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We may experience things that seem as though we're 'finished' -- we may think that nothing good could possibly come from whatever is happening, whatever we're going through, from whatever way we've failed or whatever is happening with our children, our work -- our seeming fruitless lives. But in the Hand of the Potter we may see great usefulness, great restoration, great faith may be shaped, great purpose may be presented... for His glory and our good. "The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel." Philippians 1.12

reclaiming former resolve

Resolve. Quite a number of times recently I’ve longed for reclaiming former resolve.  Sort of the embracing of the old paths — things that became such high priorities in former days.  So now, I humbly say, experiences in recent years have really knocked me down and drained my resolve.  Sinking in worthlessness jolted my senses and made me realize resolve had slipped away.  Wait!  Where’d it go?  Where did the eagerness go?

In the eighties and early nineties I had many young children — the days were full and busy — and while some of my priorities bordered on legalism, most were just sincerely steeped in the fervent desire to live well, and impart to our children, a joyful life of order and faithful obedience.  I say it “bordered on legalism” more as a description I heard from others than how I would have characterized it (then or now!).

There were, in those very early days, so many new opportunities and experiences for me as I sought to learn how to be a godly wife and mother.   The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn!  I hadn’t been raised in a Christian home and didn’t have the disciplines of a woman of the Word and so, those were days of forming habits (as well as unforming others!), and learning Scriptures through sermons, studying my Bible, and in church fellowship.  Every now and then I’d meet and spend time with women from whom I’d glean more foundational truths, habits, and practices.  It seemed that everything was new!   I learned homemaking skills, child training methods, bread making, cross-stitching, gardening, meal planning, bulk shopping and bulk cooking, homeschooling and a whole host of other things through women’s books, Bible studies, retreats and even through magazines that are still dear to my heart.  Those early days were filled with such eager resolve.   Eager resolve with lots of children and lots of laundry.

A lot of those early resolutions led to the embracing the teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles and then a little later, the Advanced Training Institute – it all seemed like so many more good things!!   I’ve written quite a bit about IBLP and ATI (there are a number of posts, actually), so I won’t rehash all that here except to say, we were sincerely blessed in many ways early on.  And then we weren’t.   But one thing I miss and sort of long for is that exuberance we had in those days — those days that became many years.  I’m attempting to recapture that eagerness.

So, I’ve begun doing some of those former things — interestingly, it’s as if I’m tapping into some of those early resolves.  I’ll tell you a few — maybe my rediscoveries will be helpful to you. I’ve begun reading a morning and evening devotional.  I’ve begun writing a line a day in a five year journal.  I’m writing down specific answers to prayers.  I’m memorizing Scripture again.  I’m trying to decorate for small occasions, I’m looking through old photos, cooking a few old favourites — yes, some from those old magazines.   Inspired by my old Gentle Spirit magazines.  I know.  I’m overusing old.  I’m working on crafts, lettering, and cards.  I’m resolved to be looking for ways to be a blessing here at home and wherever I go.  I’m working on writing.  And blogging.   This resolve doesn’t look like former days so much, but the desire feels very similar.

I didn’t have the hindsight I have now — which, by the way, is a very good thing.  I’d have thrown in the towel early on if I’d known then what I know now regarding not a few of my motherhood chapters.  I’ll tell ya, lots of things haven’t worked out real well—Yet.  But lots of things have worked out so much better than I’d ever have imagined.  What I didn’t have then was the faith that all these years walking with Jesus have given me.  I didn’t have blessed assurance that Jesus is mine and that He would carry me.  I know now.  He has.  Bcz of what the Lord has done for me I want to finish well.

So now, Mama’s Journal is underway with the resolve of the former days and bright hope for tomorrow.

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Thank you for joining me here today, may the Lord bless you and your home.