Sunday, December 12, 2010

One Road

Less than 2 weeks until Christmas. I've bought a grand total of.......... no Christmas presents. Yikes. Instead, I've been studying all sorts of things. We don't have finals, per se, this Christmas. We just have our 3rd test block of the semester. So we still have 5 tests between Thursday and next Tuesday, but fortunately these don't count anymore than any of our other tests. My classmates and I would love any extra prayers that you're willing to give us. More importantly, help us all to remember why this is an amazing time of year. I have been guilty, lately, of pushing my time with God aside or cutting it short because of responsibility. I came across a quote from my favorite author that help remind me of how important it is to stay on track:

"One road leads home and a thousand roads lead into the wilderness."

Thank you, Clive Staples, for keeping me in check. Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why, thank you

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Why does time slip by quicker every year? Maybe it's only seeming that way because as I've gotten older I've finally realized how important each day really is.

Naturally, the holidays seem to fly by faster than the average bear day because they are the days we long for the most and spend endless amounts of time daydreaming about. We imagine what we'll do on our time off and who we'll see. I am guilty of doing all of these things... and then my jaw drops when I realize that those 4 days were a lot shorter than the 4 days I had imagined in my head!

Either way, I am thankful for any 4 days off--be they short or not. I am even more thankful that I get to spend the holidays with my entire family--Mom, Dad, Todd and wife Rebecca, Corky, and Caitlyn. I'm so lucky to live so close to them all. It's times like yesterday that I realize how much I love being so near to them. Praise be to God for giving me so much more than I deserve. I will surely come into his presence with thanksgiving in my heart.

Oh, and who's excited about Christmas season??? Let the decorating, shopping, and music begin!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Here lately, I've been struggling with my positive attitude towards school. I know it's normal to wake up and not want to study for the day, but I've been having too many moments that make it hard to stay motivated. I have needed to change something and somehow give myself a reminder of why in the world I decided to go through this schooling and become a doctor. Now that our test week is over, I'm spending a little time searching for reminders. My first and important boost of reassurance lies at this website:

Doctors without borders. Seeing those top news articles about how so many people in this world are struggling to get proper healthcare reminds me that I chose this career in order to help those in need. In my essay for my med school application, I even wrote about taking my M.D. outside of the U.S. and helping countries that are lacking in healthcare options. There will never be enough doctors in this world. We will always be needed somewhere. Knowing that will help me push along this long path that I chose. Not only did I choose it, but God also chose it. That's some great rejuvenating juice right there! Hopefully more reminders will come along the way, but I know that I have people praying for me daily and encouraging me.

"You need preparing. You need arming. But most of all, you need constant, never ceasing vigilance."
Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

"You know, a lot of people go to college for seven years."
"I know; they're called doctors."
Tommy Boy

Thursday, October 28, 2010

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.

God is still God, and God is still good.

The Story of Zac Smith (New Score) from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

If that video doesn't work, click here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Luke 6:27-28

Sometimes we need to remember we cannot stop loving people just because they are hard to love. In fact, this is when we need to love the most. That is one of the things that sets Christians apart from non-Christians. Even those who don't know Christ love people who are easy to love. To love an enemy--that, friends, is an amazing and glorious thing to do.

Luke 6:27-28
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

Thursday, October 21, 2010


In an Intro to Clinical Medicine small group yesterday, I found out something that was mildly interesting--

So you know how some doctors ask you to say something like "blue moon" or "toy boat" when they are listening to your lungs? You might not have heard that--but know that it happens. Well, some doctors might have asked you to say "ninety-nine" instead. While in some medical books it says to do this, we learned yesterday that it is wrong to say ninety-nine. What? A book in medicine was wrong? Here's the funny thing--the reason it is wrong is because it was a German who first discovered that deep "o" sounds are what we need to listen to (I won't bore you with details on why) in the lungs and guess what ninety-nine in German is? Neunundneunzig. Ok, I know few people know how to pronounce what I just wrote out. Here's a key factor: the eu in German is pronounced "oi." So, in German, ninety-nine gives you the deep "o" sound (like toy boat), but in English, it doesn't. Some pretty important things really are lost in translation. Funny how so many things come back to German.....


