Karen Ehman


Karen Ehman is a New York Times bestselling author, a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and a contributing writer for both Encouragement for Today online devotions and the First 5 Bible study app. She has written 18 books including Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All and the 2020 ECPA devotional book of the year Settle My Soul: 100 Quiet Moments to Meet with Jesus. She has been featured on TODAY Parenting, Redbook.com, Foxnews.com, Crosswalk.com, YouVersion.com and HomeLife Magazine. Her passion is to help women live their priorities as they reflect the gospel to a watching world. She is married to her college sweetheart, Todd, and is the mother of five children—three biological and two in-laws by marriage—although she forgets which ones are which. Karen spends her days feeding the many people who gather around her mid-century dining table to process life and enjoy her county fair blue-ribbon winning cooking.

You can connect with Karen at www.karenehman.com where she helps women to live their priorities and love their lives.

Connect with Karen

Speaking Topics

  • Have your people pleasing ways squeezed the joy right out of your life? Do you have trouble uttering that simple, one-syllable word—“no”? Do you hesitate to be totally honest with someone because you fear the truth may disappoint or even upset them? Are you tired of living your life based on the opinions and expectations of others?

    If any of these ring true, then it’s time you broke out of the prison of people pleasing. Sometimes making others happy is making you downright miserable. After struggling for decades with being addicted to the approval of others, Karen Ehman realized that the key is found in learning how to place what God says above what other people think. Join her and discover a spiritual strategy for properly pleasing God while still passionately loving people.

    This message—available as a single message or multi-message for a retreat or conference—will help your attendees to:

    • Discover how to live out your priorities despite the opinions and expectations of others
    • Cultivate a strategy for knowing when to say yes and how to say no
    • Implement boundaries with the pushers, pouters, guilt bombers and others who try to call the shots in your life
    • Learn to navigate the tension between following God and loving the people around you
  • It is true that opposites attract–for a while. But often as the years go by in our marriages, opposites may also begin to attack. The habits and characteristics we once found endearing about our significant other are the exact things that drive us crazy years later!

    Whether you and your spouse disagree about finances, parenting, or how to load the dishwasher, your differences don’t need to divide you. They can actually bring you closer together–and closer to God. Discover how your “incompatibility” can become the strength of your marital team in this real-life guide to both living with and loving your spouse–differences and all.

    This message—available as a single message or multi-message for a retreat or conference—will help your attendees to:

    • How to play to each other's strengths as you work on your own weaknesses
    • How to become a faithful forgiver who also forgets
    • Strategies for avoiding the social media comparison trap
    • How to unearth the magic in the mundane
    • Why a spouse who drives you crazy can drive you straight to Jesus
  • Our culture is obsessed with self. In our schedules, our relationships, and especially online. (Can you say “selfie”?) But in the midst of this near-narcissism, people are less content than in decades past. Why? Because we have forgotten the joy that comes from putting others first. Becoming such a person requires us to live alert, listening for “heart drops”-—hints from those in our lives who might need a helping hand or a generous dose of encouragement. Living alert lifts our own spirits, showing us that blessing others blesses us even more.

    Listen, Love, Repeat offers both biblical teaching and doable suggested actions. Some are heart-tugging and sentimental. Others are sneaky and hilarious. All are simple and practical. This much-needed message:

    • Presents scriptural examples of those who lived alert, including Jesus—-the one who noticed those who least expected to be seen.
    • Explains the role of good works in the life of a follower of Christ. They aren’t our ticket to heaven but they are our marching orders here on earth.
    • Gives creative ideas for showing love to your friends and family. Yes, even the ones who get on your very last nerve!
    • Provides inspiration for blessing the “necessary people” in your life–those often-overlooked souls who help you get life done every day.
    • Suggests practical ways to reach out to the lonely, the marginalized, the outcast, and the odd duck. Additionally, it gives ways to help the grieving, showing what you can do when you just don’t know what to say.
    • Teaches you how to hug a porcupine and squeeze a skunk–-genuinely loving the hard-to-love.

    As we scatter kindness, we create a safe space where we can openly share the gospel with others. And we get to see lives changed right before our eyes—-not only the lives of others, but our lives as well. Most importantly, Listen, Love, Repeat will enable you to live a life that is full of good deeds, not to selfishly shout, “Hey! Look at me!” but in order to humbly implore, “Well… will you look at Him?”

    This message can be done as one single keynote or a retreat/conference with 2-4 sessions.

  • Got words? Oh yeah, you do! The average women speaks over 20,000 a day—-not to mention the ones she types online. Karen Ehman-—a woman whose words have often landed her in a heap of trouble—-shares from experience the how’s (and how-not-to’s) of dealing with the tongue in her new message based on her book Keep It Shut. Using biblical examples, as well as Karen’s own personal (and sometimes painful!) stories, Keep It Shut will equip you to know what to say, how best to say it, and when you’d better just keep your lips zipped!

    Keep It Shut will teach you:

    • The difference between gossip and properly processing with a trusted friend.
    • A helpful grid for using our digital tongues as we talk online or on social media.
    • How to pause before you pounce, attacking the problem but not the person.
    • How to avoid saying something permanently painful just because you are temporarily ticked off.
    • What the Bible teaches about making our speech laced with grace, as sweet as honey, and yet seasoned with salt.

    This message can be done as one single keynote or a retreat/conference with 2-4 sessions.

