Tag Archives: divorce

Meet fictional solo mama Carla

Christian author Julie Arduini debuts her latest novel, Entangled, and is here to tell us all about it!

EntangledCover

“You need to leave me alone. It’s the least you can do.”

Single mom Carla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son’s father is back in their lives.

Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He’s the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will’s ready to settle down with Carla – loving her is natural. He’s bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.

Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?

Purchase Link:

Amazon (Kindle and Print):  http://www.amazon.com/Entangled-Surrendering-Past-Time/dp/0692713476/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1464881433&sr=1-1&keywords=julie+arduini

Entangled is book #2. Although it can stand alone, if you’d like to read Entrusted: Surrendering the Present first, click here: http://www.amazon.com/Entrusted-Surrendering-Present-Time/dp/0692709177?ie=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_pap_swatch_0&sr=

Curious to learn more about Julie? Here’s her bio.

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of the re-release, ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as the sequel, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE and the weekly e mail. SUNDAY’S SURRENDER AND CHOCOLATE.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/JulieArduini

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JulieArduini

G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JulieArduini/posts

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/JulieArduini

Instagram: http://instagram.com/JulieArduini

Snapchat: @juliearduini

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/JulieArduini

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Julie-Arduini/e/B00PBKDRSQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427852247&sr=8-1

Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG

Weekly Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate: http://eepurl.com/bJ5yHP

Surrendered Scribe Media Promotions: (Book release info sent as needed) http://eepurl.com/bXAW0L

 

 

Cover reveal for new release Paint the Storm

Hey friends, it’s almost that time — August 1, release date for the long-awaited Book 1 in my new Golden State Trilogy! And to satisfy your curiosity, here’s a peek at the cover:

PainttheStorm-Final2

To see what the book is about, click here. Then leave a comment below. I’ll choose one commenter at random to receive a gift copy on August 1. And be sure to let your friends know, too.

 

Q&A with former Solo Mama, Angela

Today I visited with Angela, who solo-parented for two years during her children’s formative years. I loved her insights…so many things she said resonated with me. Let’s sit down, sip some English Breakfast tea, and hear what she has to share with us.

tea pot

DVC: The verse Lamentations 2:19 was especially meaningful to me while raising my children alone. It says, “Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord; lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your children.” Was there a particular verse or passage that really encouraged or uplifted you during your single-parent years?

A: Oh yes! My favorite passages during that time came from the Psalms. I learned in Psalm 34 that the Lord would be my protector, provider, and He would answer me in my time of trouble. He would rescue me from my fears! Psalm 34:6 said I didn’t need to be ashamed. When I felt ashamed at the failure of my marriage, at the shortcomings of being a single mom, I could turn there and find hope.

DVC: Tell us how long you single-parented, and how old your kids were at the time.

A: I solo-parented for two years. My children were elementary through junior high at the time. But as many women experience, the weight of parenting fell on me throughout their earlier years as well.

DVC: During my single years, my parents and my ex’s parents really stepped in and helped with things like transportation and meals. Did you have a strong support network?

A: No, I didn’t really have a support network. Coming out of the abusive situation, I hadn’t been allowed friends and my family had been systematically alienated. It took a lot of prayer, work, and time to build a new support network. But I had a family friend who held my mortgage. She helped me by providing relief for a year of my $300/month mortgage. (That sounds low, but it was an inexpensive mobile home.) I paid off a ton of debt and then started paying on the mortgage again.

DVC: I know there were a few things I wish I’d done differently. Do you have any regrets from those years?

A: Absolutely. I’d do so many things differently. But then, I wouldn’t have the wisdom I do now to help others with what I learned. I think I made a ton of mistakes, flailing around trying to find my way. The dating thing, wow, so embarrassing. But loneliness, even from a bad marriage, is a difficult situation.  If I had it to do over again, I suppose the one thing I’d do is be single longer and not date for a lot longer. I don’t think I gave myself enough time to grow and heal.

DVC: But there were also things I did that turned out to be the best decision for them. I enrolled them in Christian school, taught them the gospel, enforced consequences, rewarded them for positive behavior. Looking back, what are some things you know you did right?

A: I love this question because we beat ourselves up for our mistakes too much. I think I did a good job connecting my children into healthy activities and church activities. I made sure my sons were around healthy men/coaches and my daughter had an outlet around healthy coaches, both men and women. I had to fight for those activities because my ex-spouse tried to force me to stop putting my children in any extra-curricular activities through the courts. He didn’t want to pay for them or take the kids to anything. He won in court, not having to pay, but he couldn’t win forcing me to stop enrolling and allowing my children those activities. So I paid. I worked extra to do it at night while they slept. But I do not regret it. My children explored their talents and callings because they could go to those activities. But they also had healthy adults pouring love and wisdom into them. I see them now, as adults, so much healthier for that decision. I knew I couldn’t be everything for them. I had to find others to help me provide healthy input and grow their talents.

