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This Grit and Grace Life

English, Religion, 1 season, 327 episodes, 6 days, 23 hours, 20 minutes
About
Welcome to This Grit & Grace Life Podcast, where co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender, along with other strong women (and a few men), bring real answers to the questions women are 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—you can walk in your purpose amid a world that’s ever-changing. We’re here to offer wisdom and encouragement for every step of this grit and grace life. And in our community, perfection is not required. Produced by This Grit and Grace Project®.
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Answers to the OB-GYN Questions You’re Scared to Ask with Dr. Holly Miller – 245

Are you putting off scheduling your next OB-GYN appointment? We get it—it can be uncomfortable, awkward, and even embarrassing to chat with the doc about issues or questions related to down there.  That's why we're bringing back this episode of This Grit and Grace Life with guest Dr. Holly Miller, a board certified OB-GYN, to answer all the hard OB-GYN questions you need to know about feminine health but are probably too embarrassed to ask about.  This episode is filled with questions that women tend to run from, including: When do we see a gynecologist? Why do we see gynecologists? Do we have to see a gynecologist? And the biggest question, why are we terrified of seeing a gynecologist? Whether you’re busy or scared something is wrong and you don't want to face it, you need to go see a gynecologist. It’s that simple! Neglecting your health is no way to handle potential issues you may be facing. We know after listening, you’ll feel comfortable and confident scheduling your next appointment! What else you’ll learn: When a teenager should see a gynecologist When you should have your first pap smear How regularly you should have a pap smear and pelvic exams How to feel comfortable when seeing your gynecologist Important information you need to share with your gynecologist What a “normal cycle” should look like Symptoms you need to look out for throughout our womanhood Common issues you need to know are not normal When you need to begin getting regular mammograms The top things Dr. Miller wants you to know about your feminine health Why you never need to feel embarrassed! Dr. Holly Miller completed medical school at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She’s currently an OB-GYN physician in Florida. Outside of the office, Dr. Miller enjoys reading, running and spending time with her husband and four children. Find more from Dr. Miller by visiting her practice website here. Quote of the episode: “It's extremely important that women of all ages have a relationship with a doctor, specifically a gynecologist." —Dr. Holly Miller Resources Mentioned: Follow Dr. Holly Miller on Instagram for more feminine health advice HERE. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/15/202433 minutes, 40 seconds
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Don’t Let the World Dictate Your Self-Worth It’s Up to You – 244

How do you measure your self-worth? Is it determined by a respectable title at work or the approving nods ands compliments you receive on an outfit? Is it measured by how similar your home looks to your favorite influencer's or your own personal follower count on Instagram? This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender get together to offer a single resounding answer to all those questions: No. Your self-worth isn't determined by any of these things. And yet, the culture we live in upholds this pervasive idea that our worth is dependent on what we do or how put-together our lives appear, when in reality—in God's reality—it's who we are that matters. If you struggle, like Julie did, with feeling like you're not enough or even too much for others, listen to this episode to learn where your worth comes from and how you can walk boldly in who you are. The world doesn't dictate your self-worth. Remember—God has a plan for you, and you're on the road to who you're becoming. Give grace to yourself on the way there. Quote of the episode: “Stop shrinking to fit places you’ve outgrown.” —Darlene Resources Mentioned Psalm 138:3 (AMP) Related "The Airbrushed Bombshell: Brushing Back Body Image Issues" "Am I Worth More than a Penny?" "I Did a Social Media Detox and Learned Why We’re Always Reaching for Our Phones" Bible Verses on Self-Worth From the Grit and Grace Team "How to Say 'Good Riddance' to that Pesky Shadow: Shame" Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
7/2/202433 minutes, 21 seconds
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Dating? Don’t Settle for Less with Rebecca St. James – 243

You may have seen the movie "Unsung Hero" and learned a little about the childhood and career of Christian singer and songwriter Rebecca St. James. But we thought we would revisit an earlier episode of This Grit and Grace Life podcast when Rebecca joined the show to chat about another important part of her life: dating and finding "the one." Landing your forever-after prince isn’t always so clear-cut. We wonder whether he’s out there, how long it’ll take to find him, and if we’ll even recognize him when the moment arrives. We can even get so frustrated with the wait that we might be tempted to settle for a good man but not the right man. But is it worth waiting for the right one? Rebecca insists it is. She shares the ups and downs of her own journey through dating and how she ultimately found her husband (and knew he was “the one” almost instantly). She, Darlene, and Julie also discuss what character traits to look for in the right man, how you can stay committed to the values you set for yourself without settling, and whether you’re giving too many husband privileges to a boyfriend who won’t commit. Rebecca St. James is a GRAMMY-winning Christian singer/songwriter, author, and speaker. She is also the co-host of the podcast Practice Makes Parent alongside Dr. Danny Huerta where they discuss strategies and inspiration for parenting kids of all ages. You can follow Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccast.james, on Facebook @RSJames or on her website at rebeccastjames.com. Quote of the episode: “There was this soul connection where it’s like he has the same spirit, same values, same heart, same true, core desires in life.” —Rebecca St. James on finding her husband Resources Mentioned Watch "Unsung Hero" here Listen to this podcast episode for more on Rebecca's family: “Meet the Extraordinary Mom Behind the New Movie 'Unsung Hero' – 238” Listen to Rebecca's podcast, Rebecca St. James Friends and Family Related Listen to Rebecca's newest co-hosted podcast, Practice Makes Parent Read now: “These 10 Red Flags in Dating Should Make You Run” Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
6/18/202434 minutes, 2 seconds
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What to Do When Marriage Is Hard with Julie Bender - 242

When we get married, we have dreams, hopes and goals for what our lifelong union with our new partner will look like. But that idealistic view doesn't always match reality. Instead, we may find ourselves wondering why our man is so different compared to how he used to be at the beginning of the relationship or to the doting husbands we see on social media. Maybe we find ourselves in constant conflict with him, never finding common ground. Both of these issues can slowly and painfully drive your marriage into the ground. Comparison and conflict are major, yet common, issues in marriage. Our very own co-host, Julie Bender, experienced them in her relationships. In this podcast episode—and in her book, soon to be releases as part of our "Smart Living in Small Bites" book series*—Julie walks through her difficult upbringing, her first marriage to Paul and the challenges they faced during their 11 years together, his unexpected passing and her experience dating and marrying her current husband, Donny. Julie shares what to do when marriage is hard, revealing the comparison traps and the signs that indicate serious, underlying issues with communication and honesty and offers practical, fresh ways to resolve them. You and your spouse need to set your pride aside and be ready to work hard to protect and save your marriage. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it. *Our "Smart Living in Small Bites" book series is our latest endeavor here at Grit and Grace Life.We're creating and publishing a series of subject-specific guidebooks—written by our team of writers with direct experience in those subjects—that you can use to walk (and work) through your own challenges, at your own pace. Keep an eye out for this book and others in the series later this year. Quote of the episode: “There's no effort that you put into your marriage that isn't going to bear fruit." —Julie Bender Resources Mentioned  Julie Graham's Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope - 101 What Today's Dating Scene Is Really Like - 094 Watch Julie's "Praying for Your Husband Daily" video series HERE Stay up-to-date on the release of our "Smart Living in Small Bites" book series. Click here, then scroll halfway down and sign up for our newsletter on the right-hand side of the page. Related Marriage Is Not a Hallmark Movie—But It Can Be Better This Is a Window Into My Widowhood Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
6/4/202443 minutes, 24 seconds
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What to Do When Marriage Is Hard with Julie Bender - 242

When we get married, we have dreams, hopes and goals for what our lifelong union with our new partner will look like. But that idealistic view doesn't always match reality. Instead, we may find ourselves wondering why our man is so different compared to how he used to be at the beginning of the relationship or to the doting husbands we see on social media. Maybe we find ourselves in constant conflict with him, never finding common ground. Both of these issues can slowly and painfully drive your marriage into the ground. Comparison and conflict are major, yet common, issues in marriage. Our very own co-host, Julie Bender, experienced them in her relationships. In this podcast episode—and in her book, soon to be releases as part of our "Smart Living in Small Bites" book series*—Julie walks through her difficult upbringing, her first marriage to Paul and the challenges they faced during their 11 years together, his unexpected passing and her experience dating and marrying her current husband, Donny. Julie shares what to do when marriage is hard, revealing the comparison traps and the signs that indicate serious, underlying issues with communication and honesty and offers practical, fresh ways to resolve them. You and your spouse need to set your pride aside and be ready to work hard to protect and save your marriage. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it. *Our "Smart Living in Small Bites" book series is our latest endeavor here at Grit and Grace Life.We're creating and publishing a series of subject-specific guidebooks—written by our team of writers with direct experience in those subjects—that you can use to walk (and work) through your own challenges, at your own pace. Keep an eye out for this book and others in the series later this year. Quote of the episode: “There's no effort that you put into your marriage that isn't going to bear fruit." —Julie Bender Resources Mentioned  Julie Graham's Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope - 101 What Today's Dating Scene Is Really Like - 094 Watch Julie's "Praying for Your Husband Daily" video series HERE Stay up-to-date on the release of our "Smart Living in Small Bites" book series. Click here, then scroll halfway down and sign up for our newsletter on the right-hand side of the page. Related Marriage Is Not a Hallmark Movie—But It Can Be Better This Is a Window Into My Widowhood Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
6/4/202443 minutes, 24 seconds
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What Memorial Day Can Teach Us About Bravery - 241

With Memorial Day upon us, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender are honoring service members' sacrifices by encouraging us all to step into every area of life the same way those military men and women did—with bravery. But what does that look like to be brave at work? In our relationships? In motherhood? In this episode, Darlene and Julie identify instances that might give us pause and why it's critical to push through them. Our character and integrity are often at stake in these situations, so we must be willing to get comfortable with being uncomfortable—whether others think we're uncool or overprotective or too Christian—to protect them. Bravery isn't easy, but it's worth the things that matter. Quote of the episode: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows." —Luke 12:7 Resources Mentioned  How to Handle a Hard Relationship with Your Mom - 089 Read about Ananias approaching Saul in Acts 9 Related Establishing Healthy Boundaries in the Grit and Grace Life Find the Bravery to Live Our Your Purpose Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
5/21/202432 minutes, 51 seconds
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What Memorial Day Can Teach Us About Bravery - 241

With Memorial Day upon us, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender are honoring service members' sacrifices by encouraging us all to step into every area of life the same way those military men and women did—with bravery. But what does that look like to be brave at work? In our relationships? In motherhood? In this episode, Darlene and Julie identify instances that might give us pause and why it's critical to push through them. Our character and integrity are often at stake in these situations, so we must be willing to get comfortable with being uncomfortable—whether others think we're uncool or overprotective or too Christian—to protect them. Bravery isn't easy, but it's worth the things that matter. Quote of the episode: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows." —Luke 12:7 Resources Mentioned  How to Handle a Hard Relationship with Your Mom - 089 Read about Ananias approaching Saul in Acts 9 Related Establishing Healthy Boundaries in the Grit and Grace Life Find the Bravery to Live Our Your Purpose Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
5/21/202432 minutes, 51 seconds
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17 Summer Vacations Destinations the Whole Family Will Love - 240

Are you itching for a vacation? Maybe the chilliness of winter has dragged on a hair too long and cabin fever has set in. If you're nodding along saying, "YES," then you'll want to tune into episode 240 of This Grit and Grace Life podcast. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender share 17 summer vacation destinations around the United States that you may have never considered visiting before but will be glad to have experienced. They list recommendations for kids and adults alike that span every corner of the nation (Washington, Kentucky, Florida, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Ohio) and every interest: music, cars, space, U.S. history (the good and the bad), faith, art and more. Let this episode be the final push you need to book that flight and make memories that will last a lifetime. Quote of the episode: “Wouldn't you rather like to have a lot of stories to tell, memories that were made, than a full bank account?" —Darlene Brock Resources Mentioned  Making Music magazine Related 9 Trips to Travel More and Spend Less Simple Guidelines for Traveling with Kids and How to Enjoy It 10 Packing Tips When You Need to Travel Light Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
5/7/202422 minutes
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17 Summer Vacations Destinations the Whole Family Will Love - 240

Are you itching for a vacation? Maybe the chilliness of winter has dragged on a hair too long and cabin fever has set in. If you're nodding along saying, "YES," then you'll want to tune into episode 240 of This Grit and Grace Life podcast. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender share 17 summer vacation destinations around the United States that you may have never considered visiting before but will be glad to have experienced. They list recommendations for kids and adults alike that span every corner of the nation (Washington, Kentucky, Florida, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Ohio) and every interest: music, cars, space, U.S. history (the good and the bad), faith, art and more. Let this episode be the final push you need to book that flight and make memories that will last a lifetime. Quote of the episode: “Wouldn't you rather like to have a lot of stories to tell, memories that were made, than a full bank account?" —Darlene Brock Resources Mentioned  Making Music magazine Related 9 Trips to Travel More and Spend Less Simple Guidelines for Traveling with Kids and How to Enjoy It 10 Packing Tips When You Need to Travel Light Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
5/7/202422 minutes
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When Suicide Touches Your Life – 239

We tackle many difficult subjects here at Grit and Grace Life, and often, they’re ones that have impacted us directly. In this episode, co-host Darlene Brock shares one of her own—losing her father to suicide. As with any tragedy, Darlene found herself navigating unexpected emotions, working to reconcile the choice of suicide with the father she loved, asking questions that could be answered and accepting those that could not. In sharing her story now, she hopes to impart an important lesson to those dealing with this unbearable pain: God can bring healing. It won’t be overnight, and it won’t be easy. But there is hope to be found. If you’ve also lost someone dear to you to suicide, we hope this episode brings you some comfort in hearing from someone who has also been through the same journey. This idea is what inspired our next endeavor here at Grit and Grace Life: creating and publishing a series of subject-specific guidebooks—written by our team of writers with direct experience in those subjects—that you can use to walk (and work) through your own challenges, at your own pace. Keep an eye out for this book and others in the “Smart Living In Small Bites” series, coming later this year. Quote of the episode: “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.” —Thomas Moore Resources Mentioned (in this episode and Darlene's book) Suicide Prevention Hotline Suicide Prevention for Family Members and Caregivers Testimonies from suicide survivors Focus on the Family suicide resources Grieving a Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers and Hope Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide Shattered: From Grief to Joy After My Son's Suicide This Is How to Handle a Hard Relationship With Your Mom – 089 Related My Dad's Suicide and the Hole In My Heart When Desperation Comes, Why Choose Suicide? Suicide Isn't Easily Understood, But You Need to Know This Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
4/23/202431 minutes, 19 seconds
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When Suicide Touches Your Life – 239

We tackle many difficult subjects here at Grit and Grace Life, and often, they’re ones that have impacted us directly. In this episode, co-host Darlene Brock shares one of her own—losing her father to suicide. As with any tragedy, Darlene found herself navigating unexpected emotions, working to reconcile the choice of suicide with the father she loved, asking questions that could be answered and accepting those that could not. In sharing her story now, she hopes to impart an important lesson to those dealing with this unbearable pain: God can bring healing. It won’t be overnight, and it won’t be easy. But there is hope to be found. If you’ve also lost someone dear to you to suicide, we hope this episode brings you some comfort in hearing from someone who has also been through the same journey. This idea is what inspired our next endeavor here at Grit and Grace Life: creating and publishing a series of subject-specific guidebooks—written by our team of writers with direct experience in those subjects—that you can use to walk (and work) through your own challenges, at your own pace. Keep an eye out for this book and others in the “Smart Living In Small Bites” series, coming later this year. Quote of the episode: “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.” —Thomas Moore Resources Mentioned (in this episode and Darlene's book) Suicide Prevention Hotline Suicide Prevention for Family Members and Caregivers Testimonies from suicide survivors Focus on the Family suicide resources Grieving a Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers and Hope Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide Shattered: From Grief to Joy After My Son's Suicide This Is How to Handle a Hard Relationship With Your Mom – 089 Related My Dad's Suicide and the Hole In My Heart When Desperation Comes, Why Choose Suicide? Suicide Isn't Easily Understood, But You Need to Know This Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
4/23/202431 minutes, 19 seconds
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Meet the Extraordinary Mom Behind the New Movie “Unsung Hero” – 238

Later this month, the film "Unsung Hero" premieres in theaters across the nation. The movie chronicles one Australian mom's radical decision to move her family across the world in faith that they can find reprieve from their struggles. We don't want to spoil it for you, but this mother's decision pays off. If you've ever jammed out to KING & COUNTRY or Rebecca St. James, you can thank Helen Smallbone—the determined mum from Down Under. Her unorthodox decision to pack up her family's belongings and shuttle herself, her husband and their six kids (with a seventh on the way!) was met with as much doubt as you might imagine. As a mom, it’s hard to filter out the opinions and recommendations from other people on how to raise your kids. This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender throw it back to a previous episode with Helen, who shared the good news: It's OK to be a different kind of mom! You know your kids better than anyone, and raising them the way you feel is best—no matter how it looks to those on the outside—will undoubtedly be what they need. We hope you feel encouraged that the path you have established for your family is the right one. And if you’re still on the fence, take a listen to this episode and see for yourself! Helen Smallbone is the co-founder of MUMlife Community and a podcast host with AccessMore. Her passion is encouraging mothers and families with the God-breathed wisdom she has gleaned over 32 years of being a mother.  Born and raised in Australia, Helen dedicated her life to Christ as a young teen at the Billy Graham Crusade in Sydney. Now a mother to seven―five boys and two girls―and grandmother to thirteen, she currently lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, David, and a small menagerie of animals. You can follow Helen on Facebook @helenjsmallbone and on Instagram @helensmallbone. Quote of the episode: “For me as a parent, it's my job to encourage [my] child on their journey to seek out who God has made them to be.” —Helen Smallbone Resources Mentioned Check out information about "Unsung Hero" here Buy Helen's book, Behind the Lights here Read Peter's account of denying Jesus here Easter, the Best Love Story Ever Told 7 Lessons from Easter You Need All Year Long - 128  Related Forgiveness Is the Key to Living a Bitter-Free Life The Hope of Easter Restores All Things Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
4/9/202434 minutes, 37 seconds
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Meet the Extraordinary Mom Behind the New Movie “Unsung Hero” – 238

Later this month, the film "Unsung Hero" premieres in theaters across the nation. The movie chronicles one Australian mom's radical decision to move her family across the world in faith that they can find reprieve from their struggles. We don't want to spoil it for you, but this mother's decision pays off. If you've ever jammed out to FOR KING & COUNTRY or Rebecca St. James, you can thank Helen Smallbone—the determined mum from Down Under. Her unorthodox decision to pack up her family's belongings and shuttle herself, her husband and their six kids (with a seventh on the way!) was met with as much doubt as you might imagine. As a mom, it’s hard to filter out the opinions and recommendations from other people on how to raise your kids. This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender throw it back to a previous episode with Helen, who shared the good news: It's OK to be a different kind of mom! You know your kids better than anyone, and raising them the way you feel is best—no matter how it looks to those on the outside—will undoubtedly be what they need. We hope you feel encouraged that the path you have established for your family is the right one. And if you’re still on the fence, take a listen to this episode and see for yourself! Helen Smallbone is the co-founder of MUMlife Community and a podcast host with AccessMore. Her passion is encouraging mothers and families with the God-breathed wisdom she has gleaned over 32 years of being a mother.  Born and raised in Australia, Helen dedicated her life to Christ as a young teen at the Billy Graham Crusade in Sydney. Now a mother to seven―five boys and two girls―and grandmother to thirteen, she currently lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, David, and a small menagerie of animals. You can follow Helen on Facebook @helenjsmallbone and on Instagram @helensmallbone. Quote of the episode: “For me as a parent, it's my job to encourage [my] child on their journey to seek out who God has made them to be.” —Helen Smallbone Resources Mentioned Check out information about "Unsung Hero" here Buy Helen's book, Behind the Lights here Read Peter's account of denying Jesus here Easter, the Best Love Story Ever Told 7 Lessons from Easter You Need All Year Long - 128  Related Forgiveness Is the Key to Living a Bitter-Free Life The Hope of Easter Restores All Things Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
4/9/202434 minutes, 37 seconds
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Is Easter the Ultimate Call to Action? – 237

Easter isn't all about Peeps and Cadbury eggs, although co-host Julie Bender wouldn't mind one or two! But is Easter the ultimate call to action? In this heartfelt podcast episode, Julie and Darlene Brock discuss the significance of Easter, which they recognize as the pinnacle of their faith. But what does it mean to truly observe the holiday? Here, they unpack the meaning of Jesus Christ's brutal death on the cross more than 2,000 years ago and why His suffering, while difficult to think on, is crucial to understanding the scope of His love for us and how we're supposed to live today. You'll see how Jesus' forgiveness even as he was dying models the way we should approach our relationship with others through sacrificial love and grace. The message of Easter is one of hope, today and for a lifetime. Want to chat with us about Easter or your faith? Send us a note here! Quote of the episode: “My relationship with Christ is secure because of what he did and [because] I've accepted it. And because of that, I have hope today. I have hope tomorrow. I have hope everyday of this life and for all of eternity." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentioned Read Peter's account of denying Jesus here Easter, the Best Love Story Ever Told 7 Lessons from Easter You Need All Year Long - 128  Related Forgiveness Is the Key to Living a Bitter-Free Life The Hope of Easter Restores All Things Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
3/26/202429 minutes, 4 seconds
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Is Easter the Ultimate Call to Action? – 237

Easter isn't all about Peeps and Cadbury eggs, although co-host Julie Bender wouldn't mind one or two! But is Easter the ultimate call to action? In this heartfelt podcast episode, Julie and Darlene Brock discuss the significance of Easter, which they recognize as the pinnacle of their faith. But what does it mean to truly observe the holiday? Here, they unpack the meaning of Jesus Christ's brutal death on the cross more than 2,000 years ago and why His suffering, while difficult to think on, is crucial to understanding the scope of His love for us and how we're supposed to live today. You'll see how Jesus' forgiveness even as he was dying models the way we should approach our relationship with others through sacrificial love and grace. The message of Easter is one of hope, today and for a lifetime. Want to chat with us about Easter or your faith? Send us a note here! Quote of the episode: “My relationship with Christ is secure because of what he did and [because] I've accepted it. And because of that, I have hope today. I have hope tomorrow. I have hope everyday of this life and for all of eternity." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentioned Read Peter's account of denying Jesus here Easter, the Best Love Story Ever Told 7 Lessons from Easter You Need All Year Long - 128  Related Forgiveness Is the Key to Living a Bitter-Free Life The Hope of Easter Restores All Things Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
3/26/202429 minutes, 4 seconds
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Making the Most of Life – 236

Life feeling mundane? It doesn't have to! In fact, it's easier to see the adventure and joys in the everyday than you might think. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender emphasize the importance of making the most of life. They talk through ways to shift your mindset when it comes to your purpose, your relationships, your motherhood and your work so you can more clearly see the value each facet brings. When viewed through this new perspective, the things you may think are annoying and trivial might actually be part of a larger blessing. And when each day seems full of small blessings, it'll be impossible to deny just how special your everyday life really is. Quote of the episode: “If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side." —Unknown Resources Mentioned Check out Julie's husband's business here Related The Joy Series: Feel Stuck In the Mundane? Unlock Joy In the Everyday A Strong Woman Has These 7 Things On Her Bucket List The Joy Series: Parenting a Teen Is Hard, But I've Found Gratitude Among the Grumbles Where Can I Find the Purpose of Life? Can You Really Enjoy the Little Things In Life? 17 Quotes to Create the Happy Moments Mindset Every Day – 130 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
3/12/202432 minutes, 28 seconds
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Making the Most of Life – 236

Life feeling mundane? It doesn't have to! In fact, it's easier to see the adventure and joys in the everyday than you might think. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender emphasize the importance of making the most of life. They talk through ways to shift your mindset when it comes to your purpose, your relationships, your motherhood and your work so you can more clearly see the value each facet brings. When viewed through this new perspective, the things you may think are annoying and trivial might actually be part of a larger blessing. And when each day seems full of small blessings, it'll be impossible to deny just how special your everyday life really is. Quote of the episode: “If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side." —Unknown Resources Mentioned Check out Julie's husband's business here Related The Joy Series: Feel Stuck In the Mundane? Unlock Joy In the Everyday A Strong Woman Has These 7 Things On Her Bucket List The Joy Series: Parenting a Teen Is Hard, But I've Found Gratitude Among the Grumbles Where Can I Find the Purpose of Life? Can You Really Enjoy the Little Things In Life? 17 Quotes to Create the Happy Moments Mindset Every Day – 130 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
3/12/202432 minutes, 28 seconds
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Living with Anxiety? Bring It Into the Light and Find Hope with Caroline Beidler – 235

If you're living with anxiety, you know it can be debilitating. A sudden panic or anxiety attack can quickly ruin your day, and over time, it can keep you from pursuing your dreams. Caroline Beidler knows what that's like. The author, speaker and recovery advocate recalls bouts of anxiety as a child, which were exacerbated by her parents' divorce and sexual trauma. She began self-medicating with alcohol and drugs, and though she eventually became sober, she found herself still dealing with anxiety decades later and wondering what was wrong. In this episode, she sits down with Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to discuss how she learned to practically address anxiety as a woman of faith—and prayer and Scripture are just two parts of the larger picture. She highlights the importance of therapy, building up your circle of support, staying active and openly discussing anxiety and other mental health issues in the church.   Caroline Beidler, BA, MSW is the author of Downstairs Church: Finding Hope in the Grit of Addiction and Trauma Recovery, and she is currently writing her next project, due 2024.  A recovery advocate, and founder of the storytelling platform Circle of Chairs. with almost 20 years in leadership within social work and ministry Caroline is currently a consultant with JBS International, writing and creating content for several federal agencies. She is also the founder and host of the annual International Women’s Day Global Recovery Event.  Caroline lives in Tennessee with her husband and twins where she enjoys hiking in the mountains and building up her community’s local recovery ministry. Quote of the episode: “Being human is about recognizing and acknowledging our weakness. But what's beautiful is that God works in that place." —Caroline Beidler Resources Mentioned Downstairs Church: Finding Hope in the Grit of Addiction and Trauma Recovery Self-Care Is an Act of Radical Love for Mommas How to Use 4-7-8 Breathing for Anxiety Related Ask Dr. Zoe – Coping With Anxiety Biblically Drinking Excessively? Here Are 8 Healthier Coping Strategies for Women A Breath Prayer to Calm Your Mind and Body Can Faith Bring Hope to Everything—Even Anxiety? Ask Dr. Zoe – What Is Normal Anxiety & When Should I Seek Help? Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
2/27/202438 minutes, 59 seconds
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Living with Anxiety? Bring It Into the Light and Find Hope with Caroline Beidler – 235

If you're living with anxiety, you know it can be debilitating. A sudden panic or anxiety attack can quickly ruin your day, and over time, it can keep you from pursuing your dreams. Caroline Beidler knows what that's like. The author, speaker and recovery advocate recalls bouts of anxiety as a child, which were exacerbated by her parents' divorce and sexual trauma. She began self-medicating with alcohol and drugs, and though she eventually became sober, she found herself still dealing with anxiety decades later and wondering what was wrong. In this episode, she sits down with Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to discuss how she learned to practically address anxiety as a woman of faith—and prayer and Scripture are just two parts of the larger picture. She highlights the importance of therapy, building up your circle of support, staying active and openly discussing anxiety and other mental health issues in the church.   Caroline Beidler, BA, MSW is the author of Downstairs Church: Finding Hope in the Grit of Addiction and Trauma Recovery, and she is currently writing her next project, due 2024.  A recovery advocate, and founder of the storytelling platform Circle of Chairs. with almost 20 years in leadership within social work and ministry Caroline is currently a consultant with JBS International, writing and creating content for several federal agencies. She is also the founder and host of the annual International Women’s Day Global Recovery Event.  Caroline lives in Tennessee with her husband and twins where she enjoys hiking in the mountains and building up her community’s local recovery ministry. Quote of the episode: “Being human is about recognizing and acknowledging our weakness. But what's beautiful is that God works in that place." —Caroline Beidler Resources Mentioned Downstairs Church: Finding Hope in the Grit of Addiction and Trauma Recovery Self-Care Is an Act of Radical Love for Mommas How to Use 4-7-8 Breathing for Anxiety Related Ask Dr. Zoe – Coping With Anxiety Biblically Drinking Excessively? Here Are 8 Healthier Coping Strategies for Women A Breath Prayer to Calm Your Mind and Body Can Faith Bring Hope to Everything—Even Anxiety? Ask Dr. Zoe – What Is Normal Anxiety & When Should I Seek Help? Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
2/27/202438 minutes, 59 seconds
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Never Settle Again—Advice for Any Relationship – 234

Love is in the air! Maybe you're in a loving relationship and feel giddy at the mere mention of love, or maybe you're on the hunt for that special someone. No matter your relationship status, one thing is certain: Don't settle for less! In this podcast episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss how our expectations for love compare to our current relationships or what we want in a man. They explain why you should trust the process (and your gut!) and not rush anything, and how to celebrate and honor a healthy relationship. They also share their favorite relationships advice and 14 quick ways to tell if your man is worthy of your love, so you never settle again! Quote of the episode: “When you're dating someone, go to [1 Corinthians 13:4-7] and put their name in. 'Is Bob kind? Is Bob loving? Is Bob patient?' That's going to be very telling." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentioned Is Your Man a Keeper? Here’s How to Be Sure – 214 I Thought He’d Propose on Valentine’s Day—He Broke Up Instead My Boyfriend Brings Me Flowers, Is That Enough? Related How to Avoid the Wrong Guy: A Checklist for Strong Women Is It Time to Break Up With Your Guy? This Is How to Do It Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
2/13/202427 minutes, 2 seconds
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Never Settle Again—Advice for Any Relationship – 234

Love is in the air! Maybe you're in a loving relationship and feel giddy at the mere mention of love, or maybe you're on the hunt for that special someone. No matter your relationship status, one thing is certain: Don't settle for less! In this podcast episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss how our expectations for love compare to our current relationships or what we want in a man. They explain why you should trust the process (and your gut!) and not rush anything, and how to celebrate and honor a healthy relationship. They also share their favorite relationships advice and 14 quick ways to tell if your man is worthy of your love, so you never settle again! Quote of the episode: “When you're dating someone, go to [1 Corinthians 13:4-7] and put their name in. 'Is Bob kind? Is Bob loving? Is Bob patient?' That's going to be very telling." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentioned Is Your Man a Keeper? Here’s How to Be Sure – 214 I Thought He’d Propose on Valentine’s Day—He Broke Up Instead My Boyfriend Brings Me Flowers, Is That Enough? Related How to Avoid the Wrong Guy: A Checklist for Strong Women Is It Time to Break Up With Your Guy? This Is How to Do It Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
2/13/202427 minutes, 2 seconds
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Need a Laugh? You’ll Relate to These Funny Phrases – 233

Want a good laugh? Well, you're in for a treat! In this lighthearted episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender bring back an older episode where they discuss the importance of finding humor in life—and they do it by sharing several listener-submitted memes and funny phrases on topics like relationships and motherhood that will make you chuckle. And more likely than not, you'll relate to many of them. Quote of the episode: “You never realize how many people you don't like until it's time to name your baby." Resources Mentioned When to Leave an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Man with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 024 Dating? What to Look for in a Man - 073 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
1/30/202427 minutes, 6 seconds
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Need a Laugh? You’ll Relate to These Funny Phrases – 233

Want a good laugh? Well, you're in for a treat! In this lighthearted episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender bring back an older episode where they discuss the importance of finding humor in life—and they do it by sharing several listener-submitted memes and funny phrases on topics like relationships and motherhood that will make you chuckle. And more likely than not, you'll relate to many of them. Quote of the episode: “You never realize how many people you don't like until it's time to name your baby." Resources Mentioned When to Leave an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Man with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 024 Dating? What to Look for in a Man - 073 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
1/30/202427 minutes, 6 seconds
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Is My Teen Out of Control or Is This Normal? with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 232

"Is my teen out of control, or is this normal behavior? At one point do I need to begin enforcing changes?" These questions often consume moms of teens and preteens, and on this throwback episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender ask psychotherapist and relationship coach Dr. Zoe Shaw for advice. Dr. Zoe discusses how to approach privacy and your teen's internet and social media use; how to recognize which moments you should step aside and allow your teen to make mistakes, and when it's time for you to intervene; and If you have a teen (or will soon), this episode is filled with the answers to some your most pressing motherhood questions. Dr. Zoe Shaw is a passionate practitioner in the field of clinical psychology. She is licensed as a psychotherapist and divides her time between her family life, clinical practice, virtual life, and relationship coaching, speaking, writing and hosting her podcast. You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, Stronger in the Difficult Places. Submit a question to our free Ask Dr. Zoe column. Quote of the episode: “We take it personally when it's not personal; it's their development.” —Dr. Zoe Shaw Resources Related The Joy Series: Parenting a Teen Is Hard, But I've Found Gratitude Among the Grumbles 5 Verses to Help You Survive the Teenage Years It Feels Like My Teen Is Rejecting Me, But I Know It's Something Else  Check out these other podcast episodes with Dr. Zoe Why Hasn't Your Boyfriend Proposed or Set the Date? - 180 How to Find Peace and Purpose In an Out-of-Control World - 164 How to Make Self-Care Part of Your Life - 155 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
1/16/20240
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Is My Teen Out of Control or Is This Normal? with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 232

"Is my teen out of control, or is this normal behavior? At one point do I need to begin enforcing changes?" These questions often consume moms of teens and preteens, and on this throwback episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender ask psychotherapist and relationship coach Dr. Zoe Shaw for advice. Dr. Zoe discusses how to approach privacy and your teen's internet and social media use; how to recognize which moments you should step aside and allow your teen to make mistakes, and when it's time for you to intervene; and If you have a teen (or will soon), this episode is filled with the answers to some your most pressing motherhood questions. Dr. Zoe Shaw is a passionate practitioner in the field of clinical psychology. She is licensed as a psychotherapist and divides her time between her family life, clinical practice, virtual life, and relationship coaching, speaking, writing and hosting her podcast. You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, Stronger in the Difficult Places. Submit a question to our free Ask Dr. Zoe column. Quote of the episode: “We take it personally when it's not personal; it's their development.” —Dr. Zoe Shaw Resources Related The Joy Series: Parenting a Teen Is Hard, But I've Found Gratitude Among the Grumbles 5 Verses to Help You Survive the Teenage Years It Feels Like My Teen Is Rejecting Me, But I Know It's Something Else  Check out these other podcast episodes with Dr. Zoe Why Hasn't Your Boyfriend Proposed or Set the Date? - 180 How to Find Peace and Purpose In an Out-of-Control World - 164 How to Make Self-Care Part of Your Life - 155 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
1/16/20240
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Need to Reset, Redo or Restart This Year? Here’s How – 231

Want to make a change in 2024? No matter what it may be, you need a path to get there. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender break down the differences between a reset, a redo, and a restart—and how to outline a plan for each—so you can chart the appropriate course for the change you want to implement. Making a change can be nerve-wracking, but the steps shared here will set you on a clear path to your goals with little room for error. And if you being to doubt your decision along the way, Julie shares some words of wisdom to help you get back on track. Quote of the episode: “There's a reason your windshield is bigger than your rearview mirror: Where you're headed is more important than what you left behind.” —Unknown Resources I Changed My Mind; Change Can Be the Right Thing to Do Want to Change Your Life? Start Building Something New How Brain Science Restored My Hope for Change Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
1/2/202425 minutes
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Need to Reset, Redo or Restart This Year? Here’s How – 231

Want to make a change in 2024? No matter what it may be, you need a path to get there. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender break down the differences between a reset, a redo, and a restart—and how to outline a plan for each—so you can chart the appropriate course for the change you want to implement. Making a change can be nerve-wracking, but the steps shared here will set you on a clear path to your goals with little room for error. And if you being to doubt your decision along the way, Julie shares some words of wisdom to help you get back on track. Quote of the episode: “There's a reason your windshield is bigger than your rearview mirror: Where you're headed is more important than what you left behind.” —Unknown Resources I Changed My Mind; Change Can Be the Right Thing to Do Want to Change Your Life? Start Building Something New How Brain Science Restored My Hope for Change Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
1/2/202425 minutes
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17 Quotes to Create the Happy Moments Mindset Every Day – 130

It's the most wonderful time of the year—or is it? We believe it is, but we know that stress and hardships can sometimes surface and crowd out those merry feelings. Rather than feeling swayed by the weight of those challenges, we want to help you find the good. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender share an assortment of quotes that remind us of our ability to make the most of every day, cultivate that happy moments mindset and lead the life we want by shifting our perspective. What are you spending time thinking about? Are you focusing on the good deeds you witness, the blessings you have at home? The kindness of others, the beauty of nature? All those little happy moments? They are there—you just have to train your brain to see them for what they are! Quote of the episode: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” —Wayne Dyer Resources Mentioned Click HERE for a PDF of all the quotes shared in this episode. Print them out or send them to a friend! Related Life Changes When You Flip Your Perspective—Here's How Can You Really Enjoy the Little Things In Life? Finding Happiness In an Unhappy World - 210  Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
12/19/202318 minutes, 48 seconds
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17 Quotes to Create the Happy Moments Mindset Every Day – 130

It's the most wonderful time of the year—or is it? We believe it is, but we know that stress and hardships can sometimes surface and crowd out those merry feelings. Rather than feeling swayed by the weight of those challenges, we want to help you find the good. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender share an assortment of quotes that remind us of our ability to make the most of every day, cultivate that happy moments mindset and lead the life we want by shifting our perspective. What are you spending time thinking about? Are you focusing on the good deeds you witness, the blessings you have at home? The kindness of others, the beauty of nature? All those little happy moments? They are there—you just have to train your brain to see them for what they are! Quote of the episode: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” —Wayne Dyer Resources Mentioned Click HERE for a PDF of all the quotes shared in this episode. Print them out or send them to a friend! Related Life Changes When You Flip Your Perspective—Here's How Can You Really Enjoy the Little Things In Life? Finding Happiness In an Unhappy World - 210  Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
12/19/202318 minutes, 48 seconds
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Faith, Hope and Love: They’re All We Need – 229

This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss what faith, hope, and love should look like when played out in our lives. You'll learn how they each decided to pursue faith; how we should pour out love and gratitude back to God through the work we do and how we carry ourselves; how faith fulfills our ability to hope, which sustains us during hard times and reminds us of what’s good in a world that feels scary and messy; why we're called to love others (even those who don't love us back) and how to show it. Any one of these tenets—or perhaps all three—may feel complicated or even a bit foreign to you. This episode is a helpful guide to understanding what they look like and how they all work together to resemble a fulfilling life that looks like Christ's. Quote of the episode: “We, at times, may be put right in the position to show love in a very tangible, real way to someone who desperately needs it." —Julie Bender Resources Related Building Faith: Growing In Your Relationship with God 5 Ways to Hold Onto Hope in Radical Uncertainty You Are Loved More than You Know A Simple Straw, a Homeless Man, and an Impacted Life Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
12/5/202327 minutes, 38 seconds
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Faith, Hope and Love: They’re All We Need – 229

This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss what faith, hope, and love should look like when played out in our lives. You'll learn how they each decided to pursue faith; how we should pour out love and gratitude back to God through the work we do and how we carry ourselves; how faith fulfills our ability to hope, which sustains us during hard times and reminds us of what’s good in a world that feels scary and messy; why we're called to love others (even those who don't love us back) and how to show it. Any one of these tenets—or perhaps all three—may feel complicated or even a bit foreign to you. This episode is a helpful guide to understanding what they look like and how they all work together to resemble a fulfilling life that looks like Christ's. Quote of the episode: “We, at times, may be put right in the position to show love in a very tangible, real way to someone who desperately needs it." —Julie Bender Resources Related Building Faith: Growing In Your Relationship with God 5 Ways to Hold Onto Hope in Radical Uncertainty You Are Loved More than You Know A Simple Straw, a Homeless Man, and an Impacted Life Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
12/5/202327 minutes, 38 seconds
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Strong Women Are Stronger Together—Here’s How You Can Help – 228

Did you know that this podcast and its adjoining website, Grit and Grace Life, are run entirely by donations? That's right—we're not your typical media outlet! The Grit and Grace Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by generous individuals who believe in our mission to inform and encourage women in their life journey. We believe women can prepare for every facet of life—from motherhood, work and health to purpose, relationships, and faith—by learning from those who have walked those paths before them. The articles on our site are a treasure trove of wisdom from our global collective of writers who want to give other women a leg up by sharing their experiences, both challenging and joyful. After all, strong women are stronger together! This has been at the core of our mission since 2015, and we don't plan to slow down. In fact, in this episode, Managing Editor Ashley Johnson reveals The Grit and Grace Project's next big undertaking, which will come to fruition in 2024. We're passionate about helping women and getting these resources out to as many of them as possible. With your help, our reach will expand even further. Quote of the episode: “You learn the best things in life from people who have lived it." —Darlene Brock Please consider a tax-deductible donation to The Grit and Grace Project. You can mail it to P.O. Box 247, Estero, FL 33929, or by using the link below from now until Christmas Day, and your gift will be matched:  Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
11/28/20237 minutes, 30 seconds
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Strong Women Are Stronger Together—Here’s How You Can Help – 228

