Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Though the Generations Series - Installment 3 The Forties

Today we continue our series hearing from women of all decades answering the same set of questions.

If you have missed any, please go back and check them out

The Twenties - Erika
The Thirties - Lindsay Jenson

And now our Forties representative: Kelly Mize

Kelly Wilson Mize is a wife, mother, educator and freelance writer. She has written hundreds of devotions, numerous articles, contributed to children’s discipleship curriculum, and conducted interviews with several well-known Christian personalities. One of the highlights of her writing career was an interview with Max Lucado in 2016. Kelly’s work has also appeared in seven books. Published credits include LifeWay Christian Resources, Focus on the Family, Group Publishing, Adams Media, BroadStreet Publishing, and Bethany House Publishers (upcoming).

Kelly has been married to her husband, Wade, for 24 years. The couple has two children, Grant (18) and Claire (16). They are members of Southside Baptist Church in Huntsville. Kelly has a master’s degree in elementary education, and currently works as a librarian at Westminster Christian Academy’s lower school.

Here is Kelly in her own words:

Who has been a big influence in your life?

I grew up with four excellent examples: my parents, my grandmother, and my older brother. My paternal grandmother was the only grandparent I ever knew, and she lived either with us or next door for most of my unmarried life. My brother is fourteen years older than me, so he was almost like a parent to me too! My heritage of faith means the world to me. On a daily basis growing up, I saw what it meant to live a life dedicated to serving God. There is not enough space on any page for me to explain the extent of the Godly influence in my life.

If you could invite any three people to dinner who would they be and why?

The correct answer here is Jesus, right? I would, of course, love to have a face-to-face conversation with Him! Next, I’d like to see my brother, Paul. He died at the age of 3, before I was born. I’d also probably invite my best friend from elementary school.

When you meet someone for the first time, what do you hope they will think of you?

I always hope to be relatable. It’s so fulfilling to establish a new relationship with someone who shares common interests, personality traits, history, anything. I would always like someone to say after meeting me, “She is real–someone I can relate to.”

What is your biggest challenge right now?

I struggle to be content. I have a wonderful life, and I am truly grateful for all that I’ve been given. But I can also be a grumbler. I strive to be like Paul, who writes in Philippians 4:11 (from prison, no less!),I have have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” But I’m definitely not there yet. It’s a weakness that I pray about every day.

What is the one thing (besides your phone) that you usually take with you when you leave home?

A jacket or a sweater, and my purse, of course (though it gets in my way and I absolutely love it when I find a way not to have to carry one!)

What is one of the best books you’ve ever read?

It’s always hard for me to choose favorite books. If I don’t like a book, I don’t finish it and have no guilt. So, I pretty much like every book I’ve ever read! Favorites? Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell), A Perfect Day (Richard Paul Evans), The Shack (William P. Young), The Hiding Place (Corrie ten Boom), The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald–I think he’s such a good storyteller, but I hated the ending), and Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) among many others. I apologize for not being able to limit it to one, or even five!

What has been the key to success in maintaining lasting girlfriend relationships?

It takes dedicated effort, and I’m honestly not always the best at that. At least one person in the friendship has to be ‘that person’–the one who makes the friendship a priority and takes the time to make things happen. I’m definitely not always the best at planning or staying in touch, but I hope my favorite people from every season of life know that they are important to me.

What advice do you wish you could give to the women who are younger than you?

Be kind and forgive easily. Don’t settle. Pray about every decision you make, big and small. It’s hard, but don’t compare yourself to other women. You are not perfect (no one is!), but your own unique characteristics and history make you beautiful. You are good enough, strong enough, and capable enough–but only through the power and grace of a loving God. You represent Him (and your family) in all you do.

Well Kelly is definitely someone I can relate to. She has been a teacher and/or librarian at the school my girs attend since we have been there. Fortunately, our 16 year old daughters are great friends and cheer together so I get to hang out with Kelly often. I always enjoy conversations with her and admire how she represents God and her family well. I also may adopt her policy of not finishing a book I don't like with no guilt. I have never been able to do that. Thank you, Kelly, for joining us here. Please come back and share with us anytime you would like.

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