Thursday, December 30, 2004

A Writing Space

It's difficult for me to write unless there is no clutter around me and no interruptions. That is an almost impossible wish in a family of six, especially with the children being so young!

So I whined about that today. Actually, I whined about it all week.

Tim finally pursed his lips at me, which he does when he gets annoyed at me, so it annoys me that he purses me. Then I'm annoyed at him being annoyed. Not good.

I decided to use my gift of ingenuity (once, when Tim wasn't pursing his lips at me, he said he appreciated my ingenuity - it was when I was dressing the baby in odds and ends because it was the first cold snap of the year and we were caught without warm clothes. She looked cute - and warm - in her plaids and stripes!). Instead of whining about not having a writing space, I would do something about it!

After walking around the house and finding fault with nearly every space, I decided upon the desk in my bedroom. By clearing it and untangling the power cords, I was able to create a surprisingly large space for writing. To make the space more cozy, since coziness attracts better words, I found an old bookcase in the garage, dusted it off, and put it within arm's reach of my desk. On the bookcase I placed a basket for papers and a basket for electronic gadgets like the digital camera and cute little USB driver that I had to have last month. On the desk is a piece of pottery for pencils. Across from me, on the wall, is a bulletin board with letters and pictures from the children ("I love you, Mom, my speuale [special] grl!" says one from 6yo Britty). Above the bulletin board is a wire basket shelf to hold Pothos plants (those pretty green vines seen in doctor's offices).

My point? Whining is too slow! I didn't get my cozy writing space by whining.

Ingenuity, on the other hand, is effective and it is cheap. Without spending a penny I was able to make a space to write.

Tomorrow I will have to think of a new excuse not to write.

Lori Seaborg
Alabama's Gulf Coast

Monday, December 27, 2004

Lacking Self Discipline

I think writers are considered right-brainers -- right? Which means we are a highly creative lot, which means we all struggle with self-discipline? I'm hoping for some company here, anyway. I've recognized recently that I lack discipline in a very BIG way.

Perhaps admitting my problem is the first step toward fixing it, like admitting one is an alcoholic is the first step to healing. If so, then I announce:


Okay, that said, I am now resolving to do something about it. I really, really want to write and I feel like that is what God is UNquestionably asking me to do for Him. I procrastinate out of fear (oh, another admission! Is that step 2?).

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I think I lack self-discipline to my dad(I KNOW I do, but it sounds less harsh on myself to say, "I think"). He said, "You're going to have to get over that to be a writer." Then he went on to remind me of my brilliantly talented grandfather who journaled and wrote poetry, but never sat down and committed himself to sharing his writing talent with others.

I don't want to tell Jesus, "Oh, I wish I had written something for you, I know you wanted me to, but -you know - I was so busy."

I want to place a finished manuscript at His feet.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Feeling a Little Yucky

Thought I'd let my blog know that I'm alive, but just a little down and out with an almost-cold. I feel achey and well, yucky, but nothing is all the way wrong with me yet. So today I lazed around and didn't get much accomplished, giving my body just this one day to shape up. Tomorrow I'm not allowed to feel bad.

When I feel bad I have the hardest time resting. I see the messes the kids are making while I'm laying around and it eats me up to not take care of them (the messes and the kids). I have so many projects to do - every day - that I just don't have time for feeling ill. Still, I am so glad it is me that is sick and not anyone else in the family. I'm the best patient! :)

Since I don't have much for you to read today, hop on over here to Shannon Woodward's site, to read her list of Writer's Resolutions. A great list!

Lori Seaborg
in bed, with an achey head (the only poetry you'll get from me!)
on the Gulf Coast

Thursday, December 16, 2004

One Thought at a Time

We have been in a hard time, but it was a very, very hard from August 26th to November 3rd when we just seemed to be "in the fire" on a daily basis. Our trials during that time included losing our sole income when my dh lost his job senselessly and unexpectedly and Hurricane Ivan hitting our area hard.

During that time, and even now when I get scared because we lost our insurance policies with the job and when I worry about future money, I remember something that I read a long time ago: We can only have one thought at a time.

That seems impossible for us multi-tasking moms, but it is true. You can only think ONE thought at a time. That means I can either dwell on our hard times, or thank God for what I can find that is good.

