Hope Reflected

Hope - Inspiration - Fashion - Style - Books - Interior Design

Monday

25

July 2016

Monday Encouragement: Philippians 1:6

Written by , Posted in Hope Reflected

Philippians 1:6 he which hath begun a good work in you will continue it

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

Paul wrote the book (or letter) of Philippians while he was in prison. The 11th book in the New Testament, Philippians has long been one of my favourite books of the Bible, because joy,—among other fruits of the Spirit,— is the main theme of the epistle.

Philippians is a book filled with encouragement, gratitude, and rejoicing.

No matter where this week finds you, if you trust in God, you can find encouragement in Philippians 1:6. Here are just a few reasons why:

“He which hath begun a good work in you…” God started the work in you. It was nothing you did. God is the One working in each of us. It’s nothing that any of us can do.

“…will perform it…” God will carry the work that He started in each one of us to completion. He will perfect the work that He has started in each one of us.

“…until the day of Jesus Chrsit:” The day of the Lord; this is the day when God’s glory will be revealed to His people. This is a great reminder and encouragement to each of us to persevere, to keep on, because God started the work in us, and He will finish it. He is the great Designer and has promised eternal life to all those who trust in Him.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

Share Button

Wednesday

20

July 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: God Will Help You Find a Way

Written by , Posted in Hope Reflected

God will help you

“God did not remove the Red Sea, He opened it: He will help us find a way through our problems as well.” Brad Wilcox

How many times have we read in Exodus how God parted the Red Sea for Moses, allowing the Israelites to walk on dry ground and cross to safety while being pursued by their enemies? We’ve heard the event shared time after time after time; this is classic Sunday School lesson material.

Exodus 14:21-22 (KJV) tells us, “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.”

Notice anything interesting about this selection of scripture? It wasn’t until I came across author Brad Wilcox’s awesome quote that the truth struck me: God divided the waters of the Red Sea for the Israelites so they could cross to safety.

“God did not remove the Red Sea, He opened it: He will help us find a way through our problems as well.” Brad Wilcox

Wow.

Sometimes we can hear a truth over and over again, but until it’s explained in the simplest of terms, we don’t necessarily understand the breadth of it.

God’s not necessarily going to remove our problems, but He has promised to help us through whatever challenges we’re facing.

David testified in Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Psalm 46:1 tells us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Isaiah 41:10 instructs us, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus promises us, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

God is with us, always, if we trust in Him. God is our refuge, and our strength. God will give you the strength to get through whatever challenge or problem you are facing, if you will trust in Him. God is the one who will provide us with rest. Seek Him, learn about Him, trust Him.

We don’t need to fear problems or eliminate them when we have the choice to face them with God on our side.

“God did not remove the Red Sea, He opened it: He will help us find a way through our problems as well.” Brad Wilcox

Trust God, and let Him help you today!

Share Button

Monday

18

July 2016

Monday Encouragement: Deuteronomy 4:29

Written by , Posted in Hope Reflected

monday encouragement

“But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

Last Sunday in church, both Wes and I were struck by the speaker’s simple yet profound sermon about surrendering complete control to God.

It seems like such an easy thing, doesn’t it? Or at least easy to say?

God is in complete control.

Acknowledging that God is in complete control is the first step to contentment.

But living it,—acknowledging that in each of our lives, we will only ever be completely content after we acknowledge that God is in control,—living it is a completely different thing.

We think if we pray harder, or differently, if we do certain things, or speak in a particular manner, that God will somehow be more apt to hear our prayers.

And that’s just not true.

The truth is, that it’s when we really seek Him with our whole hearts,—all our hearts,—and our whole souls, —all our souls,— that we will truly find God and He will find us.

Sometimes, all the time, all we need to do, is surrender.

No ritualistic prayers, no special speech, just ultimate surrender. “God, you are the One Who is in complete control.”

“But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

Share Button

Tuesday

12

July 2016

Roses: Rosa Hybrid Bolero Floribunda Rose

Written by , Posted in Gardening

roses bolero floribunda rose

Our rose bushes after we first planted.

It’s no secret that I’ve always had a soft spot for roses. This Spring, Wes suggested that we plant some of our own rose bushes to grow some blooms at home. We picked out three varieties — the Bolero Floribunda Rose, the Ten-Ten Hybrid Tea Rose, and the ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Floribunda Rose — and we planted them in our front garden.

roses bolero floribunda rose

First bloom of our Bolero Floribunda Rose.

