Pam, Jami, Zach and I work all year on what songs make the final cut for our annual Miller Mix. The rule is simple: it needs to be either a new song, or a song that was new to us.
You are gonna love the 2019 mix!
Last year’s 2018 mix started out with a lot of joy; but it ended with the impossible sadness of saying good-bye to Ashley. This fog still follows us. I have hope in the resurrection; but the horrid depth of death is still close and deep. The tension between hope and reality leaves me quiet. Ashley is missed and remembered everyday.
PS 121 is a Psalm that Ashley memorized when she was a kid. PS 121 has transformed three times for me.
The first time PS 121 entered my story was through Ashely and her innocence. As a kid she memorized this amazing Psalm in a way where we can all hear her high pitched voice saying, “where does my help come from??? (high on the “from”) My help comes from the LORD, Maker of heaven and earth.” Ashley clung to PS 121 as a Psalm of hope for our sister Kim, that God’s promise would come true: “He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber.” And, “The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life.” I had a front row seat to Ashley praying for God to heal Kim, and hear God’s long and quiet reply over many years. In time, Ashley came to see how God loved Kim and cared for her and her rock solid faith was built on looking at suffering in the eye, through the eyes of Kim. PS 121 was a Psalm of Innocence.
The second time PS 121 entered my story was watching Ashley slowly loose her beautiful life to cancer. Her foot was slipping. It seemed that God was sleeping instead of being present. It didn’t feel like God was providing shade for her. Cancer was harming her by day and by night. The LORD wasn’t keeping her from the harm of cancer. PS 121 feels like God wasn’t there for Ashley. My last lunch with her Ashley listening to her crying out to God to understand what He is doing. She was reading the book of Job. And she was Job. God was allowing cancer to happen in the most beautiful person I have ever known. PS 121 feels like a betrayal. I hated thinking about this Psalm. It no longer applied to Ashley and symbolized, for me, that God wasn’t there for her. PS 121 was a Psalm that felt like betrayal, the end of Innocence.
The third time PS 121 entered into my story is quiet, slow and still going on. I stopped seeing it with the lens of “where were you for Ashley??” and choose to read it again this year. This time I started reading it as a prayer. But this isn’t a prayer that is easy. It’s a prayer of faith. A choice to believe in God, in what I can’t see or understand. It’s a prayer at the bottom of the J-Curve.
It’s a cry back to the beautiful innocent fighter that I knew Ashley was. I lift my eyes up to the mountains – to the hope of the rise of the J-Curve that I will one day see with my own eyes. I will see that help came from the LORD. I will see that He did not let Ashley’s foot slip. Right to the end. I will see with my own eyes that God never slept. That He was watching. That He was and is her shade, by day and by night. I will see with my own two eyes that God did, somehow, keep her, Layne, Max, Jack, Dave, Mom, Dad and all of us who loved her from ALL harm. I will see He watched over our lives. I know this because that my help comes from the Maker of Heaven and Earth.
My lesson was that on the other side of feeling betrayed by God, is a place of quiet holiness where I don’t have to understand why God allows somethings and not others. And I make a choice to embrace PS 121 and turn it into a prayer of hope for what I can not see now but will one day. The third time, this Psalm now feels like a choice, a prayer at the bottom of our longest J-Curve.
This year something wonderful did happen, hope, in tiny pieces began to grow. And those tiny pieces are really welcome.
If last years mix was a lament, this years mix is a collection songs that bring life. I hope that you can enjoy songs of beauty, fun and family at the bottom of your J-Curves, because of the hope we have in Jesus, who is ALIVE.
Download the 2019 Miller Mix here or visit www.DearJamiandZach.com/2019_MillerMix.zip
Miller Mix 2019 Track List
1. The King of Rock and Roll (Zach, John and Pam)
When Pam’s mom, Arlene, turned 70 this year we told her we would take her anywhere she wanted in the US for a family vacation. She was quick to reply that she had always wanted to go to Graceland and see Elvis’ home. We stayed in Graceland for 4 days and did everything Memphis has to offer. We had a blast falling in love with the beauty of Elvis and how amazing he was as the first Rock Star, a conflicted life, a philanthropist, and I believe someone who wanted to see God. Pam and recorded our favorite memory from the trip.
