MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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

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PRIDENo, this isn’t a post about Jane Austen’s popular novelPREJUDICE Pride and Prejudice.  Have you ever accomplished something you were so proud of that you wanted to share it with the world?  Or perhaps you only wanted to share it with your family, close friends, or maybe even your best friend?

When God looked and saw everything He had made, it was very good(Genesis 1:31)  Yet, He did not selfishly keep it to Himself but humbly shared it with mankind.  (Genesis 2:7 & 8)  Being made in His awesome image, we humans have the capacity to accomplish all sorts of wonderful, marvelous, and beautiful things just as He did.  And naturally, when we do so, one of our greatest joys is sharing them with other fellow human beings.  No, by no means are we God!  Therefore, nothing we can ever do can compare to His holy, righteous, and wonderful acts.  However, does it not warm our hearts when others share our joy when we accomplish something we’re proud of?

Sometimes, however, it seems that the emotion some of them feel is the exact opposite of joy, and the result can be painful.  What causes some to react this way?  Could jealousy be a cause?  It’s possible.  Now, we know that not all jealousy is bad.  For example, even God is jealous in that He does not want us to give our worship to any other god besides Him.  And spouses usually do not desire that their spouses attribute affections meant only for them to someone else.  Some people are more prone toward jealousy than others, and sad to say, because we are all imperfect, all of us may at some point in our lives have felt jealousy or envy toward another individual.  That is why our Creator gives us so many loving reminders in His Word for us to continue striving to fight these bitter, contentious feelings that can divide us like the parting of the Red Sea.

All of us, myself included, have many reasons to be proud (not in a haughty way but joyfully, humbly proud.)  First and foremost, I have my relationship with God.  Next, I have a beautiful family whom I love and adore.  There are also many other people in my life whom I consider as my true friends.  The list could go on and on and on.  Outside of these most important blessings, the day I learned that I was going to be a published author was one of the happiest days of my life.  And one of my constant and specific prayers was that I always remain humble regardless of whatever I accomplish in life for none of us should ever feel that we are superior to anyone, no matter what our or their stature is.

Yes, I was happy, and I modestly shared my joy (but never in a boastful way) just as some of them had shared with me things they were rightfully proud of.  But when I did, to my shock and surprise, some of these same ones were the ones who acted toward me as though they were angry with me even though I had been happy for them and cheered them on in their endeavors and accomplishments.  Needless to say, it was excruciatingly painful, and it took me a long time to get over it.

I was so hurt that a dear friend and relative shared something very insightful with me that has helped me throughout the years.  The powerful words that Marianne Williamson expressed in Our Deepest Fear, in addition to my reliance on God, gave me the strength, courage, and fortitude to press on in my writing despite the negative ways I seemed to have been perceived by some.

I chose to write this post because we live in a world where selfishness abounds.  Life is not all about any one particular person.  As long as we are not doing anything to displease God, what is wrong with us as individuals to, as Ms. Williamson puts it, manifest the glory of God that is within us?  I am quite sure that I am not the only person out there who has experienced this sort of pain or any other sort.  Whatever it is that you are striving to endure, you are not alone.  There is no hurt or fear that God cannot and will not see you through!

From my heart to yours,

Maxine 🙂

(Photo Credits: Pride Courtesy of; Triangle and Circle Courtesy of

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This is my second post in my HELP YOUNG ONES WHO GRIEVE series for this month which focuses on young ones who have lost a parent or both parents to death.  Although the gender may at times refer specifically to females, this information also applies to males.  Additionally, whether the loss is due to death, divorce, or something else, the pain is still there and needs to be addressed.

The desire to have two parents is natural.  After all, when God brought the first human couple together, it was His purpose that they have children and all of them live forever in peace and happiness.  Therefore, needless to say, the ideal situation would be to have both of your parents.  But what can you do when you have no choice in the matter?  Some young people who live in single-parent families feel ashamed of their situation.  Others feel overwhelmed by the pressures and problems of life.  If you live in a single-parent household, what are some of the problems you face?  Why not write down now on a sheet of paper the ones that challenge you the most?

LAMIn LIFE AFTER MOMMA, Kiara is still trying to come to terms with the reality that her mother is gone.  Would you agree that much of how we deal with disappointments in life stems from our view of the situation?  Now, that is not to say that we should not feel sad when we are faced with certain bumps in the road for we are all humans with certain needs and desires.  Therefore, when we experience a major disruption in our own personal state of affairs, it can be extremely devastating.  But as Proverbs 15:15 points out, our mood is often determined more by our attitude than by our circumstances.  Many times, there may be nothing we can do to change our situation, but can we put forth greater effort to change our mental perception?  Admittedly, it takes experience and practice to do so, much of which young ones will not obtain until they have more longevity in life.

So, now that you have written down your list of challenges, can you add to it some things that you can do to counteract negative feelings?  If you need help, click here for some helpful tips from KidsHealth.  One of the things I like about this site is that it contains advice for parents, kids, and teens.  In the process, you may even find something of value to share with your parent, siblings, or someone else you know who is struggling just like you.

Whatever you do, always remember that you are never alone.  Regardless of what you are feeling, open up and talk with someone about it.  They may not be able to make your problems go away, but they just might be able to help you to continue facing each day one day at a time.

As always, this is from my heart to yours,