Today we celebrate the Annunciation - an angel comes to Mary and tells her that she's going to give birth to the Son of God. As I've written elsewhere, Mary had the grace to say - well, sounds a bit odd, but thank you for blessing me and yes, I will, because I'm your servant, Lord. That always throws me. Most things God asks me to do, I run a mile.
But we're not Mary, and we're not equipped as she was; thank God, we don't need to be. So I like to think God trickles in little bits of His grace for other mothers as and when we need it. If someone had said to my younger self, by the age of 35 you will be married, have 3 young children and be studying for Church ministry, I would not have been able to say, like Mary - sounds crazy, but I'll go with it. I would have run that mile (or marathon!).
But, not only He is a God of Surprises, He knows what makes us tick. And many times he knows we are capable of things that we would not have formerly considered in a million years. And He gives us the means to deal with these things, little by little. Marriage itself is daunting. Birth can be brutal. Dealing with the shock of a first child, difficult. Dealing with two?!! And then another? While simultaneously helping out others in our path? While looking after ourselves, spiritually, physically, emotionally? Who'd have thought it?
Nowadays the main thing I take from the Annunciation is not that sometimes God asks us to do something and we are expected to say yes, straight away, and be Marian about it, because we think that's what we should do. The main thing is, the words (taken from Luke 1): "For nothing will be impossible with God."
Because, however impossible we think a task may be, God can help us. He knows the potential we have. He tries to direct us to use this potential. He opens up new windows/ wardrobes/ horizons to us at every turn. We just need to believe. In ourselves. And trust. In Him. Which, to some, seems impossible in the first place. But the seeds of possibility have been sown. And even/especially by taking babysteps, and starting to make small changes, we are able to give that Marian response and say "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." (Luke 1.)