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Conversations Reflections

When You Frame It Like That… Both/And is a Beautiful Thing!

I like things neatly wrapped in concise little packages. I prefer most foods stay apart. I eat cake or ice cream, but seldom both. If I have both, I prefer them in separate dishes. I can multitask, but I’d rather not. I am often an either/or type of person.

That is probably why this beauty bothered me. It contained Autumn and Spring. Both/and mixed together in the same frame.

It had come about by indecisive weather. The temperature had turned decidedly toward Fall, with cooler air and cloudy days. The leaves began to turn, and all was well. But then we got some warm rain followed by several sunny days. It was as if nature thought Spring had sprung. As a result, we have both blooming bushes and Autumn leaves. I wanted either/or, until I realized my folly and looked again.

Blooming ivy poking through large fall leaves: When you frame it like that… both/and is a beautiful thing!
Both Autumn and Spring in the Same Frame

Both fall and spring is a beautiful phenomenon. And what a fool I’d be not to take it in with appreciation! In fact, as I chose to be open and notice, I saw it happening all around me.

Our rosemary bushes were not alone in their confusion. We had all sorts of flowers blooming when they should be resting. My beautiful gardenia against the backdrop of fallen leaves is just another of many examples I found.

Gardenia bloom against a background of fall leaves: When you frame it like that… both/and is a beautiful thing
Spring Gardenia and Autumn Leaves

Lord, you are far more creative than to be boxed into an either/or corner. You are both a consuming fire and a still, small voice. You are both the great “I Am” and my All in All. You are both wrath and mercy. Your glory is full of both/and. Thank you for this visible reminder of how beautiful it is.

“Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord…”

Psalm 96:12, 13a

I don’t need things to be either/or. Autumn and spring are spectacular together. When you frame it like that, both/and is a beautiful thing!


“When You Frame It Like That…” is a hosted prompt. Feel free to join in with a thought and a photo (or several!). Please click here for details.

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Conversations Reflections

When You Frame It Like That… It’s a Rare Sighting of Open Hospitality

This sign stopped me dead in my tracks. I stood still and gawked like it was Big Foot himself. I whipped out my camera so I could prove its existence later, when I told the story. It’s true! I experienced a rare sighting of open hospitality.

I was in a quaint little beach town. It was October 2021. I had visited this place before and freely browsed shop after hospitable shop. This time was different. Most of the stores were locked up tight. The doors were closed, even to the ones which displayed their open signs. The knobbed barricades ensured my encounter with the stern warnings posted upon them. I was not welcome without a facemask. Stop, put up a barrier, or do not enter.

That was why this rare sighting was so unexpected. I looked up, and it was just there. A natural and beautiful gesture of open hospitality in its natural habitat. It shone, bidding me to stop and stare. And it was alone. No negatives, no restrictions, just welcome.

A welcome sign: When You Frame It Like That... It's a Rare Sighting of Open Hospitality
Welcome. No hoops or hurdles. No requirements or mandates. Just welcome.

This storekeeper! This one got it right. You see, the official mask mandate had been lifted in this town. This store owner took the requirement down. And they didn’t stop there. This little sign meant YOU are welcome here. No stipulations. No changes necessary. You can be you and you may enter as you are. This kind of open hospitality is extremely rare these days. And oh, what a relief!

Lord, You see me. You require nothing of me when You beckon. You bid me come just as I am. You are the epitome of open hospitality. You are relief. And You want me to extend that rare acceptance to others.

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had… Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

1 Corinthians 5, 7

When you frame it like that, I realize open hospitality is a rare offering from me, but never from You. Thank You, Jesus, for erasing all requirements and simply inviting me in. Help me make others feel welcome in that same manner, in Your name.


“When You Frame It Like That…” is a hosted prompt. Feel free to join in with a thought and a photo (or several!). Please click here for details.

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Conversations Reflections

When You Frame It Like That… Its the Quiet Ones Who Get Overlooked

The rainclouds had all but cleared away. I walked over the bridge and caught the sound of trickling water. Had I ever heard that tranquil patter in this spot before? I wasn’t certain, but it sure was beautiful – to my ears and to my eyes. It begged my attention and compelled me to stop and experience it. I stood taking it in for quite a while before I noticed, with a start, the face in the rocks.

Can you see the face in the rocks: When You Frame It Like That... Its the Quiet Ones Who  Get Overlooked
Do you see the face in the rocks? (Lower right corner)

I had to snap a photo so I would remember. Isn’t that such a picture of life? That which sparkles and makes noise catches our attention and it’s the quiet ones which get overlooked. When you frame it like that, it is easy to wonder what interesting people and worthwhile things have been missed in the fray.

Lord, I want to live with eyes wide open to notice all that you give me to see. Your Word says that while people focus on the outside, you look deeper.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

1 Samuel 16:7b

When you frame it like that, I realize I often overlook the quiet ones, but You never do. Thank you, Jesus, for never overlooking me.


“When You Frame It Like That…” is a hosted prompt. Feel free to join in with a thought and a photo (or several!). Please click here for details.