Did you know that this podcast and its adjoining website, Grit and Grace Life, are run entirely by donations? That's right—we're not your typical media outlet! The Grit and Grace Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by generous individuals who believe in our mission to inform and encourage women in their life journey. We believe women can prepare for every facet of life—from motherhood, work and health to purpose, relationships, and faith—by learning from those who have walked those paths before them. The articles on our site are a treasure trove of wisdom from our global collective of writers who want to give other women a leg up by sharing their experiences, both challenging and joyful. After all, strong women are stronger together! This has been at the core of our mission since 2015, and we don't plan to slow down. In fact, in this episode, Managing Editor Ashley Johnson reveals The Grit and Grace Project's next big undertaking, which will come to fruition in 2024. We're passionate about helping women and getting these resources out to as many of them as possible. With your help, our reach will expand even further. Quote of the episode: “You learn the best things in life from people who have lived it." —Darlene Brock Please consider a tax-deductible donation to The Grit and Grace Project. You can mail it to P.O. Box 247, Estero, FL 33929, or by using the link below from now until Christmas Day, and your gift will be matched:  Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
11/28/20237 minutes, 30 seconds
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My Alopecia Diagnosis Changed My View on Real Beauty with Ashley Johnson – 227

We've all heard the adage "Beauty is more than skin deep," but do you believe it? It doesn't take more than five minutes scrolling Instagram or wandering the magazine newsstands to realize that the media—and, by extension, our culture—is saturated with images depicting luscious hair, dewy skin and trim figures. We live in a society that clamors for beauty, and because of that, it's hard to escape our own concerns over our self-image. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down with Grit and Grace Life's Managing Editor, Ashley Johnson, to talk about real beauty. Over a decade ago, Ashley was diagnosed with alopecia areata, a disease resulting in hair loss. She discusses how she discovered she had alopecia, her emotional response, the treatments she's pursued and how she's ultimately come to terms with living with a disease that doesn't offer many answers. Despite feeling vulnerable and at one point grappling with the loss of her identity, Ashley shares how her faith helped restore her perception of herself, and how we can avoid disrupting the balance between caring about aesthetics to being obsessed with our image. Hint: It has to a lot to do with searching for the real beauty below the surface—both in ourselves and in others. Don’t be fooled by Ashley Johnson’s quiet presence. She’s an internal processor who just might overthink from time to time. When she’s not caught up in her thoughts, she’s usually writing them or enjoying the thoughts of others. She’s a wife, new mom, and lover of all things pretty. Quote of the episode: “If you look at our world, God created it with beauty. Obviously he cares about aesthetics. I think it's only natural for people who are made like him to care about beauty. But I think, like anything, we can become obsessed with it." —Ashley Johnson Resources Related How to Age Gracefully in a Culture Obsessed with Beauty True Beauty Is Found in a Woman's Strength Just Because She's Pretty Doesn't Mean You're Not Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
11/21/202335 minutes, 8 seconds
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My Alopecia Diagnosis Changed My View on Real Beauty with Ashley Johnson – 227

We've all heard the adage "Beauty is more than skin deep," but do you believe it? It doesn't take more than five minutes scrolling Instagram or wandering the magazine newsstands to realize that the media—and, by extension, our culture—is saturated with images depicting luscious hair, dewy skin and trim figures. We live in a society that clamors for beauty, and because of that, it's hard to escape our own concerns over our self-image. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down with Grit and Grace Life's Managing Editor, Ashley Johnson, to talk about real beauty. Over a decade ago, Ashley was diagnosed with alopecia areata, a disease resulting in hair loss. She discusses how she discovered she had alopecia, her emotional response, the treatments she's pursued and how she's ultimately come to terms with living with a disease that doesn't offer many answers. Despite feeling vulnerable and at one point grappling with the loss of her identity, Ashley shares how her faith helped restore her perception of herself, and how we can avoid disrupting the balance between caring about aesthetics to being obsessed with our image. Hint: It has to a lot to do with searching for the real beauty below the surface—both in ourselves and in others. Don’t be fooled by Ashley Johnson’s quiet presence. She’s an internal processor who just might overthink from time to time. When she’s not caught up in her thoughts, she’s usually writing them or enjoying the thoughts of others. She’s a wife, new mom, and lover of all things pretty. Quote of the episode: “If you look at our world, God created it with beauty. Obviously he cares about aesthetics. I think it's only natural for people who are made like him to care about beauty. But I think, like anything, we can become obsessed with it." —Ashley Johnson Resources Related How to Age Gracefully in a Culture Obsessed with Beauty True Beauty Is Found in a Woman's Strength Just Because She's Pretty Doesn't Mean You're Not Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
11/21/202335 minutes, 8 seconds
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Julie and Dar’s Christmas Gift Guide – 226

It's officially the holiday season, and we already know what's lingering in the back of your mind—shopping for gifts. Gift-giving can be such a joyful exchange when your loved one has been casually dropping hints all year long, but what about the folks who keep mum? This is where Darlene Brock and Julie Bender come in to save the (holi-) day. In this episode, the Grit and Grace Life co-hosts present a robust Christmas gift guide with more than 25 fresh ideas for every person on your list. Submitted by the team of writers at Grit and Grace Life, the items in this gift guide are perfect (affordable!) stocking stuffers or under-the-tree presents for the gym-goer, newlywed, gardener, mom on the go, bookworm, college student, man or child in your life. All of these products are linked below, and most of them can be added to your Amazon cart with a simple click. Now you can knock out your Christmas shopping and spend the rest of the time you saved decorating, baking or just basking in the glow of the Christmas lights with a hot chocolate in hand. Quote of the episode: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you." —Luke 6:31 Gift Guide Product Links For Women —Customizable Bobbleheads —14-in-1 Multitool Hammer —Vooray 23L Burner Gym Duffel Bag —EAONE Garden Kneeler and Seat —ProsourceFit Acupressure Mat and Pillow —CAKES Body Nipple Covers —Personalized Initial Necklace —Apple Watch —Dressy Apple Watch Bands —Fun/Variety Apple Watch Bands —Sporty Apple Watch Bands —GCI Outdoor Rocking Camper Chair —Mkono Plant Propagation Wall Hanging Terrarium —BOGG Bag —Loop Wifi Digital Picture Frame —Stuff I'd Only Tell God Guided Journal —Christmas Memories Keepsake Journal —Used Books Monthly Subscription —Beautyrest Reversible Faux Sherpa Electric Wrap Poncho —Yarn Bowl for Crochet by Laborwood For Men —Ooni Koda Gas Pizza Oven —Sharper Image Powerboost Deep Tissue Massager —Miracle Made NASA-Inspired Sheets —Wireless Charging Valet Tray For Kids —Waterproof Digital Camera —MAGBLOCK 176-piece Marble Run Magnetic Tiles Sets —ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game —Hapinest Find and Seek Scavenger Hunt Indoor/Outdoor Game Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
11/7/202330 minutes, 8 seconds
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Julie and Dar’s Christmas Gift Guide – 226

It's officially the holiday season, and we already know what's lingering in the back of your mind—shopping for gifts. Gift-giving can be such a joyful exchange when your loved one has been casually dropping hints all year long, but what about the folks who keep mum? This is where Darlene Brock and Julie Bender come in to save the (holi-) day. In this episode, the Grit and Grace Life co-hosts present a robust Christmas gift guide with more than 25 fresh ideas for every person on your list. Submitted by the team of writers at Grit and Grace Life, the items in this gift guide are perfect (affordable!) stocking stuffers or under-the-tree presents for the gym-goer, newlywed, gardener, mom on the go, bookworm, college student, man or child in your life. All of these products are linked below, and most of them can be added to your Amazon cart with a simple click. Now you can knock out your Christmas shopping and spend the rest of the time you saved decorating, baking or just basking in the glow of the Christmas lights with a hot chocolate in hand. Quote of the episode: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you." —Luke 6:31 Gift Guide Product Links For Women —Customizable Bobbleheads —14-in-1 Multitool Hammer —Vooray 23L Burner Gym Duffel Bag —EAONE Garden Kneeler and Seat —ProsourceFit Acupressure Mat and Pillow —CAKES Body Nipple Covers —Personalized Initial Necklace —Apple Watch —Dressy Apple Watch Bands —Fun/Variety Apple Watch Bands —Sporty Apple Watch Bands —GCI Outdoor Rocking Camper Chair —Mkono Plant Propagation Wall Hanging Terrarium —BOGG Bag —Loop Wifi Digital Picture Frame —Stuff I'd Only Tell God Guided Journal —Christmas Memories Keepsake Journal —Used Books Monthly Subscription —Beautyrest Reversible Faux Sherpa Electric Wrap Poncho —Yarn Bowl for Crochet by Laborwood For Men —Ooni Koda Gas Pizza Oven —Sharper Image Powerboost Deep Tissue Massager —Miracle Made NASA-Inspired Sheets —Wireless Charging Valet Tray For Kids —Waterproof Digital Camera —MAGBLOCK 176-piece Marble Run Magnetic Tiles Sets —ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game —Hapinest Find and Seek Scavenger Hunt Indoor/Outdoor Game Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
11/7/202330 minutes, 8 seconds
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9 Principles to Build a Strong Marriage (Even Through the Storms) – 225

Every couple that says "I do" desires—and anticipates—a marriage bursting at the seams with love, respect and friendship. But that only happens when each partner is willing to put in the work to get there. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender unpack 9 guidelines that every couple can use to build a strong marriage, whether they've been together for decades or just recently exchanged vows. Darlene and Julie share common marital misconceptions; the actions and behaviors that contributed to the longevity of their personal partnerships; how to have healthy arguments and disagreements; and other tips for blending two imperfect humans who want a happy, healthy lifetime together. Quote of the episode: “What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life—to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in silent, unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting." —George Eliot Resources Mentioned: —Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101 Related Content: —Differing Sex Drives in Marriage: When He Wants More and You Don’t —The 3-Day Rule: My Mother-in-Law’s Secret to a Happy Marriage —Strength Under Fire: 5 Marriage Lessons from a Firefighter’s Wife —How Can We Have Teamwork in Marriage When We’re So Different? —Ready to Unpack the Baggage in Your Marriage? with Rachel Hagstrom – 213 —Infidelity Isn’t the End—You Can Save Your Marriage with Cindy Beall – 198 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
10/24/202335 minutes, 41 seconds
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9 Principles to Build a Strong Marriage (Even Through the Storms) – 225

Every couple that says "I do" desires—and anticipates—a marriage bursting at the seams with love, respect and friendship. But that only happens when each partner is willing to put in the work to get there. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender unpack 9 guidelines that every couple can use to build a strong marriage, whether they've been together for decades or just recently exchanged vows. Darlene and Julie share common marital misconceptions; the actions and behaviors that contributed to the longevity of their personal partnerships; how to have healthy arguments and disagreements; and other tips for blending two imperfect humans who want a happy, healthy lifetime together. Quote of the episode: “What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life—to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in silent, unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting." —George Eliot Resources Mentioned: —Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101 Related Content: —Differing Sex Drives in Marriage: When He Wants More and You Don’t —The 3-Day Rule: My Mother-in-Law’s Secret to a Happy Marriage —Strength Under Fire: 5 Marriage Lessons from a Firefighter’s Wife —How Can We Have Teamwork in Marriage When We’re So Different? —Ready to Unpack the Baggage in Your Marriage? with Rachel Hagstrom – 213 —Infidelity Isn’t the End—You Can Save Your Marriage with Cindy Beall – 198 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
10/24/202335 minutes, 41 seconds
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Are You Afraid to Speak Up When Others Disagree? – 224

It seems as though 2020 was the impetus for division and global tensions: racial, political, health-related and more. We were faced with an unprecedented virus, and a reckoning with racial injustices that paved the way for more open-minded discussions and understanding. And yet, the uncomfortable weight of not knowing the right thing to say—or saying the wrong thing—hasn't quite lifted. Political correctness reigns supreme and cancel culture is still a very real threat. So what do we do when we're afraid to speak up? Darlene Brock and Julie Bender unpack this worry and how to overcome the paralysis as women of faith. They also offer practical mindset tips for being vocal about what you believe in a world that believes the contrary. Quote of the episode: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." —Winston Churchill Resources Related Content: —How Do We Embrace Truth in a Radically Shifting Culture? – 215 —Our Duty to Celebrate Racial Diversity as Women of Faith – 207 —Finding Happiness with a Scary Future Ahead – 190 —How Do I Raise My Kids when the Culture and Bible Collide? with Dr. Jim Denison – 177 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
10/10/202333 minutes, 17 seconds
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Are You Afraid to Speak Up When Others Disagree? – 224

It seems as though 2020 was the impetus for division and global tensions: racial, political, health-related and more. We were faced with an unprecedented virus, and a reckoning with racial injustices that paved the way for more open-minded discussions and understanding. And yet, the uncomfortable weight of not knowing the right thing to say—or saying the wrong thing—hasn't quite lifted. Political correctness reigns supreme and cancel culture is still a very real threat. So what do we do when we're afraid to speak up? Darlene Brock and Julie Bender unpack this worry and how to overcome the paralysis as women of faith. They also offer practical mindset tips for being vocal about what you believe in a world that believes the contrary. Quote of the episode: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." —Winston Churchill Resources Related Content: —How Do We Embrace Truth in a Radically Shifting Culture? – 215 —Our Duty to Celebrate Racial Diversity as Women of Faith – 207 —Finding Happiness with a Scary Future Ahead – 190 —How Do I Raise My Kids when the Culture and Bible Collide? with Dr. Jim Denison – 177 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
10/10/202333 minutes, 17 seconds
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Life Behind the Mic with Julie and Dar – 223

Wish you could go back in time and do something differently? We all do! Unfortunately, until time machines are manufactured, we can't do anything about the past but reflect—and that's often where we learn the most about who we are and where we want to go from here. This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender reunite after several months apart to catch up, swap stories about life behind the mic, and share wisdom they've gleaned over the last few years. In an inspiring display of vulnerability, the duo look back at moments in their lives that they wish they'd approached differently: everything from fashion choices and what they spent their money on to establishing better boundaries and fighting for failed friendships. Take a note from Darlene and Julie and think about what the past has taught you—and how you can use that knowledge and wisdom to inform you in your next season. BetterHelp sponsor, courtesy of Julie Bender Quote of the episode: “I could look through all of my life mistakes and insecurities and areas where I still need healing and recognize God knows all of it. ... And he still has a plan for where I'm going to go in spite of and because of those things." —Julie Bender Resources Mentions: —This Is a Window Into My Widowhood Related Content: —5 Steps for Remaining Hopeful in Seasons of Change —Busyness: Is It Really Your Badge of Honor? —Establishing Healthy Boundaries in the Grit and Grace Life Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
9/26/202332 minutes, 38 seconds
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Life Behind the Mic with Julie and Dar – 223

Wish you could go back in time and do something differently? We all do! Unfortunately, until time machines are manufactured, we can't do anything about the past but reflect—and that's often where we learn the most about who we are and where we want to go from here. This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender reunite after several months apart to catch up, swap stories about life behind the mic, and share wisdom they've gleaned over the last few years. In an inspiring display of vulnerability, the duo look back at moments in their lives that they wish they'd approached differently: everything from fashion choices and what they spent their money on to establishing better boundaries and fighting for failed friendships. Take a note from Darlene and Julie and think about what the past has taught you—and how you can use that knowledge and wisdom to inform you in your next season. BetterHelp sponsor, courtesy of Julie Bender Quote of the episode: “I could look through all of my life mistakes and insecurities and areas where I still need healing and recognize God knows all of it. ... And he still has a plan for where I'm going to go in spite of and because of those things." —Julie Bender Resources Mentions: —This Is a Window Into My Widowhood Related Content: —5 Steps for Remaining Hopeful in Seasons of Change —Busyness: Is It Really Your Badge of Honor? —Establishing Healthy Boundaries in the Grit and Grace Life Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
9/26/202332 minutes, 38 seconds
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Become a Strong Woman While Making These 8 Pit Stops – 222

Want to become a strong woman? It may come as a surprise that embarking on this path has more to do with leaning into your vulnerabilities and weaknesses—not the areas you excel in. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss 8 ways that you can begin your journey to becoming a strong woman, even as life's challenges continue. Among these, you'll learn the importance of talking less; why lowering the bar for yourself and others can actually be a good thing; and why choosing to become a strong woman is a decision that must be made daily. Quote of the episode: “Ultimately, strength comes from two major sources: one is your life experience; the other, of course, is a dependence on the God we serve." —Darlene Brock  Resources Related Content: — How Breaking Up Made Me a Strong Woman — Anatomy of a Strong Woman — When a Strong Woman is Quitting but Not Failing — What I Wish I Had Known: The Hard Years Make You Strong — Women’s History Month: Be Inspired By Strong Women of the Past Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
9/12/202333 minutes, 4 seconds
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Become a Strong Woman While Making These 8 Pit Stops – 222

Want to become a strong woman? It may come as a surprise that embarking on this path has more to do with leaning into your vulnerabilities and weaknesses—not the areas you excel in. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss 8 ways that you can begin your journey to becoming a strong woman, even as life's challenges continue. Among these, you'll learn the importance of talking less; why lowering the bar for yourself and others can actually be a good thing; and why choosing to become a strong woman is a decision that must be made daily. Quote of the episode: “Ultimately, strength comes from two major sources: one is your life experience; the other, of course, is a dependence on the God we serve." —Darlene Brock  Resources Related Content: — How Breaking Up Made Me a Strong Woman — Anatomy of a Strong Woman — When a Strong Woman is Quitting but Not Failing — What I Wish I Had Known: The Hard Years Make You Strong — Women’s History Month: Be Inspired By Strong Women of the Past Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
9/12/202333 minutes, 4 seconds
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If You Feel Alone as a Single Mom, Listen to This with Kim Breuninger – 221

Being a single mom is challenging, and many times, moms enter this season of life unexpectedly. This was the case for Grit and Grace Life writer Kim Breuninger, who struggled with feeling responsible for her first husband's happiness as a young married couple with three children. Disagreements weren't uncommon as Kim tried to find a balance between being an honorable wife and making sacrifices she never expected. Then, during dinner on the night of their 10th anniversary, her husband dropped a bomb that shattered their marriage and suddenly left Kim a single mom. In this podcast episode, Kim sits down with Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share the challenges she faced raising her three boys in the years after her marriage fell apart. Now, decades later and remarried, Kim is able to look back on that season of life and offer hope and sage advice for those who feel alone as a single mom, including how to surround yourself with a helpful, loving support group; the importance of implementing and keeping a structure for your kids; the promise of "waiting well" before pursuing a new relationship; and more. She also offers advice for friends and family of single moms, from what not to say to the best ways to be a safe place and listening ear. Kim Breuninger believes everyone has a story, we’re all looking for something more, and we all need help to get there. She’s a personal growth enthusiast who journeys with others as they move toward spiritual and emotional character development. Recently retired from 30 years of full-time ministry to women, her story continues in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Kim loves to write, teach, and speak. She’s also a volunteer counselor for Respero.org and a qualified Townsend Leadership Coach. Kim’s husband and best friend Dave is also retired from full-time ministry. They've joyfully raised their blended family of five and are overly attached to their nine exceptional grandchildren. They enjoy all the biking, hiking, and year-round sports the outdoors offers. Quote of the episode: “Do what you need to do to keep yourself together. A child that has a mom who is composed has a treasure." —Kim Breuninger  Resources Related Content: —5 Tips for Grit and Grace as a Single Mom —Dear Single Mom, This Is Why You Inspire Me —Trapped in a Past Relationship? Here’s the Best Way to Move On —After Losing My Husband To Suicide, One Good Man Restored Our Family —5 Tips for When You Want to Re-Enter the Dating World —Encouragement and Hope for a Single Mom Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
8/29/202344 minutes, 46 seconds
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If You Feel Alone as a Single Mom, Listen to This with Kim Breuninger – 221

Being a single mom is challenging, and many times, moms enter this season of life unexpectedly. This was the case for Grit and Grace Life writer Kim Breuninger, who struggled with feeling responsible for her first husband's happiness as a young married couple with three children. Disagreements weren't uncommon as Kim tried to find a balance between being an honorable wife and making sacrifices she never expected. Then, during dinner on the night of their 10th anniversary, her husband dropped a bomb that shattered their marriage and suddenly left Kim a single mom. In this podcast episode, Kim sits down with Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share the challenges she faced raising her three boys in the years after her marriage fell apart. Now, decades later and remarried, Kim is able to look back on that season of life and offer hope and sage advice for those who feel alone as a single mom, including how to surround yourself with a helpful, loving support group; the importance of implementing and keeping a structure for your kids; the promise of "waiting well" before pursuing a new relationship; and more. She also offers advice for friends and family of single moms, from what not to say to the best ways to be a safe place and listening ear. Kim Breuninger believes everyone has a story, we’re all looking for something more, and we all need help to get there. She’s a personal growth enthusiast who journeys with others as they move toward spiritual and emotional character development. Recently retired from 30 years of full-time ministry to women, her story continues in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Kim loves to write, teach, and speak. She’s also a volunteer counselor for Respero.org and a qualified Townsend Leadership Coach. Kim’s husband and best friend Dave is also retired from full-time ministry. They've joyfully raised their blended family of five and are overly attached to their nine exceptional grandchildren. They enjoy all the biking, hiking, and year-round sports the outdoors offers. Quote of the episode: “Do what you need to do to keep yourself together. A child that has a mom who is composed has a treasure." —Kim Breuninger  Resources Related Content: —5 Tips for Grit and Grace as a Single Mom —Dear Single Mom, This Is Why You Inspire Me —Trapped in a Past Relationship? Here’s the Best Way to Move On —After Losing My Husband To Suicide, One Good Man Restored Our Family —5 Tips for When You Want to Re-Enter the Dating World —Encouragement and Hope for a Single Mom Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
8/29/202344 minutes, 46 seconds
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Get Ready to Break Free of Self-Doubt and Shame – 220

Would you say you're confident? Or would it be more accurate to say that you experience flickers of self-doubt now and again? If you said the latter, you're not alone. This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss the plague of self-doubt and shame we face as women, and how we get caught in the trap of comparison. They break down the most common areas we struggle with, including feeling too old; feeling too young; wondering if we're good enough; feeling burdened by our pasts; and more, and share ways to identify your strengths (rather than focus on your perceived weaknesses). If you're looking to break free of self-doubt, embarrassment and shame, this is the right place to find hope. Quote of the episode: “We love to tell other people they're equal and valuable, but what about us?" —Darlene Brock  Resources Mentions: —Ask Dr. Zoe – 6 Steps to Transform Your Self-Talk —From Living on the Streets to Finding Redemption with Laila Schell – 218 —My Parents’ Murder-Suicide and the Road to Forgiveness with Tracy Brandt – 208 Related Content: —This Is What I Would Say to the Man Who Raped Me —How Do I Know What Defines Me? —Advice for the Woman Who’s Not Happy in Front of the Mirror —To the Mom Lacking Self-Confidence: Do This Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
8/15/202332 minutes, 32 seconds
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Get Ready to Break Free of Self-Doubt and Shame – 220

Would you say you're confident? Or would it be more accurate to say that you experience flickers of self-doubt now and again? If you said the latter, you're not alone. This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss the plague of self-doubt and shame we face as women, and how we get caught in the trap of comparison. They break down the most common areas we struggle with, including feeling too old; feeling too young; wondering if we're good enough; feeling burdened by our pasts; and more, and share ways to identify your strengths (rather than focus on your perceived weaknesses). If you're looking to break free of self-doubt, embarrassment and shame, this is the right place to find hope. Quote of the episode: “We love to tell other people they're equal and valuable, but what about us?" —Darlene Brock  Resources Mentions: —Ask Dr. Zoe – 6 Steps to Transform Your Self-Talk —From Living on the Streets to Finding Redemption with Laila Schell – 218 —My Parents’ Murder-Suicide and the Road to Forgiveness with Tracy Brandt – 208 Related Content: —This Is What I Would Say to the Man Who Raped Me —How Do I Know What Defines Me? —Advice for the Woman Who’s Not Happy in Front of the Mirror —To the Mom Lacking Self-Confidence: Do This Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
8/15/202332 minutes, 32 seconds
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Your Back to School Strategy: Life Lessons and Daily Hacks – 219

Just like that, summer is wrapping up and the next school year is around the corner. As a mom, maybe you're breathing a sigh of relief, knowing you'll gain a few hours back in the day where you won't be pestered (we get it!). Or maybe you're a bit apprehensive—you don't know what's in the curriculum this year, whether your child will get along with their teacher, or what they'll hear from other students. No matter which feeling you identify with, this episode of This Grit and Grace Life will help you feel more at ease in the new school year. Darlene Brock and Julie Bender chat through everything you need for a strong back to school strategy, from getting your kids out the door faster in the morning and establishing a routine, to preparing them for new (and potentially divisive) information and people they might not get along with. You'll learn how to help them respond to any situation with respect, dignity and critical thinking—the ultimate lesson for school and life. Quote of the episode: “You are the parent. There's no one in your child's life... that has the same influence and impact in their lives as you do." —Darlene Brock  Resources Mentions: —How Do We Embrace Truth in a Radically Shifting Culture? – 215 Related Content: —"4 Ways to Save Your Sanity In a New School Year" —How Do I Raise My Kids when the Culture and Bible Collide? with Dr. Jim Denison – 177 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
8/1/20230
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Your Back to School Strategy: Life Lessons and Daily Hacks – 219

Just like that, summer is wrapping up and the next school year is around the corner. As a mom, maybe you're breathing a sigh of relief, knowing you'll gain a few hours back in the day where you won't be pestered (we get it!). Or maybe you're a bit apprehensive—you don't know what's in the curriculum this year, whether your child will get along with their teacher, or what they'll hear from other students. No matter which feeling you identify with, this episode of This Grit and Grace Life will help you feel more at ease in the new school year. Darlene Brock and Julie Bender chat through everything you need for a strong back to school strategy, from getting your kids out the door faster in the morning and establishing a routine, to preparing them for new (and potentially divisive) information and people they might not get along with. You'll learn how to help them respond to any situation with respect, dignity and critical thinking—the ultimate lesson for school and life. Quote of the episode: “You are the parent. There's no one in your child's life... that has the same influence and impact in their lives as you do." —Darlene Brock  Resources Mentions: —How Do We Embrace Truth in a Radically Shifting Culture? – 215 Related Content: —"4 Ways to Save Your Sanity In a New School Year" —How Do I Raise My Kids when the Culture and Bible Collide? with Dr. Jim Denison – 177 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
8/1/20230
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From Living on the Streets to Finding Redemption with Laila Schell – 218

Your circumstances don't define you. Take it from this week's podcast guest, Laila Schell, whose upbringing was anything but conventional. In this raw narration of her life story, Laila shares how she grew up poverty-stricken, bouncing between family homes and foster care and feeling the sting of rejection from her parents. Living on the street, Laila struggled with drugs and discovered she was pregnant. Her life seemed hopeless until one unexpected moment of deliverance changed everything. Now, Laila sees the beauty of leading an imperfect life—recognizing our past doesn't define us. It only points back to God's ability to pull us from our deepest despair and guide us to finding redemption. Laila Schell is a wife and mom of four who lives in a small farming community north of Toronto. She loves people and has always enjoyed talking to others and hearing their stories. Laila knows first hand how important it is to receive grace and of the power that God can use to transform a life. She has a passion for encouraging mothers and wives in the day to day tasks and helping them to see that even the most menial tasks are important and have a purpose! A firm believer that guacamole should never be extra and miracle whip is not mayonnaise, she uses worship music as the fuel to carry her through in life. You can read more from Laila at The Good Wives Blog, or follow her on Instagram @thegoodwife22. Quote of the episode: “I think if we all just stop pretending, we can start healing." —Laila Schell Resources Related Content: —I Made a Change—And It Brought My Prodigal Home —Childhood Trauma—How to Spot it, How to Heal It —I Found Freedom After Sharing My Painful Story Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
7/18/202349 minutes, 34 seconds
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From Living on the Streets to Finding Redemption with Laila Schell – 218

Your circumstances don't define you. Take it from this week's podcast guest, Laila Schell, whose upbringing was anything but conventional. In this raw narration of her life story, Laila shares how she grew up poverty-stricken, bouncing between family homes and foster care and feeling the sting of rejection from her parents. Living on the street, Laila struggled with drugs and discovered she was pregnant. Her life seemed hopeless until one unexpected moment of deliverance changed everything. Now, Laila sees the beauty of leading an imperfect life—recognizing our past doesn't define us. It only points back to God's ability to pull us from our deepest despair and guide us to finding redemption. Laila Schell is a wife and mom of four who lives in a small farming community north of Toronto. She loves people and has always enjoyed talking to others and hearing their stories. Laila knows first hand how important it is to receive grace and of the power that God can use to transform a life. She has a passion for encouraging mothers and wives in the day to day tasks and helping them to see that even the most menial tasks are important and have a purpose! A firm believer that guacamole should never be extra and miracle whip is not mayonnaise, she uses worship music as the fuel to carry her through in life. You can read more from Laila at The Good Wives Blog, or follow her on Instagram @thegoodwife22. Quote of the episode: “I think if we all just stop pretending, we can start healing." —Laila Schell Resources Related Content: —I Made a Change—And It Brought My Prodigal Home —Childhood Trauma—How to Spot it, How to Heal It —I Found Freedom After Sharing My Painful Story Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
7/18/202349 minutes, 34 seconds
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It’s Independence Day—Are You an Independent Woman? – 217

Happy 4th of July! While we're celebrating our nation's independence and the individual freedoms over backyard cookouts and late-night fireworks, we also can't help but wonder: What does it look like to be an independent woman? In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender unpack the characteristics of an independent woman. They also discuss the importance of identifying your value outside of your job title or relationship status and, most importantly, how to channel confidence and find contentment in who you are. The independent woman is one who makes a difference because she knows what she brings to the table. Is that you? Quote of the episode: “We have to find independence in ourselves...it comes with you finding your worth." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentions: —Listen to this podcast episode: "Is Your Man a Keeper? Here's How to Be Sure — 214" —Heed this advice from Billy Sunday: "Take 15 minutes each day to let God talk to you. Take 15 minutes a day to talk to Him. And then spend 15 minutes a day telling others about the Savior." Related Content: —For insight into what a healthy relationship looks like, read: "This Is What a Well-Loved Woman Feels" Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
7/4/202331 minutes, 55 seconds
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It’s Independence Day—Are You an Independent Woman? – 217

Happy 4th of July! While we're celebrating our nation's independence and the individual freedoms over backyard cookouts and late-night fireworks, we also can't help but wonder: What does it look like to be an independent woman? In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender unpack the characteristics of an independent woman. They also discuss the importance of identifying your value outside of your job title or relationship status and, most importantly, how to channel confidence and find contentment in who you are. The independent woman is one who makes a difference because she knows what she brings to the table. Is that you? Quote of the episode: “We have to find independence in ourselves...it comes with you finding your worth." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentions: —Listen to this podcast episode: "Is Your Man a Keeper? Here's How to Be Sure — 214" —Heed this advice from Billy Sunday: "Take 15 minutes each day to let God talk to you. Take 15 minutes a day to talk to Him. And then spend 15 minutes a day telling others about the Savior." Related Content: —For insight into what a healthy relationship looks like, read: "This Is What a Well-Loved Woman Feels" Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
7/4/202331 minutes, 55 seconds
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You Can Get to Where You Want to Be with Mignon Francois – 216

Hardly anything is impossible. Take it from Mignon François—a speaker, entrepreneur and owner of The Cupcake Collection, a specialty cupcake business that ships nationwide—who, only a few years ago, found herself with only $5 in hand to feed her family as a single mom. On this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender chat with Mignon on how to get to where you want to be in life, and the ability to be resourceful even when it seems all the odds are against you. Mignon shares her unexpected journey from living paycheck to paycheck to investing seed money that would eventually turn into a bakery empire. But her story didn't come without its share of challenges: While this was all happening, Mignon went through a divorce, her car was repossessed, and her house was up for foreclosure. She believes the heartache and her hard work ultimately led her to where she currently is, and she hopes other women in a season of doubt and struggle will take her message to heart. Tune in for her advice on striving through hardship, why your past might actually serve you, and why you should write a mission statement for your future self. Mignon François is a speaker, entrepreneur, and community leader who has inspired thousands through her “Follow Your Spirit” approach. After years of drowning in debt and brokenness, Mignon founded The Cupcake Collection in 2008, on the last $5 she had to feed her family and turned it into a legacy with over five million cupcakes sold. Her grassroots story of success has garnered national attention from TODAY with Hoda and Jenna, Southern Living, Entrepreneur and Business Insider, just to name a few. In addition, her business savvy has earned her numerous titles and awards, including Woman of Legend and Merit, Entrepreneur of the Year, Women’s Empowerment Innovator, NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur, and Black Enterprise magazine’s Family Business of the Year. Today Mignon is committed to teaching anyone who will listen about what they can do if only they believe. 2023 forges a new path for Mignon’s career as she adds author to her resume. In her memoir, Made from Scratch: Finding Success Without a Recipe, Mignon shares her story of finding success with no presets in place, mapping a journey that led to the joy that has become synonymous with Mignon François. Quote of the episode: “Every single thing that you've ever had to do is taking you from where you are to where you want to be." —Mignon François Resources Mentions: —Buy Mignon's new book: Made From Scratch: Finding Success Without a Recipe Related Content: —"6 Steps to Be Prepared for a Potential Recession" Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
6/20/202343 minutes, 59 seconds
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You Can Get to Where You Want to Be with Mignon Francois – 216

Hardly anything is impossible. Take it from Mignon François—a speaker, entrepreneur and owner of The Cupcake Collection, a specialty cupcake business that ships nationwide—who, only a few years ago, found herself with only $5 in hand to feed her family as a single mom. On this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender chat with Mignon on how to get to where you want to be in life, and the ability to be resourceful even when it seems all the odds are against you. Mignon shares her unexpected journey from living paycheck to paycheck to investing seed money that would eventually turn into a bakery empire. But her story didn't come without its share of challenges: While this was all happening, Mignon went through a divorce, her car was repossessed, and her house was up for foreclosure. She believes the heartache and her hard work ultimately led her to where she currently is, and she hopes other women in a season of doubt and struggle will take her message to heart. Tune in for her advice on striving through hardship, why your past might actually serve you, and why you should write a mission statement for your future self. Mignon François is a speaker, entrepreneur, and community leader who has inspired thousands through her “Follow Your Spirit” approach. After years of drowning in debt and brokenness, Mignon founded The Cupcake Collection in 2008, on the last $5 she had to feed her family and turned it into a legacy with over five million cupcakes sold. Her grassroots story of success has garnered national attention from TODAY with Hoda and Jenna, Southern Living, Entrepreneur and Business Insider, just to name a few. In addition, her business savvy has earned her numerous titles and awards, including Woman of Legend and Merit, Entrepreneur of the Year, Women’s Empowerment Innovator, NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur, and Black Enterprise magazine’s Family Business of the Year. Today Mignon is committed to teaching anyone who will listen about what they can do if only they believe. 2023 forges a new path for Mignon’s career as she adds author to her resume. In her memoir, Made from Scratch: Finding Success Without a Recipe, Mignon shares her story of finding success with no presets in place, mapping a journey that led to the joy that has become synonymous with Mignon François. Quote of the episode: “Every single thing that you've ever had to do is taking you from where you are to where you want to be." —Mignon François Resources Mentions: —Buy Mignon's new book: Made From Scratch: Finding Success Without a Recipe Related Content: —"6 Steps to Be Prepared for a Potential Recession" Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
6/20/202343 minutes, 59 seconds
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How Do We Embrace Truth in a Radically Shifting Culture? – 215

We're witnessing radical changes in our culture. Topics ranging from gender identity and sexual boundaries to living "your truth" are making both headlines and appearances in our daily life. And many times, these issues run counter to what we believe as women of faith. So how do we adapt to a shifting culture and still pursue what we know to be true? In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss the ways that traditional values and the understanding of what's right or wrong have changed over the years, touching on topics like casual sex and family dynamics. They also share how we as women of faith can embrace truth and navigate these new waters through grace and compassion, rather than judgment through measuring sin. Are you willing to sit and talk with someone whose beliefs or decisions differ greatly from your own? God designed a perfect life for us to live. Our job is to pursue His truth—which includes loving others the way He would. Quote of the episode: “Truth, couched in mercy and grace, is the only thing we can find hope in." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentions: —Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr —"Are Women Being Marginalized—Again?" Related: —How Do I Raise My Kids when the Culture and Bible Collide? with Dr. Jim Denison – 177 —"So, We Disagree—Can We Still Talk?" Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
6/6/202333 minutes, 23 seconds
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How Do We Embrace Truth in a Radically Shifting Culture? – 215

We're witnessing radical changes in our culture. Topics ranging from gender identity and sexual boundaries to living "your truth" are making both headlines and appearances in our daily life. And many times, these issues run counter to what we believe as women of faith. So how do we adapt to a shifting culture and still pursue what we know to be true? In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender discuss the ways that traditional values and the understanding of what's right or wrong have changed over the years, touching on topics like casual sex and family dynamics. They also share how we as women of faith can embrace truth and navigate these new waters through grace and compassion, rather than judgment through measuring sin. Are you willing to sit and talk with someone whose beliefs or decisions differ greatly from your own? God designed a perfect life for us to live. Our job is to pursue His truth—which includes loving others the way He would. Quote of the episode: “Truth, couched in mercy and grace, is the only thing we can find hope in." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentions: —Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr —"Are Women Being Marginalized—Again?" Related: —How Do I Raise My Kids when the Culture and Bible Collide? with Dr. Jim Denison – 177 —"So, We Disagree—Can We Still Talk?" Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
6/6/202333 minutes, 23 seconds
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Is Your Man a Keeper? Here’s How to Be Sure – 214

Are you dating someone or looking to date? Regardless of where you might be in those two categories, it's never too late to evaluate whether your potential life partner is a keeper. In this podcast episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender outline what characteristics you need to look out for—both the red flags and the green flags—so you can quickly identify whether your man is a keeper, or someone who should see the door. Quote of the episode: “If we want to be a keeper, we need to have the same attributes we're looking for in them." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentions: —Why Hasn’t Your Boyfriend Proposed or Set a Date? With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 140 —"Is Your Man a Never-Fiancé, Forever-Fiancé, or The One?" —View Caroline's Instagram reel: "I Have a Broken Picker" Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
5/23/202329 minutes, 9 seconds
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Is Your Man a Keeper? Here’s How to Be Sure – 214

Are you dating someone or looking to date? Regardless of where you might be in those two categories, it's never too late to evaluate whether your potential life partner is a keeper. In this podcast episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender outline what characteristics you need to look out for—both the red flags and the green flags—so you can quickly identify whether your man is a keeper, or someone who should see the door. Quote of the episode: “If we want to be a keeper, we need to have the same attributes we're looking for in them." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentions: —Why Hasn’t Your Boyfriend Proposed or Set a Date? With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 140 —"Is Your Man a Never-Fiancé, Forever-Fiancé, or The One?" —View Caroline's Instagram reel: "I Have a Broken Picker" Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
5/23/202329 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ready to Unpack the Baggage in Your Marriage? with Rachel Hagstrom – 213

We often hear that marriage is work—once the honeymoon phase is over, of course. And it's true; marriage does require some adjustments and compromises. But what about the things that happened before marriage? The situations that may have taken place years ago, but the repercussions of which are still creeping into your union? Co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender are joined by Grit and Grace Life writer Rachel Hagstrom to talk about how to unpack the baggage in your marriage. Both Rachel and her husband experienced separate traumatic events that slowly began chipping away at the foundation of their union. In this episode, she speaks to the importance of marriage counseling, grieving the pain you may have caused one another, and confronting the triggers that threaten your relationship. It was only when Rachel and her husband faced their past head on that they were able to revive the love that brought them together and the stability to keep it that way. Rachel Hagstrom is married to her favorite veteran (Go Army!) of 14 years, and is a mom to two spirited daughters and one kind goldendoodle. After years of struggling with health challenges, she decided to do her own research and make changes to take a more proactive approach toward her well-being. Now as a board-certified health and wellness coach, Rachel is passionate about walking alongside other women who seek opportunities for growth, healing, and transformation in their daily lives. When she’s not coaching, you’ll find her writing, reading, and spending time outdoors (most preferably next to the ocean, which only exists in her mind now that she lives in Dallas!) You can follow Rachel on Instagram @rachelhagstrom and on her website, rachelhagstrom.com   Quote of the episode: “Heartache is not your home." —Rachel Hagstrom Resources Mentions: —Try Softer by Aundi Kolber —"PTSD Threatened Our Love Story—Finding Help Saved It" Related Content: —"Recognize Your Emotional Triggers So They Don’t Interrupt Your Life" —Need a Life Overhaul? Wellness Expert Rachel Hagstrom Tells You How – 189 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
5/9/202336 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ready to Unpack the Baggage in Your Marriage? with Rachel Hagstrom – 213

