• .: Sometimes People Say Smart Things… :.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. — C. S. Lewis

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    September in Present Tense

    Posted By zac on September 11, 2010

    Yesterday was Zac’s 34th birthday. The Sunday before that was our 12th wedding anniversary. I knew going into the month of September would be tough. I knew it would take everything I had, everything I could complete and totally reliance on God, to do this month and do it successfully.  The day of his birth arrived and as we were driving to school in the morning Lizzy said, “do you know what day it is, it’s Dad’s birthday” They were so happy, saying things like, “I can’t believe he is turning 34″ “What should we do for him today”   Can I just stop and tell you all how happy I am that they still talk about him in the present tense? “He is turning 34″… I love it.  I suppose I do the same thing, on Sunday when it was our anniversary…I totally counted it. 12 years! That is a long time, you bet I count it.

    I wonder how this works, will he always be in the present tense to us? I sure hope so. I can’t say that I feel him here with me physically or that I know he is watching over me from Heaven (may the sparks of controversy start now) but what I do know is this: every morning when I wake up and look into the eyes of my children, he is right there. When I hear Jake yell at a call on a football game, while sitting in his Dad’s chair, he is right there. When Luke gets that bright twinkle in his light blue eyes (which are exactly Zac’s color), he is right there. When Lizzy is methodically contemplating life and wrapping her brain around a tough issue, while wearing his beanie cap, he is right there.  When I am in the safe car, that he bought for me. Driving out of the driveway of the house that he provided. Going to the job I love, that he worked at first.  Seeing the friends, that he introduced me to. Then picking up the kids, that he helped me create…I know with all of my heart that he is right there.

    Time

    Posted By zac on August 4, 2010

    80 days/ 1,920 hours/ 115,200 minutes/ 6,912,000 seconds.

    That is the amount of time my love has been gone.  Those hours, minutes and seconds have passed us by with a huge place that cannot be filled. But, (and here comes the good part) more importantly, that is the amount of time my love has been face to face with the creator of the universe.  The all powerful, all knowing, all loving God. I can hardly wrap my mind around that. That Zac right now is with Jesus.

    I keep receiving wonderful e-mails, cards words of encouragement from so many people, it has been wonderful.  I have been back to work at NewSpring, I am so happy to be there and to be back . The love and support I have at NewSpring is wonderfully overwhelming. I think back to all that has happened and I cannot imagine doing this anywhere else. What happened this past year was hard. We as a family struggled through the continual pain and ultimate death of our husband/father. It brings me joy to look back on that time and see how God has used NewSpring to blessing our family. Also, how they all have continued to shower love and goodness on my family, during this time of restoration.  I love you all so much. Really and truly I do!

    More importantly, the video. The awesome people at NewSpring, took the time and resources to make a beautiful video. A video that I hope you all  have seen. A video detailing  Zac’s faith in Christ and willingness for God to use him for His glory.  A video from which I have had countless e-mails and letters stating that peoples lives are forever changed. To God be the glory!! I could shout this from the rooftops every time I hear another example of what God has done.

    God has taken this thing(cancer) that satan intended to be hurtful, ugly and cruel. And you know what he did? He took that ugliness and made it beautiful.  That is what He is all about. Death to life, pain to healing, cancer to glory and restoration!  Only our God could do something so wonderful. I am so honored he is using my family and all of you…to fill up His kingdom.

    I am so excited to see what God has next for us on this journey. I am also excited that, on the day  when I too am looking face to face with Jesus, however many days, hours, minutes, or second from now that may be.  I get to see all of the people that this ugly thing called cancer ,that was perfected and made beautiful by our Savior, brought from death to life.

    Would you like to know more about NewSpring? Check out www.newspring.cc

    How about Zac’s Story? Go to http://vimeo.com/9796056

    Remember

    Posted By zac on July 10, 2010

    Another draft that was never published on this blog.

    My name is Zac. Well, Zachary, actually. Either way, it is a derivative of the Hebrew name Zechariah which means, “the Lord remembers.” But remembering is not a task just for God. It is a command to us.

