Monday, July 12, 2010


Have you ever seen the movie "The Shawshank Redemption"?  It was Isaac's favorite movie, the first movie we ever watched together, and has become one of my favorites.  I never actually asked Isaac why he loved that movie so much.  I knew he liked the characters and the one-liners in the movie.  I knew his favorite quote came from that movie (Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.).  But it wasn't until recently that it really hit me how very much that movie is about hope.  I'm sure some of you are thinking "Um...duh, we knew that all along."  Humor me, ok? 

Do you know what the last words of that movie are?  I HOPE.  Isaac had such amazing hope.  He loved to share it with others, and remind me of it when times got tough.  I love the last lines of the movie.  I like to think that if Isaac could choose a movie quote to say as he crossed from earth to Heaven, it would be Red's words:  "I am so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it is the excitement only a free man can feel.   A freeman at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope I can see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams...I hope."

This movie has been on my mind a lot lately.  My favorite line of the movie is "Get busy living, or get busy dying." and everytime I start to mope around or throw myself a pity party, I hear that line in my head.  I know that's exactly what Isaac would say to me.  He'd say  "Jess - get busy living!  You'll have plenty of time to talk to me when you get to Heaven!  Stop moping around and get busy telling people about Jesus, because Heaven is fantasmatical!"  (He made that word up)
So with that all being said, I'm reworking my blogs a bit.  I find that I want to share more about my day-to-day life, and the grief is not at the forefront of my life any more.  I'm not going to completely stop writing on this blog, but just don't expect to see much here.  I've renamed my "The Space Between" blog.  Go visit and check out its new name...I think you'll like it.

Thank you for all of your kind messages and encouragement.  Thank you for letting me be open and honest, and share my heart with you all - broken and healing.  Expect me to keep posting at the other blog about what God continues to do in my all things random, DIY, crafting, cooking, and otherwise interesting to write about.  I hope you'll follow me there!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


This morning I heard this song on the radio - it is called "I Need You" by The Swift.  It is beautiful, and there was one verse that I think describes well what I feel at this point in my journey.  I can see the valley, it's still there...but I feel more like I am soaring above it, not of my own strength but with the strength of God. 

"Today my soul is soaring
Way over mountains high
Though I can see the valleys
They're all just passing by
It's not that I am stronger
Look at my feeble wings
But I've been lifted higher
Yaweh's lifted me in His own strength."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Today I Choose

It would be easy today to choose sadness.
It would make sense to choose pain.
It would be simple to just curl up on the couch and cry.

But I will not.

Instead, I choose to feel joy.
I choose to remember the happiness.
I choose to be thankful for the time we had.

Today, I choose

Isaac and Jessica Smith

Thursday, June 24, 2010


One of the phrases I hear all the time is: "Isaac's watching over you!" or something to that effect.

But I disagree.

I don't think he is.  In fact, I actually hope he isn't. 

If I believed Isaac was watching over me, then for me, everything I believe about Heaven would be wrong. 

Heaven is supposed to be this amazing, awe inspiring, beautiful, wonderful, beyond perfect place.  There is no pain, no sorrow, no tears in Heaven.  So how then, can I think that Isaac would choose to spend his time watching me here on this crummy earth?  When we are in Heaven, we are supposed to spend our time worshipping at the feet of God.  Why would I think Isaac would choose me over God?

I think that the moment Isaac crossed over into Heaven, he either just in some divine way knew everything important that would happen in the lives of those he loved, or it just didn't matter what was happening here on earth because he was so darn excited to be in Heaven! 

If I can equate it to anything, it is sort of like the time I was home with Isaac before he died.  I didn't think about what was going on at school, what my students were doing, how my substitute was doing...because the time I was spending with Isaac was so precious and valuable that I didn't care what happened anywhere else.  I hope that's how it is for him now, that the time he is spending with God is so sweet and so precious and so wonderful that he doesn't think about life on earth.
I told Isaac I'd be okay.  And I am.  I think a large part of that comes from this belief that he is not "watching over me".  Strange, yes.  But, I think if I believed he was watching me, I'd hang on to him more...and he clearly told me that he did not want me to hang to him.  Of course I will always love him and I will carry our memories close to my heart. 

I believe Isaac is not watching over me, but that's okay...because my Savior sure is!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Psalm 23

For awhile now I've been meaning to write about the title of this blog.  "Walking the Valley" came to me almost instantly when I set out to start writing. 

Typically, when I think of Psalm 23, I picture a TV scene - people dressed in black, gathered at a cemetery, standing around a casket, with a priest reading this Psalm.  But, the more I have thought about it, the more I think that Psalm isn't for the person who is dead, but rather for those left living.  Think about - "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death" - the dead person isn't walking through that, the dead person is dancing in Heaven!  We, the ones left behind, are those who are walking through death's shadow.  As I read the Psalm again, I know this Psalm is for those of us left behind.  It is a reminder to us, that even when our journey takes us through the darkest valleys, we need not fear when God is with us.  He will provide for our every need, lead us in the right direction (even if that's not the easiest way), and save a place in His house for us when it's our time to head there!

The song "You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman has been one of my favorites throughout this journey.  It is based off of Psalm 23, and its first line is "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Your perfect love is casting out fear." This is exactly how I have been feeling throughout this.  So while the name does come from that Psalm, for me it mostly comes from "You Never Let Go", the song.  If there is one thing I can say I have learned through this, one thing I can say I absolutely know about God it is - HE NEVER, EVER LETS GO.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spotted in my yard...

Do you see it?

Thanks, Isaac ;-)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June's June 1st - my birthday! interesting month.  It's my birthday, it's the month school ends, it's the month Isaac and I got married.  And, is the month Nick & Friends Sarcoma Foundation is featuring Isaac's story!  Check it out!