b*daily :: a glimpse

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Checking in quick to share a glimpse of my weekend. I snuck away on Thursday morning for a few restful, wonderful days on the north shore with my mom. Mornings on the shore–like the one in this photo–are something special. More to say and much to share from our getaway, but I need to catch up on emails and work, not to mention laundry and a huge stack of dishes! Be back tomorrow with more photos and stories.

b*ponders :: more on feelings vs. truth

Last week I wrote about living life based on feelings or emotions vs. based on a knowledge of the truth. This week, I received an envelope in the mail from my mom, with a photocopy of a chapter of a book she’s reading, that just so happens to be on this very topic. The book is The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney, and the chapter is titled “What You Feel vs. What Is Real”. Here are few paragraphs that really resonated with me.

On a daily basis we’re faced with two simple choices. We can either listen to ourselves and our constantly changing feelings about our circumstances, or we can talk to ourselves about the unchanging truth of who God is and what He’s accomplished for us at the cross.

Far too often we choose to passively listen to ourselves. We sit back and let our view of God and life be shaped by our constantly shifting feelings about our ever-changing circumstance. Life is busy. Often hard. Full of distractions. And before a morning cup of coffee, our passive listening can take us on a roller-coaster ride as we review a hundred different topics and experience a dozen varied emotions.

…also…

That which is subjective changes regularly, like shifitng sand. But that which is objective is built on the solid rock of the gospel. When we look inward, we live by the subjective, the temporal, the ever-changing, the unreliable, the likely-to-be-false. When we look outward, to the gospel, we live by the objective, the never changing, that which is perfectly reliable and always completely true.

Our life in Christ is based on objective truth, and the chief truth among the innumerable glorious truths of Scripture is that Jesus died for your sins. That’s the heart of the gospel.

Good stuff, right?? How often do we just listen to ourselves and our whims of the moment? How often do we forget that the one rock-solid objective truth in life is the work Jesus did on the cross. That one act which changed everything should impact the way we think and live. But if we allow our feelings to get in the way, we will be pulled to and for like a leaf in the wind.

I am realizing over and over again how much I need to cling to the rock which is Christ. He is the only sound and secure thing in my life. On any given day, in any given week, my thoughts and preferences and moods and emotions changes like a twisting kaleidoscope. A roller-coaster is an apt description of my feelings. God is my rock, and in the midst of the storms of life, I know that there is safety and certainty in clinging to Him. Read these verses on this very topic:

My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence. - 2 Samuel 22:3

As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God,
the God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? - Psalms 18:30 – 32

For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me. - Psalms 31:3

He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken. - Psalms 62:2

Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come;You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. - Psalms 71:3

I love the language of these verses–God as a rock, a fortress, a shield, a stronghold. Sometimes, I feel the desire to just run away from the problems of everyday life… to go hide in my bed, with the covers pulled over my head to block our the world around me like I did when I was a little girl. It makes me realize how much of a child I truly am. When all is said and done, I am weak and frail, and my emotions are varied and unpredictable. The only way to make it through a day is to continually remind myself that I have a Heavenly Dad, and the truth of His love for me is as stable and secure as a fortress. He is the foundation in my life, the rock on which I plant my feet. The knowledge of this truth casts a whole different light on everything in life!

b*designs :: erin bell photography print pieces

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It’s been awhile since I’ve given any sort of update from the studio. So here I am, to fill you in on what I’ve been up to on the design front. First of all, I sold Emmy Lu! More details to come on this, but let me just say, I think the buyer is a perfect fit for the company, and I can’t wait to see where she takes things. Secondly, I’ve been busy working on a number of really awesome blog design projects. And when I say really awesome, I mean really.stinkin’.awesome. I have been so blessed with great clients–people with whom I completely “click”, and projects about which I am thrilled to work on. I can’t wait to share the goodness with you here in the weeks to come. I’ve also been putting the finishing touches on the new b*spoke blog design, annnd working on a new site for b*spoke studio. So busy, busy all around, but all good things!

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Today I get to share a project that I worked on earlier this year for my dear friend (and amazingly talented photographer) Erin Bell. Erin is one of my favorite people. When she and I get together, we talk about the real stuff of life. We share our struggles and triumphs, all in tears and laughter. Erin’s husband and I graduated from design school together, so I was a little blown away when asked to design the print pieces for her photography business. Brian is, after all, an amazing designer of his own right. He had designed and developed Erin’s website and blog, and I was honored when asked to work on the collateral pieces. I took Erin’s existing brand, and translated it into a collection of printed goods. My goal was to create something fresh and fun, that felt cheerful and full of life. I went to town on letterhead, stationery, business cards, DVD’s and a label wrap for a large envelope to hold Erin’s contracts and informational pieces. Working with an existing brand that is well-designed is always a treat. While I don’t do too much work on printed goods anymore, it’s fun to see how a digital brand can be translated to paper.

b*home :: flowers in the boxes

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Each year, I pick a palette of colors to plant my pots and window boxes with. Last year, it was hues of deep purple and pink, with a variety of dark, muted green tones in the foliage. This year, I’ve chosen deep reds and bright whites, with variegated foliage. I’ve never gravitated towards reds, but this combination looks really classic and fits perfectly with the style of our brick cape cod.

The window boxes are filled with red coleus, white impatiens, and variegated ivy. The two front pots contain “extreme red” impatiens, white begonia, and variegated vinca vine. Since the front of the house is densely shaded, I chose plants that work great in low light. For the back patio, I am planning on bringing in some classic red geraniums, and perhaps a few other, more unique things.

Have you planted your garden and/or pots yet? What are you growing this year??

b*eats :: culinary adventures

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It all started with a trip to the farmer’s market. It was the first market of the season, and I was surprised to find a nice selection of produce. Into my basket went a head of red leaf lettuce, bok choy, parsnips, asparagus, raw honey, farm fresh eggs, and a morel mushroom. Many of the items I purchased were picked fresh from that farm that morning. The only way to describe their appearance was “dewy”. They were practically glowing! Once I arrived home, I thumbed through my favorite cookbook gathering ideas for a farm-to-table meal.

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The mushroom was sauteed in olive oil, along with garlic and a touch of parsley. Meanwhile, on another burner, onion, garlic, roma tomatoes and olives were simmering. These would later be used to top two thin, pan broiled steaks. The red leaf lettuce was chopped and tossed with tomatoes, olives and a touch of parmigiana-reggiano cheese. The asparagus was first boiled, then cut and wrapped with prosciutto and finally topped with thin slices of the parmigiana-reggiano cheese. The bundles were broiled until the cheese had a slight touch of golden brown.

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Everything was then plated and served. Each flavor-packed bite was savored, and this meal proved once and for all the absolute superiority of quality, organic, fresh produce. The salad was crisp, light, and yet rich in taste. The mushroom and the steaks too, were delicious. However, it was the asparagus that stole the show. Something about the prosciutto and the cheese made the asparagus come to life. I have no words to describe it, but I can tell you that it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

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Every good meal must end with dessert, and this one was no different. In keeping with our Italian theme, we opted for gelato… coconut gelato, made in Italy. To say it was divine would be an understatement.

And thus, another culinary adventure came to an end, with a sink full of dishes and our bellies full of good food.

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