The Gift of Time

There’s been a recurring theme in the past week or so– I was listening to Christian, founder of Cultivate What Matters, and author Lara Casey’s podcast called “How to Number Your Days,” based off of Psalm chapter 90, and then last night an important point arose in my Bible study group about doing what the Lord has put on our hearts now, because decades from now we don’t want to be thinking, “I wish I…”

What do the podcast and the topic in Bible study have in common?

Time.

Now some of us don’t have a lot of time. By that I don’t mean a death sentence or a busy schedule. I mean, some people’s bodies (like mine) need extra time to recoup even when all we’ve done is errands or slight tasks around the house. Today I woke up from a two-hour nap and I sometimes feel is that napping or resting drains time. Sometimes I struggle to sleep when I need to and it takes hours to finally fall asleep. My brain is constantly having seizure activity even though I seem to function fine (we can thank God for Himself, awesome doctors, and medicine that works!), so it makes me sleepy. It seems like my body could be preventing me from doing so many things!

But what should I do? I learn to work around it. I don’t need to think about what I can’t do– that would ruin my mood. Recently, I’ve honestly seen how well I am functioning despite my epilepsy and that is by the grace of God alone. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Four precious words that can start a list of things I do have and can do. And, when I work around my body, I can do even more.

So how do I get things done with a body like this?

Well, today I wrote a different type of to-do list: I listed the things that needed to get done, and then made another list below titled: “What I Can Do Today.” And guess what? I was able to do even more than expected! But that’s beside the point. Shouldn’t EVERY Christian not be planning too hard for tomorrow? Plan their year but have it planned in pencil? And shouldn’t everyone be focusing more on living than on planning????

Thus, I want to leave you with two pieces of advice:

  1. It’s okay not to get things done. Did you miss some days you planned to write or not wrap/buy/fill-in-the-blank everything you wanted to this holiday season? That’s okay. Prioritize.
  2. This is the most important one I want to work on. Do what matters most. Use the 86,400 seconds in every day to spend time with family, friends– to do what you love the most, etc. Maybe you should delete some things in your life. What’s crowding the space you could be using for God? Could you swap reading emails from campaigns you don’t even support for reading something that encourages you, inspires you, or helps you? Could you delete Facebook off your phone and add five more minutes to your Bible/prayer time instead? I’m sick of living in such a busy country where people do so much and live so little! Do something important, take part in something meaningful and long-lasting– something much bigger than little-old YOU. Shut off the phone and enjoy a God-given sunrise. Take less selfies and take more photos of fall leaves. This is NOT a charge to bring back the #YouOnlyLiveOnce trend but one to charge Americans to stop sitting on their butts and make a difference, whether it’s from a podium or a hospital bed! (And yes, my friends, it is totally possible to make a difference from a hospital bed. ;-D ) Because guess what?

Living for GOD is using time wisely. So don’t waste it. And believe it or not, you are creating a legacy this very moment whether you like it or not.

Have a great new year, my friends. God bless you!

Keep smiling!

Tia ;-D

(Finally) Writing What I Know

Deciding to write about my own experiences was not an instant decision. I don’t usually read many memoirs and I knew that if/when I ever wrote about my own experiences, I would have to do a lot of background research because there is so much technical medical information. And I just plain old didn’t want to. Also, I honestly don’t remember that much about my cancer. I know quite a bit of information, but I don’t even remember many of the medical people from my young childhood who get soooo (did I say “so?”) excited to see the healthy, grown-up me.

But I didn’t really think about writing much about my amazing epilepsy journey– how I should have been dead from that alone almost 5 1/2 years ago. And I didn’t think about my journals.

That’s my nonfiction writing from the past– journals. I’ve loved them since I was little. And part of what prompted me to finally say yes to what has been suggested to me for yeeaaarrs was finding a leather journal that I thought was blank and then realized it wasn’t. What it was was a record of facts from my 16-year-old perspective while having a lethal medicine allergy called DRESS Syndrome (similar to Steven Johnson’s Syndrome, but not the same thing). And then the hard time afterwards while being on a camera EEG with no anti-epileptic medication so the hospital could record a seizure. And having psychiatry sent in because the hospital thought the seizures were under my control when they are actually in a very different part of my brain (and no, I don’t have any psychological control over them nor are they caused by stress). And praying to remain valedictorian of my graduating class while I was spending most of the month before graduation in the hospital (and I did do schoolwork during that period of time, too, so becoming valedictorian wasn’t just a granted wish). And now, looking back at those entries, I can see so many prayers answered and the raw emotions are so very real!!!! When reading some of these entries aloud to my grandmother, she said something like, “This is what books are made of.”