It has helped me to remember that. Sometimes I find my thoughts going back to what I want to tell my dh's former bosses who fired him, negative #%@!% thoughts. Then I remind myself that I can only think one thought at a time, so I DECIDE to think something positive. Before long, I feel more upbeat and happy.

Lori Seaborg
Alabama's Gulf Coast

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Lori Seaborg 2004
Lori Seaborg 2004

Alyssa Belle, Pixie

Alyssa Belle, the Pixie
Lori Seaborg 2005

Writing: Choosing an Audience

I wonder if other writers wonder, or wondered when starting out, what their slant would be. By this, I mean, how do you choose your audience? I want to write to mothers, yes. But which mothers? Mothers who are very conservative and KJV only? Mothers who are relaxed, Gen-Xers? Mothers who work outside the home and stanchly defend that? Mothers who stay at home with their children? Homeschooling moms? The questions go on.

It really does make a difference to answer those questions so that I will know how to write! If I'm choosing the more conservative group, I'd not say things that I might to a more Gen-X group.

You might say that I should only be myself. Well, that in and of itself is often a contradiction! I like the old-fashioned hymns, but I also like '80's music, Josh Groban, and country music. I think "sucks" is a terrible word to say, but I don't think "damn" should be a swear word because it just means something is damned, like as in "cursed." (Still, I don't say it because it is not socially acceptable). I like to cook from scratch and even want to learn to grind my own wheat for flour, but I also like to have convenience foods on hand for the days when I don't want to cook.

I'd like your thoughts on all this, especially if you could speak from your experience as a writer or a speaker.

I already know the answer: As with all questioning, the thing to do is to pray and ask God to reveal which audience He has in mind. Or perhaps I should just write from my heart and trust Him to get it into the right hands.

I'll let you know what I come up with when I come up with it!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

My Day Today

My day today ~~~

Simmering....Apples, orange pieces, cloves, a dash of nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks in a tiny crockpot

Baking/Cooking......Homemade pizza, quick cinnamon rolls (non-yeast), peanut brittle, English toffee, and the crust for pecan bars

Reading..."And the Shofar Blew" by Francine Rivers

Playing....At a Sunday School brunch after church, where Santa made a visit to the children

Enjoying....A long nap with all the children and Tim after our brunch

Watching..."The Santa Clause" with the whole family on blankets in front of the fire this evening bed!

Lori Seaborg
Fairhope, Alabama

Saturday, December 11, 2004


I can't put my finger on it, but I've just been sad lately. I think I've been thinking too much. When I think too much, I get mad at Home Depot for firing my husband 3 and a half months ago. It was because someone lied about him and she faxed her lies to the "higher-uppers", people who didn't know Tim and didn't look at his unmarred work record, people who were too busy that day to bother with one employee or to bother making sure the statements were accurate, so they placed an X on the termination box. And that was that, hands smacked together, there you go, another of the day's tasks done.

Tim, without their knowledge, got a copy of that fax (the one with the lies) so he wrote up a statement to set the record straight, along with people to contact to verify the facts. For 10 weeks (!), 10 WEEKS, as in 2-1/2 months, Tim was told every few days that he would "have an answer by the end of the week." A few days later, they needed a few more days, and so on. He was also told that if his statements were found to be true, he would be re-employed, of course.

All of the statements were found to be true, but a company such as Home Depot cannot "afford" to admit that they are wrong, so they did not allow him to come back to work again. They couldn't find anything to pin on Tim. I am not being subjective when I say that he was an exemplary manager for them. They literally could not find any wrong, so they decided to keep him fired on the basis of "leaving 2 hours early one day." He was a salaried manager, without set hours, so it is not possible to leave early. Later, we found out that Home Depot has callied the other stores that Tim has worked at and asking for statements against him.

Imagine, getting a promotion in November 2003 with a 26% salary increase plus bonuses, great life and health insurance coverage, great stock plan and IRA, and 3-1/2 years into the company, climbing up the ladder to make it to management. Imagine moving your family to a new state and new home in February 47 miles to be where the company wants to transfer you, but they will not pay for the move because it is not 50 miles. Imagine this: you are the single income of a family of six! Four children, ages 9, 7, 4, and 1. You must take your job seriously with that at stake so you work any hours they ask and never take a sick day or a personal day.

