MAXINE BILLINGS, Photographer & Author

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


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THOSE AMAZING ANIMALS!

DOGHow do you feel about animals?  Do you own a pet or pets?  While I am not currently a pet owner, I find animals extremely fascinating.  I love to watch them as they play and interact with one another and with humans.  After creating them, God brought them to Adam to give them names.  (Genesis 2:19)  Imagine the pleasure he must have gained from observing each one intently before deciding what to call it!

In my newly released book DESPERATE HEARTS, I decided to give one of my main characters a pet, a dog named Ginger, nicknamed “Gee-Gee.”

In TIME FOR HOPE, my 2007 release, the Jefferson family are horse lovers.  Although I’ve never ridden one, I think horses are some of the most beautiful of God’s animal creation.  They possess such awesome beauty and grace as they gallop with unbridled energy, rear up on their sturdy hind legs, and pound the ground with their hooves.  You can expect to see more of these incredible creatures in some of my upcoming sequels in my HOPE series.HORSE

Like us, animals are part of God’s grand and impressive creation–and whether or not you’re an animal lover, you have to admit that they are amazing!

HAPPY READING!  From my heart to yours!

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Photos of Dog and Horse–Courtesy of Office.com Clip Art)

 


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DO YOU REMEMBER THE TIME WHEN . . . ?

THOUGHT BUBBLEAre you kidding?  I can barely remember what happened a few minutes ago!  I decided to write this blog because it seems that more and more, I am forgetting things.  Here are a few that immediately come to mind.

One day recently, I kept my then five-year-old nephew for my sister and her husband and let him drink orange juice all day long and could not understand why he was so wired up and bouncing off the walls.  Hey, it was an honest mistake.  I mean, my kids are now 34 and 27 so I had forgotten that you can’t give young children a lot of products that contain sugar.  But you better believe that whenever I keep him now, I remember.

Then some years back, I was talking with a friend and her son.  During our conversation, I kept digging around in my pocketbook, and her son finally asked what I was looking for.  When I said, “My car keys,” he asked, “What’s that in your hands?”  I could not help but laugh at myself.

I’ll share one more with you and then get on with this blog.  I was really craving a vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone from McDonald’s one day, but first, I stopped to put $7.00 worth of gas in my car and also to take it through the drive-thru car wash.  On my way home as I savored my delicious ice cream cone, I kept glancing at my gas gauge and thinking to myself, “It doesn’t even look like the gas hand moved.  It’s like I didn’t even put any gas in the car.”

Finally, it dawned on me that the gauge hadn’t moved because I had actually forgotten to pump the gas.  Because the only thing that had been on my mind at the time was getting my ice cream, I had gone into the store, paid for my gas and car wash, jumped back into my car, drove through the car wash, got my ice cream at McDonald’s, and headed back home.  That was when I noticed the gas gauge.  Since I was on the Interstate and the next exit was the one for me to go home, I could not turn around.  When I got to my exit, instead of going home, I had to return to the gas station and explain to the cashier what I had done.  He said, “So that’s why that customer said the pump only gave him $7.00 worth of gas and then stopped.”  As usual, I laughed at myself and just had to share my funny experience with some of my family and friends.  My husband simply grinned and shook his head.  Hey, there’s no shame in my game!

I’ve been thinking about how our ability to remember things is a divine gift from God.  Of course, it’s not perfect because we’re not perfect; Adam and Eve messed that up for us, along with everything else.  Anyway, when my brain is working properly, it’s nice to be able to retrieve bits of information that has been stored there.  And I can only imagine how awesome it will be when we are able to use our brains to the extent that God originally intended.  The human brain is like a reservoir that can never be filled.  No wonder Psalm 139:14 says that we are wonderfully made!

AMOFThere are times when I love reminiscing about the good ole days.  I also love looking through photo albums at some of myTFH and my family’s pictures from that era.  I think that sometimes it’s good to reflect on the past, especially when we focus on the good memories that we cherish.  Oftentimes, I have some of my characters do the same.  Rose does it in A MEASURE OF FAITH, and so do Myah and one of her sons in TIME FOR HOPE.

One of the things I enjoy most about writing is that I get to put my characters onto the center stage of my reader’s mind’s eye, and in the process, the characters perform for their audience (the readers.)  Yes, I know, some of them get on your nerves, making you angry at them; some of you may even shout at them. Other characters may make you laugh, and some may cause you to cry.  That’s because even though they and their stories are fictional, the issues they face are true-to-life.

Well, that’s all for this post.  I just had to share some more laughter with you–more of my crazy, hilarious experiences.  And remember–whether you’re reading my books or someone else’s, READING IS FUNDAMENTAL.  So HAPPY READING!

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

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

(Emoticon With Thought Bubble Courtesy Of Office.com Clip Art)

 

 


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FIT FOR A QUEEN

SPA TREATMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, I had one of the most fantastic voyages of my life! My hair stylist, Michelle Patton, owner of All About Hair, recently moved her hair salon business to Keighley’s Salon, Boutique & Day Spa. She had already told her clients that we would like her new location, but I had no idea how awesome this place would be until I walked through the door!