And yes, she was right. Because this is my story. And I often say, “no one can argue with your story.” And that’s true. So this is the true story of how Christ rocked my life by my future college plans being flipped upside down but instead accomplishing beautiful things and teaching many people along the way. How He has stayed with me through all the hardships, all the celebrations, and all the crazy and/or beautiful in-betweens. How He brought me from possibly dangerous situations to a steady, beautiful life. I know I’m using the word “beautiful” more often than a writer should in one paragraph, but that is what my life is and has looked like– both now AND when it looked scary. So this is me. This is my life. So here comes “God Could, So He Did– My Crazy, Beautiful Life as an Epilepsy Patient.”     #thisisme   #Jesusisawesome   #GodcouldsoHedid

To God be the glory.

Keep smiling, readers! 😉     ;-D

With Much Love,

Tia ;-D 

Making Changes

It is always (or often) okay to look back at what you’re doing and decide to make changes to it. So that’s what I am going to be doing to this blog. I am choosing– thanks to some inspiration and suggestions– to write about some of my experiences with epilepsy from my journal excerpts, etc., so this blog is now also going to focus on epilepsy as well. It will remain titled “The Cancer Writer” and the domain name will remain the same as well, but some of the content relating to health may change with this new focus. Epilepsy is a big, undeniable portion  of my life, and even more so than cancer because I no longer have to deal with cancer every day (thanks be to God, of course ;-D ). That being said, I am a little excited to put together an autobiography because I can use journal entries I wrote during turbulent moments and (hopefully) portray those extremely real emotions and unusual experiences AS THEY HAPPENED! And, as I sometimes say, no one can argue with your story. Remember that, reader. I’ll say it again.

No one can argue with your story. Period.

Okay, so, in addition to my fiction manuscript, here comes another endeavor! Here we go! 😀

Thanks for reading!

Smiles,

Tia 😀 — and oh yeah, don’t forget to give thanks to our amazing God and to smile some more today!  😀 ;-D

“Taking Flight” Book Review

    This time I’m taking a detour from writing advice to tell you about a great book-soon-to-be-movie, “Taking Flight” by Michaela DePrince. Once an orphan in a country full of war, Michaela dreamed of “dancing on her toes”– she wanted to be a ballerina from a very young age. Thankfully, she was adopted– and blessed greatly by God– by wonderful American parents who not only adopted her, but made her best friend her sister! Michaela takes the reader on an emotional journey as he/she learns of her first experiences in America, her loving new siblings, and great parents who will stop at nothing to help her progress as a ballerinea. The reader also learns of the hard work it takes to become successful in such a competitive sport (yes, everyone, please respect dance as a sport), and can see how Michaela’s hard work paid off as she succeeded in dancing in South Africa, IN a group from Harlem, and elsewhere across the world. Need a good cry? Read about her terrible experiences in the Sierra Leone orphanage where she was known as “number 27”– need a good laugh? Keep reading to hear about her and her sister Mia’s first times with light switches and the family piano! Overall, Michaela’s life is an inspiration and may very well give the reader a heart for Sierra Leone. It may also make the reader understand that those who were once ridiculed can rise above all other circumstances. And I know that for me, at least, it makes me excited to know that it is soon to be a movie! Sorry, reader, I can’t give you the release date, but I can give you the book review!

Have a great day, everyone, and I hope you’ll soon pick up this inspiring read that can fill your mind and heart with inspiration! Philippians 4:8– don’t forget what to fill your mind with! The Bible has clear standards!

I am looking forward to talking again soon, reader! Keep on smiling! 😀

Smiles,

Tia 😀 

P.S. (I apologize for the grammar mistakes. I’ve been having a few issues writing the blog posts regarding correcting errors). Thank you! 🙂