Then, without warning one day, after a 5-day birthday vacation, you come back to work on a Thursday in August. You work most of the day as the sole manager running the store. After lunch, you are called into the back office and handed a termination letter. You will only receive one more paycheck, and it will not be a full one as you have not finished out the work week. They will take insurance premiums out of your last check, but are cancelling the insurance policies tomorrow (you will find this out 2 weeks later). You will not receive the bonus that you have worked 8 months toward.

Just imagine all that! I still cannot get the fist out of my stomach. Even 3-1/2 months later, I still feel it.

Tim was devastated, of course, but he moves on more easily than I do. He has enjoyed spending more time with his family and has found some contract-type work because of Hurricane Ivan coming through the area (a difficult thing to live through without an income!).

Me? I try so hard to give it to God. But I keep mulling over it, and I keep getting headaches. It has been such a painful thing. It bothers me that the people who hurt us the most in this are just happily working at their jobs without a thought in our direction.

Anyways, you can pray for me in this. I want to shake this sadness away. I have a pretty house, even if it is far away from our hometown and home church, and I have a houseful of children who are all such blessings. And I have Tim, who has always been my rock. It has been so nice to be with him more.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Photo: Stone, 4yo

Lori Seaborg 2005

Goals for Today

Goals for Today:

1. Pay bills - DONE*

2. Have a Christmas tea for Mom when she comes to visit today (from 50 miles away), a simple thing, just tea and Christmas cookies, a cheese ball and Ritz.

3. Mop the floors which I've been avoiding.

4. Place order at LeeValley for Christmas gifts.

5. Place book order at Overstock and/or Amazon (I've decided I'm going to be the book aunt from now on).

6. Make cookie dough to freeze or to bake:

- Cut-out cookies
- Chocolate ones
- Those powdery balls (Russian or Mexican somethings)

7. Wrap gifts to put under empty tree.

8. For homeschool, have the children do math as they string cinnamon sticks or bay leaves onto wires and have them write in their journals. A light day for school, as is all of the month of December.

9. Download the printer onto this new computer, another task I've avoided.

10. Write for 2 hours minimum this evening.

And change diapers, dress the baby, turn the 4-year-old's clothes right-side-out, feed the chickens, eat, stand in the sun at least once, etc. etc.. It's 8:15am, I'd better get busy!

Lori Seaborg
Fairhope, Alabama

*I like to write things on my to-do list even if I have already done them. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to then cross them out.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

What I've Wanted More Than Anything

Brittany, 7, asks tonight, "Mama, what have you always wanted more than anything?" She pauses for a moment, then inserts the answer she would choose: "A horse?" I don't answer her verbally. I just point at her.

"Me?" she asks, and yes, I can truly say that she is what I've always wanted more than anything, from the time I used to play with baby dolls until the time I married her Daddy.

I always wanted a firstborn son, and got that, I always wanted a little girl, and got that. Then, we wanted another boy and another girl, and we got those, too. We'd better stop wanting - we've got a houseful!

More than anything else, above riches and more land and goals met and even friends, I have wanted a family. A family in which I was loved by loveable people. I came from a family like that, so it was important to me to find it.

What a humbling thing to know that God has granted me what I have always wanted, more than anything.

Photo of Tim & Lori

Tim and Lori in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 11-30-2004
Lori Seaborg 2004

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

What is Your Gift?

On another blog, the writer asked us what our gift from God is and how we knew God was the One giving it to us? Here's my response:

My gift is writing. I've known I wanted to write since before I could even write legibly. Even so, I took several detours before allowing myself to do the one thing I really wanted to do. Shouldn't a life's purpose be more tough and less fun to do? I thought so.

It took years, but I finally figured out that God gives us natural talents and natural desires which should lead us toward knowing our purpose. I fought being a writer, thinking I should do something else like nursing, even though I really despise body fluids and being indoors without windows.

I'm still at the beginning stages of using my gift. I am still at the stage where I wonder what I am supposed to write (non-fiction, I think), who I am supposed to help (other mothers of young children, I think), and how I am supposed to go about getting the message out (whatever message that may be). I also wonder how to find the time to write in a day that is full of a husband, four children, a home, and homeschooling.

So, although God has shown me my gift, He has not yet shown my the way. After a week of frustration, it suddenly occured to me today that I don't have to worry about who to write to, what to write, or where to send it -- if God wants me to do this, He will open the way and provide the words.

I just wish He would yell instead of whisper.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Keeping the Home -- or NOT!