  • Due to our many roles, we women often struggle with being controlling. We make sure the house is clean, the meals prepared, the children are dressed, and everyone gets to where they’re going on time. But sometimes our strength of being conscientious can morph into the weakness of being a slight–-or all out–-control freak! This humorous, yet biblical and spiritually practical message will enable women to:

    • Take control of your schedule yet welcome interruptions from God.
    • Draw the line between mothering and micromanaging.
    • Influence your husband instead of manipulating him.
    • Learn to control your emotions when you can’t control the circumstances.
    • Stop pursuing the appearance of perfection and start pursuing the person of God.

    This message can be done as one single keynote or a retreat/conference with 2-4 sessions.

  • Do you play the “if only…” game way too much? Catch yourself thinking, “If only I had more money, a bigger house, nicer stuff, a different husband, or more well-behaved children — then I’d be happy.” Karen has rambled down this road often, but ultimately discovered that changing our circumstances rarely changes us. Her transparent message will equip you to:

    • Accept your unique personality and stop comparing yourself to others.
    • Experience contentment even during trying circumstances.
    • Control your emotions when you can’t control the situation.
    • Replace negative self-talk with the assurance of God’s approval.
    • Shift your perspective from “Why me?” to “Whatever You want, God”.
    • Embrace and enjoy the life you now live and stop being distracted by envy.
  • Remember what it was like when you first met Jesus? The peace you felt; the passion you had; the excited willingness to do anything He asked of you? Sometimes when life unfolds, we tend to abandon the fervor we once felt for Christ. Why? What does it mean to “leave your first love?” And more importantly, how can followers of Christ return to it again? These inspiring messages have helped many women to:

    • Meander back down memory lane to reconnect with that “first love” sentiment.
    • Recognize the patterns, choices and habits that seek to steal or replace our zeal for God.
    • Employ practical and tangible tools for keeping our daily connection with God growing despite our hectic schedule.
    • Craft an effective plan for what we should “fast from” and “feast on” in order to live a vibrant, fulfilling and effective life for Christ.
  • Holiday and Other Special Occasion Topics:

  • Are your holidays a cozy, reflective time of making memories while making others sense their importance in your life? Or are they a frenzied blur of activities, crisis shopping and secular trappings that have nothing to do with the true essence of the season? Armed with strategies to simplify and de-stress, this year can be different! Then, when the fruitcake is finished and that last strand of lights is taken down, you’ll all feel blessed, not stressed! This clever and helpful message will empower you to:

    • Evaluate your current seasonal strategies (or lack there-of!) and identify re-occurring holiday hassles.
    • Set up a simple celebrations binder designed to enable you be on top of the holidays, rather than the other way around!
    • Acquire fast and frugal decorating, cooking and gift-giving ideas.
    • Be challenged with ways to teach your children and grandchildren to focus on others rather than suffer from the “it’s all about me!” syndrome.
    • Obtain creative, doable ideas for concentrating on Christ and reaching out to others.
  • This holiday inspirational talk is perfect for your ladies’ Christmas tea or women’s holiday outreach. Karen will help your attendees to focus on the true essence of the season as they take inventory of their hearts, motives and activities as they relate to the celebration of Christ’s birth. This lighthearted yet introspective message will enable them to slow down, focus and savor the season as they take a break from their hectic, activity-laden schedule.

  • Writing, Speaking, and Leadership Topics:

  • People in ministry often feel pulled in two directions. Their ministry is their calling; however, their family would also like to know they are the top priority. How can someone who desires to serve God balance both family and ministry without falling off of the high-wire of life? This leadership message has equipped many to:

    • Evaluate and compare their verbalized priorities and actual time choices to see if they match.
    • Discover time-management tools that will enable them to generate white space in their calendar.
    • Determine when (and when not) to multi-task and how to practice smart sequencing.
    • Harmoniously and seamlessly connect public ministry with personal life.
    • Discern future direction as they cultivate an intimate, daily relationship with God.
  • Karen has over two decades of experience as a national speaker and is the director of the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference speaker track. Additionally, she has published ten books, including a New York Times bestseller, and has expertise in crafting book proposals, training writers, and teaching about book marketing. If you would like to discuss what speaking and/or writing messages she could present to your group, mention it when reaching out to Proverbs 31 Ministries.

For a full list of Karen’s topics, please click here to visit her blog.

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What Others Are Saying About Karen

“Karen Ehman is a breath of fresh air. She provides faith-filled inspiration and practical ideas for taking notice of others, using our words wisely, and scattering God’s kindness in an often negative world. I wish every one of my social media followers would listen to and follow the advice in her Keep It Shut message.”
— Candace Cameron Bure’, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Actress, and Producer

“Karen captivated and inspired the multi-generational women in the audience at our fall dinner.  She touched the hearts of all, with her down-to-earth nature, sense of humor and warm personality. She will be a wonderful asset to your women’s event!”
— Theresa Shay, Women’s Ministry Coordinator, Mid-Atlantic Community Church, Gambrills, MD

“Karen is a fabulous speaker! She is warm, funny, engaging, relatable, and transparent. She is able to take deep spiritual truths and creatively explain them in ways that we can easily understand and apply them. Karen's understanding of scripture, mixed with her ability to be real and open, makes her the perfect mentor and speaker.”
— Courtney Joseph, best-selling author and blogger at WomenLivingWell.org, home of Good Morning Girls

“Karen Ehman is a teacher at heart who skillfully weaves together biblical examples, hard-earned wisdom, and real life stories to make an impact our world desperately needs.”
— Liz Curtis Higgs, Speaker and Best-Selling Author

Find more resources from Karen

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