Faith Family Motherhood Parenting

How 936 Pennies Will Forever Change How You Parent

November 8, 2014



Can We Please Just Make it to “Amen”?!


A couple of weeks back we dedicated our son to the Lord at church.

As we stood before our church family and God, and vowed to raise him, by God’s grace and help, to know, love, and serve the Lord; he yelled at the top of his tiny lungs “Down! Down! Down!”. He flailed his surprisingly strong body in attempts to escape my grasp and reach the freedom of running wild in the sanctuary.

I held tightly to the frantic child, discretely stuffing animal crackers into his mouth as our pastor eloquently went about introducing the other families and children.




Just as our pastor instructed the church family to bow their heads in prayer over these little ones, my dear precious son lost any scrap of patience he had left and yelled–loudly–through the entire prayer.

Our church family has a good sense of humor. A good portion of them have, or have had, small children of their own–they get it–but as I carried my dismayed toddler off the stage, my face was flush with a hint of embarrassment.




The Burdening Weight of 936 Copper Pennies


At these child dedications, gifts are always given to each family. At our old church back in Wisconsin, I was in charge of organizing these events, including ordering the parenting books, childrens’ Bibles, and children’s hymnal CD’s that would be tied together with ribbons and handed out to the parents.

This time, however, we were in our new church. In our new state. In our new world. And I was a bit surprised as the gifts were handed out to each family.

Into my hand was placed a mason jar full of pennies. A heavy mason jar full of pennies. A mason jar heavy with the weight of exactly 936 shiny copper pennies. My arms dropped a bit as I took the full weight of the jar between my hands.




“In these jars is a penny for every week you will raise this child.” Our pastor explained. And with his words the jar felt exponentially more heavy in my grasp.

“Every week, when you get home from church, remove one penny from the jar. And it will be a reminder of the time you have left to raise your child before they go out on their own.” I stared at the pennies, shiny and glinting within the glass jar.

They looked so many, yet so very few. 

That jar of pennies now sits on my desk. Our pastor had instructed us that, once we brought it home, we should start by removing a penny for each week old our child was. Ellison is one and a half. He was the oldest child being dedicated that sunday morning, and I had a lot of pennies to remove.

So many, in fact, that I have yet to do it. I haven’t removed them; not a single one. Maybe it’s because I haven’t made a spare moment to sit and count them out, but moreso I suspect it is because my heart is afraid to feel the weight of 76 pennies being emptied from that jar, never to return.

Maybe I am afraid to begin removing pennies because I know that, with each penny I remove, that little glass jar will only grow heavier. More imminent. More immediate.






And then I look at my firstborn, and my soul feels the weight of 172 pennies gone.

I ask the inevitable question–how were they spent?

A penny can be invested; it has the potential of growing in value. It also has the potential of getting lost in a couch cushion.

And if we are to divide a penny into seven parts–one day for each week, what worth are we breathing into each of those days?

Further, a day can be divided up also–into moments.




Some days I feel like I spend my whole penny–an allowance of a week– in a single 24 hour period.

In a weak moment I can feel like I blow through 5 cents. One slip of the tongue, one impatient reaction, one missed opportunity to speak truth, one fatigued mama feeling the whole weight of failure; it can leave me wondering if I just screwed up a whole week of parenting; or if my actions, or reactions, will stick with them for a lifetime.

I know they will. How I spend these pennies will shape the rest of their lives; they’ll carry the effects of my spending habits with them for the rest of their days beyond our nest.




Taking A Good Look At My Spending Habits


One thing is certain, no matter how I spend each penny, I purchase with it a pile of lessons in motherhood. I know this because after a long day, when the boys are finally sound asleep in their beds, my mind finally able to rest apart from little voices asking, demanding, quarreling, loving, thanking, apologizing, and being little voices; I don’t put those voices out of my head.

I replay them. The conversations of the day. The requests, the new words, sentences, questions, and understandings. Every “I love you”, “Thank you, Mama,” and “I’m sorry, Mama.”

And I replay my own voice from the day, its tones, the harshness, the apologies, the love, and the laughter.

And my eyes, although so very weary and longing to shut, they often stare, glued to the glowing screen of my phone,  scanning photos of these boys I grew and bore from my own body. And I recount.




I recount photos of moments from our day. Then back through the week. Then back to last week. All the way back to our trip to Florida in August. Then back to Colorado in May.

And eventually I find myself staring at brand new, just-from-the-womb, wrinkly, pink, perfect faces with the deepest blue eyes you’ve ever seen, staring back up with those first, “Oh, hello Mama!” expressions.




Words to Reveal Those Pennies Spent


I also read. I take in words inked from my heart to lined paper, in three little journals begun the weeks I found out about each of my boys, as well as the little one I will hold come May. These journals house words of fear, words of pride, words of hopes, words of desperate prayer.

I pour over the stories spanning from two pink lines, to first kicks, to the first time I held them; to the sleepless weeks following, to first birthdays. These pages bear witness to how pennies have been spent.




Looking Beyond a Single Penny to a Larger Investment


And that is when I see it, right there next to journals bearing tiny inked footprints on the inside covers. A jar full. 936 pennies rich. And the photos, the voices, the words, the memories of each week, each day, each moment from the maternity ward until now–I see them well spent.

Despite the days I lost a penny in the couch, or spent one frivolously, or got to the end of the day and wondered if I would ever get things right, or if I would get to the end of 18 years and be full of regret–grace begins to wash over me.

Those fears wash away in light of it all; in light of 76 weeks with my dear, sweet, loud toddler; and 172 weeks with my firstborn, the son who made me a mom.

When I back up and see all those weeks as a whole, I see a grand display of God’s grace; His grace that covers a multitude of wrongs; His grace so much larger than all of my tongue slips and raised-voice moments.




Two Jars On my Desk


This realization leads me to add a new jar to my desk. Only this one is empty–for now; awaiting its own pennies. I set the two jars side by side, and I begin to count.

I count out 76 pennies, one for each week of Ellison’s life so far. I count them out from my first jar and I deposit them into this new jar.

This new jar that represents the investment of a lifetime–truly, the investment of an eternity.

This is when I realize something monumental to motherhood– that as I withdraw those pennies from that jar on my desk, they are not being lost, misplaced, or tossed out to never see again. They are being invested. They are creating something new, something of great beauty, bravery, and Kingdom importance.

They are building my son into who God has created him to be.





The Eternal Value of $9.36


One of the great plights of motherhood is how quickly this phase of life seems to slip out from our grasp.

