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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.

My eldest daughter’s high school graduation had befallen. I'm not sure how we got here. Yes, seems like only yesterday

Another School Shooting, We Must Prepare Our Kids

Another school shooting and our hearts clench. The image of another mother clinging to a photo of the child instantly taken from her while

People Are Becoming Increasingly Lonely: Here's How to Fight It

As I sat down with my second cup of coffee to follow my morning ritual, I scanned my emails when an article caught my


My daughters entered life as different creatures when it came to the opposite sex. One whom the attention of boys meant a lot, the


I can't seem to stop thinking about the school shooting on Valentine's Day. Several days have passed, yet it still lies in the back

Managing Your Money So It Doesn't Manage You

There are a few things that seem to drive us all crazy, for me some days there may be many. But one that definitely

Take It Easy—On Your Man

Sometimes we can be a bit hard on the men in our lives, mostly because we don’t understand how they do life. The good


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


With the holidays upon us, we're bound to have a house guest or two. I have a theme I repeat to my guests that I


Who is this girl—the one standing a mere 5 feet from my face? She looks like my daughter, she’s dressed like my daughter, and

You're Meant to Mother, Not Smother

“This is gonna hurt.” Every mom that has nursed a cut, scrape, or banged head has made this proclamation. From applying antiseptic, getting shots

5 Bailouts When the Fundraiser Kid Hits Your Doorstep

I am a complete mark when it comes to the miniature fundraiser. You know the moment the doorbell rings

What's in a Name? Titles That Divide Us

Whether it’s social media, news outlets, or casual conversation, we find ourselves trapped in names and phrases that are created to depict segments of


If you’ve been at all tuned in to book trends in the last 15 years, you have heard of (if not read) The Purpose

I’m not sure about you, but I’m getting fairly weary of the angry women. The ones who seem to have a multi-tiered platform they

Don’t Judge Me—Freedom from Guilt in Motherhood

I was an insane mother. I worked full-time building our businesses, which required quite a bit of travel, while raising two daughters. So, overcompensation for

In my various careers, spanning more years than I will share, I have worked with men. In fact, I have worked with far more

Building Faith Growing in Your Relationship with God New

You have begun this journey, one of faith in Christ

For years I was the “endcap” queen of America. An endcap, for those of you who don’t know, is the shelf space at the

Free to Fake it 'Til You Make it

I've spent a good bit of my life heading into things I have never done before, things I have never been taught how to

Men and Women Equal Not Identicial

From the first moment a little girl announces, “When I grow up I’m gonna be a

I was 13 years old when I was diagnosed with a muscular disease called Myasthenia Gravis. I had a year of repeated testing before