Monthly Archives: April 2013

[top 10] reasons i don’t use capital letters

10. aesthetically & from a graphic designer’s perspective, i prefer the look of lower case letters to capital letters.

9. i’m kinda picky about my handwriting. i like it to look like font, & my capital letters just aren’t that great.

8. i like to do things differently, sometimes just for the sake of being different. [there you go, mom — i admit it.]

7. my signature is immensely cooler looking when signed in lowercase letters.

6. e.e. cummings was a good poet & a cool guy. imitation, flattery, etc.

5. when i was in high school, i took a combined literature/history class my senior year. we studied a couple books from the bible as literature & from a historical rather than religious perspective. that’s when my habit began. i would capitalize only God’s name(s) in my notes as subtle reminder of my beliefs while learning about & addressing the bible academically.

4. what was begun as a sort of coping mechanism in high school became a habit & one that i liked. there seemed to be something poetic & sacred about only capitalizing God’s names & pronouns that refer to Him as a way of showing Him honor above all else.

3. i’ve since learned that ancient scribes showed what we would consider today an insane kind of reverence when writing the name of God. i’ve heard different versions of what they were required to do, but one example is they had to wipe off the pen & wash their whole bodies before writing the name of God, YHWH, each & every time they wrote it. this practice has not lingered into our times in any form, but i like it, so i practice it via capital letters.

2. i think we overuse capitalization anyways. all caps should only be used for design purposes when appropriate. [or for LORD or YHWH if you like — some people always write Lord in all caps to indicate the personal name of God.]

1. it has become part of my personal identity that i don’t capitalize many words. anyone who knows me well never ever capitalizes my names. [except my mom because she’s still in denial & entirely too proper to do otherwise!] it’s just me, like my blonde hair or my “obnoxious laugh” or my inability to dance. it’s just me.

[question] about PRAYER

beth moore has posed this question in several of her bible studies & videos, & it has stuck with me for years:

how different would our prayer lives be if Christ suddenly showed up while we were having our quiet time?

i hope i would recognize Him.

i hope i would fall to the floor rather than stay seated in my padded chair.

i hope i would cry out His name in adoration.

i hope i would be afraid to look at His face & at the same time anxious to see it.

i hope i would talk to Him with the shy but unreserved speech of a child before one admired & trusted.

i hope i would ask Him to put His hand of blessing on the suffering people on my prayer list.

i hope i would find the voice & courage to sing a song of praise to Him.

i hope i would listen to Him.

i hope it would mark me with a desperate thirst for & expectancy of His presence for the rest of my days.

how do you think it would change you?

f.l.y. // taking care of yourself, love in action

this is a series of blog posts i’m writing called f.l.y. // finally loving yourself in response to emily wierenga’s dare to love yourself challenge. i’m framing my thoughts about the subject through the lens of agape — unconditional love, God love, love in action. [my previous posts in this series are finally loving yourself & why taking care of yourself is important.]

my main thesis is that we cannot truly love others [& thereby obey Jesus’ second greatest command, matthew 22:37-40] until we learn to love ourselves.

agape is nothing if not action, & this applies even to finally loving myself. i wrote last week about why taking care of yourself is important & why it’s part of loving yourself [& loving God & others]. today, i want to talk about actually taking care of ourselves. what that means in specific action. i like to categorize everything in my life & to make lists, so here’s my areas of self-care:

>> physical — taking care of my body from the outside in
>> nutritional — taking care of my body from the inside out
>> mental — taking care of my brain
>> emotional — taking care of my heart
>> spiritual — taking care of my soul

taking care of yourself PHYSICALLY  >> this means exercising, stretching, toning, strengthening, hygiene, taking your makeup off before bed, moisturizing, sleeping enough, going to the doctor for regular check-ups, keeping your nails clean & neat, shaving!

taking care of yourself NUTRITIONALLY  >> this means eating good food, limiting junk food, watching your portions, drinking lots of water, taking a multi-vitamin, taking other needed supplements &/or medications, & for me, giving yourself necessary shots.

