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.
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.
“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.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
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.