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.


3 Things I Learned From Taking a Risk and Living Overseas

In 2012 I spent almost three months living in Singapore as a part of a training program for a year in the mission field (which is a story for another day). I was 21 years old and had only ever left the country for a five-day trip to Costa Rica, so I was full of anxiety and nervous anticipation. I knew nothing about the tiny city-state at the southernmost tip of Malaysia, other than the jokes I’d heard at some point about gum being illegal (and it is … you can chew it, but they don’t sell it anywhere). After nearly 33 hours of travel, I landed. I felt small, homesick, and overwhelmed by how different everything was from home. As I rode with the people who came […]

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appreciating winter and the forced rest it brings

Appreciating Winter and the Forced Rest It Brings

Winter can feel so dead when seeing the trees, gray and bare, seemingly lifeless against the flat whitewashed sky. Within those outstretched branches one can find that last withered leaf still clinging, albeit weakly to its post, determined to defy the season. I cannot help but see a bit of myself in that one leaf. I have come to survive many a winter season, physically and emotionally. But it was in a recent, longer than desired, weathering that I had this epiphany. Winter is not only what it appears to be on the surface: frozen, bitter and bleak, but also what cannot be seen—life teeming underneath. A tree doesn’t cease to live during the winter months, rather it is still very much

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How to Have a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget

Did the new year bring you a new ring? Or, maybe your Valentine surprised you with a proposal for life-long love. No matter when or how it happened, congratulations! Engagement season can be full of anticipation and lots of growth, but for many couples, finances and the lack-there-of can be a heavy weight anchoring you down from head-in-the-clouds love and bliss. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always end after the “I do” either, sorry. But there can be freedom! Money does not have to be the dream crusher! Your wedding can be beautiful, even better than you imagined in your head, and still your best day ever while staying within your budget, I promise. Plus, wise budgeting for the wedding can prep you and your soon-to-be husband for conversations

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a valentines day message for every woman

A Valentine’s Day Message for Every Woman

Valentine’s Day is here and we have something to say to every woman… To My Single Friends, here are 5 Reasons to Love Being Single! But, if you’re looking for a Valentine, try starting with these qualities before anything else: 7 Things to Look for in a Man. For those of you who are currently dating, it’s always smart to start off on the right foot—so remember these 7 Dating Tips for Successful Relationships. Already in a committed relationship? Need some ideas for tonight? Read 7 Simple and Memorable Valentine’s Day Date Ideas and Great Sex—What Is It?.  Are you daring to date after divorce? Read our friend’s story about her experience; you’ll be glad you did. You’ll also like Remarriage—5 Tips for How to Make it Work, And for all

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women finding purpose

Find Purpose in Everyday Life and in the Big Things

At The Grit and Grace Project we want women to discover their own unique character, talents, and purpose. We also love to partner with organizations who are impacting the world. Some of our favorite articles that talk about these topics are:  1. Anatomy of a Strong Woman In this article our founder, Darlene Brock, lists the qualities that make up a strong woman. 2. How Running Became About More Than Fitness to Me Read about one of our contributors who found a way to show kindness to strangers in need while doing this simple, daily act. 3. How I First Learned of the Sex Trafficking Epidemic This story is written by a young woman who turned her horror over injustice into a mission for her life.

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Grace When You Take More Than One Year on Your Resolutions

Grace: When You Take More Than One Year on Your Resolutions

I rarely accomplish my new year’s resolutions. There, I said it and the transparency removes a load of burden from my shoulders. Sure, like every year previous, I desire to exercise more regularly, eat healthier, stress less, rest more effectively and all around live more intentionally. However, life can bring the unforeseen, leaving the process of meeting my goals greatly affected, if not altogether thwarted. When making resolutions I recognize the high probability of not seeing them come to fruition within the next year or even two for that matter; however, I am determined not to let that reality stop me from the ambitious attempt. Why? I am wired to need something to strive for in the day-to-day, desired ideals perpetuating a

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We Need a Wife—a Working Woman's Challenge

We Need a Wife—a Working Woman’s Challenge

It was a weeknight and our family was sitting over another thrown-together meal from whatever I could find in an almost empty refrigerator. The laundry was mounting, the house a mess, and my calendar in hand as I reviewed every event scheduled for the next week. Knowing I had to pack that night for yet another week-long business trip, I was on the verge of a meltdown. It was then that I looked across the table at our two daughters and husband when he calmly made this profound statement to me, “We need a wife.” I knew what he meant: we needed help on the home front! It’s not that he was looking to become a polygamist, adding another female to his household. He wasn’t

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Hope: the Legacy of MLK and What It Means to Me

