Belief in a personal and faithful God who loves us unconditionally; a source of hope and confidence when you feel there is none; the assurance that there is someone greater than you who not only cares but wants to be part of your life

side profile on brunette woman looking confidently ahead and ready to defeat negative self-talk

Defeat Negative Self-Talk Now! Here’s How

Decades ago, a good friend gave me advice I will never forget. I have often shared her words with other friends when they are struggling. She said, “That is Satan whispering in your ear. You have to tell him to get behind you. Tell him; say it out loud. He will whisper those doubts and negative thoughts to you, and you must rebuke him.” She also told me that the enemy hates us, hates our marriages, our families, hates everything that is created by God and everything we love. She reminded me that God loves us and is always at work within us. “God carries a picture of you in his wallet,” she told me. Knocked Down by Negative Self-Talk It can […]

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little girl sitting on top of a desk reading a Bible as an example of a way to grow your family's faith

4 Ways to Grow Your Family’s Faith This Summer

Change is in the air. Soon our pale limbs will be exposed in summer attire and our children will stay up late chasing fireflies. We will trade cozy sweaters for bathing suits and roaring fires for swimming pools. I love summer! I especially love the change in rhythm that summer affords. During the school year my family is up early, eating scrambled eggs and bagels just as the sun peeks through the kitchen window. But summer means slower mornings and later nights. It means more time outside catching the rays of sunshine and taking a breath after a year of studies. And when our kids were all really little, it meant pulling jammies over their damp hair in the pool bathroom showers

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This Kind of Love is What Makes a Mother's Legacy

This Kind of Love Is What Makes a Mother’s Legacy

It was 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday. Each year the second Sunday of May is appointed as a day of celebration, set aside to honor the ladies in our families who have taken on the task of motherhood. An honor much deserved and earned daily by the mothers who fulfill this vital role. Whether she is a biological, foster, step, or adoptive mom, all mothers have offered a glimpse into the “love chapter” in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13. This portrait of perfect love can be seen through these imperfect ladies in the things they do daily. From their simple acts and unrelenting patience to their profound endurance, mothers exemplify the impact of love. These are the days

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Race With Grit and Grace

Running the Race with Grit and Grace

On Saturday, May 11th, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender, along with Grit and Grace Writer Amanda-Lee Pitzer, will be Running the Race with Grit and Grace in Middletown, Ohio. No, they aren’t running exactly; they are joining Chosen, the women’s ministry of Berachah Church, to share wisdom, laughter, and fun as we celebrate This Grit and Grace Life together. Doors open at 9:00 for check-in, light refreshments and shopping. The event begins at 10:00 and ends by 3:30. It includes brunch, shopping, and main and breakout sessions that will encourage you in all aspects of life. You get to pick two breakout sessions as well as the main events, and they include: Marriage—Building it Stronger. If you feel your marriage is steady

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Grace is not weakness it requires strength

Grace Is Not Weakness; It Requires Strength

Defining Grace Grace is the anchor of our faith, the reason for the confidence we have in a God of mercy. It’s what is extended to us through a relationship with God established by the sacrifice of Christ. When we accept it from our Creator, it seems it should be such an easy thing to extend because he does it so magnificently. But for us to live our lives offering the same grace to others is anything but an easy task. Living a life of grace is very often misinterpreted. Some believe it’s an indicator of weakness. In the eyes of many, extending the truest form of grace, which is forgiveness, means giving up. Others believe grace is automatic and easy to

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Words are Powerful

Words Are Powerful—Here Are The Best Ones to Believe About Yourself

I wish I could take back the words—the silent unconscious tape that plays endlessly in my mind. Push each syllable, every consonant, backward, and hide them from my conscious thought. Unfortunately, they have been spoken. The recording has been played and repeated. Words are powerful, and their power has taken up residence in the tender parts of my heart. I do not fully understand how it happened, but at some point in my journey, I became convinced that each negative, shame-filled comment was true. I began to wrestle with the woman that gazed at me in the hallway mirror. She had plans, convinced she was made for a purpose, an image of her Father. Yet, I settled for the false truths inspired

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This Is How I Found Out Who I Am

This Is How I Found Out Who I Am

I love Sundays. After church I take my son down the street to our favorite farm. He throws on his boots, grabs his horse, and tacks her up. He knows exactly what he is doing and how to do it. He talks to her as he works, adoration in his eyes. Once she is all set, he takes her into the ring, hops on, and begins warming her up with a few laps. The barrels are set up, and he begins walking her through as he reminds her of the task at hand. He comes to a halt, and his instructor steps away and lets him have at it. Sometimes there is frustration as he drops the wrong hand from the reins

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Bible Verses From the Grit and Grace Team on Grace

Bible Verses From the Grit and Grace Team on Grace

What would we have if it weren’t for grace? Where would we be? Only through grace can we receive God’s love, and be forgiven for our mistakes. In His grace, He sent His son to die for us, so we would be saved forever. It is through His grace that we receive hope and peace for the day. Grace is in our name because we cannot live a balanced life without it! Read below to see how much of an impact God’s grace has had on the team at Grit and Grace Life. Verses that teach us about grace: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your

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How to Forgive a Friend Who Betrays You

