy tale—fact or fiction? I hear the clamor of female voices saying, “Disney lied! There are no princes! There is no happily ever after!” Dreams dashed, fantasies destroyed. In many ways they are correct; you will not walk through life singing with the birds while fish harmonize and other woodland animals dance in time. Unless your career is that of a park ranger… There are males out there who can indeed be princes, yet they are just as likely to be frogs. A real-life man is often some of both. Expecting the dragon, evil queen, or bad-lipstick octopus to be defeated for your rescue, is probably not going to happen. But, that doesn’t mean you need to give up on some of

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Learning to Listen to Those You Love, When You Need it Most

Learning to Listen to Those You Love, When You Need it Most

I ran out my front door late for an appointment, having grabbed everything I thought I would need. Behind me, before the door slammed, I heard my husband’s voice … “I know you’re late but don’t speed!” He knows me pretty well and it was an appropriate statement to make as I jumped into my car, putting it into drive and hitting the accelerator. The other thing he knows is that I don’t often heed warnings. This was one of those days … 15 minutes into my drive I looked at the oncoming traffic and saw the quick turn on of flashing lights. I dropped my eyes to the speedometer; I was the one speeding and not just a little bit. In my rearview mirror

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Is God Out to Get Me?

Is God Out to Get Me?

During my teen years my mother often delivered a final sentence as I gathered my keys and purse and ran out the door to pick up friends for a night of fun. She did not say “I love you” or “have fun” or even “be safe” (although I am sure those may have been said or implied at some point). It was always this: “Be sure your sins will find you out!” Now this is the last half of a Bible verse, Numbers 32:23. One that, while true in context (when you read the whole thing), only served to create an impression on me that God was an active Whac-a-Mole player. He was bending over the entire Earth’s surface just waiting for someone to sin. Then

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When You Don't Feel Blessed as a Mother

5 Tips for Teaching Your Kids How to Pray

What does it take to make sure your children realize God cares about every little thing in their lives? Here are 5 suggestions: 1. Make it personal. List two things that matter to you and then ask your child to do the same. Explain that if something matters to you, then it matters to God, too. Then pray together. 2. When teaching them to concentrate by closing their eyes and folding their hands, make sure they are not walking at the same time. (Wisdom from Jenn Grassman.) 3. Be willing to pray on the spot. Yes, I have asked God to help me find the specific item on the grocery store shelf—out loud, in front of my kids—because I needed to get

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when someone you love is contemplating suicide

When Someone You Love Is Contemplating Suicide

*The reality of suicide has touched the lives of several of the writers at The Grit & Grace Project so we are taking the opportunity to share our hearts. As the daughter of someone who took their own life, there are things I have learned since that fateful day. I am in no way an expert, but in searching for answers I have gleaned a few things from those who are. If life had a do-over I would have done these things prior to my father’s death, and I want to share them with you: 1. Do not dismiss their level of depression. It does not matter how full of life they may have been in the past. If they are deeply struggling, the possibility

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Let Them Teach

Let Them Teach

I have heard the cries of teachers I know, family and friends, the caretakers of our children. I have watched as their passion has been eroded by the demands of the career they have chosen, demands that have nothing to do with teaching. I have taken their words in hopes of giving them a voice. By doing so it is my hope that the gatekeepers of education will listen, hear and let them teach. That they’ll be given the freedom to lead the next generation anchored in the grit of an educator, laced with unending grace. I am a teacher. I sit in my classroom each morning being welcomed by the tender little faces hanging up their backpacks, chattering all the way

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What My Faith Says About Race

What My Faith Says About Race

I try extremely hard to take every one of my questions, doubts and confusion to the source of all my life answers- my faith. Often it’s not that there are simple answers to my questions like Google seems to offer. I can’t just type in, “God, what do you think about these crazy days we find ourselves in? And how do we fix it?” Then expect a quick spinning wheel while the search engine finds all the possible answers. Instead, the Bible is a book that is meant to be absorbed over years, as you develop your relationship with the Author. But the answers are there in the richness of the pages. They come through the principled truths woven throughout every page.

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If Only Life Had Photoshop

If Only Life Had Photoshop

Standing in the grocery aisle looking at the magazines covers, I find myself pondering. Not on who is divorcing, marrying, cheating, too fat, too thin, or simply confused about their sexuality. Nope; I’m pondering how amazing the ladies who grace these covers look. Well, of course they do, there is a wonderful software called Photoshop! I’d look pretty darn good, too, if they did that to me! But alas, it’s not going to happen—don’t even really want it to. But at one time, photo-shopping the imperfections out of my life is something I would have seriously considered. I did not want my blunders, errors, and life faux pas to be seen by the masses. That is no longer true! A bunch of years ago I

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Work Overload Killing You?

Work Overload Killing You?

Five things I learned to keep me from drowning at work: 1. Touch a paper or view an email once. Deal with it immediately, put it in the trash or a flag it “waiting for more info” box because more is coming later. 2. Make coworkers do their own thinking. If they want input give it, but ask them to bring you the ideas they have developed, you will look them over. 3. Manage your time don’t let others do it for you. Keep a calendar and follow it, allow time for quick questions but go to the coworkers desk, you can leave when you need to. 4. Close your door or hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your cubicle. When

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The Floods Are Gonna Come

When the Floods Come, Will Your Faith Keep You Anchored?

Have you ever heard the parable from the Bible about a house built on sand and another house built on a rock? I’ve heard it many times over the years, starting in Sunday school. As a teen, it was pitched my way whenever my mom wanted to make a point about what I was doing in life… it didn’t work well on a rebellious 18-year-old. Since that time I have literally lived out that analogy. I have owned a home in Florida and another one on a mountaintop in North Carolina. One house is built on a bunch of sand, while the other has a concrete foundation—poured and pinned into a rock bed. I have asked builders in Florida (more than once)

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