A year has gone by

A year has gone by in a blink, and yet much has changed. The ground around her grave marker is level and the grass has filled in. Her grandchildren are taller and more amazing, if that’s even possible.

Her laughter is softer in my mind, but the lessons I learned from her are as sharp as ever. The warmth of her hugs has faded but her legacy burns brightly.

Life has moved forward and things have changed, but our faithful Father God has not. Jackie is missed here on Earth, but she’s rejoicing in Heaven with many loved ones. And God’s loving arms have encircled those of us left behind without ceasing. He is so good.

There is joy here, there is love here. There is family here.

My heart aches and soars at the same time.

Love you, Jackie.

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Joy comes in the morning

Renee, Sister Dodie, and Terry

Renee, Sister Dodie, and Terry

I’ve been bursting to share this happy news with my blog readers. My father-in-law, Terry Mize, has married a precious woman of God and I am thrilled for them.

Renee Garner is a woman of great faith and a teacher of the Word at Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. Sister Dodie Osteen, along with Paul Osteen and Lisa Osteen Comes jointly performed the marriage ceremony. They all wanted to be a part of it. It was short and sweet… just my kind of wedding.

Renee lost her husband of over 40 years two years ago, and as you know, my precious mother-in-law, Jackie, went to be with Jesus a year ago. So it makes perfect sense that the two left behind, who happen to be lifelong friends anyway, would get hitched.

The Bible says that weeping may endure for a time, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5) We’ve got joy this morning.

God is a faithful God and it tickles me to see the happiness and energy that these two are bringing each other. Lynn and I are honored to stand next to them in ministry and we are excited about the future of Mize Ministries. God’s got good things in store so stay tuned!

Jesus hacks

Jesus hacksLife hacks seem to be all the rage nowadays… you know, little shortcuts and “aha” tidbits that make life easier. These ingenious things always make me go, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Someone needs to make a website of Jesus hacks, because sometimes being a believer in this crazy, messed up world is just too dang complicated. And I’m a preacher’s kid… you know we have all the answers… ha ha ha ha ha. (To infinity)

Thankfully, I’ve had some help along the way.

Something Jackie Mize taught me that has really stuck with me over the years is, “God will meet me where my faith level is.” That’s one of the best hacks I’ve ever heard. Faith.

Terry Mize taught me that the Word of God is a book of laws and principles that work when you work them and don’t work when you don’t work them. Word.

Oral Roberts taught me to expect a miracle. Believe.

Richard Roberts taught me the love of a father. And knowing the pure, unchanging love of my earthly father leaves me in awe of the love of my Heavenly Father, which can only be infinitely more. Love.

Faith, Word, Believe, and Love. Those hacks will take you far.

I’ve been very blessed to grow and learn under the wisdom of men and women of God. But before you think I’ve had it so easy, I think you’ll agree that those men and women of God were not always with me in the dark moments. They couldn’t possibly be. We alone have the choice to follow the Spirit of God… that still, small voice on the inside of us. We choose. We are not robots; we are free moral agents with minds, wills, and emotions. And those entities make us or break us.

We all have been given the same stuff. And we have God’s Word… the biggest and most life-changing hack in the universe. It’s up to us to decide if we’re going to let it change our lives or not.

Preachers and TOMS

TomsOh Branson, my Branson… how I love thee. As I walk around Branson Landing, the restaurant and shopping area where I’m staying for our ICFM Directors retreat, I am keenly aware of two things: 1. Jackie is not here. 2. This place is marketed toward 40-60 year old women. The anchor stores are Chico’s, Lane Bryant, and Black House/White Market, my personal favorite. Plus, there’s a big Bass Pro Shop to keep the men happy, and a smattering of Aéropostale and Hot Topix type spots for the kidlets. What’s not to love, I ask you?

Tonight is dinner and a show with some of my favorite people in the world; ministers of the Gospel. Pastors, traveling ministers, music leaders, and trusty support people, like me. We love God and we love the ministry, and we have the battle scars to prove it.

I am honored to be a part of this group of people. They have given and given, and then they give some more. The Bible says, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. (Isaiah 52:7) In honor of that scripture, I am treating myself to some Toms, because these boots definitely weren’t made for walking.

Peace in transit

Peace in transitThe other day I opened the door to Jackie’s linen closet, and the fragrance of Tide, and Bounce, and Downy enveloped me in a cloud. The woman’s laundry smelled amazing. Sometimes I could smell her fabric softener out in the driveway on big laundry days. I made a mental note to check out what flavors she used and to duplicate them. I want my laundry to smell like Jackie’s.

Since she passed away, I’ve been wearing Hypnose, a perfume by Lancome. She wore it for years and it makes me feel close to her. Smell is such a powerful sense. The memories it evokes can stop me dead in my tracks.

Transitions like these can be brutal. Moving, divorce, death, job changes… all these things can feel like a slow drowning. But they don’t have to. God can help us during these times. And He wants to. We have only to ask.