We often hear that marriage is work—once the honeymoon phase is over, of course. And it's true; marriage does require some adjustments and compromises. But what about the things that happened before marriage? The situations that may have taken place years ago, but the repercussions of which are still creeping into your union? Co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender are joined by Grit and Grace Life writer Rachel Hagstrom to talk about how to unpack the baggage in your marriage. Both Rachel and her husband experienced separate traumatic events that slowly began chipping away at the foundation of their union. In this episode, she speaks to the importance of marriage counseling, grieving the pain you may have caused one another, and confronting the triggers that threaten your relationship. It was only when Rachel and her husband faced their past head on that they were able to revive the love that brought them together and the stability to keep it that way. Rachel Hagstrom is married to her favorite veteran (Go Army!) of 14 years, and is a mom to two spirited daughters and one kind goldendoodle. After years of struggling with health challenges, she decided to do her own research and make changes to take a more proactive approach toward her well-being. Now as a board-certified health and wellness coach, Rachel is passionate about walking alongside other women who seek opportunities for growth, healing, and transformation in their daily lives. When she’s not coaching, you’ll find her writing, reading, and spending time outdoors (most preferably next to the ocean, which only exists in her mind now that she lives in Dallas!) You can follow Rachel on Instagram @rachelhagstrom and on her website, rachelhagstrom.com   Quote of the episode: “Heartache is not your home." —Rachel Hagstrom Resources Mentions: —Try Softer by Aundi Kolber —"PTSD Threatened Our Love Story—Finding Help Saved It" Related Content: —"Recognize Your Emotional Triggers So They Don’t Interrupt Your Life" —Need a Life Overhaul? Wellness Expert Rachel Hagstrom Tells You How – 189 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
5/9/202336 minutes, 34 seconds
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Change Your Life with These Tips for Smart Living – 212

We launched our sister project, Smart Living with Grit and Grace, a few months ago as a dedicated platform for women to exchange all the practical tips, advice and encouragement they've gleaned over the years. They cover everything from both heartwarming and not-so-pretty motherhood moments; how to overcome loneliness and adapt to change; the top things they wish they knew in their twenties; Valentine's Day gifts that women really want; their favorite quotes and one-liners that help them walk their own grit and grace life, and tons more. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender share several of the Smart Living tips submitted by our team of writers. (Reader note: These have been compiled in an ebook, which is available to download for free below!) We hope you'll enjoy these tidbits of wisdom and find them applicable in your own life. Quote of the episode: “Real beauty is found in a woman's strength." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentions: —Click here to download our Smart Living ebook—free! —Visit our sister project, Smart Living with Grit and Grace —Check out our advice column, Ask Dr. Zoe —Listen to our recent podcast episode with Allison McCormick: Racism—How Can We Help Fight It? with Allison McCormick – 206 —Listen to our podcast episode with Rachel Hagstrom: Need a Life Overhaul? Wellness Expert Rachel Hagstrom Tells You How – 189 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
4/25/202324 minutes, 5 seconds
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Change Your Life with These Tips for Smart Living – 212

We launched our sister project, Smart Living with Grit and Grace, a few months ago as a dedicated platform for women to exchange all the practical tips, advice and encouragement they've gleaned over the years. They cover everything from both heartwarming and not-so-pretty motherhood moments; how to overcome loneliness and adapt to change; the top things they wish they knew in their twenties; Valentine's Day gifts that women really want; their favorite quotes and one-liners that help them walk their own grit and grace life, and tons more. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender share several of the Smart Living tips submitted by our team of writers. (Reader note: These have been compiled in an ebook, which is available to download for free below!) We hope you'll enjoy these tidbits of wisdom and find them applicable in your own life. Quote of the episode: “Real beauty is found in a woman's strength." —Darlene Brock Resources Mentions: —Click here to download our Smart Living ebook—free! —Visit our sister project, Smart Living with Grit and Grace —Check out our advice column, Ask Dr. Zoe —Listen to our recent podcast episode with Allison McCormick: Racism—How Can We Help Fight It? with Allison McCormick – 206 —Listen to our podcast episode with Rachel Hagstrom: Need a Life Overhaul? Wellness Expert Rachel Hagstrom Tells You How – 189 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
4/25/202324 minutes, 5 seconds
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Afraid Your Relationship with Your Daughter Can’t Thrive? with Marlys Johnson Lawry – 211

When you think of mother-daughter relationships, the many film renditions of "Freaky Friday" might come to mind. That relationship dynamic is not at all uncommon, but maybe it's one you're looking to pivot from, or avoid entirely as you raise your daughter. On this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender welcome back Marlys Johnson Lawry, a writer for Grit and Grace Life and mom of an adult daughter. Marlys recalls the relationship she had with her mom, which was strong and dependable, but lacked some of the tender moments that Marlys desired while growing up. To change the narrative with her own daughter, Marlys took a different approach. She shares how she fostered a strong relationship and kept a line of communication open with her daughter despite their busy schedules, as well as how she navigated painful situations and seasons of resentment while still reinforcing her love. Whether you're a mom to a toddler, school-aged child or a teenager, this conversation will give you the tips needed to build a strong foundation for a lifelong mother-daughter friendship. Marlys Johnson Lawry is a speaker, award-winning writer (Cascade Awards 2019 and 2022), and Chai latte enthusiast. She loves getting outdoors—would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping—and has a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy seasons of life, having embraced her share of sorrows and losses.   Quote of the episode: “We have the power to speak hopelessness into our children's lives, but we also have the power to speak life and hope and courage." —Marlys Johnson Lawry Resources Mentions: —Listen to Dr. Zoe Shaw's podcast episode of Stronger in the Difficult Places, where she interviews Darlene about her  upbringing with a difficult mother: When Mother’s Day Isn’t So Happy—Navigating a Difficult Relationship With Your Mother —Listen to Marlys' previous episode on This Grit and Grace Life: Your World Just Turned Upside Down—What Now? with Marlys Johnson Lawry – 197 Related episodes and articles: —How to Be the Mother Yours Wasn't - 196 —Read Marlys' article on how and her daughter developed a rock-solid relationship: How to Make Your Daughter a Lifelong Friend Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
4/11/202333 minutes, 7 seconds
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Afraid Your Relationship with Your Daughter Can’t Thrive? with Marlys Johnson Lawry – 211

When you think of mother-daughter relationships, the many film renditions of "Freaky Friday" might come to mind. That relationship dynamic is not at all uncommon, but maybe it's one you're looking to pivot from, or avoid entirely as you raise your daughter. On this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender welcome back Marlys Johnson Lawry, a writer for Grit and Grace Life and mom of an adult daughter. Marlys recalls the relationship she had with her mom, which was strong and dependable, but lacked some of the tender moments that Marlys desired while growing up. To change the narrative with her own daughter, Marlys took a different approach. She shares how she fostered a strong relationship and kept a line of communication open with her daughter despite their busy schedules, as well as how she navigated painful situations and seasons of resentment while still reinforcing her love. Whether you're a mom to a toddler, school-aged child or a teenager, this conversation will give you the tips needed to build a strong foundation for a lifelong mother-daughter friendship. Marlys Johnson Lawry is a speaker, award-winning writer (Cascade Awards 2019 and 2022), and Chai latte enthusiast. She loves getting outdoors—would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping—and has a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy seasons of life, having embraced her share of sorrows and losses.   Quote of the episode: “We have the power to speak hopelessness into our children's lives, but we also have the power to speak life and hope and courage." —Marlys Johnson Lawry Resources Mentions: —Listen to Dr. Zoe Shaw's podcast episode of Stronger in the Difficult Places, where she interviews Darlene about her  upbringing with a difficult mother: When Mother’s Day Isn’t So Happy—Navigating a Difficult Relationship With Your Mother —Listen to Marlys' previous episode on This Grit and Grace Life: Your World Just Turned Upside Down—What Now? with Marlys Johnson Lawry – 197 Related episodes and articles: —How to Be the Mother Yours Wasn't - 196 —Read Marlys' article on how and her daughter developed a rock-solid relationship: How to Make Your Daughter a Lifelong Friend Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram   Twitter Pinterest
4/11/202333 minutes, 7 seconds
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Finding Happiness In an Unhappy World – 210

Happiness in America is dwindling, according to a 2022 Gallup survey. There are several factors that play into this trend, but perhaps the most important question is whether we're stuck being unhappy. Do we have to just endure? In this podcast episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender address the state of unhappiness that's rippling through the world right now and answer the age-old question of whether or not it's appropriate to pursue happiness as a Christian. Together, they lay out practical steps for finding happiness and boosting your overall mood, which covers everything from being aware of the content you consume and where you're spending your time (quite literally!), to your perspective on gratitude and whether you're actually harboring resentment toward someone or something from your past. Minor spoiler alert: You don't have to stay unhappy. But where you land on the matter is largely impacted by your choices. Tune in to this episode to see what small change(s) might make a world of difference. Quote of the episode: “Some people feel like faith and happiness are at odds, but true happiness comes through pursuing our faith." —Julie Bender Resources Mentions: —My Parents’ Murder-Suicide And The Road To Forgiveness With Tracy Brandt – 208 Related episodes: —How To Find Peace And Purpose In An Out Of Control World With Dr Zoe – 164 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest
3/28/202323 minutes, 51 seconds
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Finding Happiness In an Unhappy World – 210

Happiness in America is dwindling, according to a 2022 Gallup survey. There are several factors that play into this trend, but perhaps the most important question is whether we're stuck being unhappy. Do we have to just endure? In this podcast episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender address the state of unhappiness that's rippling through the world right now and answer the age-old question of whether or not it's appropriate to pursue happiness as a Christian. Together, they lay out practical steps for finding happiness and boosting your overall mood, which covers everything from being aware of the content you consume and where you're spending your time (quite literally!), to your perspective on gratitude and whether you're actually harboring resentment toward someone or something from your past. Minor spoiler alert: You don't have to stay unhappy. But where you land on the matter is largely impacted by your choices. Tune in to this episode to see what small change(s) might make a world of difference. Quote of the episode: “Some people feel like faith and happiness are at odds, but true happiness comes through pursuing our faith." —Julie Bender Resources Mentions: —My Parents’ Murder-Suicide And The Road To Forgiveness With Tracy Brandt – 208 Related episodes: —How To Find Peace And Purpose In An Out Of Control World With Dr Zoe – 164 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest
3/28/202323 minutes, 51 seconds
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The Beauty of Our Imperfect Lives with Jesus – 209

What does it mean to follow Jesus or to say, "I am a Christian?" With the recent Asbury Revival igniting new conversations around faith, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender decided to share the highs and lows of their individual faith journeys and getting to know Jesus. Darlene grew up in a strict church environment with a lot of rules, while Julie's Methodist church emphasized the importance of relationships and feeling connected with others in the house of God. Both took paths that brought them closer to Jesus but encountered moments of pride and self-righteousness in their faith that they later learned couldn't prevent real-life heartache. They chat about the beauty and difficulty of having a relationship with Jesus, the beauty in our imperfect lives with Him, the hope and comfort He offers us, and why we need to learn to trust Him when He says He loves us unconditionally. Quote of the episode: “This is why we need Jesus: because we cannot be perfect.” —Julie Bender Resources Related articles: —Battered Faith: Holding On To Hope Even When You Struggle —Building Faith: Growing In Your Relationship With God Related episodes: —Does The Bible Need To Be Part Of Our Lives? with Steve Wiggins – 173 —If You Want To Grow In Faith, Try These Simple Things – 144 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest
3/14/202335 minutes, 39 seconds
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The Beauty of Our Imperfect Lives with Jesus – 209

What does it mean to follow Jesus or to say, "I am a Christian?" With the recent Asbury Revival igniting new conversations around faith, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender decided to share the highs and lows of their individual faith journeys and getting to know Jesus. Darlene grew up in a strict church environment with a lot of rules, while Julie's Methodist church emphasized the importance of relationships and feeling connected with others in the house of God. Both took paths that brought them closer to Jesus but encountered moments of pride and self-righteousness in their faith that they later learned couldn't prevent real-life heartache. They chat about the beauty and difficulty of having a relationship with Jesus, the beauty in our imperfect lives with Him, the hope and comfort He offers us, and why we need to learn to trust Him when He says He loves us unconditionally. Quote of the episode: “This is why we need Jesus: because we cannot be perfect.” —Julie Bender Resources Related articles: —Battered Faith: Holding On To Hope Even When You Struggle —Building Faith: Growing In Your Relationship With God Related episodes: —Does The Bible Need To Be Part Of Our Lives? with Steve Wiggins – 173 —If You Want To Grow In Faith, Try These Simple Things – 144 Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest
3/14/202335 minutes, 39 seconds
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My Parents’ Murder-Suicide and the Road to Forgiveness with Tracy Brandt – 208

How do you forgive the unforgiveable? This week's guest, Tracy Brandt, did just that after losing her parents to murder-suicide: Her father took her mother's life, just before taking his own. Tracy joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share details of the dysfunctional and tumultuous upbringing that preceded the loss of her parents. They fought often, held bitterness toward each other and seemed incapable of communicating in a healthy way. After learning the news, Tracy had no intention of forgiving her father. About a year later, however, she felt God place it on her heart. In this episode, she recalls the emotional back and forth she had with the Creator of the universe, how He changed her understanding of why she should forgive, and what the healing process looked like on the road to forgiveness. Tracy Brandt and her husband, Rod, are the collegiate directors of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Western Carolina University in North Carolina. They have a son named Boaz. Learn more about Tracy and the work she does here. Quote of the episode: “Forgiveness is a choice. It's a decision. It's not a feeling.” —Tracy Brandt Resources Read the book Tracy recommended: —Forgiveness: The Freedom to Let Go by June Hunt Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest
2/28/202344 minutes, 28 seconds
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My Parents’ Murder-Suicide and the Road to Forgiveness with Tracy Brandt – 208

How do you forgive the unforgiveable? This week's guest, Tracy Brandt, did just that after losing her parents to murder-suicide: Her father took her mother's life, just before taking his own. Tracy joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share details of the dysfunctional and tumultuous upbringing that preceded the loss of her parents. They fought often, held bitterness toward each other and seemed incapable of communicating in a healthy way. After learning the news, Tracy had no intention of forgiving her father. About a year later, however, she felt God place it on her heart. In this episode, she recalls the emotional back and forth she had with the Creator of the universe, how He changed her understanding of why she should forgive, and what the healing process looked like on the road to forgiveness. Tracy Brandt and her husband, Rod, are the collegiate directors of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Western Carolina University in North Carolina. They have a son named Boaz. Learn more about Tracy and the work she does here. Quote of the episode: “Forgiveness is a choice. It's a decision. It's not a feeling.” —Tracy Brandt Resources Read the book Tracy recommended: —Forgiveness: The Freedom to Let Go by June Hunt Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest
2/28/202344 minutes, 28 seconds
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Our Duty to Celebrate Racial Diversity as Women of Faith – 207

"Are you approaching people the way God would want you to?" It's an important question posed by Darlene Brock and Julie Bender in this podcast episode. This week, they continue the conversation from the previous episode, where Grit and Grace Life writer Allison McCormick, a biracial woman married to a Black man, shared her perspective on race relations in the world today. In an honest conversation from women of faith, Darlene and Julie discuss what we can do to fight racism, including taking on some tougher assignments: setting aside your defenses and learning to listen to others. They also share our biblical responsibility to address bias, what God says about race and humanity, and how we can celebrate racial diversity each day.   Listen to the last episode here: Racism—How Can We Help Fight It? With Allison McCormick – 206 Quote of the episode: “Unity has never meant uniformity.” —Martin Luther King, Jr Resources Read: —3 Ways to Correctly Ask Someone About Their Ethnicity Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest
2/14/202323 minutes, 34 seconds
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Our Duty to Celebrate Racial Diversity as Women of Faith – 207

"Are you approaching people the way God would want you to?" It's an important question posed by Darlene Brock and Julie Bender in this podcast episode. This week, they continue the conversation from the previous episode, where Grit and Grace Life writer Allison McCormick, a biracial woman married to a Black man, shared her perspective on race relations in the world today. In an honest conversation from women of faith, Darlene and Julie discuss what we can do to fight racism, including taking on some tougher assignments: setting aside your defenses and learning to listen to others. They also share our biblical responsibility to address bias, what God says about race and humanity, and how we can celebrate racial diversity each day.   Listen to the last episode here: Racism—How Can We Help Fight It? With Allison McCormick – 206 Quote of the episode: “Unity has never meant uniformity.” —Martin Luther King, Jr Resources Read: —3 Ways to Correctly Ask Someone About Their Ethnicity Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest
2/14/202323 minutes, 34 seconds
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Racism—How Can We Help Fight It? with Allison McCormick – 206

There is an undeniable tension that exists when dealing with race in our world today. So when it comes to having those hard conversations and arriving at a place of better understanding each other, many people don't know where—or how—to start. Longtime Grit and Grace Life team writer Allison McCormick joins Darlene and Julie this week to share her advice. As a biracial woman married to a Black man, Allison details the confusion and complexity of discovering her true biracial identity and the situations her husband has had to endure. She shares what we and other Christian women can do to fight hate and discrimination, and what actionable steps we can take to see real, impactful change when it comes to racial harmony. Note to listeners: There are some audio issues in this episode that we did our best to fix. But we hope you listen through because the content and information shared in this episode is of utmost valuable and not to be missed.  Allison McCormick alleges to be a "self-proclaimed" introvert but give her a cup of Chai tea and surround her with friends and she shares the gift of gab. A lover of Jesus, wife, and mentor, she shares her passion for encouraging women with all those who cross her path. Quote of the episode: “We have a historical past of injustice, of slavery, of racism...and when we see injustice, we have to actually be willing to do something. Not just see it, but take the next step of really being willing to confront it.” —Allison McCormick Resources Read Allison's articles on race: —Why My Mother Hid Her Race for Love —Can Redemptive Love Overcome Racial Division? Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest
1/31/202332 minutes, 15 seconds
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Racism—How Can We Help Fight It? with Allison McCormick – 206

There is an undeniable tension that exists when dealing with race in our world today. So when it comes to having those hard conversations and arriving at a place of better understanding each other, many people don't know where—or how—to start. Longtime Grit and Grace Life team writer Allison McCormick joins Darlene and Julie this week to share her advice. As a biracial woman married to a Black man, Allison details the confusion and complexity of discovering her true biracial identity and the situations her husband has had to endure. She shares what we and other Christian women can do to fight hate and discrimination, and what actionable steps we can take to see real, impactful change when it comes to racial harmony. Note to listeners: There are some audio issues in this episode that we did our best to fix. But we hope you listen through because the content and information shared in this episode is of utmost valuable and not to be missed.  Allison McCormick alleges to be a "self-proclaimed" introvert but give her a cup of Chai tea and surround her with friends and she shares the gift of gab. A lover of Jesus, wife, and mentor, she shares her passion for encouraging women with all those who cross her path. Quote of the episode: “We have a historical past of injustice, of slavery, of racism...and when we see injustice, we have to actually be willing to do something. Not just see it, but take the next step of really being willing to confront it.” —Allison McCormick Resources Read Allison's articles on race: —Why My Mother Hid Her Race for Love —Can Redemptive Love Overcome Racial Division? Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest
1/31/202332 minutes, 15 seconds
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Cohost Julie Bender: Life Lessons Learned in her Newest Chapter – 205

In our nearly six month hiatus, a lot has happened in the lives of This Grit and Grace Life's hosts. Darlene developed and  launched Grit and Grace Life's sister project, Smart Living with Grit and Grace, while Julie welcomed a brand new baby girl named Reverie Bender. Like any good friends would do after being apart, Darlene and Julie spend some time catching up and discussing what else is new in Julie's life (hint: a lot!). For our newer listeners, Julie recaps her first marriage, her sudden widowhood, getting back into the dating scene and how she met her now-husband, Donny. She also speaks to what trust looks like in a marriage, parenting roles in a blended family, and how she decided she was ready to have another baby. Quote of the episode: “There are times when I  have just messed it up royally and I have to just stop and say, 'Can we pray? Because I need to turn this around.' And that's how we do it in the Bender house: just keeping it real, honest and going to God constantly.” —Julie Bender Resources —Revisit the first part of Julie's story: Julie Graham’s Untold Story Of Heartbreak, Healing And Hope – 101 —Revisit the second part of Julie's story: From Widow To Wife, Julie’s Getting Married – 145 —Get the inside scoop on the dating scene Julie experienced: What Today’s Dating Scene Is Really Like – 094   Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/17/202343 minutes, 52 seconds
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Cohost Julie Bender: Life Lessons Learned in her Newest Chapter – 205

In our nearly six month hiatus, a lot has happened in the lives of This Grit and Grace Life's hosts. Darlene developed and  launched Grit and Grace Life's sister project, Smart Living with Grit and Grace, while Julie welcomed a brand new baby girl named Reverie Bender. Like any good friends would do after being apart, Darlene and Julie spend some time catching up and discussing what else is new in Julie's life (hint: a lot!). For our newer listeners, Julie recaps her first marriage, her sudden widowhood, getting back into the dating scene and how she met her now-husband, Donny. She also speaks to what trust looks like in a marriage, parenting roles in a blended family, and how she decided she was ready to have another baby. Quote of the episode: “There are times when I  have just messed it up royally and I have to just stop and say, 'Can we pray? Because I need to turn this around.' And that's how we do it in the Bender house: just keeping it real, honest and going to God constantly.” —Julie Bender Resources —Revisit the first part of Julie's story: Julie Graham’s Untold Story Of Heartbreak, Healing And Hope – 101 —Revisit the second part of Julie's story: From Widow To Wife, Julie’s Getting Married – 145 —Get the inside scoop on the dating scene Julie experienced: What Today’s Dating Scene Is Really Like – 094   Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/17/202343 minutes, 52 seconds
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We Lied 🤦‍♀️But We’re Back! 💁‍♀️ – 204

We lied! In our last episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender signed off with a promise to return in September 2022 after Julie had her baby. Well, life happened, and This Grit and Grace Life's return got pushed back to January. Better late than never, right? At least we're starting off the new year with a bang! In this episode, Darlene and Julie share some of the new changes happening behind the scenes at Grit and Grace Life and give a preview of this season's upcoming podcast guests. We have a lot in store—you don't want to miss it! Quote of the episode: “There's nothing we can do to control the circumstances around us, so we kind of decided to control what we could.” —Darlene Brock Resources Revisit our previous New Year's episodes: —This Is How Carpe Diem Can Change Your 2021 – 154 —New Year, Strong You! How to Reflect on Your Year in a Helpful Way – 114 —Finish the Year Strong, and Be Ready for the Next – 071 Check out some of our popular audio articles: —Just Because She’s Pretty, Doesn’t Mean You’re Not —How to Find Your Worth In a Counterfeit World —Ask Dr. Zoe — Why Does God Refuse to Heal My Alcoholic Son? Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/10/202314 minutes, 22 seconds
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We Lied 🤦‍♀️But We’re Back! 💁‍♀️ – 204

We lied! In our last episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender signed off with a promise to return in September 2022 after Julie had her baby. Well, life happened, and This Grit and Grace Life's return got pushed back to January. Better late than never, right? At least we're starting off the new year with a bang! In this episode, Darlene and Julie share some of the new changes happening behind the scenes at Grit and Grace Life and give a preview of this season's upcoming podcast guests. We have a lot in store—you don't want to miss it! Quote of the episode: “There's nothing we can do to control the circumstances around us, so we kind of decided to control what we could.” —Darlene Brock Resources Revisit our previous New Year's episodes: —This Is How Carpe Diem Can Change Your 2021 – 154 —New Year, Strong You! How to Reflect on Your Year in a Helpful Way – 114 —Finish the Year Strong, and Be Ready for the Next – 071 Check out some of our popular audio articles: —Just Because She’s Pretty, Doesn’t Mean You’re Not —How to Find Your Worth In a Counterfeit World —Ask Dr. Zoe — Why Does God Refuse to Heal My Alcoholic Son? Follow Us on Social Media! Facebook Instagram: @SmartLivingwithGritandGrace @ThisGritandGraceLife Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/10/202314 minutes, 22 seconds
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Can We Just Admit We Judge Other Women? – 203

Humanity has a natural tendency to judge others—and often, it seems, women are the worst offenders. Why do we do it? How do we stop? These are the questions that Darlene and Julie unpack in this week’s podcast episode on judgment. They discuss the different areas of life in which women are prone to judge others, the reasons we do it, and why we should think twice before casting off any opinions or unwarranted labels. It’s easy to fall into the trap of pointing fingers at the way others fall short, but it ends up revealing a battle with our pride and insecurities. We hope this episode encourages you to extend grace before judgment. Remember, someone could do the same to you! Quote of the episode: “At the end of the day, judging someone else does not define them—it defines you.” —Darlene Brock Resources —Matthew 7:1 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/26/202228 minutes, 22 seconds
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Can We Just Admit We Judge Other Women? – 203

Humanity has a natural tendency to judge others—and often, it seems, women are the worst offenders. Why do we do it? How do we stop? These are the questions that Darlene and Julie unpack in this week’s podcast episode on judgment. They discuss the different areas of life in which women are prone to judge others, the reasons we do it, and why we should think twice before casting off any opinions or unwarranted labels. It’s easy to fall into the trap of pointing fingers at the way others fall short, but it ends up revealing a battle with our pride and insecurities. We hope this episode encourages you to extend grace before judgment. Remember, someone could do the same to you! Quote of the episode: “At the end of the day, judging someone else does not define them—it defines you.” —Darlene Brock Resources —Matthew 7:1 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/26/202228 minutes, 22 seconds
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Are There Biblical Guidelines for Sex and Dating? with Kat Harris – 202

In this episode, we're talking about sex! There's a lot of talk about sex in our culture today—in fact, nearly every part of our day-to-day experience is saturated with it. But are there biblical guidelines for sex? How can Christians, or women of faith, view or take part in sex, especially as it pertains to our relationships and dating? Author and blogger Kat Harris specializes in this conversation. She joins Darlene and Julie this week to address the long-held notion that sexuality is sinful. She shares what the Bible has to say about sex, intimacy, love and pleasure outside of just procreation. Kat will tell you that sex isn't bad; it's actually part of God's careful attention to detail and His desire for us to live abundantly. If your understanding of sex includes purity culture and the idea that our bodies are inherently bad for craving physical connection, we encourage you to take a listen to this different, insightful perspective. Kat Harris is the host of The Refined Collective Podcast, and co-founder of the online publication The Refined Woman. Her first book, Sexless in the City, came out last year. In addition to being a full-time photographer, she coaches and equips women all over the world in dating, relationships, singleness, sexuality, faith and how to build a renewed and healthy biblical sexual ethic rooted in freedom, truth and grace. Kat loves God, personal development, a good Beyoncé dance party, and is a ranch dressing connoisseur. You can find Kat on Instagram @therefinedwoman and on her website therefinedwoman.com. Quote of the episode: “What I think is so beautiful about sex is it has the capacity to be this physical manifestation of this mind-body-soul-spirit commitment, connection, and relationship." —Kat Harris Resources —Grab a copy of Kat's book, Sexless in the City Kat's recommended reads: —The Great Sex Rescue by Sheila Wray Gregoire —Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein —Boys & Sex by Peggy Orenstein —Redeeming Sex by Debra Hirsch Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/19/202250 minutes, 53 seconds
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Are There Biblical Guidelines for Sex and Dating? with Kat Harris – 202

In this episode, we're talking about sex! There's a lot of talk about sex in our culture today—in fact, nearly every part of our day-to-day experience is saturated with it. But are there biblical guidelines for sex? How can Christians, or women of faith, view or take part in sex, especially as it pertains to our relationships and dating? Author and blogger Kat Harris specializes in this conversation. She joins Darlene and Julie this week to address the long-held notion that sexuality is sinful. She shares what the Bible has to say about sex, intimacy, love and pleasure outside of just procreation. Kat will tell you that sex isn't bad; it's actually part of God's careful attention to detail and His desire for us to live abundantly. If your understanding of sex includes purity culture and the idea that our bodies are inherently bad for craving physical connection, we encourage you to take a listen to this different, insightful perspective. Kat Harris is the host of The Refined Collective Podcast, and co-founder of the online publication The Refined Woman. Her first book, Sexless in the City, came out last year. In addition to being a full-time photographer, she coaches and equips women all over the world in dating, relationships, singleness, sexuality, faith and how to build a renewed and healthy biblical sexual ethic rooted in freedom, truth and grace. Kat loves God, personal development, a good Beyoncé dance party, and is a ranch dressing connoisseur. You can find Kat on Instagram @therefinedwoman and on her website therefinedwoman.com. Quote of the episode: “What I think is so beautiful about sex is it has the capacity to be this physical manifestation of this mind-body-soul-spirit commitment, connection, and relationship." —Kat Harris Resources —Grab a copy of Kat's book, Sexless in the City Kat's recommended reads: —The Great Sex Rescue by Sheila Wray Gregoire —Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein —Boys & Sex by Peggy Orenstein —Redeeming Sex by Debra Hirsch Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/19/202250 minutes, 53 seconds
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How Do I Overcome Destructive Anger and Burnout in Motherhood? with Natalie Hixson – 201

Nobody says motherhood is easy—sometimes it can be downright challenging. And when those moments pop-up, your first reaction may be anger, which is normal. But destructive anger and burnout in motherhood? Not normal, and not healthy. Certified professional life coach Natalie Hixson joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender this week to discuss how moms who are dealing with chronic anger and burnout can seek healthier means of expression and actually enjoy their motherhood journeys. Several years ago, when screaming and slamming doors didn’t stop her toddler's tantrums, Natalie brought her daughter to a therapist. It was there she realized that the problem was with her, not her child. In this episode, Natalie identifies common triggers for moms; healthy emotions and how to process them; and practical steps to prevent an angry reaction, or reset if it happens. If you resort to patterns of destructive anger often while raising your kids, this episode will help you get back on track! Natalie Hixson is a wife, mother, auntie, and certified professional life coach who helps discouraged Christian moms overcome destructive anger and burnout. After learning to thrive in motherhood and process anger in a healthy way, Natalie became convicted to help other moms avoid those dark years by helping them to process their anger, identify their triggers, and ultimately control their reaction to triggering situations.  She enjoys her own motherhood journey by hanging with her husband Mike and their three daughters in Bozeman, Montana. She recharges with Jesus, coffee, and adventures with her family like skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer! You can find Natalie at her website, nataliehixson.com. Quote of the episode: “You're not a bad person for being angry." Natalie Hixson Resources —Find Natalie's Trigger Tracker here Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/12/202231 minutes, 48 seconds
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How Do I Overcome Destructive Anger and Burnout in Motherhood? with Natalie Hixson – 201

Nobody says motherhood is easy—sometimes it can be downright challenging. And when those moments pop-up, your first reaction may be anger, which is normal. But destructive anger and burnout in motherhood? Not normal, and not healthy. Certified professional life coach Natalie Hixson joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender this week to discuss how moms who are dealing with chronic anger and burnout can seek healthier means of expression and actually enjoy their motherhood journeys. Several years ago, when screaming and slamming doors didn’t stop her toddler's tantrums, Natalie brought her daughter to a therapist. It was there she realized that the problem was with her, not her child. In this episode, Natalie identifies common triggers for moms; healthy emotions and how to process them; and practical steps to prevent an angry reaction, or reset if it happens. If you resort to patterns of destructive anger often while raising your kids, this episode will help you get back on track! Natalie Hixson is a wife, mother, auntie, and certified professional life coach who helps discouraged Christian moms overcome destructive anger and burnout. After learning to thrive in motherhood and process anger in a healthy way, Natalie became convicted to help other moms avoid those dark years by helping them to process their anger, identify their triggers, and ultimately control their reaction to triggering situations.  She enjoys her own motherhood journey by hanging with her husband Mike and their three daughters in Bozeman, Montana. She recharges with Jesus, coffee, and adventures with her family like skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer! You can find Natalie at her website, nataliehixson.com. Quote of the episode: “You're not a bad person for being angry." Natalie Hixson Resources —Find Natalie's Trigger Tracker here Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/12/202231 minutes, 48 seconds
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How to Make Decisions You Won’t Regret – 200

Psychology Today estimates that we make 35,000 decisions per day. That means from the moment we wake up to the moment we crawl back into bed, we're constantly assessing and weighing out thousand of choices to see which ones are most beneficial. This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender review the steps you need to make decisions you won't regret, and how to abstain from judging others for the decisions they make in their own lives. Whether you're debating your options in a relationship, in appearances, in your career, or any other area of life, the decisions you make—big or small—hold weight. If you need a little push to get out of limbo and finally make that call, you'll want to tune into this episode. Quote of the episode: “At the end of the day, you do have to trust your gut over the opinion of somebody else.” —Julie Bender Resources —Revisit our podcast episode on judgment: Women and Judgment: Why We Do It and How to Stop – 057 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/5/202228 minutes, 12 seconds
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How to Make Decisions You Won’t Regret – 200

Psychology Today estimates that we make 35,000 decisions per day. That means from the moment we wake up to the moment we crawl back into bed, we're constantly assessing and weighing out thousand of choices to see which ones are most beneficial. This week, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender review the steps you need to make decisions you won't regret, and how to abstain from judging others for the decisions they make in their own lives. Whether you're debating your options in a relationship, in appearances, in your career, or any other area of life, the decisions you make—big or small—hold weight. If you need a little push to get out of limbo and finally make that call, you'll want to tune into this episode. Quote of the episode: “At the end of the day, you do have to trust your gut over the opinion of somebody else.” —Julie Bender Resources —Revisit our podcast episode on judgment: Women and Judgment: Why We Do It and How to Stop – 057 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/5/202228 minutes, 12 seconds
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How Can We Teach our Kids the True Meaning of Freedom? with Brooke Raybould – 199

As this week's podcast guest, Brooke Raybould, says, freedom is "a loaded word." Especially with the recent rise in debate over constitutional rights in the U.S., the meaning of freedom can get muddy. So what exactly does it mean for us, and furthermore, how can we correctly relay what it means to our kids? Brooke, who is also the face behind the beloved The Southernish Mama blog, is surrounded by the hustle and bustle of government more than many of us: Her and her family live in D.C. and her husband worked in the U.S. Congress. She joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to talk about her new children's book, The American Dream of Braven Young, and what responsibilities we have where freedom is involved. Hint: It’s bigger than you may think! Brooke Raybould is a social media influencer, entrepreneur, and leading voice amongst mothers. She is best known for her Instagram platform, “The Southernish Mama,” where she shares relatable, inspiring content that empowers millions of women to achieve their best self. She holds a degree in business from the University of Southern California and her master's in business from Georgetown University. Brooke currently resides outside of Washington, D.C. with her four boys and husband, Ryan, who has worked as a federal prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney and in the United States Congress. His involvement has inspired their family in many ways, including the pages of The American Dream of Braven Young. You can follow Brooke on Instagram @brookeraybould, and on her blog, The Southernish Mama. Quote of the episode: “Freedom is a responsibility to do what is right." —Brooke Raybould Resources —Grab your copy of Brooke's book here: The American Dream of Braven Young Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/28/202230 minutes, 22 seconds
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How Can We Teach our Kids the True Meaning of Freedom? with Brooke Raybould – 199

As this week's podcast guest, Brooke Raybould, says, freedom is "a loaded word." Especially with the recent rise in debate over constitutional rights in the U.S., the meaning of freedom can get muddy. So what exactly does it mean for us, and furthermore, how can we correctly relay what it means to our kids? Brooke, who is also the face behind the beloved The Southernish Mama blog, is surrounded by the hustle and bustle of government more than many of us: Her and her family live in D.C. and her husband worked in the U.S. Congress. She joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to talk about her new children's book, The American Dream of Braven Young, and what responsibilities we have where freedom is involved. Hint: It’s bigger than you may think! Brooke Raybould is a social media influencer, entrepreneur, and leading voice amongst mothers. She is best known for her Instagram platform, “The Southernish Mama,” where she shares relatable, inspiring content that empowers millions of women to achieve their best self. She holds a degree in business from the University of Southern California and her master's in business from Georgetown University. Brooke currently resides outside of Washington, D.C. with her four boys and husband, Ryan, who has worked as a federal prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney and in the United States Congress. His involvement has inspired their family in many ways, including the pages of The American Dream of Braven Young. You can follow Brooke on Instagram @brookeraybould, and on her blog, The Southernish Mama. Quote of the episode: “Freedom is a responsibility to do what is right." —Brooke Raybould Resources —Grab your copy of Brooke's book here: The American Dream of Braven Young Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/28/202230 minutes, 22 seconds
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Infidelity Isn’t the End—You Can Save Your Marriage with Cindy Beall – 198

Marriages aren’t immune from hardships and tribulations. What makes them hard to work through is that these hurdles are usually unexpected. The news that her husband had been unfaithful to her for more than two years due to an inner battle with pornography addiction was enough to make author and speaker Cindy Beall want to walk away. What stopped her? Her husband’s genuine regret, humility, and desire to make things right. On this week’s podcast, Cindy sits down with Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share  the steps she took to rebuild trust with her husband. For women in similar situations, Cindy also offers insight on where to find support and how to discern what questions will help or hinder your healing. Cindy Beall is a speaker, mentor, and the author of Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken. Cindy and her husband, Chris, walked through infidelity and found healing through Christ. Today they minister at Life.Church in Oklahoma. Cindy also serves on the Leading and Loving It team that ministers to pastors’ wives and women in ministry. You can follow Cindy on Facebook @cindybeall, on Instagram @cindybeall and on her website, cindybeall.com. Quote of the episode: “Where do you sense God’s peace the most? Sometimes it’s in walking away, whether forever or for a season.” —Cindy Beall Resources —Grab a copy of Cindy's book, Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration Related articles —Finding Grit and Grace Through My Husband’s Infidelity —How My Husband and I Survived My Affair Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/21/202227 minutes, 57 seconds
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Infidelity Isn’t the End—You Can Save Your Marriage with Cindy Beall – 198

Marriages aren’t immune from hardships and tribulations. What makes them hard to work through is that these hurdles are usually unexpected. The news that her husband had been unfaithful to her for more than two years due to an inner battle with pornography addiction was enough to make author and speaker Cindy Beall want to walk away. What stopped her? Her husband’s genuine regret, humility, and desire to make things right. On this week’s podcast, Cindy sits down with Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share  the steps she took to rebuild trust with her husband. For women in similar situations, Cindy also offers insight on where to find support and how to discern what questions will help or hinder your healing. Cindy Beall is a speaker, mentor, and the author of Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken. Cindy and her husband, Chris, walked through infidelity and found healing through Christ. Today they minister at Life.Church in Oklahoma. Cindy also serves on the Leading and Loving It team that ministers to pastors’ wives and women in ministry. You can follow Cindy on Facebook @cindybeall, on Instagram @cindybeall and on her website, cindybeall.com. Quote of the episode: “Where do you sense God’s peace the most? Sometimes it’s in walking away, whether forever or for a season.” —Cindy Beall Resources —Grab a copy of Cindy's book, Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration Related articles —Finding Grit and Grace Through My Husband’s Infidelity —How My Husband and I Survived My Affair Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/21/202227 minutes, 57 seconds
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Your World Just Turned Upside Down—What Now? with Marlys Johnson Lawry – 197

Your world just turned upside down. What do you do? Marlys Johnson Lawry has been there. Her and her first husband, Gary, were not only partners in life but in servitude to their community. Gary’s cancer diagnosis came on the heels of unemployment and financial strain—and for Marlys, an overwhelming sense of stress and uncertainty.  She joins Darlene and Julie on this week’s podcast episode to share details of her rollercoaster ride through dating as a widow, and more importantly, the coping skills that helped her press on through the unexpected life changes and find hope and happiness again.  Marlys Johnson Lawry is a speaker, award-winning writer, and a big fan of Chai lattes. She loves getting outdoors, and would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. Marlys has a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy moments of life, with hearts wide open. You can follow Marlys on Facebook @marlys.johnson.10 and on her website, renewrepurpose.com. Quote of the episode: “How do you want your remaining days to unfold and make a difference?” —Marlys Johnson Resources —Read Marlys' article on dating red flags: Are You Settling for a Red Flag Guy? —Read Marlys' article on how she met her husband: This Is Why You Can’t Rely on Looks in a Relationship Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/14/202228 minutes, 19 seconds
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Your World Just Turned Upside Down—What Now? with Marlys Johnson Lawry – 197

Your world just turned upside down. What do you do? Marlys Johnson Lawry has been there. Her and her first husband, Gary, were not only partners in life but in servitude to their community. Gary’s cancer diagnosis came on the heels of unemployment and financial strain—and for Marlys, an overwhelming sense of stress and uncertainty.  She joins Darlene and Julie on this week’s podcast episode to share details of her rollercoaster ride through dating as a widow, and more importantly, the coping skills that helped her press on through the unexpected life changes and find hope and happiness again.  Marlys Johnson Lawry is a speaker, award-winning writer, and a big fan of Chai lattes. She loves getting outdoors, and would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. Marlys has a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy moments of life, with hearts wide open. You can follow Marlys on Facebook @marlys.johnson.10 and on her website, renewrepurpose.com. Quote of the episode: “How do you want your remaining days to unfold and make a difference?” —Marlys Johnson Resources —Read Marlys' article on dating red flags: Are You Settling for a Red Flag Guy? —Read Marlys' article on how she met her husband: This Is Why You Can’t Rely on Looks in a Relationship Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/14/202228 minutes, 19 seconds
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How to Be the Mother Yours Wasn’t – 196

