So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, "Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the Savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!"Joseph and Mary were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, "This child will be rejected by many in Israel, and it will be their undoing. But he will be the greatest joy to many others. Thus, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul." (Luke 2:27-35)

Notice the phrases "the greatest joy ... a sword will pierce your very soul." Such is the world of motherhood. Children uncover the softest spots in a mother's heart and touches those spots with an indescribable delight. At the same time, those softest spots can be pierced with agonizing pain. Sarah Stirman reminds us of both in these two recent posts from her blog, "The Cleft of the Rock. Be warned ... be touched ... most of all, be blessed.

Britney as Mom

If you've been under a rock for the last 4 months, or maybe just been doing something more important like alphabetizing your spices, you may not be aware that Britney Spears is pregnant. No, Britney's pregnancy isn't exactly at the top of my "news to know" list, but I'm going somewhere with this. She has an interview out soon in "Elle" magazine. Excerpts from the article are posted on "Yahoo!News."

Britney plans to have a cesarean because, "I don't want to go through the pain. My mom said giving birth was the most excruciating thing she's ever gone through in her life." I could address that on so many levels (like perhaps that means that only grown-ups should be giving birth) but I would just love to chat with ol' Brit for a few minutes:

What are you going to do about taking them to get their shots?What are you going to do if they become seriously ill or injured?What are you going to do when they cry inconsolably because the cool kids won't play with them or, worse yet, call them horrible names?What are you going to do when their Mimi, that they begged God to heal, dies anyway?

Sweetie, the pain of childbirth is just a paper cut and a warm-up for the thousands of ways those precious angels hurt your heart. And I'm not even to the teenage years.

The pain of childbirth is just a paper cut ...
Riley the Comedian

As I mentioned in Riley's Aspirations, one of Riley's goals in life is to be a comedian. If our family is any indication, he is well on his way. A few weeks ago I said, "Riley, you make me laugh." He got a big, self-satisfied grin on his face and replied, "Mom, that is music to my ears." If you have known me for a while you know that I generally have a "Riley story." I actually had forgotten one until someone else mentioned it this weekend:

Riley and I stayed home from church when he had a sore throat one Sunday night. Ashley was at Bible Bowl and Troy went to praise team practice. Trying to get a glimpse into his ever-growing spiritual self, I questioned him about ways he may want to be involved in a church body:

"Riley, how do you want to be involved in church when you get a little older? Would you like to be a singer, like Daddy, or ..." (pause as I realize maybe he doesn't want to follow in his father's musical footsteps, and trying to figure what church work is better suited to his personality).
Riley finishes up for me, "... or, I could be a sitter, like those 5,000 other people!"
What do you say to that?

Then there was the time that Riley was fixing his hair in my bathroom as we all scurried to get ready for church. On one trip into the bathroom I glanced at my watch and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh!" Riley continued to do his hair while gazing into the mirror, in a very Arthur Fonzarelli manner, and replied, "I'm not 'oh my gosh!' I'm 'ooh-la-la'!"

Confidence is no problem. Humility, on the other hand ....

Being a mom brings both tears and laughter. May this be one of those "ooh-la-la" weeks for you and not one with pains of the soul.