Life’s punctuation

Ever find yourself concentrating so much on the little things only to find you missed the bigger picture? If we’re all really honest, the answer would be yes. I mean, how easy is it to scrutinize the little details, becoming so intent on what is wrong that we completely miss the point.

As a mother I ashamedly admit there were far too many minutes of the day wasted on the little things when my children were younger. Crying over spilled milk as it may be instead of seeing how in the whole scheme of things, how in ten or fifteen years, or even a week later, it would not matter one bit if there was a splatter of milk on the table or floor…it wouldn’t even be a memory. A messy bedroom resembling the aftermath of a tornado, millions of Legos scattered across the living room floor, ignored toys strewn in the front yard, or the missing punctuation in the happily-written story from a child’s heart. It would all be forgotten down the road, none of it would matter as the years continued to move along at an unstoppable quickening pace. Those little things — and yes, they were the little things of life which truly meant nothing then or now.

In our scrutiny over the little things in life we miss the most important stuff, the bigger picture — the heart of the matter.

“Irony…gotta love it!” my dear friend stated matter-of-factly in her second email to me.  The first one had the irony in it which literally had me sitting back in my chair at a loss for words.

One of my favorite bloggers has a very poetic style of writing, one that speaks to my heart and gives me great encouragement, but not everyone who reads her blog feels the same.  My dear friend is one of those. She has never truly enjoyed this blogger’s writing and more truthfully I think it’s fair to say, even finds her writing rather detestable. Why? Because my friend views the writing through the lenses of a teacher and she has told me as such. She has to mentally place punctuation throughout the blogger’s writing in an effort to muddle through it, perhaps causing my friend to miss the heart of the writer.

So just last week, my friend shares in her first email to me how after leaving a comment on one of the blogger’s posts, she receives an email from this woman. Emails are sent back and forth between my friend and this blogger, and eventually the two end by agreeing to pray for each other every day! Huh?! My friend did not even like this writer and now they’re best of friends! Okay, not best of friends maybe, but suddenly my friend is getting encouragement and prayers from a woman hundreds of miles away, whose writing she abhors and makes fun of.

Interestingly, it is through the blogger’s emails in which my friend is able to see a more down-to-earth and reachable woman than how she originally perceived her from her blog. My friend is able to see this person through a different lens. And since the blogger uses better punctuation in her emails, my friend tells me, she finds it easier to simply enjoy what she is reading, and therefore, able to catch a glimpse of who this woman really is.

“Irony….gotta love it!”  Yep.  🙂

This exchange I had with my friend got me thinking about the little things in life and how they tend to overshadow the big picture, making it harder for us to clearly see the heart of the matter.

As a mother of two young boys, I did not always see beyond the messy bedroom blanket fort where two brothers played together contently; or past the mess of Legos on the floor to the creation designed from a vivid imagination; or overlooked the toys strewn on the lawn to the flaming red sunset drawing a child’s in-awe-attention; or past the missed comma to the beautifully written story from a child’s heart. All those missed opportunities of just being in the moment and enjoying the more important things in life.

And so it is in life. If only I could learn to put down my red pen used to slash, circle and add missing punctuation to my life and that of others and instead, learn to look beyond the missed punctuation to see the heart of the writing and hear the importance of what is spoken. Learn to enjoy the right-here moment which one day will be a long-ago memory.

Life is too short to allow missing punctuation to cloud the important things, the true message.

“A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.” ~Titus 1:2




(P.s. dear friend (you will know who you are after reading this)…I hope you find this okay what I wrote.  It was your words which inspired these thoughts. 🙂



3 thoughts on “Life’s punctuation

  1. i think this beautiful. my life is busy and messy and full of 5 little boys and a husband in a small 1100 square foot home that often has legos, toys, clothes, and milk strew about. great reminder for me to pull up from tunnel vision on the little things to see the big beautiful thing of life God has blessed me with. i think i need this in the huge to do list of my day.

    you were the link before mine on walk with Him wednesdays and i am so glad to have visited your blog. be blessed!


    1. Hi Charis! Thanks for taking time out of your busy, messy life to stop by. I cannot even imagine life with five little boys, two were a handful for me! But I can say how quickly time does go (my boys are now 21 and almost 18) and there are days I wish I’d spent more time on the floor in the middle of those Legos ignoring everything else.


  2. LOL! I don’t mind. Although I still do believe in the Power of Punctuation…in writing. Actually in life too, because what is a comma other than a reminder to stop and take a breath? I know that’s not what you meant though, and I think this post is lovely. Speaking of our blogger friend…she has developed a unique voice and lack of punctuation aside, she should not change her voice…she has built an entire platform from it! Which is another lesson I learned from her: Find your own voice and use it to tell your own story, and don’t worry about what other people think! My voice is academic because that’s how I have to write curriculum. If I dared to use a noun as a verb, or write a run-on sentence, well, my editor would kill me. Figuratively, anyway. 😉


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