MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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


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CHILDREN–THE SPICE OF LIFE

Yesterday, I went with my five-year-old nephew and my sister (his mom) on a school field trip to the Atlanta Children’s Museum. It brought back so many wonderful memories of me and my own children when they were younger when I used to go on field trips with them and the tons of other things my husband and I did with them. Well, my children are grown now, but I still love spending time with them (that is, when they can find time for me). My husband and I don’t have any grandchildren yet. Years ago, I used to think that I would feel depressed seeing everyone else playing with their grandchildren while we have none. Now, however, while I appreciate that my husband and I now have more time for each other, we also have many nieces and nephews we can help spoil and spend time with.

In three of my books, A TEST OF FAITH, A HEALING OF THE HEARTS (of the THICKER THAN WATER anthology), and IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, my little, young characters help to add spice to the lives of their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others. The Bible even calls our children an inheritance from God and a reward. (Psalm 127:3)

God’s own son, Jesus Christ, was such a warmhearted individual that people (even children) were comfortable around him. His loving and compassionate personality drew them to him. Jesus even went so far as to help us to appreciate that we should imitate the humility of young ones. Have you ever taken notice of how most children are so humble and teachable? That’s food for thought. Also, Jesus loved children so much that he did not hesitate to take them into his arms, even blessing them. (Mark 10:13-16)

I recall a time when my daughter and son were young and we were shopping in the grocery store. I had always taught them that it was rude to tell people to shut up. Well, this particular day, the two of them continued bickering back and forth at each other, and I had continually told them to stop. After telling them to quit for the umpteenth time, I finally said, “Shut up.” My son suddenly covered his mouth with his hand and said, “Ooh, Mama, you said, ‘shut up.’ ” In his mind, since I had trained them not to use those words, I had said what amounted to some very bad words. Thereafter, while still young, he would often ask me, “Mama, do you remember the time you told me and Tasha to shut up?” To this day, I smile inwardly whenever I think about it. He will soon be 27, and my daughter is almost 35.

Enjoy your kids while you can because they grow up much too fast. No, they’re not always sugar, spice, and everything nice, but to our lives, they add a whole lot of spice.

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

ATOF
TTW
ISAIH


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PARENTS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND, OR MAYBE THEY DO

Young ones, do you often feel that your parents just don’t understand you? In my first young adult novel, LIFE AFTER MOMMA, that’s exactly how Kiara feels about her dad. It’s a normal and natural thing to want to be understood–even older ones have that desire–and it can be extremely frustrating when the things that you love and feel are important just don’t seem to matter to anyone else, especially the people who gave you life and should know and understand you better than anyone else on the planet.

Parents, do you sometimes feel that your children view you as their #1 enemy? Every time you zig, they zag, and conditions at home just aren’t as peaceful as when they were younger and you still had some control over them? Instead of loosening your grip gradually, you continue to hold on for dear life because you’re afraid of all that might go wrong if you allow them even the smallest measure of freedom and independence?

Well, the next time there’s a disagreement between you, do you think it would help you to understand each other better if you took the time to sit down and talk? Not ranting, raving, yelling, and screaming but calm, respectful communication.

Parents, reflect on what it’s like to be young. And young ones, try to remember that your parents were once young, too–and maybe they do understand because they’ve been where you are now.

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com