MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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


2 Comments

SMELL MEMORIES

EMOTICON SMELLINGCan we smell memories?  In my previous post, I referred to something I used to do as a child, and it got me to thinking about how certain smells take me back to my childhood.  Here are some examples:  the smell of wet, red clay (dirt) after it rains and the smell of smoke coming from chimneys or wood burning.  These are just a couple of the odors that bring back to my mind fond memories of the past when times were much simpler .

The Bible says we are wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), but I am always so fascinated by the incredible way that the human body functions.  Of course, we know that our brain is our command center, but why does smelling certain things evoke specific memories within us?  How Stuff Works eloquently explains it.  Because we encounter most new odors when we are young, the smells will often trigger childhood memories later in life.  When we first smell a new scent, we link it to an event, person, thing, or moment.  Our brain then forges a link between the smell and a memory so that whatever we associate the smell with at that time, whenever we encounter the smell again, that memory is evoked within us since the link is already there.  Doesn’t sound so complicated when you break it down like that, does it?  However, I think it’s still intriguing.

What are some smells that transport you back to your childhood, and what pleasant memories do they remind you of?

Well, good night.  More later.

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Emoticon Photo-Courtesy of Office.com Clip Art)


2 Comments

DO YOU REMEMBER THE TIME WHEN . . . ?

THOUGHT BUBBLEAre you kidding?  I can barely remember what happened a few minutes ago!  I decided to write this blog because it seems that more and more, I am forgetting things.  Here are a few that immediately come to mind.

One day recently, I kept my then five-year-old nephew for my sister and her husband and let him drink orange juice all day long and could not understand why he was so wired up and bouncing off the walls.  Hey, it was an honest mistake.  I mean, my kids are now 34 and 27 so I had forgotten that you can’t give young children a lot of products that contain sugar.  But you better believe that whenever I keep him now, I remember.

Then some years back, I was talking with a friend and her son.  During our conversation, I kept digging around in my pocketbook, and her son finally asked what I was looking for.  When I said, “My car keys,” he asked, “What’s that in your hands?”  I could not help but laugh at myself.

I’ll share one more with you and then get on with this blog.  I was really craving a vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone from McDonald’s one day, but first, I stopped to put $7.00 worth of gas in my car and also to take it through the drive-thru car wash.  On my way home as I savored my delicious ice cream cone, I kept glancing at my gas gauge and thinking to myself, “It doesn’t even look like the gas hand moved.  It’s like I didn’t even put any gas in the car.”

Finally, it dawned on me that the gauge hadn’t moved because I had actually forgotten to pump the gas.  Because the only thing that had been on my mind at the time was getting my ice cream, I had gone into the store, paid for my gas and car wash, jumped back into my car, drove through the car wash, got my ice cream at McDonald’s, and headed back home.  That was when I noticed the gas gauge.  Since I was on the Interstate and the next exit was the one for me to go home, I could not turn around.  When I got to my exit, instead of going home, I had to return to the gas station and explain to the cashier what I had done.  He said, “So that’s why that customer said the pump only gave him $7.00 worth of gas and then stopped.”  As usual, I laughed at myself and just had to share my funny experience with some of my family and friends.  My husband simply grinned and shook his head.  Hey, there’s no shame in my game!

I’ve been thinking about how our ability to remember things is a divine gift from God.  Of course, it’s not perfect because we’re not perfect; Adam and Eve messed that up for us, along with everything else.  Anyway, when my brain is working properly, it’s nice to be able to retrieve bits of information that has been stored there.  And I can only imagine how awesome it will be when we are able to use our brains to the extent that God originally intended.  The human brain is like a reservoir that can never be filled.  No wonder Psalm 139:14 says that we are wonderfully made!

AMOFThere are times when I love reminiscing about the good ole days.  I also love looking through photo albums at some of myTFH and my family’s pictures from that era.  I think that sometimes it’s good to reflect on the past, especially when we focus on the good memories that we cherish.  Oftentimes, I have some of my characters do the same.  Rose does it in A MEASURE OF FAITH, and so do Myah and one of her sons in TIME FOR HOPE.

One of the things I enjoy most about writing is that I get to put my characters onto the center stage of my reader’s mind’s eye, and in the process, the characters perform for their audience (the readers.)  Yes, I know, some of them get on your nerves, making you angry at them; some of you may even shout at them. Other characters may make you laugh, and some may cause you to cry.  That’s because even though they and their stories are fictional, the issues they face are true-to-life.

Well, that’s all for this post.  I just had to share some more laughter with you–more of my crazy, hilarious experiences.  And remember–whether you’re reading my books or someone else’s, READING IS FUNDAMENTAL.  So HAPPY READING!

And as always, this is from my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Emoticon With Thought Bubble Courtesy Of Office.com Clip Art)

 

 


Leave a comment

COMFORT FOR THE DEPRESSED

“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” (Proverbs 24:10)

We need our power, strength, and energy in order to keep going in this troubled world we live in. We all struggle with negative feelings from time to time. But prolonged negative emotions can zap us not just mentally and emotionally but physically and spiritually. They can also cause us to do and say things that we ordinarily might not. In my first published novel, A MEASURE OF FAITH, this is what happens to Lynnette. Initially, she cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel and is so wrapped up in herself and what she’s going through that she spends the majority of her time wallowing in self-pity. Have you ever had a friend who was plagued by a personal trial to the point of constantly whining and complaining so much that you just wanted to shake them–not in a bad way–but in a good way because you love them and hate to see them suffering?

As imperfect humans, all of us can become overwhelmed at times from feelings of discouragement. However, some of us are more prone to a higher level. Stress coupled with prolonged negative emotions can affect the body and contribute to a chemical imbalance in the brain of some people, thus producing depression. This is the case with Andrea in A TEST OF FAITH. Darryl of IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH experienced a temporary bout with depression.

Whether or not a depressed individual decides to accept medical treatment is up to them. But what are some practical things we can do to help them? The Bible encourages us to comfort them. (1 Thessalonians 5:14) They need to know that they are cared about. They also need an empathetic person in whom they can confide, someone who is a good listener and very patient. They don’t want to be lectured to or judged. And even if it is not possible to completely win the battle with depression, there is still hope–God’s promise of a time when depression and everything else that causes us pain, heartache, and suffering will be things of the past. (Revelation 21:4)

From my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

AMOF
ATOF
ISAIH