    Joshua’s memorial stones

    Psalm 103

    Deuteronomy 6

    Zac wrote that back in September, when the cancer had left his body. For one month and 2 days we enjoyed our new life together. We were like newlyweds. We saw the world wide open. What could we do? Where would we go? Hoping God would use us for something amazing. We were ready. Waiting.  Zac was so excited to have this new life yet wanted so deeply to never forget what he had gone through. He kept telling me,” I have to remember. I ask God to always remind me of the cancer and His goodness”.

    Life was so good that month.

    I had him back again. The cancer was gone.

    Then it came back. And now, it is Zac that is gone. (and God is still good)

    I am camped out on the concept of what Zac was talking about. Remember. The Lord remembers. There are so many ways I can take that road.

    Lord, help me to remember what you have shown us in this journey.

    Lord, remember me in my pain. Show me your purpose

    Lord, Help my kids remember Zac through me.  I need to remember Zac and the wisdom he gave to our family.The fun we shared. The person that he was.

    That my friends, is where you come in. I make it a point to tell stories to my children everyday about their dad. Sometimes it’s silly, most often it’s wise words that are seeded in our hearts.

    I would love for everyone who is a reader of this blog, to be so kind and share a memory. A Zacadote if you will.(he used to say that when he would tell a long story) If you will write them in the comments section and I will approve it.  I would love to print these out and have them for my kids. I cherish the  opportunity for them to see their dad in a different light than my own.

    Help us remember and who knows, maybe it will be good for you too.

    Four Weeks.

    Posted By zac on June 13, 2010

    First of all, I would like to say thank you again, to everyone who has been so encouraging. The comments I have received have been just wonderful.

    This week has been good. Yet, today was hard. I am not really sure why. Nothing happened or didn’t happen to make it a hard day. It just was. Such is mourning, I suppose.  I took the kids to the pool, we played and ate Sonic. In the car I looked at them all hot and sweaty and happy. It made my heart swell with love. I am so proud of my kids. I am so thankful for them.  I talked to them about how happy I am that we are so close as a family. That in the history of families, we will be one of the top contenders of “Closest Family” Which made them chuckle. I meant it.

    Each night I have one of the kids sleep in the bed with me. Before they fall asleep, we whisper, cuddle, and laugh. I have started to love these quiet moments in the night. I find out little pieces about them and their thoughts. So happy to have that time.

    Tonight it was Luke’s turn. As we snuggled up, he said he had something really neat to tell me. With wide eyes, he told me that he just knows something big is coming. He said that he feels like his life will be something big. I said, “what do you think it is?”  His reply, “I don’t know but God sure does. And it will be huge. I can feel it in my heart.”  I went on to tell him that Daddy’s story is his too. That there is purpose in all of this. That I pray for him to be a mighty man of God, that will tell others about Jesus. Every time I said something new, his smile got bigger and bigger.  We ended our conversation by Luke telling me that he is excited.  I am too, Luke. I am too.

    Funny how God takes our hard and difficult days and uses them to soften our hearts. Almost molding them for great purpose. Today at the end of it all, I am thankful for the tough days. Almost as much as the wonderful ones He brings. Without rain, how would the fields get watered. Without water for the fields, nothing could grow.

    A poem and a prayer (answered)

    Posted By zac on June 10, 2010

    Lizzy loves to write poetry. She is quite good if I must say so. Mothers are always right at this sort of thing.  I know Zac has posted a poem or two of her’s before. He was so proud of her. They are a lot alike. Both very logical yet creative in writing.  There are so many moments of the day where she will say something that is so much like Zac. I love it. It’s like he is here with me. Helping me find my glasses and questioning my stance on things. He was always one to keep me on my toes. And likewise she doesn’t disappoint in that area.

    Poem by Lizzy (untitled)

    Blue

    Waves across oceans

    Sadness can be a color

    I see it always

    Stars

    To make a wish upon.

    Glowing orbs across the sky

    Hope it will come true

    Birds

    Soaring in the sky

    A tune coming from it’s beak

    The song is calming

    for now.

