Welcome to This Grit & Grace Life Podcast, where you’ll find real answers to the questions you’re asking—the simple ones and the more challenging. No matter where you are—whether that’s in the boardroom, the bedroom, carlines or college, single, married, or single again—co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender, along with other strong women (and a few men) will share encouragement and advice to help you live This Grit and Grace Life.

Listen to each podcast episode by clicking below or choose your current podcast player and subscribe now.

Episodes

Addiction Does Not Define You: A Recovery Story with Caroline Beidler – 194

Most people are unaware of the statistic that 1 in 3 women globally have experienced sexual assault.¹ This week’s guest, sadly, was one of those victims at the tender age of 14.  Caroline Beidler joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender this week to recount some of the early challenges she faced, including a diminished sense of self-worth, a lack of boundaries and a spiral into substance abuse. Now 11 years sober and a passionate recovery advocate, Caroline shares how we can extend grace to those struggling with addiction, and what signs moms should look out for that may indicate their teenager is struggling with a deeper issue. This topic is difficult, but one that is absolutely necessary to help those stuck in …

Addiction Does Not Define You: A Recovery Story with Caroline Beidler – 194 Read More »

Do You Know Your Purpose? It May Surprise You! – 193

Studies have proven that we’re more productive, live longer, and laugh more when we spend time with others. It only makes sense, then, that our relationships are significant to our existence—and that the most important purpose we can have is pouring into the lives of others. On this week’s podcast, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss how to do just that. They lay out a framework for how to show unconditional love to friends and family that have made both small and serious mistakes; they share stories of the women who invested in them and changed the trajectory of their lives; and they encourage us step into the lives of others to show support, remind them of their worth, or even to …

Do You Know Your Purpose? It May Surprise You! – 193 Read More »

Do I Still Have Time to Rewrite My Life Story? with Mandisa – 192

Childhood memories stick with us for a long time, especially life-altering ones. Grammy-winning artist Mandisa joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share how she recognized her worth after a traumatic experience at 16 shattered her self-image and darkened her outlook on life.  In this episode, Mandisa sheds light on issues that many Christians are hesitant to bring out into the open: things like depression, anxiety, and suicide. She unpacks the importance of therapy in her life, as well as how her faith and musical career strengthened her resolve and allowed her—and others—to find a path toward healing. If you’re trying to reconcile with your own painful past, we encourage you to listen to this hopeful story that reaffirms God’s ability to …

Do I Still Have Time to Rewrite My Life Story? with Mandisa – 192 Read More »

Don’t Be Afraid to Be a Different Kind of Mom! with Helen Smallbone – 191

As a mom, it’s hard to filter out the opinions and recommendations from other people on how to raise your kids. Perfect social media mom influencers, coworkers, church friends, and even your own mother might have a formula for you to follow, and you may feel that if you’re not playing by the rules, well, then your kids won’t be alright.  Guest Helen Smallbone (mom of Rebecca St. James and for KING & COUNTRY’s Joel and Luke) joins Darlene and Julie this week to share the good news: It’s okay to be a different kind of mom! Take it from Helen, who took an out-of-the-box approach to motherhood herself. She packed up her family’s belongings and shuttled herself, her husband and their …

Don’t Be Afraid to Be a Different Kind of Mom! with Helen Smallbone – 191 Read More »

Finding Happiness with a Scary Future Ahead – 190

If you don’t already know, Julie is having a baby! (A girl!)  At her recent baby shower, amid all the laughter and gifts from friends and family, there was a conversation about the fears people are feeling as a result of the daily circumstances occurring around the world—there was a general consensus that we’re heading into a scary future.  That juxtaposition prompted Darlene and Julie to sit down and talk about our collective uncertainty about the future. Between cultural tension and disagreements, economic hardships, lingering pandemic worries and more, it can be hard to look forward to the future with hope.  But Darlene and Julie remind us that it’s important to celebrate the good things, find community, and rely more than ever …

Finding Happiness with a Scary Future Ahead – 190 Read More »

Need a Life Overhaul? Wellness Expert Rachel Hagstrom Tells You How – 189

We hear a lot about wellness lately, which is an expanded view of our health from a holistic standpoint: emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental. Paying attention to each of these areas is vital for a healthy, invigorating life. Drawing from her own history of debilitating health issues, wellness coach Rachel Hagstrom joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to talk more about what holistic wellness is. She also explains how you can begin to address each component to be in alignment with one another and your long-term goals, so you can walk away from this episode in control of your wellbeing! Rachel is married to her favorite veteran (Go Army!) of 14 years, and is a mom to two spirited daughters and one …