Regularly I hear from strangers, “Enjoy it, it will be over before you know it!” But I think I do know it. Because, like Lisa-Jo Baker puts it in her book Surprised by Motherhood, I understand that,

Mothers may want to find room to breathe, to weep, to panic. But they don’t want it to end–this delivering, shaping, cheering, loving, bringing life into the world.

Although some days of navigating small children through early years seem endless, I know they will be over before I know it. And that is the beauty of these two jars sitting on my desk.

One reminds me of how fleeting these days are, and the other assures me that they are being invested in something of eternal value.




How can you begin investing each penny with more intention? Fill out this form to receive my follow-up article sharing 10 ways to begin investing your pennies well.


{For all of us grappling to spend our pennies the best we can, as well as for those who have already spent all their pennies, read my follow-up post here}


See also: We Are Throwing Away 171 Weeks Of Our Children’s Lives





  • Reply Joanna November 8, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you Eryn for sharing such beautiful and compelling words. And, Congratulations!

    • Reply November 9, 2014 at 1:47 am

      Thank you, Joanna!

    • Reply Barbara November 30, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Thank you for saying what so many of can’t put into words. This is faith, love hope, but the best is God. I will read this and share with many. I hope everyone takes something from this, read and try to digest. I want to be sure and pass it on to my children. I have a blended family: Three I gave birth to, 3 that I have accepted into my heart and became mine with marrying their Dad. Grandchildren from marriage, Grand animals – cats, dogs. Thank you again for the explanation of God’s gifts to us.

  • Reply Sherry November 8, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Breathtaking. I have bookmarked this to read again on the days that I “frivolously spend” a penny. Thank you, thank you for the heartfelt challenge. I hope that I can invest into my children as you have.


    • Reply November 9, 2014 at 1:48 am

      Thank you Sherry. Your words are very encouraging to me. I’m glad God’s stirrings in my own heart could be used to stir others’ hearts also.

  • Reply Jodi November 11, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I’m now a grandmother of three…… And reflecting back on how I “spent” my pennies…..
    What a beautiful gift and reminder of how precious each day is with our children.

    • Reply November 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you, Jodi. It’s been such a blessing to me now to watch how my own mother continues to invest in her children even now that we are adults. And how she has transitioned to investing in her grandchildren’s lives. Motherhood, and then grandmotherhood, is certainly a forever thing 🙂

  • Reply Kathleen November 13, 2014 at 12:55 am

    wonderful post. I raised 4 children, now grown and now watch the fleeting days with grandchildren. I love the intentional , visual acknowledgement that you are investing, and documenting through your journals the story of the pennies. Your children will cherish the memories later, when that jar stands empty and a wonderful adult becomes your friend. 🙂

    • Reply November 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you Kathleen. That is a big encouragement. These days can seem so fleeting, but knowing that motherhood does not end when they turn 18 is a blessing. Now just to raise them in a way to nurture that relationship so we are great friends as adults 🙂 Thank you.

  • Reply Vanessa November 16, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Thank you for this thought provoking piece. I’ve been struggling to find peace, meaning, and… purpose in my day to day life. This really gave me some much needed perspective.

    • Reply November 16, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you Vanessa 🙂 I think that is a struggle for all of us at one point or another (or often). Praying you’ll continue to find that peace, meaning, and purpose!

  • Reply Lauren @ Ordinary|Awesome November 16, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Eryn, thank you for writing this! I get so frustrated with myself sometimes and sad other times – thinking about how I’ve blown it and how fast time is going. But this idea helps me refocus and also gives me hope like you said that we are investing in eternity. I need to go get 6 jars for my 3 kids 🙂

    • Reply November 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Thanks Lauren! Today I came home from church and dropped another penny from my first jar into the second. It is a sobering practice very single Sunday. I hope it can be the same for you!

  • Reply Amanda November 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    What a beautiful reminder to invest wisely in the lives of our children.

  • Reply June November 16, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    While reading this, a smile crept over my face as I heard my 22 year old son say, “Mom, you think too much.” We do, and we can’t help it. You sound like the sort of mother who is changing the pennies into dollars….investing all you have in the gift of a child. God bless you and your family.

    • Reply November 17, 2014 at 1:03 am

      “Changing pennies into dollars”, wow, that is an incredible compliment and I only pray I can live up to it. Thank you June! And your son sounds wise 😉 We definitely do think too much, us moms 🙂

  • Reply Ruth November 16, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Awesome. As a foster parent, I live life in the moment as I don’t have 936 pennies to put into their life. But what an amazing way to think of parenting. I really liked the correlation to investing.

  • Reply Bronwyn Lea November 17, 2014 at 12:51 am

    This is a weighty and precious reminder: we spend and invest daily, and it is all WORTHwhile. I just read Lisa-Jo’s book this past weekend and have stored sentence after sentence up in my soul. I’m storing some of your words too 🙂

    • Reply November 17, 2014 at 1:02 am

      Thank you Bronwyn! Yes, Lisa-Jo’s book is a treasure chest. I couldn’t put it down, and have bought copies for friends. Definitely on my top picks for Mamahood books. Thank you for your kind words!

  • Reply Rhonda November 17, 2014 at 1:25 am

    So beautifully written. I’m mother of 2 grown up daughters and one son! Now expecting my first grandchild from my first born. Thanks for this. It made me cry.

  • Reply Koa November 17, 2014 at 3:26 am

    So much love for this. Yes. Investing!!

  • Reply Kimberly David November 17, 2014 at 3:53 am

    WOW! In the middle of this wonderful mess called motherhood, it is easy to forget just how much each moment means. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful reminder.

  • Reply Kari November 17, 2014 at 4:16 am

    This is a wonderful post! I really needed to read this tonight. (My daughter actually swallowed a penny today 😉 Thanks for the gentle reminder that our kids are worth the investment, and that every moment counts 🙂

  • Reply Rev. Andrew C November 17, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Great Idea I’ll plan on using this idea.

  • Reply Shelley November 17, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I wanted to share with you that I read this after sitting in the tub praying and crying with deep regret…I’ve been blowing through “pennies” for days with my three girls. My oldest is struggling with mental issues, my heart is breaking and I’ve been so stressed out I’ve been yelling and terrible nonstop. I literally stepped out of the tub and picked up my phone to check fb and a friend had posted this on their page. God used what you wrote to speak to my need…as I walked into my bedroom I looked down and saw a brand new shiny penny down by my feet, I broke down in tears, I heard His voice, “I make all things new”. Our God is a God of renewed mercy and who restores.
    His grace covers our mistakes.
    He is so good. 🙂

    • Reply November 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Wow, Shelley, thank you for your honesty and for sharing your story. This was an incredible encouragement to me this morning! Praying for you and your daughter today.