Psalm 46:1 says He is our ever-present help in time of need. And if we seek Him, He will envelop us in His presence, like Jackie’s cloud of Tide and Downy. If we seek Him, He will whisper our names into the ears of those He can count on to listen and pray. If we seek Him, He will give us peace in transit.

Kleenex and Nobel Prizes

photo(41)I have a running list of people I want to thank for their extraordinary kindness to me personally during the days surrounding Jackie’s funeral. People all over the world sent condolences to the family and to Terry. People sent flowers and food. People are so amazing and wonderful, but the ones who keyed into me specifically touched my heart in a way I honestly can’t describe. Words are inadequate.

I was sitting on Terry and Jackie’s dining room floor and we were talking about the order of service for Jackie. My brain was very close to critical overload and I felt tears welling up. Valaree was watching me and she touched my arm and asked me if I needed some water. She laughed at me later when I told her how much it meant to me. But that kindness and sensitivity was so what I needed at the exact moment I needed it. I was able to take a breath, regroup, and focus on getting our job done.

Liz Williams touched my arm and brought me water at the visitation.

I guess I looked really thirsty this last week.

Johnathan stayed by my side faithfully in case I melted down or fell over.

Lynn went down to Utica Square to pick up shoes for me because they didn’t have my size at the mall.

Jennifer applied apocalypse-level waterproof makeup on me… twice.

Jaxon’s teachers and coaches were beyond kind and understanding.

Text messages beeped in all day and night with love and prayer and support.

God used His people to minister to me when I was hurting. And God used His people to lift me up so I could help lift up the Mize family.

God uses people. I’ve talked about this before; God uses people because we’re all He’s got. (You’re the best God’s got) We are His ambassadors, we are His Christians, His Christ-like ones.

The person who brought me a bottle of water and a handful of Kleenex may not deserve the Nobel Prize, but a group of people from all over the world who supported a family in need, that group, they deserve jewels in their crowns.

I’m very grateful for the outpouring of love I have received through these days. And I have a renewed sense of responsibility to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in how to help people when they are hurting. Jackie would be very proud of that.

Jackie Mize and throwing stars

Throwing starI’m sitting on Jaxon’s bed, and it is covered with knives, guns, throwing stars, and every other device of hunting, fishing, and general maiming of the animal kingdom. The bed is covered because Jaxon has been ordered to de-weaponize his room for pending houseguests, which include a one-year-old toddler with curious hands.

My mother-in-law went to Heaven last week and now I’m putting away throwing stars, listening to the Cowboys game in the other room, missing my Nana, and being so thankful to God who knows the intimate and unspeakable hurt that this kind of event leaves behind. He knows every word that’s in my head, He knows every tear that has fallen, and He knows the tears that have yet to fall.

God is so good in the midst of absolute hell. He is the One who does the special thing that you didn’t know you needed, but it was exactly what you needed. His faithfulness astounds me.

The next few days will be hard, no doubt. But without the Comforter, they would be unbearable.

Don’t let another moment pass without knowing Him.

My turn at the mic

I’m having so much fun doing the audio version of my mother-in-law, Jackie Mize’s book, Supernatural Childbirth. The book has meant so much to me over the years, and not just in the area of childbirth. The book is not singularly a baby book, it is a faith book, and it is powerful.

If you haven’t ever read it, you’ve got to. (You can order it here: www.terrymizeministries.org) It is a live-by-faith refresher course. It will light a fire under you that you don’t have to put up with the junk the devil throws at you. It will make you mad at the devil for being so dadgum persistent, and it will make you mad at yourself for letting him.

We have got to stand up to the devil. We have got to stand on God’s Word. We have got to stand up, get off our rears and fight.

Anyway, the reading will be on Audible.com soon… I’ll keep you posted.

PS: Julimize.com is 2 today!

You’ve got something to say

I’m a writer. A novice, for sure, but a writer nonetheless. I have written in the Terry and Jackie Mize voice for over a decade, now I’m learning to write in the Richard and Lindsay Roberts voice. And for the last two months, I’ve been finding the Juli Mize voice here on this blog.

I am so blessed to be able to put pen to paper for these two great ministries. Both of which are all about helping people, getting them saved, set free, and victorious in life. And while all of us say things in different ways, our hearts are the same. We love people, we feel called to the ministry, and we are contributing in our own way. Dad doesn’t preach like Terry and Terry doesn’t preach like Dad. Lindsay and Jackie have two very different voices, but they both bring a life-changing message and are a tremendous blessing to whomever they preach, especially women.

Not everybody can preach, not everybody can write, not everybody can sing, or cook or dance. But everybody can do something, and they can do it in their own voice.

Find that voice and speak in it, write in it, decorate in it, cook in it, sing in it, dance in it, help people in it. However you do it, you’ve got something to say.