Sunday, January 30, 2005

Losing Focus on God

I have a zillion things to do, and here I am, blogging you and having just finished peeking at websites that I can visit later. I am leaving for Nashville tomorrow, going to a publishing conference. Taking such a huge step of faith frightens me. I know God wants me to go to this conference. I do not doubt that He wants me to write; that along with being a mom and a wife, He created me to be a writer.

It has been hard this week, to focus on God and not on how frightened I am and how unprepared I feel. My faith voice tells me to focus on God and not on the task at hand. My reality voice tells me that I have a million (ok, so it's not a "zillion," like I said earlier) things to do and that focusing on God ain't gonna' get them done!

Meanwhile, I have myself so tired or stressed - I'm not sure which - that I have tonsillitis, something I get only when I'm pushing myself too hard.

It really does not have to be this big of a deal!

I'm just going to a conference, sitting in a chair, and listening to people tell me about the publishing business. I do have to give a 30-second pitch to everyone at lunch one day, and I will need to make a few appointments to talk to editors. But, really, it's not that big of a deal!

It's amazing how we humans can blow things out of proportion. In only 6 months from now, even in just a week from now, I will be concerned about something else, so concerned that I am consumed with it -- and I will have forgotten my concern for this conference.

Psalm 119:37 "Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way." I prayed this verse this morning, after opening my Bible to it. If you also are concerned with something, pray to God to revive you in His way.

Okay, now I really do have to go and get those thousand things done (it wasn't really a "million" after all).

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Reading....Thrush Green by Miss Read

Feeling...lousy with tonsillitis. I get it when I'm too worn out. Time for rest! outline for a book that I will propose to editors next week's perfect Gulf Coast weather - blue skies, 70 degrees 5yo Stone. I asked him if a mark on his belly itches today, wondering if it was a rash. He said, "Sometimes it itches, but not now." A moment later, he is scratching his belly all over and says, "Oh! My skin remembered to itch!"

Uploading...2 photos of our river, one upstream and one downstream. You'll see what Hurricane Ivan did, mean ol' fella. Look below.

Catching...our baby chick, who is now a teenager and escaped his/her pen.

Scolding...the neighbor's dog, Santana, who was eying our teenager chick escapee.

Watching...tonight's American Idol tryouts - they crack me up! - and Alias, one of the only 2 shows I let myself watch on a regular basis ("24" is the other)

Loving...God who gave me this day and this family.

What are you doing?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Photos of Our River

We live on this river, Fish River, where we canoed and kayaked the days away, and where the children swam almost daily. It is forever changed because of Hurricane Ivan. Here are 2 photos to show you what destruction a hurricane can cause. Many tornadoes spawn in a hurricane. It looks like we got one. Thank God it did not come up to the house, where we were with our 4 children on the night of September 15-16 when Ivan visited.


Upstream. It is a wild and beautiful river, with a pure sand bottom. It is winter now, so imagine how green it is in the summer! Hurricane Ivan did not cause damage upstream.
Lori Seaborg 2004


Downstream. Over 20 cedars, pines and oaks fell here. A tornado must have spawned from the hurricane. The rope to the right was our rope swing. That tree was attached to the broken one in the foreground. It is now hanging by the rope to a surviving pine tree. It is overwhelming to think of how to clear the river.
Lori Seaborg 2004

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Overcoming Mommy Guilt

I've gotten a lot of email about this article, which was orginally an email to a friend who needed to hear encouragement. Later, I edited it and sent it to my Yahoo group, Keeping the Home. I thought I'd pass it on to the blog tonight:


You have so much to offer the world. You have so much to offer to
God. Don't you think God gave you your magnetism (personality) and
your talent for a reason?

Of course!

Satan does NOT want you to use your talents or your magnetic
personality. He wants you to think you are a failure. He wants you
to look at your faults. He wants you to think you cannot possibly
have something to offer others. He wants to think that you are not
likeable or loveable. He wants to defeat you.

Why? You know how he works! You are a terrible threat to him! You
have a talent that was given to you by God for a purpose. Satan
wants the world to be ugly and people to be lonely. He does not
want you to accomplish what God has for you.

