Wednesday, October 1, 2008


"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness." Matt. 25:21 NIV

Since I became a mom, I’ve done lots of things I never thought I would do. I’ve worn many unexpected hats. I’m not naturally a risk-taker, and I’m definitely not a person who likes to try new things. But in spite of my reluctance and fear, God has made much of the small amount of talent and willingness I’ve offered to Him.

When Max started K-4, we were both rookies. He was my first and only child, and this was Max’s first school. It was an exciting time, but we were both a little unsure of ourselves. His classroom was a charming place, brimming with all the fun of childhood and learning. Everywhere I turned, there were apples and numbers and letters! His teacher was precious, and her classroom of four-year old charges instantly adored her. I watched the other mothers chatting easily with the teacher, offering to help with this or that. I wondered how they knew what to do? Was there some training for Capable Teacher’s Helper I had missed? Did these moms have a gene I didn’t get? I went home that first day feeling very inadequate.

As time passed, both Max and I began to feel a little more comfortable. And eventually, the teacher asked for my help. My help!! She asked if I would please bring snacks for the class. I was so excited to be included in the ranks of the Teacher’s Helpers! I brought juice boxes and cookies the next day, and it felt so good to help. From that moment on, the school year was filled with opportunities to help, not because I was qualified, but because I was willing and available.

That was a long time ago. Now Max is a twenty one year old photojournalist, and no longer an only child. We had two more sons and a daughter within four years of that first day of school! I was a faithful cookie baker, so God gave me more things to do. Since then, I’ve baked literally thousands of cookies. I’ve organized countless holiday parties, chaperoned many class field trips and organized several festivals and fundraisers. I’ve been a room mother at least a dozen times. I’ve been a PTO vice president, committee chair, and Bible club teacher. And you know what? I wasn’t qualified to do ANY of those jobs, except maybe the cookie-baking one, since I did have that experience back in K-4.

Thankfully, it wasn’t about my qualifications or experience, but about my willingness and availability. That eliminates any possibility of being proud of ourselves, doesn’t it? How much credit can we take for saying yes and showing up? The great thing I discovered is that it works the same way in life and ministry as it does in K-4. If we’re willing and available, there is no end to the things God will allow us to do! Today, I’m a pastor’s wife. A pastor’s wife!! It’s a job for which I feel totally unqualified. But that didn’t stop the Lord from hiring me. Why? Because I said yes, and showed up.

Prayer for today: Father, thank you for the talents you have given me. I offer them to you, and make myself available to do whatever you ask me to do. Take my small offering and make it much, for Your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Anonymous said...

Oh, Leslie! All who know you are thankful for your willingness and availability! You have changed so many lives. Well, you have me fooled...I believe you are MORE than qualified!!!


Leslie Oden said...

Love you, Beth. My great encourager! xoxo L.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I visited your blog today. I had a conversation with a friend a couple days ago that really shook me. They were straightforward and COMPLETELY honest. They told me, "If you don't do it, no one will." It made me realize that God put me in this place for a reason, but I feel so inadequate. And reading this encouraged me...all God expects from me is to do what He has asked and do it to the best of my ability.

I love you!
Lisa K.

Leslie Oden said...

Amen, sistah! Love you! L.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Leslie.....I really enjoy your blog.