MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

Fine Art Photography Inspired By Natural Creation & Wholesome Reading For Your Family's Entertainment



BUTTERFLIES“. . . time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

Ah, what a wonderful feeling it is to set goals and actually accomplish them!  It makes us feel extremely good, happy, and proud, especially when obstacles may have befallen us along the way.  And indeed, God also wants us to be happy and rejoice in our hard work.  (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20)  Yet, He also makes us aware that things do not always go as planned.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11)  I, personally, can relate to this fact as I am sure that most, if not all, of you can as well.

For instance, before I retired almost ten months ago, I had set some major spiritual and personal goals that I planned to work toward.  Everything was mapped out and going as planned until about a month and a half before my retirement when Mama’s health began to drastically decline.  However, while helping my siblings to care for her, I still kept my eyes focused on my goals and had every intention of still pursuing them.

With God’s help and the support and encouragement of my family and friends, I made it to retirement.  But Mama’s health steadily declined more and more–to the point where her kidneys shut down, and she came close to dying just as she had two times previously but relating to a different illness.  Thankfully, she got to the hospital just in time and underwent emergency surgery to undergo kidney dialysis.  Now, she is on dialysis three days a week and still also has other previous ongoing health issues.  One of the many blessings about my now being retired is that I can do so much more for her–and yes, I do consider being able to help take care of my mama in her golden years to be a blessing and not a burden.

Needless to say, I have had to make alterations to some of my plans.  But I am happy to say that I have not had toDOOR abandon them altogether (but even if I have to, that will be okay because my family is so much more important to me.)  I am now able to accomplish things that I never even imagined I would, and I have not lost my joy and zest for life.  I am a firm believer that sometimes when one door closes, God opens another, thereby helping us to see the rays of sunshine that await us there.  Whether or not we walk through it is up to us.

So what about you?  Have you ever had to alter or change your course due to some unforeseen occurrence in your life?  If so, how did you deal with it?  You know, acceptance is key when it comes to the things in our lives we cannot change.  No, it does not mean that we just throw up our hands and say we give up, but it is realizing and coming to terms with the fact that we cannot control everything that happens in our lives.  However, we can control (as difficult as it may be) how we react to the situation.  This is what both Darryl and his wife Catina must do in my book ISAIHIN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH.

Well, I hope you are having a great day.  Best to you and yours.  And remember–HAPPY READING!

As always, this is from my heart to yours!  🙂


(Butterflies & Door Photos-Courtesy of Clip Art)



  1. Oh my goodness! I can’t even tell you how many twists and turns my life has had. Marriage and kids in the middle of college. Two serious car accidents (in one I was hit head on and in the other I was rear ended by someone going 55mph when traffic on the freeway stopped), my mom being diagnosed with and passing away from stomach cancer all within 6 months of each other. Working to let my husband finish his college degree and not receiving the same support to finish mine. Serious health issues of my own resulting in 21 days in the hospital. Finding out my spouse was using dating services during that season. The death of a friend. My spouse losing his job. Losing our home. Another friend’s breast cancer. My cousin’s brain cancer. My aunt’s brain cancer. My dad becoming deathly ill with viral encephalitis. A second bout of cheating from my spouse. A separation, hard work and a reconciliation. Financial woes. Financial devastation. The discovery that my spouse had an addiction issue. A more permanent separation and likely divorce.

    I am a long way off from my original goal of being a cultured and urbane author and archeologist living near the Olduvai Gorge! But I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. It seems so cliche to say that these twists resulted in perseverance and character but it’s true! Adversity builds resilience. You just have to keep on keeping on and no matter what happens in life, you’ve got to continue to be the person you were created to be.

    I love the picture you posted of the stairs and butterflies. We are studying the 15 Psalms of Ascent (starting with 120) in church and it made me think of that. Thanks for your post!


    • Wow! You have really had a lot of ups and downs. But your attitude is so positive, and I love that. I also appreciate your positive thought about adversity building resilience. That is so true. I’m glad you liked the stairs with the butterflies ascending. I thought it was a very appropriate picture for this post. Thank you so much for sharing your encouraging thoughts and for bringing attention to the Scriptures, our instruction manual for living life. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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