    I love it. I love her. Thanks for indulging me and reading this. The past week has been better. We are getting a routine down. We are feeling unified and with God’s grace and love, we can do this. Again, I want to thank everyone for the love and support you have shown my family. It means so much to us. On Wednesday I celebrated my 33rd birthday. I am looking forward to being used by God. I feel primed and I am ready. Jesus did amazing things in his short time on this earth. Zac did amazing things here with his time as well. I hope I can do the same. On my day of birth, the outpouring of love was amazing. The best present I could have ever asked for. How many different ways can I say “thank you’?  The way all of you have been to us, looks like I will have to come up with some new ones.

    I must mention that I have the incredible opportunity to share Zac’s story (and a bit of my own) at a wonderful church called The Rock. My good friends Tim and Cristy Olof  pastor this church. They have asked me to come and speak. I agreed. Only with the Holy Spirit will I be able to do this. Yikes. I had just prayed the day before they asked, that God would use me as a vessel for His glory. Didn’t He know I am not a great public speaker? Looks like I have to rely on Him. Funny how it always comes back to that.Wouldn’t you know it,  I wouldn’t have it any other way. (that is a post for another day, it feels so good to give up control)

    I just thought I would share God’s love and goodness that He is heaping on us all right now. Thanks to everyone for being a vehicle for that blessing!

    The Bed’s too big without you.

    Posted By zac on June 2, 2010

    So here we are at week two.  All of the family has gone home. Now it is just me and the kids.The chair is empty. One side of the bed always stays made.I don’t put 5 place mats down on the table.  Now,  we are all four figuring out what this life looks like. I will say that no matter what our goal as a family is to give God the glory in all things. I keep telling my kids that this is their story too. That are not just along for the ride. They are writing their own chapter. I think this gives them security. That with God and being obedient  in what He wants from them, they can do this. I can do this. I have to say I am so very thankful for everyone that has encouraged me. Through the comments on this blog, personal letters in the mail, Facebook comments…my heart is full. I have you all to thank for this.

    Okay so that is as good as it gets for me. Time to dig into the drafts of the smartest man I will ever know. So much wisdom has come from his 33 years. I love him more now than I ever thought I  could.

    I’m Glad Jesus Didn’t Say…

    • …”I’m close to the end; I don’t want to do anything that will upset anyone.”
    • …”I’ll wait until later to obey.”
    • …”We cannot do that; it is too hard.”
    • …”I am not sure what comes next, let’s wing it.”
    • …”I know why I am here on earth and what I am supposed to do. I just would rather be comfortable.”
    • …”You are kind of right, that will get you close enough.”

    That is some good stuff. There is plenty more where that came from. For that, I am grateful. I love reading through his writings and thoughts.

    Thank you again for your love, prayers and support. It helps beyond what you all will ever know.

    -Mandy

    Extra points if you know where the title of this blog is from…

    One Week

    Posted By zac on May 23, 2010

    It has been one week since Zac went home. It has been hard to wrap my mind around the fact that he is gone. I can’t wait until I can see him again. I go through (as do the kids) up and down cycle of being happy he is out of pain and in the presence of God and missing him like crazy.  Zac showed me when he was in the hospital how to use his blog. So that I could keep up as best as possible, answer comments and keep this afloat. Since I am new at this, instead of me coming up with something to say, I will just go with something Zac has said. This is an old post that was saved in the drafts, yet to be published. Perfect.

    Title of original post…  ZAXIOMS

    Zaxioms of living life:

    • Leave everyone better than when I found them
    • Say “Yes” always
    • Learn something from everyone I meet
    • Listen to the questions people are asking of you — repetitive ones may be telling
    • Balance the past and the future as in a satiated hunger
    • Anticipate and dream: try to stay out of the belly of the whale
    • Stay in the frustration as long as possible — refining fire
    • Pick the harder path

    My Love.

    Posted By zac on May 17, 2010

    This is Mandy, Zachary James Smith, went to be with Jesus at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday May 16th.  He is no longer in pain. The cancer has lost and Jesus has the victory in all of this. The battle has been won. I know you all loved Zac, and his presence is missed in our home. Please pray for peace and comfort for my family, as we now  figure out how to continue his story to the best of our ability. Watch out because those kids of ours, well let’s just say they have a lot of wisdom from Zac in those little heads.  I cannot wait to see what God has in store for them.

    Death cannot take away what is already His. To God be the glory. Always.

    -Mandy