Monday, July 26, 2010

behind the scenes: taste & see!

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8

on july 3 we went up to michigan to carry on our family tradition of blueberry picking!

the kids had a great time searching for the biggest, juiciest berries (the size of grapes!)

we actually picked 10 pounds worth!

after we had picked the berries last year, i thought to myself just how beautiful and delicious they are. i kept thinking about the verse, "taste & see that the Lord is good..." and decided to use my favorite little mister's hands holding out his best picks.

the above is my final art, available here.

this verse, and actually all of psalm 34, has meant a lot to me over the years, as encouragement and huge challenge... verse 1 proclaims that i will extol (or praise) the Lord at all times ... really? will i? what a challenge. the last time i prayed about that as my pastor was teaching through this psalm, i went through the biggest trial and heart ache of my life. for the first time i understood the psalm which talks about the concept of worship being a sacrifice.

then, moving on through the psalm it gets to the taste & see part.

do i really believe that the Lord is good? or do i just think the things He gives me are good?
and, what does it really mean to taste the Lord?

when you taste something, you partake of it. it must enter in. you experience it with many of your senses. not just thinking. but, feeling. you either like it or you do not.

when thinking through a visual food to represent the tasting, fruits came to mind since they are naturally more sweet & tasty than other foods. apples have too much of a symbolism with the garden of eden; bananas would like silly; juicy grapes remind others of wine; then, after taking the photo of the handful of blueberries, i thought, "this is it!"

as i had mentioned in an earlier post, i also am a book designer for tyndale house publishers. i am currently working on the title craving grace, which utilizes psalm 34:8 as it's theme verse.

here are some top secret cover comps to share with you, the world!

in the above cover, i wanted the woman just truly contemplating if God is really as sweet as this honey. OH, i should tell you, the other main part of the book (besides God's grace & receiving it in your life & tasting His goodness) is that the author, lisa velthouse, goes on a 6 month fast from sweets and only allows herself the natural sweetness of honey.

now, at first i thought, "oh, that's nice." you see, i do not consider myself to have a sweet tooth (my hubby on the other hand does :) BUT, when strawberry rhubarb pie or chocolate chip cookies are calling my name, just one sliver, just one cookie, wow. do i have a sweet tooth!

so, i have much respect for lisa who did the fast & learned much through it.

the above cover taken on weathered stairs (which no one could tell except me i suppose) is to symbolize the salescopy of "stumbling towards a God who surprise" in that we go through this life climbing our way through the dirt, grunge, and brokenness of our hearts. then, we are able to rest, reach in, and partake of the sweetness of His grace.

that's me in the above cover, COVERED with sticky honey. oh my, a very fun photoshoot. my concept behind this cover is that the jar of honey (symbolizing God's grace & love) is just overflowing out & pouring over His children. it's held out to you as you crave His grace in your life too. it's not just for her, but for everyone.

and, alas, the final chosen cover; a variation on the above image, just with the jar being tipped more to pour out some more honey.

oh, one more thing to hopefully entice you all to buy the book (which does not come out until next spring, i believe...) in the book, lisa relays a story of a rabbi giving the pentateuch to his kindergarten class. fresh. new. leather. he then goes around & puts wax paper on top of each and every book. he then goes around a third time and pours out blobs of honey on the wax paper. he tells the kids to taste & says to remember that this is what the Lord tastes like!

oh, my! i just think that is the coolest image of partaking in the goodness & sweetness of God & His Word! when you read it, does it taste good to you? do you take it in? does it transform you?

well, that's it. that's my thinking. hope you have enjoyed!

most of all, i hope in your own life you truly do taste and see that the Lord is good! He is. amen.

grace & peace,


Jen said...

So beautiful Julie! You are so talented and I LOVE the one of your close up hands! Now I'm hungry! And that is the point that once you have tasted the goodness of the Lord you are hungry for more!

Jane Hsu said...

what a yummmy design :) great idea for sunday school activity, "taste & see God's goodness"!!!