No mother-daughter relationship is perfect, but some are more difficult than others. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down to share the distinct challenges they each had with their moms growing up. They open up about how the dysfunctional dynamic impacted their own motherhood duties and what they chose to do differently with their own children.  Through each of their stories, you’ll glean advice on what to do (and not do) in your relationship with your child, how you can begin the process of mending a fractured mother-daughter relationship, and get the confidence you need to be the mother yours wasn't. Quote of the episode: “There’s nothing better than a mom who’s already traversed the road that you’re on.” —Darlene Brock Resources: Podcasts —Watch Dr. Zoe's recent episode on not-so-happy Mother's Days (Darlene is a guest!): When Mother’s Day Isn’t So Happy—Navigating a Difficult Relationship With Your Mother —Revisit an earlier episode on mother-daughter relationships: Mama Drama Every Woman Has and How to Overcome – 008 —Darlene and Julie dish out more on the difficult relationships they had with their moms: This Is How to Handle a Hard Relationship With Your Mom – 089 Books —Get a copy of Darlene's book, Raising Great Girls Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/7/202231 minutes, 40 seconds
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How to Be the Mother Yours Wasn’t – 196

No mother-daughter relationship is perfect, but some are more difficult than others. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down to share the distinct challenges they each had with their moms growing up. They open up about how the dysfunctional dynamic impacted their own motherhood duties and what they chose to do differently with their own children.  Through each of their stories, you’ll glean advice on what to do (and not do) in your relationship with your child, how you can begin the process of mending a fractured mother-daughter relationship, and get the confidence you need to be the mother yours wasn't. Quote of the episode: “There’s nothing better than a mom who’s already traversed the road that you’re on.” —Darlene Brock Resources: Podcasts —Watch Dr. Zoe's recent episode on not-so-happy Mother's Days (Darlene is a guest!): When Mother’s Day Isn’t So Happy—Navigating a Difficult Relationship With Your Mother —Revisit an earlier episode on mother-daughter relationships: Mama Drama Every Woman Has and How to Overcome – 008 —Darlene and Julie dish out more on the difficult relationships they had with their moms: This Is How to Handle a Hard Relationship With Your Mom – 089 Books —Get a copy of Darlene's book, Raising Great Girls Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/7/202231 minutes, 40 seconds
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OB-GYN Questions You Might Be Embarrassed to Ask with Dr. Holly Miller- 195

In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, we revisit an important conversation with Dr. Holly Miller on women’s health, including issues you need to know but are probably too embarrassed to ask about. Dr. Miller is a board certified OB-GYN, wife of 20+ years, mother of four, and dedicated to ensuring you know everything you need to know about your feminine health. This episode is filled with questions that women tend to run from… When do we see a gynecologist? Why do we see gynecologists? Do we have to see a gynecologist? And the biggest question, why are we terrified of seeing a gynecologist? It’s our goal with this episode to emphasize that your feminine health is extremely important, and you need to stop putting it on the back burner. Whether you’re busy or scared something is wrong and you don't want to face it, you need to go see a gynecologist. It’s that simple! Neglecting your health is no way to handle potential issues you may be facing. We know after listening, you’ll feel comfortable and confident scheduling your next appointment! What else you’ll learn: When a teenager should see a gynecologist When you should have your first pap smear How regularly you should have a pap smear and pelvic exams How to feel comfortable when seeing your gynecologist Important information you need to share with your gynecologist What a “normal cycle” should look like Symptoms you need to look out for throughout our womanhood Common issues you need to know are not normal When you need to begin getting regular mammograms The top things Dr. Miller wants you to know about your feminine health Why you never need to feel embarrassed! Dr. Holly Miller completed medical school at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She’s currently an OB-GYN physician in Florida. Outside of the office, Dr. Miller enjoys reading, running and spending time with her husband and four children. Find more from Dr. Miller by visiting her practice website here. Quote of the episode: “It's extremely important that women of all ages have a relationship with a doctor, specifically a gynecologist." —Dr. Holly Miller Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/31/202234 minutes, 29 seconds
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OB-GYN Questions You Might Be Embarrassed to Ask with Dr. Holly Miller- 195

In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, we revisit an important conversation with Dr. Holly Miller on women’s health, including issues you need to know but are probably too embarrassed to ask about. Dr. Miller is a board certified OB-GYN, wife of 20+ years, mother of four, and dedicated to ensuring you know everything you need to know about your feminine health. This episode is filled with questions that women tend to run from… When do we see a gynecologist? Why do we see gynecologists? Do we have to see a gynecologist? And the biggest question, why are we terrified of seeing a gynecologist? It’s our goal with this episode to emphasize that your feminine health is extremely important, and you need to stop putting it on the back burner. Whether you’re busy or scared something is wrong and you don't want to face it, you need to go see a gynecologist. It’s that simple! Neglecting your health is no way to handle potential issues you may be facing. We know after listening, you’ll feel comfortable and confident scheduling your next appointment! What else you’ll learn: When a teenager should see a gynecologist When you should have your first pap smear How regularly you should have a pap smear and pelvic exams How to feel comfortable when seeing your gynecologist Important information you need to share with your gynecologist What a “normal cycle” should look like Symptoms you need to look out for throughout our womanhood Common issues you need to know are not normal When you need to begin getting regular mammograms The top things Dr. Miller wants you to know about your feminine health Why you never need to feel embarrassed! Dr. Holly Miller completed medical school at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She’s currently an OB-GYN physician in Florida. Outside of the office, Dr. Miller enjoys reading, running and spending time with her husband and four children. Find more from Dr. Miller by visiting her practice website here. Quote of the episode: “It's extremely important that women of all ages have a relationship with a doctor, specifically a gynecologist." —Dr. Holly Miller Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/31/202234 minutes, 29 seconds
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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 the cycle of addiction or substance abuse to feel understood and take the first steps toward recovery. Caroline Beidler, MSW is an author, recovery advocate and founder of the storytelling platform Bright Story Shine where she has released several eBooks including 10 Practical Ways to Make Your Recovery Shine.  With almost 20 years in leadership within social work and ministry, she leads Creative Consultation Services, LLC., a business focused on creating sustainable addiction recovery support services. She is also a Research Collaborator with the Lyda Hill Institute on Human Resilience at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and a team writer for Grit and Grace Life and blogger at the global recovery platform In the Rooms.  Caroline lives in Tennessee with her husband and twins where she enjoys hiking in the mountains and building up her community’s local recovery ministry. You can follow Caroline on Instagram @carolinebeidler_official, on Facebook @carolinebeidlermsw, and on her websites, brightstoryshine.com and carolinebeidler.com. Quote of the episode: “When we open up and share our dark places and our secrets, something absolutely miraculous happens." —Caroline Beidler Resources: — Read Caroline's article, This Is What I Would Say to the Man Who Raped Me — Click here to read Caroline's other articles on Grit and Grace Life — For recovery resources and stories for women, visit Caroline's community platform, Bright Story Shine — If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, Google "recovery community organizations" in your area Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/24/202235 minutes, 47 seconds
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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 the cycle of addiction or substance abuse to feel understood and take the first steps toward recovery. Caroline Beidler, MSW is an author, recovery advocate and founder of the storytelling platform Bright Story Shine where she has released several eBooks including 10 Practical Ways to Make Your Recovery Shine.  With almost 20 years in leadership within social work and ministry, she leads Creative Consultation Services, LLC., a business focused on creating sustainable addiction recovery support services. She is also a Research Collaborator with the Lyda Hill Institute on Human Resilience at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and a team writer for Grit and Grace Life and blogger at the global recovery platform In the Rooms.  Caroline lives in Tennessee with her husband and twins where she enjoys hiking in the mountains and building up her community’s local recovery ministry. You can follow Caroline on Instagram @carolinebeidler_official, on Facebook @carolinebeidlermsw, and on her websites, brightstoryshine.com and carolinebeidler.com. Quote of the episode: “When we open up and share our dark places and our secrets, something absolutely miraculous happens." —Caroline Beidler Resources: — Read Caroline's article, This Is What I Would Say to the Man Who Raped Me — Click here to read Caroline's other articles on Grit and Grace Life — For recovery resources and stories for women, visit Caroline's community platform, Bright Story Shine — If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, Google "recovery community organizations" in your area Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/24/202235 minutes, 47 seconds
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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 have that hard conversation. Knowing that your purpose revolves around the investment you make in others’ lives can feel like a heavy burden, but it’s an opportunity rather than a responsibility. To know that we can be the person who believes the best in someone else—and to have someone be the same for us—is life changing. Quote of the episode: “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others." —Albert Schweitzer Resources: —Read Darlene's article about her aunt, who had a significant impact on her life: True Purpose Is Found in How We Care for Others —Listen to Julie's Praying for Your Husband Daily message, "Believing the Best in Him" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/17/202230 minutes, 49 seconds
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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 have that hard conversation. Knowing that your purpose revolves around the investment you make in others’ lives can feel like a heavy burden, but it’s an opportunity rather than a responsibility. To know that we can be the person who believes the best in someone else—and to have someone be the same for us—is life changing. Quote of the episode: “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others." —Albert Schweitzer Resources: —Read Darlene's article about her aunt, who had a significant impact on her life: True Purpose Is Found in How We Care for Others —Listen to Julie's Praying for Your Husband Daily message, "Believing the Best in Him" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/17/202230 minutes, 49 seconds
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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 bring beauty from ashes. American Idol season-five alumna Mandisa is a Grammy Award–winning artist who got her start singing backup for Trisha Yearwood and Shania Twain.  Her 2013 GRAMMY® award-winning album “Overcomer” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart. The album’s title track proved to be a smash at radio and earned the GRAMMY® for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song. With more than 1.6 million records sold, Mandisa is a voice of encouragement and truth to people facing life’s challenges all around the world. You can follow Mandisa on Facebook @mandisaofficial, on Instagram @mandisaofficial and on her website, mandisaofficial.com/home. Quote of the episode: “That's one of the practical things I can do to reframe my thoughts, to not just give into the negative self-talk, but to say what God says about me instead." —Mandisa Resources: —Read Mandisa's book, "Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God's Joy" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/10/202233 minutes, 49 seconds
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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 bring beauty from ashes. American Idol season-five alumna Mandisa is a Grammy Award–winning artist who got her start singing backup for Trisha Yearwood and Shania Twain.  Her 2013 GRAMMY® award-winning album “Overcomer” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart. The album’s title track proved to be a smash at radio and earned the GRAMMY® for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song. With more than 1.6 million records sold, Mandisa is a voice of encouragement and truth to people facing life’s challenges all around the world. You can follow Mandisa on Facebook @mandisaofficial, on Instagram @mandisaofficial and on her website, mandisaofficial.com/home. Quote of the episode: “That's one of the practical things I can do to reframe my thoughts, to not just give into the negative self-talk, but to say what God says about me instead." —Mandisa Resources: —Read Mandisa's book, "Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God's Joy" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/10/202233 minutes, 49 seconds
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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 six kids (with another on the way!) from Australia to the United States to pursue the path she felt God was leading them. It led to a life on the road and an assembly of odd jobs to make ends meet, but her kids have grown up with a strong faith and successful careers. It was unorthodox, but it was right for them. You know your kids better than anyone, and raising them the way you feel is best—no matter how it looks to those on the outside—will undoubtedly be what they need. We hope you feel encouraged that the path you have established for your family is the right one. And if you’re still on the fence, take a listen to this episode and see for yourself! Helen Smallbone is the co-founder of MUMlife Community and a podcast host with AccessMore. Her passion is encouraging mothers and families with the God-breathed wisdom she has gleaned over 32 years of being a mother.  Born and raised in Australia, Helen dedicated her life to Christ as a young teen at the Billy Graham Crusade in Sydney. Now a mother to seven―five boys and two girls―and grandmother to thirteen, she currently lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, David, and a small menagerie of animals. You can follow Helen on Facebook @helenjsmallbone and on Instagram @helensmallbone. Quote of the episode: “For me as a parent, it's my job to encourage [my] child on their journey to seek out who God has made them to be.” —Helen Smallbone Resources: —Read Helen's book, "Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Adventure of a Mum and Her Family" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/3/202235 minutes, 16 seconds
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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 six kids (with another on the way!) from Australia to the United States to pursue the path she felt God was leading them. It led to a life on the road and an assembly of odd jobs to make ends meet, but her kids have grown up with a strong faith and successful careers. It was unorthodox, but it was right for them. You know your kids better than anyone, and raising them the way you feel is best—no matter how it looks to those on the outside—will undoubtedly be what they need. We hope you feel encouraged that the path you have established for your family is the right one. And if you’re still on the fence, take a listen to this episode and see for yourself! Helen Smallbone is the co-founder of MUMlife Community and a podcast host with AccessMore. Her passion is encouraging mothers and families with the God-breathed wisdom she has gleaned over 32 years of being a mother.  Born and raised in Australia, Helen dedicated her life to Christ as a young teen at the Billy Graham Crusade in Sydney. Now a mother to seven―five boys and two girls―and grandmother to thirteen, she currently lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, David, and a small menagerie of animals. You can follow Helen on Facebook @helenjsmallbone and on Instagram @helensmallbone. Quote of the episode: “For me as a parent, it's my job to encourage [my] child on their journey to seek out who God has made them to be.” —Helen Smallbone Resources: —Read Helen's book, "Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Adventure of a Mum and Her Family" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/3/202235 minutes, 16 seconds
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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 on a kind God who knows all—so we can not just survive, but thrive in the days to come. Quote of the episode: “Even though I am fearful, I will choose to rely on the trust that I have in a good God who knows way more than me.” —Julie Bender Resources: Check out these related podcast episodes —Do Conversations about Race Have to Divide or Can They Unite? with Torrie Sorge – 185 —How to Find Peace and Purpose in an Out of Control World with Dr Zoe – 164 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/26/202227 minutes, 2 seconds
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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 on a kind God who knows all—so we can not just survive, but thrive in the days to come. Quote of the episode: “Even though I am fearful, I will choose to rely on the trust that I have in a good God who knows way more than me.” —Julie Bender Resources: Check out these related podcast episodes —Do Conversations about Race Have to Divide or Can They Unite? with Torrie Sorge – 185 —How to Find Peace and Purpose in an Out of Control World with Dr Zoe – 164 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/26/202227 minutes, 2 seconds
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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 kind goldendoodle. After years of struggling with health challenges, she decided to do her own research and make changes to take a more proactive approach toward her well-being. Now as a board-certified health and wellness coach, Rachel is passionate about walking alongside other women who seek opportunities for growth, healing, and transformation in their daily lives. When she’s not coaching, you’ll find her writing, reading, and spending time outdoors (most preferably next to the ocean, which only exists in her mind now that she lives in Dallas!) You can follow Rachel on Instagram @rachelhagstrom and on her website, rachelhagstrom.com Quote of the episode: “Learning how to be aware of my thoughts and what I’m thinking and ruminating on was a total game changer.” —Rachel Hagstrom Resources: —Develop your own wellness vision with Rachel's Wheel of Wellness model —Click here to read more of Rachel's articles on Grit and Grace Life —Book hereInterested in working with Rachel to improve your wellness? . Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/19/202231 minutes, 10 seconds
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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 kind goldendoodle. After years of struggling with health challenges, she decided to do her own research and make changes to take a more proactive approach toward her well-being. Now as a board-certified health and wellness coach, Rachel is passionate about walking alongside other women who seek opportunities for growth, healing, and transformation in their daily lives. When she’s not coaching, you’ll find her writing, reading, and spending time outdoors (most preferably next to the ocean, which only exists in her mind now that she lives in Dallas!) You can follow Rachel on Instagram @rachelhagstrom and on her website, rachelhagstrom.com Quote of the episode: “Learning how to be aware of my thoughts and what I’m thinking and ruminating on was a total game changer.” —Rachel Hagstrom Resources: —Develop your own wellness vision with Rachel's Wheel of Wellness model —Click here to read more of Rachel's articles on Grit and Grace Life —Book hereInterested in working with Rachel to improve your wellness? . Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/19/202231 minutes, 10 seconds
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“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 to our cries and frustrations. He doesn’t love us less when we doubt Him—He’ll be patient while we pound on His chest. If this describes how you’re feeling, we encourage you to be honest with Him, pray for clarity, and remember all the good He has done and will continue to do. Finding hope is possible. Quote of the episode: “ God would draw me with him into eternity, into that time where question and answer would become one.” —Elie Wiesel Resources: —Read Clay Jones' book, Why Does God Allow Evil? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/12/202226 minutes, 30 seconds
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“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 to our cries and frustrations. He doesn’t love us less when we doubt Him—He’ll be patient while we pound on His chest. If this describes how you’re feeling, we encourage you to be honest with Him, pray for clarity, and remember all the good He has done and will continue to do. Finding hope is possible. Quote of the episode: “ God would draw me with him into eternity, into that time where question and answer would become one.” —Elie Wiesel Resources: —Read Clay Jones' book, Why Does God Allow Evil? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/12/202226 minutes, 30 seconds
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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 pressure and fear of failure. Those exist, but so do all the magical moments. Take some time today to recognize all the good and wonder that comes from living life as a mom. Quote of the episode: “Look for the joy that is a part of every single thing we do as moms.” —Julie Bender Resources: —Purchase Darlene's book, "Raising Great Girls" —Read managing editor Ashley Johnson's article, "If Kids Disrupt Our Lives So Much, Why Do We Do It?" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/5/202228 minutes, 24 seconds
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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 pressure and fear of failure. Those exist, but so do all the magical moments. Take some time today to recognize all the good and wonder that comes from living life as a mom. Quote of the episode: “Look for the joy that is a part of every single thing we do as moms.” —Julie Bender Resources: —Purchase Darlene's book, "Raising Great Girls" —Read managing editor Ashley Johnson's article, "If Kids Disrupt Our Lives So Much, Why Do We Do It?" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/5/202228 minutes, 24 seconds
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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 for hope and healing. If you've been struggling with the hurt, or shame, or guilt from things that have happened in your past, we want to encourage you today that it's not too late to heal. It won't be easy, but it will allow you to shed the hurt and embrace life moving forward. Elizabeth Bristol is a passionate author, speaker, and educator. She has spent her life learning how to overcome the pain of emotional abuse and neglect through Christ-centered care. Writing about her struggles with self-esteem and her experiences as a people-pleaser and victim of abuse, Elizabeth shares her journey into a relationship with God who helped her break free from the lies that were running rampant in her head—lies like “You're doing it wrong.” God met Elizabeth where she was and began to show her how He loves her unconditionally, no matter what she’s done. Now she’s on a mission to help others believe that God loves them unconditionally, too. You can follow Elizabeth on Instagram @authorelizabeth.b.bristol, on Facebook @ElizabethBristolAuthor, and on her website, elizabethbbristol.com Quote of the episode: "Now I aim to forgive on a regular basis, because I like the freedom that comes with it." —Elizabeth Bristol Resources: —Purchase Elizabeth's book, "Mary Me: One Woman's Incredible Adventure with God" —Visit Elizabeth's website, elizabethbbristol.com, and wait for the pop-up to receive her video series on overcoming pain —Check out David Allender's book, "Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/29/202229 minutes, 53 seconds
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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 for hope and healing. If you've been struggling with the hurt, or shame, or guilt from things that have happened in your past, we want to encourage you today that it's not too late to heal. It won't be easy, but it will allow you to shed the hurt and embrace life moving forward. Elizabeth Bristol is a passionate author, speaker, and educator. She has spent her life learning how to overcome the pain of emotional abuse and neglect through Christ-centered care. Writing about her struggles with self-esteem and her experiences as a people-pleaser and victim of abuse, Elizabeth shares her journey into a relationship with God who helped her break free from the lies that were running rampant in her head—lies like “You're doing it wrong.” God met Elizabeth where she was and began to show her how He loves her unconditionally, no matter what she’s done. Now she’s on a mission to help others believe that God loves them unconditionally, too. You can follow Elizabeth on Instagram @authorelizabeth.b.bristol, on Facebook @ElizabethBristolAuthor, and on her website, elizabethbbristol.com Quote of the episode: "Now I aim to forgive on a regular basis, because I like the freedom that comes with it." —Elizabeth Bristol Resources: —Purchase Elizabeth's book, "Mary Me: One Woman's Incredible Adventure with God" —Visit Elizabeth's website, elizabethbbristol.com, and wait for the pop-up to receive her video series on overcoming pain —Check out David Allender's book, "Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/29/202229 minutes, 53 seconds
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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 explains how to celebrate the beauty and richness others bring into our lives simply by being who they are, and truly learn who someone is rather than what category they fall under. Torrie is a wife, mom, executive assistant, speaker, writer, and so-to-be author of her first book! With their son in college and middle school daughter at home, Torrie and her husband are semi-empty nesters. She loves connecting with others and learning their stories. When she's not working or planning her next trip to Disney, Torrie enjoys good food with great friends, cheering on her Vegas Golden Knights, catching up on a true-crime podcast, or reading one of the 6-7 books she's started. You can follow Torrie on Instagram @torriesorge, on Facebook @torriesorgewords, or on her website, torriesorge.com.   Quote of the episode: “I think what people of color really are tired of is being invisible.” —Torrie Sorge Resources: Read some of Torrie's articles —"3 Ways to Correctly Ask Someone About their Ethnicity" —"The Valentine’s Day Surprise I Never Expected" —"Why You Need to Let Go and Let Your Kids Spread Their Wings" Listen to these related podcast episodes –How We Can Stand With the Black Community With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 136 –Why Your Life and Community Matters Right Now – 142 Check out this book on how to have honest conversations about race —Read Latasha Morrison's book, Be the Bridge "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29, NIV) Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/22/202239 minutes, 48 seconds
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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 explains how to celebrate the beauty and richness others bring into our lives simply by being who they are, and truly learn who someone is rather than what category they fall under. Torrie is a wife, mom, executive assistant, speaker, writer, and so-to-be author of her first book! With their son in college and middle school daughter at home, Torrie and her husband are semi-empty nesters. She loves connecting with others and learning their stories. When she's not working or planning her next trip to Disney, Torrie enjoys good food with great friends, cheering on her Vegas Golden Knights, catching up on a true-crime podcast, or reading one of the 6-7 books she's started. You can follow Torrie on Instagram @torriesorge, on Facebook @torriesorgewords, or on her website, torriesorge.com.   Quote of the episode: “I think what people of color really are tired of is being invisible.” —Torrie Sorge Resources: Read some of Torrie's articles —"3 Ways to Correctly Ask Someone About their Ethnicity" —"The Valentine’s Day Surprise I Never Expected" —"Why You Need to Let Go and Let Your Kids Spread Their Wings" Listen to these related podcast episodes –How We Can Stand With the Black Community With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 136 –Why Your Life and Community Matters Right Now – 142 Check out this book on how to have honest conversations about race —Read Latasha Morrison's book, Be the Bridge "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29, NIV) Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/22/202239 minutes, 48 seconds
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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 for hope and optimism, we hope that encourages you above all. Quote of the episode: “God ultimately has a purpose and has good for us, and that’s where we can find our unending, unwavering positivity in this life.” —Julie Bender Resources: —Listen to Christy Wright's podcast on finding a life balance: How to Take Back Your Time with Christy Wright – 166 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/15/202220 minutes, 39 seconds
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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 for hope and optimism, we hope that encourages you above all. Quote of the episode: “God ultimately has a purpose and has good for us, and that’s where we can find our unending, unwavering positivity in this life.” —Julie Bender Resources: —Listen to Christy Wright's podcast on finding a life balance: How to Take Back Your Time with Christy Wright – 166 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/15/202220 minutes, 39 seconds
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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 lives. Jenni also discusses how to combat self-doubt and recognize your innate strengths. This is a must-listen episode for strong women, and those who want to be. Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She is also the founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, where she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health. She's written several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership. Jenni loves a fabulous cup of tea, great books, learning the game of tennis, and hiking the West Coast with her husband. You can follow Jenni on Instagram @jennicatron, on Facebook @authorjennicatron, and on her website, jennicatron.com. Quote of the episode: “The more self-aware and comfortable we are with who we are, then we come with a confidence that’s really compelling and not off-putting.” —Jenni Catron Resources: —Read Jenni's articles: –Stuck in a Bad Work Culture? 6 Ways to Make it Better –The 6 Qualities That Make a Female Leader Strong –How to Be a Leader You Can Be Proud Of —Grab a copy of Jenni's book: The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength —Click here to connect with Jenni for one-on-one coaching Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/8/202237 minutes, 57 seconds
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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 lives. Jenni also discusses how to combat self-doubt and recognize your innate strengths. This is a must-listen episode for strong women, and those who want to be. Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She is also the founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, where she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health. She's written several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership. Jenni loves a fabulous cup of tea, great books, learning the game of tennis, and hiking the West Coast with her husband. You can follow Jenni on Instagram @jennicatron, on Facebook @authorjennicatron, and on her website, jennicatron.com. Quote of the episode: “The more self-aware and comfortable we are with who we are, then we come with a confidence that’s really compelling and not off-putting.” —Jenni Catron Resources: —Read Jenni's articles: –Stuck in a Bad Work Culture? 6 Ways to Make it Better –The 6 Qualities That Make a Female Leader Strong –How to Be a Leader You Can Be Proud Of —Grab a copy of Jenni's book: The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength —Click here to connect with Jenni for one-on-one coaching Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/8/202237 minutes, 57 seconds
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How Can I Connect and Communicate with My Teenager Better? with Jerusha Clark – 182

Are your teenagers driving you crazy? Are there days when you wonder who replaced your sweet, small child with a taller, sarcastic stranger?  Handling the attitudes and emotions—and, sometimes, the whereabouts—of teens can be a daunting task, and one that a lot of first-time parents of teens aren’t prepared for. While seeing your child blossom into a young adult can be insightful and rewarding, it can also be painful to witness the more difficult changes and crises that can often accompany this stage of life. Bestselling author and speaker Jerusha Clark sits down with Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to chat about how parents can navigate this tough time. Together, they unpack the neurological changes that occur during the teen years, as well as how you can invite dialogue, connect, and have those tough conversations.  We hope this podcast gives you the knowledge and encouragement you need to guide your child successfully through the teen years. Jerusha Clark is a bestselling author, speaker and minister to pastors and faith leaders through her and her husband Jeramy’s ministry, Standing Stone Ministries. They have two young daughters, and when she’s not working, you’ll find Jerusha body-boarding, reading, or singing around a bonfire at the beach. You can follow Jerusha on her website, jandjclark.com. Quote of the episode: “Open lines of communication are so vital through teen years." —Darlene Brock Resources: —Click here to read Jerusha's book, "Your Teenager Is Not Crazy" Articles — Social Media Is Impacting My Child—What Can I Do About It? — Ask Dr. Zoe – Handling My Teen’s Anger — A Letter to My Preteen Son, I See You Finding Your Way — All the Feels from This First-Time Mom of a Teenager — My Sons Communicated Better When I Used These 5 Techniques Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/1/202237 minutes, 23 seconds
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How Can I Connect and Communicate with My Teenager Better? with Jerusha Clark – 182

Are your teenagers driving you crazy? Are there days when you wonder who replaced your sweet, small child with a taller, sarcastic stranger?  Handling the attitudes and emotions—and, sometimes, the whereabouts—of teens can be a daunting task, and one that a lot of first-time parents of teens aren’t prepared for. While seeing your child blossom into a young adult can be insightful and rewarding, it can also be painful to witness the more difficult changes and crises that can often accompany this stage of life. Bestselling author and speaker Jerusha Clark sits down with Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to chat about how parents can navigate this tough time. Together, they unpack the neurological changes that occur during the teen years, as well as how you can invite dialogue, connect, and have those tough conversations.  We hope this podcast gives you the knowledge and encouragement you need to guide your child successfully through the teen years. Jerusha Clark is a bestselling author, speaker and minister to pastors and faith leaders through her and her husband Jeramy’s ministry, Standing Stone Ministries. They have two young daughters, and when she’s not working, you’ll find Jerusha body-boarding, reading, or singing around a bonfire at the beach. You can follow Jerusha on her website, jandjclark.com. Quote of the episode: “Open lines of communication are so vital through teen years." —Darlene Brock Resources: —Click here to read Jerusha's book, "Your Teenager Is Not Crazy" Articles — Social Media Is Impacting My Child—What Can I Do About It? — Ask Dr. Zoe – Handling My Teen’s Anger — A Letter to My Preteen Son, I See You Finding Your Way — All the Feels from This First-Time Mom of a Teenager — My Sons Communicated Better When I Used These 5 Techniques Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/1/202237 minutes, 23 seconds
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Living the Single Life: How to Love It – 181

We live in a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on romantic relationships. If we’re not dating or married, people assume that something must be wrong or we haven’t found the right person yet. But the truth is, being single (or not) is just simply where one may be in life. It does not define you. And for those who like to arrange dates for their single friends: just because they’re single doesn’t mean they’re available! Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down to unpack both the challenges and strengths of singlehood. They discuss the inherent value of being single, how to shed societal expectations, and how to live life well as a single woman, a single mom, a divorced single mom, or a co-parenting single mom.  We hope this episode encourages you in this stage of your life and helps you to recognize your own innate strengths. Quote of the episode: “At the end of the day, no man—even if he's the right man—will make you smarter or more capable than you already are." —Julie Bender Resources: —If you've recently separated, here's what you need to know about getting a lawyer: If You Can’t Avoid Divorce, Can You Do It Honorably? With Attorney Leesha Newkirk Crouch – 059 For our favorite articles on being single: —To the Single Woman Searching for True Love —5 Ways to Love Your Single Life —How to Make a Happy Marriage, From a Divorced Single Mom —Learning to Love Your Single Self —9 Things I Miss About Being Single Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/22/202228 minutes, 59 seconds
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Living the Single Life: How to Love It – 181

We live in a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on romantic relationships. If we’re not dating or married, people assume that something must be wrong or we haven’t found the right person yet. But the truth is, being single (or not) is just simply where one may be in life. It does not define you. And for those who like to arrange dates for their single friends: just because they’re single doesn’t mean they’re available! Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down to unpack both the challenges and strengths of singlehood. They discuss the inherent value of being single, how to shed societal expectations, and how to live life well as a single woman, a single mom, a divorced single mom, or a co-parenting single mom.  We hope this episode encourages you in this stage of your life and helps you to recognize your own innate strengths. Quote of the episode: “At the end of the day, no man—even if he's the right man—will make you smarter or more capable than you already are." —Julie Bender Resources: —If you've recently separated, here's what you need to know about getting a lawyer: If You Can’t Avoid Divorce, Can You Do It Honorably? With Attorney Leesha Newkirk Crouch – 059 For our favorite articles on being single: —To the Single Woman Searching for True Love —5 Ways to Love Your Single Life —How to Make a Happy Marriage, From a Divorced Single Mom —Learning to Love Your Single Self —9 Things I Miss About Being Single Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/22/202228 minutes, 59 seconds
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Why Hasn’t Your Boyfriend Proposed Or Set the Date? with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 180

At Grit and Grace Life, we receive a ton of questions from women who are at a crossroads: They’re in a relationship with a man who didn't propose, or seems to be dragging his feet when it comes to getting engaged or married. Because another holiday season and Valentine’s Day has passed and there are some women who didn’t get the proposal they were hoping for, we’ve decided to bring back a classic podcast episode. Dr. Zoe Shaw joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share her insight and provide some guidance for women who are wondering if it’s time to walk away from their relationships. Dr. Zoe identifies six ways to determine if your man is really interested in the long term; signs that indicate marriage is no longer on his mind (if you’re a forever fiance); and how to emotionally remove yourself enough to view the relationship with honesty and clarity. It’s not an easy place to be, but we hope this episode encourages you to see your relationship for what it is and make the best decision for your grit and grace life. Dr. Zoe Shaw is a passionate practitioner in the field of Clinical Psychology. She is licensed as a psychotherapist and divides her time between her family life, clinical practice, virtual life, and relationship coaching, speaking, writing and hosting her podcast. You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, STRONGER in the Difficult Places. Submit a question to our free Ask Dr. Zoe column. Quote of the episode: “Sometimes a guy will tell you, 'I'm not interested in marriage.' You gotta believe them when they say it." —Dr. Zoe Shaw Resources: —Listen to episode 123, "How to Embrace Love in Every Season with Debra Fileta" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/15/202248 minutes, 50 seconds
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Why Hasn’t Your Boyfriend Proposed Or Set the Date? with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 180

At Grit and Grace Life, we receive a ton of questions from women who are at a crossroads: They’re in a relationship with a man who didn't propose, or seems to be dragging his feet when it comes to getting engaged or married. Because another holiday season and Valentine’s Day has passed and there are some women who didn’t get the proposal they were hoping for, we’ve decided to bring back a classic podcast episode. Dr. Zoe Shaw joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share her insight and provide some guidance for women who are wondering if it’s time to walk away from their relationships. Dr. Zoe identifies six ways to determine if your man is really interested in the long term; signs that indicate marriage is no longer on his mind (if you’re a forever fiance); and how to emotionally remove yourself enough to view the relationship with honesty and clarity. It’s not an easy place to be, but we hope this episode encourages you to see your relationship for what it is and make the best decision for your grit and grace life. Dr. Zoe Shaw is a passionate practitioner in the field of Clinical Psychology. She is licensed as a psychotherapist and divides her time between her family life, clinical practice, virtual life, and relationship coaching, speaking, writing and hosting her podcast. You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, STRONGER in the Difficult Places. Submit a question to our free Ask Dr. Zoe column. Quote of the episode: “Sometimes a guy will tell you, 'I'm not interested in marriage.' You gotta believe them when they say it." —Dr. Zoe Shaw Resources: —Listen to episode 123, "How to Embrace Love in Every Season with Debra Fileta" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/15/202248 minutes, 50 seconds
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Should I Keep Waiting For The Right Man? Rebecca St. James Shares Her Story – 179

Every woman wants to find the right man, but finding your forever-after prince isn’t always so clear cut. We wonder whether he’s out there, how long it’ll take to find him, and if we’ll even recognize him when the moment arrives. We can even get so frustrated with the wait that we might be tempted to settle for a good man, but not the right man. But is it worth waiting for the right one? According to Christian singer and songwriter Rebecca St. James, it definitely is. She joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on This Grit and Grace Life podcast to chat about her own dating journey and how she ultimately found her husband (and knew he was “the one” almost instantly). They also discuss what character traits to look for in the right man, how you can stay committed to the values you set for yourself without settling, and whether you’re giving too many husband privileges to a boyfriend that won’t commit. Rebecca St. James is a GRAMMY-winning Christian singer/songwriter, author and speaker. She is also the host of her own podcast, called Rebecca St. James Friends and Family, where she discusses marriage and parenting as a wife and mom of three. You can follow Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccast.james, on Facebook @RSJames or on her website at rebeccastjames.com.   Quote of the episode: “There was this soul connection where it’s like he has the same spirit, same values, same heart, same true, core desires in life.” —Rebecca St. James on finding her husband Resources —Click here to check out Rebecca's podcast, Rebecca St. James Friends and Family   Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.
2/8/202235 minutes, 25 seconds
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Should I Keep Waiting For The Right Man? Rebecca St. James Shares Her Story – 179

Every woman wants to find the right man, but finding your forever-after prince isn’t always so clear cut. We wonder whether he’s out there, how long it’ll take to find him, and if we’ll even recognize him when the moment arrives. We can even get so frustrated with the wait that we might be tempted to settle for a good man, but not the right man. But is it worth waiting for the right one? According to Christian singer and songwriter Rebecca St. James, it definitely is. She joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on This Grit and Grace Life podcast to chat about her own dating journey and how she ultimately found her husband (and knew he was “the one” almost instantly). They also discuss what character traits to look for in the right man, how you can stay committed to the values you set for yourself without settling, and whether you’re giving too many husband privileges to a boyfriend that won’t commit. Rebecca St. James is a GRAMMY-winning Christian singer/songwriter, author and speaker. She is also the host of her own podcast, called Rebecca St. James Friends and Family, where she discusses marriage and parenting as a wife and mom of three. You can follow Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccast.james, on Facebook @RSJames or on her website at rebeccastjames.com.   Quote of the episode: “There was this soul connection where it’s like he has the same spirit, same values, same heart, same true, core desires in life.” —Rebecca St. James on finding her husband Resources —Click here to check out Rebecca's podcast, Rebecca St. James Friends and Family   Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.
2/8/202235 minutes, 25 seconds
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How Do I Build a Healthy Marriage? – 178

For those who are single or dating, marriage might be seen as the answer, or the end-all be-all for wholeness and happiness. While marriage can certainly offer those things, it is so much more: it's the beginning of a lifelong relationship that requires commitment and a whole lot of work. Darlene Brock and Julie Bender get together to discuss the art of building a happy and healthy marriage through important principles like communication, open-mindedness, overcoming conflict and more. This episode isn't just meant for those who've already exchanged vows—if marriage is something you see on the horizon, you’ll want to soak up this tried-and-true advice. Quote of the episode: “Marriage is the whole-meal deal." —Darlene Brock Resources: —Read the Marriage Box Myth —Tune in to Julie's marriage series, "Praying for Your Husband Daily" "Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/1/202231 minutes, 39 seconds
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How Do I Build a Healthy Marriage? – 178

For those who are single or dating, marriage might be seen as the answer, or the end-all be-all for wholeness and happiness. While marriage can certainly offer those things, it is so much more: it's the beginning of a lifelong relationship that requires commitment and a whole lot of work. Darlene Brock and Julie Bender get together to discuss the art of building a happy and healthy marriage through important principles like communication, open-mindedness, overcoming conflict and more. This episode isn't just meant for those who've already exchanged vows—if marriage is something you see on the horizon, you’ll want to soak up this tried-and-true advice. Quote of the episode: “Marriage is the whole-meal deal." —Darlene Brock Resources: —Read the Marriage Box Myth —Tune in to Julie's marriage series, "Praying for Your Husband Daily" "Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/1/202231 minutes, 39 seconds
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How Do I Raise My Kids when the Culture and Bible Collide? with Dr. Jim Denison – 177

Today’s culture is experiencing a shift that often runs counter to biblical beliefs. As parents and women of faith, this can create challenges we weren’t anticipating. When added to normal parenting duties, this shift can leave us feeling fearful or anxious toward the future our kids will grow up in. Dr. Jim Denison joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on This Grit and Grace Life podcast to discuss how parents of faith can raise their kids confidently in an age where the culture deems biblical values oppressive and outdated. He also shares what parents can pray for, and how they can practically prepare their children to offer love and grace towards others that don’t share the same values. We hope this conversation encourages you that your role as a parent in this time and season is not an accident. You are well equipped to handle the task before you. Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural scholar, pastor, speaker, podcaster and author who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens. He is also a cultural consultant for various organizations that seek a Christian worldview on current events. Prior to launching Denison Forum in 2009, he pastored churches in Texas and Georgia. He holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jim and his wife, Janet, live in Dallas, Texas. They have two sons and four grandchildren. You can follow Dr. Denison on Instagram @dr.jimdenison and @denisonforum, or on his website at denisonforum.org Quote of the episode: "We’re not cultural warriors…we’re here to be grace-givers.” — Dr. Jim Denison Resources —Click here to get your copy of Dr. Denison's book, "The Coming Tsunami." —Read more about the book here. —As promised! Darlene and Julie mentioned that city dwellers in the early 20th-century used cages to expose their children to fresh air and sunlight. Here's historic evidence! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.
1/25/202236 minutes, 2 seconds
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How Do I Raise My Kids when the Culture and Bible Collide? with Dr. Jim Denison – 177

Today’s culture is experiencing a shift that often runs counter to biblical beliefs. As parents and women of faith, this can create challenges we weren’t anticipating. When added to normal parenting duties, this shift can leave us feeling fearful or anxious toward the future our kids will grow up in. Dr. Jim Denison joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on This Grit and Grace Life podcast to discuss how parents of faith can raise their kids confidently in an age where the culture deems biblical values oppressive and outdated. He also shares what parents can pray for, and how they can practically prepare their children to offer love and grace towards others that don’t share the same values. We hope this conversation encourages you that your role as a parent in this time and season is not an accident. You are well equipped to handle the task before you. Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural scholar, pastor, speaker, podcaster and author who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens. He is also a cultural consultant for various organizations that seek a Christian worldview on current events. Prior to launching Denison Forum in 2009, he pastored churches in Texas and Georgia. He holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jim and his wife, Janet, live in Dallas, Texas. They have two sons and four grandchildren. You can follow Dr. Denison on Instagram @dr.jimdenison and @denisonforum, or on his website at denisonforum.org Quote of the episode: "We’re not cultural warriors…we’re here to be grace-givers.” — Dr. Jim Denison Resources —Click here to get your copy of Dr. Denison's book, "The Coming Tsunami." —Read more about the book here. —As promised! Darlene and Julie mentioned that city dwellers in the early 20th-century used cages to expose their children to fresh air and sunlight. Here's historic evidence! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.
1/25/202236 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ready to Overcome Disappointment? Here’s How with Baylor Wilson – 176

Disappointment hurts! Especially when what disappointed you was something you’d been working towards or anticipating for a long time. So how can we come to terms with being let down? Country artist Baylor Wilson joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on This Grit and Grace Life podcast to share her own run-in with disappointment. After a door closed in her life, Baylor sat in the pain of rejection and grief before realizing her worth and the possibilities that awaited her after being redirected. A chance encounter following her disappointment led Baylor to a career she loves and opportunities she previously never would have expected.  When life hands us disappointments, it’s easy to feel overcome with sorrow over what could have been. Instead, we hope Baylor’s story encourages you to recognize your identity in Christ and embrace change as part of life—it could lead to you to prosper in ways you may never have thought possible before your disappointment. Baylor Wilson is a Christian artist whose first single, “Jesus Happened,” just debuted in 2021. She’s been a country songwriter as well as a contestant on season 29 of the hit CBS show, Survivor. Baylor is newly married to her husband, James, and is a proud puppy mom to her Great Pyrenees, Willow. You can follow Baylor on Instagram @baylorwilson, or at her website: baylorwilson.com   Quote of the episode: "When you're walking through disappointment, it's not for nothing." —Baylor Wilson Resources For more on overcoming disappointment, check out: – "How to Find Strength In the Midst of Disappointment" – "How Brain Science Restored My Hope for Change" – "5 Steps for Remaining Hopeful in Seasons of Change" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/18/202232 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ready to Overcome Disappointment? Here’s How with Baylor Wilson – 176