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I'm slacking again on the posts.. so until I make myself sit down and type something worth reading, I thought I'd use a couple of posts to give you an insight on some of the things we second year med students learn. I promise I'll try to make them somewhat interesting!

In microbiology right now, we just learned a little bit about antibiotics. Besides all the amazing things we've learned that they do, here's a special tidbit of information we found out in one of our lectures:

A man named Frank Tally did a lot of work with the Wyeth drug company. He's in all sorts of journals--pretty big deal--mostly because he helped develop antibiotics. Alas, after becoming an antibiotic guru, he got an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection later in life and died.

Just when you think life can't get any more ironic, it does. Think of this post as a little reminder of how things could always be worse....

Seriously, if all that's on your hand, do not give me a high five.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chuck Town

Picture time! I've given up on taking time to edit these photos any time soon, so here are some shots of Charleston (from back in July). I miss it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Good News

‎"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me." Psalm 51:12

This verse says so much in so few words. I don't know why I've never really turned to it before. Each of us fights our own battles--several, every single day. We grow weary. We sometimes feel like our strength will never return. This verse reminds me that I need only ask God for some help to remember why I am here. Remember that the gospel is rightly named because it is good news. Here's to knowing I am His, and I am joyful for his saving grace!

This picture is from the first day of blue skies in the spring time of Germany.
You don't realize how much you miss a blue sky and flowers until they're absent.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Baby Mama

Just wanted to post the few pics I've seen of Katie and Luke's new baby boy, Peter Anthony Zumo a.k.a. Rocky

Congrats to you both!!!! I am so incredibly happy! Thanks to Kase Gonzales for his quick phone uploads :)

The new daddy with his baby

Such a beautiful boy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

So long summers.

That title was scary to type. But I'll take a few moments to be dramatic here.. I have no more multiple month long summer breaks. Sure after college I did have a job or 2, but I conveniently started the first one in 2007 after summer was over and then quit and started my second job in 2008 after the summer was over... so, in one way or another, I've never had zero summer. Yikes. 25 years old and finally saying that.

I know those who have jobs gave up their summers long ago, but the difference right now between us med students and the working world is that we'll be paying people to keep us busy these next few "summers". Straight school, minimal breaks, you get the idea.

I'll be very honest with you.. I'm really nervous. I almost feel suffocated because I know what I am about to face. I remember last year, and every day I woke up and went to bed with the "I-should-be-studying" feeling. Even when I let myself take a break, I never really felt relief. But, I knew there was always something to look forward to--Christmas break, spring break, summer.. but this go round is different. While two of those breaks are still there, this time I also have the Step 1 test to study for at the same time as class.. so when I have those breaks, I won't actually enjoy them like I could last year. I know, I know. I signed up for this. I'm not saying I'm not going to make it through, or that I thought medical school would be easy. It's just an intimidating thing standing on this side with freedom, the day before it all begins. I know I can handle it. God doesn't give me things I can't handle. I know I will push through and come out a better person, but I just wanted to share a few feelings and ask for prayers and support for my classmates and me.

A lot of things are different this year for me, so I hope that with less distraction and more motivation I'll totally dominate medical school, year two. Have a great week!

Another shot from Charleston

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Winding Down?

So after spending almost 2 weeks in Brazil, what else is there to do in a summer? Get a job? yeeeaaahh, sorry, not doing that during my last summer. I commend my fellow classmates for holding jobs/shadowing opportunities/research positions during the summer. I took another route because I knew that one day I would regret not taking advantage of this free time. It's who I am, and I'm completely okay with that :)

So back to the question of what else I did. Well, I'd like to say a lot of things. Let's start at the beginning:

I went and saw the musical Chicago with my good friend, Lauren, in Memphis at the Orpheum. Seeing such talented people perform is always a treat.

I watched several World Cup games.. and after the U.S. was eliminated, I pulled solely for wonderful Germany. Next world cup, boys, next world cup.