  • Reply moe November 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    What a sweet…..bittersweet corrilation of time fleeting by…..and how to make the most of it!
    My philosphy was …..let the dust wait….i had more important games to play with my children. I read to them taught them how to do flips on the monkey bars and endless games if hide n seek. Those were especially helpful if i hid in their closet i always found something they were missing earlier in the week!
    Yes the dust waited for me when they had papers due at college……their now empty beds with their special pillows….dolls….teddy bears……and yes the storybooks in the small shelves are now collecting……DUST.

    • Reply November 19, 2014 at 3:39 am

      The dust goes untouched in my home too 🙂 And not only because I don;t like dusting 😉 But because you are correct, there are more important things to do.

  • Reply Tracey Eyster November 17, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Yes!!! Thank you, thank you for sharing your heart. I pray your peers “get it” and spend wisely. Every decision you make FOR your family is worth it. Fight for your family mom! Blessings and hugs to you and yours!

    • Reply November 19, 2014 at 3:59 am

      Thank you Tracey!

  • Reply Gerald Robert Burns (Bob) November 17, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    We raised three wonderful children. We were warned that time would pass so quickly, and it did! Now, we get to see the real fruits of our labor as our kids raise our grandkids to be love the Lord and each other. Yes, we would love to have some of those pennies back, but we know that one day, in heaven, we will be together with the treasure of eternal life together! Thanks so much for this blog.

  • Reply Brittany November 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Wow, wow, wow… I have struggled so much with spending my time wisely. So many chores that beckon my attention, church work (we are in ministry), texts and phone calls to friends and family (we live 700 miles away from family and most friends), and a millions things on my to do list. Too often, I will shamefully admit – my kids get my leftover time. I’ve struggled with this ugly beast for years and still struggling. This post was shared by a friend and deeply touched my heart. Thank you SO much for sharing this. Such a beautiful reminder of how our days are truly numbered and we should spend our “pennies” more wisely. Thank you, thank you, thank you. <3

    • Reply November 19, 2014 at 3:58 am

      Thank you Brittany, I can completely relate with having a LOT on my to do list, and sometimes handing my kids my leftover time. I think time management and priorities will be a lifelong struggle, but one that helps shape us.

  • Reply Samantha Bradley November 17, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you for reminding me of how precious my time with my boys are.

  • Reply Lisa November 18, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Thanks for your inspiring post!

  • Reply Tammy November 18, 2014 at 11:09 am

    My children were all adopted…missed so many Sundays with them! But I will now fill penny jars for all three! Makes me feel like I have been with them since they were “reborn” by adopting them. Does that make sense?

    • Reply November 19, 2014 at 3:52 am

      That definitely makes sense!! And what a gift to them, to have the rest of their “pennies” spent with a family who loves them!

  • Reply y2k8 November 18, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    The day this posted, my son turned 35. I stayed home to raise him and secretly to savor his life, his moments. I never wished for the things working women were able to buy. I had a child because I wanted motherhood. Possibly taking small ones on bike rides as they giggle with abandon, or reading to them before naps isn’t enough for every mom. Or maybe the thought that someday they will leave home and it may hurt too much if there’s nothing to fill the void. Certainly, single women must work outside the home and how sad for them. Today it seems, much of what is written about parenthood isn’t about parenting, isn’t about really being there w/them for those 936 days. Thank you for reminding parents just how fleeting this moment in time really is.

  • Reply Gingi November 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    “Mother,Grandmother,& Great-Grandmother”!!!”Precious Moments from Our SWEET LORD”!!!”Psalms 127:3 & Proverbs 17:6″!!! “Thank You Sooo Much for Sharing”!!!”2 Samuel 7:22-29″!!!”There is “NONE” Like Our SWEET LORD”!!!<

  • Reply Suzanne Colvin November 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    God blessed me and allowed me to stay home with my children. I knew from the start that they were a blessing from God. People questioned me for not working outside of the home, but being a full time mother was the call on my life. I now have grandchildren and I realize my work is not done. Now, I know what I am giving the parents for Christmas. Some will have two jars with pennies in both, while some will have a full jar and one empty. My daughter is pregnant and it will be a reminder to take care of herself and her unborn child. Thanks for the reminder that I made the right choice.

  • Reply November 18, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Whoever came up with this idea and wrote this article is a badass individual thank you so much it’s stuff like this that really inspires people and not that I will completely be able to do it but you’ve sparked you know some ideas and I think that you’re amazing rock out

  • Reply janeen w November 18, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    This is wonderful and will share with my MOPS group. Oh, my two girls also screamed through their dedication 🙂

  • Reply Tasha Lentini November 18, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    We dedicated our two children to the lord and when we did at our dedication we recieved Marbles in a Mason jar they are called “Legacy Marbles” and there is also an app that you can download called legacy and it gives you the weeks, days hours and seconds you have left to spend with your child it is WONDERFUL! It is very hard to see those marbles go knowing you will not be able to replace them. Inside of our jar we also have a little bag with “milestone” marbles all different colors ecxcept the birthday ones those are all the same color and each time they reach a certain milestone you add that marble to the bag! Its really neat thought I would share!! I tried to put a picture but it won’t let me sorry…lol

  • Reply Chris November 18, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    As I read this post, I think back on all the things I have been told in my life. By both my mom and dad. I am 18 and I will someday be a father and I pray with everything in me. That I will be invested, and dedicate my life to being a Biblical husband as well as a representation of God Himself to my children.
    Thank you for this post.

    • Reply November 19, 2014 at 3:49 am

      Wow, Chris, you seem well beyond 18 years, and I pray that one day God will bless you with those babies to invest in! He is certainly faithful to bless those who seek after Him.

  • Reply Vanessa November 19, 2014 at 2:34 am

    What an incredible gift to receive on the day of a baby’s dedication!Every church should do this! This post was beautiful and I can’t wait to make a jar of my own for each of my girls. What an incredible and, oh so very, tangible visual of how fleeting their childhood is. Almost makes me want to appreciate the temper tantrums. 🙂

  • Reply Lisa A.M.F.D. November 19, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Even though your story made me cry, most of the time I am able to smile after a wonderfully cleansing sob session. I also have brothers; all 4 of them are younger than I. As a mom of four boys, I survived by deciding God knew I was good at handling the chaos, fighting, blood and dirt after so many years of being in charge of my siblings. I am so blessed to now have 5 beautiful grandchildren and to be able to thoroughly enjoy the 2 little girls I was uncertain I would know how to relate to after being so used to boys. Heartbreak and hot tears are normal for me this time of year. Only 1008 pennies would have been the total for my eldest son, Jared will have been in heaven for 13 years this Dec. 18th. I am certain he watches over his 3 brothers and his nephews while his dad resolved to tend to the girls before he passed in 2006. Steve would often, tell his grandchildren, “I love you all the way up to heaven” so they knew he would always care for them. I feel so blessed to have my family and children to love while being especially grateful that Jared’s son will be 13 in May of 2015. It has been difficult for my grandson to have never known his “heaven daddy” but his mother and father (her husband) are awesome about letting him spend time with his cousins, uncles and great-grandparents. I do not relate this information to obtain sympathy or make anyone else sad. I just want to relay that we need to remember to savor the small stuff, ignore the mess and not worry about having money to buy things. Just be sure to remember it’s all about the love you share & the time you spend together. Things will be broken, lost or disintegrate and are replaceable but happy memories about loving feelings can last forever.

