Our Baby’s 20th—The Saga Continues

Well….I’d planned to have a fabulous tribute post to our daughter Kenna who turns 20 tomorrow. But well…..let’s just say that for the last 20 years this girl has kept this momma on her toes and on her knees.

The last 24 hours has been no different.

When she was little we lived through ER visits, a battle with her long hair & a hand mixer where the mixer won. It tore out a 3-inch circle of her waist-length hair clear down to her scalp. (She was attempting to make my 38th birthday cake!)

Once she got an earring back embedded & grown into her ear without her knowing. ER again.

She jumped off a merry-go-round into her dads arms. He missed & she got hurt. ER yet another time.

She fell off her dad’s shoulders & broke an arm. She was now on a first name basis with the ER folks.

She’s totaled two cars–one the first day of Driver’s Ed (not her fault).

She’s gotten lost too many times to count.

She never quite fit the mold in the serious circles in which we sometimes ran when she was growing up. When the other girls were in smocked dresses with pigtails, she wanted to wear bell bottoms & sparkle lip gloss.

She’s always spoken her mind & never had a problem saying, “Excuse me teacher (or grandma or pastor, or state trooper) but where in the Bible does it say XYZ???

She’s always been unconventional. Fashionable. Edgy. Opinionated. Dramatic.

Nearly made the ‘church ladies’ faint often with her out-of-the-box antics.

But we also saw in her a love for the underdogs; the less-than-lovely; the struggling; the “non perfect”.

Last week, she trekked off on an eight-hour round trip to her state boards for cosmetology without the stand for her mannequin’s head.  They still allowed her to try to pass though she was told it was nearly impossible.

She prayed that the Lord who can move mountains & cause the sun to stand still would make her mannequin’s head not move & stand still too during the 5 hour test!

She passed with 10 points to spare.

Yesterday, she missed her early am flight & was stranded at the Charlotte airport for 10 hours before being able to catch another flight home. A total of 17 hours traveling home. (It usually takes 4!)

We got home at 2 am. At 5:30 am she woke me up with severe chest pains & away we flew to ER.

Looooooong story short.

She swallowed a strong prescription pill last week that is only supposed to be taken on a full stomach. It lodged in her lower esophagus and dissolved there burning into the liner.

Now the combo of the stress of yesterday, of starting her first job as a cosmetologist on Wednesday at a salon & too many acidic foods & caffeine caused that burn to burn even more causing the intense pain.

She took numbing drugs & a take-home script. It should heal over time.

Now we’re home. Her brothers just served her breakfast in bed & I am sitting here pondering.

I’m thanking God for my spunky, strong-willed, always-flies-by-the-seat-of-her-pants-but-usually-lands-standing-up baby girl.

She’s had her moments. We’ve had our spats & squabbles & intense personality clashes.

But by God’s amazing grace, we’ve seen Him take this “I’ll do it my way” young woman & mold her into one who loves Jesus & longs for others to have a real relationship with Him & not just “play church”.

I discovered this song a month ago when  her 16-year-old brother heard this artist in concert. It so perfectly describes her life.

Seriously. It is like she could have written it!!

Take a listen if you have time. And Happy 20th to our Kenna!

We love you. Dents in your fender, rips in your jeans–and all!

Listen here: http://youtu.be/EKSQjSdU8VA


  1. I read your devotional at Proverbs 31 for today (6/29/11). Then I headed to your blog and conviently stumbled on this previous post (coincidence – I don’t think so). I have a 8 yr. old daughter with similar qualties (although not as many trips to the ER). She is passionate, head strong, artistic, knows what she wants, has an unique fashion sense and the list goes on. Today we had a big clash and I’ve felt discouraged that we seem to battle the same things over and over. I don’t always feel equipped to be her mom but evidently God thinks I’m the one for the job! I needed to be encouraged to keep pushing forward and know that He is working in her life. God made her and has special plans for her life. He has given me the privledge of being apart of this journey with her. He is doing a great thing in both of our lives even on the rough days when nothing appears to be going right! Thanks for the encouragement and Happy Belated Birthday to your daughter!

  2. Wow! Reading about your daughter really touched my heart! I have a 15 year old daughter who sounds so much like yours! I am so glad to hear from a mom who has been through it and has come out on top. My daughter is a beautiful young woman who loves God but doesn’t always fit the homeschooling girl mold that the other girls seem to be! Thanks for sharing and happy birthday to your beautiful daughter!

  3. Awe, she is so beautiful. Glad things are on the mend. Happy Bday, Kenna. Is she moving back to MI? Or just visiting? I LOVE Francessca and that song brings tears to my eyes every time I listen, thanks for sharing the video!

  4. Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter. Would love to meet her some day. I spent a lot of time in the ER as a kid, adolescent, teenager so I can definitely relate! Was known as accident prone in my family but praise Jesus He has delivered me from that! But from head gashes requiring five stitches, to lip cuts requiring two; from foot gashes requiring 12 stitches to a hairline fracture in my arm from jumping off a statue at a zoo I have had my fair share of injuries! Blessings on your family XO

  5. Thanks for sharing your daughter’s story. It gives me hope for my 8 year old “all boy”! I love Free to Be Me… God bless, Karen! Have a wonderful weekend with your girl!

  6. Happy birthday to Kenna, and I’m so glad she was with her family when she was in need again! What a blessing when a young woman does feel “Free to be Me.” :) I wish I could have seen the video, but my adobe flash player needs updated and the new version will not download. Don’t know why. I have not been able to view any videos for a couple of weeks now.
    Feel better Kenna! Stay strong in Jesus.

  7. Happy Birthday to your daughter Kenna! And congratulations on passing on such beautiful faith in Christ!!!!!!!

  8. Happy, JOYful birthday, dear Kenna! You are one of a kind and that makes you EXTRA special! You bring such joy to all of us and I know your family members consider themselves extremely blessed to call you their own!
    I praise God for the opportunity and privilege that He gave me this past March to meet and fall in love with you as a precious “little sister” in Christ. May He continue to pour out His JOY JUICE into you, onto you and through you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Happy Birthday Kenna!! Wow, is all that I’m thinking after reading that synopsis of her life! I am just starting out on this motherhood road(my daughter is 16 months), and I kept thinking about all these things that I have to look forward to, bruises, mannequin stands, and all. God bless you, Ehman family, and have a wonderful God-filled weekend celebrating Kenna’s bday!

  10. Happy Birthday Kenna and God Bless You Mom. It is a truly amazing thing when our daughters develop the relationship with Jesus as He is developing them and in turn share it with others. Hope your visit together is amazing.

  11. Yes, Kenna has a theme song by Francesca Batteselli (sp)! I found many of your memories reminding me of my 14 year old daughter – she is a kindred spirit to Kenna in Christ? Enjoy this special birthday. Thanks for bringing a smile to my lips and tears to my eyes ~ in a joyful way!

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