Need a Life Overhaul? Wellness Expert Rachel Hagstrom Tells You How – 189 Read More »

“Why, God?” Finding Hope when Faith Is Battered – 188

As women of faith, it’s not unusual or uncommon to have seasons where we question God. Whether we’re experiencing disappointment or grief or we feel utterly broken, the first words to escape us are “Why God?” and “Why do bad things happen to good people?” In this podcast episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender talk about the times we live with battered faith and a diminishing loss of hope in the God we serve. They draw countless examples of men and women from the Bible who doubted God, struggled with their faith, and yet still came out on the other end with a restored heart.  During the times when you feel your faith wavering, don’t forget that God cares enough to listen …

“Why, God?” Finding Hope when Faith Is Battered – 188 Read More »

Motherhood: Struggle Bus or Joy Ride? Or Is it Both? – 187

Society is quick to point out the challenges of motherhood. We see it in the “Mommy needs wine” shirts at Target and read about the seemingly endless struggles from other moms on social media. We don’t deny that motherhood comes with its share of hard times, but with the difficult seasons come the rewarding ones, too. Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down this week to talk about the beauty of being a mom—from the privilege of shaping a little one’s views and raising them with the potential to positively impact the world, to enjoying life from a child’s perspective and all of the other little gems that you’ll discover in the journey.  There’s so much more to motherhood than the external …

Motherhood: Struggle Bus or Joy Ride? Or Is it Both? – 187 Read More »

How Do I Begin to Heal from Past Emotional Hurt? with Elizabeth Bristol -186

Part of growing older—and being human—is learning how to recognize and manage our emotions in a healthy way. Our emotions have the power to help us grow, but they can also hold us back, especially when we’ve been hurt by others in the past. Elizabeth Bristol joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on this week’s podcast episode to share how she overcame her past emotional hurt. Elizabeth dealt with heartache and traumatic situations, including rape and drug use. After years of feeling stagnant in her pain, God prompted her to write down her story. It was only after she faced the pain of her past head-on and sat with it that she was finally able to recognize the loss and believe God …

How Do I Begin to Heal from Past Emotional Hurt? with Elizabeth Bristol -186 Read More »

Do Conversations about Race Have to Divide or Can They Unite? with Torrie Sorge – 185

Is there a correct way to talk about race? Biracial speaker and writer Torrie Sorge helps unpack that question. The world is now striving more than ever to recognize the unique qualities and contributions of different ethnic groups and push uncomfortable conversations about race into the open. For many, this can be an unfamiliar subject, and one that leaves many questions as we work to come to a place of deeper understanding and respect for those who have led very different lives than us. But we certainly can’t charge into these conversations blindly. Torrie joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to discuss how to talk about race. Drawing from challenges with her identity as a mixed-race woman in her own life, Torrie …

Do Conversations about Race Have to Divide or Can They Unite? with Torrie Sorge – 185 Read More »

What Does Optimism Bring to a Woman’s Life? – 184

We often hear about “the power of positivity,” and while it may sound like we’re looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, we believe that an attitude of optimism can actually serve us well. Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down to chat about a woman’s inherent optimistic spirit, and how it leads us to push beyond what we thought was possible. They discuss what healthy optimism looks like in each area of our lives, through motherhood, relationships, faith and our purpose; when to pair it with realism; and how it can benefit those around us.  Even now as the world looks a little murky, we know God has plans for our future, and that they are good. If there’s any reason …

What Does Optimism Bring to a Woman’s Life? – 184 Read More »

What Are the 6 Characteristics of a Strong Woman? with Leadership Expert Jenni Catron – 183

What does it mean to be a strong woman? Beyond the literal definition, a strong woman exemplifies leadership qualities in every area of her life—namely, in the way she influences those around her. Leadership expert and CEO Jenni Catron joined Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share the six characteristics you may not even know you have that make you strong. You’ll be surprised to learn that often, the biggest obstacle standing in the way of our potential for growth and impact is ourselves. One of the most critical traits of a strong woman is self-awareness; only when we take a personal temperature check can we clearly see how to help ourselves make the best impact in every other facet of our …

What Are the 6 Characteristics of a Strong Woman? with Leadership Expert Jenni Catron – 183 Read More »

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