    • Reply November 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Wow, Lisa, what a legacy. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and the invaluable lessons it can teach us all. May God bless you as the anniversary of your son’s death approaches. He is the great comforter. And thank you for encouraging me that life with so many boys is survivable, as I am expecting my third son, and a bit overwhelmed at the thought 😉

  • Reply kareen liez November 19, 2014 at 9:59 am

    This is beautiful. Very inspiring 🙂 We really have to treasure every single moment with our children and make sure that we invest on them positively. I really like how you told this story. Very well written. Made me a bit emotional.

  • Reply Jenifer November 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    LOVE this!! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Reply Katy King November 19, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I was so moved by this post – such conviction and wisdom and perspective. You inspired me to breathe deep, reflect wisely and continue to be grateful for this beautiful journey of parenting. Thank you so much – I even reflected on your story on my own blog to share your wisdom with friends. This jar will become my new go-to gift for any parent-to-be!

    • Reply November 19, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you Katy! And than you for sharing your reflections on your own blog. I found your post and read it, and you have shared some wonderful thoughts on mamahood, thank you 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer H November 19, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I’m a single mom of four, ages 16, will be 15 next week, will be 12 next month, and 8, your post was well timed. I recently received a birth announcement for my cousin’s baby, and a friend locally just had a baby as well. I would like to give these new parents a mason jar of pennies, and a copy of your post…and was wondering which size jar holds your pennies – a quart jar? a half-gallon? It seems silly to ask, but I want to make sure that they fit and are displayed well also. 🙂

    Thanks, in advance, so much! 😀

    • Reply November 19, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you Jennifer! My pennies are kept in quart jars, which work very well! Blessings to you on your mama journey, sounds like you are very busy! (And blessed 🙂

  • Reply Beth Brown November 19, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Excellent read for every parent…..especially a new parent!

    • Reply Dianna Kreuzer November 19, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      I lost my only child at the age of 32 and oh what I would give to have all those pennies back and redo. I am now the grandmother of one and the great-grandmother of 2. I will pass this on to her in hopes she will get meaning from it. Thanks

  • Reply Sue November 20, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Thank you for this post! I know what gift I will be giving at the next baby shower I go to!

  • Reply Sharon November 20, 2014 at 1:47 am

    nothing is more important than this . Hug, kiss and teach these children everyday as that is why we are here. God has blessed us with their lives. Teach them to read and write so that they do not struggle.

  • Reply Sherry aka proud mom of 2 November 20, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Thank you so much for writing this!! I have a 21 year old son who is a senior in college this year. He is still living at home …past my 936 weeks…and I am so happy he is! I know he is a caring, kind, focussed, intelligent man who will be sprouting his wings soon…but for now, I’m enjoying as much as I can before his next chapter starts. I also have a daughter who will be 15 in February….I am trying to make as many memories as possible while I can. And while I know we continue to make memories and share moments for many years to come, I’m not quite ready for this part of my life to end. Thank you again!

  • Reply Lori November 20, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I’m curious to know the name of the church you went to in Wisconsin? We could be possibly moving that way and would love to see if it would be nearby! :). Loved this lesson, thanks for sharing!

    • Reply November 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Hi Lori! Go ahead and shoot me an e-mail through the “contact me” button on the top right of the page, I’d love to send you the information on the church we attended there 🙂

  • Reply STACEY ROWLAND November 21, 2014 at 5:45 am

    So beautiful! You have inspired me to create my own penny jar. God bless!

  • Reply Sheila November 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I became a first time mom at 39 and am a working mom who never had the option of staying home with my son. When Josh was two, I remember sharing with a friend my desire to be very intentional about my relationship with him. I didn’t want to “miss” his childhood, and I wanted to be a mom who didn’t always say “no” just because I was tired. It’s been a lot harder than I thought. Now my son is almost 13, and I only have about 270 pennies left. Thanks for reminding me not to squander them.

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  • Reply Tasha November 21, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Wow. This is one of the most eye opening posts I have ever read. I really don’t even have much else to say but, Thank you!

  • Reply Dana November 22, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Beautifully written and completely inspiring. I love the visual/ tactile dimension of this. How great is it to ask yourself, every week, ‘how have I spent my penny this week?’ Again, beautiful post.

  • Reply Linda November 22, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I love this idea. My 936 pennies have long been spent with my children. My son is 32 and has given me 2 beautiful grandchildren. My daughter is 25 and expecting her first baby. I am going to make a jar of pennies for her, and give her an empty jar and a journal with it. That way as she moves the pennies from one jar to the next each week, she can make notes of what happened during the week. They have already set up an email for the baby, so we can send periodic emails to him…And he will have those when he gets older.

    Thank you for this wonderful article.

  • Reply Pick of the Clicks 11/22/14 | bronwyn's corner November 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    […] a precious sense of perspective on how they are spending their time and investing in their kids: How 936 Pennies Will Forever Change Your Life from Eryn Lynum. So […]

  • Reply Zach November 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    As the divorced father of a six year old son, I ask all you mothers (divorced or not) to think about this in every context. There are thousands of us fathers who would love to have those pennies to invest, but for a legal system that sees more value in School Attendance & “Child Stability”, or mothers who have been fooled into believing they can do it all. I ask you how many teachers & administrators have a jar on their desk for your child? Versus how many fathers would love nothing more than the 4, maybe 6 pennies a month they get to deposit. Remember that when he asks for more days in the summer or for you to give up a few holidays. Contrary to what our culture & legal system preach, your children need both parents more than they need anyone else. Help break this mentality & let’s reclaim fatherhood (and motherhood) for all families, even the broken ones.

    • Reply November 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Wow, powerful thoughts, thank you Zach, and a much needed perspective. I agree, whenever possible, if both parents can invest into a child’s life, that child with thrive all the more. Thank you.

