936 Pennies by Eryn Lynum

I really enjoyed reading Eryn Lynum’s new book 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting. Despite a busy schedule, I found myself truly enjoying Lynum’s conversational and personal way of describing what intentional parenting feels like and looks like to her. Describing a gift she received of 936 pennies that were meant to track the time she spent with her son between birth and 18 years, Lynum describes the feelings of trepidation and anticipation that came with the gift and the charge to spend those pennies well.

I appreciated the short chapters that allowed me to savor her thoughts and experiences in short bites. I loved her personal and forthcoming honesty as she shared hard and happy experiences about her mothering. I appreciated her focus on learning to slow down and savor the unexpected yet sweet experiences that our families share as we focus on relationships and remembering what matters most to us. I especially liked her sharing the idea of a peace plan, a way to discerning how to best use our time and energy to live a peace filled life. I loved reading Lynum’s well written, thought-provoking book. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of 936 Pennies by Eryn Lynum for my candid review.

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Forgiven by Terri Roberts

In Forgiven, Terri Roberts shares her touching account of what God can do with profound tragedy if people turn to Him. As mother of the perpetrator of the Amish school shooting that happened in October 2006, Terri shares with us her loss, the details surrounding the tragedy, and a remarkable story of people seeking forgiveness and healing instead of anger and revenge.

With great courage, Terri opens her heart to us to show how the loss of her son in the wake of this tragedy has gradually transformed her and brought her close to her Amish neighbors who suffered so much in the aftermath of the Nickel Mines Amish school shooting.

As I read about this event of which I surprisingly remember so little, I was moved by Terri’s willingness to explore her own weaknesses in light of what happened and how she humbly turned to God to help her find healing and hope.

I cried when Terri shared how her Amish neighbors in the hours and days following the tragedy reached out to her and her family to offer help. I loved how Terri shared scriptures that gave her hope and encouragement during dark hours and days. I admired her willingness to share her story with others despite her hurt and fear because she knew that God wanted to use her to help others understand the healing power of forgiveness.

Forgiven is a well-written, poignant, and powerful narrative of how God works in the lives of ordinary people to bring hope, healing, and forgiveness in a world that would be so dark and tragic without it. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Forgiven by Terri Roberts for my candid review.