This is The First Day of the Rest of My Life

March 2, 2011 | 13 comments

I look to Google for the answer. I want to know what this Latin motto really means, so I type:

“Reformata Et Semper Reformanda.”

But maybe I could point-and-click into my own heart for the answer? Might I find the solution to the Latin puzzle in my very being, this very throne of Holy God?

I ask: What does this mean in my life — to be “reforming and ever-reforming?” Reformata Et Semper Reformanda.

These Latin words are not about reinventing the church, or altering God’s unchangeable Word to suit our fancies. Rather, this is about being open to the soul-altering work of Christ within me. It is us stepping out, raw and real, and falling before the Father with two words: Change me.

If we’re still breathing, we’re still learning.

He isn’t done with us yet.

Did I just hear the collective sigh from the other end of the computer screen? Was that relief I heard? Or maybe it was just me — a woman who tries so hard to live up to the invisible standard. Maybe I’m the only one who needed to be reminded today of this Truth: He takes us just as we are, but promises to never leave us that way.

We’re ever-reforming, like clay in the Potter’s hands. Think: Work in progress.

My walk often looks more like a stumble than a neat traipse down the center of the narrow path. It’s two steps forward, one step back.

But here — in these stumbling now-moments of life — are the only places I can really grow.

To ever-reform, I need three things:

1 – God.
2 – A yielded spirit.
3 – Time.

We are reformata et semper reformanda. Reforming and ever-reforming, even now, in this: The first day of the rest of our lives.

“Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

— Philippians 3:12

Photo: Two crosses on the Bible at our spiritual retreat this weekend, where we learned anew what it means to reform and ever-reform.

Most Wednesdays, I join Ann Voskamp in her Walk With Him Wednesday series. This week, she asks us to consider the spiritual discipline of time. How are we using it? I’m finding myself ever-reforming in the moment, growing nearer my God to thee, one step at a time.

by | March 2, 2011 | 13 comments


  1. Julie

    "If we're still breathing, we're still learning."

    Wow…so there is hope for me yet?

    I love this much needed reminder today.

    Thank you!

    P.S. I hope your hubby is recovering quickly…you all are in my prayers!

  2. HisFireFly

    Amen! Reform us Lord.

  3. Jeanne Damoff

    So good. I've been thinking about teachability lately — how the older I get, the more I realize I have so much to learn. It's not a sad truth, because the Teacher longs to walk with us. The real tragedy is when we think we've arrived and we wave Him off like so many know-it-alls.

    Still learning. Graduation from this school only comes when we walk across that final stage, receive a diploma stamped with His "well done," and discover we are like Him at last, because we finally see Him as He is.

    See you in study hall. 🙂

    Love, Jeanne

  4. Krista

    I love the reminder that if I had it all together, that would only mean I was finished. And I am not, not even close. Thank you, it feels like relief indeed.

  5. DenaDyer

    "My walk often looks more like a stumble than a neat traipse down the center of the narrow path. It's two steps forward, one step back."

    Jen, I have a habit of getting phrases wrong. The other day, I said to my DH, "I feel like it's one step forward, one step back." We laughed, and then I realized sometimes that IS how I feel. Like I'm merely standing in place, not making any progress at all.

    I think that my desire to please Him in all things, though, IS progress. Thanks, my friend, for this today.

    And prayers are being sent heavenward for a quick recovery for your hubby.

  6. Nancy

    Still breathing, still learning, still reforming along with you. Thankful that God uses people like you and your beautiful words along the way.

  7. bluecottonmemory

    A huge burden was lifted from me when I realized that I was a work in progress instead of a work behind. Beautiful reminder!

  8. Doug Spurling

    Amen Jenn – Pray your fav farmer is reformata Et Semper Reformanda.


    Ah yes, "Change Me" indeed!
    And my sigh was one of those you heard! One of relief and thanksgiving! 🙂 Have a beautiful day.

  10. RCUBEs

    "Rather, this is about being open to the soul-altering work of Christ within me." Amen!!!

    Praying for your hubby's quick recovery! God bless.

  11. Sandra Heska King

    Staying on the wheel. Pot in progress.

  12. Craig

    I’m here from Ann’s I know it’s Saturday – but I’m playing catch up – there were so many “Thank you” posts to read I didn’t even start reading the Wednesday linky until today.

    First of all I feel smarter just because of your Latin – thank you. {smile}

    “If we're still breathing, we're still learning.” – or at least being taught – I get taught all the time by God – how often do I learn?

    Thank you for this today.

    God Bless and keep you and all of yours

  13. Jennifer

    That #3 is the big one–and it's giving time to Him instead of seemingly important pursuits.


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