  • Reply Summer Nicole November 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Wow, I am speechless. This is such a beautiful symbol of the gift of motherhood we are given…936 weeks to shape our sweet babies into men and woman who love God and love others, bravely, sacrificially, and wholly. I think I need to start a penny jar of my own to remind me to hold each moment and spend it wisely. Thank you.

  • Reply Amy November 22, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    As I sit here, I’m so very thankful to have read this today. After losing our son Jaydin on his first and only day in this world, this brings so much into perspective. I am a mom of 4, 5 including Jaydin. After 9 months of years and the feeling of loss in 2010, we found out we wee pregnant, and on June 30th, 2011 a miracle by the name off Jett Jude was placed in my arms and in my heart. Through every tired, half sleep, half awake bad night, through whining and lessons on sharing, trying to get him to eat something besides fish sticks and chicken nuggets….I’ve realized just this, each moment, each breathe, each smile, and each laugh, those are what it all comes down to. I am truly blessed…thank you for reminding me in such a great way….prayers to you and yours!

    • Reply November 30, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Amy I am so sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing your story, it gives us all much to think about concerning the days we have.

  • Reply SYLVIA November 22, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    enjoyed this post very much i am a 71 great grandma i had 4 kids of my own i should say 5 as the youngest one was stillborn which broke our hearts but know cod knew what he was doing. as i had worked as a nurses aide years before our children was born. and my Dr told me that he knew me well enough that i would kept her at home and the rest of the kids would have suffered because of the care she would needed. i have 3 girls and 1 boy and gave them all the love and time i could now i have breast cancer and going through chemo and my oldest daughter moved me in with her when my husband past away. She told me you took care of us kids and dad when he needed it now its my turn to take care of you. yes she and her husband both are nurse aids. i feel like a burden at times but every time i say i sorry for being so much trouble she tells me that is what she is here for. she lived with me until she was 40 yrs. old off and on. she always says you took care of dad grandma and grandpa and her grandma flowers so now it was time for her to take care of me. i love her and the rest of my kids so much. I really like the idea of the pennies in the jar. if i can remember i will tell my pastor about this.

  • Reply Helena November 23, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Wow. Thanks. (It’s almost too much to think about… I shall have to come back to this.)

    (Also, “discretely” should probably be “discreetly.” If you mean that he’s trying to be sneaky about it, and not that he’s stuffing them in separately and distinctly.)

  • Reply Holli November 23, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    WOW!!! With 5 years and a few months left to raise my BABY…this story/example is heart wrenching in a way, and heart warming in another. I have learned so much in 31 years of parenting…many lessons you shared….but I’m still awed at the thought that I only have 274 pennies in my “baby’s” jar!! Thank you God for carrying us, protecting us, growing us, and hearing our prayers for this precious child for 662 weeks!! Looking forward to GREAT things in the next 5+ years!

  • Reply Where it all started | My Precious Penny November 24, 2014 at 12:34 am

    […]  Recently I read about the jar full of 936 pennies. If you haven’t read the post you can here.  Basically the post is about a mother who receives a jar full of pennies, and the exact number of […]

  • Reply Judy November 24, 2014 at 3:23 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. Just an idea for your second jar of pennies, pass that jar onto your son if and when he has his first child. The pennies may not be as new, but they will still be good to spend on a new life.

    • Reply November 30, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      That is a wonderful idea Judy! What a legacy that jar could become, passed on to generations.

  • Reply How 936 Pennies Will Forever Change How You Parent | A Humble Mom November 24, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    […] How 936 Pennies Will Forever Change How You Parent […]

  • Reply Angela Domville November 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I was profoundly touched by this posting. My boys are now 15 and 18, and it still resonates with me. Thank you for your beautiful words.
    I am a brand new blogger, and I am sharing your post on my blog today because I hope it will touch others as it has touched me. Blessings! Angela

    • Reply November 30, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Thank you for sharing it Angela!

  • Reply A Working Mom’s Rhythm – Defining “Having it All” November 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    […] to break the ceilings, I’ve learned to pace myself in this journey, week by week, all 936 weeks I have to raise my kids (How 936 Pennies will forever change the way you parent your […]

  • Reply How 936 Pennies Will Forever Change How You Parent - The Working Single Mom | The Working Single Mom November 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    […] task, there are no manuals, only experiences to learn from and advice from those before us.  This article is another one I really want to share with all of you, because I hope it helps when you are having […]

  • Reply amy November 25, 2014 at 9:10 am

    As I reach the last few pennies in my son’s life…..I enjoy this writing thank you

  • Reply Kevin Osborne November 25, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    My thoughts focused on this thought. ” One reminds me of how fleeting these days are, and the other assures me that they are being invested in something of eternal value. ” Those pennies remind me that each day we are given by God is a gift. Each breath we breathe is a gift. The thoughts our Lord gives us to write are a gift. Let us value each day we see the beauty of God’s creation, the love we have from family, friends and colleagues as a gift. Each day we live until the last breath we breathe as we are ushered into eternity is of value.

    Loving Heavenly Father, help us to see that our lives are a daily gift to You. Let us cherish them. Let us rejoice in the people of love you bring into our lives. All our lives are a gift. Thank you for giving us all the greatest gift we could ever receive — salvation through the life Your Son gave on the Cross for our sins. Amen.

    Yes, there is a lot of value in 936 pennies.

    • Reply November 30, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      Thank you Kevin, I read your comment on our way to spending Thanksgiving week with my family, and it gave me a great perspective heading into a week of precious time with family.

  • Reply Sarah November 25, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    This is such a wonderful analogy and great way to stay focused on what really matters. The more complicated part is that we aren’t guaranteed every single one of those pennies. No one knows how much time each of us will have here. It certainly makes us think even more about how each penny is spent. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply November 30, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      You are right, Sarah. That hurts to think about or consider, but it’s so important to remember, not being guaranteed a certain number of years, months, weeks, days, or even moments. I pray that thought only helps us treasure them more, and breathe as much life into them as we can.

  • Reply Jennifer King November 28, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I love this SO much! I wish I had thought of this with our three when they were born; may have to do this for our coming bundle of joy in April. It is so true though – we need to be mindful; work for the Lord in all we do with these children of His. And remember who we are raising them for. Oh, and hello from Wisconsin. We are in SE WI ourselves – nice and snowy here!

    • Reply November 30, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Thank you Jennifer! We were in Southeast WI as well, close to Milwaukee, oh how we miss it 😉

  • Reply Hannah November 28, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I am 18,someday I hope to become a wife and mother. This article is so inspiring. The joy that you possess in raising children and the concern to do it correctly is admirable. Each moment is so special, a time we never get back. Living each second to the fullest is vital. I hope when I’m a mother that I can do that, live for each moment.

