I recently traveled back “home” to Illinois to visit family and friends. I went back to my roots, so to speak. Though I’ve lived in Colorado almost as long as I lived in IL, I always talk about going “back home.” There’s something about my visits there that recharge my battery, ground me, make me appreciate my life more and even bring me closer to God.

There was a time when I was somewhat hesitant to say where I was “from.” After all, a small farming community of 900 people (more like 800 now) in west-central IL doesn’t sound too glamorous. As I’ve gotten older (and wiser?) I realize that everyone is from somewhere, and my somewhere is pretty good. My roots run deep there, as most all of my family on both sides were born and raised around Alexis. Many of the relationships formed while I was growing up, remain strong. They are comfortable and easy, always picking up right where they last left off. Vikki recently shared that theologian Terry Hershey believes it’s not the destination in life that is important, and not even the journey. Most importantly, it’s the relationships we build along the way that matter most. I whole-heartedly concur with this wise man!

I feel blessed to have roots in a place where people work hard and are willing to help out their neighbors so readily. I am thankful for relationships that have stood the test of time and distance. I encourage you to think about your “roots.” Oh, sure not everyone has great memories of their childhood and their hometown. Maybe it’s even difficult to say where you’re “from” if you moved around a lot. Just think about all those relationships that were built along your journey though. And let’s not forget our roots helped us become the people we are today, and they at least in part, anchor us when the winds of life blow hard.

He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.  

Jeremiah 17:8

Andrea Heshmati

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