Julie Voiceover Category

Self Talk

If we talk to ourselves more than anyone else, what should our inner dialogue sound like? Here are great reads on self talk to help you prevent self sabotage & advance in the ways you desire. #gritandgracelife

For the Girl That's Single During the Holidays

For the Girl That’s Single During the Holidays

November through February marks perhaps the most dreaded season in the life of a woman who is single during the holidays. We kick off with family gatherings at Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, and, without fail, as we go around the table listing what we’re thankful for some doey-eyed friend gazes lovingly at her new groom and says, “I’m thankful for my husband. He’s so amazing.” Then there’s the “plus one” you never have for the office Christmas party. The week spanning Christmas and New Year’s might as well be dubbed National Engagement Week as the social media feeds from countless friends will be filled with romantic carriage rides, kisses under the mistletoe, smooches at midnight, and shiny new rings. The new year brings […]

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Why Your Self-Talk Matters—Insights from a Therapist

Why Your Self-Talk Matters—Insights from a Therapist

Most people get it wrong when they think about who their greatest influence is. It’s not your mom, your dad, your high school gym teacher, or your first boyfriend. It’s not your abuser or any of your exes, no matter how horrible or amazingly wonderful they were. It’s you. You already knew where I was going with this, right? You are the storehouse for all of the information ever given to you about life and yourself. Ultimately, you choose how to interpret past voices and feed them back to yourself as experience. You alone speak to yourself more than anyone speaks to you. You also speak to yourself more than you speak to anyone else, which makes you, my dear friend, your

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Goodbye Skinny Jeans, This is Why I’m Breaking up With You

Goodbye Skinny Jeans, This Is Why I’m Breaking up With You

Dear Skinny Jeans, I’m breaking up with you. Please don’t be mad. So many others still love you. You have devoted fans everywhere. It’s just, I’m no longer one of them. But today I’m saying goodbye Skinny Jeans. We had a good run, didn’t we? We partnered on so many different occasions, in so many different ways. We went casual-cool, with riding boots, flats, and tennies. We were sophisticated and classy, all dark denim and heels for our date nights and girls’ nights. We went from ripped and rocker to high-waisted and mom-jean-esque. We even had a very unfortunate foray into the Ugg-trend in the mid 2000s. We’ve done it all. But, see, things have changed. I’m different now. I’ve grown. No

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3 Reasons Why Positive Self-Talk Can Improve Your Life

3 Reasons Why Positive Self-Talk Can Improve Your Life

Relationships are a gift. They challenge us to think outside of our own perspective and expand our ideas about the world. Many would report that relationships make life more enjoyable as they share important milestones and the sweet in-between moments of the everyday with those whom they love. And relationships give us powerful information about who we are and whether or not we are safe. How do we speak to ourselves? Many of us invest a lot of time and energy ensuring that our relationships with others are healthy, connected, and close, but what about our relationship with ourselves what is our self-talk? If we are honest, we have to examine how we speak to ourselves. Are we the type of friend

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Here's Why You Should Question the Stories You Tell Yourself

Here’s Why You Should Question the Stories You Tell Yourself

“The most powerful stories may be the ones we tell ourselves.” —Brené Brown¹ It wasn’t the loaves of homemade bread she’d bake for our family, the way she’d serve me Ovaltine in bed before school, nor the daily schlepping to swim practices and other after-school activities. These acts of devotion certainly made her a fantastic mother, but what earned her the title of “The World’s Greatest Mom” was largely due to the stories she told. With creativity and ease, her words flowed into dashing tales around similar themes. There was always a high-stakes rescue coupled with unassuming heroes who overcame weaknesses, flaws, and fears. Even though the settings, outlying characters, and storylines varied each time, the hero protagonists did not — they

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You Don’t Have to Carry Your Failures Anymore

You Don’t Have to Carry Your Failures Anymore

A friend still cleans her adult son’s car when he stops by, and I can’t say I blame her. She always finds a stash of used lunch bags and backpacks culturing food, dirty laundry, and oodles of cash! And it got me thinking, haven’t we all found a bit of ‘yuck’ in our packs? I’ve heard the analogy that each of us carries an emotional backpack on our life’s journey. Our pack holds the essentials of living a meaningful life, kind of like the ‘All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten’ idea. What’s In Your Life Backpack? Unlike the kindergarten credo, our backpack also carries memories, failures, burdens, and misconceptions we’ve picked up along the way. Our experiences, emotions,

