MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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

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Just had to share this heartwarming post by Author J. Hale Turner. ❤

Dear Friends, I felt compelled to share this momentous occasion to all of you. Christ asked us to remember him on this official of His death, Nisan 14, which falls on April 11 after sundown. A sacrifice of love for all of us, and will be celebrated worldwide. No collections. Just enjoy this special moment. […]

via Invitation: An Annual Momentous Occasion — J. Hale Turner, Author

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Scientific studies indicate that art heals by changing a person’s physiology and attitude. Physiology changes from one of stress to one of deep relaxation. Perceptions of the world are immediately changed from darkness and despair to hope and jubilation.

The Foundation for Photo/Art in Hospitals is an organization founded by Elaine Poggi. I recently had the wonderful pleasure of meeting her via the Internet during my research of children’s hospitals to whom I was seeking to donate some of my nature art. I e-mailed her, and right away, she responded back. Well, to give you the short version, I am now one of the Foundation’s contributing photographers!!! 🙂 Below is a picture of my “Regal Camellia” which has been added to their website. This image is also available on various products in my VIDA, Fine Art America, Pixels, and Zazzle online stores.


Please visit the Foundation’s website to learn more about its founder Ms. Poggi and her extremely worthy cause. You can also show support for her organization through Amazon when you make purchases. If you buy items on, please consider using which is the same as Amazon, except that it donates 0.5% of the price of your purchases to The Foundation for Photo/Art in Hospitals! Just click on the link and choose the Foundation. Then shop always from instead of The Foundation is receiving more than $200.00 a year from Amazon, and if more people do this, they will be able to fund a whole photo project in a hospital very soon. Please help spread the word about this among your friends and family.

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

Maxine 🙂


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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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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



LOVE EVERLASTINGI just finished my manuscript for my next book to be released, DESPERATE HEARTS, which is my sequel to ONE OF A KIND!  Even though I now have to start the editing process, I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment whenever I complete a manuscript.  And since DESPERATE HEARTS is a sweet yet dramatic love story, I felt compelled to write this blog about love.  As to its release date, I’m not sure yet, but hopefully sometime this year (preferably in October.)DH

Song of Solomon 8:6 says:  “For love is as strong as death . . . the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.”  (The Holy Bible in the KJV)

As most of you probably know, I love writing stories about relationships.  I also enjoy not only adding touches of humor to them, but I like to add a little romance as well.  God created humans with the capacity to express love.    However, in our imperfect human society, love is disintegrating.  Therefore, some may wonder, Is it gullible or naïve to think that enduring, mutual love can last forever?

OOAKTrue love between a man and a woman can be exceedingly strong, firm, and unyielding.  The Bible well demonstrates this in The Song of Solomon 1:1-14 and 8:14 where it tells of the unwavering love that existed between a shepherd boy and a country girl.  This song also reveals that despite all his splendor and riches, the king could not gain the love of that beautiful girl, for she was saving her heart and her love for her one and only true love.  She thus showed that genuine love cannot be bought with material things.

God purposed that love and marriage bring joy to humans, yet that does not mean that we will not experience adversities in association with the two.  But as long as we do things His way, our problems will be fewer.

Well, good night, and HAPPY READING.  And as always, this is from my heart to yours.


(I’ll Love You Forever! Photo – Courtesy of Clip Art)




I’ve had a lot going on this week with my mama.  Earlier, my baby sister had called to tell me she hadLAUGHTER to contact 911 for her.  So I jumped in my car and flew to Mama’s house.  My sister, the fire truck, and the ambulance were already there when I arrived.  The ambulance was parked in the driveway so I pulled up onto the front lawn out of the way of the vehicle.  In doing so, I had forgotten about a small wire garden fence there around Mama’s daylilies.

I suddenly heard a noise underneath the front of my car and realized that I had driven over something.  It was dark (almost eleven o’clock at night.)  I immediately backed up a little, and that’s when I remembered the fence.

But since I did not have time to worry about it at the moment, I rushed into Mama’s house where she was being assisted by the emergency medical technicians.  My husband arrived in his car.  After everything was situated and Mama was taken to the hospital, I stayed behind for a few minutes to tidy up the house while my sister and her family went to the hospital.  I told my husband about the fence.  He then moved my car to the driveway and straightened the fence.

At the hospital as we were waiting for Mama’s test results, I could not help but laugh to myself every time I thought about running over the fence.  I told Mama what happened as she laid there in her hospital bed.  She, my sister, and I got us a good laugh from it.  I still chuckle inwardly when I think about it.  It reminds me of another time when Mama was in the hospital and my kids and I were going one Sunday morning to visit her.

It was raining slightly, and my children (who were much younger then) were on either side of me as I tried to hold my umbrella in one hand and keys in the other.  I had given one of them my pocketbook to carry.  The next thing I knew, I was going down and could not stop.  I went down so fast that neither of them were able to try to help stop my fall.  The umbrella went one way and the keys, another.  I fell flat on my “boom-boom” onto a huge clay pot of begonias that I had recently planted.  The cool part about the fall was that when I went down onto the pot, it was as though I had just plopped down onto a chair–a flower-pot chair!  I never hit the ground.  It looked like someone had just picked me up off the ground and set me onto the flower pot.  Since the only thing that was hurt was my pride (just kidding–only my children saw me), all I could do was laugh at myself.  To this day, I continue to tell others about it as I’m doubled over with laughter.  It was so funny to me that I ended up putting it in one of my stories, IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, which is my sequel to THE BREAKING POINTISAIHTBP

I love writing stories, and I love adding humor to them.  Many of us have heard of the age-old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.”  And although many things in life are certainly no joke, there are times when having a sense of humor about them helps us to cope.  I often ponder God’s and his son Jesus’ sense of humor.

When Jesus was on earth, although he was serious-minded when it came to his ministry and way of life, he was not a tight-lipped disciplinarian.  He was kind, warm, and friendly. The Bible says at Matthew 11:28 that he brought refreshment to others.  At the same time though, many of us might sense a touch of humor in some of the things he said and taught.

Although his teachings were mainly for the purpose of spreading the good news about God’s Kingdom, one might also find amusing the idea of a camel attempting to pass through the eye of a literal sewing needle.  (Matthew 19:23 & 24)  Of course, this was just one example of Jesus’ way of teaching in order to get people to open up their minds and really think.

Since Jesus is the perfect reflection of his Father (John 14:9 ), it goes without saying that God also has a sense of humor.  Let’s look at just one example–his animal creation.  Have you ever stopped to take the time to watch them?  Some of them perform many humorous antics which bring a smile to our lips, laughter bubbling from within us, and extra joy to our lives.

Humor is a delightful gift from God and when used in moderation and with sound judgment, adds flavor, zest, and sparkle to our everyday lives.  So , yes, life will get us down now and then–but sometimes, laughter really is the best medicine!

Good-bye for now.  HAPPY READING!

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