Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Eryn Lynum is the author of 936 Pennies: Discovering The Joy Of Intentional Parenting
(Bethany House Publishers, 2018) Now Available for Pre-Order!
Eryn Lynum lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and three boys, where they spend their time hiking, camping, and exploring the Rocky Mountains. Her work and passion is to come alongside of authors and help them market the message God has laid on their hearts. She loves to travel and share at conferences, churches, and writers’ groups. But every opportunity she gets, she is out exploring God’s creation with her family.
“For every mom who feels spent, finished, bankrupt by bedtime. Eryn reminds us with humor, honesty, and relatable experience that what you spent in time, patience, energy, memories, and do-overs was worth every penny. Literally.”
—Lisa-Jo Baker, Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of Never Unfriended, Surprised by Motherhood, and We Saved You a Seat
My blogging journey began with a bowl of guacamole and some books on the benefits of eating grass-fed butter and chia seeds.
It began as a tale about how God brought me out of anorexia, from an all-consuming fear of food, to an intrigue with it. A story of how He taught me that food is a tool of His to nourish us—to nurture my family, both our bodies and spirits. It’s when I had been blogging this journey of farmer’s markets and zucchini muffins for two years when something life-changing took place.
Motherhood began to captivate and envelop me, and I found it seeping its way into the crevices of my words, between the carrots and spelt crackers.
It was when my first son, and then my second son not long after began to crawl, walk, talk, question and dream, and I realized that they were growing up before me at rapid speed. The clock was merciless as they conquered first steps, first words, first “I love you”s and first apologies, and I wanted to capture it all.
I wanted to dissect it, every moment I was given with these boys born of my own soul and flesh, and to take it in for all it was worth. Not only that, but I began realizing that there was a calling in my soul to breathe as much life as possible into the time I have with my children.
It was in the midst of these motherhood discoveries that I was handed a gift that would forever change the way I viewed and approached parenthood.
It was a mason jar. A simple glass container home to some humble contents that stood as a raw and unforgiving reminder that my days with my children are counted. One day they will end.
The jar holds 936 pennies. Each copper coin represents one week I have with my child until he turns eighteen. Every week I have the task of removing one penny from that jar. It’s a sobering assignment. In fact, the only way I could carry out this task was by setting up a second jar, this one empty. Now, every week as I remove a penny from the first jar—as I count another week gone from my son’s childhood—I deposit it into this new jar.
It reminds me ever so graciously that these weeks are not disappearing. The pennies are not being lost among the couch cushions. Rather, they are being invested.
It makes me ask this all-important question every single week as I deposit that penny into its new jar—how did I invest the past week into growing this child into the man God has created him to be?
Did I cherish those seven days? Did I play hard and love full and dance plenty? Did I teach him about the beauty of this world, the depth of discovery, the intrigue of words, and the love that reaches far beyond us?
Did I show him what an abundant life looks like?
And am I preparing him to live that life?
And so now, as I go about my days with my best friend by my side, and he and I raise these three spirited boys we’ve brought into this world together, I pass by those jars that sit on our shelf, and they are a constant reminder that this time is short, but its potential is endless.
And they ask me every single day, how will we invest those pennies in a way that we can look back when they’re all spent, and not have any regrets?