Subscribe Now

The Details...Why They Matter

better living communication decision making family intentional living Oct 21, 2023

7 minute read
By Bethany Rees

I’ve always been a big-picture person. I love zooming out to see how everything is connected or what really matters in the middle of chaos. 

I truly believe that seeing the big picture is an important skill to have. However, over the course of my life I’ve also learned valuable lessons that the details matter. 

Because like a pebble in our shoe, it can be the smallest of things that can end up causing us the greatest discomfort or regret. 

Let me explain:  

Read the Label

In the early 2000s, Jason and I were a young married couple with no kids when we were invited to a cousin’s wedding in New Jersey!
Jason and I had never flown anywhere as a couple so Woohoo! Jersey, here we come!

In all of my excitement, I went straight to that travel toiletries aisle at Wal-Mart and stocked up on all the goodies I’d need to look good…Jersey Shore good.  

And oh what luck, I found travel hair spray. 

On the day of the wedding, I curled my hair and teased it high so it would stand tall and proud with plenty of volume.

Well, I had used the hotel bathroom for a long time poofing my hair up “real nice.” So long in fact that it was time to go and Jason only had 5 minutes to get ready for the wedding. 

So with my poofed up hair, I said I could do my finishing touches with the hairspray in the room while he showered. 

Armed with my tiny can of hairspray I stepped out of that bathroom with the biggest head of hair I’d seen since the movie Steel Magnolias. I popped off that lid and “shhh.” 

Away I went spraying my entire head with what I thought was hair spray. 

When Jason got out of the shower, I stepped back into the bathroom to admire my hair one last time before we left; but I noticed he was staring awkwardly at me. 

I just figured he wasn’t used to me being all “done up” this way, but I soon came to realize the shock behind his look. 

As soon as I saw myself in the bathroom mirror, my hair was no longer curly and the size of a Dolly Parton wig…it was long, straight, and shining brightly. 

Seeing my disaster of a head of hair, I didn’t understand what had happened in that 5 minutes until I read the details on that tiny bottle of what I thought was hairspray. 

The title of the product on the spray bottle read: “Afro Sheen Spray.” 

In all my excitement of going to and then doing “big hair” for this wedding, I never once actually read the label. 

And details on labels matter. I learned that the hard way as I attended my cousin’s wedding with a wet but super shiny head of hair. 

Here’s the evidence 🤣!

Know the Rules

I told myself, “this is going to be the best vacation EVER!”

You see, 1) I had never been out of the country and 2) Jason and I haven’t done anything since we had our son (who was 4 at the time). 

So we booked an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico. Eek! I could hardly contain myself for weeks leading up to the trip. I was dreaming of how wonderful this trip was going to be: white sands, beaches, endless food and drinks, and alone time with the hubby. 

My anticipation and my expectations couldn’t get any higher. 

A day or two into the trip we took an excursion to go snorkeling. 

Cool right? I could picture all of the beauty of God’s underwater creation as I was going to swim around like a mermaid. 

But here’s the reality of what happened:

The reefs off the coast were protected so they made us wear life jackets so we didn’t sneak down to touch the coral. 

So here I am wanting to be a mermaid under the water and what I ended up being was a bright orange bobber on top of the waves. Where there is bobbing there is my weak stomach churning. 

Only a few minutes into our “amazing” snorkeling adventure, I started blowing chunks.

Here I am in the ocean bobbing up and down like an orange fishing bobber and puking endlessly. 

And to answer your question, yes I had a ton of fish around me. 

Physically I couldn’t stop throwing up all of that “free” food and mentally I was freaked out that I had “chummed” the waters and a shark was headed my way.  

My expectation was high, but my reality had “blown. 🤣” 

We were supposed to have two more outings to snorkel, but I was too sick to continue so they dropped me off on a random beach and headed back out to snorkel the other two reefs (and yes I “let” Jason stay with the group while I laid face down in the sand moaning).


Double Check the Facts Behind the Hearsay

After a day of chumming the waters, you’d think that I’d recoup and be right back out there having the best vacation ever.

Um, that’s a hard no. 

As if things couldn't get any worse on our trip, I hadn’t drank any water while I was in Mexico. My ignorant self had heard not to drink the water in Mexico so I didn’t…

…not even bottled water. How dumb. 

The truth is that you can and obviously should drink bottled water when in Mexico. 

I started feeling really sick and by the time we got off the plane in the US, Jason took me straight to the ER. 

I had developed a kidney infection due to a lack of water. 

The expectation of having the “best vacation ever” was far from the reality I actually experienced, and it was all because of the details that I missed. 

The Details…They Actually Matter!

And while my quick three stories above expose my weakness to pay attention to details, I’ve learned two valuable lessons: 

  1. slow down when I’m making decisions and 
  2. make sure I have a details-oriented person on my team

May my experiences be a lesson to you to pay attention to the details, because they matter…a lot! 

Know Better. Do Better. Live Better. Pay Attention to Details!

Rocks before Sand!


“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”

~ Hebrews 2:1

Theme Song: 

VeggieTales - Pizza Angel

References Used:

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Let's Connect

Together, we build a life that focuses on the essential rocks


We hate SPAM. We will never share or sell your information, for any reason.