MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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


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SENDING LOVE, HUGS & FLOWERS

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A beautiful photo book of various, colorful flowers from my gallery that I designed on Shutterfly and ordered recently. It went to someone whom I felt would appreciate the beauty of the flowers and expressions as much as I do. 🙂
From my heart   to yours !
Maxine 🙂
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SOMEONE WHO CARES

I wrote this poem, “Someone Who Cares,” around 2004 to be included in my second published novel by BET Books, “A Test of Faith” (released April, 2005.) I’ve also made it part of my Zazzle greeting card collection. In the book, my main character Andrea finds herself consumed with grief and despair when her beloved husband Clayton is killed by a drunk driver.

ATOF

One of her dear friends gives her a card that contains the poem. The poem is also near the front of the book before the story begins. Losing a loved one to death is the most tragic and painful heartache we can ever experience. Yet, not everyone grieves in exactly the same way. During this time, it is important that we have family and friends by our side to help us through the process of bereavement.

Sometimes, however, even in the midst of such support, our sorrow may cause us to feel lost and alone. Even with the support of her devoted family, this is how Andrea feels as she is being tested in so many ways. But with the progression of time, she wrestles with her sadness, anger, and faith–one day at a time.

A Test of Faith” is now out of print. However, you can still order a paperback copy via Amazon. Why not order one for yourself or someone else? Also, if you like it, I would greatly appreciate your writing a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon.

From my heart to yours !

Maxine 🙂


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STOP BULLYING

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Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior toward another person that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. It includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Also, in our age of modern technology, it also includes cyberbullying.

Sadly, children can be the victims of bullies, the ones doing the bullying, or witnesses of this hurtful behavior. I personally know what it’s like to be bullied because as a young child, I was a victim.

A very dear friend of mine, children’s author Annette Bentley Smith, has just recently released her anti-bullying book. Although it is a children’s book, it is also geared toward families, which is so important because children who are victims of this horrific behavior need all the support they can get but especially from their families.

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To purchase your Kindle edition and/or paperback copy of Ms. Smith’s new release or any of her other books, please click here to visit her Mrs. Annie’s Books Facebook page.

Also, to read up on bullying and how you can prevent it and respond to it, click here to visit the official site of the Stop Bullying website page.

As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours <3!

Maxine 🙂


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MUSIC THERAPY

MUSIC SAVES SOULWhy is it music has the profound ability to soothe our soul? Sometimes when I’m undergoing trials, I find it extremely difficult to inwardly and outwardly sum up and express my thoughts and feelings. Not only does it affect my ability to converse with fellow humans, but my prayers to God are also hindered.

Perhaps you have experienced this as well, and suddenly, you hear a song that expresses precisely how you feel. If so, how did the music and the lyrics affect you? Did they soothe your heart and soul, leaving you feeling somewhat renewed, if only briefly?

I have personally experienced this many times, but one moment in particular that I would like to share happened recently during one of my congregation meetings. As we sang Song #68 (“A Prayer of the Lowly One”), tears welled up in my eyes, and for the first time in a long while, my heart and soul felt consolation.

There are many things that each of us may find to be our therapy during difficult times. Whatever helps to soothe your soul, it’s highly likely that music is one of them. Yes, music is medicine!

Have an awesome day! As always, this is from my heart ❤ to yours <3!

Maxine 🙂

(Photo Credit: fallforward.wordpress.com)


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LOVEBIRD QUIZ

LOVEBIRDSToday, I read an article, What type of “lovebird” are you?, in the February 17, 2014 issue of First for women magazine that I found to be extremely interesting.  And since I love writing stories about relationships, I decided to write this blog.  The article was based on the book, Lovebirds, by couples therapist and avid bird-watcher Trevor Silvester who explains some ways that humans show love by comparing them with how birds interact with their mates.

The article included a six-question, multiple-choice quiz for readers to see what makes their own hearts soar.  Answers revealed if you are a nightingale, an owl, a peacock, or a swan.  I’m a swan.  The article pointed out that this bird is happiest when it is amicably swimming for hours next to its mate (which it has for life!).

Some traits of a person who falls under this category are:  (1) he/she is a conveyor of affection by going out of the way to show emotional support and make others feel comfortable, (2) great harmony is found in simply spending one-on-one time with his/her loved one in a relaxed setting, and (3) he/she doesn’t need their partner to do anything extravagant to prove their love–they just need to be there for them.

In every relationship, there is going to be friction because no matter how compatible two people TBPare, they are both still two imperfect human beings who will sometimes rub each other the wrong way.  (Romans 3:23)  Therefore, none of us can truthfully say that we have never in word or deed hurt someone we dearly love.  Oftentimes, getting too wrapped up in our own emotions can cause us to overlook how the other person may be feeling.  Communication is key in any relationship; however, there is a right way and a right time in which to carry it out.  For example, it needs to be done respectfully and not when we are angry.  Otherwise, it will only add more fuel to the fire.  This is what happens with Estelle and Roger in THE BREAKING POINT.

Being in love and being loved are two of the best feelings in the world.  Our capacity to love is a gift from our Creator–so whether you’re a nightingale, an owl, a peacock, a swan, or something else, love with all your heart because love never fails.  (1 Corinthians 13:8)

HAPPY READING!  And as always, this is from my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

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