Hope: the Legacy of MLK and What It Means to Me

Every year at this time, I have a few passing thoughts about Dr. King as we celebrate the birthday of a man who changed this nation. Honestly, I am embarrassed to say that I am usually more focused on trivial things such as whether we actually get a day off and making plans for the day. This year, I was asked what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. means to me. I am so thankful that I took the time to reflect …  my answer is hope. The man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed seven years before I was born. By the time I began to have any understanding of him as a man and the impact he had, the Civil Rights Movement was

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5 Beauty Hacks for Annoying Girl Problems

5 Beauty Hacks for Annoying Girl Problems

Women have more issues that Vogue, so I’ve heard. Not all issues are easy to fix, but some can be quite simple—like the five problems (and solutions) I’ve listed below. Enjoy! (And, you’re welcome!) Here are 5 of my favorite, everyday beauty hacks: 1. Problem: Shoot! I got deodorant on my shirt! No big deal. Simply use another section of the same shirt and rub the fabric together. By rubbing the clean section against the affected section, the deodorant streaks will vanish but also will not spread. Voilà! It’s super easy and simple … and works! I’ve been using this trick for years. I don’t waste time trying to get the spot out with water or other products, and I don’t have to find a new outfit. I just

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Redefining a Woman's Strength, as 'Hidden Figures'

Redefining a Woman’s Strength, as ‘Hidden Figures’

If you have not yet seen the film Hidden Figures, I’m telling you that you really should! This story of three brave females who rose to excellence in a world that both their gender and their race told them they didn’t belong. Their very lives were the epitome of redefining a woman’s strength. As I pondered on the amazing courage and resilience these ladies displayed I did a little more reading and discovered another lady of that era who entered the same world they did NACA (a precursor to NASA) whose reflections on the time period offered great insights into what it took to excel when others believed they couldn’t. Annie J. Easley, was the first African American computer scientist in her

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How I First Learned of the Sex Trafficking Epidemic

How I First Learned of the Sex Trafficking Epidemic

As is the case for most adults, I’ve found no shortage of social events and situations where I find myself faced with the inevitable, standard question, “So what do you do?” It’s unlikely that people expect to find themselves discussing the illegal exploitation of minors over chips and dip, but there’s really no way for me to sugar coat reality because fighting against that exploitation is what I do. Statistics on human trafficking are pretty shocking, divided into both labor trafficking and sex trafficking. The U.S. Government defines sex trafficking as “when a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age” (National Institute

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What Being A Guest Abroad Taught Me About Hospitalityb

What Being A Guest Abroad Taught Me About Hospitality

Having traveled and lived abroad, I have encountered a wide variety of welcomes, some of which still challenge me in creating a more generous and fuller expression of hospitality in my own home. In North Africa and the Middle East, it was common to be invited spontaneously into the home of complete strangers. The openness to host a foreigner and eagerness to share however much or little they possessed deeply impacted me. Rather than extending invitations only to the closest of friends and relatives, I witnessed a desire to engage and connect to those barely known. This displayed to me hospitality for the sake of creating connection, not only maintaining. Prevalent in North Africa, when entering a home the tradition is to

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My Best Beauty Decisions of the Year

I am a firm believer in making small, gradual changes. I’ve never been an all-or-nothing type of girl; I’m more of a little-something day by day kind of lady. I wanted to comment with a million clapping emoji’s on the article Can I Be a Hippie in Heels? Balancing a Healthy Lifestyle because I am in the same boat, rowing right along into what works for me. This year I did a lot of browsing for products that could effortlessly help me bring about my best outer-self. I ended up adopting a few new gems that I hope I never have to live without. 6 Ways I Improved My Hair and Skincare Routines: 1. Formed a skin care routine (and stuck to it). Cleanser, toner, serum,

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7 Secrets to Nesting for Every Woman

7 Secrets to Nesting for Every Woman

Shortly after getting married, my husband and I moved into a tiny one-bedroom apartment—our first little home together. I was beyond excited for this new season, you know, the one that most of us ladies thrive in—nesting. I spent hours pinning and pondering ways to style three different neutral colored hand-me-down couches so that our home did not look like a thrift store. I also wanted to find ways to bring life to our plain white walls. Maybe curating a home is supposed to be a short season, where one fits all the puzzle pieces of furniture and accessories together, but I’ve learned that we can’t expect to open our front doors like the front page of a Pottery Barn catalog to see flawlessness on demand. So,

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I’m at the Grammys and She’s Wearing My Dress!

I’m at the Grammys and She’s Wearing My Dress!

We are heading into the season of Christmas Parties and New Years Events. You’ll be going places that will make you want to shop for something new … that special dress to wear for that special occasion. It can add another layer to an already stressful time. But we do it anyway. The day arrives and you put on that amazing new purchase. You want to feel special, pretty, and stand out in the crowd (who doesn’t?) … looking in the mirror, you do! Then later that evening the other shoe drops. During the years we were in the music business we attended award shows. We worked with some pretty talented musicians, so they were often nominated. I truly loved seeing these bands awarded because

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