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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.

Commitment. What a wonderful yet often terrifying word. It's so very easy to stay on the sidelines, or put one foot in while the

You-Don’t-Have-to-Be-Perfect-to-Be-a-Great-Mom

We don’t believe in superhero capes here at The Grit and Grace Project. That’s not to say we aren’t ever superheroes; we absolutely are.

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. Today’s version of female

Do I Have to Act Like a Man to Be Successful at Work?

Do you ever wonder if you will make career strides in the workplace as a woman? Is it necessary to compete as your male

9-Awkward-Moments-in-a-Woman's-Life

Life is full of great moments, but there are also the ones that find us looking around to see if anyone else noticed. It's

Skillet's Korey Cooper Talks About Marriage, Motherhood, and Rock 'n' Roll

A multi-platinum record-selling, international touring rock band is hardly the first place one would look to discover the formula for a great marriage. Celebrities

A Woman of Grit Without a Hard Heart

The ability to push through, face hardships, and confront challenges requires a quality we refer to as grit. We're not talking about the irritating piece

7 Things to Look for in a Man

I recently read an article listing the top seven characteristics you should look for when hiring an employee. As I read through them, it

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

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

5 Tips for a Great Job Interview

Through the years I have hired (and fired) a lot of different people for a bunch of different positions. I've hired accountants, truck drivers,

6
The-bachelorette-a-romantic-culture-in-a-feminist-world

This is my first season watching The Bachelorette. Yes, I know, I’m behind the curve. I haven’t watched any season of The Bachelor or

Can Female Bosses Be Nice and Successful?

Young career ladies often commiserate that it is an impossible task, dealing with difficult issues, while being nice. Success comes through strength not weakness

What-to-Do-if-Plan-A-Looks-like-Plan-F!

You’ve finally landed your dream job, adopted that foster child you knew was meant to be yours, moved to the big city leaving the

Can-We-Bridge-this-Great-Divide-

My heart continues to hurt because of the weeks we recently suffered; for the loss of life—all lives. I have never understood the lens that

Do Women Need to Be

When speaking to the world of women's issues, one of my least favorite words in the entire world is empowerment. Not only do I

the-gift-in-accepting-a-pardon

What good is forgiveness if we don’t accept it? In 1829, George Wilson was found guilty of murder in a court of law and given

Parenting-Adult-Children—The-Great-Shift-of-Motherhood

There is a seismic shift that occurs somewhere between high school graduation and the “pay your own rent” season in every parent and child’s

5-Tips-Making-a-Change-the-Right-Way

Are you facing a life obstacle? Career not going as planned? In need of financial help because your spending always outweighs your income? Are you stuck in

7
Do All Strong Women Hate Men?

I am so very weary of the notion that the sure sign of a strong woman is that she is angry with men. Outspoken

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

Can a Setback in Life Be Turned Around for Good?

I am a “ponderer.” I see the tough things in my life, the lives around me, and the world at large and try to figure