How 936 Pennies Can Help You Parent More Intentionally

Nine hundred and thirty-six weeks from birth until our children turn eighteen.

Before I even heard the 936 Pennies message, I knew that the time I had to raise my children was fleeting.

Every time I walk into my kitchen, these glass jars on the windowsill greet me. I’m grateful for their visual reminder that what I do today matters.


God willing we get 936 weeks with our child from the time they are born until they turn 18.

This set of penny jars is a tangible reminder of how fast kids grow up.

We know it’s true, but somehow in the hustle and bustle of daily life, we simply take this precious truth for granted. When we remove one penny from its original jar and drop it into the spent jar each week, we are reminded of how well we are investing in our son or daughter’s childhood.

Eryn Lynum’s new book 936 Pennies- Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting, is based on her viral blog post about the power behind these glass jars of copper coins.

I get asked to review a lot of books, but I actually reached out to Eryn to be a part of her book launch team because I believe in her message so much.

I was afraid that her book wouldn’t necessarily apply to a mom at my stage of parenting kids in the high school home stretch. But, it most certainly does. This book applies to every parent who takes for granted the fact that today does indeed matter.


Sprinkled with Bible scriptures throughout, Lynum’s book inspires the reader to slow down and prioritize what really matters. She says, “we can’t control time but we can slow it down by living each day intentionally. We only have so much time to teach our kids, to make memories, and to love them while they are at home.”

No Pain, No Gain

Our pennies are dwindling down toward the end and if I’m honest, it doesn’t feel good. It would be easier to choose to ignore the truth of our kids growing up and protect our hearts from the painful reality that our full-time parenting season is coming to a close soon.

“Removing pennies hurts, and it is supposed to,” writes Lynum. “A constant reminder of the shortness of time is meant to stir up a response within us.”

Our jar on the left screams that my time is almost up. I’m down to 81 weeks until my sons turn 18. Lynum’s book encourages me to continue to deliberately invest in my children and the time we have left together.

That near empty jar coaxes me to relax and take the time to look into my teenager’s eyes, to listen and to speak love into him, to reach out and to step back. It beckons me to laugh more and to find peace in the moments I get with my busy teenagers.

What You Do Today Matters

That jar of remaining pennies begs me to teach my child one more thing about life. Or inspires me to make one more special treat. It tells me to say yes to more time to play and say no to more time distracted by screens.

It can be difficult to look at the jars and question if I’ve invested my time well.

We must let dropping yet another penny into the spent jar change us. Let the transferring of each weekly penny remind us that the way we spend our time does matter.

4 Ways to Create Meaningful Traditions in a Glass Jar

“When we set our souls on slowing that time and expanding it by taking notice and appreciating the moments that make up those weeks, we do it,” writes Lynum. “Suddenly a jar of worn pennies transforms into a treasure chest of countless moments, all building on one another to form a childhood bound together by beauty and significance.”

Lynum’s simple, yet powerful message is a great reminder for all of us that no matter the age of our children we must be intentional with the time we have left.


Lynum writes, “Parents face this overwhelming pressure to make every moment matter, to cherish every second of the journey. But, I don’t believe that this idea correctly portrays our calling. I don’t think our job is to make every moment memorable. Rather, I believe that our job is to open our eyes wide and sink our feet deep down into those moments when we spot them.

Instead of fabricating and trying to control the memory making, we simply utilize the beauty all around us to cement lasting memories. When those opportunities avail themselves, we are ready and eager to snatch them up and hold them with awe. We’ll be ready to turn them into dog ears in the story of our sons’ and daughters’ childhoods.”

Comment below if you’d like to win a copy of Lynum’s new book 936 Pennies- Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting!

One winner will be chosen on February 16, 2018. US residents only, please.

23 replies
  1. Shellu
    Shellu says:

    Would love this book! My daughter is about to turn 13, and I work with college students, so am very conscious that I need to prepare her for that time – but am not sure I am

  2. Lynnette
    Lynnette says:

    What a meaningful visual reminder of making the time we have with our kids count. It goes so fast! I have already send one off and another graduates in a few months and I feel like there is so much left to teach him. I’ve got three others behind him and I feel the pressure to be as intentional as I can with the time that I have with all of them. Thank you for this message!

    • Amy Carney
      Amy Carney says:

      Hi Sarah! You are the Winner of the 936 Pennies book! Congratulations! I will be emailing you… Thanks for reading and commenting everybody!

  3. Shanna H
    Shanna H says:

    This is wonderful. I love the visual. It’s so great when God is working on your heart and you recognize how often this topic of simplifying and slowing down to be intentional has come to my attention these last few weeks. I’ve felt it in my heart, my husband and I have had conversations and it’s been discussed in my women’s group and life group and now I’m reading this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Danielle Ritter
    Danielle Ritter says:

    Thank you for posting this review. I’m already 34 weeks into McKenzie’s 936 weeks and I am finding I need to constantly remind myself to slow down and enjoy all the moments.

  5. Celia
    Celia says:

    It’s such a wonderful topic to address. Each child is precious and trying to find the moments where you are pouring into them can get lost in the blur of things we need or things we think we need to get done.

  6. Amy Eversol
    Amy Eversol says:

    This really hits hard as we adopted our son at age 7…so we don’t have 936 weeks. You write [it is a] “reminder for all of us that no matter the age of our children we must be intentional with the time we have left. I would love to read this book. I have plenty of mason jars too, so I am going to get started today!

    • Amy Carney
      Amy Carney says:

      Hi Amy! We, too, adopted a 10-year-old son, so I totally feel your pain! I should write about this!! I love that you are going to get started on this too. It truly helps me let go of little things and focus more intentionally on quality minutes and moments with my kids. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. AmyRyb
    AmyRyb says:

    Two of the books already in my pile to read deal with this same concept. Clearly I know it’s an issue. I struggle with being present and enjoying the ride with two kids that like to push buttons and derail the grown-ups’ agenda at every turn. Any additional advice couldn’t hurt!


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