Disappointment hurts! Especially when what disappointed you was something you’d been working towards or anticipating for a long time. So how can we come to terms with being let down? Country artist Baylor Wilson joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on This Grit and Grace Life podcast to share her own run-in with disappointment. After a door closed in her life, Baylor sat in the pain of rejection and grief before realizing her worth and the possibilities that awaited her after being redirected. A chance encounter following her disappointment led Baylor to a career she loves and opportunities she previously never would have expected.  When life hands us disappointments, it’s easy to feel overcome with sorrow over what could have been. Instead, we hope Baylor’s story encourages you to recognize your identity in Christ and embrace change as part of life—it could lead to you to prosper in ways you may never have thought possible before your disappointment. Baylor Wilson is a Christian artist whose first single, “Jesus Happened,” just debuted in 2021. She’s been a country songwriter as well as a contestant on season 29 of the hit CBS show, Survivor. Baylor is newly married to her husband, James, and is a proud puppy mom to her Great Pyrenees, Willow. You can follow Baylor on Instagram @baylorwilson, or at her website: baylorwilson.com   Quote of the episode: "When you're walking through disappointment, it's not for nothing." —Baylor Wilson Resources For more on overcoming disappointment, check out: – "How to Find Strength In the Midst of Disappointment" – "How Brain Science Restored My Hope for Change" – "5 Steps for Remaining Hopeful in Seasons of Change" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/18/202232 minutes, 14 seconds
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What Do I Need to Know to Begin My Weight Loss Journey? with Sharyn Saftler – 175

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to prioritize our health or lose weight. But diets and exercise can not only be frustrating—they can be ineffective if they’re not right for our body. Registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor Sharyn Saftler joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on this week’s podcast episode to break down what true, healthy weight loss looks like. She discusses what the end goal might be for the individual; how to overcome shame from past failed diets; what foods and exercises are conducive to healthy weight loss; and how to cultivate respect for our bodies.  Sharyn also dives into an explanation of how the four main areas of our overall health—eating, moving, sleeping and stressing—are determined by the way we build a structure of predictability, stability, and boundaries in our weight loss plan, which ultimately help our bodies to thrive. If you’re focusing on weight loss this year, we encourage you to give this episode a listen. It’s full of expert tips that will help you pinpoint your body’s optimal health, regardless of what the scale says. Quote of the episode: "You only get one body in this whole, wild life. So we might as well learn to work with it and befriend it, rather than constantly fight against it.” —Sharyn Saftler This episode is sponsored by "Your Good Body" by Jennifer Taylor Wagner, a great read for a healthier you.   Other Resources: —Read Sharyn's article: "What Every Woman Needs to Know About Healthy Body Image" —For helpful meal visuals, start at page 83 of The Full Plate Diet by Stuart A. Seale, M.D., Teresa Sherard, M.D., and Diana Fleming, PhD., LDN —It's Not About Broccoli  by Dina Rose, PhD —Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD —The Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch Sharyn has a background in psychology and behavioral change, has her master's in Public Health, and is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Health At Every Size Practitioner. She has worked in the wellness industry for almost a decade empowering people to cultivate healthy relationships to food and their bodies so they can spend less time worrying about their health and more time enjoying it. She is a daughter/sister/wife/mom of two, book club and family bike enthusiast, and is powered by coffee, music, and playing outside in the Pacific Northwest. You can follow Sharyn on LinkedIn, or at her website: livingissimple.org Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.
1/11/202228 minutes, 44 seconds
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What Do I Need to Know to Begin My Weight Loss Journey? with Sharyn Saftler – 175

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to prioritize our health or lose weight. But diets and exercise can not only be frustrating—they can be ineffective if they’re not right for our body. Registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor Sharyn Saftler joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on this week’s podcast episode to break down what true, healthy weight loss looks like. She discusses what the end goal might be for the individual; how to overcome shame from past failed diets; what foods and exercises are conducive to healthy weight loss; and how to cultivate respect for our bodies.  Sharyn also dives into an explanation of how the four main areas of our overall health—eating, moving, sleeping and stressing—are determined by the way we build a structure of predictability, stability, and boundaries in our weight loss plan, which ultimately help our bodies to thrive. If you’re focusing on weight loss this year, we encourage you to give this episode a listen. It’s full of expert tips that will help you pinpoint your body’s optimal health, regardless of what the scale says. Quote of the episode: "You only get one body in this whole, wild life. So we might as well learn to work with it and befriend it, rather than constantly fight against it.” —Sharyn Saftler This episode is sponsored by "Your Good Body" by Jennifer Taylor Wagner, a great read for a healthier you.   Other Resources: —Read Sharyn's article: "What Every Woman Needs to Know About Healthy Body Image" —For helpful meal visuals, start at page 83 of The Full Plate Diet by Stuart A. Seale, M.D., Teresa Sherard, M.D., and Diana Fleming, PhD., LDN —It's Not About Broccoli  by Dina Rose, PhD —Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD —The Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch Sharyn has a background in psychology and behavioral change, has her master's in Public Health, and is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Health At Every Size Practitioner. She has worked in the wellness industry for almost a decade empowering people to cultivate healthy relationships to food and their bodies so they can spend less time worrying about their health and more time enjoying it. She is a daughter/sister/wife/mom of two, book club and family bike enthusiast, and is powered by coffee, music, and playing outside in the Pacific Northwest. You can follow Sharyn on LinkedIn, or at her website: livingissimple.org Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.
1/11/202228 minutes, 44 seconds
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This Is What We Want for You In 2022! – 174

We finally made it to 2022! It seems like a feat, especially after the events of the last two years. So you might be a little apprehensive about what’s in store for the next 12 months. In this podcast episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender chat about what they’ve learned since the start of 2021, as well as 5 ways that we can intentionally shape our thoughts and actions to pave the path for a more peaceful, satisfying year.  We hope you walk away from this episode with a feeling of control and anticipation for the experiences and interactions that await you—especially the good ones. Quote of the episode: “At the beginning of the year, it’s a good time to refocus on where you want to put your energy.” —Julie Bender Resources: How to Find Peace and Purpose in an Out of Control World with Dr Zoe – 164 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/4/202226 minutes, 2 seconds
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This Is What We Want for You In 2022! – 174

We finally made it to 2022! It seems like a feat, especially after the events of the last two years. So you might be a little apprehensive about what’s in store for the next 12 months. In this podcast episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender chat about what they’ve learned since the start of 2021, as well as 5 ways that we can intentionally shape our thoughts and actions to pave the path for a more peaceful, satisfying year.  We hope you walk away from this episode with a feeling of control and anticipation for the experiences and interactions that await you—especially the good ones. Quote of the episode: “At the beginning of the year, it’s a good time to refocus on where you want to put your energy.” —Julie Bender Resources: How to Find Peace and Purpose in an Out of Control World with Dr Zoe – 164 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/4/202226 minutes, 2 seconds
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Does the Bible Need to Be Part of Our Lives? with Steve Wiggins – 173

Did you know that more than 100 million copies of the Bible are sold every year? In fact, it’s the best selling book of all time, and most people are familiar with the popular Bible stories (does David and Goliath ring a bell?) even if they haven’t read it. But how does the Bible actually fit into our everyday lives? Pastor Steve Wiggins joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on This Grit and Grace Life podcast to unpack the importance of reading the Bible. They’ll discuss how to find a like-minded community to study with, how to practically read the Bible on a consistent basis and find value in it. There is a transforming power in God’s word, and a comfort in having a relationship, as Steve says, with the “one who holds the future.”  Steve Wiggins is a pastor and has previously served on the staff of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois; Greg Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California; and Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. He’s the founder of Groundworks Ministries, a worldwide community of people committed to reading the Bible every day. Prior to his role as a pastor, Steve was the lead singer of Christian rock band, Big Tent Revival, which received 5 Grammy award nominations. Follow Steve on Instagram @wigbone or through his ministry: Groundworks Ministries Quote of the episode: "Even in the most difficult times, when I walk with the Lord and have the grounding of his Word in my life, my abundant life is richer, more doable, and more manageable.” —Darlene Brock Resources: —Start 2022 reading the Bible with Steve: Groundworks Ministries —If you're new to the Bible, click here to start with Steve's recommendation, the Gospel of John Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/21/202136 minutes, 17 seconds
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Does the Bible Need to Be Part of Our Lives? with Steve Wiggins – 173

Did you know that more than 100 million copies of the Bible are sold every year? In fact, it’s the best selling book of all time, and most people are familiar with the popular Bible stories (does David and Goliath ring a bell?) even if they haven’t read it. But how does the Bible actually fit into our everyday lives? Pastor Steve Wiggins joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on This Grit and Grace Life podcast to unpack the importance of reading the Bible. They’ll discuss how to find a like-minded community to study with, how to practically read the Bible on a consistent basis and find value in it. There is a transforming power in God’s word, and a comfort in having a relationship, as Steve says, with the “one who holds the future.”  Steve Wiggins is a pastor and has previously served on the staff of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois; Greg Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California; and Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. He’s the founder of Groundworks Ministries, a worldwide community of people committed to reading the Bible every day. Prior to his role as a pastor, Steve was the lead singer of Christian rock band, Big Tent Revival, which received 5 Grammy award nominations. Follow Steve on Instagram @wigbone or through his ministry: Groundworks Ministries Quote of the episode: "Even in the most difficult times, when I walk with the Lord and have the grounding of his Word in my life, my abundant life is richer, more doable, and more manageable.” —Darlene Brock Resources: —Start 2022 reading the Bible with Steve: Groundworks Ministries —If you're new to the Bible, click here to start with Steve's recommendation, the Gospel of John Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/21/202136 minutes, 17 seconds
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Do You Ever Feel Like You’re Not Enough? with Jodi Shultz 172

Women 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 felt like she didn’t measure up. Despite her efforts to hustle and rise to a prestigious position at work, those feelings never left, and she realized that our self-worth is about more than what we’re doing—it’s about our inherent value as determined by God. In this episode, Jodi, Darlene and Julie chat about why women feel like this, and practical ways we can settle the question of our worth once and for all.   Jodi Shultz is a wife and mom of two out of a little town in Kansas. She is a hairstylist who is extremely passionate about encouraging and inspiring her female clients, believing it to be her life's calling. The name and slogan for her business is "Thairapy—It's about more than just hair." Jodi loves providing a safe and relaxing atmosphere where women can open up about their lives and their struggles, while she prays for and speaks truth and encouragement to her clients. You can follow Jodi on Instagram @thairapist_jodi . Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.   Quote of the episode: “God didn’t create us to hustle for our worth. It’s something that he placed upon us.” —Jodi Shultz Resources: —Click here for Biblical affirmations of your worth —Grab a copy of The Help here —Read Jodi's article "What Happened When I Finally Heard God Whisper" —Listen to Jodi's message of encouragement: https://youtu.be/SRVoFko8inA Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/14/202128 minutes, 2 seconds
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Do You Ever Feel Like You’re Not Enough? with Jodi Shultz 172

Women 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 felt like she didn’t measure up. Despite her efforts to hustle and rise to a prestigious position at work, those feelings never left, and she realized that our self-worth is about more than what we’re doing—it’s about our inherent value as determined by God. In this episode, Jodi, Darlene and Julie chat about why women feel like this, and practical ways we can settle the question of our worth once and for all.   Jodi Shultz is a wife and mom of two out of a little town in Kansas. She is a hairstylist who is extremely passionate about encouraging and inspiring her female clients, believing it to be her life's calling. The name and slogan for her business is "Thairapy—It's about more than just hair." Jodi loves providing a safe and relaxing atmosphere where women can open up about their lives and their struggles, while she prays for and speaks truth and encouragement to her clients. You can follow Jodi on Instagram @thairapist_jodi . Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.   Quote of the episode: “God didn’t create us to hustle for our worth. It’s something that he placed upon us.” —Jodi Shultz Resources: —Click here for Biblical affirmations of your worth —Grab a copy of The Help here —Read Jodi's article "What Happened When I Finally Heard God Whisper" —Listen to Jodi's message of encouragement: https://youtu.be/SRVoFko8inA Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/14/202128 minutes, 2 seconds
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Can You Embrace Your Femininity In a World That’s Against It? – 171

It’s not uncommon in our world today to hear mixed messages on the subject of gender. Suddenly, the distinctions between men and women are blurred, and our expressions of femininity and masculinity are dismissed as being outdated, social constructs.  But Grit and Grace Life believes differently. Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down for an expressive discussion about these gender wars, and instead urge women to celebrate the traits that make them uniquely female. We can thrive in the natural characteristics that make us who and what we are and embrace them. There’s nothing wrong with being female—in fact, it’s a superpower! Quote of the episode: “I think as women, one of our greatest tools is our ability to be empathetic and compassionate.” —Julie Bender Resources: For more articles on our unique feminine nature True Beauty is Found in a Woman’s Strength The Bachelorette: A Romantic Culture in a Feminist World Anatomy of a Strong Woman Men and Women Are Equal, but Not Identical Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/7/202123 minutes, 44 seconds
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Can You Embrace Your Femininity In a World That’s Against It? – 171

It’s not uncommon in our world today to hear mixed messages on the subject of gender. Suddenly, the distinctions between men and women are blurred, and our expressions of femininity and masculinity are dismissed as being outdated, social constructs.  But Grit and Grace Life believes differently. Darlene Brock and Julie Bender sit down for an expressive discussion about these gender wars, and instead urge women to celebrate the traits that make them uniquely female. We can thrive in the natural characteristics that make us who and what we are and embrace them. There’s nothing wrong with being female—in fact, it’s a superpower! Quote of the episode: “I think as women, one of our greatest tools is our ability to be empathetic and compassionate.” —Julie Bender Resources: For more articles on our unique feminine nature True Beauty is Found in a Woman’s Strength The Bachelorette: A Romantic Culture in a Feminist World Anatomy of a Strong Woman Men and Women Are Equal, but Not Identical Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/7/202123 minutes, 44 seconds
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How Do I Deal with Grief During the Holidays? with Nancy Hicks – 170

Maybe this is your first year—or one of several—trying to balance the joy of the holidays with grief over a loss. The conflicted feelings can make it difficult to celebrate or even consider being around others. Speaker and author Nancy Hicks joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to discuss how we can come to terms with our grief when the holidays are approaching. Nancy speaks from her grief journey after dealing with the loss of her son this year. She encourages us to give ourselves grace as we experience the vast set of emotions that accompany loss, and shares some ways we can cope with grief during the holidays. Nancy Hicks is a speaker, teacher, podcaster and author who works at the intersection of head, heart and soul to help women live fully alive in their faith. For more than a decade, Nancy engaged millions of viewers as an on-air spokesperson for QVC—she understands what it’s like to try and balance work, marriage and motherhood. She has been featured on Hallmark’s Home & Family, The Jesus Calling Podcast, as well as in Publishers Weekly, The Christian Post, For Every Mom and more. You can follow Nancy on Instagram @nancyhickslive, on Facebook at NancyHicksLive, or visit her website. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission. Quote of the episode: “The grief or sorrow will never go away, but it will soften." —Nancy Hicks Resources: "Grieving the Loss of a Loved One: What to Do and What Not to Do" Nancy's book, "Meant to Live" Phiilip Yancey's book, "Disappointment with God" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/30/202138 minutes, 33 seconds
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How Do I Deal with Grief During the Holidays? with Nancy Hicks – 170

Maybe this is your first year—or one of several—trying to balance the joy of the holidays with grief over a loss. The conflicted feelings can make it difficult to celebrate or even consider being around others. Speaker and author Nancy Hicks joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to discuss how we can come to terms with our grief when the holidays are approaching. Nancy speaks from her grief journey after dealing with the loss of her son this year. She encourages us to give ourselves grace as we experience the vast set of emotions that accompany loss, and shares some ways we can cope with grief during the holidays. Nancy Hicks is a speaker, teacher, podcaster and author who works at the intersection of head, heart and soul to help women live fully alive in their faith. For more than a decade, Nancy engaged millions of viewers as an on-air spokesperson for QVC—she understands what it’s like to try and balance work, marriage and motherhood. She has been featured on Hallmark’s Home & Family, The Jesus Calling Podcast, as well as in Publishers Weekly, The Christian Post, For Every Mom and more. You can follow Nancy on Instagram @nancyhickslive, on Facebook at NancyHicksLive, or visit her website. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission. Quote of the episode: “The grief or sorrow will never go away, but it will soften." —Nancy Hicks Resources: "Grieving the Loss of a Loved One: What to Do and What Not to Do" Nancy's book, "Meant to Live" Phiilip Yancey's book, "Disappointment with God" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/30/202138 minutes, 33 seconds
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Who Is God Really? with Christian Bevere – 169

For thousands of years, people have tried to answer the question, “Who is God?” It’s a monumental question, and one that even people of faith still grapple with. We learn a lot about God by reading the Bible and through prayer, but how can we begin to really know Him? Darlene Brock and Julie Bender chat with Christian Bevere to discuss what it means to be a son or daughter of God and how to grasp who God is, according to who He says He is. Christian details the ways that God shows up in our lives and acts as our defender. If you’ve ever desired to have a bigger picture of what God looks like, we encourage you to give this episode a listen. Christian Bevere is one of the founding members of Sons & Daughters, a global movement geared toward helping young adults find adventure and purpose in their Creator. In addition to her work with Sons & Daughters, Christian is a wife, a designer and a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur. You can follow Christian on Instagram @mrschristianbevere, or at Sons & Daughters TV. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission. Quote of the episode: “God's not a genie in a bottle. But he provides for me the way a father does." —Christian Bevere Resources: Sons & Daughters' new book, "I AM" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/23/202127 minutes, 11 seconds
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Who Is God Really? with Christian Bevere – 169

For thousands of years, people have tried to answer the question, “Who is God?” It’s a monumental question, and one that even people of faith still grapple with. We learn a lot about God by reading the Bible and through prayer, but how can we begin to really know Him? Darlene Brock and Julie Bender chat with Christian Bevere to discuss what it means to be a son or daughter of God and how to grasp who God is, according to who He says He is. Christian details the ways that God shows up in our lives and acts as our defender. If you’ve ever desired to have a bigger picture of what God looks like, we encourage you to give this episode a listen. Christian Bevere is one of the founding members of Sons & Daughters, a global movement geared toward helping young adults find adventure and purpose in their Creator. In addition to her work with Sons & Daughters, Christian is a wife, a designer and a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur. You can follow Christian on Instagram @mrschristianbevere, or at Sons & Daughters TV. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission. Quote of the episode: “God's not a genie in a bottle. But he provides for me the way a father does." —Christian Bevere Resources: Sons & Daughters' new book, "I AM" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/23/202127 minutes, 11 seconds
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How do We Handle the Messiness of Motherhood? with Laila Schell – 168

Motherhood 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 encourage you to check out this episode if you need some support amid the messiness of motherhood. Laila Schell is a wife and mom of four who lives in a small farming community north of Toronto. She loves people and has always enjoyed talking to others and hearing their stories. Laila knows first hand how important it is to receive grace and of the power that God can use to transform a life. She has a passion for encouraging mothers and wives in the day to day tasks and helping them to see that even the most menial tasks are important and have a purpose! A firm believer that guacamole should never be extra and miracle whip is not mayonnaise, she uses worship music as the fuel to carry her through in life. You can read more from Laila at The Good Wives Blog, or follow her on Instagram @thegoodwife22. Quote of the episode: “Be you. You're exactly the mother God knew your kids would need." —Laila Schell Resources: Laila's beach article: Sure, It Was a Disaster… But Not a Failure   Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/16/202127 minutes, 36 seconds
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How do We Handle the Messiness of Motherhood? with Laila Schell – 168

Motherhood 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 encourage you to check out this episode if you need some support amid the messiness of motherhood. Laila Schell is a wife and mom of four who lives in a small farming community north of Toronto. She loves people and has always enjoyed talking to others and hearing their stories. Laila knows first hand how important it is to receive grace and of the power that God can use to transform a life. She has a passion for encouraging mothers and wives in the day to day tasks and helping them to see that even the most menial tasks are important and have a purpose! A firm believer that guacamole should never be extra and miracle whip is not mayonnaise, she uses worship music as the fuel to carry her through in life. You can read more from Laila at The Good Wives Blog, or follow her on Instagram @thegoodwife22. Quote of the episode: “Be you. You're exactly the mother God knew your kids would need." —Laila Schell Resources: Laila's beach article: Sure, It Was a Disaster… But Not a Failure   Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/16/202127 minutes, 36 seconds
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Can I Find Happiness without Neglecting the Needs of Others? – 167

Society tells us that we should pursue what makes us happy and cut ties with those who don't agree with that or who get in our way. But does finding our happiness have to be selfish-or-self-destruct? What even defines happiness, anyway? Darlene Brock and Julie Bender offer their insights on this important topic and talk about what happiness looks like in three areas of our lives: relationships, motherhood and work. Rather than focusing purely on how to find happiness—or, to adopt Darlene's preferred term, "contentment"—they discuss how to work towards this idea in a way that balances our responsibilities and takes into consideration the impact our pursuit of happiness will have on those we really care about. Quote of the episode: “In a healthy relationship, compromise will make you better; it will help you grow." —Julie Bender Resources: Podcasts mentioned, in order How do I Connect with Friends when I Feel Alone? with Katie Cress – 165 How to Take Back Your Time with Christy Wright – 166 Real Advice Any Grit and Grace Mom Can Use Now – 134 If You Want to Grow in Faith, Try These Simple Things – 144 Faith articles mentioned Beginning Faith Battered Faith Building Faith  Articles on when to let a relationship go Dear Friend, He Doesn’t See Your Worth But I Do Are You Settling for a Red Flag Guy? How to Avoid the Wrong Guy: A Checklist for Strong Women   Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/9/202125 minutes, 19 seconds
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Can I Find Happiness without Neglecting the Needs of Others? – 167

Society tells us that we should pursue what makes us happy and cut ties with those who don't agree with that or who get in our way. But does finding our happiness have to be selfish-or-self-destruct? What even defines happiness, anyway? Darlene Brock and Julie Bender offer their insights on this important topic and talk about what happiness looks like in three areas of our lives: relationships, motherhood and work. Rather than focusing purely on how to find happiness—or, to adopt Darlene's preferred term, "contentment"—they discuss how to work towards this idea in a way that balances our responsibilities and takes into consideration the impact our pursuit of happiness will have on those we really care about. Quote of the episode: “In a healthy relationship, compromise will make you better; it will help you grow." —Julie Bender Resources: Podcasts mentioned, in order How do I Connect with Friends when I Feel Alone? with Katie Cress – 165 How to Take Back Your Time with Christy Wright – 166 Real Advice Any Grit and Grace Mom Can Use Now – 134 If You Want to Grow in Faith, Try These Simple Things – 144 Faith articles mentioned Beginning Faith Battered Faith Building Faith  Articles on when to let a relationship go Dear Friend, He Doesn’t See Your Worth But I Do Are You Settling for a Red Flag Guy? How to Avoid the Wrong Guy: A Checklist for Strong Women   Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/9/202125 minutes, 19 seconds
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How to Take Back Your Time with Christy Wright – 166

"How do I find a work-life balance?" seems to be an eternal question, one we just keep circling back to as the to-do list grows longer. Whether it's our jobs, homes, family or friends, there's always something or someone who needs us. Life feels demanding and 24 hours in a day to get everything done just doesn't cut it anymore. Author and speaker Christy Wright joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to offer her take on this question—and it has nothing to do with balance at all. Taking cues from her new book, "Take Back Your Time," Christy discusses five ways that we can create time to get back to the things that are truly important to us. So whether you're feeling overwhelmed, tired or inspired to make a significant change in your schedule, you'll learn how to effectively prioritize what matters–and feel better in the process. Christy Wright is a wife, a mom, a bestselling author, personal growth expert and the founder of Business Boutique, an academy that equips women with the knowledge and resources they need to launch a successful business. She also worked on a farm, and has competed in a Latin ballroom competition. You can follow Christy on Instagram @christybwright, on Facebook @OfficialChristyWright , or check out her website.   Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission. Quote of the episode: “Life balance is not doing everything for an equal amount of time; it's about doing the right things at the right time." —Christy Wright Resources: Grab Christy's new book, "Take Back Your Time." Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/2/202130 minutes, 38 seconds
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How to Take Back Your Time with Christy Wright – 166

"How do I find a work-life balance?" seems to be an eternal question, one we just keep circling back to as the to-do list grows longer. Whether it's our jobs, homes, family or friends, there's always something or someone who needs us. Life feels demanding and 24 hours in a day to get everything done just doesn't cut it anymore. Author and speaker Christy Wright joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to offer her take on this question—and it has nothing to do with balance at all. Taking cues from her new book, "Take Back Your Time," Christy discusses five ways that we can create time to get back to the things that are truly important to us. So whether you're feeling overwhelmed, tired or inspired to make a significant change in your schedule, you'll learn how to effectively prioritize what matters–and feel better in the process. Christy Wright is a wife, a mom, a bestselling author, personal growth expert and the founder of Business Boutique, an academy that equips women with the knowledge and resources they need to launch a successful business. She also worked on a farm, and has competed in a Latin ballroom competition. You can follow Christy on Instagram @christybwright, on Facebook @OfficialChristyWright , or check out her website.   Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission. Quote of the episode: “Life balance is not doing everything for an equal amount of time; it's about doing the right things at the right time." —Christy Wright Resources: Grab Christy's new book, "Take Back Your Time." Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/2/202130 minutes, 38 seconds
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How do I Connect with Friends when I Feel Alone? with Katie Cress – 165

Friendships are incredibly valuable to our lives and our well-being, but they take work. Just like marriage, different seasons of life will require our attention and complicate these relationships. We might find that the dynamic has changed, or the frequency of communication has dwindled. In this episode, Grit and Grace Life writer and counselor Katie Cress joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share the steps she took to connect with friends after a cross-country move left her feeling lonely and withdrawn. In order to maintain healthy friendships—or restore frayed ones—we need to put in the time and effort to connect. If this sounds like where you’re at, we encourage you to send off a simple, kind text to your friends today.  Katie Cress is a counselor and educator who moved across the country from Georgia to California after marrying her high school sweetheart at the age of 22. Because of this, she has a vested interest in Pittsburgh Steelers football, Atlanta Braves baseball and the California fashion scene. Katie makes a mean sweet tea in the summer and craves a strong Seattle brewed coffee everyday. She’s also a mom of two and a writer for Grit and Grace Life. You can follow Katie on Instagram here.   Check out these articles written by Katie: This Is What Justin Timberlake Taught Me About Motherhood  How Brain Science Restored My Hope for Change Quote of the episode: “When you're patient and don't focus on the petty and actually reach out, you get to the place where you know those relationships will last through good times, bad times, absence, presence, and everything in-between." —Darlene Brock Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/26/202125 minutes, 28 seconds
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How do I Connect with Friends when I Feel Alone? with Katie Cress – 165

Friendships are incredibly valuable to our lives and our well-being, but they take work. Just like marriage, different seasons of life will require our attention and complicate these relationships. We might find that the dynamic has changed, or the frequency of communication has dwindled. In this episode, Grit and Grace Life writer and counselor Katie Cress joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share the steps she took to connect with friends after a cross-country move left her feeling lonely and withdrawn. In order to maintain healthy friendships—or restore frayed ones—we need to put in the time and effort to connect. If this sounds like where you’re at, we encourage you to send off a simple, kind text to your friends today.  Katie Cress is a counselor and educator who moved across the country from Georgia to California after marrying her high school sweetheart at the age of 22. Because of this, she has a vested interest in Pittsburgh Steelers football, Atlanta Braves baseball and the California fashion scene. Katie makes a mean sweet tea in the summer and craves a strong Seattle brewed coffee everyday. She’s also a mom of two and a writer for Grit and Grace Life. You can follow Katie on Instagram here.   Check out these articles written by Katie: This Is What Justin Timberlake Taught Me About Motherhood  How Brain Science Restored My Hope for Change Quote of the episode: “When you're patient and don't focus on the petty and actually reach out, you get to the place where you know those relationships will last through good times, bad times, absence, presence, and everything in-between." —Darlene Brock Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/26/202125 minutes, 28 seconds
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How to Find Peace and Purpose in an Out of Control World with Dr Zoe – 164

Darlene Brock and Julie Bender call on licensed psychotherapist and life coach Dr. Zoe Shaw to find out how we can begin to find peace and purpose in a world we can’t control. It’s no secret that the world feels a bit crazy right now. With everything going on in politics and the news, it’s easy to feel anxious and overwhelmed in your personal life.  Rather than shrinking back, Dr. Zoe urges us to guard our minds and step into our strength and our convictions. She explains how we can better listen to others, refocus our energy out of the negative and combat the things that concern us. You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, STRONGER in the Difficult Places. Submit a question to our free Ask Dr. Zoe column. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission. Quote of the episode: “That anxiety is there; we have to speak it, and then we have to walk through it." —Dr. Zoe Resources: Grab Dr. Zoe’s new book, “A Year of Self-Care: Daily Practices and Inspiration for Caring for Yourself." “Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad” by John Eldridge “It’s All Under Control” by Jennifer Dukes Lee  Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/19/202132 minutes, 36 seconds
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How to Find Peace and Purpose in an Out of Control World with Dr Zoe – 164

Darlene Brock and Julie Bender call on licensed psychotherapist and life coach Dr. Zoe Shaw to find out how we can begin to find peace and purpose in a world we can’t control. It’s no secret that the world feels a bit crazy right now. With everything going on in politics and the news, it’s easy to feel anxious and overwhelmed in your personal life.  Rather than shrinking back, Dr. Zoe urges us to guard our minds and step into our strength and our convictions. She explains how we can better listen to others, refocus our energy out of the negative and combat the things that concern us. You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, STRONGER in the Difficult Places. Submit a question to our free Ask Dr. Zoe column. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission. Quote of the episode: “That anxiety is there; we have to speak it, and then we have to walk through it." —Dr. Zoe Resources: Grab Dr. Zoe’s new book, “A Year of Self-Care: Daily Practices and Inspiration for Caring for Yourself." “Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad” by John Eldridge “It’s All Under Control” by Jennifer Dukes Lee  Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/19/202132 minutes, 36 seconds
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We’re Back! – 163

We’re back! After what co-host Julie Bender calls “the shortest summer ever,” her and Darlene Brock catch up on life and give a preview of the great things in store as they return with new episodes of This Grit and Grace Life podcast. But the summer hiatus wasn’t all road-tripping and mountain-hiking. The team at Grit and Grace Life spruced up the website and revamped the podcast to better meet you where you are. We’ve realized that the world continues to spin out of control, but we know answers can be found. The podcast takes on a new format, where Darlene and Julie pose the questions you’re asking and answer them with practical steps to help you walk through your challenges and move forward in a world that’s ever changing. You’ll hear from some of This Grit and Grace Life’s beloved guests, like Dr. Zoe Shaw and Christy Wright, as well as a few new friends who come with experiences worth sharing. So mark your calendars and join us each Tuesday as we equip you with the tips and encouragement you need to tackle this life with—what else?—grit and grace. Brought to you by The Grit and Grace Project®.   Quote of the episode: “We have seasons of life, and they’re ever changing—so we have to find new roads.”  Darlene Brock Don't miss this worthwhile advice from some of your past questions: What do I do if my boyfriend didn't propose? Can I get past a betrayal in my marriage? What's the right way to discipline my toddler? https://youtu.be/FXAINPCQxfc   Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/12/202114 minutes, 38 seconds
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We’re Back! – 163

We’re back! After what co-host Julie Bender calls “the shortest summer ever,” her and Darlene Brock catch up on life and give a preview of the great things in store as they return with new episodes of This Grit and Grace Life podcast. But the summer hiatus wasn’t all road-tripping and mountain-hiking. The team at Grit and Grace Life spruced up the website and revamped the podcast to better meet you where you are. We’ve realized that the world continues to spin out of control, but we know answers can be found. The podcast takes on a new format, where Darlene and Julie pose the questions you’re asking and answer them with practical steps to help you walk through your challenges and move forward in a world that’s ever changing. You’ll hear from some of This Grit and Grace Life’s beloved guests, like Dr. Zoe Shaw and Christy Wright, as well as a few new friends who come with experiences worth sharing. So mark your calendars and join us each Tuesday as we equip you with the tips and encouragement you need to tackle this life with—what else?—grit and grace. Brought to you by The Grit and Grace Project®.   Quote of the episode: “We have seasons of life, and they’re ever changing—so we have to find new roads.”  Darlene Brock Don't miss this worthwhile advice from some of your past questions: What do I do if my boyfriend didn't propose? Can I get past a betrayal in my marriage? What's the right way to discipline my toddler? https://youtu.be/FXAINPCQxfc   Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/12/202114 minutes, 38 seconds
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Wise Words for Women in Our Grit and Grace Life – 162

With life traveling faster than we can keep up, many of us are facing storms that threaten to take our joy, sanity, and peace. What we all need right now are wise words for women to handle this grit and grace life. We don’t need a quippy cliché or a half-hearted platitude but real practical truths to apply as needed. To offer that, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender take to the mic to share six insights on life that benefit every woman. Since they are taking a recording break for a few months, they wanted to leave you with these hard-won words of wisdom. After listening to this episode, remember that there are 161 other episodes, plus more than 1,500 articles at gritandgracelife.com to catch up on. We trust you’ll have plenty to encourage you to seize and savor each day of your summer, like we plan to. We'll be back in the fall with something new that we think you'll love as we all strive to successfully live This Grit and Grace Life! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! We also encourage you to check out Julie's show, The Julie Bender Show, wherever you stream podcasts!     Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw Would Jesus Unfriend You? 100 Things a Grit and Grace Woman Believes True Beauty is Found in a Woman's Strength Quote of the episode: "Tough times never last, but tough people do." Dr. Robert H. Schuller Check out this related episode:  How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075 Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, may earn Grit and Grace Life a small commission.
5/11/202128 minutes, 3 seconds
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Behind Her Struggle With Alcohol With Lindsey Encinias – 161

Is social drinking just a glass of wine at dinner (the answer is yes), or can it become something else (the answer is also yes)? Current statistics show that many women find themselves in a struggle with alcohol, experiencing a significant upswing after the stress of 2020. With this knowledge in hand, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender interview Lindsey Encinias, writer for Grit and Grace, who bravely shares her battle overcoming alcoholism. In this personal story, she recounts contributing factors- her family history, the tragic loss of her father while she was a teenager, and wrestling with her identity after leaving an exciting corporate role after becoming a mom. Even though it appeared her other mom friends seemed to be day-drinking on play dates as much as she was, she found she had hit rock bottom. With no place to turn, she sought help to overcome the desire that had consumed her thoughts and plans. Lindsey’s story sheds light on a growing problem that you might be facing or know someone who is. She shares the freedom she has found on the other side of this fight. We hope that telling her story will encourage women with the same struggle; they can break free, too. Lindsey is a bracelet obsessed, cheese-loving woman, passionate about sharing her wild journey in hopes of helping other women. She is a fourth-generation Texan who cheers the loudest for Oklahoma Football. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, she got back to Texas as fast as she could. She now lives in the suburbs of Dallas with her two precious children and adoring husband. Lindsey is a former corporate meeting and event planner who traveled the world with bright eyes in her twenties. She will never turn down a plane ticket or the chance to plan a party! Today, her happy place is curled up watching cooking shows or reading a good book with her little family by her side. Read more of Lindsey's story here. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love My Dad’s Suicide and the Hole in My Heart 5 Slogans From AA That Will Make Every Woman Wise Change Happens When God is in Your Addiction Recovery Raising Great Girls: How to Do the Job with Darlene Brock   Quote of the episode: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
4/27/202133 minutes, 50 seconds
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You Don’t Have to Stay Stuck Anymore – 160

Life ebbs and flows. Some days are filled with excitement and hope. Then there are others where you feel just plain “meh.” When the mundane feeling lingers beyond a few days, it’s time to ask yourself if you’ve become stagnant. Since we all face these emotional roadblocks, we wanted to tackle them. The first thing Darlene Brock and Julie Bender share is a simple way to determine if you’re in an actual rut. Then, if so, how to begin the battle forward, reminding you to give yourself much-needed grace as you determine why you’re feeling this way. Next, they suggest an exercise you can use today to help you get back on track. This episode is the perfect balance of “you got this” and a reminder that sometimes it’s okay to “just be” —basically, the unique blend of grit and grace for your current place. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love This Is How to Avoid Stagnation and Get More out of Life Stuck In a Rut? Here’s How to Get Some Perspective 7 Tips for Taking Life One Bite at a Time Quote of the episode: "Be bold and just be you and tap into your grit and grace" - Julie Bender Check out these related episodes:  Now Is the Time for a Reset – 152 and Don’t Start the New Year Stuck in a Rut – 021
4/13/202125 minutes, 25 seconds
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Stop People Pleasing Now With Cherlyn Decker – 159

Do other people’s opinions affect how you feel about yourself? Often find yourself trying to please others, hoping they will see you as you want to be seen? If so, you’ll appreciate this episode. Darlene Brock and Julie Bender interview Cherlyn Decker—a speaker, writer, and coach who has helped hundreds of women turn their struggles into a source of strength. They discuss everyday battles many women face: people pleasing, mom guilt, and obsessing over what others think of them. Cheryln shares practical tools that can help you turn from these harmful habits, encouraging you to look back on past life experiences for how they “stack” on each other to help you build your confidence. Cherlyn Decker is a speaker, writer, and coach who has helped hundreds of women turn their struggles into a source of strength. Cherlyn believes that it’s only when we face our challenges that we can take back control and triumph over them. When Cherlyn isn’t busy helping women, she loves spending time with her husband and two beautiful daughters at their home near Denver. Most weekends she can be found loudly cheering at her daughter’s volleyball game or curled up on the couch with a blanket, a book, and a cup of tea. Learn more about her on her site, or follow her on Instagram and Twitter! You can get her book ROAR Back: Transforming Struggle Into Strength here. Cherlyn suggested the app/tool "AnyList." Check it out here! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love Now Is the Time to Ignite Your Confidence Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Stop Being a People-Pleaser To the Working Mom Struggling With Guilt Quote of the Episode: "A strong woman won't be held back by people-pleasing.” - Cheryln Decker Check out these episodes we mentioned: Stop the Mommy Wars: Every Mom is Doing Something Right – 017 and To the Working Mom: Stop Feeling Guilty – 034 Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.
3/30/202132 minutes, 49 seconds
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5 Ways to Build a Strong Relationship with Your Kids – 158

The job of "mom" can be tough! A mother nurtures, disciplines, clothes, feeds and does her very best to protect, all while balancing many more jobs both in and out of the house. With each day abundantly filled, do you find it challenging to invest enough time in building the strong relationship with your kids that you desire? Mom, you are not alone! In this episode, we give five ways every mom can build that relationship at any stage of their kids' lives. We share things you can do to develop their character while making treasured and lasting memories. Darlene (mom of adult daughters, Nonie to two, with a published parenting book) and Julie Bender (former single boymom, now considering another child with her new husband) talk through what it takes. You can achieve this sometimes overwhelming but not impossible goal: creating strong relationships as you raise great kids. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!   Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love 8 Things Moms Should Say to Raise Strong Kids To the Mom Who Feels Like It Never Ends Stepmother: The Most Difficult Job in a Family 10 Simple Things You Can Do to Raise Quality Kids Mom, You Know When Your Kid Needs a Win Ask Dr. Zoe – How Can I Parent Positively When My Kids Drive Me Crazy? Raising Great Girls: How to Do the Job with Darlene Brock     Quote of the episode: "It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” - Ann Landers Check out these episodes we mentioned: Real Advice Any Grit and Grace Mom Can Use Now – 134 and These Strategies Will Help You Raise Great Kids – 063 Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.
3/16/202130 minutes, 28 seconds
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Find Healing and Freedom From Sexual Abuse With Jill Monaco – 157

