I’ve always loved listening to music pretty much anytime and anywhere. Although music is special to me, it becomes even more enjoyable when memorable moments are created by spending time together with loved ones listening to music that we both enjoy.

The radio in my mom’s Ford Expedition reminds me of the special times we spend together jamming to our favorite music. Music is such an integral part in many people’s lives, but sharing memories with those close to us through music can make it even more important to us. Photo by Emma Tihen


I’m from the old river town Washington, Missouri, which, if you don’t know where that is, it’s OK … a lot of people don’t.

Washington is the kind of sleepy, rural town where, when I tell people I’m from Washington, an intrigued and curious expression flits across their face, and with raised eyebrows they reply, “Washington? Like the state?” in a higher than usual tone of voice.

Then I proceed to explain there is a tiny town southwest of St. Louis called Washington.

Born and raised in Washington, I learned to be resourceful with hobbies and to invent my own pastimes because not much goes on around there.

But one thing many people from Washington have discovered is that driving around on nice days with your vehicle windows down and music blaring is one way to pass the time … and enjoy it.

Cruising down the lane in rural and quiet Washington, we rolled down the windows in our white Ford Expedition, letting the awakening breeze blow through and rustle up our hair, despite the fact that we were heading for church, a place where congregants usually desire their hair to look brushed and fixed up.

That didn’t matter though. My mom and I were having a good time.

Just the two of us singing, casting grin-filled glances at each other as we attempted to sing louder than each other’s voices and the song blasting over the stereo.

Pull quote graphic by Emma Tihen

The words reverberated through the car from Crowder’s “Child of God,” the 10th song on the Contemporary Christian artist’s 2018 release, “I Know A Ghost,” the song lyrics mirroring the hope we internally felt, knowing they were true.

Despite the song already being at a top-of-the-lung singing volume, I twisted the round dial to crank up the volume and the energy even more as my mom and I continued on our short journey to church together that early Sunday morning which, at the moment, I didn’t realize would turn into one of my fondest memories so far with my mom.

My mom is a calm but spirited individual, and we’ve always loved listening to music together, but usually it’s just those typical, mid-volume songs that you sort of listen to and say a couple words here and there as you drive.

This day and this day’s music were different.

Now the song has become special to me as every time I hear it, I recall that moment with my mom.

I will never forget the look of uncontained joy that filled my mom’s gentle and beautiful face as she smiled one of the biggest and truest smiles I can remember or imagine, a smile that reminds me of the unrestrained and steadfast joy she has … a joy that comes from her unshakable faith, passionate love for the Lord and her deep-seated knowledge of God’s everlasting love for her.

It’s a beaming expression that makes me feel like I’m safe at home and everything is perfectly all right.

On this day in particular, the song we were exuberantly shouting was what brought that smile to my mom.

And even today, cruising down the road wherever it may be, windows down, hair blowing recklessly, when we ride somewhere together, my mom and I continue to enjoy old songs and find new ones we sing to as loudly as we can together, and I always look forward to seeing that glowing grin dance across Mom’s lovely face.

By Emma Tihen

Emma Tihen is a university ambassador for MBU and staff journalist for MBU Timeline from Washington, Missouri. Tihen is majoring in journalism and is a vocalist and bassist for Spirit Wing Red Team, an acoustic worship group at MBU. She is co-leader of the worship team for her home church. Tihen enjoys growing her relationship with God, spending time with family and friends, adventuring outdoors, disc golfing and composing worship music.