Life & Culture

life • cul·ture

/līf/   /ˈkəlCHər/

Every experience we walk through that affects our very existence; the external influences of the world we live in that shape us and impact our thoughts, actions, and daily routines.

College Graduation Fears

College Graduation Fear—7 Ways to Know You’re Ready

We have had the pleasure of having several college girls intern with us at Grit and Grace Life and had the pleasure of working with them the year they graduated. Shortly after their college career came to a close, we had a team meeting which they attended. A few minutes into the meeting I was reminded of the seismic life shift they were facing. Watching their facial expressions as they discussed the future spoke every bit of their college graduation fear. The overwhelming, yet excited, panicked, exhilarating, and dreadful emotions they were feeling. The experience made me want to take a few minutes and tell all college grads this—take heart! You can do this! Yes, it’s true what you have known in […]

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What-is-Memorial-Day-

Memorial Day, a Day of Honor, But Why?

Every year, near the end of May, Americans get one of those great three-day weekends. Historically marked by trips to the beach, picnics in the park, and friends and family get-togethers, Memorial Day launches the beginning of summer. This is the weekend that officially ends the winter blues, and the fun-in-the-sun begins. There’s something many of us may not know, or perhaps we don’t take the time to ponder, that Memorial Day a Day of honor, but why? We may not fully understand the origin of this day or the gravity of its inception. But remember, we must. This day was created to honor those who died in military service and those who lost their lives while standing for what they believe,

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a husband and wife driving along a highway in a convertible at sunset

8 Funny Road Trip Revelations from the Passenger Seat

Road trips. If you’ve ever been on one, you know they can be one of life’s greatest adventures. They can also be one of life’s greatest frustrations. My husband and I were each raised in ‘road trip’ families. Destination? Has to be by car. Planes weren’t an option since neither of us were raised with excess funds for those things. In my family, we got shoved in our white Chevy station wagon (with a really sweet red racing stripe on the side that my dad was geeked about), fighting over who would get to sit in the back facing the rear. Seatbelts? Optional. McDonald’s for lunch? Nope, here’s your three-day-old PB&J sandwich smashed to oblivion in a baggy that may or may

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4 Things to Do When Searching For Your Dream Job

4 Things to Do When Searching For Your Dream Job

I walked across the stage at my college graduation, ready to take on the world. I knew I had an excellent “foot in the door” at ESPN from working as a logger for SportsCenter on Saturdays during my last semester at school. However, I had not yet received an offer for a full-time position as I donned my tassel and robe, and little did I know it would be two years before that offer came through. Unfortunately for my fellow graduates and me, the end of our college tenure came right as the market had plummeted, and ESPN’s parent company, Disney, had established a two-year hiring freeze for all of their companies, ESPN included. The job market was seemingly frozen in place,

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teacher standing in front of a chalkboard and smiling at her students

What Teachers Want You to Know on National Teachers Appreciation Day

I had several stand-out high school teachers, but a 7th grade teacher comes to mind when I think about undercover influence: Mrs. Wells. She invited me to join her after school one day a week with a handful of other seventh graders. I didn’t understand the significance of this invitation. I just knew that she talked about the craft of writing, gave us time to create, and then read what we wrote out loud, followed by discussion. Oh, and there were cookies. And since I loved to write, why not stay after school instead of going home to wrestle with my brothers? At the end of the course, Mrs. Wells presented each of us with a small hard-bound book, Snowbound, by John

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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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small red graduate gift box next to a diploma amid confetti

20 Graduate Gifts for the Next Season of Life

Whether it’s from high school or college, graduation can be an exciting time full of anticipation, nerves and new beginnings. Life changes and knowing you have family and friends in your corner for those changes can make all the difference. If you have a graduating loved one in your life, check out these ideas to bless them during this time. 20 Graduate Gifts For the Practical Graduate 1.  Victorinox Swiss Card  For anyone who might need a pair of scissors, nail file, ruler or tweezers in a pinch but doesn’t want to carry a knife in their pocket, this card is easy to slide into a wallet or purse and will help in your time of (practical) need. 2. Apple AirTags  For

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Exhausted From Work? 5 Ways to Refuel During Your Day

Exhausted From Work? 5 Ways to Refuel During Your Day

No one had to teach me how to rest. In fact, I could be a professional relaxer (if you happen to hear of any opportunities in this field, please hook a sister up). I’m a beach aficionado and I thrive on Saturday mornings with no alarm and no schedule, just the people, places, and things that fill me up. If only the entire week was made up of Saturdays and Sundays… But there are five other days, and they consist of nearly the exact opposite happenings—work, hustle, errands, lists, spreadsheets, computer screens, phone calls. Are you feeling tired yet? I’m new to the full-time workforce. This will be my first year ever without a summer break (shed a tear for me). While transitioning from free time to full-time,

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Is Quitting the End? Or Is it Starting Over?

Is Quitting the End? Or Is it Starting Over?

Recently, I went to the local running store and let them charge a ridiculous amount for a new pair of running shoes. I used to run, just like I used to do lots of things, but lately, I have been slow to get off the couch. I quickly found my brand and style of choice. The owner came up from the back and asked me about my selection. Runners are very particular about their shoes. I told her I needed something to absorb a lot of the impact. I tell her that I overpronate just a little. I tell her that my knees creak, but I never mention the hole in my head. I tell her I’m a distance runner, not a

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When Did Caring for the Earth God Created Become Political?