It can be tough to heal from trauma and pain from abuse in your past. It becomes even more challenging when you've kept it to yourself for years, hiding it from others. Author, speaker, and coach, Jill Monaco, has lived this life story and joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share her experience with sexual abuse at the hands of church leaders. She offers hope as she walks us through her road to healing. This honest discussion will help you know how to spot signs of abuse (some are clear, others more subtle) and what to say (and not say) to someone in this heartbreaking scenario. Abuse may be a part of your life story, or maybe you're listening to better understand those around you so that you can provide them with grace. No matter what your past looks like, this episode will bring more compassion and empathy and offer hope. This is a hope-filled must-listen for so many reasons. Jill Monaco is the founder and CEO of Jill Monaco Ministries. She is a speaker, podcast host, and best-selling author who developed Freedom Coaching®, a model that blends hearing God, prayer, and coaching tools. Her first book The Freedom Coach Model® went to #1 on the Amazon best seller list. She also serves singles by publishing the online magazine, SingleMatters.com and the program From Looking To Loving: Find the Breakthrough You Need So You Can Have The Relationship You Want. Purchase her book Freedom Coach Model Get the Overcoming Audio Series and Workbook Listen to her podcast In the episode, Jill mentioned two books for healing from past abuse and trauma: Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse and The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!   Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love Overcoming Shame from Abuse in a Grit and Grace Life A Fake Smile Will Not Cure Depression, So Do This Instead Ask Dr. Zoe – How To Interact With a Narcissist Quote of the episode: "Some people see scars, and it is wounding they remember. To me they are proof of the fact that there is healing.” -Linda Hogan Check out these episodes we mentioned: What Are the Unexpected Gifts of Depression? With Melissa Maimone – 095 and The Complicated Heart – Loving When It Hurts With Sarah Mae – 149 Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission.
3/2/202135 minutes, 3 seconds
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As Life Changes We Ask, What Defines Me? – 156

Are you feeling a bit lost? No longer know who you are? The demands and circumstances of your life have taken over, and you’re unsure what defines you. Is it what you do? The titles you hold? The roles you play? The opinions of another? Women go through numerous changes and seasons, some by choice, others beyond our control, bringing with them struggles to know who we are. Co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender ask pointed questions to get to that elusive answer. What defines me? Our priorities, principles, and convictions will lead us to that answer. In this episode, we want you to remember that the first thing you are is a strong woman of grit and grace! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love How Do I Know What Defines Me? How to Live out of Your Strengths, Not Weaknesses True Beauty is Found in a Woman’s Strength What Does It Take to Be a Strong Woman of Grit and Grace? Can God Use Messy People? (Video) Quote of the episode: "Do not let a moment in time, a circumstance you find yourself in or another person's opinion define you." -Darlene Brock Check out these episodes we mentioned: A Strong Woman Plays Her Hand With Grit and Grace – 138, Can You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028, If You Want To Grow in Faith, Try These Simple Things – 144 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/16/202131 minutes, 14 seconds
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How To Make Self-Care Part of Your Life With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 155

Self-care. Sound good? Or do you feel guilty even thinking about it? Perhaps it’s okay for someone else, but you don’t have time to take care of yourself? Dr. Zoe Shaw joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to explain what self-care is (and isn’t) and how it is an essential part of your grit and grace life. Society tells women, “you can do it all, and you have to,” but at what cost? Often, Christian women wonder if self-care is biblical, feeling they must always put others first, especially if they have a husband and/or children. Is this true? In her new book, A Year of Self-Care, Dr. Zoe gives you an easily read daily how-to, and she unpacks some of what you’ll read in this episode. You don’t want to miss this conversation. We’re giving you permission to take a little time for yourself, grab your coffee or a cup of tea and tune in. Then commit to taking better care of yourself, starting today. You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, Redefining Your Superwoman.   You can ask your question of Dr. Zoe by clicking the box! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Grit and Grace Life may earn a small commission. Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love Establishing Healthy Boundaries in the Grit and Grace Life This Is Why You Need a Self-Care Day (And What to Do) Self-Care: What to Do When It Feels Like Another Commitment This Is How I Enjoy My Life Even When It’s Overwhelming What Happened When This Mom Stopped Doing All the Things Quote of the episode: "Self-care is a daily exercise. One that is free but priceless. It's a continual reckoning with your soul where you make a declaration: I am worthy to be care for." -Dr. Zoe Shaw Check out these episodes we mentioned: How We Can Stand With the Black Community With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 136, Are You the Proverbs 31 Woman? Should You Be? – 092, and Want to Be a Strong Woman? Set Healthy Boundaries – 103 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/2/202130 minutes, 4 seconds
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This Is How Carpe Diem Can Change Your 2021 – 154

Do people still say "carpe diem" or is it merely an overused cliché? Darlene Brock and Julie Bender think it's a relevant phrase, especially now. In this episode, they are inviting you to embrace its meaning for 2021. Who knows what tomorrow brings, today is what you have. The unexpected twists and turns from last year reminded us that life can change in an instant. It’s grit and grace that will help you seize the day; this episode will tell you how to do so while inspiring you to take hold of every moment 2021 brings. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love How to Pick the Perfect Shade of Red for Every Skin Tone How to Have Your Own Coffee + Bible Time There’s No One Right Way to Feed Your Faith This Is My New Exercise Regimen (for My Faith) Quote of the episode: "Forever – is composed of Nows." -Emily Dickinson Check out these episodes we mentioned: Now Is the Time for a Reset – 152 and If You Want To Grow in Faith, Try These Simple Things – 144 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/19/202128 minutes, 38 seconds
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Know Yourself, Know Your Money With Rachel Cruze – 153

The fresh start of a new year often causes us to evaluate many areas of our lives, including personal finances. With that in mind, Darlene Brock and Julie Bender brought Rachel Cruze (two-time #1 national best-selling author and financial expert) to the show to share a whole new framework we can use! She’s taking us all the way back to our childhood to consider how we were taught about money and what that says about how we use it. You’ll love how Rachel’s concepts will improve your relationships, your confidence, and your ability to know yourself and your money! We're confident this episode will pay you back! Rachel Cruze is a two-time #1 national best-selling author, financial expert and host of The Rachel Cruze Show. Since 2010, Rachel has served at Ramsey Solutions, where she teaches people to avoid debt, save money, budget and how to win with money at any stage in life. She’s authored three best-selling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. Her latest book Know Yourself, Know Your Money: Discover WHY You Handle Money the Way You Do and WHAT to Do About It will release in January 2021. Follow Rachel on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube or online at rachelcruze.com. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!   Quote of the episode: "You can't let fear be your financial advisor." -Rachel Cruze   Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/5/202128 minutes, 32 seconds
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Now Is the Time for a Reset – 152

There’s probably no better time for a reset than now! Closing the curtain on 2020 seems like the best idea we’ve heard. But, a grit and grace woman knows that no matter how challenging her circumstances are, she finds strength by going through them, not around them. So, this year deserves a proper send-off. And since it was such a tough one, we're probably all due for a massive shakeup. This week, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender offer suggestions on exactly how to do that. Do you feel stuck? Is there a relationship that is off? Are you in the right job? What a perfect time to consider what you might want to change and evaluate how you’re spending your time, energy, and influence. If you’ve felt stalled out (as most of us have), take a hard look at your priorities to figure out where you want to go. Don’t let the frustrations of this year carry you into the next. Press play and choose to start fresh. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love When Forgiveness Seems Impossible Stuck In a Rut? Here’s How to Get Some Perspective Now Is the Time To Release 2020  Is There Any Good 2020? If You Say “Yes,” Don’t Feel Guilty 5 Slogans From AA That Will Make Every Woman Wiser What Happens When You Welcome God Into Your Recovery Why It’s So Important to Have a Mentor and to Be One Too Quote of the episode: "For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." -T.S. Eliot Check out these episodes we mentioned: The Complicated Heart – Loving When It Hurts With Sarah Mae – 149, How to Get Over the Pandemic That’s Not Over – 139, and New Year, Strong You! How to Reflect on Your Year in a Helpful Way – 114 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/29/202027 minutes, 43 seconds
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A Well Loved Grit and Grace Life With Heather Brown – 151

It’s the end of the year, and we’re wondering if it’s genuinely possible to balance all the parts of our life. Especially after 2020! Are we able to do everything that demands our attention, with the hope of enjoying it, too? Heather Brown, creator of the lifestyle blog My Life Well Loved, joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender for this very conversation. When you listen, you'll gather tips from this inspiring lady on how to grow your faith, keep your marriage thriving, and avoid mommy guilt. Heather's hack for getting her picky toddler to try new things truly surprised us! You’ll appreciate the ladies’ different opinions in this conversation (unique to their personalities, experiences, and generation). But they all agree that self-care cannot be the last thing on our growing lists. This podcast is the perfect listen if you need a recharge and want to be present and enjoy the holidays with those you love. Heather Brown is the creator and editor at My Life Well Loved born of her passion to empower women, inspire confidence, and elevate living a life well loved. She's a mom to three-year-old, Leyton, and 10 month old, Finn, wife to Eric, and a healthy lifestyle advocate! She's defined by her faith in Jesus, her Southern roots, and a deep love for people. MLWL is a destination for fitness, fashion, mom hacks, wellness tips, and most importantly, fun! Find and follow along with her on Instagram here. Get Heather’s post about the Enneagram here. Grab her meal planning eBook here. And read more about picky eaters and food therapy with tips from a dietician here. Get the Marco Polo app we talked about here! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." -Maya Angelou Check out these episodes we mentioned: How Strong Women Can Have Healthy Friendships – 150, If You Want To Grow in Faith, Try These Simple Things – 144, and Rest Easy Moms, Here Are the Things That Matter – 102 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/15/202040 minutes, 42 seconds
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How Strong Women Can Have Healthy Friendships – 150

Do women really need friends? Do they need female friendships? What does it take to create a bond that flourishes? How do you know when a friendship should end because the harm outweighs the good, bringing hurt instead of joy? Can women have long-term friendships? Can they be “just friends” with men? These are just a few of the issues that co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender consider while unpacking how to deepen relationships with friends who are safe, those you can trust. Also, they'll discuss how to cut off a bond that has turned toxic. It takes both grit and grace to have quality friendships, and we encourage those! Strong women surround themselves with other strong women—those who can inspire, love, and do this #gritandgracelife together! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." Henry Ford Check out these episodes we mentioned: Grit, Grace & Girlfriends: How to Make Healthy Relationships – 003, Great Friends: 9 Qualities to Be One and Find One – 031 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/1/202027 minutes, 31 seconds
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The Complicated Heart – Loving Even When It Hurts With Sarah Mae – 149

Sometimes the people who are supposed to love us the most hurt us the deepest. Wounds from dysfunctional relationships left untreated can cripple us for a lifetime. Sarah Mae, author of The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It Hurts, joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to talk about healing. Having learned how to break the chains of hurt, she shares the complicated relationship she had with her mom, her pain after an abortion, and steps to finding lasting hope and change. In Sarah’s words: “If you’ve struggled with a difficult relationship, if you’ve felt torn-up and crazy and confused because of it, if you just want to know how to move forward and be okay, this story is for you.“ This episode is a must-listen, and we encourage you to share it with someone you know might need it, too. Sarah Mae is a nationally known speaker, the host of The Complicated Heart Podcast, and author of several books, including The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It Hurts. She loves to travel all over the country speaking at events and encouraging women to walk in freedom. She also has the privilege of sharing beautiful and meaningful products on QVC. She makes her home in Lancaster County Pennsylvania with her woodworker husband, three spunky kiddos, and a naughty yellow lab named Memphis. You can follow her on Instagram or visit her site, here. To learn more about the core lies Sarah talks about on the episode, click here. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Articles We Mentioned or Ones You'll Love Establishing Healthy Boundaries in the Grit and Grace Life When Dreams Die… Grieving What Should Have Been Can You Forgive When There’s No Apology? Quote of the episode: "She broke me, but He found me and after He bound up my wounds He taught me to love her because she was broken too." Sarah Mae Check out these episodes we mentioned: Want to Be a Strong Woman? Set Healthy Boundaries – 103 and This Is How to Handle a Hard Relationship With Your Mom – 089 Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – In Love with a Narcissist, Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Leave the Past Behind? Watch the full series of "Would You Rather" videos on our YouTube channel here! Like what you find at Grit + Grace? Support our mission here: Donate Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/17/202038 minutes, 50 seconds
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7 Things a Strong Woman Does (It’s OK To Start Now) – 148

We women possess innate qualities that make us strong. But did you know that we can do things to grow the power we have within us? Co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender share seven ways to do so, whether you're starting now or simply need a reminder. Here are just a few they discuss that we all need to master: respect yourself (and others) go with the flow trust your gut Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!   Quote of the episode: "You see I am neither as good as I want to be or as bad as I could be. I am still a work in progress, growing in grace." - Darlene Brock Check out these episodes we mentioned: Darlene and Julie Chat Balancing Adulting, Barbells and Booties – 109, Get It Girl! How Self-Respect Can Change Your Life – 097, 7 Things You Can Stop Doing To Be a Strong Woman – 147, and You Are More Inspiring Than You Think – 141 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/3/202030 minutes, 9 seconds
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7 Things You Can Stop Doing To Be a Strong Woman – 147

We know that a strong woman has a lot of things she has to do. But did you know that there are some things a woman should NOT do in order to be her strongest self? For most of us, it’s hard to identify what those actions and behaviors are, and it's even more challenging to stop doing them. So, what are the items that you need to erase from your to-do list in life? Co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie (Graham) Bender offer a little help by suggesting a few ways you can set your course to becoming a stronger you. Here are a few of the don’ts they discuss—things you can stop doing right now: Listening to your negative self-talk Saying yes to everything Sweating the small stuff Join us in this conversation, one for all grit and grace women. We’re here to help you erase these burdens from your list, set them aside, and feel the weight lift off of you, friend. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here. Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love When a Strong Woman Is Quitting, But Not Failing He Brings Me Flowers, but Is That Enough? 13 Things I Need to Quit For Good, Right Now How Do I Know What Defines Me? 5 Things You Need to Quit Right Now If Your Man Didn’t Propose (But Should Have) Read This Quote of the episode: "Things to let go at the end of the day: Perfectionism. Limiting beliefs. Toxic people. Bras and pants." Check out these episodes we mentioned: 7 Things Women Need to Quit Right Now – 010 and Why Hasn’t Your Boyfriend Proposed or Set a Date? With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 140! Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – Is It My Fault He Hasn’t Proposed?, Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Progress in a Relationship From Girlfriend to Wife?, and Ask Dr. Zoe – Why Do Strong Independent Women Scare Men?! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/20/202029 minutes, 2 seconds
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How To Embrace Your Singleness and Thrive With Jessica Hutton – 146

Single ladies, this one is for you! It seems that a lot of the content out there is focused on finding you a man! But we know that a strong woman doesn’t need to be in a relationship to have value. A healthy relationship can be a significant part of your life, but it’s not essential to living a full and rich life. So, we invited Jessica Hutton, author of Own Your Singleness, to bring a little insight into going beyond simply surviving your singleness, but thriving in it. Jessica introduces us to the 6-single-lady typologies and explains how you can practice active contentment and avoid the pitfalls of frustration and disappointment. She will encourage you to live as a happy, healthy, and prosperous individual who may then attract a happy, healthy, prosperous relationship (if you want one). She’s single, thriving, and living into her purpose, and she will help you realize you can, too. Jessica Hutton is a Licensed Master Social Worker, Life Coach, and author who works with singles and couples to create a life they love, unlearn toxic relationship behaviors, and develop skills that will help them nurture stable, satisfying, and sustainable relationships that last a lifetime. Visit her site, Live and Love Enriched, and follow her on Facebook or Instagram. Read Don’t Become A Bitter Single Christian Woman, from Jessica's blog, now. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love 5 Ways to Love Your Single Life Grit and Grace for All the Single Ladies If Your Man Didn’t Propose (But Should Have) Read This Is Marriage Just a Piece of Paper? Or Is It Something More? Quote of the episode: "If you're not happy being single then you'll never be happy in a relationship. Get your own life first, then share it." Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/6/202032 minutes, 29 seconds
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From Widow To Wife, Julie’s Getting Married – 145

This one gets personal. Co-host Julie Graham has already shared a bit of her story—a difficult childhood, married at 21, widowed at 33, and spending the last three years as a single, working mom to her spunky little boy. Back in the dating world, she discovered a gap. There wasn’t much for single Christian women wanting to date online, much less for moms. It seemed like the message was that it was wrong or unsafe, to be avoided at all costs. But, she found her way, employing the advice of a friend of the show and Licensed Therapist, Dr. Zoe Shaw. Now, she’s preparing to become Mrs. Julie Bender, marrying the newly found love of her life during a pandemic in front of their closest family and friends. In this episode, she shares this part of her story, how she met "D" and when she knew he was "the one." Darlene explores the pitfalls she faced while dating and how they’ve grown as a couple as they become not just husband and wife, but also a family of three. Whether you’ve experienced divorce or widowhood, you'll find nuggets of truth in this episode—a testimony of how our very own Julie Graham found redemptive love. It just might be there for you, too. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love When Will I Be Ready to Date After My Husband’s Death? This Is a Window Into My Widowhood Is Marriage Just a Piece of Paper? Or Is It Something More? When a Strong Woman Is Quitting, But Not Failing 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Try Online Dating From a Therapist: This Is Why Your Self-Talk Matters Quote of the episode: "I don't know exactly what the future holds, but I'm stepping forward with grit, anchored in grace." -Julie Graham Check out the episode we mentioned: Can You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028, What Today’s Dating Scene is Really Like – 094, Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101 and Single? How to Thrive in the Online Dating World with Kristin Fry – 037! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
9/22/202036 minutes, 1 second
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If You Want to Grow in Faith, Try These Simple Things – 144

Our faith guides us in all that we do. It is what enables us to manage This Grit and Grace Life. Since we believe we serve a personal God who cares about every aspect of our life, we realize that getting to know him better makes a huge difference. Faith helps us navigate all the challenges we face with the assurance that there are answers to our problems. In this episode, we’re bringing it back to the basics. What does it mean to be a Christian? How do you begin and grow in faith? Are there ways to learn more about God and the bible? Even what do Darlene and Julie find helpful in their own lives? This and more from two imperfect, still-growing Christian women who want to encourage you wherever you are today. Grab your coffee (maybe your bible) and tune in to this heartfelt discussion. Perhaps even share it with a friend. Looking to start studying the bible more? Try the 3 P's method Julie mentioned. As you read a passage of scripture look for God's power, presence and/or promises. You might also want to look for a reading plan on the You Version bible app or find one at She Reads Truth. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! These are the verses we mentioned on the episode. “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love How to Have Your Own Coffee + Bible Time Why It’s Important to Be Involved in a Local Church and How to Pick One The Good Christian Girl Who Struggled With Porn These Bible Studies Will Help You Grow Your Faith Chutes and Ladders—Are You Trying to Work Your Way to God? Beginning Faith: Walking This Life With Grit, Grace, and God Religion vs. Relationship: What Will Grow Your Faith More? There’s No One Right Way to Feed Your Faith 5 Inspiring Women of Faith I Love to Follow Quote of the episode: "So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him." -Romans 12:1 MSG Check out these episodes we mentioned: How Do I Know What Defines Me? – 078, Are You the Proverbs 31 Woman? Should You Be? – 092, and An Intimate Look at Your Sex Life With Dr. Miller OB-GYN – 135 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
9/15/202031 minutes, 44 seconds
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Growing Family Wealth Takes More Than Money With Deb Meyer – 143

You've probably thought about investing in your family’s future. Perhaps you’ve already created plans and budgets, but you may not have considered what your family’s real priorities should be. This episode’s guest, Deborah Meyer, CPA/PFS, CFP®, and Amazon bestselling author of Redefining Family Wealth, brings a fresh look at creating a plan unique to your family. She tells Darlene and Julie that building real wealth is about so much more than money. If the word “budget” makes you break into a cold sweat and a five-year plan (in any area of your life) feels overwhelming, this episode is for you. You’ll discover the intersection of money/finance and your family’s dreams, which should be part of your budget—offering the steps needed to realize them. Don’t stress your bank account or procrastinate these plans any further, just press play. Deborah L. Meyer, CPA/PFS, CFP® and AFCPE® Member, is the Amazon bestselling author of Redefining Family Wealth: A Parent’s Guide to Purposeful Living. Deborah owns Worthy Nest®, a virtual fee-only financial planning and investment advisory firm that helps parents build wealth, and SV CPA Services, an accounting and tax firm for impact-oriented small business owners. You can follow Deb on Facebook and learn more in her article 5 Steps To Build Wealth Without Comprising Your Values. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!   Quote of the episode: "Don't tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I'll tell you what they are." -James W. Frick Check out the episode we mentioned: Darlene and Julie Chat Balancing Adulting, Barbells and Booties – 109! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
9/1/202038 minutes, 18 seconds
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Why Your Life and Community Matters Right Now – 142

2020—the year none of us expected. The fear, isolation, and division created have left us feeling lost and even hopeless. But we don’t have to stay here. At Grit and Grace Life, we believe in community, we believe in us. In this episode, Julie and Darlene step back to revisit the things that will sustain us—rebuilding a community of women who value one another and believe in unity, removing fear, and replacing it with hope. If we could look you in the eyes (over your mask), we would encourage you to remove yourself from the news of today, embracing hope for the future. We’d also remind you that to make that future bright, it takes every one of us. You are the one who can change the world; you can be a light in these dark times. Your life matters. Be part of a community of women who can turn the tide, even in the waves that feel insurmountable. We are stronger together as we choose not only to live this 2020 Grit and Grace Life but also to make it count. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Living a life of grace takes an enormous amount of strength and a boatload of tenacity." Darlene Brock Check out these episodes we mentioned: 4 Realistic Ways to Shift Your Mindset in 2020 – 115, You Are More Inspiring Than You Think – 141, and How to Get Over the Pandemic That’s Not Over – 139 Want to help us grow our community? Share this show, (and/or the articles from Grit and Grace Life that you love) with your community! As more women lock arms with us, we will change the world together. Stay tuned for more tangible ways you can help us expand our reach! Get a preview of this episode, here! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
8/18/202023 minutes, 51 seconds
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Your Life Can Inspire Others – 141

Every woman has a story. You may not think so but, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or have all the letters behind your name, your journey can always impact someone else. We need each other. When we share life by telling our story, we're offering our hard-earned wisdom to uplift each other. It is in these moments when our grit radiates grace. Your past struggles are precisely what another woman is going through today. It is you she can look to right now in the difficulty; it is your journey that will help her believe she can and will get to the other side, stronger. But before you can inspire someone else, you need to know this is true! Darlene Brock and Julie Graham discuss this life reality, stressing the importance of self-love, and share how you can start believing in yourself. This episode will unpack why these tenants of grit and grace allow every woman’s life to inspire others. Don't miss Julie's video on self-love: Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Tell the story of the mountain you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else's survival guide."-Morgan Harper Nichols Check out these episodes we mentioned: About Us – 000 and Women and Judgment: Why We Do It and How to Stop – 057 Watch this short preview for this episode, now: Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
8/4/202027 minutes, 40 seconds
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Why Hasn’t Your Boyfriend Proposed or Set a Date? With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 140

You’ve been dating your boyfriend forever, and it doesn’t look like he’s ever going to propose. You’re ready to take the next step, but what if he’s not? He may tell you there’s no rush, you love each other, and everything is good just like it is. Or, that your relationship doesn’t need that piece of paper to be a real commitment. Maybe you are engaged, but that wedding date remains in the elusive distant future. You’re not alone! So, how long should you wait? Dr. Zoe Shaw joins co-hosts, Darlene Brock and Julie Graham, to answer these questions and more. She offers us six signs that he’s not ready to take the next step and advice on how to make an ultimatum (and walk away if that time comes). You have every right to want to be married. We hope that this episode will give you the encouragement and confidence you or someone you know needs to leave the never-fiancée or forever-fiancée status behind. And while you're at it, take our ‘He Didn’t Propose’ quiz to find out whether your man sees marriage in your future. You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, Redefining Your Superwoman. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! You can also watch her discuss this further in this video! Quote of the episode: "Love is no good reason to get married. Lack of love is no good reason to get divorced." -Dr. Zoe Shaw Check out these episodes we mentioned: How to Embrace Love in Every Season With Debra Fileta – 123 and 3 Real Struggles Women Face With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 107! Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Progress in a Relationship From Girlfriend to Wife? and Ask Dr. Zoe – Is It My Fault He Hasn’t Proposed? Watch this short episode preview, now! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/21/202045 minutes, 11 seconds
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How to Get Over the Pandemic That’s Not Over – 139

2020 has not gone as hoped. We anticipated "clear vision" and big revelations...not fear, isolation, and a complete disruption of life as we know it. Even though we have to stay stuck in this rut a little longer, there is a way to let this modern-day plague propel us forward. Taking with us the lessons we can learn and blessings to gleaned from this unprecedented time in history. If we look to the bright side, the quarantine did give us all a forced fresh-start. Perhaps through deepened relationships, or finally having time to recognize what part of life was draining. You've come to realize the importance of what you miss the most, as well as recognize those things that this season freed you from. It's time to reset, deciding how to fill our lives and schedules going forward. We can even say "no" to what wasn't serving our family or us well. But to do that, resist the temptation to feel guilty for not going back to everything you did before. Darlene and Julie offer simple tools to help adjust to the new "almost post-pandemic" normal, even if it's not over yet. Let's take this slow ramp-up to feel the losses we've experienced while embracing our new balanced grit and grace life when we reach the other side of Covid19. Listen in, get ready to release some of the stress, and find joy again. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "The toughest chapters shape the strongest characters." -S.R.W poetry Check out these episodes we mentioned: How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075, Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Causing Fear? How to Find Hope – 126, and Get It Girl! How Self-Respect Can Change Your Life – 097 Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – In Love with a Narcissist, Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Leave the Past Behind? Get a preview of this episode in this video! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/7/202027 minutes, 31 seconds
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A Strong Woman Plays Her Hand With Grit and Grace – 138

We don't often choose the cards life deals us, but we always get to play the hand. At some point, every woman finds herself in a place she didn't plan to be. Youthful dreams and expectations are often interrupted by challenging circumstances, blindsiding you with realities you never saw coming. Inspired by International Widows Day, co-hosts Julie Graham (widowed boy mom from a very dysfunctional childhood) and Darlene Brock (having already played a lot of life's hands) talk about how they’ve learned to take what life gives you. They discuss how tough hands build strong women and the necessity of applying grit and grace to every experience, because each one prepares you for the next. You’ll be encouraged as they confess that yes, unexpected life changes can be painful, but they are not always bad. Sometimes, they open up doors and opportunities that never would have come any other way. So, whatever hand you’re holding, we are here to say it will not defeat or define you. Instead, get your game face on, because this is going to make you a strong woman of grit and grace. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "We must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell Check out these episodes we mentioned: Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101 Want to Be a Strong Woman? Set Healthy Boundaries – 103 Are You the Proverbs 31 Woman? Should You Be? – 092 How to Be a Grace-Filled Friend in Hard Times – 096 The Benefits of Optimism in the Grit and Grace Life – 025 Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Progress in a Relationship From Girlfriend to Wife? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/23/202026 minutes, 51 seconds
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Behind the Music With Colton and Annie Dixon – 137

Have you ever heard it said, “Life imitates art?" American Idol’s Colton Dixon might tell you, “Life creates art.” He and his wife, Annie, join Darlene and Julie for a casual chat about how much of his new music was inspired by life, their experiences as a couple, and the challenges they have faced. You will hear how they met, how they rely on each other during changes in his career, and the most terrifying—being pregnant with twins during a pandemic. The couple shares the personal stories that inspired the music on his new self-titled EP Colton Dixon—including chart-topper, Miracles and why his first love song, Can’t Quit You, finally made it on one of his albums. Annie gives us a glimpse from her perspective behind the scenes of the challenging road as a musician’s wife, applying both grit and grace. Her words are timely in this uncertain season. You’ll fall in love with this couple just like we did, so listen now and be sure to get the music wherever you find your tunes! Be sure to follow them both on social media. Find Colton here: Twitter: https://twitter.com/coltondixon Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coltondixonmusic YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ColtonDixonMusicVEVO Instagram: https://instagram.com/coltondixonmusic/ And Annie here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anniecog Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrsAnnieDixon Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrsanniedixon/ Blog:  boldlips.org   And don't miss the video for Miracles: Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "What if your setback is actually a setup for what God is going to do in your life?" -Annie Dixon Check out this episode, too: Skillet’s Jen Ledger Shares Her Faith, Her Fear and Her Strength – 044 Get a preview of this episode in this video! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/16/202027 minutes, 58 seconds
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How We Can Stand With the Black Community With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 136

Everything we do at This Grit and Grace Life is seeking to understand. It is our goal to humble ourselves and listen, to be able to view the world through others' eyes, all eyes. We wanted to hear a voice from the black community and have a conversation allowing us to learn and understand what we may not. We feel we are in a land of emotional minefields; we want to know why and even more than that as women of faith, learn what we can do to become instruments of racial reconciliation. We are speaking to Dr. Zoe Shaw, a black woman, who is also a psychologist. In this episode she is not here in her professional capacity, but as a woman telling a personal story, her life experience, that of her family and her community. We believe it will be one to gain an honest life view for all who listen. It was for us. Darlene and Julie Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, Redefining Your Superwoman. Once her Instagram Live for mothers is available, we will link it here! Zoe recommended you visit brownicity.com for their anti-racism course. She also suggested you visit Right Now Media and look for resources from T.D. Jakes and Tony Evans. We also highly recommend Dorena Williamson's book ColorFull to read with your children. Quote of the episode: "When the body of Christ comes together with one common purpose, we can change the world. We must work together across racial, cultural and socio-economical boundaries to spread the love and hope of Jesus Christ to a dying world."  Tony Evans Get a preview of this episode in this video! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/9/202043 minutes, 43 seconds
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An Intimate Look at Your Sex Life With Dr. Miller OB-GYN – 135

It’s time to get “down and dirty,” or, in other words, have an honest discussion about sex! We’ve brought Dr. Holly Miller (board-certified OB-GYN) back to the show for a real conversation about sexual and reproductive health. Darlene and Julie ask questions you might secretly be wondering and are perhaps even afraid to ask your GYN. So, ladies, we’re “going there,” with questions like: -How do you know if you’re ready to have sex with your partner? -How do you talk about his (or your) STI? -Should intercourse have pain? What do you do if it does? -How do different contraceptives work? -Do you have low libido? What’s normal? -What long-term side effects could you experience after an abortion? We realize that sex is an integral and satisfying part of a healthy relationship, and we believe this episode will answer questions you may not even know you have. Listen in and share it with your friends (they may not say it, but they are asking the same questions, too) you’ll all be glad you did! Find more from Dr. Holly Miller by visiting her practice website here. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "A satisfying sex life is based upon sharing your life and your heart, not just your bed." - Darlene Brock Check out these episodes we mentioned: Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask Your OB-GYN Answered by Dr. Holly Miller – 119, How to Make Decisions (Even the Hard Ones) – 076, and What I Learned From Making the Hardest Choice with Shannon Barbosa – 110! Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe: Ask Dr. Zoe – I Have an STI, When and How Do I Tell My Man? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/26/202036 minutes, 40 seconds
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Real Advice Any Grit and Grace Mom Can Use Now – 134

Motherhood has all the feels: pride, joy, fear, accomplishment, worry, and overwhelm (often with a hefty side of mom-guilt). Juggling these terrifying and satisfying waters can be challenging, especially if you want to master motherhood with both Grit and Grace. Real-life moms, Darlene Brock (who’s raised two daughters, now upgraded to Nonie—her fancy title for grandmother) and Julie Graham (widowed boymom in the trenches of single motherhood like many of you) share practical tips to do this. Strong Mama, don’t worry that you’re messing up or that you’re alone. In this episode, Julie and Darlene share hands-on advice on parenting techniques that they learned and have or are using themselves. Things like making quality time with your kids, establishing healthy boundaries, using discipline, and implementing rules and chores (suggested by age groups from toddlers to teens)! Take heart, Mama, we may not have all the answers, but we have several that might help. If you know another mama who needs encouragement, share this show. We’re mommin’ it together with both grit and grace. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Breathe. The moments matter. Not the perfect ones, but the every single day nitty gritty showing up moments of motherhood. Your kids don't need perfection, just you. Loving, giving, trying, and simply being their mom. Breathe." Rachel Marie Martin Check out these episodes we mentioned: Rest Easy Moms, Here Are the Things That Matter – 102 and Stop the Mommy Wars: Every Mom Is Doing Something Right – 045 Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – Help! I Can’t Do It All! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/19/202032 minutes, 33 seconds
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Battling Depression? Find the Gift in the Darkness With Melissa Maimone – 133

Can you find light in the darkness of depression? The surprising answer is “yes,” as gained from the personal experience of Melissa Maimone, author of The Radiant Midnight: Depression, Grace, and the Gifts of a Dark Place. She joins co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham to share what she learned from the many years she spent battling cycles of depression. There are gifts within slowness, solitude, and even sadness. She relates to those who have felt shame over this misunderstood hopelessness, especially as a Christian. She also offers helpful insight on how to love someone who faces this darkness. As all of us are feeling a little “less ourselves” lately, it's is a perfect time to look for a blessing in the difficult days. This is a must-listen if you find yourself in a place of depression or know someone who is; it offers insight into how we can have the grit to provide the grace others might need, not expecting them to “just get over it.” Whether it's you or someone you love facing the battle of depression, this episode will allow you to see that there is light in even the darkest tunnels. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Melissa Maimone is a speaker and author. She brings a message of messy, magnificently authentic faith with depth, humor, and astute biblical teaching. Melissa stirs women to discover a deeper relationship with God. Follow her on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. This is a replay of a previous popular episode (095) with a few new thoughts added in from your co-hosts that relate to today. Quote of the episode: "If we convince ourselves that the main purpose of difficult times and darkness is to get out of it, then we miss what’s in it." -Melissa Maimone Check out this Ask Dr. Zoe article! Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Recover From a Life Full of Battles? Don't miss the other episode we mentioned: How to Be a Grace-Filled Friend in Hard Times – 096 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/12/202037 minutes, 33 seconds
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Do You Feel Pressured to Be a Proverbs 31 Woman? – 132

Christian women often aspire to live that Proverbs 31 life, or what we perceive it to be. But sometimes the expectations are unrealistic, the pressure gets to be too great, and the doubts set it. Are you doing the right things and avoiding the wrong things? Do you feel the need to be better, sweeter, and to live a more godly life? Are you living up to the biblical example found in that text. Is it even realistic? These questions and more are discussed by co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham as they willingly admit their failures and tendencies to compare. While becoming like Christ is their desire, they realize too often we are judging ourselves and others by impossible standards. In this episode, they freely embrace the grace God extends to every strong woman (and those who want to be)—encouraging you to remember that it is not because of what you do or how good you are that you are loved. A perfect God loves you exactly as you are, and it is his joy to help you become who he knows you can be. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! This is a replay of a previous popular episode (092) with a few new thoughts added in from your co-hosts that relate to today. Quote of the episode: "Yes, I am a Christian. Yes, I make mistakes. I fall. I struggle. I am a mess. But I'm God's mess." Check out these episodes we mentioned: How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075, Get It Girl! How Self-Respect Can Change Your Life – 097, Step Into Your Confidence Now – 108, The Benefits of Optimism in the Grit and Grace Life – 025, and Grit and Grace, but What About God? – 105Grit and Grace, but What About God? – 105 Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – In Love with a Narcissist, Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Leave the Past Behind? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/5/202029 minutes, 27 seconds
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How to Thrive as a Blended Family With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 131

Families are together a LOT these days, and this can be challenging! But blended families? They are facing unique struggles. With this in mind, we invited licensed therapist and relationship expert, Dr. Zoe Shaw, back to share some practical success strategies for blending families. Even if this isn’t your family dynamic, these are insights we all can use, especially now. Co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham ask a lot of questions but do even more listening as Dr. Zoe discusses jealousy, healthy boundaries, comparison, and house rules. Listen in and share these helpful tips with another grit and grace mama today! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, Redefining Your Superwoman. Click the image to submit your question to Ask Dr. Zoe now! This is a replay of a previous popular episode (050) with a few new thoughts added in from your co-hosts that relate to today.   Quote of the episode: "Success doesn't come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently." Click to read more! Check out these episodes we mentioned: How to Embrace Love in Every Season With Debra Fileta – 123 and Want to Be a Strong Woman? Set Healthy Boundaries – 103 Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – Stuck in a Love Triangle: My Man, His Ex and His Child, Ask Dr. Zoe – Handling a Step Child’s Jealousy, and Ask Dr. Zoe – My Teen Stepdaughter Doesn’t Respect Me Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/28/202037 minutes, 31 seconds
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When You Want to Break Free of Your Past – 130

There’s no escaping this truth: we all have a past. How we let it shape us, well, that’s up to us. Will we decide to take the drama, trauma, hurt, and heartache and allow it to harden us? Or, will we learn from our struggles and choose to face them with both grit and grace? It takes grit to face the hurt that may feel constant. It takes grace for ourselves (rejecting shame and guilt) and grace for others (extending forgiveness where we find freedom). In this episode, Darlene Brock probes into co-host Julie Graham’s difficult childhood, asking honest questions about the challenges she faced. With vulnerability, Julie unveils a part of her life she doesn’t often speak of, giving a glimpse into her story. This behind-the-scenes view will help you understand the woman she is today—positive, dynamic, and real. It’s never too late to break free from your past, too. We hope this episode will set you on the road to do just that. Listen in and share this with someone who might just need some inspiration as well! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! This is a replay of a previous popular episode (028) with a few new thoughts added in from your co-hosts that relate to today. Quote of the episode: "Live for what today has to offer, not what yesterday has taken away." Check out these episodes we mentioned: The Benefits of Optimism in the Grit and Grace Life – 025 and Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101 Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe!  Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Leave the Past Behind? and Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Break Free From Codependency? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/21/202033 minutes, 40 seconds
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How to Find Your Purpose When Plans Fall Apart With JJ Heller – 129

Women love to plan. Some of us had our whole lives planned out as little girls, writing our stories down with brightly colored pens in flowery little journals. Our guest, singer/songwriter JJ Heller, understands this well and took it to heart. In light of our new reality due to COVID-19, she wrote a song reflecting on all the plans that have come undone. Traveling and trips canceled, Easter celebrations changed, and so many plans for the best summer ever—poured down the drain...vacations, parties, and simple joys like swimming in the local pools. Right? But in this grit and grace life, things are always subject to change. Virus or no virus, life is full of unexpected turns; sometimes we are put on paths we never intended to follow. In this episode, JJ shares her journey. She believed her future was one of an athlete, but to her surprise she was destined to become a musician, writing and recording her own songs. Hearing her story reminds us that even the best and most logical plans sometimes have to change. God is always at work, preparing us for what He has next, and that is usually where we find our own individual “voice.” He has a purpose in all He does, and even though we may not realize it at first, His purposes become ours as well! In this shifting season, we know that you will find hope, encouragement, and confidence as you listen to JJ’s experience. And make sure you check out the video of her new song "You Already Know" here or watch it below! You can follow JJ Heller by visiting her site or following her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! This is a replay of a previous popular episode (085) with a few new thoughts added in from your co-hosts that relate to today. Articles We Mentioned or Know You'll Love [post-content id=39265 show_title=true show_image=true image_width=120 image_height=120 link_image=true show_excerpt=true excerpt_length=40] [post-content id=39104 show_title=true show_image=true image_width=120 image_height=120 link_image=true show_excerpt=true excerpt_length=40] [post-content id=15518 show_title=true show_image=true image_width=120 image_height=120 link_image=true show_excerpt=true excerpt_length=40] [post-content id=14503 show_title=true show_image=true image_width=120 image_height=120 link_image=true show_excerpt=true excerpt_length=40] [post-content id=9493 show_title=true show_image=true image_width=120 image_height=120 link_image=true show_excerpt=true excerpt_length=40] [post-content id=26256 show_title=true show_image=true image_width=120 image_height=120 link_image=true show_excerpt=true excerpt_length=40] [post-content id=23963 show_title=true show_image=true image_width=120 image_height=120 link_image=true show_excerpt=true excerpt_length=40] [post-content id=29295 show_title=true show_image=true image_width=120 image_height=120 link_image=true show_excerpt=true excerpt_length=40] [post-content id=27840 show_title=true show_image=true image_width=120 image_height=120 link_image=true show_excerpt=true excerpt_length=40] Quote of the episode: "You already know everything I'm scared of, everything I hope. You hold my tomorrow, and all tomorrow holds. You already know. JJ Heller Follow us on Instagram! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/14/202033 minutes, 25 seconds
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7 Lessons from Easter You Need All Year Long – 128

Easter happens every April (whichever Sunday they spring it on us!), but the lessons we learn from Jesus’ life as he walked this earth should impact us every day! Whatever month you listen to this episode, these insights from the risen King will affect your right-here-right-now existence. Darlene and Julie shed light on seven incredible lessons from Jesus’ life that will not only inspire but encourage you this Easter and all year round. We learn countless things from Jesus, but the lessons we discuss in the episode are: 1. You may prepare a long time before you do what you are supposed to do. 2. You don’t have to be important to hang with Jesus. 3. Your purpose may be different than others think. 4. Jesus didn’t avoid messy people; in fact, He loved them. 5. We are fully known and loved even when we fail. 6. Women are important to Jesus. 7. Life is very often darkest before the dawn. So don your Easter best, enjoy some cream-filled eggs, and be reminded of how vital your grit and grace life is. Remember and celebrate, the One who paid the ultimate price for you to live it! This is a replay of a previous popular episode (086) with a few new thoughts added in from your co-hosts that relate to today. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances." -Robert Flatt Follow us on Instagram! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/7/202027 minutes, 3 seconds
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Keeping Your Faith Under Pressure With Skillet’s Jen Ledger – 127

