I may have let out a little squeal of delight when I saw the date I'd been assigned—the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I haven't always had an easy relationship with Mary. There was no deep theological misunderstanding or ideological resistance on my part; I just didn't get her. I didn't get who she was, why she was, or why she should matter to me.
Of course you want to honor your mom, God. I get that. She's your mom. But what does that have to do with me?
I had it all backwards. I thought that Mary wanted—or needed—our affection and devotion in her own right, and that for some reason God wanted to share His platform with her, so to speak. I didn't realize the beautiful gift God wanted to give me. Mary, in all her human weakness and frailty, had found the strength to perfectly exercise the grace God had bestowed upon her from the moment of her conception and was able to give back to God the only thing any of us have to offer our Creator: her will.
Her fiat was lived and life-long, a continuous self offering to Heaven. So fruitful was her surrender that God Himself was able to take on human flesh and dwell within her, and with all of us.
Mary had nothing of her own. A poor girl from the Middle East betrothed to a good man, prepared to live a quiet, invisible life. Yet when God asked her to do the incredible, she didn't get in the way.
Mary has nothing that God hasn't given to her. None of us do. The big difference is that Mary knows it, and because of that, God was able to accomplish everything through her. Every moment of her existence has been spent pointing in His direction and saying one of the few recorded phrases we have from her lips in Scripture: "Do whatever He tells you." (John 2:5)
Ask Our Lady to help keep your face tilted up towards His, seeking His will over your own.
Jenny Uebbing is a wife, mother to five, and the author of the blog Mama Needs Coffee. She's learning to practice self care again after a long stretch of baby growing, and if everyone else is asleep you can usually find her in the gym or behind her Kindle. You can find out more about her here.