We have all heard the famous statement, ” Home is where the heart is,” and I totally believe this statement to be true. I used to think that Home referred to my parents house, or our house, but after living away from my parents for a while, I have realized that home can be many places because it is more than four walls around a person. Home is Springfield, the place Dave and I have put down roots … it’s my home growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, and then in Parkville, Missouri… it’s my parents home in St. Charles, Illinois… and It’s Evangel University, Springfield, Missouri and Friends. I know these aren’t all physical homes, but they all are places and people that have completely impacted my life and have given me the sweetest memories, allowing me to feel that amazing “coming home” feeling.
Birmingham was were the journey began, where I was born and began to become who I am today. It was my first home… where I played dress up with hats, purses, and jewelry, doctor to my brother, explorer in our backyard, and cowgirl riding her horsey. I was a dreamer, a lover, and an encourager. This is where I discovered my love of music and my love of performing, having multiple performances in the living room and inviting neighbors to come watch. I have heard a lot from my dad about the girl I was when I was younger through the beautiful journal that he wrote me. ( ) It was home.
Then we made the move to Parkville, Missouri, the sweetest little town inside Kansas City, Missouri. This is where I spent my middle school and high school years, with lots of self discovery, finding amazing friends, being part of an incredible church and youth group, and creating memories that would last a lifetime. This is where my relationships with friends, family, and God were strengthened. And this is where my love of music continued to grow. It was home.
Parkville, Missouri (above)
It was then my time to venture off on my own for school. We traveled to many schools and had numerous college visits, but none of them felt right except Evangel. Evangel was only 3 1/2 hours away from my family- I thought “It’s far enough away, but it’s quick enough for a weekend trip.” Funny thing was that a couple weeks after making that decision, my parents announced that my dad was being transferred to Chicago and the family would be moving. (…only 9 more hours away from Evangel). After hearing the news, I thought, “I may have to find another place, I don’t want to be so far away from family.” Well, let me tell you, as much as I wanted to be closer to my family, I could not get Evangel out of my mind… that was the place God wanted me, I knew it for sure.
Evangel University (above)
It was a whirlwind of a realization figuring out that the move to Chicago/ St. Charles for our family would be the same weekend as my move to college. We got everything all packed, all the things for the house in the big moving vans and all my college items in my small little Plymouth neon. I left my little neon full of my college items at a friends as we journeyed to Chicago. Driving the 9 hours and then unloading the items and placing the boxes in the rooms as they were marked, we all were exhausted and ended up going to bed around 2am, sleeping on our mattresses on the floor. Morning came very quickly, 5 am to be exact, as we loaded up the van to drive back to Kansas City area and grab my car, to then make the rest of the drive to Springfield, to Evangel. While I never actually lived in St. Charles, I would consider St. Charles a “home” of mine as well. I have had so many fond memories from coming “home” to see my parents and siblings during Christmas breaks and Summer breaks and seeing my family. I love the house where they live and the area surrounding. I have found some of my favorite places in this cute town and the small towns nearby. My favorite little bookstore and cafe is in that town and it is a must-go every time I’m home. I first went there with my dad, and it quickly became one of my favorite places and a great daddy- daughter date place. In case you ever visit, you should definitely stop in at “Townhouse Book Cafe.” It was home.
St. Charles, Illinios (above) Springfield, Mo (Below)
It was then my time to make a home away from the family, the big move into my adult years, as I ventured off to College in Springfield, Missouri. I knew that this was the place I was to be… It was a total “God thing.” I remember going on College visits and although many of the schools were great, I never had a complete peace that those were my colleges, until I stepped foot on Evangel’s Campus. As much as I wanted to be closer to my family, I could not get Evangel out of my mind… that was the place God wanted me, I knew it for sure. This would be the place that I would learn, grow, transform, be renewed, be encouraged, and meet life long friends. Where I would have the best times and the most incredible memories, from classes, to chapel experiences, to Harvest Fest and Spring Fling, to fun outings with the floor, or watching movies in a friends room, to hanging with my best friends. Now having lived in Springfield for 11 years and being constantly reminded of the amazing memories within this place and the friendships I have made through Evangel, I know that this place will always be special to me. It will always be a part of me and it will always be my home.
Performing in the Chapel at Evangel University! (above)
Harvest Fest- The 70’s! (2008) – Evangel University (below)
Home is where the heart is… it is the places that have formed you, the places that are dear to you, but more importantly, it is the people around you. Home is my parents and siblings in all the homes we have lived, Home is Evangel where I had a peace and where there were so many who spoke life to me, and Home is in Springfield surrounded by my amazing husband and incredible friends. It is about the people in my life that have allowed me to feel like “ I am home.” Home is a dear thing and the four walls may change, and the shape of the city or community may change, but the memories will live on forever and those are the things that are near and dear… those are the things that will last forever and for me those are my Home!
My family (below)
More on my homes to come…
Where is home for you? What makes you feel like “You’re at home?”