The Summer of Mary!

Do you remember when George Costanza on Seinfeld declared “the summer of George”? He was liberated, he was motivated, he was determined to craft his own destiny (then he had an accident and was paralyzed from the waist down. Instead of having the time of his life, he was in physical therapy relearning how to walk for the remainder of the summer—but I digress).

The summer is upon us, and I declare it “the summer of Mary”! I am liberated (sort of), motivated (definitely) and truly determined to make some positive changes in the lives of our family this summer. (George’s idea involved watching Marisa Tomei movies in his sweatpants. I have a bit stronger work ethic and a family to care for.) We have much to work on.

1. Our home. I’m going to paint some walls, unpack more boxes, and hang some pictures, dang it! I really do have aspirations of interior design, cozy corners, and clean rooms. You’d never know it, though. We’ve been living without decoration for more than a year. I have been so involved with outside projects and freelance jobs that I simply have not had the time to decorate my home. I LOVE the layout and design of my house. It’s time I put my touch on it!

2. Our finances. Chris and I attended an AMAZING financial seminar last week, sponsored by Melaleuca. Melaleuca is the most impressive company with the biggest heart that I’ve ever been involved with. If every company or corporation had the kind of heart behind it that Melaleuca does, the landscape of corporate America and our economy would transform dramatically. Anyway, we are taking the 90-day Cash Challenge. We are going to live by paying cash. I am going to be the most frugal home economist you’ve ever seen. My kids are going to drink lots and lots of free water. I’m going to work my Melaleuca business like crazy.

Our debt is embarrassing. We take full responsibility for it. Some of it we know how it happened. Some of it we have a hard time accounting for. At any rate, we confess and repent of our indulgence and irresponsibility. At the root, it’s sin. We are ready to move beyond it.

3. Our health. I am so NOT an alarmist, everybody-and-everything-is- out-to-get-me kind of a person. But I have to say that for more than a year, I’ve been researching our health and what we modern-day folk live with everyday. While we cannot refute the positive changes in our overall sanitation and food choices and availability, I’m really starting to get concerned that we (collective “we”: modern Americans) have succumbed to the enticements of convenience, money, and indulging our appetites (both figuratively and literally). Look at the obesity rates. Yes, I know, we have a greater ability to gather information and make diagnoses. But you can’t ignore that we have strayed far, far, away from the diet of the Garden (and I’m not one of those, follow the OT dietary laws people, either. I believe the NT explicitly makes all foods “legal.”).

I have cleaned up my home from toxic chemicals and pollutants. I feel good about that. I feel horrible about our diet. I am convicted that our food is nutritionally bankrupt. I hate feeding everyone processed foods just because it’s “cheap” or “easy.” I hate pumping my kids full of sugar, fat, salt, and preservatives. I don’t want them to have an appetite for these things.

So—this summer, we will start eating more healthily. I’ve started looking into raw foods. I don’t plan to go completely raw, but I do plan to begin limiting red meat and dairy. The more I read, the more I’m convinced that a fruit/veggie/nut/whole grain-heavy diet is far superior to a processed/fat/salt/sugar/meat & potatoes-heavy diet. It makes sense. The proper fuel will make the machine function properly.

I’m going to shop for FRESH ingredients at Farmer’s Markets. I’m growing fresh herbs and a few vegetables. I’m going to wade into the bread-making arena.

4. Our routine. Mommy’s slowing down. Mommy’s tired of being tired. We’re going to have more family time, more fun time. I know I only have my impressionable kids for a little while. I’m going to do a better job of making those years count.

Cheers to “the summer of Mary”!