Emily is a coffee
loving …ahem…obsessed North Carolina gal who learned she can sing…ahem…SANG at the early age of 5 after her mom challenged her to go on stage and sing “Amazing Grace.” With a giggle that just makes you feel good inside, Emily recalls her put-on “grown-up” singing voice with all of it’s gusto and vibrato.
Before we go any further, Emily wants to make sure to connect with those of you who are also cover
lovers…ahem…obsessed. If you have a favorite coffee, brewing technique, or creamer it is of the upmost importance that you let her know in the comments below.
Emily spent her early years in the performance world of musical theater, show choir, plays, and the occasional special song at church. She became a believer at an early age and knew that she wanted to use her voice for to point to Jesus in some way, she just wasn’t sure what that would look like.
During a challenging time of family crisis, Emily started attending a new church and was, for the first time, introduced to the idea of a “praise team” and “worship music.” Not only did her relationship with Jesus deepen, but she also began to see for the first time that singing could be about more than performance.
By the time she was 18, Emily found herself at a crossroads. Should she pursue musical theater in New York or country music in Nashville, TN? Musical theater required acting, which, let’s be honest, scared the living daylights out of Emily at the time, and so she packed her bags and headed to Nashville to attend Belmont University.
The thing about being a vocal major is this…you need a voice. And so it was fairly devastating for Emily to discover two months into her vocal degree that she had developed some serious vocal damage. She ended up needing to spend a large part of the next two years on vocal rest (that means not using your voice). Unsure if she would be able to use her voice in the future, this period of time shaped Emily more than anything else. The “girl with a big voice” had to consider who she was without her voice.
Just as He always does, the Lord used this time in Emily’s life to draw her nearer to Himself. Ironically, Emily’s love for worship grew during this season of her life. Without a voice, Emily truly learned how to worship. Mouthing the words was foreign at first, but ultimately freeing. Voices can come and go, but the truths about God on her silent lips will never change. During this time, Emily’s heart desires began to shift and her love of country music waned. If God were to let her have a voice again, she was discovering that she now had a new passion for how she wanted to use it.
Early on at Belmont, Emily met a handsome, muscular, dare we say “short” Texas stud by the name of Jonathan. Their friendship grew over the years as they communicated on a travel-sized white board that Emily used to have conversations and, when she could, Emily would go with Jonathan and help lead worship from time to time.
Two years into their friendship Jonathan finally asked her out! Though you may hear differently from him, Emily did NOT turn him down when he asked. She was just surprised because she had resolved within herself that they were “just friends.” It simply took her a few days to sort through whether or not to dive into something more. Thankfully, she did.
It’s also important to mention Emily went from a culture of performance in North Carolina to being saturated by a culture of songwriters at Belmont. Though it wasn’t something she had known before, Emily found that she loved the singer-songwriter vibe of Nashville. She even started writing some of her first few songs during those years.
One thing to know about Emily is that she is most definitely a perfectionist. This straight A student still can’t get over the fact that she got an A minus in one of her classes! Alas, she graduated in the Spring of 2009 and was soon after swept off her feet when Jonathan proposed.
After their wedding in Nashville, Emily and her newly minted husband jumped into a big, old, stinky van by the name of Lazarus (literally died on his first trip out…classic!) with a group of their closest friends. This band of friends called Mosaic traveled the country together for 3 plus years in full-time music ministry. It was an incredibly fun and defining season of life! God was continuing to refine and define his calling for Emily. As her passion for worship leading grew and the group found it harder to travel full-time together due to new marriages and babies…Emily and her husband launched their ministry, The Word in Worship.
2012 brought with it a little surprise by the name of Judah. Emily has loved being Judah’s mommy with all of it’s joys and challenges over the years. God knew what He was doing when He created Judah and gave him to Jonathan and Emily. If you know Judah at all, then you know that he can fall asleep pretty much anywhere, knows no stranger and is one incredibly social little guy, and he also loves music (especially the drums). Judah loves road life and the many adventures he’s gotten to go in with his mom and dad over the years.
Emily has found that she is passionate teaching voice lessons and helping others find their unique voice. However, her busy travel schedule doesn’t allow her to do that as often as she would like. To solve this problem Emily created an online program called “Singing With Emily” as a way to connect with and teach other vocalists across the county. Her passion is vocal health and finding ways to steward your voice well for whatever God is calling you to do with it.
Emily is incredibly thankful for how she has seen God lead her over the years. She loves getting to be a part of the Word in Worship ministry and is excited about the vision and and calling of God on her life.
Thanks for taking the time to learn a little bit more about Emily. She would also love to know more about you! Make sure you comment below and let her know that you stopped by. Those of you who love coffee, singing, or better yet, BOTH…Emily would especially love to connect with you!