DVC: Can you think of anything you’d like to tell other single moms to encourage them?

A: Don’t get so caught up in the financial support from the ex. That can too easily get construed as the battle when you’re really fighting for your children to have a healthy, happy life. My lawyer(s) couldn’t see the battle wasn’t money. Money was a symptom of the problem. In court, that’s where they wanted to start. By doing that, they lumped me into the exact place that didn’t fit. I felt painted into a character that had nothing to do with me. Instead of the funding issue, get creative with education and employment. I worked in sales and on weekend did craft fairs with my children. By working on weekends in craft fairs, my children did the activities with me (unless they were at a camp or kid event) and we spent time doing it together. That built relationship and a sense of working toward a goal together.

I have to say that my children are all very good with many aspects of business. Doing these craft fairs together built their skills in sales, creativity, and relationships. But I also helped them do fundraisers for their dreams. If one wanted a certain camp, I helped them find a way to make and sell Christmas cards or chocolates or yard work. This way I didn’t have to say no, my child learned to work for what they wanted, and I did it with them to help them learn how and to stay safe in the process. I’d do that all over again! Because of these creative ways to earn money for activities and experience my children have ended up traveling around the country and world. They never felt like they couldn’t do something because we’d find a way to focus on the dream and work toward it.

Yes, there were many meals I ate what was left over after my children finished. Yes, I had to get creative and communicate a lot with bill collectors after the divorce. But one year after, I had gained a confidence that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Now, if someone says it can’t be done, I say, “Hmm, I bet there’s a way. I’ll give it a try.” I don’t take someone else’s negative opinion as my fact. Very rarely has that other opinion proved true. But most often, creativity has proven triumphant.

 

Fatherless America

narcissistic-mothers-sm

What will our nation look like without fathers? Click on the link below for one writer’s grim take. It’s not pretty.

http://spectator.org/articles/65568/world-without-fathers

Narcissistic mother.

This mother is just a shell of a person, like most narcissists. I bet Dr. Phil wanted to wring her neck. I wanted to say, “Repeat after me…It’s clear I screwed up and I’m terribly sorry.” I had to apologize to my own kids SO many times.

Beauty from Ashes, Part II

In Beauty for Ashes Part I, I promised you a visual example of God’s ability to make something spectacular out of lowly ashes. As I mentioned in my post, it’s fairly close to home. Mt. Mazama, tucked into the Cascade Range in Oregon, is even more beautiful as a crater than she must have been 6,000 years ago as a mountain.

Before:

mount-st-helens-164847_640

After:

crater-lake-950830_640

Isn’t it amazing how God can take a barren wreck and turn it into a work of art?

~DVC~

How Many Narcissists?

lightbulbs

Q. How many narcissists does it take to change a lightbulb?

<drumroll>

A. Only one, but he has to wait for the whole world to revolve around him.

Those of us raised by narcissist parent(s) sometimes use humor to band-aid the pain. What do you use to cover the pain? For many years, I used alcohol. But I thank the Lord for the counseling I received during my recovery that opened my eyes. Twenty years ago, I hadn’t yet labelled the role I was forced into as scapegoating, one of the offshoots of narcissistic abuse. But you don’t need a label to recognize mistreatment.

How I wish abusive parents understood the following diagram:

Abused Children—> Mean, angry adults/Substance abusers—> Child abusers—> The Incarcerated.

See the vicious cycle? Abused children grow up mean and angry. They are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and even abuse their own children. Often leading to incarceration.

Instead of Imagining no more heaven (a tragic visual), imagine no more abuse. Now that will be heaven!

I’ll close with the following quote from the attached link: “..behind closed doors, all pretense falls away. Only you, their child, knows what it’s like to endure their cold shoulders for days on end over a minor infraction, or bear the brunt of constant, age-inappropriate demands for perfection and strength. You know what it’s like to be parented by a narcissist.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/6-ways-to-know-you-were-raised-by-narcissists_5616b091e4b0082030a18f72?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063&section=australia&adsSiteOverride=au

~DVC~

God, Where’s my husband?

For your Maker is your husband; The Lord of hosts is His name. (Isaiah 54:5).

narcissistic-mothers-sm

If you’re a single parent, do you sometimes find it hard to attend church or other public events, because you know you’ll see all these happily married/taken couples everywhere you look? Sometimes it’s easier just to stay home.