I visited Smith Lake in Alabama with my friends Jenna Lee and Kate plus 8.. (ok, there were other people, just maybe not 8); this was the first time in about 2 years where I actually got a tan (can it be true????). I saw several beautiful shows of fireworks from the boat. It's a delight to see the colors in the sky and in the water.

I went to Vicksburg, MS to watch my sister compete in the Miss MS pageant.. and was fortunate enough to be there when they announced her as 3rd runner up! Her family and friends were so proud of her! This same weekend Lauren, Jenna Lee, and I threw precious pregnant Katie Zumo a baby shower :) How old are we????

I went white water rafting for the 2nd time in my life down the Ocoee in Tennessee. I did fall out, naturally, but it was all part of our guide's plan. I promise. After about a minute into his "let's surf our raft" moment, all 6 passengers and the guide were out in the river. Thanks a lot, Treyton. This was also my first experience camping in a tent. I will go ahead and admit it--I didn't hate it. Nature isn't as big an enemy as I thought.

I spent 5 days touring Charleston with Lauren. This I won't go into as much detail as I hope to write a full post about it, pics included.

I visited the first ever Jackson Beer Fest. I just wanted to see what it was all about. I'm glad that I can mark that off the list of things to do in this life. Mississippi is slowly evolving. We may take longer than the other states, but we do things in our own stride.

Lastly, I was fortunate enough to help celebrate the wedding of a good friend of mine, Ashley Brown, this past weekend. She and Simon are that couple that makes you smile when you just see them walking together. The whole weekend was a mini-reunion, as well, because I saw friends from all over.. from Seattle to Atlanta. Weddings need to happen more often. I was so honored to be an honorary bridesmaid on Ashley and Simon's special day!

Most of those activities were on the weekends, so I spent the weekdays catching up with as many people as I could, catching as many movies as my checkbook would allow, and relaxing and sleeping as much as I could dream. Books were read, people were seen, and in the end, my summer was exactly as I would have hoped it to be.

Now what we all want to see.... pictures :)

Jenna Lee and I the night before we left for the lake!

The sis and I at Miss MS one night... rocking a C and an S

Pregnant Kage?!?!

Tent for two?

Jenna and Kate roasting marshmallows

Laur and I, first night in Charleston!

Some of the bridal party

Square dancin' at the rehearsal dinner

The beautiful blushing bride and I

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brazil, finally

Well, here it is the end of July. I've been back from Brazil for about a month and a half, and I still miss it. I'm sorry to all my readers (the few of you who are left) for not writing on this for about 2 months. I've actually had a lot going on and lots to tell, but it got to the point where how much I needed to tell all added up and I didn't want to type it all out. SO hopefully I'll have a few posts over the next week or so to talk about my summer adventures.

First off, let me say a BIG thank you for all of you who supported me--financially or prayerfully or both--with Brazil.

This trip was different than all trips I have been on. I've left the country 3 times now. Since the first 2 times were to Europe, the cultural differences were less noticeable (at first, at least). Arriving in Brazil, I got a big WHAM! of cultural differences that made sure I knew I was no longer in the U.S. Things like "don't flush your toilet paper" or "don't drink the tap water." Sometimes even things like "here's a chicken heart; try it." In the end, I loved the differences in their culture and mine. Reaching that point is something I think most Americans find difficult. I could be wrong and just speaking for myself, but sometimes one gets a bit defensive of his or her own culture and doesn't want to live in someone else's. We Americans are a bit prideful (not that we don't have reason to be a lot of the time). It's taken me some time, but I finally arrived at that wonderful realization.

Brazil opened my eyes to medical missions. I didn't necessarily get to do a lot when it came to actually practicing medicine, but I did get to see how much doctors are needed there... and how much health care is lacking. People there came to see the docs for anything you could imagine. There weren't exactly any emergencies (thank goodness), but the people there are still sick. Every child came in with worms and lice. Most of the adults had them as well. Low blood pressures and high heart rates were common--mostly due to dehydration.

