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.

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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older woman sitting on a park bench and petting a small dog as a way to find joy in the everyday

The Joy Series: Feel Stuck in the Mundane? Unlock Joy in the Everyday

Life can be mundane. When we are young, we anticipate the exciting, eventful, purpose-filled existence that we are told is our future. We launch into our 20s with such optimism about our life, yet it doesn’t take long for that optimism to wane. We start real life lacking the joy in the everyday. Beginning our careers, building a promising relationship, getting married, and starting a family look like exciting benchmarks to a fulfilling future. And they are. But they are also the start of real life. The Frustrations of Real Life Real life includes challenging coworkers, repetitive work that you find cumbersome, promotions you think should be yours but aren’t. Relationships that fizzle or a husband who leaves his dirty laundry on

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view of family's sneaker-covered legs lined up next to each other with a vast mountain landscape background while visiting travel destinations in the U.S.

The Places You’ll Go! Must See Travel Destinations in the U.S.

“Oh, the places you’ll go.” I’m sure you’ve read that book by the incredible Dr. Seuss a time or two, perhaps for your enjoyment or that of the littles in your life. You may have embraced it as a child, dreaming of all the unique and exciting things you wanted to see. After reading to your children, I’m sure you have offered this: “The world is a special place, and it’s yours to explore.” But has life distracted you since the reading? We often think it’s too much work to load up those kids to show them what that means. Well, it’s not! The memories created are too important at these special travel destinations. I’ve traveled extensively and had the chance to

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Mom, Be Sure to Make Memories That Will Last a Lifetime

I recently traveled through Northeastern Georgia as we headed to the mountains of North Carolina. We have the privilege of enjoying the autumn in the tranquil and beautiful land between the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Observing the burst of color in the month of October leaves one in awe of the beauty of creation. While heading to our final destination, we spotted a Fruit Stand – Corn Maze – Hayride – Bakery – Ice Cream Store and Pumpkin Patch. Yes, these were all there in one location. With fare like this, we had to stop and see which of these we couldn’t live without. Parking in an absolutely full lot, alongside another load of pumpkins being delivered from the

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5 Important Things to Discuss as a New Couple

5 Important Topics for New Couples to Discuss

Recently, I saw an article on a men’s website that shared what males thought they should talk about when they wanted to make a good impression on a date. There were four topics of conversation that these “Einsteins” believed worked best with women: pets, travel, movies, and food. Seriously, is that all some men think women are capable of discussing? Granted, they are trying to make a good impression, theoretically wanting a second date. But ladies, aren’t we a bit more interesting than that? Don’t we want more out of a relationship? Yes, most females have pets, enjoy travel, watch movies, and like to eat. But I think we need to come up with our own list. If it’s the first date,

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A Parent's Guide to Halloween and How to Handle It

A Parent’s Guide to Halloween and How to Handle It

It was Halloween day, and this was the first year my daughter realized it might just be a great event in which she wanted to participate. She was barely four years old and until that time my husband and I had avoided stepping into the chaos of this holiday. My husband’s attitudes were born out of his complete distaste for many of the things that came with this particular evening. I didn’t necessarily disagree with him, but I circumvented it simply because I had enough to do without adding it to the list! But we couldn’t avoid it this year. We desperately needed a parent’s guide to Halloween, but there wasn’t one. Our daughter wanted to dress up; she wanted to grab

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My Dad's Suicide and the Hole in My Heart

My Dad’s Suicide and the Hole in My Heart

I knew my father was having a difficult time in life. It was so very unlike this man, whose smile warmed the hearts of perfect strangers, to see that smile so infrequently. But at the age of 50, having left his position as an accountant, he could not find a job in his field. There were challenges he was facing that he kept to himself, and the depth of depression that descended upon him was not fully known to those who loved him. That is until the day my mother found him in the garage having taken his life. My father had committed suicide. I was a 23-year-old newlywed living in Nashville, Tennessee when I received the call. This was my daddy.

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a strong woman shows grace and is not weak

7 Female Inventors Who Solved Life Problems

Every year, the month of March brings a celebration of women’s history. But I think it’s a disservice when we highlight female innovations only one month of the year. Since delving into human history is an exercise that I love, I delight in what women have accomplished! Yet searching what women have achieved, one often finds the most current writing focuses on a single note in the rich melody of women’s achievements—the strides made by women in advancing equality. Ladies, we have done so much more than that! It’s not a single note; instead, it’s a whole orchestral arrangement. What I also love is that not only is exploring our gender’s achievements much more than a reflection on how far women have

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Working in a Man's World

5 Tips for Working in a Man’s World

In my careers, I have worked with many more men than women. It seemed I was always working in a man’s world.  For the most part, I preferred that. It seemed as if it was frequently less complicated. What woman in the workplace has not dealt with the “mean girls” at some point in life? Whether in middle school or office cubicles, there is no doubt they exist. But unlike middle school, we are generally much more capable of handling our female co-workers. We know how they work. Yet to be successful in our jobs, working women have to learn how the male population works as well. We must also learn to successfully respond to the nuances of their nature. It was

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7 Essential Tips to Relieve Middle School Anxiety

7 Essential Tips to Relieve Middle School Anxiety

Middle school is one of the most emotionally-charged seasons in every human’s life. Bringing up this rite of passage, from elementary age to high school, is always a good way to create lively conversation between adults. Although it’s a season of life that most of us are glad to leave behind, there’s just something about sharing those vivid, awkward memories of middle school anxiety that make us both laugh and cringe at the same time. However, the mother of a child in the midst of middle school anxiety needs every little bit of help available when she sends her “just yesterday they started school” child out the door…knowing full well that today might possibly be the day that her sweet baby is

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This is My Letter to God

This Is My Letter to God

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 didn’t earn it. I have no qualifications to join Your royal family. I am here only because You sent Your Son. Through you, Jesus, Your birth, death, and resurrection, I have been adopted into Your family. That I now have the honor to be a child of the King. My faults, my sins, and shortcomings are covered by who You are and what You did. Your words, when You walked this earth, taught me how to live. Your death taught me how to love. As You left to return to heaven, You gave me more. You left

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