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.

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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The Beauty of The Declaration of Independence

Here at Grit and Grace Life, we want to take this opportunity to share the document that paved the road to the formation of The United States of America. The Declaration of Independence was written in July of 1776 by a group of men who fought valiantly against rulers who wanted to usurp authority over the forming nation. This document is worthy of review, and we do so in remembrance of the sacrifices made and challenges overcome by the brave husbands, women, and children of that day… The Declaration of Independence IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the

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Mom and son getting ready for indoor rock climbing a metaphor to get ready for the teen years

Moms, Get Ready for the Teen Years Now

Moms, are you dreading those teen years? You’ve gone from 2 to 6 to 10 years old at lightning speed, which makes you know  those terrifying years in a child’s life will be on you before you finish fixing dinner. There are books on handling this age and podcasts that help parents navigate this season, and while those are helpful, the best way to deal with your teenager is what you do before they get there. What you’ve instilled before that season and the relationship you’ve built will see you through these wonderful, albeit challenging, years. Before I step into the list of things you must do now, I want to assure every parent of this: While ages 13-18 create many unique

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Anatomy of a Strong Woman

Anatomy of a Strong Woman

What makes a strong woman is touted in academia and social media; it’s displayed daily on almost every television network. The phrase is even currently awarded to those who are not biologically female. But I contend being born female is the only path to becoming a strong woman. Those are the women I admire and want to emulate. Today’s version of female strength is often exemplified by some of the angriest ladies I have ever encountered. I’m not sure that much of anything would make these women happy. They tell us we should demand respect, our rights, and equality (but oftentimes with an air of superiority). This is not to say that women cannot have a voice, that we are undeserving of respect,

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5 Ways to Love Your Single Life

So a large majority of your friends are married and you are not. Do you celebrate because you dodged the bullet or do you pine because you hate being alone? Do you dread the next plus one event or do you land at the door ready to have a good time, with or without that extra human by your side? Being single is neither a malady nor a deficiency; it’s just a place in life. And it can be a really good place. Here are 5 ways to make sure you love your single life: 1. Don’t wait for life; live life. Remove the sentence, “I will (move, travel, buy a house, change careers) when I find that perfect (whatever that may be).”

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So, We Disagree—Can We Still Talk?

So, We Disagree—Can We Still Talk?

I grew up in a church that led their spiritual conversation by giving you rules—what you can’t do as a Christian. There was a lot for this teen girl in northern Indiana. We weren’t supposed to dance, play cards, wear miniskirts, smoke, drink, or cuss. And soon to make the list—drugs, because they were relatively new to the American culture. It was a season of darkness, both in the church and the culture that surrounded it. So, every weekend, I parked the rules at the door as I left my home to be with my friends. My mother’s Bible verse of choice for me as I walked out the door, “Be sure your sins will find you out.” When putting my key

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10 Packing Tips when You Need to Travel Light

10 Packing Tips when You Need to Travel Light

I have taken two extended European trips, one with a band that I managed and the second with my two daughters. The first was work getting to each city where concerts were to be performed. The other is a promise I made to my daughters when they were small that we would do when grown. On both trips, we traversed the European landscape on the Eurail, an exercise that taught me a crucial lesson: always travel light. This rail system is amazing yet waits for no one, whether it is creatives or young women, complicating getting on and off with belongings in tow. I learned this from traveling with musicians on the first trip; it is insane to lug two suitcases each.

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How Do I Know What Defines Me?

How Do I Know What Defines Me?

I am single. I am widowed. I am married. I am divorced. I am a mom. I have no children. I am a career woman. I stay at home. I am an artist. I am a cancer survivor. I have a doctorate. I finished high school. Are these really who we are? Or are they merely part of our journey, a title, or life experience that will demonstrate what we are made of? I, my friend, will passionately argue for the latter. In my 20s, I was a booking agent for musicians when I married my boss. No, it was not one of those torrid affairs in the workplace that you would read or hear about over your lunch break. He was

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Are Women Being Marginalized—Again?

Are Women Being Marginalized—Again?