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Ditch the Scale - Your Mind and Body Will Thank You

Ditch the Scale—Your Mind and Body Will Thank You

As I walked into my bathroom, I saw a new scale on the floor. After months of staring at a broken scale, I was now confronted with a new one—daring me to step on and see where I was after I stopped using it six months ago. I dropped my slippers, robe, watch … anything that weighed anything. I stepped on and looked at the number on the scale. The number said I wasn’t good enough. I Was Obsessed With The Scale Rewind a little more than a year and you would have seen me stepping on my scale twice a day, monitoring my weight, body fat, muscle mass, water content … you name it. I did not nor have I ever

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

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

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MorePart 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

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What Does Optimism Bring to a Woman's Life? - 184

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

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreWe 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,

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

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

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreWhat 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

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The Grass Is Always Greener: Learn to Love Who You Are

The Grass Is Always Greener: Learning to Love Who You Are

I’m about to make a shocking statement. Are you ready? Women are so hard on themselves. We know this already, right? We’re expected to be a size 2 but cook like Paula Deen. We’re expected to keep the house clean, tend to the children, keep a steady stream of income, and meet all of society’s (unrealistic) ideals of feminine perfection. We have social media feeds to keep fresh, friends to impress, and a whole slew of fellow women we need to prove our adequacy to. (Side note: Friends you have to impress aren’t true friends.) The demands are real. And true to our nature, we often internalize most of the pressure. We take it upon ourselves to police our own actions and

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Life Changes When You Flip Your Perspective – Here’s How

I don’t know about you, but I often feel buried under the “have tos” in my life. As a working mom of four, there is always a long list of things that need to be done. For example, I have to clean my house. I have to go to the grocery store. I have to exercise, go to work today, and make dinner. I can very easily become a martyr to all that is on my plate. But what if I flipped my “have tos” to “get tos”? What if I shifted my perspective? This mantra was recently introduced to me during one of my Peloton bike classes. When the instructor said it, she was referring to exercising. We were in the

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Do You Ever Feel Like You're Not Enough?

Do You Ever Feel Like You’re Not Enough? with Jodi Shultz 172

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreWomen have accomplished some pretty incredible things throughout history. It was women that patented windshield wipers, disposable diapers, non-reflective glass and a host of other products that benefit us to this day. And that’s just a glimpse into the life changing achievements we’ve made. Yet, it’s not uncommon for us to feel as though we’re not enough. We question our value when we see other women who are prettier, doing it better, or seem to be winning at life.  Grit and Grace Life writer Jodi Shultz joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to discuss this epidemic. Jodi recalls a time in her life when she

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How do We Handle the Messiness of Motherhood? with Laila Schell – 168

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreMotherhood is messy—literally and figuratively! While moms work hard to raise healthy, happy and responsible kids, they’re also dealing with the pressure to be perfect. The age of social media is unforgiving in this arena, and moms often struggle with feeling like they fall short. In this podcast episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender interview Laila Schell, a writer, wife and mom of four who’s experienced her fair share of motherhood ups and downs. Laila expresses the importance of giving yourself grace when you feel like you don’t measure up, and understanding that you don’t have to be perfect to be a great mom. We

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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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I'm ditching perfection because my best is enough

I’m Ditching Perfection Because My Best Is Enough

Once again, I grabbed a shopping cart to complete what seems to be my four-times-a-week run to Walmart. As I was rolling down the aisle, I passed one of those cardboard boxes that sits strategically in your path. You know—those big old things that you have to navigate your shopping cart around. The reason it’s placed there is so you will go slowly, pause, and purchase something that wasn’t on your list and that you didn’t know you needed until that very moment. This particular brightly-painted bit of corrugation had wall art in it, the kind that’s there to inspire us. I’m pretty sure the piece that caught my attention was targeted at women. It stated this: “You don’t have to be

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A Letter to My Daughter on Body Image: May You Love All of You

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) Dear Daughter, We are together more than ever these days. I watch as you wake each morning, walk into your closet, and choose an outfit that doesn’t go together. You pull up your leggings without noticing the skin that spills over the tight waistband. You run a brush through your hair and carefully choose a headband or opt for a braid. I passively wonder if you wish for hair opposite of your own in texture and color. But there is no sighing or visible expression of disappointment as you comb through the tangles and frizz. Instead, you smile and make silly faces at your reflection in the mirror. Virtual school ends, and you’re

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