MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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


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THE HUSBAND OF A WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR

FAMILY GATHERING (CARRABBA'S) 6 (ME & TONY HOME).jpgJust as it is not always easy to be a woman entrepreneur, it also isn’t always easy being the husband of one. My dear husband Tony has always been a huge supporter of me and my entrepreneurial endeavors. Yet, I realize it is hard for him at times when the income sometimes just trickles in.

He has always been a good husband, father, and provider. We have been married for almost 36 years, and I’m so grateful to have him by my side through the good times and the bad.

Today, my siblings, I, and our families got together at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Douglasville, GA. It had been a while since we’d had a family function. We want to start getting together more often and not just at funerals, so my wonderful and beautiful niece Devaree put it together for us. In three days, it will be the one-year anniversary of my mama’s passing. We miss her everyday and missed having her with us tonight.

Yesterday, I received in the mail two t-shirts (one for my husband and one for myself) I had recently ordered from fellow woman entrepreneur Briana BuzeeMommies Riggins. So we decided that we would wear them today at our gathering. Not only are they beautiful but they are also very comfortable, and we love the sizes and how well they fit.

Just like Briana, I also love to see couples showing their love for each other. Please click on the link above in her name to visit her Facebook page, and while you’re there, please show her some love and support.

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

Maxine 🙂

http://www.maxinebillings.com

http://www.naturesartblog.wordpress.com

http://www.askeevie.wordpress.com

http://www.pearlspearlsofwisdom.wordpress.com

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MY CURATED VIDA COLLECTION

VIDA SHEER WRAP (EVERLASTING LOVE) VIDA MODEL.jpgHello, wearable art lovers! WOW, am I excited!!! VIDA and I have completed my curated VIDA collection! What this means is that since I have moved up from Slate status to Steel, I had the awesome privilege and pleasure of selecting one item from my collection to collaborate with them on to showcase a beautiful, lifestyle photography model wearing it.

The curated item that I selected is my “Everlasting Love” Sheer Wrap. The model attired in it (picture above in this post) is featured on:

  • my personal online curated collection page, and
  • VIDA’s main SHOP section page (just scroll down until you see this model wearing the wrap–underneath her picture, it will say EVERLASTING LOVE Sheer Wrap)

My inspiration for this piece was a big, beautiful, crystal clear, floating candle holder centerpiece at my brother and his wife’s wedding reception last year. You can view the full picture I took of it by clicking on the arrows (< or >) beside the wrap.

Thank you again so much to all of you who helped to make this accomplishment possible with your purchases from my collection!!! The third and final status is Gold, and I am already more than halfway there!!! 🙂

Again, thank you all so much from the depths of my heart–from my heart ❤ to yours ❤ !

Maxine 🙂

http://www.maxinebillings.com

http://www.naturesartblog.wordpress.com

http://www.askeevie.wordpress.com

http://www.pearlspearlsofwisdom.wordpress.com


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BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

BREAST CANCER PINK RIBBONAs most of you probably know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In an effort to help promote awareness to the cause, I will be sponsoring an additional contest upon the release of my newest novel, DESPERATE HEARTS, which I am still hoping to release sometime during the month of October of this year.DH COVER 4_8.25.14

The winner of this new contest will receive several items promoting breast cancer awareness.

Below are a couple of pictures of some of the prizes I will be giving away.  Any items left over will be given away at my DESPERATE HEARTS SIP & SIGN book signing event which will be held at KEIGHLEY’S SALON, DAY SPA & BOUTIQUE.

 

 

 

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Although my number one goal is to write wholesome stories for your reading entertainment, I still try to focus on real-life issues.  Therefore, some of the subjects that my books cover include:  forgiveness, illness, death, marriage, separation, divorce, alcoholism, infidelity, trust, stepfamilies, and materialism.

LAMLIFE AFTER MOMMA is 15-year-old Kiara Murdock’s story of how she deals with the death of her beloved mother to breast cancer.  So many people have been affected by this terrible disease.  If you, a family member, or a close friend have, what has helped you to cope?  And what are some ways that you have been able to be a source of support and encouragement to the individual(s), their family, and others?  Please feel free to share your experiences–you never know how they might touch another person’s life and give them hope to endure.

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

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com


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EVERLASTING LOVE–IS IT POSSIBLE?

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.

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

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

 


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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)


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MALE MENOPAUSE?

manDo men go through menopause?  Unlike their female counterparts, some men are less likely to go to a doctor when they are sick or to seek preventive health care.  But is there such a thing as male menopause?  Hormone changes are a natural part of aging regardless of the person’s gender.  While the changes that women experience during menopause are more dramatic and occur during a relatively short period of time, sex hormone changes in men appear more gradually over a period of many years.  And while there are also other terms to refer to so-called male menopause, many doctors call it “andropause.”  So, what are some of the symptoms a man going through this stage of life might experience?

  • Sexual Function Changes which might include reduced sexual desire and erectile dysfunction.
  • Sleep Pattern Changes such as insomnia or increased sleepiness.
  • Various Physical Changes consisting of increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk and strength, and loss of body hair.  Although rare, might also include having less energy and experiencing hot flashes.
  • Emotional Changes like feeling sad or depressed and having trouble concentrating or remembering things.

Women are usually more apt to openly discuss with their doctors exactly what they are feeling and the changes their bodies are undergoing in any given situation.  We like to talk about what is bothering us.  Some men, on the other hand, tend to internalize their emotions and may be reluctant to seek medical help, let alone to actually be honest with their doctor (or perhaps anyone else) regarding what they are experiencing.  In THE BREAKING POINT, Roger refused to communicate with his wife Estelle about some of his deeply-rooted feelings.  Darryl, of IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, did speak with his wife Catina about how he felt but in ways that were dogmatic and pessimistic .  ISAIHBoth men had to learn to overcome their own idiosyncrasies in order regain a sense of peace and normalcy in their lives.

TBPThe Scriptures say at Genesis 2:24 that when a man and a woman marry, they become one flesh.  Yet 1 Peter 3:7 and Ephesians 5:21-33 help us to appreciate that both are unique in their own special ways and are still considered as individuals.  Therefore, while they are extremely different, they should also be united in their efforts to keep their marriage honorable, to be each other’s rock (even when they don’t always understand what the other is going through), and to maintain harmony to the extent possible.

So as women, may we keep in mind that we are not the only ones who experience changes in life–the men we love do so as well–and it is up to both genders to help pave the way so that the transition is not more turbulent than it has to be.

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

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Photo Of Man Courtesy Of Office.com Clip Art)