You could be used by God in an awesome ministry, even if only for an
audience the size of your little family (to God I doubt the number
of people we touch in a lifetime matters, but that we touch the ones
we were put here to touch). But you will never have a ministry -
not one of any kind, not even one to your family - unless you stop
listening to Satan's lies. In order to be used by God, you must
force yourself to listen only to God while shutting out Satan's lies.

God NEVER, NEVER focuses us on our faults. Satan does.

I once heard that guilt is from Satan, conviction is from God.

Satan wants us to think we are bad mothers (I hear that one daily
from him, too!). He likes "mommy guilt."

God would NEVER tell us that we are bad mothers. He is the eternal
optimist! He can see in us what we cannot see. He can see our
potential. He may convict us, as He did to me when I needed to
apologize to Brenden a couple of nights ago, after yelling at him
for hurting his sister. I did not handle it well at all. After I
sent him to bed in tears, I felt God convicting me to go to him and
apologize. I did that and Brenden and I had a nice time together,
talking (children are so forgiving!).

Later, I felt guilt and in tears I said aloud, "I am such a bad
mother! I mess up every single day!" But since I've been working
on recognizing that mommy guilt is not from God, I didn't keep my
mind there.

God would not want me to say that or to think that.

Saying that I am a bad mother does not glorify Him at all. He does
not think I'm a bad mother. He doesn't even think the worst mother
in the world is a bad mother. Instead, He sees the mother that she
could be. Only Satan is served by me thinking that I am a bad

Those words of doubt and guilt that you hear are coming from Satan.
He wants you to believe them. If you believe that you have nothing
to offer God, then Satan wins because you will not offer anything to

Remember, God is the eternal optimist! He sees the wonderful
mother, wife and woman that we are capable of being and He
ENCOURAGES us to be that person.

God bless you today!

Lori Seaborg (this group) (my blog)

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Mardi Gras has Begun!

Mardi Gras has begun! I wonder if Southerners have less problems with the post-Christmas depression that you hear about on the news? We don't have time for depression. As soon as New Year's Day is out of the way, we are getting ready for Mardi Gras.

The excitement in the air is static! From the convenience stores to WalMart, you can find beads, Moon Pies, and other items for "throws." We rush to our computers or to the newspapers to choose which parades we will watch, out of the dozens to see during the Mardi Gras season.

Mardi Gras begins on January 6th, on the day that we celebrate the Twelfth Night, when the three "kings" (Magi, actually) visited Jesus. The colors of Mardi Gras are gold, green, and purple. The colors stand for gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which are the three gifts that were given by the Magi to Jesus. Mardi Gras ends on "Fat Tuesday," the date of which changes every year and will be on February 8th this year. All of the local schools close on Fat Tuesday and there are over a dozen parades within a 30-mile radius just on that day alone.

Today, we took the children to a beautiful parade called "Crewe de Spaniards." The floats were breathtaking, in bright colors. They had faces of dragons and other "monsters". In between the floats were musicians or school bands or dance troops, to supply music as the parade rolled on.

We were able to get a huge shopping bag full of throws,. Each of our necks was weighed down with dozens of beads. Alyssa Belle, our 1yo, was thrown two teddy bears, lucky girl! The kids picked up plastic cups, plastic toys, Moon Pies, and candy.

Mardi Gras has such a bad reputation when you only hear about the filth in the parades that New Orleans attracts. But here in South Alabama and Northwest Florida, it is a time of family togetherness with good, clean fun.

What a beautiful day we had!

Here is more Mardi Gras history, from Mobile, Alabama's site. Mobile hosted the very first Mardi Gras - yes, even before New Orleans. I like this quote from the article: It has been said that the people of Mobile love Carnival, Mardi Gras, and parades to the extreme that if a catastrophe left only two survivors, on the next Mardi Gras one would be costumed and in the street, beating a drum and carrying a banner; the other would be standing aside in costume, hollering, “Throw me something mister.”

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Learning a New Craft

I learned to knit today. I am SO excited about conquering the basics of a new craft! I have been trying to teach myself from a book on and off (mostly "off") for a few years, but finally I met someone who could teach me. Within an hour, I was knitting away .... yes, and quite happily, too!