Yesterday, I received a comment on this blog to my Keeping the Home post. I thought I'd share it with you and also share my response to it. (The original post has been edited slightly for swearing and crude language)

Posted by Cathy to Keeping the Home at 12/5/2004 06:44:17 PM

"Yes, I am ready to [keep the home] right now. I am done ignoring THE LORD and I am going to get off my a** and stop mastur****** and downloading rap music till 4 o'clock in the morning and going to college and all that sinful sh**. I am gonna find myself a good christian white man and make babies with him and keep his home. What was I thinking my whole life? A career? Independance? Bah. How misled I was! Thank you for showing me the light of THE LORD."

Posted by Lori Seaborg to Keeping the Home at 12/5/2004 07:01:00 PM

Having read my post again this evening, I can see why you might look at it negatively. I was obviously passionate about the subject (keeping the home), but could just as easily write on two other subjects of which I am passionate: independence and college degrees! You don't have to lose your independence or become meek and mild to a "good Christian white man" (or a man of any color, obviously) in order to be in tune with God.

My favorite thing about God is that we have a free will. NOBODY should tell you that God wants you to get married, be a stay-at-home mom, cook 3 square meals a day, homeschool, and say "Yes, Sir," to your husband. God has not written down rules regarding any of that! Instead, He just wants you to love Him. In whatever way that you would do that.

If you listen intently to Him, you might feel that He would lead you in a certain direction. I, for example, feel strongly that this semester He would have me homeschool (I take it one semester at a time) and that He would have me be a stay-at-home mom while our children are so young. Just because God has given me this desire and leading does NOT mean that I should push it onto you.

You may feel that He would have something entirely different for you. And if you don't at all want to do what He wants, He has also given you that option with the free will that He gave you.

Thank you for reading my post and for your response! I always welcome the opposite viewpoint. It helps me realize how my words come out sometimes.

Lori Seaborg
Fairhope, Alabama

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Back from Mexico

We are back from Mexico -- we returned late on Friday night and now it is Sunday -- and even though we were gone only a week, and even though we were in a touristy area, I am still having a hard time adjusting to being in America.

After our plane landed, I drove to Arby's for a sandwich and surprised myself by saying "Gracias" to the very pale-skinned manager who handed me my food. He was a character, a flamboyant sort, so didn't even seem to notice my error.

The weather also takes some adjusting. Here in South Alabama it is a rainy day, the type that floods our river and makes the chickens feathers wet. I haven't seen the sunshine since landing in America and I miss it!

It is not just the language that has taken some adjusting. It is also the abundance. Driving over the Florida - Alabama border at 10pm the night we returned, I could not believe the amount of wealth that this country has. Every home had electricity shining from it, every person was sheltered away from the cool December air. Almost every home had at least one vehicle in front of it. I've always known we are rich, but I was re-reminded of it after this trip. Even our poor have so much.

I love to be home and I love to be in America, but there is something missing here. Something is just too easy. It would be easy and comfortable to live my American life in the abundance I have been given without wasting a thought on those people in other countries who have so little. Instead, I want to know what God would have me do to ease the burden of others.

What would God have you do with the "leg up" that you have been given as an American? Would He like you to go to those countries as a missionary? Or should you send financial support to those who do go? Or should you spend time in prayer for the missionaries and for the natives?

It is something that we should consider this holiday season.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Photo of Mexican Vendor

Read Dec. 2, 2004 post "A Mexican Vendor"
Lori Seaborg 2004

A Mexican Vendor

Today, as Tim and I walked along a stone pathway along the edge of the Pacific, we were searching for beauty in nature. We found it, in the deep colors of the Pacific and in the tiny crabs on the rocks. But we found beauty more vividly in the sweet spirit of the young woman selling jewelry on the path. She was the only vendor present. We were at first slightly annoyed to have seen her in such a secluded spot, for the vendors in this city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico are aggressive and have a way of ruining a romantic moment.

But this girl, sitting nine months pregnant behind her black cloth full of carefully –laid jewelry, was not our normal vendor. I had to stop. I just had to. I heard myself say, “Tim, look, she is pregnant and alone. We have to support her.”