We chose our front garden as it gets the majority of sun (6+ hours each day), which is a requirement for successfully growing any plant in the rose family. Most roses do well with lots of sunlight, as well as regular watering.

roses bolero floribunda rose

First blooms from our Bolero Floribunda Roses!

Bolero Floridbunda roses are usually 2-3 inch blooms with seemingly endless layers of petals and a unique fragrance. Their full petals resemble a small peony, and their foliage is typically a very rich green.

roses bolero floribunda rose

Bolero Floribunda Rose

Originally from France (now grown all over, and in Canada), Bolero Floribunda roses are known to be one of the more disease-resistance varieties of roses. Spoken from experience, our Bolero Floribunda roses were the first bush to bloom of the three that we planted in our front garden.

roses bolero floribunda rose

13 blooms at the peak of the Bolero Floribunda Rose.

The blooms have come and gone for this season, and Wes and I have pruned them back. We fertilize every other week, and we’re already starting to see new growth!

roses bolero floribunda rose

Lots of layers in the blooms of the Bolero Floribunda Rose.

Share Button

Monday

11

July 2016

Monday Encouragement: Lamentations 3:22-23

Written by , Posted in Hope Reflected

They are new every morning: Great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23

“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

How about these verses for some instant encouragement? Our Lord’s compassions are new every morning. Every. Morning.

Even on the days you don’t feel like you can face the day, or on the days when you feel too tired to get out of bed and wonder where you will get the strength to make it through the day.

We serve a God Who is merciful and faithful, and Whose compassions fail not and are new every morning.

See also Psalm 86:15:

“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Psalm 86:15

Our God is full of compassion, grace, long-suffering, mercy, and truth.

His attributes are great, and so is His faithfulness!

Share Button

Tuesday

5

July 2016

5 Inspiring Outdoor Fire Pits to Add to Your Back Yard

Written by , Posted in Gardening

With Summer in full swing, we’re spending as much time outdoors as possible. One thing on the horizon is a fire pit, if ever we can find the time! We’re big fans of natural stone, so planning our fire pit does not involve any kind of pre-fab “kit”. Rather, we’re considering a dry lay, similar to the dry lay stone bench that Wes has been working on. Check out my Outdoor Living board on Pinterest for more fire pit inspiration, and in the meantime, these are 5 amazing fire pits that have really got me feeling inspired!

1. Fire Pit by the water. I’m not a huge fan of pea gravel, but I do love the set up of this fire pit. The sectioned-off area creates definite separation from the grass, and I absolutely love the dry lay of the actual fire pit. Accented with some fantastic colonial red chairs and log side tables, this fire pit is sure to be a spot for making memories.

fire pit

img via Fieldstone Hill Design Darlene Weir

2. Fire pit and bench. Outdoor seating doesn’t always have to be done with chairs, so it makes complete sense that this fire pit has a complementary surround in the same style. Again, I’m not a huge fan of gravel, but in this situation it works.

fire pit

img via indulgy.com

3. Dry lay fire pit. This fire pit is amazing! Check out the intricate details that went into this fire pit. It features some detailed arches and bottom vents to keep air flowing and fire glowing. Absolutely love this set up, and I think it would look great with a flagstone surround.

fire pit

img via Jessica Little House Big Heart

4. Flat and flush fire pit. While I’m more a fan of a fire pit that really stands out, I also appreciate the simplicity of this fire pit, which lays almost flush with the interlocking stone surround. There’s something to be said of this circular set-up, and I especially like that it’s at the end of a walk out with one stone step. Complementary landscaping around finishes the look and adds privacy.

fire pit

img via sunlitspaces.com

5. Built in fire pit. Speaking of privacy, this fire pit is actually built into a stone wall surround with some serious foliage behind. For a property on the road or bordering another home, this set up would be ideal. The stone wall surround means extra seating, and the open front of this fire pit provides plenty of heat.

fire pit

img via Better Homes and Gardens

 

Share Button

Monday

4

July 2016

Monday Encouragement: Luke 1:37

Written by , Posted in Hope Reflected

luke 1:37

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37

This verse has long been one of my favourites, and is a clear reminder that the things we think are impossible, are possible with God. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all feature iterations of this truth:

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37

No matter where you are today, even if the task at hand seems impossible or like it just won’t work out, trust God. He has a way of working things out exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think, if we’ll only trust in Him!