2. Blue Suede Shoes (Elvis Presley)
“Blue Suede Shoes” is a song written by Carl Perkins and made famous by Elvis. The history of this song is when Perkins played a dance on December 4, 1955, he noticed a couple dancing near the stage. Between songs, he heard a stern, forceful voice say, “Uh-uh, don’t step on my suedes!” He looked down and noted that the boy was wearing blue suede shoes and one had a scuff mark. “Good gracious, a pretty little thing like that and all he can think about is his blue suede shoes”, thought Perkins.
Elvis loved the song and made it his own. It was one of his first hits.
3. Let’s Get To It (Zach)
4. Quarter Life Crisis (Judah and the Lion)
Three songs this year from Judah and the Lion made the cut. The lead singer wrote one of the great albums of 2019. The entire album is called “peptalks” and each song is about him processing his broken childhood: A dad who left the family, an alcoholic mom and three kids forced to raise themselves. This song kicks off the album as as “peptalk” that it’s ok to ask for help. And that, in the end, family is what we have.
5. Introducing DJ Pancake (Zach, John)
6. Proud (Marshmello)
This year Zach gets 3 favorite songs… all in honor of what he wants to be when he grows up: A DJ. For the next “DJ Songs” I let Zach pick out 5 DJ sounds online and mix them in where he felt appropriate. Enjoy.
Zach LOVES the DJ Marshmello. He listened to Marshmellow’s new album when he fell asleep at night through Alexa. I picked this song off that album with Zach. It fits how I feel about Jami and Zach: Proud.
7. DJ Pancake is Legendary (Zach)
8. Catchy Song (Dillion Francis)
The soundtrack from LEGO Movie 2 was massive in our house all year. This one was Pam’s favorite. Just makes you want to dance and have fun!
9. DJ Pancake Makes You Happy
10. Happier (Marshmellow & Bastille)
Zach and Jami played this song so much this year it had to make the cut. It’s funny that it’s not really about being “happy” like Zach thinks it is. But… he loves it!
11. Quick Rap That’s Good for Your Mind (Jami, John, Pam)
12. The Search (NF)
The York Miller’s became massive NF fans this year. He’s a believer who raps and he is true to life. The Search is one amazing song. Jami has the song memorized. NF is by far her favorite this year.
Our favorite (Pam and I) favorite lyric in this song is:
See we’ve all got somethin’ that we’ve trapped inside
That we try to suffocate you know hoping it dies
Try to hold it under water
But it always survives
Then it comes up out of nowhere like an evil surprise
Then it hovers over you to tell you millions of lies
You don’t relate to that, must not be as crazy I am
The point I’m makin is the mind is a powerful place
And what you feed it can affect you in a powerful way
13. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Jami)
14. Saxamaphone (Homer)
This year Jami learned the Saxophone and no one captures its beauty more than Homer.
15. Sunflower (Post Malone & Swae Lee)
Zach introduced us to this song through the new Spiderman animated movie and man we are thankful! This is one of the very best for the year. Such a cool sound.
16. Family, York Style (Jami, Zach, Pam and John)
17. Family (Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors)
There isn’t much more important than Family. Such a great theme this year in the 2019 Mix. The theme of family kept coming up for us all year. This collection of songs brings that to the surface.
You don’t choose em, you can’t lose em
We all have a song to sing
Some are crazy, some are amazing
All got a little bit of everything
18. Great Great Grandpa Was Brave
Another theme of Family! Zach is retelling the story of Great Great Grandpa being brave as he remembers it from Grandpa. Mom and Dad take the kids for a long weekend when they can and the kids love it. Its amazing that they remember everything they are told!
19. Alright – Frick It! (Judah & The Lion)
Judah and the Lion continues to process a hard childhood with another great song from their album that perfectly fits how I feel about Ashley right now. This voice in my head says, ‘We’re gonna be alright.’
I don’t know why
I don’t know why
I cannot stop this feeling inside
I don’t know why
I don’t know why
I cannot stop this feeling inside
No matter how bad all of this gets
I can’t stop this voice in my head
This voice in my head says
We’re gonna be alright
20. I Love Krabby Patties (Spongebob Squarepants)
Jami was OBSESSED with Spongebob this year. He had to make the cut. This was her obvious and annoying choice of song. I’m so sorry.