As far as the evangelism aspect goes, every person who saw a doctor was given the opportunity to hear about Jesus and why we were there. Over half of the ~700 people seen by the doctors claimed Jesus Christ as their Savior by the end of the week. There were several other outreach programs--with kids, with the neighborhood--so the word of God was spread all around.

I would love to make the trip there again next year and the next, but I'm pretty sure my school schedule won't allow it. I could be wrong, but in this instance, I'm about 90% positive I am right. One of the few times someone hates to be right. All in all, Brazil took a little piece of my heart, and I can't wait to go back one day to find it.

The Medical Team

A few of the children who liked the camera :)

All of the translators (oh yeah, plus me)

The translator I worked with the most, Denise, asking a patient about her complaints

Most of the MS volunteers

Some of the kids who came to see the doc :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

What would you give up?

Tonight I've been thinking a lot about the question, "What would you give up in order for someone to know Christ?"

Ideally, we'd all answer, "Everything." That's easy enough to say out loud (or in your head), but when you get down to naming things in particular, it gets really hard. I did this once while I was in Germany, and it really makes your wheels turn. Here are a few things that I'd be willing to give up if it meant that someone would come to know my Savior. Some may seem silly--but they're all things that, in the end, are very close to me.

Some simple things like...
Being able to wear make-up
Watching movies
Eating Peanut Butter
The Internet
My cell phone
Hot showers

Some more serious things like..
My worldly happiness (for I, like everyone else, seek happiness on this earth)
My vision
My ability to walk
Being able to see my family or friends
My language--or comprehension of any language
My reputation
My pride
...and ultimately, my life

Some of these things I did give up for awhile. It was hard--really hard. But, if it helped someone, it was worth it. It's an interesting thought, isn't it? Hope I've given you something to think about...

Monday, May 17, 2010


Hey Everyone!

I'm currently trying to raise money for the Brazil trip I wrote about previously (click here to read it). I haven't had much time to get the word out, so I'm using all my resources now that school is out. I would absolutely love it if you would be willing to help me out financially. I honestly don't think I'd be able to thank you enough. If you read this and would like to donate (anything you're willing to give--be it $5 or $500), you can mail a check to my church. The donation is tax deductible, and my gratitude is everlasting.

If you choose to donate, checks can be made payable to First Baptist Church, and please write Day Smith on the memo line so they will know its a donation for me. We fly out on June 2, but it's ok if you still would like to send money after that. Here is my church's address:

First Baptist Church
P.O. Box 829
Columbus, MS 39701

Also, for those who would like to know more about what is going on, here is an excerpt from my support letter:

"First Baptist Church of Columbus is sending a mission team to the Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands in Brazil, to minister to people living in very difficult and challenging areas. Our mission team efforts will involve medical, VBS Bible studies and ministry to children both at VBS and in the schools, evangelism and the construction of a new church for a congregation that does not have one. We will be working in conjunction with a Brazilian Baptist Church and its pastor, Carlos Alberto da Silva, who is a missionary pastor and part of the local Baptist Association."

Thank you for taking the time to read :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

less than 72 hours..

Another short blog....

Just asking for prayers, prayers, and more prayers. Classes are finished, 1 test done (which went really well for us all!! Praise Jesus), but we have 4 left. The ones tomorrow will be the most difficult so I ask that you remember my classmates and me when talking to our Dad! Thank you so much. When we're done, we'll all be pros when it comes to the human brain/spinal cord. Freedom is so close that I can smell it...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

So Close...

Just barely a week left of classes. My last one is next Wednesday at 11. Naturally, there are plenty between now and then, but knowing I have a mere 8 days of classes left is amazing! Then 1 test on Thursday, 2 on Friday.... drum roll please.... and I'M DONE! My first year of medical school will be complete (Lord willing I pass Neuro).

I ask for your prayers for my classmates and me. We're all very worn out from studying and very, very tired.. and, for me at least, I've become very unmotivated. Please pray for strength to finish this last leg of the race!

Hope everyone is enjoying this grand Tuesday. Summer is almost here!

This is a picture of the buildings next to Wrigley Field in Chicago. There are stands on top of them. Crazy, right?