FRONT ENTRANCE

ENTRANCE SIGN

Keighley’s is located at 8849 Highway 5, Suite H, Douglasville, GA 30134. The owner, Sonia P. Moore, opened her business the latter part of last year. Her shop is so well laid out and organized. And to think, I had no idea that something this wonderful is so close to where I live. It’s not in an extremely busy area of town which led me to wondering if a lot of people know about it. If they don’t, they certainly should! I mean, this place is so awesome! I know–I already said that, but I just had to say it again.

Her slogan is:  Come for the service. Enjoy the ambiance. When you enter her salon, you’ll see why she chose this trademark. There is this ambiance that totally pulls you into a romantic atmosphere of a candlelight dinner, wine, and soft music. Even though that is not what you are there for, her décor takes you there. If you are in a bad mood when you come in, it will quickly dissipate into a state of sheer euphoria. Everywhere you look and walk, you are surrounded by sheer elegance, beauty, and serenity. There is even a sauna, a kitchen, a boutique, and areas for massages. Ms. Moore really did her homework when opening her business!

TABLE (ENTRANCE)SITTING AREACHEST & MIRROR

FIREPLACESAUNAKITCHEN

MASSAGE 1BOUTIQUE

I was so excited that I could hardly contain myself before and during the writing of this post! It also got me to thinking about the use of spa treatments in Bible times. Since water was scarce in some parts of the world, scented oils were a part of the people’s hygiene routine. Before being presented to King Ahasuerus, the Jewish maiden Esther (who was later chosen as queen), along with many other young and beautiful women, underwent a 12-month spa treatment that consisted of a six-month massage with oil of myrrh and another six-month treatment with balsam oil. (Esther 2:12) Even though this special treatment was at the order of the King, it seems that since the earliest of times, women have been extremely interested in making themselves beautiful. Many archaeological finds have been discovered throughout Israel that testify to the extent of the use of cosmetics by women of that time.

During these busy and stressful times we live in, many women are prone to neglecting themselves in order to help provide for their families. Let’s admit it–we lead extremely busy lives. We wear many hats within our own families–doctor, cook, chauffeur, lawyer, teacher, adviser, and on, and on, and . . . . To our families and others who know us well, we are SUPERWOMEN, but the truth of the matter is, we are not indestructible. We’re fragile at times. Although we usually hold up well under pressure, we can break. So not only do we need, but we dTFHeserve, some rest and relaxation. This is not said in order to promote laziness on anyone’s part for we should be industrious, but God also recognizes that all of us need a relief of tension. (Proverbs 6:6-11; Ecclesiastes 4:6) The key, however, is to be balanced, and this is something Hope has to learn to do in TIME FOR HOPE.

As I said, I was so excited about this discovery that I just had to share it with you! When you have an opportunity, I hope you’ll check out Keighley’s. You won’t be disappointed–it is fit for a queen. By the way, Ms. Moore is now hiring for certain positions in her salon. If you’re interested, why not give her a call! Her number is (404) 482-7349.

One more thing–let’s all please help spread the word about this wonderful business.  Not only do we need one another’s support, but when we find something that we enjoy, aren’t we just bubbling over like a fountain to share it with others?

Well, that’s all for now. I’ve taken up enough of your time. Enjoy your day, and HAPPY READING!

As always, this is from my heart to yours,

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

P.S.,  My stylist Michelle is also pretty awesome at what she does.  For an appointment, please call her at (678) 886-7855.

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 BOOKMARKS

 

 


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MY FOUR MAMAs

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Without a doubt, mothers are some of the most wonderful creatures God has ever made!  They have an honored role within the family arrangement, and we should find ways everyday to show them our gratitude for their loving care, regardless of how young or old we are.

As many of you are already aware, I love writing stories about family.  In all of my books, I focus on family relationships.  Yet, I don’t always reflect on the good things that families share because that is simply not reality.  I also touch on their faults and imperfections because as much as we love our family, if we’re honest, we have to admit that there are times when we get on each other’s nerves and rub each other the wrong way.  However, because we truly love one another, we continue putting up with one another in love.  (Eph. 4:2)

I am blessed to have four Mamas in my life.  Four! you say.  Yes, four!  First, there is my biological mother who will soon be 79.  Second, I have my mother-in-law who is 77.  Next is a spiritual sister in my congregation who just turned 92!  And last is another spiritual sister who recently turned 90!  This post would be quite lengthy if I wrote of the many ways in which they are a blessing to me.  Therefore, I’ll simply say that they help me to better appreciate why God tells us to treat the older women as mothers.  (1 Tim. 5:2)

Whether we have our biological mother in our life or not, there is, more than likely, someone in our life who fills that role.  Perhaps it’s a grandmother, an aunt, or someone else.  Whatever area we are lacking in, God always comes up with a beautiful way to make up for it.

To place your order for copies of any of my books, please click on the appropriate cover(s) below. HAPPY READING!

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

Maxine

http://www.maxinebillings.com

AMOF

ATOF

TTW

TBP

TFH

ISAIH

OOAK

LAM