To A Wild Rose: Straight from the Heart of Emma Jane

Today as we continue our series, To A Wild Rose, I want you to meet my friend Emma.  I’ve known this curly-headed, inspiring brunette since she was 5 years old, and I’ve watched her grow into a young woman who challenges my heart to love strong and always stay careful of complacency. Her mother,who shined so bright in Jesus, went to her eternal home in 2011, and Emma continues Jamie’s legacy by singing of the Love that endures forever.  Emma is big sis to four little sisters, completing her senior year of high school, is quite the musical gal (sings, plays piano and ukulele, songwriter, etc..) and is in prayer as she chooses the direction for her life this next year.  Read the words from the heart of a courageous young lady.  


Those of you who know me are well acquainted with my thought-pattern or lack thereof. It’s mildly hilarious considering how hard I try to be a writer.  All I ask is that you read to the end. I promise it’ll make sense (hopefully).

I am not a gardener for sure, but I have always loved plants. Cacti especially. Momma was never a gardener either….. I was blessed with a jack-of-all-trades for a dad. Most every year, we had a gigantic garden. Even though I complained about working it, I loved every minute I spent with my parents out in the sweltering heat. I learned a lot about plants over those summers in the dirt from my daddy. I love how God gives us real-life examples of aspects of our walk with Him.

Roots are extremely important to a plant. They are the source of life.

They soak up all the goodness that the plant needs to flourish, and they offer protection. A tree with deep roots is going to be harder to blow over than a tree with immature, weak roots.


In June, I was uprooted from my comfortable home and thrown out into a new church, new school, new life. These past six months have revealed my strengths and weakness like no other trial in my entire life. I have spent days and nights crying out to God, in desperation when I see all that I am missing out on. I have spent long evenings, dancing on the dock in front of a glorious sunset, praising my Creator for this great love He lavishes upon me. I have been taking care of my roots, so to speak. Through this trial, I have been seeking God. It is not always easy, In fact, it’s never easy. I constantly pray that God instills a desire for deeper roots. Through all of this, I am reminded of how easy it is to fall into “surfacey Christianity.” We go to church, post inspirational Jesus quotes, and try to be decent people. Beloved, we are so deceived! Relationship with God is so much more than these. When God draws us, He woos us with His love. He courts us, and calls us into this divine covenant with Him where we offer ourselves, ugly, broken, hurt, and confused.

Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called His children – 1 John 3:1


This love is my comfort. This love is my hope. I feel like I spend way too much time missing things that often I fail to appreciate and love the present. In the midst of my hurt and confusion, God is God, and He is GOOD. He wants more than anything for us to be pulled deeper into a loving relationship with Him. So spend some time with Him today. Let your roots go deep, so you can withstand the crazy stuff life throws at us.

He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit – Jeremiah 17:8


cared for

plantTo be cared for:

“Having needed care and attention.”

Care is defined as “close attention or concern for another.”  Clear, nurturing, competent, affectionate, confident, intentional, specific.

What a concept!  What a need!  Of course we think muchly about caring for our physical selves through eating, exercising, not too much sun, plenty of water, the right supplements for my needs, and other things we deem necessities.  But, emotional care for our souls is a need, too. Maybe an overlooked need often, as we just busily make it from day to day..

So, for my lack of a better way to convey my understanding, the best description that helps me understand how to be cared for, is to think of what is not cared for: neglected, left alone, unattended.

I have a shameful confession.  I am terrible at caring for plants.  And, I LOVE plants.  I love gardens!  I love all things green! They are a gift that reminds me of life in such a vivid way.  Yet, sadly I don’t attend the needs in a consistent way, and my results are usually not good.  😦  Yep, I’m good at talking to my plants, but I forget the consistent things like how often to water, when to have sunlight exposure, etc. for each particular one.

I think caring for something, most importantly, takes consistency and understanding individually the needs.  Daily showing up. It’s truly loving in a way that is seeing who that individual is, and how to nurture their life helping them on their own journey.

What things make you feel cared for?

Deeply we feel this need, and we cry out sometimes, “Does anyone see me?  Does anyone hear me?”

I’ve looked into the eyes of the forgotten.  The ones who starve emotionally to know they are cared for.  Maybe you’ve looked into their eyes too.  Maybe even today you’ve looked into starving eyes as you peer into your mirror. I know I have at times, too.

Little ones.  Big ones.  Poor ones.  Wealthy ones.  Fast ones.  Slow ones. Sweet ones.  Salty ones. We’re all in this same boat together.  We all have this need.  We all long to be nurtured and cared for.

Can you reflect on a time that you felt cared for?

Maybe as your grandma cooked your favorite dish of chicken and dumplings when you came to visit?

Possibly when you were a child and your aunt for Christmas bought you a purple dress that you had been wanting?

A foot massage after a long day that expressed closeness and tenderness?

“I made you a special play-list of some songs I thought you would enjoy.”

Or, the fact that your girlfriend knows how much you like your quiet time, and even though she’s an extrovert she intentionally and freely encourages you to grab those moments?

A big “atta-boy” from a friend when you are successful in something you’ve worked hard to accomplish.

A cup of tea, someone running your bath, and taking care of some of your daily tasks to offer relief from a difficult day?

“You lost your phone again?  It’s ok.  I’ll help you search, I know you’re in a hurry… Don’t worry! We’re in this together!”

A time when your friend knows your down, and picks you a bouquet of your favorite, fresh flowers?

Clear, nurturing, competent, affectionate, confident, intentional, specific.mountain-climbing1

See, my bamboo needed less sunlight, and plenty of water, but my cactus needed less water, and more sunlight.  Neither one can thrive, and be truly cared for if I try to nurture them in the exact same way.  We are all uniquely, and wonderfully made.  I want to be known specifically, and I can’t be nurtured truly unless you find out who I am, and what’s needed to help me thrive.

Friends, let’s not be neglectful of one another. What a joy that I can contribute to your life, and receive the same gift from you!  We aren’t nurturing if we lump each other in a whole category together, or if we choose to only look through our own lenses at what each other’s needs might be!  Tender attentiveness is the key to truly learning how to care.

If you are someone reading this today, and you do feel starved and abandoned please know that you are not alone.  I encourage to reach out to someone that you think might can help you.  It takes courage, I know, to admit where we are, but someone is out there who can nurture and care for you.  I would love to hear from you, and know that you are on my heart! People do fail each other — this life is messy!  But, dear heart, God does not ever fail.  God cares so deeply for you, and this verse has helped me through many a night of tears, “The Lord your God is with you. He’s mighty to deliver. He takes great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He rejoices over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)  In my life, He has been with me through it all, and His delight in me has been my strength and joy.

flowers in the rain

PS:  Here are a couple of links if you are interested in thinking through a little more of who you are individually, or if you want to share concepts with others in your life.  I think it’s fun and helpful to be intentional to slow down some and think about our uniqueness!

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman helps us understand a little more of how individually we feel loved/cared for.

This personality test is based on the work of Briggs and Jung, and you can surf the internet and find more like it.  I like this one, and think it has a fairly accurate assessment for most people.


Center for Relational Care, MacMillan Dictionary (2015), Abraham Maslow, Robert McGee, John 13:34-35, Philippians 2:4, Galatians 6:2.