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12 Pearls of Christmas | Day 11 – Just Like Mary by Carla Anne Coroy

Posted by Julie on December 25, 2012 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!

 Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.

We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of MotherofPearl,  PearlGirls: EncounteringGrit, ExperiencingGrace or one of the PearlGirlsproducts (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

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Just Like Mary

 By Carla Anne Coroy

 Mary. Amazing Mary. Mother of Jesus. We marvel at her simple, faith-filled acceptance of God’s will for her life. There’s so little written about Mary in the Bible. We know almost nothing, really, about this woman that God chose to parent His Son.

Many have speculated about the exact age of Jesus’ mother. How old was she, really? What would it have been like to be greeted by an angel—and told you would become pregnant by the Spirit of God?

Jesus Birth Pictures, Images and Photos

I wonder about other things sometimes, though. Like if she had morning sickness, or gained a lot of weight during her pregnancy. Was she overdue, or was baby Jesus born right on time? Did she mistake Braxton Hicks contractions for the real thing before labor really started? Was it a fast labor or did Joseph have eighteen hours to get that place into birthing readiness?

Most women who have ever given birth to a child have shared pregnancy stories. Everyone’s story is unique and interesting. Surely Mary’s was, too!

Then there are the stories of potty-training and conversations on how to get the baby to sleep through the night. Did Mary bounce Jesus on her knee while sharing recipes with other young moms?

We cannot find answers for these questions in Scripture. And as interesting as it might be to share pregnancy stories with Mary over a cup of coffee (maybe in heaven?) and get her tips on potty-training, we really don’t need to know any of that to love the Son she bore.

But Mary’s example raises questions about me and my own life that get under my skin.

Am I the kind of woman God will choose to be part of His plan? Do I trust and love my God enough to give faith-filled answers like she did? If there were just a few paragraphs written of my life for future generations to read, would those words reveal a heart of willing submission to God?

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38, NIV)

God has not asked me to carry the burden of His Son in my womb. There are other burdens He is asking me, and you, to carry instead. Are we being the women He needs for the part of the plan we’re living in now? Am I saying to Jesus today, “May it be to me as you have said”?

During this Advent season, let’s prepare ourselves to be used by God, filled with faith and anticipating His grace—just like Mary.

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Carla Anne Coroy is a Christian speaker and blogger, and the award-winning author of Married Mom, Solo Parent. She ministers to a wide audience through her website and blog at www.carlaanne.com. Carla Anne has served full-time with organizations such as Youth for Christ and Crown Financial Ministries, and is currently developing mentoring resources for women and an international mentoring organization for youth. She also serves as a staff writer for the online magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women and is a spokesperson for Faithbuddy.com. Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband and four homeschooled children.

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The Writing Trifecta: Writing, Marketing and Motherhood

Posted by Julie on October 28, 2011 in About Me, Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

This month I shared two articles on motherhood by Carla Anne Coroy. She also has a new book out that I also reviewed. Next month I’m reviewing Melissa Foster‘s latest book and today I want to share a link to an article she wrote on motherhood. I was especially interested in her topic because Melissa is the hardest working author in the marketing department I know. Writing the book is one thing. Making the world aware your book exists and convincing them to buy it is another. Melissa is a master yet I knew she had to sleep sometime. Her article was enlightening and something all moms can use.

You can check it out here!

Remember, next week starts the thankful posts you all wrote for November. They are amazing. Please bookmark this site or subscribe so you don’t miss out. Also, tell others. I really believe these posts will bless others. I also updated my FB writing page and would love if you “liked.”

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Guest Blogger Carla Anne Coroy: Are You a Martyr Mom?

Posted by Julie on October 27, 2011 in encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Martyr Mom or Servant Model?

 

Do you know a martyr mom? She does her teens’ laundry and makes their lunches. She cleans the house from top to bottom—all by herself. She stays up late, day in and day out, doing all of the unfinished work.