  • Reply Cindy Leonard November 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Must be the geek in me but I had to check on how many weeks in 18 years and you were shortchanged! lol “A year is not 52 weeks but 52 weeks plus 1 day (or 2 in a leap year). Allowing for these, 18 years is 1 or 2 days more than 939 weeks.” Still love the idea though! 🙂

  • Reply LT November 30, 2014 at 12:38 am

    I lost interest after the 12th paragraph.
    There must be more than 30.

    • Reply November 30, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks for giving it a go 😉 It’s a plight to writers, especially to those like me, who write story style. People have been trained by the internet to no longer read “long” articles or stories. We only scan now days. Which is nice when it comes to taking in more information, but a shame when it comes to enjoying stories or taking in their truths. There’s good and bad to it 🙂

  • Reply Bethany November 30, 2014 at 5:59 am

    My heart got so, so heavy and tears formed as soon as I saw the words, “In these jars is a penny for every week you will raise this child.” You wrote this so well! My mama-heart is aching. I need infinite pennies. :'(

    • Reply November 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      My heart holds the same ache. I’ve read so many comments to this post on how people could not handle taking out those pennies; it’s far too painful. For me it is a hard but necessary reminder of the value of every morsel of time I have with my boys.

  • Reply riki November 30, 2014 at 7:38 am

    I think I would rove pennies from one jar transfer to another jar and pass toward my child when they became a parent and the story that goes with it…would be a wonderful parenting gift….

    • Reply November 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Wonderful idea 😀

  • Reply Connie Abbott November 30, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    I heard about this just the other night at a baby shower; what a beautiful idea! The full weight of it is lasting and sobering…and we can regret and despair; only we have to remember and rest in the fact that while our babies are ours for a season, we have dedicated them to the care of God and of the family of Christ as well. I used to walk with a friend who sometimes fretted about her daughter who had married a bit young and moved away; but because I could see God still working in my daughter’s life, I knew that He must be working in the life of her daughter too. My friend’s influence might have been lessened, for now, but it also was not finished. We have more direct impact while they’re young, but we have the Holy Spirit working alongside us and we have mercies that are new every morning. Our children do not remember every mistake we make, thankfully, by God’s grace! You may discover too that the things we aren’t sure have made any impact might suddenly burst into view just when we have been tempted to give up. Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (or other translations, “if we don’t lose heart.”)

    • Reply November 30, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you so much Connie. I needed to read this today. It has been a difficult week with my son, leaving me with a lot of regrets and guilt over my impatience. You are right, they will not remember all of our mistakes. And apologizing for those mistakes will shape both us and them. And you are also very right in that the Holy Spirit will bring to their minds the truths we raise them with, right when they need them. Thank you so much for your words and sharing truth!

  • Reply David Snead November 30, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks a lot for this post… This means a lot to me, even though my wife and I don’t have children yet. I really want to use the time that God gives me on this earth wisely.

  • Reply trista December 1, 2014 at 12:31 am

    I just bawled!!

  • Reply 11.30.14 Daybook: Online Journal • The Littlest Way December 1, 2014 at 3:53 am

    […] I am pondering this post, How 936 Pennies Will Forever Change How You Parent. I think the thing that struck me was considering my 16 year old. If I were to start a jar for her […]

  • Reply Yenny December 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    This was such a beautiful post and such a timely word from God!! Thank you so much for sharing. It’s so easy to get burdened and frustrated with the daily. I needed to hear these words and remember to always invest wisely. I’m struggling with one of my children right now, and I’m praying for wisdom to be the best mom that I can be to him, to be the mom God has called me to be.

  • Reply Libby Kranz December 2, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    I like so many other moms was brought to tears by your writing. But for a different reason. I banked on that jar full of pennies.. but didn’t know our time with our eldest would be cut so short, 6 yrs 3 months. My only addition to your writing would be to not bank on getting the full 936… sometimes we get much less.

    • Reply December 3, 2014 at 3:48 am

      Libby, I am so very sorry for your loss. It feels almost cheap saying that, but what else can one say in light of such heartache? I have actually thought a lot about this since publishing this post a few weeks ago. Your point is very true, and truer now in my heart with a personal story from you. You’re right, we can’t count on 936 pennies. That makes each and every one so much more valuable in itself.

  • Reply GIgi December 3, 2014 at 1:57 am

    I am now a great-grandmother and thoroughly enjoying watching my granddaughter and husband spend their pennies wisely and only for their daughter. What a wonderful analogy. I wish that I had had this as a reminder when I was a frustrated young mother.

  • Reply kelly Lee December 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    love this idea, really can make a parent think

  • Reply Victoria December 4, 2014 at 11:43 am

    So Beautiful!!! My Daughter has been gone for years on her own it was so devastating to me when she left out on her own! I went in her room and cried and touched and held her stuffed animals … I loved this and all I can say is Tears!!! I want her to read this as she has 3 babies still at home one has already gone off to College his pennies gone!!!

  • Reply I recently read a blog post on pennies. You can read it here. It truly has changed my life forever! After reading this my heart was so heavy with all the bad decisions that I have made in parenting, all the mistakes I had made and how I can't get any December 4, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    […] recently read a blog post on pennies.  You can read it here.  It truly has changed my life forever!  After reading this my heart was so heavy with all the […]

  • Reply Lisa December 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Wonderful!!! I love the idea too, except that I would never take the pennies out…my kids are 21 & 19 and I have such a hard time letting go!!!! They have grown into very respectable, wonderful adults, but they are my babies!!!! NO one prepares a mother for letting them go….I can not wait to share a penny jar with a new mother! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Kristi December 4, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I really like this idea. My son will be 33 the day after Christmas and my grandson will be 6 in January. I am giving penney jars for Christmas. Sometimes it seems my son is more focused on obedience, which causes alot of frustration, than making and savouring positive memories and enjoying this short 936 weeks. I pray seeing this jar will make him realize how fast the weeks will go never to be gotten back. Please keep him in your prayers. Awesome idea.

  • Reply Clare December 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Thank you for this…I was very touched to read it – and the comments it generated…Every blessing on you and your family.

  • Reply Tina Smith December 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    As a mother that has bore this title literally 10 times over and started the process of mothering back at the beginning when I thought I was crossing the finish line I thank you for sharing these words. What a meaningful gift to receive, and praise God that you received it fully. No matter what we do, or don’t do, time presses on. It’s a worthy reminder to be conscious of how we spend it, and why it’s important. Again, from my tired heart, I thank you.

    Also, may I say that your photography is absolutely beautiful!