What is a woman? It’s a simple question, but our culture tells us that an irrefutable definition no longer exists. Common responses to this question are currently broad, often changing, and entirely confusing. When the definition of a woman is skewed by those who wish to replicate our gender, all the strides women have achieved suddenly become meaningless. The beauty of God’s creation is diminished. Women are being forced to the sidelines, marginalized, and asked to accept a caricature of who we are. Are Women Being Marginalized? It’s not only the adult women who have fought for equal opportunity who experience harm. Our daughters will suffer as well. Our original battles—career opportunities and sports competitions—allowed us to pursue a place in life

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5 Colors Every Woman Can Look Great In

I’m sure you have landed in the dressing room with a handful of clothes that you think might just work. As you slip that really cute top over your head then look into the mirror the shriek you emit is audible five stalls down. Is it the lighting in this dressing room (which shall we all say is the dumbest thing a retailer ever installed?) or does this color just make me look horrible? It could be the yellow/blue/gray light that shines down on the top of your head, but it’s often the color of the clothing. I know if I put that tan khaki tone anywhere near my face the next step is to take that shovel and dig a 6-foot deep

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Mary Bethune, an Educator Living a Life of Grit

Mary McLeod Bethune was born in Mayesville, South Carolina two years before the end of the Reconstruction (the time after the Civil War that slaves were adjusting to their new lives) to parents who had been slaves.1 Even though Mary and her family were free, they still lived in poverty. When she was nine years old, Mary tagged along with her mother to take a basket of freshly washed and ironed clothes to her former master’s house. They had to go around the home to the entrance in the rear, the one through which the blacks could enter. In 1884 in Mayesville, South Carolina, there was absolute segregation between the races. Her mother went inside to take the family their clothes and receive

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Who's the boss

Who’s the Boss? 5 Ways to Be the One in Charge

Whether you have a two-year-old or a 10-year-old there are some days you may wonder who is in charge. It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s you. You won’t win every battle nor should you expect to.  You can’t put it upon yourself to effectively crack the whip, so to speak, impeccably correcting each and every transgression any child is capable of. But there are a few absolutes you need to incorporate into your life just to keep peace on the home front, guide your kids toward acceptable behavior, and some days, to simply maintain your sanity. 1. Know your child. There may come a time when you find your child disassembling the new toy that you spent an hour on just successfully

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The Reality of STDs: Hard Conversations You Need to Have

There truly are some conversations we would much rather avoid. The ones that create angst in both the discussion starter and the recipient, whose terrified expression is begging you not to continue! An honest talk about STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) has to be in life’s top five! This is definitely not sunny chatter over the dinner table, or light banter with the store clerk like you’re talking about the fair weather. But the reality is that our current societal statistics require us to have these talks. We absolutely must have them with our children. We absolutely must have them with our dating partner. Today’s studies tell us 1 in 4 females between the age of 15 and 24 have an STD*, currently a full

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Men and Women Equal Not Identicial

Men and Women Are Equal, but Not Identical

From the first moment a little girl announces, “When I grow up I’m gonna be a…” her parents tell her that she certainly will be. She can do whatever she dreams, and that’s true. If she loves sports—they’re all available. Education? Any field of study is obtainable. Career path? There is none blocked. This generation has all the “equal rights” created by the resolute females of the 20th century. Courageous ladies desiring the privilege to vote, to pursue higher education, and to have careers that matched their talents fought this battle. They changed our world. It is them we should thank for giving our daughters a future without limitations. Yet, as each daughter enters her teen years, most realize that the level playing field of opportunity

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If Your Kid is Being Bad, Does That Make You a Bad Mom 2

Your Bad Kid Doesn’t Make You a Bad Mom

You have just received your first phone call, the one every mother dreads and hopes to never receive. The preschool wants you to know that your child is hitting or biting or kicking. That little guy or girl, who has never shown this behavior before, has apparently turned into the class tyrant. It was in kindergarten when my daughter demonstrated her prowess in tormenting others. I dropped this sweet, little dressed up diva at her elementary school and all was going relatively well for the first few months. Then I received my first phone call. She had kicked a little boy. This led to discussion, punishment, and resolution. A week went by and then I got the next call; she had hit another student.

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Sending Your Kids to College—Separation Anxiety or Blissful Freedom?

So you’ve just spent hours in the Target dorm room aisles… Shopping for color-coordinated linens and accessories for your daughter’s new dorm room. Or, if it’s your son, you were probably trying to convince him that he actually needs a bedspread to go along with his trunk full of technology (that will absolutely make it into his new “college student man cave”). Now you’ve delivered them, set up their new world, and driven or flown away. You feel the anxiety of their absence. Can they get along without you making sure the laundry is done, the curfew is adhered to, and the insurance is paid? Well, you’ve spent the last 18 years getting them to this point, so the assumption is that

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