 

She’s the mom who ‘sacrificially’ gives up a family outing—even though they were her kids’ chores she stayed home to do. She recites her arm-length to-do list after telling you about how she agreed to help her kids with their various projects.

 

You likely know a martyr mom. But have you ever wondered if you might be one?

We started serving our families out of love. We loved them as we did their laundry. We served them as we packed lunches, cleaned bathrooms, drove carpools, and fixed bicycles . . . And then somewhere along the line, our serving morphed into martyrdom.

 

Is doing everything for everyone really loving? How can we protect ourselves from becoming martyr moms?

 

What would Jesus advise you to do? He taught his disciples to do what he was doing. He took them along wherever he went. He let them do some work. He sent them out to preach, heal, and cast out demons. Sometimes they did well, other times they came back wondering what went wrong. Jesus knew they needed plenty of room to try, and sometimes to fail. He didn’t hover to make sure they did things perfectly and neither did he rush to fix things when their attempts went awry.

 

To be servant models, we need to imitate Jesus. We need to give our children the tools to work hard and develop responsibility. Let your children watch you work, then work with you, and eventually you can watch them work and succeed without you. Give them household chores and tasks so they can develop skills, recognize what they are capable of, and discover their contribution is valuable.

 

We need to teach our children to set boundaries. Let your children see you turn down requests to serve sometimes. Do you really need to volunteer on every committee? Healthy boundaries encourage your kids to experience the joy of serving and to choose best over good.

 

Serving our families requires us to teach our kids to do their best. If we expect their best and then accept what they do, we are setting them up to succeed and persevere. If your children do their best but it isn’t as good as you would do it, leave it alone. Don’t redo the job! If Jesus only accepted perfect work from his people, he wouldn’t have chosen the rag-tag team of men he did. He expects our best, and then accepts it, even when our efforts fall short.

 

Love sometimes says no. When we are exhausted and we do for our kids what they could do for themselves, we are teaching them they don’t need to care about how they affect others. We are also saying that our poorest effort is better than their best. Occasionally saying no to our children also gives them permission to say no when a request butts up against their limits.

Serving also means looking around to see how you might bless someone. It means bringing a meal to a sick family, or clothes to the family who needs some, or giving Daddy a backrub. Teach your children to ask, “How could I serve someone today?” Give them the joy of serving others at home, and by volunteering at church or in the community.

 

Let’s leave the Martyr Mom complex behind and be like Jesus—Servant Models.

 

Carla Anne Coroy runs the Married Single Mom blog at www.carlaannecoroy.blogspot.com. She speaks regularly and serves as a staff writer for an online Christian women’s magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women. Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband and four homeschooled children. For more information, visit www.carlaanne.com.

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Guest Blogger Carla Anne Coroy: Emotions of a Married Mom, Solo Parent

Posted by Julie on October 21, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Emotions of the Married, Single Mom

 

A recent survey done by TheBump.com and ForbesWoman.com reveals that between 25% and 65% of both working and stay-at-home moms sometimes feel like married single moms. Reading the responses to this report and comments on blogs, it is quite clear that emotions run high. The deeply felt emotions these women deal with may have been birthed in an unequal distribution of chores, however as time goes on these emotions reveal there is something more significant going on. It’s no longer just about the chores. The emotions reveal cracks in fabric of the relationship. These emotions – loneliness, anger, jealousy, grief, etc – can have a profound impact on a married single mom and her marriage.

 

No girl grows up dreaming of a marriage where she feels abandoned by her man. Perhaps his job pulls him away from home for days, weeks or months at a time. Maybe he is gaming his time away, or drinking away the possibility of an intimate relationship. Regardless of why husbands are absent (or uninvolved), their wives experience a roller-coaster of emotions that can wreck havoc and disaster within their marriage.

 

Loneliness is a painful wound many married single moms quietly carry every day. Companionship and conversation are critical components of a happy marriage. When this isn’t available, a wife feels lonely and separated from her husband.