    • Reply December 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Thank you Tina! I really needed that encouragement tonight. Wow–10 times! you are one blessed and busy Mama! May God continue to bless you and your family, and give you an extra dose energy 😉

  • Reply A Free Gift! How To Make The Most Of The Time You Have With Your Children December 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm

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  • Reply Sarah Ertzberger December 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Oh my goodness, I needed this so much!! Thank you for sharing this, I will be getting my own jars for my kiddos and making sure to be intentional with every day I have left with each of my 4 precious children!!

  • Reply Angie Tolpin December 11, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Oh sweet sister. This… is … beautiful. I am excited to share this post with all my sweet friends and readers in hopes that they too will catch the significance bethink the everyday. The cuddles, the kissed booboos, the cheering at the sports game, the late night talks, the long conversations urging each child to genuine remorse for sin, the discipleship throughout it all.
    I am now going to give every mama a jar at a baby shower I go to along with my other traditional gifts with meaning { I also give them a journal to write to their child and a journal for their journey of motherhood}. What a great addition this will be!

    I will also share it on my ministry pages on fb honey. May God bless your day as you serve your family.

    • Reply December 11, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you so much Angie! My friend actually saw your share of the post and sent it to me before I saw your comment 🙂 Thank you for your words of encouragement and sharing this message!

  • Reply Jane December 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I am in tears as I read this…what a gift that pastor gave with that jar of pennies! As the mama of grown and semi-grown children I am so very thankful that God has been with me on this journey. As I look at my children’s lives it is sometimes easy to beat myself up, thinking I should’ve done this or that then maybe they would/would not be this way or that way. Then there’s grace, God’s grace that covers my multitude of mistakes. God’s grace that assures me He has my children in His hands. God’s grace that promises He has heard every cry I have made for my children. God’s grace that reminds me that I trained them up in His ways and He will woe them back to Himself. God’s grace that says, Keep holding them up before Me, but trust Me to take them on the journey I have laid out for their lives. God’s grace…

    • Reply December 13, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Beautifully put Jane, thank you 😀

  • Reply Motivation/video | Pearltrees December 18, 2014 at 1:06 pm

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  • Reply Andy Peterson December 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Awesome post!! Amazing to me how many parents do not pause to give God thanks for their children. All the sleepless nights don’t even compare to the joy children can bring. I was a wild child and moved out after high school to split families. Thankfully survived a mountain lion attack in 1998 in the Colorado mountains ( Praise Jesus for that lion! My children were baptized last year and what a precious moment for my beautiful wife and I to witness to. We love the time we all spend together and never take that for granted. They are a gift to us and we thank God for trusting us with that wonderful gift. Parents…pause and be thankful for every moment you have with your children. Thanks again for the awesome post Eryn. God Bless you and may you have a very blessed and Merry Christmas!!

    • Reply Eryn Lynum December 26, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you Andy! What an incredible story you have (I poked around your website)! And what an amazing testimony. Thank you for your comment and encouragement!

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  • Reply The 3 Essential Steps To Having Your Best Year Yet in 2015! December 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm

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  • Reply Cynthia Dieterle December 29, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Great newborn or baby shower gift idea. And a poem to go with it.

    “What is a penny?”

    Only one cent,
    One one hundredth of a dollar.
    It’s not much spent,
    In the span of it all. Or,
    Perhaps it is worth,
    Far more than your knowing.
    For from the day of his/her birth,
    How quickly your baby is growing.
    Only 936 weeks till he’s/she’s grown.
    Now imagine each week were a penny,
    One cent to be treasured or thrown.
    Please take the care to not lose any,
    For there’s nearly two years in one buck.
    Today I give you 936 pennies,
    Each one a token of love and good luck.

    C. Dieterle

    • Reply Eryn Lynum December 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Beautiful poem Cynthia, thank you!

  • Reply mary johnson December 31, 2014 at 6:01 am

    This article touched my heart so profoundly I cannot begin to wipe the tears from my eyes. You see, I wish I could have seen this years ago, my children (from youngest to oldest) are 14, 16 and 19. The eldest is my only seen and a United States Marine. He leaves to go back to San Diego in 2 days, we were lucky to have him home for Christmas, and after he goes, we truly don’t know when he will be home again. My youngest was bullied so much at school that we have dealt with self harming, eating disorders, depression… but praise God she is turning it around, the “middle” child is doing very well, she is home schooled bc of dyslexia, but other than that she is doing fine and has some terrific friends. Both girls are looking at joining the military too. The thing that bothers me the most isn’t so much that they are so close to being adults, though that is killing me, but rather the fact that for much of their young lives I have been severely ill from Lupus. Seizures, clots, weeks even months in the hospital, operations, I even died once on the table, but they were able to bring me back.
    I just hope that when they look back they remember the laughter, the silly things I would do, the morning breakfasts before school, the way Halloween through New Years was one endless holiday and how I was mom to every kid they ever brought home. It is my prayer that these memories are in the forefront of their hearts and minds as they grown in to the adults they are becoming.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I will keep it in my heart for always. God bless and Merry Christmas

    • Reply Eryn Lynum December 31, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Mary, I am certain you are creating for your growing children a beautiful legacy. I believe that when our kids see us aiming to live an abundant life, right in the middle of extremely difficult circumstances, they take that deeply to heart. They can see the struggle, and they definitely notice when we choose to rise above that struggle and live with joy despite circumstances. Thank you so much for your words and encouragement, and for sharing your story. It has definitely touched my own heart this morning, and encouraged me to rise above my own difficult circumstances, and live fully for my own sake, and for my children’s futures. May God bless you and your family in the New Year!

  • Reply 936 Pennies – The Coop Scoop January 1, 2015 at 1:01 pm

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  • Reply Budget + Thoughtful Baby Shower Gift Idea | Do It On A Dime January 9, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    […] I first saw this post from Eryn Lynum on her blog from Famine to Foodie, I cried.  Full on cried reading it.  It was […]

  • Reply Thursa January 9, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Hello. Thanks to “Do It On A Dime” for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Elly January 11, 2015 at 8:39 am

    What a compelling post! Thank you so much for reminding us that our investment in our dear children is an eternal investment and that we should spend it wisely! May God help us to remember this on the good days…and on the less than good days. All to the glory of Jesus Christ – through repentant Mamas and through learning littles!

  • Reply FarZain February 16, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Thank you for this post, Eryn. Between the tears, I can only tell you how much you reminded me to cherish my child right now. Between the endless days coping with endless things, your post reminds me to cherish the precious gift God has entrusted to us.

