If I Had One Year to Live….

When I heard the news that my sister in law, Nadine Brandes, landed a contract on her book, “A Time to Die,” I was elated. My excitement soon turned to apprehension, however, as I realized I would have to actually read the book and give a review of it. Quite frankly, I hadn’t been able to finish a fiction book since I was fifteen when my sophomore English teacher convinced me I would love to read if I just would give the book, “Rebecca” a chance. I hated it.

“What if I hate Nadine’s book too? What if she really can’t write at all? What if it is so bad, I can’t finish it? How will I write an honest review of the book? After all, she is my sister-in-law…”

After reading “A Time to Die” last month I am proud to say, all of my fears were unfounded. The book is absolutely incredible! In fact, I can see it on the big-screen. It is that good!

From the moment I started reading, I was captivated.

With three young children, a part-time job, and a bible study to prepare, I was able to read it (on my phone- imagine that) in just a few short days. The story is well-developed. The characters are relatable. The imagery is vivid. The message is thought provoking.

I could hardly put it down.

In honor of the book release, I decided to participate in the blog hop to answer the question: How would you live if you knew you had just one year left on this earth?

Blog Hop Button

(Click here for instructions on how you can participate in the Blog Hop, too.)

So… How would I live if I knew I had just one year left on this earth?

This is a question I have rolled over and over in my head for weeks. What would my life look like? What would I change? What would I keep the same? How would I live?

I could tell you a million things, but there one particular that sticks out in my mind leaps and bounds above the rest. While I try diligently to perfect this area in my every day life, I am constantly falling short.

In my last year of life, I would undoubtedly be present in my present. In every situation and every conversation – particularly with my children – I would strive to be all there.

With all of the demands placed on me, I frequently find myself only half-present in my now. I half-listen to the excitement in my daughter’s voice as she relays the latest book she is reading. I  half-witness the pleasure my boys enjoy as they conquer another Indiana Jones adventure… Each time, only half-experiencing the moment I am living in.

I take for granted that “there is always tomorrow.”  I wrongly trade my enjoyment of today for the opportunity to experience it tomorrow.

But tomorrow never comes.

I hear myself telling my children the same lines over and over again. “Yes. Mommy will play with you in just a few minutes.” But, the laundry takes longer than I plan. Or the phone rings and I get sidetracked. Each night as I prepare dinner, three sets of hands beg for my attention, but I don’t have time. I send them away. “Not today. Tomorrow we will have fun in the kitchen making dinner.” But tomorrow, never comes. Homework calls and the dishes long to be washed. The kids’ teeth need brushed and their hair washed. Before I know it I am hollering from my computer, “Hurry along kids! It’s time for bed. Tomorrow is another day.”

We will do it…


James  4:13-14, “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow…” 

Even as I write this post, I am convicted. My throat has a lump. My eyes feel heavy. Tears stream down my face. Why do I put off the joy of life through the wonder of my children for the chance to clean my house, again.

Pretty soon, they will be all grown up. They will head off to the movies with their friends. They will beg me to drop them off at the football game. They will leave for college. And have children of their own. Instead, of me saying it to them, I will hear my own words echoed through their voices…

“Tomorrow Mommy. We will spend the day together tomorrow.”

I don’t want another tomorrow to come without being fully invested in today. Rather than let  another moment pass me by, today I am throwing away the half-life. From this day forward, I will be completely vested in experiencing to the fullest – my present.

No one knows the day or the hour that our lives will end. But one thing I know for sure…. It will come much quicker than I have planned.

I don’t want to half-live another minute.

How about you?

“Lord, I can’t do is without you. I need your help recognizing what is truly important in my life. Help me to lay aside that which can wait to invest myself fully in that which really matters. Help me Lord, to be present in my present from this day forward.  And forgive me when I fall short. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?  (Book Summary)

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall —— her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

Giveaway: Click here to enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a signed copy of “A Time to Die” and/or a $10 Amazon giftcard!


“A Time to Die” is Nadine Brandes’ first novel in the Out of Time trilogy.   To learn more about her, you may find her at any of these places. Simply click on one of the links below:

Website: http://nadinebrandes.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/NadineBrandesAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nadinebrandes

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/nadinebrandes/

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/nadinebrandes/

4 thoughts on “If I Had One Year to Live….

  1. Nadine Brandes

    Beautiful and thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing your heart, Amy. Even though we don’t have children yet, this is still applicable to my marriage. What a blessing your words are.

    1. admin

      Thank you Nadine! I pray that you don’t get bogged down by the busy schedules needed to successfully launch this book. Take a moment each day to celebrate your accomplishments. What you have accomplished through sharing this story will touch many lives. I love you!

  2. Bree Courtney

    You are a wonderful mom, Amy. It is hard. I can totally & unfortunately relate to how “busy” our lives get that we set aside our children & family for things that seem important at the moment, but won’t matter in the future. There is a balance that is so hard to find. Pray for me (especially preparing for baby #3), as I pray for you that we can be truly present in what matters. That we will have eyes for the eternal things and not the worldly distractions. Love you. Thanks for the post!

    1. admin

      Absolutely Bree! I prayed for you moments ago. I have found that if I pray on the spot, I don’t let other things keep me from doing it. I will continue to pray for you each time I am distracted this week. I had a wonderful day today with Aspen. We went to church, lunch, shopping and a walk. It is not often that we have a day like that, but it was so good to focus all of my attention on her. I am planning to make a day like this with the boys soon. These deposits now will pay off dividends later. You are a wonderful mom also! Your children are blessed beyond measure to have you to call mommy! I love you!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.