 

Disney Princesses trained us for ‘happily ever after’, but when Prince Charming doesn’t come home our hearts ache for our unmet expectations. Those unmet expectations become dashed dreams that may never be fulfilled and need to be grieved. There is a deep sense of loss and often questions and fears about what the future will hold.

 

Fear also raises its ugly head in other ways. She wonders about his activities. She worries about his safety and health. Concern for her kids becomes paramount. She becomes insecure in her role as a wife and mother. Insecurity in her marriage, in her purpose, and in her belief system begins to erode her confidence. Married single moms wonder if they still have what it takes to attract their husband’s love and attention.

 

It doesn’t take long for the twinges of insecurity to grow into soul-shaking jealousy. Husbands who are home every evening, who co-parent their children and date their wives become objects of comparison. Watching a husband and wife deep in intimate conversation can ignite a spark of jealousy.  This envy can become a consuming fire tearing down whatever good might exist in her marriage.

 

Then shame sets in. When others question her situation, it validates her pain and points out the failure she feels. She’s embarrassed about her husband’s choices, often feeling she must make excuses for him. Blog comments regarding married single moms contain some deeply wounding words that cast blame on her because she chose to marry and stay with him.

 

For many, this growing burden of emotional pain becomes a cancer deep in the heart. All the emotional pain is fashioned into a sharpened sword called anger. They are angry with their husband’s choices. Angry about living married life alone. Angry about how Daddy’s absence affects the kids. Angry about everything.

 

There is so much grief that fills the heart of a married single mom. She’s said good-bye to dreams for herself and her children. She’s sad about the hours, days, and special moments that will never happen. She needs to grieve the what-if’s and the dreams she had as a bride. This grief needs to be addressed. Grieving our dreams includes being honest about those dreams, realizing they may never be fulfilled, and asking God for new dreams firmly planted in reality and truth.

Married single moms are not a new phenomenon. I have lived this life and many others have, too. We even find examples of married single moms throughout the Old and New Testaments. We can no longer avoid reality – married single moms are prevalent and their situations and burdens are real. But how have they survived and even thrived? Through the strength God provides. Through Christian community. Through the healing of wounded hearts. Through the hope provided by Jesus Christ.

Carla Anne Coroy runs the Married Single Mom blog at www.carlaannecoroy.blogspot.com. She speaks regularly and serves as a staff writer for an online Christian women’s magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women. Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband and four homeschooled children. For more information, visit www.carlaanne.com.

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Book Review: Carla Anne Coroy’s Married Mom, Solo Parent

Posted by Julie on October 11, 2011 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

This is a first, but I hope not a last. I have the opportunity to tell you about a book where the subject matter is real to me, and so is the author. Carla Anne Coroy is a woman I met years ago when we both lived in Upstate New York. She was the coordinator of our local Mothers of Preschoolers chapter, in fact it was the very first year of our group, if I remember correctly. Right when the group was set to start, Carla learned that through her husband’s work, they were moving. I probably saw Carla for a total of 90 minutes and then she was gone. However, we share so many friends that I often hear updates.

My best friend told me that Carla was writing and doing similar things that I was. She encouraged me to look up Carla and I did. She took what was her life—a busy, sometimes frustrating, and always challenging way of living and made it a ministry. Now she’s releasing a book that is the first of its kind, at least the first I’ve ever seen. Her ministry and book encourage the person Carla is—and I am, even as I write this.

Married mom, single parent.

Say that again? Yes. Carla explains in her book Married Mom, Solo Parent that this is a real demographic that needs its own encouragement and resources. Whether your husband is serving in the military, travels a lot for work, has a crazy work schedule that keeps him preoccupied, or even home but obsessed with things like computer games, you remain at home, still married, but stepping up to take care of all parenting and household matters. The books out there for single parents are usually about divorce and that’s not Carla’s situation or mine. Her book is a breath of fresh air for moms in this special niche that so many didn’t see coming when they first married.