Thursday, April 29, 2010


So, I have some exciting news. I've been waiting to tell people because I wanted to make sure that it would work out, and after Monday, I saw that it would. It is now official--From June 2 to June 13 I'll have the opportunity to serve our Lord with my home church in Columbus in Corumba, Brazil.

Brazil. South America. New continent. New Adventures.

I don't even know what to think about this all. I am not new to the "mission" trip scene--after all, I did have the opportunity to serve overseas for 5 months in Germany (anyone who has met me or read this blog knows about that, haha). So that also shows that I'm not new to leaving the country, nor doing it for reasons that are beyond my understanding. What IS new is the fact that I'm going to a continent that isn't Europe, that isn't westernized, that speaks a language I know nothing of... and will be completely out of my comfort zone.

Oddly enough, I know nothing about this city I will be visiting. What I do know is that a helping hand, mind, voice, etc. is always needed and my summer was oddly vacant. What better way to spend some of it than going somewhere that could need me? God has shown his hand in all of this and how it has worked out. I just so happened to call the week before everyone was getting their visas. Even though the deadline to sign up for this trip was about 2 months ago, they still were able to work me in and just at the last minute. Talk about perfect timing, right? Now comes the most daunting task--raising the money to go on the trip. I have to raise ~$2,500. Almost the same amount I needed for Germany (which shows me how much the IMB paid on behalf of me).

To see a video of previous years, click here and scroll to the bottom.

I would like to ask for your prayers in all areas of this trip. For our hearts, for the people we will encounter, for financial aid. More news to come later. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No time for writing

don't really have a chance to write much.. but here are a few more pics of Chicago :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Never second best

Can't believe this weekend is Easter. With our first test block on Monday, it was almost overshadowed. BUT, only almost. I cannot let school try to take first place in my life. While it does need to move up on my priority list, there is one thing it will never beat--my faith. Thank you so much for what you have done for me, God. Don't ever let me forget the importance of your death and resurrection. I will not be satisfied if I put you on the back burner.. and I pray that you never let me be.

Teaser picture: The Cloud Gate in Chicago

Monday, March 29, 2010

That small break in spring..

Well, I'm already in over my head with school and missing every moment of spring break! It was one of the best spring breaks of my life--for several different reasons. One of the obvious reasons being that it was a break from medical school and tests... the mental hiatus was certainly needed.

So what all did we do while we were there? I can't even remember everything we did, but I'll attempt to give a brief synopsis:

We did most of the typical touristy things you can do in Chicago. We went to the top of the Sears tower (Willis tower.. whatever), saw Lake Michigan, walked the Magnificent Mile, and ate deep dish. We visited several different museums:
The Museum of Contemporary Art (my definition of art was put into question... or maybe other people's definition of art should be put into question)
The Field Museum (saw "Sue" as well as some pretty cool diamonds--including one that was over 100 carats!)
The Art Institute (much more artistic in my opinion, and I was much more appreciative)
The Museum of Science and Industry (coolest museum I have EVER been to. I want to work there because they actually show people that science can be FUN!)
We also visited the Adler Planetarium, which taught me a whole heck of a lot about stars and Chicago accents.
Lincoln Park was pretty cool, and I thoroughly enjoyed walking around areas outside of downtown. I felt like I saw so much of the city, but there was still so much more to see.
We saw the cloud gate (aka mirror beany thing) and the really cool amphitheater right by it.

The food and company was the most amazing part. The weather was gorgeous and in the 60s all week until Saturday... when it snowed?! I could definitely go back up there for some more. It's a big city, but with people there that are down to earth and very friendly. On our ride to the hotel, we already had locals giving us suggestions on where to go or not to go. Not many people commented on our accents (thank goodness), and I hope I get the chance to go back up there soon!

Pictures soon....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring-a-ling break!

Spring break is finally here!!!!!!!!!!

This week has been on my mind since January... but more so these past 3 weeks than ever. Over those weeks, we've had 2 board exams, 1 cumulative final, 3 regular tests, and a practical. Histology and genetics are both finished, and physiology is mostly done. I guess this week marks the "M1.75" mark for all of us first years. It feels good to say that!