I have a need to learn every craft invented. Currently I'm into beading (as in beaded bookmarks or little bead bracelets for my toddler and 7yo to wear...and then pop...and then little beads are rolling all over the floor). And now I'm into knitting!

What are you creating?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Making Dreams Come True for Real?

Stone, our brand new 5-year-old, likes to tell me his dreams in the mornings. He often hops onto our bed and says, "Do you want me to tell you what my show was?" Just recently, he learned that the "shows" that he saw at night are called "dreams." His "shows" are full of dump trucks, airplanes, his family and grandparents...and his obsession, fire. Fire trucks, firemen, blazing fires...the kid is a pyromaniac in miniature!

Tonight, the kids watched a bit of the American Idol auditions with me. To introduce the show, the announcer said, "Thousands of people came here to make their dreams come true in Washington, D.C."

Stone yelled, "Mama! Mama! I want to go there! I want my dreams to come true!"

He meant literal dreams, of course. Now that we taught him that "shows" are "dreams," we'll have to teach him that "dreams" can also be "aspirations."

...Nah, that's too long of a word. We'll just let him think all American Idol contestants go to Washington, DC to see their dump trucks, fire, family, firemen, and airplanes in action.

Lori Seaborg
Gulf Coast

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

New Article Posted

I posted an article on "Overcoming Mommy Guilt" on my Yahoo! group tonight. You can see it by clicking on this link: Keeping_the_Home

You may subscribe to future articles through this:

If you subscribe via the above email, you will not get the latest article. If you want that one specifically, email me at:

Lori Seaborg

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Our Millenium Baby

Our Millenium Baby
Lori Seaborg 2005

Our Millenium Baby is Five

Stone didn't listen to me today. He didn't listen at all when I told him he was not allowed to turn five years old. For several months, maybe even a full year, he has talked about being five. Holding his thumb down to say he was four was not fun to him. He wants to jut out all five digits on his hand and thrust it at your face when you ask how old he is.

For months, if someone asked him what's going to happen in January, he would say, "I'm going to be five and Mama's going to cry. Ha! Ha!"

I guess being five means that you are much stronger than when you are four-years-and-three-hundred-sixty-four days.

Apparently Stone thinks so.

He wakes up this morning, says, "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY TODAY!" way too loudly for his sleeping Mama, then proceeds to pick up heavy objects.

He lifts a footstool above his head. "See?" Through my sleepy eyes, I see and nod.

Then he picks up a lamp. "Look!"

"Mmm-hmmm", I murmur.

Next, he picks up half of the office chair so that it tilts and almost falls on him. "I'm STRONG," he says.

"Oh, yes, you are very strong." I'm starting to wake up.

Finally, he walks over to our bedpost, and tries to pick up our king-sized mahogany bed with me and his Daddy in it.

And you know what?! The most amazing thing happens....

No, I'm kidding, he can't do it. But he grunts and groans and gives it a good try.

Catching on, I say, "Are you strong because you're five now?"

He doesn't answer, but smiles, pulls up his shirt sleeve and shows me his very big muscle.

Happy Birthday, Teddy Bear. I'm so glad we have your strong self to love.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Stone at age 4

Stone at age 4 with Mama (me)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

New Articles Posted

I have a couple of new articles posted at my Yahoo! group. It's my group, called "Keeping the Home." It is not a chat group. I post articles that are a bit more polished and less fragmented than at this blog. If you want to read the articles, go to the group through this link: Keeping the Home .

There are two ways you can read the articles:

1. If you go to the group via the above link, Yahoo will require you to join to read the posts. You'll get my articles emailed to you as they are posted, but you won't get any spam from it.

2. Or, the easiest way to get posts is to subscribe, like with a newsletter. Just send an email to :

The new articles are called:

1. Prioritizing Your Life
2. Prioritizing Your Life - Weekly Schedule

There are many other articles on that site. Only a few are repeats from this blog.