How to Forgive a Friend Who Betrays You

“You don’t even know us well enough to not like us,” I wanted to say in a smirky tone. I could tell from day one that the new computer teacher didn’t like me or my husband. He wouldn’t smile or joke around with us as he did with the other staff and faculty, and when I asked a question, he mumbled an answer without looking me in the eye. Baffled by an Unexpected Admission For twelve years, I wore a few different hats at a Christian boarding high school founded in 1924. I served as activities director; oversaw the publications, including the student newspaper; and coached an award-winning cheerleading squad. Michelle, who taught art, was my closest friend on staff. She was

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Bible Verses From the Grit and Grace Team on Perseverance

Perseverance is one of those terms we learned in elementary school when it came time for the lesson about character traits. When we’re small, the sound of the word—not to mention the length of it, a whopping 12 letters—resounded in our minds. We imagined staying strong and pushing through difficult homework or a race during physical education class. As adults, perseverance takes on an entirely new meaning, and an entirely new concept of what it means to be strong in adversity. When life seems to be weighing on us just a little bit too much and we need a push to make it to the other side of whatever it may be, the Bible offers an ample number of verses for encouragement.

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the good christian girl who struggled with porn

The Good Christian Girl Who Struggled With Porn

I was 13 when I found pornography. Understand my family was super conservative. I was raised in the church. My mom and I never had the talk. I’m almost 32, and we still haven’t had the talk. The most I knew about sex was that it was something my public school classmates were starting to do, it was all boys thought about, and God didn’t want me to have it. That was the extent of my knowledge, until the day I was researching for school and came upon a porn video. I’ve always been a learner. I like exploring new things and learning new information. Finding the porn video, as graphic as it was, felt like a clue in my life’s quest to

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three happy women in bathing suits taking a selfie on the beach and not worried about body image issues

The Airbrushed Bombshell: Brushing Back Body Image Issues

As I look through my Instagram feed, I’m greeted with numerous pictures of beach attire including the dreaded bathing suits. Every year or so, we ladies go on the adventure of finding the perfect swimsuit to accentuate our bodies. Maybe before the big shopping adventure, you go on that New Year’s resolution diet of low carbs and water, or maybe you have been going to the gym six times a week in anticipation of this forthcoming season. Maybe you are like me and getting close to 40 and don’t feel comfortable in your skin, much less with your skin showing for the entire world to see. Body Image Issues: Focused on the Imperfections When I gaze into that mirror, the first thing

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Easter, the greatest love story ever

Easter, the Best Love Story Ever Told

I sit this morning alone, watching as the sun crests the peak of my home. It is quiet, with a waterfall in the background and nature sounds playing their melody. I ponder the gravity of this season. It is once again Easter, the celebration of the best love story ever told. I am reminded of the week’s beginning. The triumphant entry of Jesus, in humility, seated upon a donkey as he arrives at the city of Jerusalem. Greeted as the conqueror, the expectations of those who lined the streets were high as they placed palm fronds before him, expressing their delight at his arrival. The same people who were there to laud his entry, within a few days, were absent from his

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Wildflowers When You Need More From God

Wildflowers: When You Need More From God

The sun was blinding me through the library windows. We’ve had rain, rain, and more rain for weeks on end, so the sunshine was a big deal this morning and was more than welcomed. It was worshiped. It felt like a long awaited vacation, like springtime and flowers, like a throwback to “normal life” at a time when I was forgetting what “normal life” felt like. I couldn’t wait to grab my gloves and trowel, get outside, and dig around in the sunshine. Nobody bothers me when I’m in the garden. I was about to transplant some Sarah Bernhardts into a sunnier spot when I got a text from our daughter-in-law, our next-pasture neighbor. “How about a hike?” And Then She Said

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Can We Know God Loves Us

Can We Know God Loves Us?

I have walked with God for a good many years. I met him as a child, ran from him as a teen, surrendered to him as a young adult as he relentlessly pursued me, and I have sought to follow him since. There have been seasons filled with faith, believing every promise, and feeling so confident in my purpose and the warmth of his presence. I have also had seasons when I felt as if I was drowning in heartbreak, despair, and discouragement, wondering if he was even there or heard the cry of my heart. Wondering as I have believed if God loves us. In the discouraging times, when God felt so absent from my life, I immediately thought that I

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What the Value of a Penny Taught Me about My Self Worth

Am I Worth More than a Penny?

More often than not, if my change is only a few cents, I don’t wait around long enough for the cashier to hand me my pennies. If change falls out of my pocket or purse, I occasionally don’t bother to bend over to pick it up. Especially if it is just the copper variety. Pennies Cost More Than They’re Worth I know they add up, but I still don’t think pennies are usually worth my time or effort to keep up with. I’ve heard rumors for a while now that the US Mint is going to stop making them. That we will have to start rounding up or down when paying in cash. This does not sound like any loss to me.

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5 Reasons to Thank Your Prodigal

As our friends get older, which unavoidably means we’re getting older too, we find we’re welcoming many of them into the Hurting Parents Club. “You’re late,” we sometimes want to say, or “What took you so long?” We don’t say these things out loud because we know that would do absolutely nothing to ease anyone’s pain. And they would never consider they would one day thank their prodigal. But this state of affairs among our more seasoned friends has caused me to want to formally thank our very own “prodigal”, Matt, for rebelling early and vigorously (I’ll get to why I’m grateful for the vigorous part in a minute). I use quotations around Prodigal because even now, Matt wears this label on

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