Letting Up on Leah

So, I’m a romantic. I can’t help it. I think I was born this way. Or my mom at least contributed by allowing me to watch endless soaps from birth to like 4 years. But that might be my love for melodrama not romance. That’s another blog post. Or a trip to the therapist’s couch. Either way.

I am a romantic and there’s something about this story that makes all gooey inside. Jacob is coming to Haran after running from his older brother (twin by a minute) Esau. 

 “While Jacob was in conversation with them, Rachel came up with her father’s sheep. She was the shepherd. The moment Jacob spotted Rachel, daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, saw her arriving with his uncle Laban’s sheep, he went and single-handedly rolled the stone from the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban. Then he kissed Rachel and broke into tears. He told Rachel that he was related to her father, that he was Rebekah’s son.” Genesis 29:9-12 MSG

Let’s not miss Rachel was a Shepherdess. I think that’s cool. Anyway, Jacob rolls this stone away single-handedly! A stone that took all the shepherds to do. Talk about a major adrenaline rush! She’s coming toward him with her hook in hand, sheep all around, and she’s beautiful. Knocks the breath right out of him and gets his blood pumping so hard he does rolls that joker away. And my heart pitter-patters. I’m instantly rooting for them!

Then Jacob asks for Rachel. He’s been struck by her since the moment she stepped into the pasture.

“Now Laban had two daughters; Leah was the older and Rachel the younger. Leah had nice eyes, but Rachel was stunningly beautiful. And it was Rachel that Jacob loved.” Genesis 29: 16-17 MSG

Okay, we might say here that he’s going on looks alone and that’s shallow and that would be. But I think it was more, because he always loved her best. She was the most important to him. And he was willing to work 7 years for her. 

“So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel. But it only seemed like a few days, he loved her so much.” (v. 20 MSG)

Pitter patter! It only felt like a few days! 

But then his uncle tricks him and he ends up marrying Leah. He must have been sloppy drunk on the wedding night to mistake them but it happened.

And he was sorely disappointed. I wonder if Leah begged her father not to make her do this as she worked to tug free from his arm. “He doesn’t love me, Father! He loves Rachel!” But deep inside, I wonder if maybe she was taken with him all along. Wishing he loved her enough to put down 7 long years just to make her his. She was the eldest. She should be married first. 

And poor Rachel, like Cinderella locked in her room, maybe she banged on the door and wept and shouted. Seven years she’d gotten to know this man. Builded up to this one moment. A mild-mannered man (says so. Esau hunted but he stayed in the tents and was a mild mannered man). Gone. In a night.

However, Laban did give Rachel to Jacob for 7 more years. 

And to be honest, I just want Leah out of the picture so Rachel and Jacob can be together. I don’t want him married to her, sleeping with her, or having children with her. I’m disgusted that he would! I don’t care if it’s culture! He worked 7 years for Rachel! He loved Rachel. 

But this read around, I felt terrible for Leah. How miserable to know that you’re unloved and unwanted. You’re decent to sleep with and have some kids with, but his time and attention other than an occasional night belonged to someone else. 

Ever felt unwanted? Unloved? Miserable? Wishing life could be different? That you were adored and cherished and thought of. Ever envied someone else for having those things?

“When God realized that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb. But Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and had a son. She named him Reuben (Look-It’s-a-Boy!). “This is a sign,” she said, “that God has seen my misery; and a sign that now my husband will love me.”” (v.31-32 MSG)

But he didn’t.

“She became pregnant again and had another son. “God heard,” she said, “that I was unloved and so he gave me this son also.” She named this one Simeon (God-Heard). She became pregnant yet again—another son. She said, “Now maybe my husband will connect with me—I’ve given him three sons!” That’s why she named him Levi (Connect).” (v. 33-35 MSG)

Years have gone by and Rachel has gotten the lion’s share. And her womb has stayed closed.Therefore, she became envious. In fact, she kind of turned into a pimp. Yeah, she pimped out her husband for some love-apples (mandrakes). 

