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The Price of Parenting

Today is Mother’s Day… and at Southern Hills, that also means Family Dedication Sunday. This has always been one of my favorite events, because nothing excites me more than families making the decision to intentionally shepherd their children. When parents choose to begin creating a legacy of faith to pass down to the next generation, THAT is a big deal!

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This year, the Children’s Ministry Team decided to incorporate a new element into our Family Dedication service. We presented each family with a jar containing exactly 936 pennies. That’s $9.36. And it’s what I’ve come to realize is the “price” of parenting. Each penny represents one of the weeks a parent has between the day a child is born and when they graduate from high school.  As a parent, no matter where you are in the journey, how will you make the time count?

A jar filled with 936 pennies is heavy. And, to be honest, so is the weight of parenting. The responsibility of raising Godly children can be overwhelming. Personally, I feel even more overwhelmed when I look at the ages of my own boys and think about the number of pennies I’ve already removed from each of their jars. The hundreds of weeks and thousands of days that are gone.


I can’t help but wonder if I “invested” my money wisely? Did I hug, kiss, and encourage them enough?  What about the times that I raised my voice out of frustration or was too busy with mundane household activities to play with trains? Even though those moments are inevitable, they are not the type of “withdrawals” I want to make and certainly not the memories I want them to carry into their futures.

And it’s then that I am reminded of James 4:6, “But He gives us more grace…” (NIV)  When I read that phrase, I am inspired to look at those jars of pennies in a different way. Instead of seeing every mistake and slip of my tongue as a withdrawal, I can choose to trust that His grace is sufficient. I can place each of those spent pennies into a new jar that represents the legacy I am building for my children. $9.36 may not seem like much, but if managed correctly, becomes an eternal investment.

IMG_4551My challenge to you, on this Mother’s Day, is to make your own legacy jars for each of your children. Your children are never too young or old for you to begin intentionally shepherding their hearts and lives into a relationship with Christ. Jars too “old school?” Check out the Legacy Countdown App. It’s a free app that creates a countdown for each of your children so you can be reminded to make the most of the time you’ve been given.

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My husband Joe and I have four children, Jack, Sam, Hailey, and Eli Henry. We enjoy spending time together as a family. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of West Georgia. I serve as the Preschool Pastor at Southern Hills. I love working with preschool kids and the awesome volunteers that make our ministry possible.

1 Comment

  1. Celeste turner says

    Well said. Thank you for the wonderful things you do for our children and our church.

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