Tending Your Garden — featuring Kristyn Emmer


On today's episode, Joy chats with Kristyn Emmer, who shares her insights on cultivating wellness of body, soul, and heart. 

We are more like gardens than machines.

But more often than not, we treat our health, our bodies, and our overall wellness like we are cars to tune up, motherboards that need tweaking. We treat doctors like mechanics. But what if what we needed was not an oil change, but the gentle cultivation of a gardener? Is there a better way to approach wellness?

Kristyn and I walked through a proper downpour to reocrd this episode.

Kristyn and I walked through a proper downpour to reocrd this episode.

My friend Kristyn is like a living beam of sun. She is bright, fierce, warm, and life giving. When Kristyn walks into a room, a new centre of gravity arrives, people’s faces light up, and laughter abounds. God brought Kristyn into my life just when I needed her. After a sparkling year, full of adventure, freedom, and friends, Kristyn found me a cloudy mood. All my friends from the previous year had moved away, and I was floundering in the oppressive freedom of my Phd. Connected by a mutual friend from Colorado, Kristyn and I got coffee. From that first and fateful foamed beverage, we got on like a house on fire. She fixed her eyes on me with an amiable intensity “Aren’t you tired of shallow friendships? Of groups and lunches where no one talks about what’s really happening in the lives or hearts? I think we should start a group to dive deep. That’s what I need.”

And so we did.

Kristyn has a keen mind and a clear eye. She calls people to their fullest, most fruitful selves.

I can attest to this. The group Kristyn started and ran was a lifeline for me— a place that held me, prayed for me, and helped me grow. The kind of group I hope Girls’ Club could inspire. But I’ve seen this proclivity come into even greater fullness as Kristyn has studied to become a functional medicine wellness coach. In addition to the spiritual and emotional tools she already has, she has added a knowledge of what our bodies need to grow and flourish. Her dream is to help people live holistically healthy lives, which takes into account our spiritual, social, and physical needs. So, today, I picked Kristyn’s brain on some of the things she has learned.

Today on the podcast, Kristyn and I talk about simple ways we can move towards wellness of body, soul, and heart. I hope it will encourage you to tend to the garden of your soul.


Most conversations about health and wellness leave me feeling guilty or overwhelmed.

But that’s what I love about Kristyn— she gives me wise ways forward, baby steps. We may not be able to suddenly buy all organic foods, cut out sugar, and sleep 9 hours each night, but we can do one kind thing for our bodies or souls today. And perhaps that one kind thing will become a habit. I wanted to share this conversation with you because it helped me feel empowered to take action for my health and wellness.


to grow in wellness, we must stop thinking of ourselves less like cars to tweak and more like gardens to nurture.

Kristyn suggests that there are five areas that will largely determine our wellness:

  • Nourishment— what you put in your body

  • Movement— what you do with your body

  • Stress—how you deal with internal and external sources of strain

  • Relationships— the way your networks drain, train, and shape you

  • Sleep— the way you reset your body

let me introduce you to my friend, Kristyn Emmer…

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Kristyn has the spirit of an adventurer and the heart of a homebody. Originally from Wisconsin, she learned the gift of community, simple living, and consistency balanced with lake adventures, wonder-filled camping trips, and the possibility that an open field can bring. To this day, she seeks to find and create this wherever she goes. Kristyn is currently training as a Functional Medicine wellness coach, in awe over the interconnectedness of not just our minds, bodies, and spirits, it our connection we have to the people and the planet around us. And in all of her other time, she's hanging out with university students, taking photos, practicing her best Scottish accent, or gallivanting around Europe with her husband, Seth.

Did you enjoy this podcast? Find out more about Wellfolk & Co…

Kristyn and her husband Seth are on a mission. They want to call people to wholeness in their spiritual, social, and physical lives. They’re just beginning this process, but you can follow along and find out more by following the Wellfolk & Co on instagram. I can’t wait to see how they develop this vision further!

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For more resources, check out my Patreon…

Kristyn put together a wonderful Wellness Worksheet, which helps you think through how you might make small but significant changes in each area we talked about on the podcast. I really enjoyed thinking through it for myself, and I hope it will be helpful to you!

Wondering what Patreon is? Long story short... last year, I nearly burned out. I was trying to do too much: write a Phd, produce a podcast, and support myself financially. I knew at least one of these had to go if I was going to stay sane. After some prayer, I decided to launch a Patreon to ask faithful listeners to support me as I produce Speaking with Joy and finish my Phd. It was really a step of faith, but God surprised me, so have you all.

So, Patreons support me either $10 or $2 a month, and as a thank you, I post supplementary content related to the podcast. It is a way for you to get more out of the podcast, and for me to stay afloat in this strange season of doctoral research. It's not exactly a membership, so some months I may have less content. I'm trusting in your goodwill not to treat this merely as a consumeristic platform, but under the expectation that you all are really keeping me afloat as I study and produce the podcast.  

Blessings, friends! See you next week!

Joy ClarksonComment