“One day during the wheat harvest Reuben found some mandrakes in the field and brought them home to his mother Leah. Rachel asked Leah, “Could I please have some of your son’s mandrakes?”
Leah said, “Wasn’t it enough that you got my husband away from me? And now you also want my son’s mandrakes?”
Rachel said, “All right. I’ll let him sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s love-apples.”
When Jacob came home that evening from the fields, Leah was there to meet him: “Sleep with me tonight; I’ve bartered my son’s mandrakes for a night with you.”” (30:14-21 MSG)
What a dysfunctional nightmare. 
Today, my heart isn’t rooting for Rachel and Jacob. It’s rooting for Leah. It’s rooting for me–when I feel rejected or let down. When I feel like others have it better than me in any area of my life.  Today, I’m rooting for you–if you’re feeling unloved, unwanted, shunned.
And I’m here to tell you, that God HEARS. SEES. CARES. And He loves you. Just like He heard, saw, and cared for Leah.

Real-Life Romance: David and Gabrielle Meyer



  I’m thrilled to have Gabrielle Meyer with me today. Her real-life
romance will conclude our series, for now! I may do another month long series in
the future. We’ll see. Gabrielle is a great lady and a fabulous writer—I’ve
read some of her work. I wouldn’t lie to yah! Thanks for being here, Gabe! And
take it away!

I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal. So it’s no surprise that I
write historical romance, or that I prefer to spend my free time in a museum.
It’s also no surprise that I decided
early on that I would be Sweet Sixteen
and Never Been Kissed
I even had the courage to tell a boy this when
he asked to kiss me when I was fifteen! (Imagine the look on his face.)
The surprise came (at least for me) when I was Sweet Seventeen…and I’d still never been
I was homeschooled from fifth grade through tenth. I loved
this experience, but it gave me little opportunity to find a boyfriend. At the
time, I lamented this fact. But now, after hearing so many horror stories from
friends who had terrible first kisses, I’m happy my options were limited.
I met David Meyer when we were sixteen. I was still being
homeschooled, but I’d become friends with a great group of kids through youth
group. David happened to be among them.
the moment I saw him on stage singing in the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, I knew he was
something special
…it just took me a little while to convince him
that I was something special, too. Almost a year!
But when he finally decided I was the one for him we’ve
never looked back. I was seventeen when David kissed me for the first time, and
he’s the only person I’ve ever kissed. I like that.
This summer we’ll be celebrating twelve years of marriage,
but we’ve known each other for over sixteen. Through driver license exams, parental
curfews, wisdom teeth extractions, high school graduations, college, first
cars, first jobs and stepping out into the world, we’ve made many memories
together. I wouldn’t want to walk through life with anyone else.
God has
blessed our union in more ways than I can count, but at the very top of the
list are our children.
Eight years ago we had our first child, a
beautiful, imaginative daughter with green eyes and a sprinkle of freckles
across her nose. She was followed two years later by our second daughter, who
charms us with her dimples and blond hair. For five years our life was full of
little girls, but God had an even bigger surprise in store for us.
A set of twin boys! Now three years old, one is gentle and
kind with big blue eyes, while the other is bold and curious, with a mischievous
twinkle in his green eyes. To say we were surprised with twins would be an
understatement! Never, in my wildest dreams, could I have planned such a
perfect family.
Like I said, I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal. I believe my
greatest impact on this earth will be in my home, and I believe the most
important calling is to serve my family. Being a good wife and mother is the
hardest challenge of my life, but it’s also the most rewarding.
Every day, through the good times and the bad, I’m in awe of
the God who has generously given us our hearts’ desires and I pray that our stewardship of all He’s given
us will be a blessing to Him for countless generations who follow.
I’m also tickled pink that my first love became my true love,
and my desire to wait for that first kiss was worth it.
where were you when the one you love kissed you for the first time? I was in a
Connect with 
Gabrielle on facebook too!

Real-Life Romance Stories: Brad & Charissa Kerley

I’m kicking off Fridays with real-life romance stories that are meant to encourage and inspire you whether you’re single, engaged, or married! 

Each Friday during February, you’ll hear from one woman about her real-life romance! Today, I’m honored to have my dear friend (And my midnight Twilight Saga movie premiere partner) Charissa Kerley with us to share her unique story. 

I was so blessed to know Charissa during her teenage years and watch God do amazing things in her life. She’s always been a wonderful role model for my daughter and I couldn’t love her more! Welcome, Charissa! 