taking care of yourself MENTALLY  >> this means learning [never stop learning!], retaining what you know & learn, reading, doing puzzles, challenging yourself, practicing hobbies, taking breaks when needed, setting goals & working towards them.

taking care of yourself EMOTIONALLY  >> this means allowing & recognizing your feelings, not repressing, dealing with your feelings [both past & present], facing your fears, reducing stress, learning to breathe, cultivating healthy coping mechanisms, taking breaks, journaling, loving, forgiving.

taking care of yourself SPIRITUALLY  >> this means [to me] spending time with God every morning before i do anything else, in the middle of the workday, & before i go to bed, reading His word, memorizing & meditating on specific verses or passages of scripture, taking a personal retreat once a year, journaling, praying, praying, praying, listening, learning, practicing the spiritual disciplines, loving.

so, in keeping with my love for list-making, i hereby present:

the top 10 things i’m going to do 
to take care of myself for the next week

10. exercise every day except sunday. 
i’m pretty nervous about this commitment because i’m a notorious slacker in this area, but i’m hoping making a commitment in blogosphere public will help me get up & get going! exercise can include running, circuit training, aerobics videos, yoga, & long walks. i’m signed up for a 5k on april 13th & need to kick my rear in gear!

9. wash my face every single night.
i also stink at this & go to bed more often than not with my makeup on… but in the interest of my skin, my pores, & my self-esteem, i’m going to prioritize this each night. plus, my face washing routine is one of the most relaxing experiences, so it also helps me go to sleep.

8. cut out the junk food completely.
i’m going to define this as non-nutritional sweets [ex: cake vs. granola], fried foods, fast food, & processed snacks [ex: chips]. my sweet tooth is already aching at the thought…

7. drink only water & hot tea.
hi, my name is danae, & i’m addicted to dr. pepper. seriously. when i have a bad day, shaun knows it because he comes home to me sitting on the couch with a 2-liter… i’m really bad about drinking anything except water, although i don’t dislike drinking water in the least.

6. read one hour every day.
i’ve been working on a book for some time, & i really want to finish it this year, but i still have quite a bit of research to get done, so i’d like to set aside some time for working on this goal.

5. paint something at least two times.
i love to paint. it’s very therapeutic to me, & it’s one of my favorite hobbies. i have hoped to paint more consistently so i can develop my style & skill & so i can produce some art for our home. i even have my easel permanently set up, but i never seem to make it to the stool…

4. decompress three times during the work day.
this just means taking time to breathe & refocus for a minute or two. i’m very task-oriented, & i can get so bogged down in my 2do list that i forget to prioritize or get stressed out. i like to close my eyes, breathe slowly, focus on how i feel physically & emotionally, adjust anything needed, & check my priorities before returning to work.

3. journal every night.
even if it just means a quick sentence about my day, i want to be better about pouring out each evening onto paper because it clears my mind, eases my heart, & prepares me for rest like no other remedy.

2. practicing the discipline of simplicity.
“stuff” can weigh you down & distract you from what is truly important. this is particularly true of me right now. my house has not gone through a good decluttering in too long. this week, i’ll spend at least 15 minutes each night culling through my wardrobe, drawers, cabinets, papers, & basement to release things i don’t need & don’t use. i’ll take these to goodwill at the end of the week so they can bless someone else.

1. keeping sabbath on sunday.
for me this means focusing on God, worship, & rest. i don’t plan to be legalistic or anything, but i am not going to do work or errands or clean anything. most importantly, i am not going to have a single item on my 2do list! i want to spend the day with my church family, in fellowship, praying, reading, indulging in hobbies, writing, or cooking. these things are restful to me & conducive to my focus on experiencing the presence of God.

you’ll notice i have two list items per category of self-care. i’ve set alarm reminders & created items in my 2do list to help me with my top 10 list. i’d also appreciate any accountability. i’ll report back next week with my results — how successful was i at sticking to my top 10, which actions made the most difference, & how i feel about myself as a result.

i encourage you to come up with your own top 10! or top three, or even just one thing you can do every day this week to take care of yourself & thereby make progress in F.L.Y.ing — finally loving yourself!