We’re looking to each other a lot these days, for hope, encouragement, and even advice, and we're all experiencing life with some level of anxiety and mounting pressure. These days can challenge our faith or strengthen it, often a bit of both. Looking for inspiration, Darlene and Julie interview Jen Ledger, solo artist and drummer with the multi-platinum, world-touring rock band, Skillet. Jen shares honestly about how bouts of panic and anxiety almost kept her from pursuing her dreams and how she found the strength, grit, and grace to endure these setbacks and still accomplish her dreams. She even talks about how she has used that strength to reach for new goals. In this episode, she reminds us all that this life will always have challenges, but they don’t have to defeat or define us. Instead, they can be the catalyst to propel us forward. This is a replay of a previous popular episode (044) with a few new thoughts added in from your co-hosts that relate to today. You can follow Jen Ledger by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Keep up to date with all the content we have related to coronavirus here!    Quote of the episode: "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." - Corrie Ten Boom Follow us on Instagram! Check out these episodes we mentioned: Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Causing Fear? How to Find Hope – 126 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/31/202034 minutes, 38 seconds
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Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Causing Fear? How to Find Hope – 126

Are you feeling anxious, with heightened levels of fear as we all grapple with new concerns that we didn’t see coming? Everything that brings the feeling of security has become uncertain: our health, finances, jobs, even our daily routine. It’s normal to be affected by all of this! But, we know that what is certain in this life is uncertainty. We also realize that we have an opportunity to turn to and genuinely rely upon the One who is certain. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham share real tips on how to handle the stress of the coronavirus pandemic at hand while relying upon the source of their faith. They also give advice, ways to get your mind off the news, and focus on the positives that even this season brings. Download it now, and maybe have a virtual gathering with friends to share the show with them, too. Banding together (practicing proper social-distancing) is one of the ways we will all make it out of this, with grit and grace. Now wash your hands and listen to the episode!   Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "A soft reminder: not everything that weighs you down is meant for you to carry." See the full series on our Facebook page, here!  Keep up to date with all the content we have related to coronavirus here! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/21/202026 minutes, 49 seconds
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Why Strong Women Can (and Should) Rebuild Their Lives with Molly Stillman – 125

Women are so resilient. Even when we face challenges that could potentially take us out entirely, as is the case of our guest Molly Stillman, we tap into our deepest grit. With countless roles and seasons, we are continually reinventing and re-shifting. We give ourselves and others the necessary grace needed to gain strength and wisdom on the other side. Molly faced the death of her mother as a teen, found herself drowning in debilitating debt post-college, was a comedienne, weathered a toxic dating relationship, and then after marrying the true love of her life (and having two healthy kids) experienced the heartbreak of back-to-back pregnancy loss. And yet today, she stands even stronger; each trial was rebuilding her into the more confident version of herself—filled with deep purpose and passion. Each time life dealt her a blow, she got back up, and this episode will let you know that you can too. Listen, as Darlene Brock and Julie Graham journey through Molly’s life with her, gleaning lessons we can all apply to our own stories, ultimately building the belief that we too can rebuild, even more than once. A picture of what it looks like to live our grit and grace lives, conquering one setback at a time. Molly is the founder of the Still Being Molly blog, the host of the Business with Purpose Podcast, and a woman who is deeply rooted in her faith. She does everything she does in hopes of inspiring women to walk joyfully and confidently, and for them to believe they were created with a purpose for a purpose. You can follow her on Instagram here! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!   Quote of the episode: "There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise."   Check out these episodes we mentioned: Ask Dr. Zoe – How Can I Move on After Pregnancy Loss? and Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Handle Crushing Grief? Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – In Love with a Narcissist, Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Leave the Past Behind? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/17/202033 minutes, 9 seconds
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Doubt Your Influence? We Don’t and Here’s Why – 124

Women have incredible influence. Whether we realize it or not, embrace it or not, or even like it or not, we have the power to affect others' lives for good or for bad. Our life impacts those closest to us, in our homes and our social circles. We even influence across the internet, which reaches all around the world. This fact shouldn’t scare us (although some healthy fear could be appropriate here). Instead, it should inspire us to live a life worthy of imitation in all things—from family to faith to what we do for fun. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, Co-Hosts Darlene Brock (wife, mom, Nonie, and serial CEO) and Julie Graham (widow, boymom, #girlgang leader, and social media guru) talk through all the ways we influence. They discuss why strong women should embrace this role and how to do it well. You'll hear them touch on tricky topics like dating, drinking, and how we dress, all with the balance of grit and grace. Listen in, and use your influence to share this one with a friend! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Become an inspiration to others so that they may try to do more and to become more than they are today." Check out these episodes we mentioned: Get It Girl! How Self-Respect Can Change Your Life – 097, What You Need to Know About Sexual Harassment – 014, and Women and Judgment: Why We Do It and How to Stop – 057 Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/10/202030 minutes, 31 seconds
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How to Embrace Love in Every Season With Debra Fileta – 123

Just as nature cycles through seasons, so do our relationships. No matter what type of relationship you are in, there are four stages that it will cycle through that spiritually and psychologically mimic the four seasons we see in nature.  In This #GritandGraceLife podcast episode, hosts Darlene and Julie chat with Debra Fileta who dives into theses four stages and explains how each stage is vital for building a deeper relationship, how we can find hope in knowing we will never get stuck in one stage, or “season”, and how to successfully navigate through each one.  Debra Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in dating, marriage and relationship issues, along with a spectrum of mental health disorders and issues. Whether you are single, married, or single again, you will leave with actionable advice you can apply to any relationship in your grit and grace life.  Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Debra K. Fileta's work has been featured by numerous media outlets from national television to church ministries such as Saddleback Church, Focus on the Family, ChristianMingle.com, The 700 Club, NGEN Radio, KLOVE, and many more. She, her husband, and three children live in Lancaster, PA. She is the author of True Love Dates, Choosing Marriage: Why it Has To Start With We > Me and Love in Every Season. She’s also the creator of the popular relationship advice blog, True Love Dates, as well as the Love + Relationships Podcast reaching millions of people each year with topics of love, sex, marriage, and relationships. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter to get your dating questions answered and to learn more!   Quote of the episode: "Relationships are like plants, give them too little and they'll die, but give them too much and they'll also die." -Debra Fileta Follow us on Instagram! Check out these episodes we mentioned: What Today’s Dating Scene is Really Like – 094 and Want to Be a Strong Woman? Set Healthy Boundaries – 103 Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – My Fiancé Ignored My Feelings—Should I Stay?, and Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Break Free From Codependency? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/3/202037 minutes, 24 seconds
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The Qualities That Make a Woman Strong – 122

We are a podcast for strong women and those who want to be, right? But what does it mean to be a strong woman? What defines a woman as powerful, secure, tenacious? What are practical things strong women do? Here’s what we think… A strong woman knows she can’t do it all. A strong woman asks for help.  A strong woman doesn’t play games.  A strong woman says what she means.  A strong woman can be trusted.   What else do strong women do?    The best way to become a woman of strength is to understand these qualities. That’s why, in this This Grit and Grace Life episode, hosts Darlene and Julie unpack what they think a strong women truly is. The two also provide you with their best advice on how you can become her, one day at a time. This is a replay of a previous popular episode, (016) with a few new thoughts added from your co-hosts that relate to today. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "If I can't be the wire to hold you, I'll be the net to catch you when you fall." Check out these episodes we mentioned: What Makes a Woman Strong (Might Surprise You) – 016 and Are You a Strong Woman of Grit and Grace? – 072. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/25/202033 minutes, 12 seconds
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Sex Trafficking: Why Kids are at Risk and What You Can Do to Protect Them with Christy Ivie – 121

  We need to talk about sex trafficking. We assume it’s not a problem that is occurring in our backyard, or even in our country, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether you like it or not, it’s happening in every community across the United States—even in yours. It doesn’t always look the way we think it would. A victim could look like a middle-class teenager at your kids high school who is still living at home.  In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life podcast, hosts Darlene and Julie are joined by Christy Ivie, the founder of Christy’s Cause, a non-profit working to eradicate child sex trafficking and exploitation. Christy reveals how her personal story inspired her life’s mission to ensure no child ever experiences what she did. Christy provides us with the proper steps to ensure our kids are protected and prepared. In this episode you will learn:  The difference between human trafficking, sex trafficking, and exploitation of minors   Simple ways to begin educating your kids on protecting themselves against predators How to grow the conversation with their age Deterrents for predators Vulnerabilities predators seek The importance of monitoring your kids social media Tips for easily monitoring their social media How to become a part of eradicating the issue  We will leave you with a powerful quote shared in this episode by Christy: “If we aren’t going to protect our children, who else is going to step in and protect them?” Sex trafficking is an important topic that should not be ignored. If you see something, you need to report it. Save the number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline in your phone today as a first action step to being aware and prepared!   Find more resources at Sharedhope.org     Christy Ivie is the founder of Christy's Cause. She's a pastor's wife of over 30 years, mom of two amazing kids, Mimi to four grand kids, an artist and a poet, too! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!   Quote of the episode: "If you see something, say something." Check out these episodes we mentioned: Is it Time for Counseling? A Therapist Helps You Decide with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 004 and 3 Real Struggles Women Face With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 107 Learn more about protecting your children, from this video! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/18/202037 minutes, 43 seconds
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What’s Stopping You From Loving Yourself? How to Grow Self-Love – 120

Let’s talk about self-love. We all struggle to some extent with it, from doubting ourselves, to battling insecurities, and feeling unworthy. We know these are things we need to let go of, but the problem lies in the fact that we have no idea how. When we search for how to cultivate more self-love, the suggestions we find are just silly. Will getting a massage or buying ourselves another pair of shoes really help us love ourselves more? Let’s be real, those are just cover-ups. If those don’t work, then where do we find more of this thing called self-love?  In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life podcast, hosts Darlene and Julie dive into the topic of self-love, everything from what’s stopping you from loving yourself more, to mindset shifts for accepting your insecurities, and the changes you need to make to boldly and confidently walk in the way that God created you. This episode will help you recognize there are things to love about each and every one of us. But we need to stop focusing on what we love about others and start focusing on what we love about ourselves.   Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! These are the verses we mentioned on the episode. “I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” Romans 12:3 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So, don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8 Quote of the episode: "When things change inside you, things change around you." Follow us on Instagram! Check out these episodes we mentioned: How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075, Get It Girl! How Self-Respect Can Change Your Life – 097, Step Into Your Confidence Now – 108, The Benefits of Optimism in the Grit and Grace Life – 025 Don't miss this advice from Dr. Zoe! Ask Dr. Zoe – In Love with a Narcissist, Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Leave the Past Behind? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/11/202032 minutes, 19 seconds
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Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask Your OB-GYN Answered by Dr. Holly Miller – 119

In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, we chat with Dr. Holly Miller on women’s health issues you need to know about but are probably too embarrassed to ask. Dr. Miller is a board certified OB-GYN, wife of 20+ years, mother of four, and dedicated to ensuring you know everything you need to about your feminine health. This episode is filled with questions that women tend to run from… When do we see a gynecologist? Why do we see gynecologist? Do we have to see gynecologist? And the biggest question, why are we terrified of seeing a gynecologist? It’s our goal with this episode to put it up to your face that your feminine health is extremely important, and you need to stop putting it on the back burner. Whether you’re busy, you put the needs of others first, or maybe you’re scared something is wrong and you don't want to face it, you need to go see a gynecologist. It’s that simple! Neglecting your health is no way to handle potential issues you may be facing. We know after listening, you’ll feel comfortable and confident scheduling your next appointment! What else you’ll learn: When a teenager should see a gynecologist When you should have your first pap smear How regularly you should have a pap smear and pelvic exams How to feel comfortable when seeing your gynecologist Important information you need to share with your gynecologist What a “normal cycle” should look like Symptoms you need to look out for throughout our womanhood Common issues you need to know are not normal When you need to begin getting regular mammograms The top things Dr. Holly wants you to know about your feminine health Why you never need to feel embarrassed!   Find more from Dr. Holly Miller by visiting her practice website here. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!   Quote of the episode: "I'm interested in women's health because I'm a woman. I'd be a darn fool not to be on my own side." -Maya Angelou Check out these episodes we mentioned: How to Get Your Hormones in Check with Ashby Duval – 070, and Ask Dr. Zoe – Anxiety: What is Normal, When Do I Seek Help?. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/4/202032 minutes, 19 seconds
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Do You Expect More From Women Than Men? Should You? – 118

As women, have you ever noticed how we hold men and women to different standards? In This Grit and Grace Life podcast episode, hosts Darlene and Julie have an insightful and thought-provoking conversation on the different expectations we have for each gender.   When it comes to our relationships with women, we often tend to be way more “judgy” and condescending, are quick to hold grudges, and dwell on what they did or didn’t do. If they don't stand by us, show up, and be the support system we would like them to be, we cut them off in a heartbeat without thinking twice.     But rarely do we do any of that with our man. Instead, we make an excuse for him, we try to cover up something he did, and most often we just give him a pass. Ironically, there are times it’s the men that don’t deserve that get-out-of-jail card we so freely offer.   So how do we combat this? What do we do?    Tune in for the full episode to hear Darlene and Julie’s advice on how to level the playing field for all the relationships in our lives.    Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Just love everyone, I'll sort 'em out later." - God Check out these episodes we mentioned: Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101, What Today’s Dating Scene is Really Like – 094, Why Cross-Generational Friendships Make You Better – 060, and Want to Be a Strong Woman? Set Healthy Boundaries – 103. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/28/202028 minutes, 8 seconds
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What Do the Words “Grit” and “Grace” Actually Mean? – 117

Is it just us or are the words "grit” and "grace" seen everywhere now? It feels like the two have turned into buzzwords that fail to hold any real meaning. But at This Grit and Grace Life, they are so much more than buzzwords, they bring vision and direction to our lives. They even extend beyond being just two simple words and are ultimately life choices. We must choose to live with grit and with grace. But what do grit and grace really mean? Sure they are seen everywhere and perhaps words we use regularly, but do we really know, or more importantly, understand, the deeper meaning behind them? In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life Podcast, hosts Darlene and Julie get real with you by sharing the larger meaning behind these two words, or life choices, and what they can mean for you in your life. Both ladies get vulnerable, sharing real-life struggles where grit and grace were the two things that pulled them through. So if you are looking for some strength, and perhaps some hope in your life, this episode is definitely for you. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "The world could use more people who love the life they are living and aren't afraid to show it." -Carey Melton Check out these episodes we mentioned: This Is How to Handle a Hard Relationship With Your Mom – 089, Can You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028, Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101, and Are You a Strong Woman of Grit and Grace? – 072. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/21/202028 minutes, 53 seconds
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Answering the Question “Who Am I?” With Meaghan Dawson – 116

A question we continuously ask in various ways is, "Who am I?”  We have women constantly wondering if they are doing what they are meant to be doing and if what they’re doing right now even matters. And most of all, they’re wondering how to find their self worth (if they aren’t already trying to find it through the titles they hold, the roles they play, and things they do). While it’s impossible for anyone to answer these questions for you, we know this episode of This Grit and Grace Life will provide you with the guidance you need.    Hosts Darlene and Julie are joined by guest, Meaghan Dawson. She’s a writer, wife, mother and team member at Grit and Grace Life but what makes this week so fun is she’s their friend, too. Meaghan also is the founder of the food blog and Instagram, Beauty From Burnt Toast. In this episode she brings spunk, real talk and introspective advice on finding yourself and your worth.   As Meaghan says, it’s impossible to answer the ultimate question of “Who am I?” in one podcast episode. But by tuning in, Meaghan will show you the importance of never letting others define you and how to begin figuring it out on your own. So if you are going through a season in your life where you feel like you have lost yourself, let these three empowering women help you strip away all the excess in your life and find your way back home.  Find more from Meaghan by visiting her blog, Beauty From Burnt Toast or following her on Instagram. You can read her writings at Grit and Grace Life here! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: “My prayer for women everywhere is that we stop wasting time trying to fit in and striving to prove that we belong. But instead, we move forward just BEING. Because fitting in is overrated but being real is everything.” Meaghan Dawson Follow us on Instagram! Check out these episodes we mentioned: Are You a Strong Woman of Grit and Grace? – 072 and How Do I Know What Defines Me? – 078. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest
1/14/202036 minutes, 19 seconds
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4 Realistic Ways to Shift Your Mindset in 2020 – 115

Life is good. Actually, life is really good! However, for many us, we are more negative in the way we view things and struggle to see how great this life really is. We think we can’t help it–focusing on the negative is just the way we are. And when people around us try to help us see more of the positives, we think they just don’t understand the difficulties we are facing, right? The reality is, no one’s life is perfect. Each and every one of us has stress, struggles, obstacles and hardships. No matter how hard we try to control our lives, it’s impossible for any of us to do so. The difference is in how we choose to respond to life as life responds to us. Each morning we all wake up to another great day, but some of us fail to open our eyes to the beauty it holds. If you are someone who tends to gravitate towards the negatives in life, press play for this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, where hosts Darlene and Julie share four simple ways for you to shift your mindset. The two acknowledge that being more positive isn’t natural for us all, but by implementing their practical tactics, we are all capable of experiencing the positives our lives have to offer. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: “Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. And the God who gives peace will be with you.” Philippians‬ ‭4:8-9‬ Follow us on Instagram! Check out these episodes we mentioned: 3 Real Struggles Women Face With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 107, What Are the Unexpected Gifts of Depression? With Melissa Maimone – 095, How Do I Know What Defines Me? – 078, and Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/7/202028 minutes, 13 seconds
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New Year, Strong You! How to Reflect on Your Year in a Helpful Way – 114

That’s a wrap! 2019 is almost over, so let’s talk about… When the year starts coming to a close, it brings up so many emotional feelings. For many of you, it has you over-processing and reminiscing about everything that has happened in the past year–the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, you want to learn and glean as much as possible before you move on. But on the other hand, there are so many of you who just want this year to end now so you can move on and have a fresh start in the new year. Neither one are good or bad. But if you want 2020 to be your best year yet, you need to look at your past before rushing your future. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life podcast, hosts Darlene and Julie discuss the importance of taking inventory of your highs and lows of 2019 before you quickly move on to the new decade. They discuss their personal victories and failures in hopes of inspiring you to do the same. Plus, both share their biggest lessons learned in 2019 and their hopes for what’s to come in 2020. Let this episode be a blueprint for you to learn from your past and build a stronger future. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "The woman I was yesterday introduced me to the woman I am today. Which makes me very excited for the woman I will become tomorrow." Follow us on Instagram! Check out these episodes we mentioned: Darlene and Julie Chat Balancing Adulting, Barbells and Booties – 109. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/17/201925 minutes, 4 seconds
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Maintaining a Healthy and Happy Marriage When the World Is Working Against It With Kristi Hendriks – 113

  We are living in a culture where everything is way too fast paced, where we somehow always over-schedule ourselves, and where we are constantly comparing ourselves to everyone else’s highlight reels in our social media feeds. It’s a hard culture to navigate! And when you add marriage into the mix, it can become extremely difficult to maintain one that is both happy and healthy. Sometimes it feels like all these things that make up today’s world are eroding the foundation and stability of our marriages. So how do we thrive in our marriage, or simply keep it in tact, when it feels like everyone and everything is fighting against it on every front? In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life podcast, hosts Darlene and Julie chat with guest Kristi Hendriks, who helps answers this pressing question for us.   Kristi is the owner of the online boutique, For the Field Apparel, as well as the wife of baseball All Star and MLB pitcher, Liam Hendriks.    Kristi opens up about the struggles and obstacles she and her husband face in their marriage as a result of being in the public eye. She shares her best advice for maintaining a healthy and happy relationship when it feels like the world is constantly challenging it.   Tune in to the full episode where Kristi will help you navigate your marriage in today’s crazy world with a whole lot more grit and grace.  Meet Kristi Hendriks: a true lover of all sandwiches...she loves the humidity in Florida and hates parallel parking everywhere. She is the CEO of For the Field Apparel, a company she proudly built from the ground up. This Virgo babe is #marriedtothegame™️, works with her husband, MLB pitcher Liam Hendriks, off the field for several non-profits including work with animal rescues, community outreach and their initiative to “strikeout bullying”. Her name means “follower of Christ” and that she is. ‘Grit and Grace’ is a part of her everyday life and she is passionate to serve the Lord in any way she can. Connect with Kristi by visiting her site, For The Field Apparel or following them on Instagram. You can follow Kristi here and Liam here! You can get your own Coffee + Bible mug here! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "When it comes to marriage you're looking for the whole meal deal." Darlene Brock Check out these episodes we mentioned: Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101, Want to Be a Strong Woman? Set Healthy Boundaries – 103 and Keep Your Love Alive: Avoid These Relationship Mistakes – 084. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/10/201935 minutes, 10 seconds
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How to Handle Real-Life Struggles That Challenge Your Faith – 112

  Having faith does not mean we have an easy life. The bible is not a vaccination against real-life struggles. No matter how strong our faith might be, we are not immune to life’s hurts and heartaches. In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, hosts Darlene and Julie speak to the women who may be discouraged in their singleness, dealing with a prodigal child or are facing some other struggle that is causing them to be frustrated with their faith. They speak the hard truths that many of us women desperately need to hear.  The two discuss how we often believe our faith should make our life easier, but in reality many times it actually makes our lives a lot harder. No matter how hard we may try, it’s impossible to dress up this life in a pretty facade. As strong women, we need to talk about the challenges we face and heartaches we experience, because it’s a part of the world we live in. And, at the end of the day, we need to know it’s okay for us to be frustrated with our faith. Stumbling doesn't mean we’ve lost it, it just means we are finding our footing. So, for all the single ladies, all the frustrated mothers, and all the women who are facing real-life struggles and feeling disheartened in their faith, this episode is for you. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Fix it, Jesus." Follow us on Instagram! Check out these related episodes: Grit and Grace, but What About God? – 105; How to Be a Grace-Filled Friend in Hard Times – 096 and Are You the Proverbs 31 Woman? Should You Be? – 092 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/3/201928 minutes, 13 seconds
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How to Avoid Relationship Conflict Over the Holidays – 111

The holiday season is full of wonder, hope, and love. But, it can also be a season full of stress, pain and emotional agony. The holidays bring so much “togetherness”. Yes, this “togetherness” can be an amazing opportunity to spend quality time with our loved ones and create meaningful memories, but it can also cause conflict and become way too stressful to actually enjoy.  In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life podcast, hosts Darlene and Julie have a much-needed chat about this topic.  They discuss how to avoid relationship conflict during the holiday season. This can apply to  any important relationship in your life, whether it’s your husband, boyfriend, fiance, or even a friend or family member. Whatever the relationship may be, the holiday season has a tendency to bring out the worst in us and our loved ones, greatly affecting our relationships.    So, how do we avoid relationship conflict during the holiday season?    Thankfully Darlene and Julie have the answers! They give you practical ways to keep your relationship healthy, navigate all the holiday parties, deal with difficult relatives, and simply enjoy the holidays in the midst of chaos.   At the end of the season, you want to look back and say, “We did all the things and we still like each other.” Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! More on Christmas here! More on Thanksgiving here! Quote of the episode: "Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” Peg Bracken Check out these episodes we mentioned: Ask Dr. Zoe – Family Pressure During the Holidays, Stop the Holiday Hustle: Celebrate More, Stress Less – 064, Surviving the Holidays with Grit and Grace – 015 and Talking About the Funny Things We are Thankful For – 013. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/26/201927 minutes, 58 seconds
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What I Learned From Making the Hardest Choice with Shannon Barbosa – 110

  Hard choices are part of life. Regardless of being strong women, when we are faced with a big decision, many of us just want to take the easiest way out. We try our best to avoid facing the difficulties that come with making the harder choice. Why should we, couldn’t we just take the easy way out? In this episode of This Grit and Grace Life, hosts Darlene and Julie chat with Shannon Barbosa, a friend and writer for The Grit and Grace Project. Through sharing HerStory, Shannon shines light on the miracles that come from making the hardest choice. HerStory is a brand-new category on The Grit and Grace Project online magazine and is a place where strong women tell their story. It’s a place where they reveal the challenges they have faced, the hurts they have walked through, and the healing they have found. It’s a safe space where women can speak with vulnerability, honesty, and transparency about their struggles. There is nothing more encouraging than hearing, “She dealt with this, she got through this, it was hard, it was challenging, but look where she is now.” Darlene and Julie bring Shannon’s HerStory to life by inviting her on the podcast. Shannon opens up about becoming pregnant as a 15-year-old girl and having to choose whether or not to keep the baby. By listening to this episode, Shannon will show you how the best things in life arise from the difficulties you’ve faced and why making the hardest decisions are essential in living out the plan God has for you. This story will inspire, challenge, and encourage you. Listen now and share it with a woman who needs to glean strength for her journey. Shannon Barbosa is a 40-year-old Christian woman, wife, mother, freelance writer, motivational speaker, and founder of From the Ruins, a ministry that longs to help hurting and grieving people find hope in their brokenness. You can read more from Shannon here!   Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Love protects at all costs. Love conquers fear. Love always chooses life. Love wins. Every single time." Shannon Barbosa Check out these episodes we mentioned: How to Make Decisions (Even the Hard Ones) – 076 and Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Break Free From Codependency?. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/19/201940 minutes, 54 seconds
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Darlene and Julie Chat Balancing Adulting, Barbells and Booties – 109

Your co-hosts bust out their booties (we mean boots, because yay, fall temps!) for an honest chat about their grit and grace lives. Is adulting overrated? What are the benefits of multi-tasking, or should we buy into the new trend of mono-tasking (yes, that’s a thing)? Darlene takes a little time to get an update on how Julie finished her recent training and what she learned from her journey through her first fitness competition. You may be surprised at what this strong woman gleaned about herself as she took on this challenge, even one as ridiculous as strutting her stuff on the stage in glittery shoes. Grab a cup of coffee or glass of wheatgrass and enjoy this episode of real-life girl talk. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: I wish I was a little kid so I could go take a long nap and everyone would be just proud of me. Check out these episodes we mentioned: Darlene and Julie Chat Fall, Facial Hair and Friendship – 104 and How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/12/201931 minutes, 14 seconds
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Step Into Your Confidence Now – 108

  Do you ever find yourself second-guessing your worth, questioning your decisions, or doubting your purpose? Do you generally struggle with confidence? You’re not alone; we’ve all felt that way! But here’s the good news, we don’t have to live there! We genuinely believe every one of us has the grit, grace, and strength we need to overcome that doubt within us. On this episode, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham have an honest conversation about what confidence means to them, where they have it, and when they lack it. Most importantly, they offer real, practical ways to grow out of our second-guessing so we can all master this #gritandgracelife. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." Ralph Waldo Emerson Check out this episode we mentioned: Does Your Self-Confidence Need a Boost? – 018. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/5/201928 minutes, 9 seconds
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3 Real Struggles Women Face With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 107

Because the Ask Dr. Zoe column has given us so many great answers to life's questions, we decided to bring Dr. Zoe back to the podcast to discuss some of those a little deeper. We have received a lot of questions from women dealing with three specific issues, so we tackled each of those on this episode. How do we handle anxiety or worry and what is "normal?" How do you get your "forever fiancé" to follow through on his commitment? Can you leave hurt or trauma from your past behind? Co-hosts, Darlene Brock and Julie Graham, will tell you that every discussion they have with Dr. Zoe is chock-full of incredible wisdom. This one is no exception! These answers may be for you or perhaps someone you love. Listen now and share with a friend who's also living this #gritandgracelife. And if you've got a burning question for which you need an answer, the Ask Dr. Zoe column is a great place to start. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Don't miss these questions from the Ask Dr. Zoe column: Ask Dr. Zoe – Anxiety: What is Normal, When Do I Seek Help? Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Handle My Friend’s Anxiety? Ask Dr. Zoe – Is Lack of Emotion Healthy? Ask Dr. Zoe – Coping With Anxiety Biblically Ask Dr. Zoe – He Asked Me to Marry Him Now He Won’t Set a Date Ask Dr. Zoe – Can You Get Past a Betrayal in Marriage? Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Leave the Past Behind? Quote of the episode: "Having perseverance is a wonderful, necessary quality for success as a strong woman, but it only works efficiently if you also possess the ability to know when it’s time to give it up." Dr. Zoe Shaw Check out these episodes we mentioned: How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075, Want to Be a Strong Woman? Set Healthy Boundaries – 103, When to Leave an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Man – with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 024 and Can You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/29/201935 minutes, 6 seconds
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It’s Time to Stop Saying These 7 Things! – 106

Isn’t it true that there are some phrases we find ourselves repeating? We do it without realizing we say them over and over again. Whether we have spoken to ourselves or even to others, there are certain things we say that may do way more harm than good! There may be more than seven, but on this episode, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham admit these particular ones they say far too often. Since they want to change this unhealthy pattern in their own lives, they’re sharing why and how to do just that. If you’re “sorry for,” “worried about,” or wish you “should have” done something today, press play instead. Maybe you need this little bit of self-awareness, too. We know you’ve got this, quit saying these 7 seven phrases in your grit and grace life. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." Marie Curie Check out these episodes we mentioned: How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075, Regret: All the Ways It Can Actually Serve You – 058, Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101, and 7 Things Women Need to Quit Right Now – 010. We also think you'll benefit from this answer, curated from our free advice column: Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Break Free From Codependency? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/22/201927 minutes, 10 seconds
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Grit and Grace, but What About God? – 105

  We believe grit and grace are vital traits of a woman’s nature—but some ask if we believe they can exist without faith. Or does our faith create the grit and grace within us? Are we strong women because of our faith, or is that strength already there? We say yes and no, or perhaps another way to say it is that we believe it can be both/and. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Graham tackle that conversation, discussing how grit, grace, strength, and faith exist together and how these are the foundation of a strong woman’s life. Then, they share how we can bring God honor in our daily lives—in the messy, mundane, complicated, and delightful. So, if you’re wondering about how we create that unique blend of Grit and Grace, with God as the center, give this episode a listen. Here are some verses we discussed in the episode: We were created in God's image: Genesis 1:27 Life is like a race, or a fight: 2 Timothy 4:7 The armor God provides for us: Ephesians 6:10-18 God's love endures forever: Psalm 138 We didn't deserve it, but God gave Jesus for us: Romans 5: 6-8,11 Jesus too felt weak: Matthew 26:41 We now have Jesus' power: 2 Corinthians 13:4 Every single one of us has value: 1 Corinthians 12:22 Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "We believe within each of us is the strength to conquer and a purpose to be accomplished. We rely upon the source of our faith as we address every area of a woman's life knowing that if we embrace both grit and grace, women can and will change the world." - The Grit and Grace Project Check out these episodes we mentioned: How Do I Know What Defines Me? – 078 and Are You the Proverbs 31 Woman? Should You Be? – 092. Are you walking the road of a difficult story? Confused? Needing encouragement or clarity? Ask Dr. Zoe! She's a licensed psychotherapist and family and relationship expert! No question is off-limits and everything can be asked anonymously. You ask, she answers, here. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/15/201928 minutes, 25 seconds
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Darlene and Julie Chat Fall, Facial Hair and Friendship – 104

Wonder what happens when your co-hosts leave the outline behind? This week you’re going to find out. From fall festivities to female facial hair, friendship to frustrations in motherhood, they keep it real. This unscripted convo between these two friends, Darlene Brock and Julie Graham, sounds a lot like ones they have in the living room over a cup of coffee. Taking a little break from tackling hot topics, sharing deep thoughts, and discussing challenging issues, they instead chat about what they’re thinking—talking about their own grit and grace lives! We welcome your questions and comments because we’d like to hear what you think about the subjects we discuss or even some of your own. After all, girls, we are in this thing together! Grab your coffee and press play, then pass it on to a friend who loves girl time as much as we do. Check out the Tinkle Razor here. You can also make Julie's aunt's pumpkin roll here! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Every woman is capable of finding strength within herself, because it is already there." Darlene Brock Check out these episodes we mentioned: When Is a Friendship Unhealthy and What Do You Do? – 081 and Women and Judgment: Why We Do It and How to Stop – 057. Submit your question to Ask Dr. Zoe here! Nothing is off-limits, her advice is spot on, you can remain totally anonymous, and it's free! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/8/201928 minutes, 58 seconds
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Want to Be a Strong Woman? Set Healthy Boundaries – 103

  Healthy relationships require healthy boundaries. But do you struggle to know what they are? Whether we’re talking with a friend, significant other, family member, or stranger, boundaries matter! And sadly, healthy ones are not taught; most often, we learn that we need them when the relationships we find ourselves in begin to hurt us. Having pondered this, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham discuss why boundaries are important. They focus on four types you need and how to begin implementing them in your life. Setting these boundaries will require grit and grace, but take heart; you can do it! This episode will serve you well in all of your relationships, so listen in. Then share it with someone you love—this is a conversation all of us need! We discuss these types of boundaries: Physical Verbal Mental Emotional Learn more in this article Darlene mentioned from Psychology Today. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: No is necessary magic. No draws a circle around you with chalk and says "I have given enough." Unknown Check out these episodes we mentioned: When to Leave an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Man – with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 024  and Is it Time for Counseling? A Therapist Helps You Decide with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 004. Are you confused? Needing encouragement or clarity? Ask Dr. Zoe! She's a licensed psychotherapist and family and relationship expert! No question is off-limits and everything can be asked anonymously. You ask, she answers, here. Don't miss these previous questions and answers from Dr. Zoe: Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Break Free From Codependency? Ask Dr. Zoe – When I Don’t Desire Sex Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
10/1/201928 minutes, 26 seconds
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Rest Easy Moms, Here Are the Things That Matter – 102

Moms, are you stressed? Do you find yourself worrying about almost everything? The right food, the growth chart percentile, the best school, grades, their behavior, screen time, and that discipline subject—terrifying. What is even more stressful is worrying about what other moms think about our decisions. It’s exhausting. It’s time to go back to the basics and remember what matters! Cross-generational friends and moms, Darlene Brock (mom of two grown daughters and Nonie to two grandkids) and Julie Graham (single, widowed boymom), discuss the things that do matter, what we should spend our energy on, and what we can let go of—now. Rest easy, moms. You do have what it takes to mother with both grit and grace! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Get your copy of Raising Great Girls by Darlene Brock here! Quote of the episode: "There's no one way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one." Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
9/24/201929 minutes, 48 seconds
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Julie Graham’s Untold Story of Heartbreak, Healing and Hope – 101

Every woman’s story is unique. So is the road she's traveled while discovering her inner strength, her grit, and her grace. We don’t always tell these stories, perhaps the hurt is still present or we fear what others may think. But sharing is what often encourages others and offers hope to them when they, too, find themselves in hard places. That is why, this week, our bubbly, quick-witted co-host, Julie Graham, shares the full story of one part of her life. You’ve heard a bit of her traumatic childhood and the unexpected passing of her husband. But this week she goes deeper, telling of the heartbreak and hurt she experienced during her marriage and how she’s rediscovered herself as healing came. Her mentor and co-host, Darlene Brock, beautifully walks her through these hard conversations, as she did when they happened real-time. As Julie often says, her life is proof that nothing is outside of the grace of a personal God; he will always give you the grit you need to not only endure but to flourish. We invite you to listen to her story and to her heart. Our desire is as you do, you will find the strength that you need, looking toward your time of healing and believing it will come. If you know someone who needs to hear this story, one of heartbreak and hope, please share. It is our prayer that together we can learn to live out each day with both grit and grace. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "I don’t know exactly what the future holds but I’m stepping forward with grit, anchored in grace." Julie Graham Check out these episodes we mentioned: Can You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028, When to Leave an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Man – with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 024, and Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Break Free From Codependency?. Are you walking the road of a difficult story? Confused? Needing encouragement or clarity? Ask Dr. Zoe! She's a licensed psychotherapist and family and relationship expert! No question is off-limits and everything can be asked anonymously. You ask, she answers, here. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
9/17/201948 minutes, 30 seconds
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10 Truths for Every Strong Woman’s Grit and Grace Life – 100

  This Grit and Grace Life is 100 strong this week! To celebrate, we are chatting about the most important topic: what makes you a strong woman! You are a one-of-a-kind woman with a personality, talents, and life experiences that no one else has. On this episode, cross-generational co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham share 10 truths that will remind you how to be a tenacious-yet-gentle woman, full of grit + grace. Struggling with self-doubt? We have an answer for that. Want to make sure that life challenges don’t defeat or define you? We can help. Do you find your value from what you do or who you are? We chat about that, too. Listen in as we celebrate this 100th episode milestone, and let’s continue on the road to becoming stronger women, doing this grit + grace life together. 10 truths for your grit and grace life: 1. Don't believe everything you hear. 2. Everything is figureoutable. 3. Strong women respect men. 4. Laughter is the best medicine. 5. Moms don't have to be perfect. 6. You don't need a man to be strong. 7. Just because she’s pretty doesn’t mean you’re not. 8. Nobody's house is clean. 9. A strong woman knows when to quit, and that’s not failing. 10. Nobody's too far gone for the grace of God.   Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Actually, you can." Check out these episodes we mentioned: Are You the Proverbs 31 Woman? Should You Be? – 092 and Can Women Do It All? With Christy Wright of Business Boutique – 091! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
9/10/201930 minutes, 47 seconds
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Tips for Your Grit and Grace Life – 099

Darlene and Julie are ramping back up. With summer behind us, it’s time to go full steam ahead with new episodes. But to get ready, they spent a little time chatting about their favorite ones that might help all of us get back into our regular routines—balancing family, friendships, work, hobbies, your health, and even self-care. If you’re feeling a little off, we know this is a great way to give yourself a restart; it was for us. You will get tips from real women facing the same struggles you are. Listen on your commute to work, in the car line, while running errands, or during a workout. Pick and choose from the links to each show below, and share one with a friend you know could use the encouragement! And join us next week as we celebrate—our 100th episode! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Have you heard our first episode? If not, start here! What is a Grit and Grace Life? – 001 Do you need help processing your feelings in a healthy way? How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075 Do you want to recommit to your health and fitness? Not sure how to balance that with a busy life? On Business, Happiness & Health with Burn Boot Camp’s Morgan Kline – 065 Were you too busy to pursue your faith this summer? Does that leave you feeling guilty or unworthy? Are You the Proverbs 31 Woman? Should You Be? – 092 Are you trying to decide if a friendship is unhealthy? When Is a Friendship Unhealthy and What Do You Do? – 081 Are you thinking about chasing a dream? Not sure of your voice? How to Find Your Own Voice, With JJ Heller – 085 Have you been interested in dating? Curious what it's like for your friends who are? What Today’s Dating Scene is Really Like – 094 Does it seem like you're facing obstacles you can't overcome? Overcome These 5 Struggles and Live a Grit + Grace Life – 088 Do you wonder if you can be a strong woman who is independent, too? Miss Independent: Can You Be Healthy, Strong and Dependent? – 047 Next week we'll pick back up with weekly episodes and our 100th episode celebration! Quote of the episode: "Actually, you can." Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
9/3/201911 minutes, 59 seconds
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Victorious Women of Grit and Grace With Skillet’s Korey Cooper – 098

  Think you have nothing in common with the guitar slaying, multi-platinum, international touring artist Korey Cooper from the band Skillet? She joins Darlene and Julie for a candid conversation where you may be surprised that in reality, you do! She’s wife to band’s front-man John, a mother to two teenagers, and working in a man’s world as a performer, songwriter, and producer. The women discuss subjects we all deal with—insecurity, parenting, faith, relationships, and respect between genders. Ultimately Korey is right there with the rest of us, finding the grit and grace to be exactly who she's meant to be. This conversation is an honest chat that every strong woman will enjoy. Listen now, and be sure to check out Skillet’s newest album, Victorious, wherever you get your tunes. You can find out more about Korey Cooper and the new album Victorious by visiting Skillet's site. You can follow Korey on Instagram and Twitter and follow Skillet on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, too!     Don't miss our episode with Jen Ledger, the drummer from Skillet who Korey mentioned on the episode! She joined us on episode 044 Skillet’s Jen Ledger Shares Her Faith, Her Fear and Her Strength – 044. You can follow Jen Ledger by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Our culture is skewed about womanhood—I think it's beautiful that we're different." Korey Cooper Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Guitar photo by Jessica Lynn Turman Facebook | Instagram
8/20/201932 minutes, 42 seconds
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Get It Girl! How Self-Respect Can Change Your Life – 097

We all want to be respected by others, but we must first respect ourselves for that to happen. So, what does this look like? Women don’t always consider what our actions communicate; what we do, say, and how we carry ourselves will tell the world whether or not we believe we are worthy of respect. In this episode, Darlene Brock and Julie Graham discuss how we can earn respect in all areas of our everyday lives: at home, work, in our friendships and romantic relationships, and, most importantly, in our minds. A strong woman of grit and grace will remember the first thing she needs to do is respect herself. And if you don’t feel like you're there yet, we know you can get there. Start now, girl! Listen in and channel those Aretha vibes! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they'll become... habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.” Margaret Thatcher Check out these questions answered from Dr. Zoe: Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Break Free From Codependency? Ask Dr. Zoe – When Is a Friendship Toxic? Ask Dr. Zoe – Help! I Can’t Do It All! And don't miss these previous episodes we mentioned: On Business, Happiness & Health with Burn Boot Camp’s Morgan Kline – 065 When to Leave an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Man – with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 024 What Today’s Dating Scene is Really Like – 094 and When Is a Friendship Unhealthy and What Do You Do? – 081. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
8/6/201925 minutes, 50 seconds
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How to Be a Grace-Filled Friend in Hard Times – 096