I confess, I didn’t finish the book yet because I am chin deep in a single parent season. My husband is a programmer and although he doesn’t travel a lot with this job, there are times that a demo is due and he has deadlines. Right now we are blessed to not only have work, but he is in a season where for the next few months he’ll be easily putting 70 hours in, if not more, for work. Do the math and you see someone has to be doing all the mom stuff plus handling all kid schedules. Lawn work. Trying really hard to master math homework when it is not my thing. Just those things that you typically tag team parent on.

It’s hard, it’s exhausting, and it’s lonely. When the husband returns to “normal” you have to hand back his role and that isn’t easy because you’ve done it so long. There are often hurt feelings and resentment, as hard as you try not to be. I remember as an early married/new mom wife when my husband told me he’d be out of state for our anniversary. I couldn’t hold back. I was furious.  My friends didn’t have this going on, and I wanted that two parent home where mom and dad are home every night eating dinner. I still don’t have that.

Thanks to Carla and the resources I’ve tapped into through her blog and writing, I’ve learned how to make the most of my situation. Her book was full of her own stories that mirrored mine in so many ways I realized tears were trickling down my cheek. Her “season” of married mom, solo parent is much longer than mine. She has a lot on her plate, more than I do. But she’s not just survived this kind of life, she’s thrived.

Thanks to her writing Married Mom, Solo Parent, you can thrive in your situation, too. I can’t say enough about how helpful, encouraging, and comforting her book is for me. I can’t wait to grab a few precious moments once my schedule eases up a bit to not just finish reading it, but read it again.

I hope you do the same. Your sanity, marriage, and children are worth it.

About the book:

For married women who feel like single parents.

 

Bookstore shelves are full of parenting resources for moms who are newly divorced or widowed. But where do moms turn if they feel like a single parent–but they’re not? Whether he is away on business, deployed in the military, or obsessing over a computer game, dad may not be available for a variety of reasons. Moms who parent in this situation still need help and don’t necessarily relate to the advice given in divorce recovery or single parenting resources.

Married Mom, Solo Parent is a common-sense, down-to-earth look at the struggles wives and mothers face when their husband is not actively involved in family life. Writing from her own experience as a married single mom, Carla Anne Coroy will help wives and mothers sort through their questions, such as: Can I do this alone? How do I raise kids to honor their father? How do I give my children a healthy perspective of marriage if they never see one in action? With practical suggestions, anecdotes, and biblical teaching, this book will encourage moms to see their position as a high calling, to find healing for their worries and frustrations, and to tap into God’s strength for help in facing the daily challenge of being a married mom, solo parent.

 

About Carla:

Carla Anne Coroy runs the Married Single Mom blog at www.carlaannecoroy.blogspot.com. She speaks regularly and serves as a staff writer for an online Christian women’s magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women. Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband and four homeschooled children. For more information, visit www.carlaanne.com.

Buy the book

 

Come to an encouraging MomChat party on Facebook…you could win a KindleTouch! 

 

To celebrate the release of her new book Carla has partnered with her publisher, Kregel, to host a live MomChat party on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=177346262342482

 

The party will wrap up the blog tour (http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13420715) and Carla will be hosting an encouraging MomChat about all things mom and wife related. There will also be a fun contest and she’s giving away a KindleTouch and a ton of other fun stuff (books, gift certificates and more!).

 

So RSVP today and then come back on 10/25 at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern for the party.

 

Don’t miss the fun … and tell your friends.

 

Button Code:

</b><a href=”http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=177346262342482“>  <img alt=”Coroy FB Party” src=”http://g.virbcdn.com/_f/files/resize_1024x1365/29/FileItem-134813-FBCoroybutton.gif” width=”170″ height=”150″ /> </a></div>

 

 

Blog tour schedule:  http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13420715)

 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



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