The Lord knew how we’d feel, even 3,000 years before we were born. Because He came up with Isaiah 54.5. True, He’s talking to the nation of Israel, yet I’ve always found it a comforting verse. “But I want a husband with skin on,” you say. “Someone I can snuggle with at night.”

I wish I could tell you that God has one for you. I don’t know if He does or not. Which brings up a pet peeve of mine from my single-parenting days: well-meaning folks who claimed God had someone just for me. How presumptuous. There is no way a mere human can possibly know what God has planned for someone else.

But until He does send Mr. Perfect-for-you, cling to God as your husband. I’ve found His presence just as comforting as any man’s. Plus, He’s altogether perfect. Not merely Mr. Perfect-for-you. God can read your mind. A human husband can’t, as we’ve all found out the hard way. His love runs deeper and wider than the ocean, more intense than any man’s.

My kindness shall not depart from you. (Isaiah 54:10)

~DVC~

Interview with Solo Mama, a divorced mother of three – Part I

divorceBlogger: We are all dying to know how you manage three kids on your own! What is your secret?

Solo Mama: Oh, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Shh, don’t tell them, but I sign them up for activities from morning ‘til night! That way they have no time to get in trouble.

For instance, after school they have softball or soccer or track practice. Sometimes it’s a game or a meet. Then it’s time for dinner, which one of them is assigned to prepare on a rotating basis. However, as they’ve gotten older, that’s pretty hit or miss. After dinner is Boy Scouts for the sons, or music lessons for the daughter. They have about an hour before bed to do homework. And another day is gone!

B: Wow, you must be busy with trying to work full-time as well.

SM: I love my job. I have a meme at my desk that says, “Work: The place you go to escape your hectic home life.” So true.

B: Do you ever get time for yourself?

SM: Weekends are “me” time. They go to their dad’s every Saturday night and come home Sunday evenings. During the divorce, he and I stayed as amicable as possible. You know, it’s far better to lose a little “stuff” than it is to make a lifetime enemy. I know too many divorced mothers who are teaching their kids to hate their dad. Unless he’s a criminal or an abuser, DON’T DO THAT. And even if he is, please don’t teach them hate. Don’t you think we have too much hate in the world already? Yes, explain to your kids that their father did wrong and they have permission to sever their ties with him if he has hurt them. But at the same time, don’t express bitterness toward him. If you need to vent about him, be sure your kids are not around. You know the saying, attitudes are caught as well as taught.

B: Well, that’s all we have time for now. We will continue this interview tomorrow, when Solo Mama will reveal her number one secret for keeping her sanity.

Recipe for Single Moms

Many years ago, my three-year-old son discovered a love for food preparation. He’d come up with all kinds of concoctions. Here’s one of them:

½ gallon of milk

2/3 quart chocolate milk powder

Approx 8 tbsp salt

¼ can of pepper

¼ jar of onion powder

½ box of petit fours

 In a saucepan, mix all ingredients together on medium-high heat, stir, and enjoy. Note: In order to capture every subtle flavor of each ingredient, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to prepare before 6:00 am, before anyone else is up. I promise it will fill your home with a mysterious yet enticing scent, and will bring the rest of the family scurrying to the kitchen.

chocolate shake

Doesn’t that look scrumptious? A half-gallon of milk mixed with chocolate powder sounds like a promising beginning, doesn’t it? Funny how life can imitate recipes. In my own case, life as a single parent started out not so bad. Once I rid my home of my alcoholic husband’s toxic influence, the atmosphere lightened as if the house itself breathed a big sigh of relief.

But then life threw a lot of salt into the mix. And way too much pepper. One of my sons began getting in trouble at school for disruptive behavior, and he was only 6 years old. His grades nosedived and his behavior grew increasingly unruly as the long year wore on. As this was happening,  another son, the chef wannabe, was diagnosed with delayed development.

Sweet had turned to bitter.

I had eliminated one problem – abusive husband – but had acquired umpteen more. Child support was erratic, at best. Financial problems, like onion powder, is only tolerable in small doses.

Life had turned into a disaster that made me gag.

I decided I needed a way to sweeten up my life, and came up with the perfect solution: a delicious new romance! A purely selfish, yet pleasurable way to make life bearable again.

petit fours

Of course, it didn’t work. Petit fours soaked in salt, pepper and onions aren’t so tasty anymore. Neither is romance when the rest of life isn’t working.

But here I am, twenty years later, my sanity still intact—at least, I hope it is. My son the aspiring chef is on the verge of graduating from college. My unruly son made it through school and has been on his own for many years.

So, you might wonder, how did I get from there to here?

It’s a long story, one I’ll have to save for next time. But it’s a testament to God’s grace. His merciful concern for the widow and the orphan.

Be sure to come back for the rest of the story.

~~Dawn V. Cahill~~