How We Do It

Readers and writers alike have asked me, “How do you do it all?” Well, I don’t. Our homeschooling, writing, working, parenting…our breathing are blessings from God. Outpourings of our faith. And the end of our day never looks like its beginning. Yet, there is a method to our madness. But enough about me. This is about YOU.

This month, we’re talking to: Jenny Erlingsson!

Describe “a day in the home life.” (family size, routine, etc.)

This is actually an interesting question for me because some days, I stand back and can’t believe how much my days have shifted over the years. I worked full time in church ministry when I lived in the States. Now, the mornings are spent attempting to accomplish my five W’s: Water, Workout, The Word, Worship, and Work. Haha, I know, I know, but I like alliteration because it helps me simplify when my brain is scattered. So, this means I try to down a cup of apple-cider laced water, hustle the four kids out the door to school and preschool, put a couple loads of laundry in, clean up around the house and our guest apartments, do Pilates, and take some moments to abide in the Word. My kids get back home from school early in the afternoon and then we jump into athletics and reading Icelandic and a few minutes of English learning. A significant part of the day for the kids is coffee time, so I always have snacks on hand or homemade treats for them and their friends.


How do your family and work life affect each other?

Some days after the morning activity, I head out with my husband for a meeting or connection. But when I don’t, or if we don’t have visiting guests/missionaries, I take time to catch up on administrative work for our ministry activities, book projects, and upcoming events. Since I mostly operate from home, I used to have a hard time separating and pulling away to focus on the kids. What has helped is having a separate office area. It is right above the front door so I can hear the kids come in and respond immediately. But when it comes to the creative part of my writing work, most of that is done in snippets and margins of my day.

Regarding what you do and how you get it done, what makes you bite your nails? What makes you shout hallelujah?

I try not to get frustrated when I’m running around doing things in the house all day, and then when I sit down for thirty minutes at my computer, I’m bombarded with questions, especially when they bypass my husband to ask me, lol.

The “Hallelujah!” moments are when the threads of an idea, event, planning, plot, or prayer point start coming in alignment. I love how God weaves things together from the scattered pieces. It’s an incredible feeling to see Him use my crumbs to create a whole masterpiece.

What inspires your stories?

Like all writers, I get inspiration from a lot of places, but to anchor my story, I’m usually inspired by a Bible verse that sticks out and resonates with me. I’m also inspired by the soundtracks that linger in the background, the emotions that are stirred when you watch a beautiful movie scene. I want to tell stories cultivated from the subtle, underlying currents that move and motivate people.

Any final takeaways for the reader?

I’m so thankful to get to share a sliver of my life with you, and this is another example of how amazing and supportive the author/reader community is. I hope you all continue to feel encouraged and moved by the books we write. We need you.

Share a scripture that encourages or inspires you.

John 12:3. I love the fact that through this story we are reminded to focus on Jesus. We’re not responsible for where He spreads the fragrance of our worship. We just need to use what He’s placed in our hands, keep our eyes on Him, and stay positioned at His feet. He’ll do the rest.

Jenny Erlingsson’s Bio

Jenny Erlingsson’s goal is to be a daughter first. A sometimes feisty, strong-willed, loud-laughing, sugar-craving, solitude-seeking daughter of God through Jesus Christ. Out of the overflow of that, she considers writing to be her fingerprint of worship to God and where she gets to connect the most with YOU.

From writing stories about her Barbies as a child to including Biblical fiction in her non-fiction, words have been constant in her life. There is nothing like a book that embraces you with a beautiful story, and impacts you deeply. No wonder Jesus shared so much with us through parables rooted in the eternal truth.

In the midst of all of this, she is Nigerian-American, the wife of an amazing man from Iceland, and mother to their four adorably feisty kids. They keep her laughing, challenged, and in prayer, all day every day!

When she is not running after her kids or ministering with her husband, she can be found writing and trying not to read five books at a time with a side of Icelandic chocolate.

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