Doing The Impossible

02 DEC | DAY 4


Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer and speaker, and the host of The Jennifer Fulwiler Show on SiriusXM radio. Her memoir, Something Other Than God, is an Amazon bestseller and was a finalist in the GoodReads Choice Awards in the Memoir category. Fulwiler has been a guest on a variety of national television and radio shows, and was the subject of the reality TV show Minor Revisions. Her blog,, has thousands of daily readers and has won a number of awards. Fulwiler lives with her husband and six young children in Austin, Texas.


By the Dynamic Catholic Team

One summer when I was a kid, my parents charged me with staining our deck and fence. My dad bought the stain, the brushes, the rolls, and every other little thing I needed to accomplish my task.

I, however, was completely overwhelmed. My parents’ deck was enormous, and the fence surrounding the yard was no small task either. I had no idea where to begin.

When my dad got home from work, I told him I thought the project was too big for me and that it wasn’t possible for me to complete this goliath task. My dad merely smiled at my protest.

He took me outside and brought me down to the fence. He grabbed some tape and marked off a section of the fence. He asked me, “Son, do you think you can stain this much of the fence tomorrow?”

It was a small section of the fence. That was easy. No problem at all. But he didn’t want me to just do that small section; he had the whole fence in mind! I protested my case further. “Yeah, but look how much more there is to do!”

“Don’t worry about the rest of it. Just stain this section tomorrow. Do what you can, do what is in front of you. When I get home we will see how you did.”

Day after day, my dad taped off a section of the project and asked me if I could accomplish it. I always could. After two months of staining, I had finished the job. As far as I was concerned, I had done the impossible!

The world is a mess, there is no doubt about that. The problems are countless and the road to solving them seems endless. When I look at the issues that my family and friends face, I often wonder, “I want to help, but where do I even begin?” So many of the issues frankly seem impossible to solve!

At Dynamic Catholic, we have a number of quotes featured throughout the office. There is one quote in particular that causes me to pause every morning I walk by it on the way to my desk: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible” (Saint Francis).

When I pass by this quote in the morning I think of my dad reminding me to start by doing what I can, accomplishing what is in front of me. Suddenly, instead of feeling overwhelmed, the process becomes simplified, and I am resolved to do what I can.

This Advent, don’t try and change the world. Don’t become so overwhelmed with the task of feeding every homeless person in America that you become paralyzed and unable give to that family in your community that really needs a meal this Christmas.

Don’t get so busy trying to comfort a world afflicted with suffering that you are unable to call that friend or loved one who could really use the sound of your voice.

Instead, ask God to give you the courage and wisdom to start with what’s necessary and what’s possible. God will see to the rest.


Don’t try to change the world. Start with what’s necessary and what’s possible. God will see to the rest.


Meditate for just a few minutes on Saint Francis’ words.


Lord, help me to focus on what is in front of me and trust that you will make the impossible possible.


Do the works of mercy seem overwhelming? Are you ready to let God work?