21. Be Yourself (Jami)
22. Beautiful People (Ed Sheeran feat. Khalid)
Ed Sheeran wrote this amazing song this year about inward and outward beauty.
“Beautiful People” are the people who are hot on the outside, and dying on the inside. They are lonely.
He chooses with his friends in the song to not be a part of “beautiful people” but to be themselves. These people aren’t lonely. They have each other. They have family and real friendships.
/ Beautiful people /
/ Drop top, designer clothes /
/ Front row at fashion shows /
/ “What d’you do?” And, “Who d’you know?” /
/ Inside the world of beautiful people /
/ Champagne and rolled-up notes /
/ Prenups and broken homes /
/ Surrounded, but still alone /
/ Let’s leave the party /
23. Amazing Grace (Jami)
24. If You Want Love (NF)
The second song we picked from NF was “If You Want Love”. To fully appreciate this song, you need to watch the video for it below. It’s a J-Curve song about loving people and the cost and beauty to love. Again, the beauty of love and family. This video is a MUST see.
/ If you want love, you gon’ have to go through the pain /
/ If you want love, you gon’ have to learn how to change /
/ If you want trust, you gon’ have to give some away /
/ If you want love, if you want love /
25. “Anyway” (Zach)
26. Joy Invincible (Switchfoot)
This was a song that I loved this year, but didn’t want to include in on the 2019 Mix as its lyric is too close to home and felt so sad. It’s about someone in a hospital, not doing well. Loosing an unknown battle. But in this battle they cry out to God, “Hallelujah”. An amazing song, but I didn’t want it on the mix.
But then I took Jami, Zach and Pam to see Switchfoot with Andrew and Natasha and my kids left with this song being their favorite. They wanted it on the mix; and they force me to sing, “Hallelujah nevertheless”.
/ Hallelujah nevertheless, was the song the pain couldn’t destroy /
/ Hallelujah nevertheless, You’re my joy invincible /
/ Joy invincible, joy /
27. Fighting for Your Parents Love (Bart, Lisa, Marge, Homer)
28. Higher Love (Kygo & Whitney Houston)
Pam’s favorite song this year is Kygo’s remix of Whitney Houston’s “Higher Love” written by Steve Winwood. Here is another hymn! I had no idea how beautiful the lyrics where in this song.
/ Things look so bad everywhere /
/ In this whole world, what is fair? /
/ We walk the line and try to see /
/ Fallin’ behind in what could be, ohBring me a higher love /
/ Bring me a higher love, oh /
/ Bring me a higher love /
/ Where’s that higher love I keep thinking of?That love, that love /
/ Bring me higher love, love /
29. “Happy to Be With You” (Zach)
Zach’s song he wrote for Ethan for Ethan’s birthday.
30. We’re Gonna Be Alright (Switchfoot)
I was going to start the mix off this year with this song from Switchfoot, but Elvis ruined that! It’s a perfect summary of how I feel… that I trust and believe we are actually going to be alright.
This is a campfire song. A song for the family. A song about hope.
31. What Are You Learning About God? (Zach, Pam, John)
32. Hidden (United Pursuit)
This is a great hymn for our year, trusting God in the unknown. Trusting Him as our guide. As our rock. Trusting Him as a family. Trusting him on our own.
/ Now I am hidden /
/ In the safety of your love /
/ I trust your heart and your intentions /
/ Trust you completely /
/ I’m listening intently /
/ You’ll guide me through these many shadows /
33. Family / The Best Is Yet To Come (Judah & The Lion)
Judah and the Lion’s album ends with a voicemail from his mom. His mom is the one who, when he was little, was an alcoholic. Because of this his childhood was really hard, as the whole album is a testament to. Because of this, his Dad gave up being a dad and left the whole family.
This is a voicemail that his mom left him after she heard the demo album.
This is redemption.
This is family.
The best is yet to come for sure.
34. Batman’s Dreadful Prayer
We pray at night with the kids. One night, we all prayed like Batman. Pam is heard in the background shouting amens.
35. Jesus Is Lord (Kanye West)
36. Fat Pugs (Jami, John)
Lilly has been a hidden blessing. Jami just loves every inch of her. But we all do really. This is a recording of me picking up Jami from the bus stop with Lilly in the car.