Share Button

Thursday

30

June 2016

5 Amazing Beach Houses

Written by , Posted in Interior Design

We’re headed into some very patriotic holidays, with Canada Day and Independence Day lining the weekend this year. And with summer in full swing, what could be better than eyeing up some beautiful beachside residences? Check out these 5 amazing beach houses, and check out my Pinterest for more beach house style inspiration.

1. American flag and cedar shakes. There’s something so very appealing about a Cape Cod style cottage complete with an American flag and cedar shakes. Accented with blue skies, natural stone, and green sea grass, this waterside destination is a classic.

amazing beach house

img via Between Naps On the Porch

2. Southern Charm. My heart has long been in the South, after calling the Southern States home for several years. The idea of a board and batten sided cottage, complete with palm trees and a covered porch is calling my name!

amazing beach house

img via Home Bunch

3. High Life in the Hamptons. The Hamptons are a hot destination, always (although Rhode Island also has some charming ocean views). This beach house in the Hamptons would provide a great escape from the New York hustle. Besides the views from every room, the beach walk out is an added bonus.

amazing beach house

img via Hampton Hurdle

4. California Coastal Living. From one coast to another, California boasts some amazing beach house retreats. Coastal real estate on the West Coast is a hot commodity, and many beach homes in California have a more modern vibe than the more traditional East Coast, featuring sleek lines and lots and lots of windows.

amazing beach house

img via Luxury Retreats

5. Keeping it Classic. A wrap-around look-out, a fireplace, and views for miles; who wouldn’t love this East Coast beach house? I especially love the idea of the ‘third story’ walk out.

amazing beach house

img via Chic Coastal Living

Share Button

Wednesday

29

June 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: Remember to Rest (Thoughts on Psalm 23:2)

Written by , Posted in Hope Reflected

psalm 23:2 he maketh me to lie down in green pastures

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Psalm 23:2

Psalm 23 is a frequently-quoted chapter from the Bible, and as such, I think we often overlook the significance of its verses.

Take verse 2 for example.

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”

Anyone who lives in farming country knows that the pasture is the place where the grazing animals go, whether cattle or sheep. Typically the animals in the pasture,— especially in David’s time when he wrote this Psalm,— were well-tended and protected by the shepherd. They were safe.

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:”

He is God. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. God doesn’t just want us to rush through this life, no, I’d venture to say from this verse that He wants us to take time to rest, to be at peace, to learn to be still, and to trust Him.

Green pastures also indicate goodness and provision; God will provide more than we can imagine if we’ll trust Him. In Benson’s Commentary, he says it like this: “God provides for His people, not only food and rest, but refreshment also, and pleasure. The waters by and to which he leads them afford them both a pleasant prospect and many a cooling and refreshing draught, when they are thirsty and weary.”

“He leadeth me beside the still waters.”

I don’t know about you, but imagining the idea of a green pasture and still waters brings to mind the most peaceful, colourful, and serene setting.

The other fact that I love about Psalm 23:2, is that David says God leads us. He leads us, because if we were left to make our own path, it would only lead to our demise.

If you’re feeling anxious, or stressed, or like you just need rest, take refuge in this:

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Psalm 23:2

Share Button

Tuesday

28

June 2016

Encouragement: 1 Peter 5:7

Written by , Posted in Hope Reflected

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

That’s the traditional King James Version, however translated into other versions, the “care” referred to in 1 Peter 5:7 is also translated as anxieties and worries.

Isn’t that an incredible thought? We can cast any of our anxieties, worries, and fears on the Lord, because He cares for us. He cares for us.

Whenever I read 1 Peter 5:7, I’m also reminded of Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus offers rest and peace of mind:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28-30

Only God can truly give us rest. For anyone who is heavy laden and filled with cares, cast them on God! 1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all your care — not just some of your care. God wants it all. And in exchange, He’ll provide you with the peace that passes all understanding.

If you find yourself with so many cares and if you’re feeling anxious or worried, take heart! Cast all your care upon God; He cares for you!

Share Button