In this Pinterest-perfect, comparison-crazy culture, it’s all too easy to believe that the things we can offer God are so small and insignificant, it might be better to offer nothing at all. In this relatable article, Jenna Marie Masters hilariously shares how God used an example of her meager offerings to teach her and her children about the joy that can come from giving what we have—and how even the smallest offerings can become significant when we give them in His name.
The night before Micah’s class party, I noticed an unread message in my inbox. The class mom had written, thanking me for volunteering to bring the carrot and celery turkey cups…
Wait—turkey cups?! I thought I’d signed up for carrot and celery sticks.
Apparently, I hadn’t scrolled down to the bottom of her previous email. To my horror, I’d missed the Pinterest example she’d attached. How could I make such a rookie mistake?! If having elementary-school kiddos has taught me anything, it is always scroll to the end of email messages. Friends, I’m not kidding. Read. The. Whole. Thing.
A ROOKIE MISTAKE
If you don’t, you’ll miss crucial sentences such as:
Please have your child dress as a favorite superhero.
If you don’t send your child’s photo by the end of the day, they will not be included in the end-of-the-year slide show.
Shhhhh! It’s a surprise!!
These are just hypothetical examples, of course.
But I couldn’t dwell on my mistake, and it was too late to make a frantic Target run. A crazy-lady mental inventory would have to suffice.
A MEAGER OFFERING
So I studied the Pinterest photo, taking note of the things needed to pull off the perfect “Carrot and Celery Turkey Cup.” How I’d survived this long as a mother without this knowledge, I’ll never know (I’m sure the answer to that question is at the end of some email).
Here’s what I needed: plastic cups, brown paper, orange paper, hot glue, googly eyes. Maybe this wouldn’t be so hard? The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the googly eyes. Nevertheless, I was hopeful as the kids and I rummaged through our craft bin.
Ah, yes, I had them, but not one eye was the same size as the others. I imagined a turkey looking half-crazed, one big eye and one small, staring down a 5-year-old reaching for a carrot. What would the class mom think?!
OFFER IT ANYWAY
I was at a mamma crossroads: Do I use what I have, or just throw in the towel?
Isn’t life like that? If we don’t have the ‘perfect’ thing to offer, we’re tempted to offer nothing. If it’s not mismatched googly eyes, it’s a house that’s too small for gatherings, only an hour a week to work out, or lasagna that’s not as good as Mom’s.
So why help in the classroom? Why invite the kid’s friends over, take that short run, or try that new recipe? It’s hard to give from areas we feel ‘less-than’. We have an enemy, and he knows this. So he hisses into these shallow spaces: God can’t use this; don’t even bother.
A SMALL OFFERING
Really, Satan?! I seem to remember there was a boy who offered five small loaves and two small fish. Jesus used it to feed multitudes (John 6:9). I know a story about a widow who offered a little oil and a handful of flour. God never allowed her jars to run dry (1 Kings 17:7-16). There was a man slow of speech and tongue, hesitant to offer his voice. God used him to stand against Pharaoh and set His people free (Exodus 4:10).
Sometimes, as a mamma, it feels like all I can offer is a pile of dirty dishes, never-ending laundry, a microwaved meal, and pets I forget to feed. We all have moments where we make excuses to God about why we can or can’t do something. I’ve prayed on several occasions, Are you sure You want this? I don’t have much to offer You.
And this is what the Holy Spirit presses on my heart each time: Offer it anyway.
FROM SMALL TO SIGNIFICANT
God sees every scrap of bread, shaky insecurity, dirty sock, and mismatched googly eye we raise to Him. And He’s not the only One witnessing our obedience; our kids are watching, too. Let them see that nothing is too tiny to offer up to Jesus. He’ll use it! He delights in making small things significant. And an unexpected perk is this: God gives us joy when we give from our shortage rather than from our supply. This creates space for God to show up—not only in our lives but also in the lives of others.
Jesus fed hungry masses in response to a boy’s meager offering. He provided security for the widow’s child when she presented a handful of flour. Moses set people free, laying bare his shortcomings, trusting God to use them for His glory.
GOD CAN MULTIPLY YOUR OFFERING
The turkey cups the kids and I made were utterly awful! But we leaned into each other, peeling hot glue from our fingertips, and giggled late into the night (we’re talking almost 9 p.m. friends!). Of course, those turkeys didn’t set any captives free, but so what? God handed us back laughter that overflowed into the classroom the following day. As it turns out, kiddos prefer silly over superb, anyway! When we use what we have, God can multiply it—and turn it into joy.
Have you ever been reluctant to offer something to God (your time, resources, funds etc.) because you felt it was ‘too small’ for Him to use? What might your children learn about God’s mighty provision by encouraging and modeling an “offer it anyway” attitude instead of aiming for ‘perfection’?
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Lovely. Especially “ He delights in making small things significant.”
I wonder how we can reflect and emulate Christ in this and do this with small things our children offer us: a cup of coffee they want to make us, a painting they give us, a flower they pick for us.