Lori Seaborg
Alabama's Gulf Coast

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Psalm 113:9

Both my sister-in-law (mother of two) and I have been separately blessed by this verse recently, so I wanted to share it with you:

"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD."---Psalms 113:9

My sister-in-law opened her Bible to the verse just when it was needed - at at time when the children were tired, irritable and misbehaving. She says the verse reminded her that her children are a blessing from God.

For me, the verse was a reminder that I have so much -- I am not barren, I have a house to "keep," and I have the CHOICE to be joyful.

Yes, I can choose to be joyful and thankful, even when the children are tired, irritable and misbehaving (As my 4-year-old is RIGHT THIS MINUTE when he should be in bed, but is instead making noises and jumping around next to me. Excuse me while I put that Blessing to bed!)

Lori Seaborg
Fairhope, Alabama

Thursday, January 06, 2005

What Happened on My Walk Today

I take paper with me everywhere I go and if I don't have it I feel like some women feel without lipstick. Today, I decided to go on a walk as part of my New Year's Resolution of self-discipline. I folded an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper in fours, shoved it into my back pocket along with a sharp pencil, and headed up the hill. Somewhere along the way up I had an epiphany but didn't want to stop my "aerobic" exercise so I wrote while walking. It was a profound thing I had written on my piece of paper, worthy of putting in a bestselling book no doubt.

But I cannot remember what it was, and I will never be able to read it again.

I had walked over to the cows and actually spooked one. Even made her do a second-glance-jump! I still giggle when I remember that cow's reaction to me. I talked to her, but she was apparently a little ticked at me coming up on her eating like that, so she walked away (MY! They have big bellies! Makes me think I'm doing just fine with mine). The male came over at a bit of a rapid pace. He didn't have horns, so I decided not to be afraid of him...not too much. He acted like he had an itch on his head, between his big eyes. He kept scratching it against the vinyl fencing (Made the fence move! Vinyl does NOT seem sturdy enough for a big boy-cow). I tried scratching him where he itched, but he stuck out his loooong tounge at my arm and it was way too gross. I went back to admiring his big beauty of a self while fiddling with a bit of cotton that had blown off a farmer's field. Cow Boy went back to scratching between his eyeballs on the vinyl fence.

Are you wondering why I said I would never be able to read what I wrote on that piece of paper ever again?

As I was admiring Sir Cow and he was scratching, I bent over to pick up my dropped cotton and a breeze blew. It blew the paper out of my pant's pocket and into the cow pen. There it was, my paper with my wise words on it, and the big boy cow much too close for me to reach in and get my paper (do cows bite??).

But my fear of him is not the reason why I no longer have that piece of paper.

He ATE it!

(Know what my first thought was? "Will the farmer read it when the cow sends it back out in a patty?")

Saturday, January 01, 2005

2005 Resolutions

Resolutions for 2005:

My resolution is simply to be more self-disciplined this year. I am such a relaxed person by nature, but only the self-disciplined person can accomplish all that God would have for her. Here are some new disciplines I want to adopt:

1. Walk daily.

If I walk for just 15 minutes, that is about 1 mile. While walking, I could do my prayer time.

2. Read books for self-improvement.

Finish at least one book a month on a topic such as devotionals and homemaking books. Use the list at Women at Home University (it's free!).

3. Read the Bible, pray, and generally visit with God daily.

Try praying while walking for exercise; read the Bible before reading anything else.

4. Write 1000 words per day, 5 days per week.

5. Drink 4 water bottles per day, to start (16 oz. size).

6. Go to bed by midnight; get up by 7am for quiet time with God.

By keeping my goals attainable, and by not making my list long, I hope to accomplish these things. I’d like so much more! I want to add resolutions such as finish the front flower beds and teach the children one old-fashioned hymn per month. But, large lists overwhelm me. I tend to quit mid-way (early-way, really) because I get discouraged by the futility of accomplishing all that is on my list.

If I am successful in keeping the resolution of self-discipline, I will find it easier to follow the path that God has selected for me. He will then be able to use me in more ways, such as in learning those hymns with the childrne.

How about you? I encourage you to start a list of New Year’s Resolutions this weekend. Or do as I did, and choose only one resolution based on a character trait that you would like to adopt, then place goals below that resolution. Keep your list simple. You can always add more to it later.

Happy New Year!