2 Corinthians 3 – The letter of my heart

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)

We studied this passage in Sunday School this morning at church. I love the word pictures Paul uses in 2 Corinthians – the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ, treasures in jars of clay, our heavenly home, and, in this chapter, the Holy Spirit writing on our hearts.

I was challenged to think about my “readers.” Who is closest to me and reading the book that is my life? I immediately thought of the kids. Do my children see the Holy Spirit working in my life? What kind of book am I reading to them through the words and attitudes of my heart? Do they see only legalistic, tablets of stone or a heart changed daily by God?

Tim and I spent a good portion of Saturday fighting. Maybe it just felt like most of the day. I don’t think the conflict actually started until dinner time. Of course, with a bunch of night owls like us, that still leaves most of the day.

jumble of toys

Sometimes the mess in our house threatens to overwhelm me, drowning me in toys and books and clothes and other “things” that need to be sorted and organized and put away.

I know in my head that it is good and healthy for children to see their parents work through and resolve conflict but it still feels shameful and wrong. My emotions and actions (or reactions) spread so quickly through the entire family. I was grumpy and angry (at myself mostly) yesterday and I fussed at one of the children, only to immediately hear them fuss at their siblings. Ouch. My tone, my mood was so contagious that, by the end of the day, Tim had thoroughly caught the grumpiness bug.

This is not the kind of ‘fragrance’ I want wafting about me, spreading throughout my home.

This is not the letter that I want the children reading about my life and what the word God is doing in me.


Playmobil and more Playmobil

I was a bit surprised at how quickly a coolness and distant feeling crept into my relationship with Tim just over the course of a few hours. I take for granted the relaxed, sweet marriage that we share. We talk, laugh, play, and parent together with such ease most of the time, I forget that there needs to be constant work done on my part in strengthening our marriage.

Respect, accept, love, honor, affirm. Weighty words that require diligence. They are not just feelings – they are choices. I choose to respect my husband, to accept who he is, to love him as God created him, today, to honor and affirm him.

stripping wallpaper

In order to strip away the old patterns, you have to cut through the tough exterior, soften the front, wait a bit as the solvent works, and then slowly peel away the junk that needs to go. How true in my life.

Christ has written a letter on my heart. His letter is full of grace and salvation. He chose me. He saves me. He pulls me out of my sin. He gives me the power to turn away from my flesh. My sinful nature that wants to be grumpy and selfish and discontented (and then turn and lash out at everyone around me). He even has a sense of humor and placed this verse in our Proverb reading today.

A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day;
restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. (Proverbs 27:15-16)

The living God has written on my heart. I want to live in such a way that those around me can read this letter and be pointed to Him.

Project 365 – Days 146 & 147

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6 thoughts on “2 Corinthians 3 – The letter of my heart”

  1. I love you, Katherine. Thanks for sharing so vulnerably. I so understand how it’s a ‘choice’ to be loving and gentle and gracious. Some days I can almost tangibly feel myself choosing to be pleasant or to be grumpy. Oh, how I pray to be softer TODAY. The crabby bug is definitely contagious!!

    Love from your praying Aunt Kate

  2. Sorry you’ve had to go through this. Once again, I LOVE how you show something so visual to explain things… LOVE the wallpaper description! Hope you have a great Memorial Day.

  3. Kathy, thank you so much for being willing to share such a difficult time. It helps me to “see” others in less than wonderful circumstances. Not that I enjoy seeing this, but it helps me to feel less alone in my own failures.

    I have struggled so much since the new kids have been home and I know I have not been the kind of mother I used to be. God is working step by step to bring me back around to being able to mother these children like I have Gabe and Bess. It is a very difficult journey for me. Sort of like walking many miles on your hands and knees.

    I agree with Cynthia, your visuals are always right on!

    I hope you had a better day. God bless.

  4. Thanks for praying, Aunt Kate. It’s so good to know there are people lifting up my marriage and family to the throne of God. Talk about encouraging!

    Do you think cheerfulness is as contagious as grumpiness??

  5. Debbie – it’s so hard to realize you aren’t being the mother you want to be, to see it and know it but be unable to really change. Argh! I continually cling to something dh said years ago – the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He put these children into our family. We are just the parents He wants them to have. He knows their temperament and personality and needs and chose us! Now to live more and more faithfully before Him. Hard work.

    Thanks for sharing your heart as well.

  6. I can absolutely relate. Once, my Not-So-Classic husband told me that I control the climate of the home. I was mad when he told me that because I felt like he was blaming me, but he wasn’t; he was just reminding me how very important it is for me to stay consistently in the Lord’s presence. Thank you for being so very real and honest. I don’t know you, but I appreciate your blog and the love I always see when I visit here.

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