So what to do on a week off of school? Travel with 2 of my favorite people--Mom and Caitlyn--to the windy city! We'll be flying out early-bird early tomorrow morning and arriving in Chicago around 9. That gives us all afternoon, along with the rest of the week, to enjoy museums, tall buildings, deep dish pizza, and fantastic architecture. I've made a rather long list of places to visit and restaurants to enjoy--and hopefully still having plenty of time to get lost in the city. I think I'm most excited about taking pictures and seeing what life is like for people who live in the 3rd largest city in the U.S.

Can't wait to let my mind relax for a week! Enjoying spring already!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I'm studying for my histology board exam, but I thought I'd update the blog real quick. This is a video from the rodeo I went to on Valentine's day and here's a video of the best bull rider at the rodeo! Glad I went.. can't wait for next year. I'm dressing much more appropriately this next go 'round.

This second video was pretty cool because you can see how dangerous these bulls are even after the bull riding is over!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Well, here I am up late, for no reason. Typical. You'd think I'd try to go to bed early so I can get up at a normal hour. It's true that old habits die hard. One day I'll have a normal, adult sleeping schedule.

Tonight I do have somewhat of a reason to be up... and that reason is SNOW. And quite a decent amount, I must say. We've had classes cancelled so I get the whooooole day off. To study. Either way, I'm not skipping class this time. Plus, there's no new information for tomorrow = good possibility of catching up :)

This weekend should be a fun one. I'm planning to go see Valentine's Day (not exactly my choice) in honor of such a ..... "beloved".... holiday. Then Saturday night will lead to a night of salsa dancing (weather permitting) and Sunday will be the best day of all. No, it's not because its Hallmark Card day. It's because I'm going to the rodeo. Yep yep. My first time to experience the Dixie National Rodeo here in Jackson. It should be quite an adventure as I've only seen one rodeo before. I'm not your typical southerner in that respect.

Hopefully this weekend will be quite funfilled, as it's my last duty-free one until spring break. I can handle it though. Speaking of spring break--Mom, Caitlyn, and I are reuniting and heading to CHICAGO! more to come on that later. Merry Valentine's to all!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

for you, Germany

I am getting ready for bed so that I can get up and study more about the kidneys (trust me, you should looooove your kidneys for all they do). For some reason, I started feeling nostalgic for Germany.

I miss it. I can't believe I can actually say "this time last year..." about Germany. What? How? When did that happen? On Feb. 1 (guess it's really the 2nd), 2009, I was in process of learning the beautiful city of Dresden--learning places, people, customs, and culture... and still there is so much I didn't learn. Not until after I left. I pray for you Dresden, and for the Dietz family, and for Amy, because they are doing amazing things in that beautiful city.

Every time I think about that place, and those months, I tear up. Tears of joy? yes. Tears of sorrow? yes. Tears for fears? no. I changed because of you, Germany. I changed because of what God wanted me to do and become and see and believe because of you Germany. And I am forever grateful for you, Germany.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

STILL here

Yes, I am still alive, and I still use this blog. I realized its been over a month since my last post and I know the 5 people that read this are dying to know about my life, right? yeaaah, don't think I wanna know the response to that.

Either way, I am still here, back in school after a lovely 2 week break. We started on January 4, and things are much, much different this semester. Instead of having hours upon end of several different subjects, we've been focusing mostly on one subject: physiology. And we didn't have a test for the first three weeks of class. How can this be?

While it was all wonderful to not have tests, our first test ended up covering 26 lectures (ouch) so the whole catching up aspect was a bit intimidating. Fortunately, our next test is next week only a fewer amount of lectures. On top of that, we have a 3 day weekend this weekend. I've been able to talk to my friends and see them much more then last semester. I've taken breaks and actually had time to catch up... why, this semester seems much more promising!

I don't have much else to write about here. Just wanted to check in and prove that I still use this blog. Hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of 2010!

And one last thing....... GO COLTS!!