MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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


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THE WINTERTIME OF LIFE

ELDERLY COUPLEGetting older is no joke!¬† Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 describe the wintertime of life in symbolic language–the trembling of arms and hands, the bending of legs, the dimming of eyesight, and so on.¬† Do these things sound depressing?¬† Well, depending on our attitude, they can be.

I decided to write this post because everyday since I retired last November some part of my body¬†reminds me that I am¬†not the spring chicken I used to be :).¬† Today, it’s a painful, sore, and swollen right ankle.¬† I soak it.¬† I rub it.¬† I put a warm compress on it.¬† I wear compression stockings.¬† Sometimes, these things help, but not today.¬† And who knows how it will be tomorrow or what¬†else may be bothering me?

I recall when I was younger how Mama used to tell my siblings and me that just because certain things we did then did not bother us that we thought they would not cause us pain later in life.¬† Now, I finally understand what she meant.¬† When we’re young, we think¬†that our¬†youthful vitality¬†will never diminish.¬† But before we realize what’s happening, the wintertime of life is upon us.¬† Personally, it has been extremely¬†difficult for me to acknowledge that parts of me are falling apart.¬† But I’m learning to accept that I now need extra help in order for my body to heal from certain illnesses and discomforts of aging.¬† No, I am no longer in mint condition.¬† I am an older model vehicle (a classic–or¬†perhaps antique is a better term¬†ūüôā )¬†who needs more than the usual routine maintenance :).

One of my favorite Internet sites to go to when I’m doing research on health topics is the Mayo Clinic because it has information that is helpful and very easy to understand.¬† As their site points out, the aging process affects our bodies in various ways.¬† I have listed some below.

 

Something else that the site¬†reminds us of that I appreciate is this:¬† While we can’t stop the aging process, we might be able to minimize its impact by making healthy choices.¬† That is an excellent idea because God blessed us with our wonderfully-made bodies, and it is up to each one of us as individuals to do what we can to cherish and take care of them.

I hope you had an awesome day!  As always, this is from my heart to yours.

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Photo of Elderly Couple–Courtesy of Office.com Clip Art)

 

 


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GIVE ME NOW WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE

OWL“Give me now wisdom and knowledge to lead this people, for who can possibly judge this great people of yours?”¬† (2 Chronicles 1:10)

When God¬†invited His servant Solomon to ask what he would like Him to give him, the above words were Solomon’s humble request.¬† Yes, of all the things Solomon could have asked for, his one and only heartfelt desire was to have the wisdom and knowledge to lead God’s people in a way that was pleasing to Him.¬† Therefore, God not only granted his request but also blessed him with the things he had not asked for–wealth, riches, and honor such as no kings before him had had and none after him would have.¬† (2 Chronicles 1:11 & 12)

Who of us would, if given the opportunity, make such an unselfish and¬†humble request?¬† Many of our¬†elderly ones did not have the¬†chance (for various reasons)¬†to¬†be educated secularly as many of us younger ones have.¬† Yet, whatever they may lack in the way of worldly education, they¬†more than make up for in the wisdom and knowledge they have¬†acquired throughout their lifetime.¬† So we should never feel that just because we may¬†possess more book sense than them that they can’t teach us anything.¬† And especially when what they share is from God, it will always be beneficial for us¬†because He is the source of true wisdom and knowledge.¬† (2 Timothy 3:16 & 17)

In my book ONE OF A KIND, I introduced my readers to Paula’s Aunt Eevie.¬† She’s a hoot in the sense that she is an extremely funny person,¬†as most of ourOOAK elderly people are.¬† Most of us probably have an Aunt Eevie in our family–the elderly, female relative who always gives us her extremely candid advice or¬†opinion (whether we ask for it or not.)¬† Sometimes, in an effort to pick us up, they beat us down, but we know they mean well.¬† As a matter of fact, they’re the ones who are always there for us–to pick us up when we fall, to cry with us when we hurt, to laugh with us when things are good, and to tell us what life is all about (they know because their own experiences have made them all the more wiser.)¬† And that’s why we love ’em!

You’ll also get to hear more from Aunt Eevie¬†in my soon-to-be-released sequel to ONE OF A KIND which is titled DHDESPERATE HEARTS.¬† In fact, I like Aunt Eevie so much that I’ve decided to give her¬† a site of her own on the Internet, an advice column called ASK EEVIE.¬† I am now in the process of working with an extremely talented illustrator, Ms. Cait Maloney, on Eevie’s portrait.¬† I am so excited to be partnering with Ms. Maloney on this project and can hardly wait to reveal Eevie to you–and of course, Eevie is on pins and needles to meet you, too!¬† So in the meantime, please feel free to share your thoughts with me of how you imagine she will look.¬† I may even have a special prize for the person who comes closest!

To all of you who have been and still  are loyal supporters of me and my stories and to those of you who have recently given me your support and encouragement, I thank you from the very depths of my heart!

Happy reading!  And as always, this is from my heart to yours!

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Owl Photo Courtesy of Office.com Clip Art)

 

 

 


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CARING FOR OUR ELDERLY

OOAK

The 2010 census indicates that the over-65 population has grown faster than the total U.S. population. All over the world, the elderly are dying because of neglect, and many die alone and anonymous. No wonder caring for the needs of the elderly has become one of today’s greatest concerns!

In my short story, ONE OF A KIND, Paula cares for her elderly Aunt Eevie. In today’s society, more and more children have the responsibility of being caregivers for sick and elderly parents, but it doesn’t stop there. Nowadays, it’s common for more than one generation to have to care for various generations of elderly relatives.

God provides a law as to how we are to treat the elderly. Proverbs 16:31 and 23:22 help us to appreciate that they are to be held in high esteem. My siblings and I are caregivers for our mother, and there are also times when her grandchildren have to pitch in and help. Although we have our ups and downs, I consider it an honor and a privilege to help care for Mama in her waning years. If it were not for her, I would not be here. However much time we have left together, I want it to be the best for her that it can possibly be. Even though she’s not physically or mentally as strong as she used to be, she still has a very strong spirit and unwavering faith. And I’m not saying that I’m all that, but it’s because of her that I am the person I am today. She set the example. So anything that I do for her is nothing she hasn’t done for me.

Whether we’re able to care for our elderly loved ones ourselves or we need someone to help us, we should do the very best for them that we can. If we live long enough, we’ll be in their position one day. Will we want to be neglected?

From my heart to yours,
Maxine
http://www.maxinebillings.com