For as long as I
can remember I have been a romantic even back to elementary and middle school.
I was always daydreaming about my future husband, how we would meet, how
handsome he would be and how we’d live happily ever after.
 So naturally I was so excited when I
got to high school and would be around a ton of older boys whom I could
potentially date. However, in the 9th grade I strongly felt that the
Lord was asking me to give up dating much to my disappointment.
Unless He
revealed the man I was going to marry with a ray of light and a hallelujah
chorus, I would not be dating anyone until I graduated. This wasn’t to say that
I didn’t have plenty of crushes and even a couple of offers throughout high
school, but I knew that God had asked me to sacrifice those things for Him.
These are not B & C’s hands. 🙂 
All throughout this time, I learned
so much about being secure in my relationship with Christ. I stood on the verse
that said: “For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name.”
Isaiah 54:5.
Knowing that Jesus was the best husband I could ever ask for
taught me so much about who He is and who I am through Him. I look back on that
time in my life so fondly even though it wasn’t always easy when I was living
One of my closest friends in high
school was named Kayla. We had an accelerated English class together and became
fast friends, having similar views and taste in movies and music. Towards the
middle of our sophomore year she began dating a guy who was a junior named
Luke. Luke had a twin brother named Brad and I’d seen both of them around
school before (they both had a notorious style, wearing huge baggy pants and
their hair color changing practically every month.) I got to know Luke through
Kayla, but I didn’t speak to Brad much.
Fast forward to my senior year. Kayla
had moved to Iowa
and Luke and Brad had both moved away after they had graduated high school the
year before. I kept up with Kayla through Myspace (you can see how dated this
story is now) and I had also become “friends” with Brad on there at some point
as well.
Towards the middle of my senior year
I began talking with Brad a little bit on our Myspace pages. He had recently
been through a bad breakup while he had been away in St. Louis and I would get on his page to tell
him jokes and say silly things to cheer him up.
We began to talk more and more,
eventually upgrading to text messages.
As my senior year came to a close,
my choir held a banquet to celebrate all of the year’s accomplishments. Even
though Brad and I had never hung out one on one before and had only just
recently began getting to know each other, I asked him to go with me. He
immediately responded that he would be happy to go because he was coming home
for the summer.
The first day that Brad and I spent
any time alone together was (get this!) my very last day of high school.
picked me up from the school and we spent the rest of the day together.
Me and Charissa at her
wedding! I was a bridesmaid!

That summer Brad and I were
practically inseparable. He became my best friend. Every morning that I woke up
I couldn’t wait until I could see him that day and any time we were apart we
spent texting each other constantly. He finally mustered up the courage to ask
me out at the end of the summer and of course I said yes. My family loved him
and Luke and Kayla (who were now married) and the rest of his family were so
happy that the two of us had gotten together.

We had a whirlwind romance, getting
engaged after only four months of dating and then getting married six months
after that (at ages 19 and 20!). We’ve now been married over four years and it
has been an amazing ride. It’s not always easy, but we constantly strive to
grow closer to the Lord and each other on a regular basis.
            Brad and
Charissa Kerley live in northern MS. Brad is currently in grad school at the University of Memphis to be an entrepreneur and they
both work heavily in their church’s missions department. They have a huge heart
for the country of Haiti
and hope to minister there permanently or periodically after Brad receives his
Master’s Degree.

I love that story! And I love you, Charissa and Brad! 
*Next Friday, you’ll hear from a very special lady to me…my Pastor’s wife! You won’t want to miss this incredible journey of love!
Were you best friends with your spouse before you dated? 

Knock off a Few Pounds: Lighten Up with Laughter.

My husband and I have a comical marriage. In fact, just now as I’m writing this, he’s lying beside me trying to sleep and he just said, “Stop typing with such authority. Hard typing does not equal good writing.”

He had a laugh lurking under his tone. However, my key pounding shakes the bed and annoys him. But we laughed. I’m still laughing.

We cackle often.

I think laughter is key in marriage or any relationship, really. You can’t always take everything so seriously.

I know it’s hard to laugh sometimes when life is stressful, careers aren’t launching, ministries seem to be failing, and bad news drops like bombs. But somewhere in all the mess, laughter makes a heart merry. It keeps us sane..or close to it, anyway.
 Laughter is infectious! Start your weekend off with this video!

So what makes you laugh? I was tagged at D.U.O Says which is very cool and I will be answering the questions on Monday! Thanks D.U.!