Commas, Periods and Joy

courage, Faith, Prayer, rest, Teaching, Trust, Uncategorized

I write grants. I  deplore asking for money. That’s tough, but an honest admission.

What I enjoy so, so much is sharing stories of our work, compelling others to come alongside in giving.

Two big grants were denied within days of each other…one large in amount, one large in significance.  Two things in my “pending” file that have now been decided upon, denial…not a comma, a period.

So, I decided to Let it go, Lisa.  Turn the page.  Close the book.

God is in control.  Walk by faith. Period.


The monthly Faith column contributed for April: 

Grammar and God

I must admit there are times I could use an editor. In life and in writing I have a tendency to overuse the comma. Quite often and unnecessarily, I pause in the middle, hanging on to an idea, taking it down some path rather than closing with a firm ending, a period. If you’ve had more than a few conversations with me, you’ll know I can talk about a variety of things all at once. I have been told it can be hard to know whether I’ve finished with one thing before jumping to the next. I jump around and then pause, circling back to the beginning. I don’t think a comma would even help there. My life sometimes feels like a series of long run-on sentences.

A friend who is a wise conversationalist shared a bit of wisdom last week. Surprisingly, this insight came from a very young woman, a patient of hers. My friend, advising the young woman through trauma and life change, had been listening as her patient recalled her hardships. She paused, looked at my friend and said, “Maybe I should start using periods instead of commas.” She had essentially realized the time had come to rest, to accept certain truths.

In my desk, there’s a folder marked “pending”. About once a week I take it out, remind myself of its contents. I may remove a paper or finish a task left undone, but I don’t hassle over the items waiting. I leave them there in the place of pending. Life is full of waiting, wondering and pausing.

It can be torment to keep looking at what we don’t know, what’s not yet complete. We have commas and long pauses of doubt all over the places of our lives. What if we made prayer our pending file? Waiting would be less overwhelming. What if our lives modeled good grammar, God’s grammar? I decided to become more disciplined in my commas by adding more periods. I made a list of truths and marked them with strong, black dots of assurance, periods at the end of each. Have faith in God. Pray, and let God work. Trust God’s plan. God is good. God is in control. Let it go, Lisa.

The Book of James guides us in times of trouble. We are to expect trouble. We’re told there will be times we feel our “sentences” will never be complete, our circumstances unresolved, and our delays will lack an understanding. We will meet trials of various kinds. Do not doubt. Ask God. Believe. Don’t be tossed about. Ask in faith for wisdom, Amen,  add a period.

Count it all joy when you meet trials. The testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2

Turn the page.

Close the book.

Re-read your Faith column.

Live what you believe.

Count it as joy.

Tomorrow’s another day.




Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee as she reminds us all of the miralce we are, the miracles within and around us…

12 thoughts on “Commas, Periods and Joy

  1. I have read many posts on faith today. I’m sure that is God’s way of telling me to let it go-surrender it all to Him. Thank you for your beautiful words to remind me that faith is where it’s at and God is in charge all the time. Glad to be visiting you from #TellHisStory

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So powerful and in God’s timing. I’m on the Launch Team for Tracy Wainwright’s “A Transformed Mind” which is all about periods, not commas! This is a powerful image to help me remember to take each thought captive: thank you so much!

    Yes: God’s got this!


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