    Thank you

  • Reply We Are Throwing Away 171 Weeks Of Our Children's Lives February 19, 2015 at 8:27 pm

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  • Reply Tears February 24, 2015 at 5:05 am

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  • Reply Peter March 17, 2015 at 12:50 am

    What a wonderful reminder of the importance of viewing our children as eternal gifts. Whereabouts in WI are you from Eryn? 🙂

    • Reply Eryn Lynum March 17, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Thank you Peter! We are form the Milwaukee area, but living in MO now.

  • Reply Kay Fudala April 15, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Oh Erin, what a beautiful story! I just celebrated my daughter’s birthday recently, more than a quarter of the 936 gone already. This post puts all thoughts around mindfulness into perspective. I am going to slow down and enjoy each penny. Thank you and god bless!

    • Reply Eryn Lynum April 25, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      Thank you Kay!! One of my greatest hopes for this message is that it reminds all of us (myself included) to slow down. I’m sitting in a hospital room a day after giving birth to my precious third boy. He’s lying next to me all handsome and perfect, and it’s such a real reminder of the need to slow down and enjoy every bit of this!

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  • Reply The Melody of Surprises That String Motherhood Together {Surprised By Motherhood} June 10, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    […] Because when we take into our arms that wholly unknown but altogether loved bundle for the first time, we are also receiving the gift of 936 pennies, representing the 936 weeks we have to raise this child. […]

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  • Reply 936 Pennies - July 13, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    […] "How 936 Pennies Will Forever Change the Way You Parent," a thought-provoking blog post, floated around the Christian parenting sphere for a time.  I found it well worth the minutes I spent reading it.  The author made a great point:  we have approximately 936 weeks to spend with our babies before they turn 18.  Are we spending those pennies (weeks) wisely? […]

  • Reply An Open Letter To My Firstborn On His Fourth Birthday July 19, 2015 at 1:01 am

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  • Reply memory lane | Marla Taviano July 19, 2015 at 2:26 am

    […] my friend Krysten shared this post about how 936 pennies will forever change how you parent. I wasn’t going to click on the […]

  • Reply AmyS July 19, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Eryn, I remember reading this post last year and bookmarking it to remind me to do this for a baby gift one day. Well the time has arrived and a very special couple are about to become a parents for the first time. I was wondering if there was a poem that goes with this gift?

  • Reply Danielle November 17, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    This is a beautiful story. It is hard when you’re in my shoes and you stop to look at the fact that as a mother of 3 girls, an Air Force wife, a Key Spouse, a business owner/operator (2 actually), and all the volunteer work I do…. There are so many times I feel like I’ve lost numerous pennies over the years. Our girls are older now (15,12, & 11), so I couldn’t imagine trying to do penny jars for them; I’m sure it would just end in tears. Lol. I do know that we’ve worked hard to instill values, integrity, honesty, compassion, genuine hard work, and faith in our daughters and ensure they grow up to become something they strive for, not just grow up to get older. I thank you for sharing your story. It’s hard in an ever changing lifestyle such as ours to keep stability and a sense of normalcy but, we do everything we can to keep them on the right track and make sure every penny counts.

    • Reply Eryn Lynum November 18, 2015 at 2:44 am

      Danielle, it sounds like you have done very well with your girls. I can relate (well, not to having girls…I have 3 boys 😉 But being a mother to three is an incredible job. I also own a business (apart from my writing), and balancing everything can be a very difficult thing. Just yesterday I was convicted of how busy has stolen much of my time with my boys lately. But you are right–we do everything we can to keep them on the right track and love them well. And then we need to give ourselves some grace. God bless you and your family.

  • Reply Suit Up!!! Baby Bib (and a top 10 baby gift guide) | The Pretty Little Ribbon Project November 28, 2015 at 9:33 pm

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  • Reply Gina Abbas December 4, 2015 at 3:30 am

    If you LOVE the penny jar idea, check out this book called Playing for Keeps, which gives parents ideas and inspiration for making the most of every week you have with your child. They use 936 marbles in jars instead of pennies. Pennies cost less $ than marbles, so a lot of churches use pennies instead. There is also an APP on the app store called the Legacy App which is a digital jar. check it out!

    • Reply Eryn Lynum January 26, 2016 at 2:41 am

      Thanks Gina! I love the marble idea too; anything to provide the visual reminder of how fleeting our time is. I like the idea of “spending” and “investing” that the pennies give, just an added element to challenge us to use our time well!

  • Reply This Year Give Them The Gift Of "Hey, Remember When..." December 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    […] 936 Pennies […]

  • Reply Joelle January 2, 2016 at 4:28 am

    We’re totally stealing this idea for my son’s dedication this weekend! I wrote this poem to go with the jar…

    Our time with you seems long, my child;
    These pennies yet so few.
    Each one so small, yet heavy all,
    As days and weeks compiled.

    To merely spend or wise invest–
    How will we spend our days?
    God’s commission, our decision;
    To Him we leave the rest.

    • Reply Eryn Lynum January 12, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      I love this Joelle! Beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply baby shower gift ideas | prettylittleribbon January 3, 2016 at 1:16 am

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  • Reply Be Ye Present ⋆ A Little R & R January 14, 2016 at 9:32 am

    […] brought an abstract concept like passage of time into clear, tangible terms. Having received a jar of pennies upon the dedication of her precious baby, this mom was told to remove a penny for each week she […]

  • Reply When Time And I Became Friends - Eryn Lynum January 15, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    […] 936 Pennies […]

  • Reply Parenting In Light of Eternity April 5, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    […] “How 936 Pennies Will Forever Change the Way You Parent,” a thought-provoking blog post, floated around the Christian parenting sphere for a time.  I found it well worth the time I spent reading it.  The author made a great point:  we have approximately 936 weeks to spend with our babies before they turn 18.  Are we spending those pennies (weeks) wisely? […]

  • Reply Jessica Kromer June 17, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Only 936 weeks!? I really enjoyed reading this post. As a new mom of an 8-month-old daughter, time can really feel like it’s flying, and I’m assuming that’s how parenthood continues to go. However, your words of faith and love offer encouragement in times of stress, breakdowns and tears. Thank you for writing with honesty.

  • Reply Jasmine Hewitt June 17, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    I love this post! I wish I had heard about doing this when my son was born…but i’m kinda glad I didn’t. I wouldn’t want to remove those pennies either

  • Reply Alison June 21, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    This is so sweet, it is such a short time we have with them at home with us before they go off into the world. It really got me thinking about how we’ve been spending our time.

  • Reply This Mason Jar Filled With 936 Pennies Will Change the Way You Parent Forever July 28, 2016 at 11:16 am

    […] post orginially appeared at For more, make sure to like Eryn Lynum on […]

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