Her jewelry was of an inexpensive metal, and was crudely handmade. It was of a coiled metal design. I pointed at one necklace with a smooth round green stone attached at the bottom of a series of coiled wire. “180 pesos,” she said. Hmm, about $18, a bit high for a metal that will turn my skin green, but I looked up at Tim with my big blue eyes, knowing the power of persuasion that I have over him.

“We must help her,” I said, “her baby is due on December 15th." She could not speak English, but had gotten that much across to me in Spanish. Only 13 days away.

Tim says I always get what I want, but that is only true when I really, really want something and he can tell it. He bought me the necklace, of course, and I proudly wore it before I left the young woman. She handed me a free pair of earrings and Tim snapped a photo of the two of us together.

Later as I sat by the river next to the hotel, I thought about our little vendor. I think what drew me to her was her spirit. It was calm, not restless. She did not shout at us as the other vendors did, or say things like, “Want to see my junk?” or “I make you a deal today. Almost free.” We heard those words from the other vendors. Our girl just sat there and smiled sweetly at us as we walked by her the first time, uttering not a word. When we passed her again later, her spirit connected to mine – I am a mother, too, and I know what it feels like to be 9 months pregnant . I know what it is like to sell something that you have made with your own hands. How hard salesmanship is for us meek ones.

As a fellow mother, a craftswoman, an artist, a forced-saleswoman, I could not turn away from our Mexican friend without supporting her work. May she always be so sweet, may her baby be healthy, may her smile never waver, may her work be rewarding, may God bless her.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Scenic Photo of Mismaloya, Mexico

Our hotel the background is the cobblestone street, and on the other side of that is the bench and the river where I wrote each day.
Lori Seaborg 2004

I AM a Writer

This village of Mismaloya is so inspiring to me. As I write this, I can hear a cock crowing (he never stops!) and the river flowing over the rocks. The Mexicans walk by occasionally on the cobblestone street in front of me, or on the cobblestone pathway upon which my bench sits. They are a friendly lot, saying, “Hola,” each time they pass. Smiles are on their faces every time.

When I pause for words, looking up from my typing, I see flowers in abundance. Bougainvilleas are enormous here, and full of blooms. Hibiscus are as tall as buildings filled with colorful flowers. The trees’ brances are unique to me. They go up, then crooked, then back down to almost touch the river. Sometimes fruit or nuts fall from the trees, nearly missing me. Overhead are birds, always present. Less than ½ mile away is the Pacific Ocean, so cold, with its pounding waves and blue and green and grey waters.

I want this time in Puerto Vallarta to make me become a writer – I say, I “wanted” it to do so, for tomorrow is our last day here. I guess a location, no matter how exotic cannot make a writer. It is clear that that can only be accomplished by just sitting one’s buns down in a chair and writing! Daily. Daily, daily.

I just spend so much time wondering what I’m supposed to write about. What am I so high and mighty knowledgeable about? I feel as though I am not an authority on any subject at all, especially, particularly motherhood, which is what I think the Lord wants me to write about. If He wants m e to write to mothers, and if Tim believes that I can do it, then why not just take the plunge and do it? What could possibly go wrong? The type of “no” one gets in this publishing business is a written “no”. That is so much more easy to swallow than a face-to-face “no”, or a phone-call “no”. That is all I have to lose!

On the other hand, if I do not write, I will lose Tim’s trust in my self-discipline, God’s calling, and much more personally.

In this setting, on a wooden carved bench with my feet on a cobblestone path in Mismaloya village, with the river gurgling behind me as it passes over stones, beside the monstrous iguanas hiding in the rocks on the river edge, with the bougainvillea blooming in front of me, separating me from the vehicles carrying tourists to the mountains ---- in this place, this idyllic place, I say out loud, “I am a writer.” From now on , “I AM A WRITER.”

I WILL write every day. NOTHING will get in my way. NO INTERRUPTION will be placed in importance above this calling. I can take my writing with me wherever I am needed, whether it is in a hospital room or on a playground. I will take it, I will use my time wisely, and I WILL be self-disciplined.

* I will stop reading about writing – I have learned enough to start.
* I will stop scheduling writing time – instead, I will just write.
* I will stop giving excuses to myself because I am a busy mother – God knows that, yet He called me to write anyway.
* I will stop wondering what to write – instead, I will sit down and write, even if in sentence fragments; even if I write only, “I don’t know what to write.”
* I will stop wondering why I am such an authority. I will instead agree with God that I should be writing and leave the expert editing to Him.