Do you want to be a friend who doesn’t run when life gets messy? The person who stays, offering her time, support, and love—sometimes without saying a word. This life is full of ups and downs. We all have our share of challenges, and when disappointment, disaster, or disruption happens, what we need most is a grace-filled friend. Off mic, Darlene and Julie have had these conversations when people they love need them. Knowing what to do or say when a friend or a family member is facing hard things like divorce, loneliness, betrayal, addiction, job loss, grief, singleness, and even doubting their faith. In this episode, they offer practical advice on how to be that friend. Because a woman of grit and grace can handle these without judgment or criticism, offering this grace because she knows one day she may need it, too. Listen in and learn. Then, you might be the one to show up and listen to someone who needs you, ice cream in hand. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Life is hard but God is good. Try not to confuse the two." Anne F. Beiler Check out these Ask Dr. Zoe articles! Get Expert Advice, Ask Dr. Zoe Now Ask Dr. Zoe – Can You Get Past a Betrayal in Marriage? Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Recover From My Spouse’s Affair? Check out these other episodes we mentioned: When to Leave an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Man – with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 024 Women and Judgment: Why We Do It and How to Stop – 057 If You Can’t Avoid Divorce, Can You Do It Honorably? With Attorney Leesha Newkirk Crouch – 059 How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075 When Is a Friendship Unhealthy and What Do You Do? – 081 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/23/201930 minutes, 36 seconds
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What Are the Unexpected Gifts of Depression? With Melissa Maimone – 095

Can depression be a gift? Is there something to be gained from those dark and hard places in life? If you or someone you love live with this battle, you’ve probably also felt the shame that seems to accompany the intense pain and feelings of hopelessness. The current estimates state that 15% of adults will experience this growing challenge—depression—at some point in their lives. With this in mind, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham interview Melissa Maimone, author of The Radiant Midnight: Depression, Grace and the Gifts of a Dark Place. Her transparency is refreshing as she shares her struggle, even admitting that for her, depression has not disappeared to become a battle of the past. She tells how she has found hope for herself and offers insights for those of us who are walking with someone who is currently in this struggle. How we can have the grit to provide them with the grace they need, not expecting them to “get just over it.” A must-listen if you find yourself in a place of depression or have someone you love with these feelings, alone and helpless in this dark place. Melissa Maimone is a speaker and author. She brings a message of messy, magnificently authentic faith with depth, humor, and astute biblical teaching. Melissa stirs women to discover a deeper relationship with God. Follow her on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "An authentic life can be messy and magnificent at the same time." Melissa Maimone Follow us on Instagram! Are you struggling with depression or anxiety? Click the word to read more. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
7/9/201934 minutes, 19 seconds
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What Today’s Dating Scene is Really Like – 094

Are you dating or do you have a friend who is? If you haven’t been in the dating world for the last decade, the cultural shift that has hit will leave your head spinning. For those who are currently single, we realize you’re going to face challenges your married friends may not understand. In this episode, co-hosts Darlene Brock (happily married for several decades) and Julie Graham (widowed after 11 years of marriage to her college sweetheart....and currently dating) talk through some of the stereotypes in the dating scene. First, they discuss how to know if you’re ready to date. Then, Darlene gets Julie’s inside scoop on what it’s like to navigate the often scary online dating world. In their signature style, they take a few minutes to get personal: unpacking how to support a friend who’s looking for a partner. And these ladies cannot leave this subject without sharing how to make a list of the qualities you’re looking for in a date before you consider meeting anyone new—pulling from sage advice Julie got from Dr. Zoe Shaw. Whether you’re dating, know someone who’s dating, or haven’t had a date in 15 years, this week you’re bound to learn something new! If you're looking to make your own list of what you're looking for in a potential date, feel free to pull from Julie's top 5: 1) Loves Jesus 2) Has integrity and is well spoken of 3) Emotionally Supportive 4) Common interests and chemistry 5) Supports my goals/dreams and wants to see me succeed Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "When it comes to dating you want the whole meal deal" Darlene Brock Check out these episodes we mentioned: Single? How to Thrive in the Online Dating World with Kristin Fry – 037, Single Again? How to Know When to Date After Death or Divorce with Ashby Duval – 056, and Dating? What to Look for in a Man – 073. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/25/201933 minutes, 50 seconds
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What Makes a Great Dad? How Can You Encourage It? – 093

Many men can be a father, but a dad, that’s so much more. He holds a special place in a child’s life—a different one than mom, and that’s a good thing. When daddy does things his way, our kids are better for it. But, what is it that makes a good dad? What qualities does he offer our children that we may not? How can we encourage his relationship with our kids? With Father’s Day approaching, Darlene Brock and Julie Graham take this episode to discuss those things and celebrate the unique position and qualities of a dad. They consider the plight of a single mom too: finding a positive male role model to fill that place in your child’s life. And, finally, they discuss the challenges that sometimes come when you've had a bad relationship with your dad or didn’t have one at all; it can create a distorted view of this critical relationship (Julie can fully relate!). Listen to this episode to understand this important role, then take a little time to thank the strong men who fill that place in your child’s life. Your kids will be glad you did. Have you gotten your copy of Raising Great Girls? It includes a bonus section where Darlene speaks to the men in our lives who step into the shoes of a father. You can download a free chapter from the book, especially for dads, here! Are you viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a daddy." - Anonymous Check out this episode we mentioned: A Therapist’s Practical Advice for Blended Families with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 050. You may also want to watch this video: Is Father’s Day Difficult For You? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/11/201926 minutes, 29 seconds
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Catch up on This Grit and Grace Life Podcast

Summer has arrived, and with it the shift from school busy has been replaced by summer busy. Hopefully, you’re going to get some time to relax, even a vacation in the schedule too! With this in mind, we’re going to change our podcast publishing rhythm and release a new episode every other week to give us a break. Also to give you time to catch up on any shows you may have missed while living your grit and grace life! In this short episode, Darlene and Julie recap some of their favorite conversations by topic. If you’re looking for one on men (dating/marriage); motherhood; building confidence or finding your purpose, we’ve got you covered! Check out the links below, take the kids to the pool, put the headphones in, and give them a listen. Enjoy some free time; we plan to! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Have you heard our first episode? If not, start here! What is a Grit and Grace Life? – 001 On Men: Be sure to catch our next two episodes, the first on Fathers and the next on dating! When to Leave an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Man – with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 024 Single? How to Thrive in the Online Dating World with Kristin Fry – 037 If You Can’t Avoid Divorce, Can You Do It Honorably? With Attorney Leesha Newkirk Crouch – 059 Marriage Matters: Here’s How to Invest in Yours – 062 On Confidence: What Makes a Woman Strong (Might Surprise You) – 016 Can You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028 How to Make Decisions (Even the Hard Ones) – 076 On Motherhood: You Are “Mom Enough”: How to Stop Feeling Like a Failure – 017 To the Working Mom: Stop Feeling Guilty – 034 A Therapist’s Practical Advice for Blended Families with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 050 How Can You Raise Great Girls? Darlene’s Daughters Tell All – 054 On Purpose: 6 Qualities that Make a Female Strong with Leadership Expert Jenni Catron – 030 Are You a Strong Woman of Grit and Grace? – 072 How Do I Know What Defines Me? – 078 We will be back to weekly shows on September 3rd! Quote of the episode: "You've got what it takes, you've got grit and grace" Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
6/4/20199 minutes, 59 seconds
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Are You the Proverbs 31 Woman? Should You Be? – 092

A catchphrase often used among the Christian community "a Proverbs 31 woman" is thrown about with underlying expectations. It can bring with it inspiration, but also pride, fear, and even insecurity. This passage is referenced when discussing "how we should live" as women of faith and even the way it begins, the "wife of noble character" can be intimidating. Can you be like her? Should you even try? Co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham (both Christian women who have been in church for decades) candidly share how they feel about this woman they've been taught to look up to (and emulate). They consider how grit and grace apply while learning what we can from this woman portrayed without the expectations of others. This episode offers encouragement to remember that your value comes from who you are, not what others see you do. Read Proverbs 31 in The Passion Translation here. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "She wraps herself in strength, might, and power in all her works...and her shining light will not be extinguished, no matter how dark the night." Proverbs 31:17-18 TPT Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/28/201925 minutes, 40 seconds
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Can Women Do It All? With Christy Wright of Business Boutique – 091

“A lot of women treat everything in their life as equal, so when push comes to shove and you’re needed in two places, you don’t know what to choose.” That quote from this week’s guest resonated with your co-hosts, Darlene Brock and Julie Graham. It probably does you too! To discuss this struggle and offer possible solutions for most women’s busyness, we brought in an expert on the subject. Meet our new best friend; Author, Business Coach, Ramsay personality and busy wife and mom, Christy Wright. In her casual yet straightforward style, she explains why it’s OK for a woman to want to pursue passions (even growing them into a business with a profit!) at the same time fulfill the role of wife, mom, friend, volunteer, neighbor or whatever else we add to the never-ending list. She offers insights on how to prioritize, stop feeling guilty and get after your goals. If you’re looking for some balance, break out your notebook during this one, friends! You can follow Christy Wright by visiting her site Business Boutique, listening to her podcast or following her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! We recommend you check out these answers from our advice column from Licensed Therapist and Relationship Expert, Dr. Zoe Shaw! Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Break Free From Codependency? Ask Dr. Zoe – How Can I Find Time to Enjoy Life? Ask Dr. Zoe – Can I Have Both Motherhood and a Career? Quote of the episode: "It's often the small things that no one sees that result in the big things that everyone wants." Craig Groeschel Check out these popular episodes: On Business, Happiness & Health with Burn Boot Camp’s Morgan Kline – 065 and Skillet’s Jen Ledger Shares Her Faith, Her Fear and Her Strength – 044 Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/21/201931 minutes, 18 seconds
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Girl Code: Secrets From Our Unofficial Rule Book – 090

“Girl code,” you know what we’re talking about! Those unofficial rules that every member of our tribe understands, the code of behavior that governs female friendship. We have guidelines (even if we don't say them out loud) on everything from dating to clothing, keeping secrets, and how we mother each other’s children. In this episode, cross-generational friends and co-hosts, Darlene Brock and Julie Graham, give real-life examples of how women live by this set of rules. When we do, our relationships become strong and life-giving. And yes, they can be downright funny. Listen, laugh, nod, and share this one with your girls! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Behind every strong woman is a tribe of other strong women who have her back" Check out these links: When Is a Friendship Unhealthy and What Do You Do? – 081 and Ask Dr. Zoe – Is It Wrong for a Married Mom to Want More Time With Friends?. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
5/14/201929 minutes, 17 seconds
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This Is How to Handle a Hard Relationship With Your Mom – 089

Every mother-daughter relationship is unique. While some inspire the prose written in a Hallmark card, others can be much more challenging. Knowing this (and having their own complicated mother-daughter stories), Darlene Brock and Julie Graham devote this episode to the woman who might not have that picture-perfect relationship. Daughters, if your mom can be harsh, distant, controlling, neglectful, or absent, this episode is for you. In this real-life discussion, you'll learn how to set healthy boundaries and how to take steps toward healing your relationship (you'll also hear real examples from Darlene and Julie's lives). Maybe your relationship lacks mama-drama, but listen anyway; this might be a chance to help a friend, encouraging her that she’s not alone. Be sure to check the show notes to find more resources to help you understand and master this complex mother-daughter dynamic! Julie referenced a few questions from our Ask Dr. Zoe column you might want to read: Ask Dr. Zoe – Help! My Mother Makes Infertility Even Harder Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Break Free From Codependency? If you have a question for Dr. Zoe, you can submit it here!   Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Every mama comes with a little drama, and some of them, come with a lot" Darlene & Julie Check out this related episodes: Mama Drama Every Woman Has and How to Overcome – 008!, Can You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028, and How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Don't miss Darlene's book for more spot-on advice for raising great girls!
5/7/201933 minutes, 17 seconds
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Overcome These 5 Struggles and Live a Grit + Grace Life – 088

A life of grit and grace sounds like a great plan, something every woman wants. Right? But certain roadblocks just keep rearing their ugly heads! These struggles keep us from feeling strong: we have poor self-esteem, we’re riddled with shame or guilt from our past, or we feel the need to be perfect at everything. These plus a few more are the barriers that keep us from the life we all want to lead. In their relatable banter, your co-hosts Darlene and Julie admit to facing these struggles, but also encourage each other (and YOU) that they are, in fact, “figureoutable.” You can grow in strength as you apply grit and/or grace to each one. Part of the solution is knowing which one to tap into! This episode will be one we come back to regularly, and we’re sure you will, too. As a bonus, the show notes are full of multiple resources for difficulties like shame, regret, addiction, divorce, abortion, body image, and many more! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Here are the struggles we discussed in this episode and some articles that speak to them: Poor self-esteem (and body image): 3 Ways Positive Self-Talk Can Improve Your Life 2 Ways to Break Free From Self-Sabotage 5 Helpful Tips for Loving Your Body the Way It Is What Every Woman Needs to Know About Body Image Feeling the need to be perfect: 4 Reasons Why Being Selfish Is Best for Everyone 5 Truths About the Best Kind of Beauty Just Because She’s Pretty, Doesn’t Mean You’re Not On Courage: Strong People Have Weak Moments Shame/regret from our past: Overcoming Shame in the Grit and Grace Life The Amanda Bynes Story—Finding Grit and Grace in Recovery 5 Slogans From AA That Will Make Every Woman Wiser Are You Suffering From PTSD? Here’s How to Know and Get Help Not knowing our purpose: How to Get Honest About Your Dreams and Thrive! Unsure of Your Purpose? Discover It With These 5 Steps How to Become the Woman You Want to Be Not feeling strong enough: The 6 Qualities That Make a Female Leader Strong A Strong Woman Has These 7 Things on Her Bucket List How Do I Know What Defines Me? When a Strong Woman Is Quitting, But Not Failing We also wanted to mention these articles and other episodes that speak to specific difficulties: Ask Dr. Zoe – Can You Get Past a Betrayal in Marriage? This Is How to Overcome Toxic Emotions After Divorce Unplanned Pregnancy—the Tale of Two Girls (abortion) Ask Dr. Zoe – Coping with Anxiety Biblically This Is What I Learned About Life After My Rape and Pregnancy Infertility Is an Interruption, but Not the End Related podcast episodes that you don't want to miss: How to Make Decisions (Even the Hard Ones) – 076 (we discussed leaving an unhealthy relationship and abortion) Regret: All the Ways It Can Actually Serve You – 058 Can You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028 Conquering Struggles Women Will Face in Every Stage of Life with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 009 Darlene mentioned an article from National Eating Disorder Association, you can read it here. She also referenced an article from Psychology Today about emotionally strong people, find it here. Quote of the episode: "I can't think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself." Emma Stone Follow us on Instagram! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/30/201931 minutes, 36 seconds
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How to Raise Responsible Kids: Tips for Every Age – 087

Isn’t every parent’s goal to raise happy, well-adjusted, and, yes, responsible kids who can find success in life? Even comedienne, Phyllis Diller said, “I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford...then I want to move in with them.” We may not want to live with them, but we do want them to be able to build a life for themselves. In this episode, single boy mom Julie Graham asks all these questions and more of Darlene Brock, who literally wrote the book on raising great girls. They discuss some of the practical applications for every age. From the chores a child can do when they are little to ideas on how to increase the responsibility as they make their way toward high school. Put your feet up, get some coffee, and take notes as you listen to this one, you’ll be glad you did! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: “If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.” ― Abigail Van Buren Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Don't miss Darlene's book for more spot-on advice for raising great girls!
4/23/201929 minutes, 38 seconds
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7 Lessons From Easter That Matter Every Day – 086

Who doesn’t love Easter—another opportunity to eat candy, decorate our home, create new family memories, and, of course, the dress. But at the core of this holiday lies the pinnacle of our Christian faith, so we wanted to take this opportunity to address what it is that we hold so dear. Since we couldn’t just do it the obvious way, Darlene and Julie spend this episode unpacking seven lessons discovered when looking at Jesus’ life—focusing in on the time before His death and resurrection. These lessons aren’t applicable for today only but every day as we live our #gritandgracelife. Listen in, and share this one with your peeps! (That line came from Julie, she can’t resist a good pun.) Here are the 7 lessons we talked about, knowing full well there are countless more that we will discover as we follow Jesus in this life! 1. You may prepare a long time before you do what you are supposed to do. 2. You don’t have to be important to hang with Jesus. 3. Your purpose may be different than others think. 4. Jesus didn’t avoid messy people, in fact He loved them. 5. We are fully known and loved even when we fail. 6. Women are important to Jesus. 7. Life is very often darkest before the dawn. We recommend you check out the two passages mentioned on this episode. John 4 and John 21. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "The Father has an intense love for me because I freely give my own life—to raise it up again." Jesus in John 10:17 Follow us on Instagram! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/16/201925 minutes, 26 seconds
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How to Find Your Own Voice, With JJ Heller – 085

Has your life taken an unexpected turn after experiencing disappointment? Perhaps it’s left you feeling like you’re not good at what you thought you were, or worse, not good at anything at all. This week’s guest, JJ Heller, will inspire you. Her unlikely journey from basketball player to recording artist entailed many unexpected turns. She admits that “finding her voice” (not just musically, but figuratively) took time, tweaks, and listening to valuable feedback from others. It also required patience—and persistence too! With her recorded album count now in the double digits, she can attest to the fact that when you work within your limitations and trust God with each step, anything is possible. The conversation Darlene and Julie had with this talented artist is relatable to all who find themselves at a crossroads in life. JJ Heller is another lady who is successfully living this grit and grace life, and you can hear it in the music she sings. You can follow JJ Heller by visiting her site or following her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "...sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself.” Miles Davis Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/9/201929 minutes, 28 seconds
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Keep Your Love Alive: Avoid These Relationship Mistakes – 084

Most women are looking for a healthy, secure, and romantic relationship with the man in their life. Sometimes we do things that, instead of making it better, are killing it. Now, we know that men can be relationship killers too, but we will leave that for another discussion. So, we're asking you, are you making these common mistakes that undermine the foundation of the relationship you hold so dear? We all do them, but if we don't have a bestie who tells it to us straight, sometimes we don’t even know that we're doing anything wrong. In this episode, Darlene Brock (happily married for an undisclosed number of decades) and Julie Graham (widowed single mom, dating again after her loss) talk through these deadly relationship killers, and how to avoid them. They also share a few insights on what you might do instead to build a strong, thriving partnership. Listen now, you and your man will both be glad you did! Have you heard Darlene on the Jesus Calling Podcast yet? We know you'll enjoy the episode! Click the link or the image to listen now. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: “The couples that are meant to be are the ones that go through everything that is meant to tear them apart and come out even stronger." Check out these episodes we mentioned: Single? How to Thrive in the Online Dating World with Kristin Fry – 037, Miss Independent: Can You Be Healthy, Strong and Dependent? – 047, and Dating? What to Look for in a Man – 073. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
4/2/201933 minutes, 12 seconds
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5 Philosophies You Need for Your Grit and Grace Life – 083

What makes a woman able to live This Grit and Grace Life? The desire to be strong and secure in her worth. A woman who loves people well and is confident in her talents, demonstrating tremendous character. That’s true, too. You see it in how a woman carries herself in her relationships, whether at home, at work, or in her community. With this goal in mind, our fearless leader, (Co-Founder of The Grit and Grace Project) Darlene Brock, took an inventory of the life philosophies that she’s followed that she believes work. Ones that will help every woman create her very own grit and grace life. In their signature relatable style, Darlene and Julie talk about the five rules we should follow (not forgetting to show yourself grace when you miss the mark); and they offer real-life examples of how this looks in the everyday. Listen now, and share these valuable lessons with another strong woman you know and love. Here are the 5 philosophies to live by: Listen before you speak. Be a team player not a competitor. Love first, judge last (or not at all)! Avoid avoidance. Remember: it’s good to be alive. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” Charles Swindoll Check out these episodes we mentioned: Single Again? How to Know When to Date After Death or Divorce with Ashby Duval – 056 and When Is a Friendship Unhealthy and What Do You Do? – 081. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/26/201929 minutes, 49 seconds
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Behind the Scenes of a Family Business With CreativeQT – 082

What happens when you mix a creative dad, a multi-tasking home-school mom, five kids, and a unique idea inspired by their family chaos? A new business! One that will help manage some of the chaos in your home, too! Darlene and Julie chat with Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, owners of CreativeQT about their family and business journey. It's the phrase "Make Time Together" that became their simple reminder for families—and spurred them to create practical yet inspired tools to help families have it. Through learning, storage, and organization-based kids toys, they give you a few items that will help you spend less time managing stuff and more time making memories. Inspired by their family needs they focus on engaging young imaginations, encouraging active independent play and a growing sense of responsibility. We discuss how the idea for their business came about, and the real practical side of managing a busy family AND a growing family business. If you've got an idea you're considering, you'll love this relatable behind-the-scenes look at a startup business, and even if that's not you, you'll be reminded to focus on what matters most in your home, and it's not the stuff! You can follow Creative QT on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!     Quote of the episode: “If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.” Abigail Van Buren Check out this Ask Dr. Zoe article: Ask Dr. Zoe – Can I Have Both Motherhood and a Career? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/19/201929 minutes, 39 seconds
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When Is a Friendship Unhealthy and What Do You Do? – 081

Healthy friendships can bring joy to your life. Unhealthy ones, well, they can make it complicated and bring a list of questions with them. What does it take to create a friendship that flourishes? How do you know when a friendship should end because the harm outweighs the good, bringing hurt instead of joy? Can women have long-term friendships? Can they be “just friends” with men? These are just a few of the issues that co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham consider while unpacking how to deepen relationships with friends who are safe, those you can trust. Also, they'll discuss how to cut off a bond that has turned toxic. It takes both grit and grace to have quality friendships, and we encourage those! Strong women surround themselves with other strong women—those who can inspire, love, and do this #gritandgracelife together! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." Henry Ford Check out this episode of This Grit and Grace Life podcast we mentioned as well as these Ask Dr. Zoe articles: Grit, Grace & Girlfriends: How to Make Healthy Relationships – 003, Ask Dr. Zoe – How to Avoid Gossip Among Friends, Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do You Make Friends as an Adult?  and Ask Dr. Zoe – When Is a Friendship Toxic?. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
3/12/201927 minutes, 56 seconds
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This Is Why Women’s History Month Still Matters – 080

Women have changed the world. And we know we can do it again. As a place for strong women and those who want to be, we understand that looking back at the accomplishments of women in the past gives us confidence that we can create our own. Realizing, "If they can do it, maybe I can too." March is Women’s History Month. So, to celebrate, Darlene and Julie bring a few of these ladies to life, remembering their accomplishments and their words—many of which still impact us today. We hope that you will be inspired, feel supported as you take your life path and discover your strength, and move toward unveiling your purpose. Your life will make an impact on others, sometimes big, sometimes small. What you offer and who you are matters. You will influence your family, community, or society at large when you walk with confidence like the women who went before us. So, listen and share with your girlfriends to encourage them, too! Because we believe we can do it again, as we walk this life with grit and grace. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "I had no idea history was being made, I was just tired of giving up." Rosa Parks Check out these other episodes of This Grit and Grace Life podcast that we mentioned: The Benefits of Optimism in the Grit and Grace Life – 025, Miss Independent: Can You Be Healthy, Strong and Dependent? – 047, How to Make Decisions (Even the Hard Ones) – 076, and How Do I Know What Defines Me? – 078! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Don't miss past episodes of This Grit and Grace Life podcast! View the full show archive here!
3/5/201924 minutes, 35 seconds
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Your Mom Always Said This (And She Was Right)- 079

Looking back we all recall the mom phrases: “Don’t roll your eyes, they’ll get stuck like that”, “If your friend jumped off a bridge...” and “Because I said so, that’s why!” These all-too-familiar phrases became ones we mouthed in the backseat of the car as we were growing up. There also may have been phrases like “I love you no matter what” that she never said, but you wished she would have. On this episode, Darlene and Julie revisit several expressions moms are famous for, as well as ones they didn’t say, but you needed. If you’re a mom, you will find yourself repeating these to your kiddos, because they were true then and still true now (and will continue to be for generations to come). A few are funny, several seem to have fallen on deaf ears but deserve a fresh look, and then there are the nuggets of pure wisdom that bear repeating. Listen now, and maybe give your mom a call! She would love to know that you did occasionally hear what she said! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!   Here's the full list of funny quotes from your Mom that Darlene mentioned! Quote of the episode: "I don't want my children to follow in my footsteps. I want them to take the path next to me and go further than I could have ever dreamt possible." Check out this article by Dr. Zoe: Ask Dr. Zoe – How to Avoid Gossip Among Friends. Julie mentioned two shows for moms to revisit: Stop the Mommy Wars: Every Mom Is Doing Something Right – 045 These Strategies Will Help You Raise Great Kids – 063 But you'll also want to go listen to How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075 if you're wanting help processing your feelings and helping your kids with theirs, and How to Make Decisions (Even the Hard Ones) – 076 if you're facing some decisions and need guidance to make them! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife Don't miss Darlene's book for more spot-on advice for raising great girls!
2/26/201929 minutes, 12 seconds
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How Do I Know What Defines Me? – 078

How would you describe yourself? Is it your relationship status, whether you hold the title of Mom, is it your career path or even your personality type? Do you believe there is anything that makes you special or unique? While these things are part of who you are, they are not the things that make up your worth. We often define ourselves by life stage, titles we hold or groups that we are a part of; but at The Grit and Grace Project we encourage you to look deeper, to your character, the real you no matter what place in life you hold. A woman of grit, grace, and strength. Darlene and Julie discuss the challenges we face dividing what we do from who we are and how to grow in that confidence. This is the week we hope you discover that beauty is uniquely yours, not from outside sources, but from what lies within. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: “The woman I was yesterday, introduced me to the woman I am today; which makes me very excited about meeting the woman I will become tomorrow.” Check out these episodes we mentioned: Why Cross-Generational Friendships Make You Better – 060 and Are You a Strong Woman of Grit and Grace? – 072. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/19/201928 minutes, 5 seconds
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TV Couples We Love to Love and Why – 077

We’re feelin’ the love this week! Curl up with your valentine (chocolate) as we do a deep dive into the eight duos we love to watch--on TV, that is. These couples, both real and writer-created, cross genres and generations, each with their very own unique charm. Co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham went to the tribe at The Grit and Grace Project to crowdsource who needed to be a part of this episode. As they chat about the couples chosen, they share why each of these relationships works in their very own special way. There’s a lot to be learned from these on-screen connections, so grab your galentines and listen in! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: “There’s no such thing as a ‘perfect marriage’, for me it’s always been simple: commitment.” Chip Gaines Check out these episodes we mentioned: Happy Valentine’s Day from Your Two Favorite Galentines – 027 and On Business, Happiness & Health with Burn Boot Camp’s Morgan Kline – 065. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/12/201927 minutes, 37 seconds
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How to Make Decisions (Even the Hard Ones) – 076

Women are faced with decisions every day—from the tiny, seemingly insignificant ones like what to wear, eat or watch, to the big ones. You may be deciding what job to take, where to move or how to deal with friendships gone awry. Our lives can change by the decisions we make, and they even can be affected by those we refuse to make. With that in mind, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham take this episode to outline five steps that help when making a decision. They also spend a little time on two of the tough ones facing women today—when to walk away from a dating relationship that is going nowhere and what do you do when dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. These five points will help in any decision facing women today, big or small. Follow them, trust your gut and make that decision, applying a bit of grit and grace. Here are the 5 steps for making a decision: 1. Identify your goal or the decision that needs to be made. 2. Gather information. 3. Find alternatives, evaluate and eliminate. 4. Choose! Make your decision and commit. 5. Review and adjust as needed. If you're facing an unplanned pregnancy and want more information we recommend: Pregnancy Decision Line 1-855-910-9123 pregnancydecisionsonline.com OptionLine 1-800-712-4357 or text HELPLINE to 313131 Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "When you wake up every day, it's like a new birthday: it's a new chance to be great again and make great decisions." Winnie The Pooh Check out these episodes we mentioned: Single? How to Thrive in the Online Dating World with Kristin Fry – 037 and Dating? What to Look for in a Man – 073. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
2/5/201929 minutes, 41 seconds
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How to Feel Your Emotions in a Healthy Way With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 075

Feelings. We are all affected by them, even driven by them, whether we want to admit it or not. Our emotions can harm us but they are helpful too, often depending upon how we process them. So, to sort all of these feelings out, we invited our friend, licensed therapist and relationship expert, Dr. Zoe Shaw, back to the show to help women discover the road to healthy emotions. Co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham don’t shy away from asking the personal questions as they reflect on how feelings have played a role in their lives; they also unpack how men and women differ in their handling of emotions. Dr. Zoe offers practical advice that you can begin using today! Trust us--you’re going to need this one! Listen in, take note of how it makes you feel, and share it with a friend! You can follow Dr. Zoe by visiting her site, or finding her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as her podcast, Redefining Your Superwoman. And you can always ask her a question, here! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here!       Here are the feelings charts Dr. Zoe talked about! Quote of the episode: “Your feelings are not a disease but a pathway to you, to others and to God.” Chip Dodd   Check out these episodes we mentioned: Conquering Struggles Women Will Face in Every Stage of Life with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 009 and Can You Really Leave Your Past Behind You? – 028! We also recommend you read her answer to this related question on the Ask Dr. Zoe column! Is it Possible to Be Overly Emotional? Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/29/201932 minutes, 7 seconds
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Simple (and Funny) Advice for Your Grit and Grace Life – 074

One of the reasons we love the internet and especially social media is the wealth of inspiration and entertainment that you will find there. The memes and quotes that we post and often share are worthy of repeating. We went to our tribe of strong women and asked them to give us ones that they like, ones that make you laugh and even make you think! Join co-hosts Darlene Brock, and Julie Graham as they bring these to you. You’ll relate, laugh, and also ponder the truth behind these sayings that are so accurate and yet so funny. You may even gain a little wisdom for your grit and grace life! Do you have an idea for Darlene's mantra? Julie's is #beboldandjustbeyou and we're trying to get one for Dar. Email us your suggestion or message us on your favorite social media! We will reveal it on an upcoming episode! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Life is short, buy the shoes and eat the dessert.”   Check out these episodes we mentioned: When to Leave an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Man – with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 024, Mom Hacks: Help You Need in Every Stage – 026, and Dating? What to Look for in a Man – 073! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/22/201924 minutes, 24 seconds
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Dating? What to Look for in a Man – 073

Are you single? The dating waters can be treacherous, but they don’t have to take you under! You’re looking for a good man. Maybe you already have a list of must-haves and deal-breakers. Or perhaps you need to make one. Does this current dating world scare you? Do you assume online dating doesn’t work? What qualities do you find in a good man? Co-hosts Darlene (who is “very married”, as she puts it), and Julie (widowed boy mom re-entering the dating scene) discuss how to find a man worth your time. To gain answers, they tapped into a great resource: the team of writers at The Grit and Grace Project online magazine, who had some excellent tips. Whether you’re looking for love or think you’re over dating altogether, these insights will have you ready to mingle. (Send it to your single friend if you’re “very married” too!) Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "You have a choice, you don’t have to go out with them just because they ask you or you’re feeling lonely. Know yourself and love yourself enough to say ‘no’ to someone who isn’t for you.” -Ashby Duval   Check out these episodes we mentioned: When to Leave an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Man – with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 024, Single? How to Thrive in the Online Dating World with Kristin Fry – 037, and Single Again? How to Know When to Date After Death or Divorce with Ashby Duval – 056! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/15/201928 minutes, 38 seconds
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Are You a Strong Woman of Grit and Grace? – 072

This Grit and Grace Life is a podcast for strong women and those who want to be. After several conversations with friends and hearing from readers of The Grit and Grace Project online magazine, co-hosts Darlene and Julie realized that you might not be so sure you have this inner strength at all. Or, maybe you’re unclear of what exactly makes a woman strong. In this week’s episode, they explore what a strong woman looks like, what qualities she possesses, and society's view of empowerment, even if seeking to be strong contradicts her faith. At The Grit and Grace Project, we know that you have what it takes to walk through life’s highs and lows with both grit and grace. And your hosts hope that this half hour will encourage you to become a woman who walks in this confidence! They laugh, cry and encourage each other to face the next year with even more grit and grace, and hope that you do too!     And as promised, here’s the picture of Julie in her marching band days! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself” Glenda, The Wizard of Oz Check out these episodes we mentioned: What is a Grit and Grace Life? – 001, What Makes a Woman Strong (Might Surprise You) – 016, and Miss Independent: Can You Be Healthy, Strong and Dependent? – 047! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
1/8/201924 minutes, 38 seconds
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Finish the Year Strong, and Be Ready for the Next – 071

Before you gear up for a fresh start in the new year, a strong woman sets aside a few moments to pause and reflect on the year that she’s leaving behind. It’s an opportunity to be reminded of growth, to acknowledge our mistakes honestly, then recognize the opportunities ahead for change; never forgetting the hidden blessings scattered throughout the year. On this episode, Darlene and Julie give a ‘year in review’ of what they’ve learned and lost in 2018 and what they intend to carry into 2019. They share personal successes and sorrows as well as highlight milestones here at The Grit and Grace Project and This Grit and Grace Life. They laugh, cry and encourage each other to face the next year with even more grit and grace, and hope that you do too! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "Here's to another year of grit + grace." Check out these episodes we mentioned: Skillet’s Jen Ledger Shares Her Faith, Her Fear and Her Strength – 044, How Can You Raise Great Girls? Darlene’s Daughters Tell All – 054, and Single Again? How to Know When to Date After Death or Divorce with Ashby Duval – 056! Also, take a look at this video: Grieving Through the Holidays, Yet Still Celebrating (Video)! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/18/201830 minutes, 57 seconds
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How to Get Your Hormones in Check with Ashby Duval – 070

Do the words “hormone health” make you cringe? Our hormones get blamed for mood swings, tiredness, complexion nightmares, and even weight gain! But, could there be a little truth in that blame game? There is something to be said about understanding the things that can make you crazy! So, Darlene and Julie are joined by their resident “hippie in heels,” friend, and writer at Grit and Grace Life, Ashby Duval. Having lived through a personal battle with this issue, she brings insights into what role hormones play in a woman’s health and what to change if yours are out of whack. You’ll learn what to look for when you’re feeling “off” and gain practical tips you can use to get them back in balance! Because this is such a relatable topic for women, these ladies can’t help but laugh a lot while they share stories of times they each knew their hormones had struck again. Give it a listen then you’ll agree that this one is a must-share with a girlfriend! Ashby shared with us the acrostic SEEDS. Perfect to remember as we seek to keep our hormones balanced in our #gritandgracelife. Stress Environmental Toxins Exercise Diet Sleep + Supplements Want to read about Ashby's story from widow to remarried #boymom of 3? Don't miss. I Never Wanted to Be a Pregnant Widow. You can read all the articles from our hippie in heels, Ashby Duval, at The Grit and Grace Project online magazine here! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here! Quote of the episode: "If you doubt the real power of hormones, ask a 13 year old girl or a pregnant woman, carefully." Here are two episodes we think you’ll also enjoy related to this topic: On Business, Happiness & Health with Burn Boot Camp’s Morgan Kline – 065 and Is Your Life Out of Balance? – 011. Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/11/201833 minutes, 43 seconds
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Is Society Right About Women or Are We Misunderstood? – 069

Society has a lot of misconceptions about women. Are we emotional, unable to handle a budget, or into shopping? The answer is maybe yes and maybe no. Stereotypes can often be harmful, and a few are downright ugly! While we admit our shortcomings, we believe each woman has unique traits and qualities that set her apart. So, how does a woman of grit and grace combat these cultural assumptions? We start by realizing that we aren’t all alike, yet we do possess many characteristics that unite all women and make our gender special. Co-hosts Darlene and Julie discuss how crucial it is for us to tap into our identity and not our life positions, roles, titles, or stereotypes to give us value. They also explore how the current misconceptions can affect our relationships with the men in our lives. Of course, they share how you can do all of this in your #gritandgracelife, too. Viewing in an app? Full show notes here. Quote of the episode: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” John Wooden Don’t miss these previous episodes mentioned on this show: Funny Things Women Say (and What They Really Mean) – 038, Miss Independent: Can You Be Healthy, Strong and Dependent? – 047, and Darlene and Julie Recommend These Unique Christmas Gifts – 066! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
12/4/201831 minutes, 36 seconds
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Grit and Grace for All the Other Women in Your Man’s Life – 068

Your man has a lot of other women in his life who require attention and often demand his interaction. It could be his mom, coworkers, a daughter, an ex, friends, or a baby mama to name a few. If this relationship requires his attention, it might need yours too! Because we love our men, we want great relationships with them, but it’s impractical (and unhealthy!) to try to keep them all to ourselves. So, can you find the grit and grace to give him space to have healthy relationships with these women? Darlene and Julie share how to navigate all the other women in your man’s life without becoming the catty one no one wants to be around. They also discuss what it looks like and how to handle it when he gets a little too close to that lady who is not you. Listen now; your man will thank you if you navigate this well! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here. Quote of the episode: "A man tells you who he is by what he does, we just don't always want to believe him." Dr. Zoe Shaw Check out these episodes: Is it Time for Counseling? A Therapist Helps You Decide (with Dr. Zoe Shaw) – 004 and A Therapist’s Practical Advice for Blended Families with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 050! Got your own question for Dr. Zoe? Ask it here! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/27/201827 minutes, 1 second
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This Is How to Put Thankful Back in Thanksgiving – 067

It’s Thanksgiving week....be honest, are you not feeling all that thankful right now? Maybe “thankful” has lost its effect on you? Too much to do, too much drama, or you may be struggling to find a reason to celebrate. We get it—we’ve all been there. And there’s grace for you in that! In this episode, Darlene and Julie give you a fresh perspective to consider as you indulge in all the highly-caloric-yet-oh-so-worth-it-fare. They share what they’re glad about, which might get your thoughts going on some things you can be grateful for, appreciative of, indebted by, relieved of, or even places you have found contentment. Listen over a piece of pumpkin pie or with your friends & family. And we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here. Quote of the episode: "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." John Wooden Check out these episodes: Talking About the Funny Things We are Thankful For – 013 and Stop the Holiday Hustle: Celebrate More, Stress Less – 064! Be sure to follow us on social media! Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest #gritandgracelife
11/20/201826 minutes, 52 seconds
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Darlene and Julie Recommend These Unique Christmas Gifts – 066

Are you looking for unique Christmas gifts this year? Something a little different and more personal than what you will find in the avalanche of sale guides that hit this time of year? Since this is an excellent time to start your Christmas shopping you have to look no further. This episode will introduce you to a collection of 7 unique shops which will offer something special for every person on your list. Darlene and Julie would like you to meet a few friends of This Grit and Grace Life who make specialty items. They will offer a little insight into why you’ll want to buy from them this year as you make your list and check it twice. You’ll love hearing the stories behind the shops, and we’ve made it easy—all the links you need are in the show notes! Happy shopping and merry-almost-Christmas! Viewing in an app? Full show notes here. Brooklynn + Grey Brooklynn + Grey is your number one source for all things handmade for your littlest loves. They're dedicated to giving you the very best of on-trend and fresh threads, with a focus on quality, style, and customer satisfaction. Tiffany, mother of two (Brooklynn + Grey!), also creates matching Mommy + me options! We're thinking of you, #girlmom! They sent us the most adorable 2-piece bathing suit and this gorgeous toddler dress. Shop their site here, but be sure to follow them on Instagram or Facebook too. Make sure you join their Facebook group to be notified of upcoming drops before they sell out! Barefoot & Freckled Nicole was a stay-at-home mom with a crafting hobby and a desire to contribute to the family finances. In just a year she turned her passion into profit by creating handmade wood signs (which can be customized—she welcomes your special request!). You can buy any old sign at Homegoods, but we appreciated the humor in Nicole's pieces! We loved her "Alexa, do the laundry!" sign, her customizable "letter to Santa" envelope, and the perfect alternative to Elf on the Shelf, her elf cam. Visit her Etsy shop, find her on Instagram, and follow her Facebook page for crafting tutorials! All Seven Sisters Shannon started All Seven Sisters jewelry to encourage the soul through inspired pieces. They are the home of the original hymn pendants! Do you miss hearing that old time hymn you sung when you were little, or have a new favorite one today? Pick out your favorite piece (or pieces) and wear it every day to remind you! Have a certain Scripture that you claim for your life? They have an extensive Scripture collection to choose from. Their pieces come in styles that are easy to wear, love, and gift. Visit their site a follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest: All Seven Sisters. Creative QT Adam and Dana Sue, parents of five, are familiar with the daily struggle of "so much to do, so little time." The days are long, toys are strewn across the house, and someone always needs something. Chaos rules. It can feel next to impossible to set everything aside and just be with your kids. Yet that is what they want most from us. Giving it is everything, and the time to be together is now. That’s why their labor of love has been to create practical yet inspired tools to help families make time together. Through learning and organization-based toys, they help you spend less time managing stuff and more time making memories, engaging budding imaginations, and encouraging active, independent play. Built by parents for parents, Creative QT stands for Creative Quality Time. Our biggest hope is that it helps you make time together. Get this grey striped stuff 'n sit here, grab their chore sticks, or shop all their products on their site now! Rowan & Wych The men on our list are the hardest, right? We know you'll be able to find something for every guy you love here! Bryan started Rowan & Wych with the simple hope of providing fully-custom products with exceptional quality, at a price that everyday men and woman could afford.