When Did Caring for the Earth God Created Become Political?

I’ve been obsessed with the oceans and conserving them since the first time I watched “The Little Mermaid.” Paddling out with dolphins and sea turtles just solidified my obsession with the sea. Growing up in a beach town in Florida, I studied environmental journalism. The week of Christmas, I strolled the beaches of Maui near “Pu’u Keka’a” or Black Rock. The islands of Molokai and Lanai slept in the distance with sailboats between us. A few clusters of white coral rolled up toward my feet in the sand. The crowds still hung back from visiting the islands due to the pandemic, leaving most of Maui to myself. There in the greenery that separated the walking path from the shoreline, I saw it.

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woman at the gym doing bicep curls and learning to lift heavy

Lift Heavy—Your Body Will Thank You (And Still Look Feminine)

I just read this post by a friend of mine, Heidi Smith: “Today is clean out my closet day—I am finally ready to let go of my ‘skinny clothes.’ Three years ago, I was doing an insane preparation and was the thinnest I’ve ever been. I was weighing my food and tracking everything. To some, that may look like discipline; now I realize that I had put myself in a prison. I was going to bed starving and having horrible blood sugar crashes. For what? Because I thought to be beautiful was low body fat? I am not naturally thin. I lift. I am active. I never stop moving. I eat healthy. But I have learned that it is okay to enjoy

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Dear Gold Star Wife, I Promise It Will Get Better

Dear Gold Star Wife, I Promise It Will Get Better

We went to dinner at our local small-town golf club. As I walk in I realize what is going on around us, and a lump forms in my throat. I wonder if we should turn around and walk away before my kids understand the gravity of the fundraiser we have walked into. I saw his widow, another gold star wife, outside taking hug after hug as fellow Navy sailors, I would imagine, were sharing little stories and tidbits of information about the chief whose life they were celebrating. I know how she feels. She is so grateful for the love and the distraction of the pit she wants to crawl into. The one she only escapes for the sake of her children.

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This-Is-Why-You-Need-an-Aloe-Vera-Plant

This Is Why You Need an Aloe Vera Plant

Just last week, I was boiling some water on the stove in preparation for dinner. At least, I thought I was boiling water. I accidentally turned the wrong knob, so the burner next to my pot was heating up rapidly, and the handle to the pot was hovering over said burner. I mistakenly reached for the handle and…you guessed it. A fiery sensation ran up my fingers, and I jumped away from the stove, holding my sad, injured hand. Now, what’s a woman to do? It definitely wasn’t serious enough to rush to a hospital, but it would likely become painful if it wasn’t treated soon enough. I quickly sifted through any knowledge I had of home remedies. Then, bright as the

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Beauty Treatments of the Past That Will Make You Laugh and Cringe

Beauty Treatments of the Past That Will Make You Laugh and Cringe

Have you ever wondered who determined that we ladies should take small metal tongs and pull hairs out of our face, one at a time, to achieve perfectly arched eyebrows? Or who was the masochistic individual who believed the removal of hair under the arms and on each leg was a great idea for our gender? What did they have on hand to accomplish this new task? A very dull blade, or were they kind enough to provide a sharp knife? We all know that Gillette’s Venus four-blade with lotion was far from being invented that year. I imagine a smoke-filled lounge with men enjoying their cigars and glasses of bourbon as they determine beauty treatments of the past that might make

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16 Things That Live in a Woman's Purse—For Better or Worse

16 Things That Live in a Woman’s Purse—For Better or Worse

I’m a 46-year-old wife and mother who wears a lot of hats, and often those hats aren’t exactly straight on my head. When I was a young teen, I never wanted to be one of those women who had a purse with them all the time. I wanted to buck the trend that a woman needed a bag to perform whatever duties were expected of her when I got to that stage of life. I fought that cultural norm hard, so hard, often to the point of massive inconvenience or causing significant discomfort to those in my inner circle. Then I became an adult and realized the benefits of a purse far outweighed the negatives—my chapstick was always at the ready, tampon—check, wallet wasn’t getting lost under the

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10 Funny Things All Women Do

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 realized is that we are a funny bunch, aren’t we ladies? There are some things we do and say that are unique to us. I’ve done them, and I know if you admit it, you have too! So I’m just going to step up and confess to some of the funny things all women do. 1. When we ask, “How do I look?” There is only one acceptable answer. 2. We remove our bra the moment we get home. Then spend the next few minutes scratching the indentations caused by said bra. 3. When disrobing for a doctor’s visit, we

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How to Move On From the Loss of a Dream

How to Move On From the Loss of a Dream in a Healthy Way

I recently sat with a client who was devastated over the loss of a dream. This door was clearly closed in his life and there was no real chance of him ever achieving it. There is very little in life that is as painful as the loss of a dream. His inability to move past this loss cost him his entire family. I wish he had come to me sooner. He was grieving so hard that he couldn’t even see the amazing blessings he had in front of him … until they were gone. What do you do when you just can’t get over a loss? Life is tough sometimes. I have never heard a success story that didn’t include failures along the way. Relationship breakups, loss of

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