Rachel & Leah Bible Study: Night 5 of 6 (Follow Up)


Whew! Lord, am I so glad You are in my camp! Thank You! Some days it seems this exhaustion just gets worse, and that’s with me doing nothing but sleeping as much as I can! I am especially glad You were with me this week as the doctors are trying to help Bobby with his struggling to breathe. Unexpected appointments, quickly carrying equipment back and forth, having to run back to the car so many times because it was so warm I left my jacket in the car, but everything is my jacket because I just can’t carry everything, so I leave my purse in the car.

A lot of those places Bobby was waiting in the car during my appointments or getting something they say he needs, but it’s so hot he got out of the car. Honestly, I usually have to go find him if he did not go in with me somewhere with me to begin with. I typically find him leaving smiles on faces on those who are so patiently allowing him to wait in their lobbies. They love that he’s 85… short… and so friendly. I always hear the words… cute… and sweet.

How does any of this have to do with the study from this week… Her Gain Is Not Your Loss? You know, Lord? This is far from a rant or complaining. It’s every bit of praise to You! I know we still have the rest of the week to go, but that’s why You’ve been giving me so much sleep! I have no idea why I’m waking up as though I could go right back to sleep for a couple of years, even when I sleep night and day, but I surely love the peaceful feeling it gives. I am so numb, and in a fog. Sometimes it keeps me from stressing because I cannot remember anything other than that very second, and all I can feel is… whew… so grateful to have got what felt like 3 or 4 moments of sleep (that was 6, 10, or 12 hours)… or whew… feeling so tired I wished I could just lay back down and sleep my life away.

IMG_20190408_081103I will admit one thing I have tried to avoid bringing into this study is the battle that seems to go on between me and my sister. I figured because I did not compare myself to her, nor envy her, not begrudge, her, that I really didn’t see my need for this study. I love my sister. Unfortunately she does want to argue with me, accuse me, turn everything into a competition, and hates for me to have confidence because she believes I am saying I think I am better than she is. I was convinced mentioning anything would be me speaking ill of my sister. But this week really showed me something about comparison… and me.

My sister struggles to rejoice with me because she feels like it means something towards her. And if she sees my tears, she is either quickly cruel to say things like “You’re not actually crying are you?” or she will leave the room or make some kind of get away with the clear intention that I watch her do it. She has told me all of these things and more. This has happened for so long along with me trying so hard to figure out why or how I send these messages to her. I try so hard to get into her head to avoid this, that I unknowingly start to compare myself… thinking less of myself.

IMG_20190408_081143Day One: Facing Insecurity
Facing insecurity is a great way to describe comparison because even if I do not think I am better than someone else, God, You don’t want me thinking less of who You made me to be. I am not suppose to allow my mind to doubt, and worry, and take blame where there is no need for it. If I am saying something needs change or I am not good enough that is a silent form of pity and not accepting who I am in You. I may not mean to, I may even be pushed into it, but only You can say I belong wherever I am, know exactly what trials You do or do not want to walk me through, and why You need… want my confidence… in YOU!

IMG_20190408_081229Day Two: Desperate Desires:
Lord, while I wrote You a note in the book about being glad You allowed me to finally come home, when I read those two words… desperate desires... how can I not think of my health. And when I read that instruction You gave to “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you,” I can’t help but think of yesteryears when my desperate desires were to go home… night after night. While I never thought it would happen, You answered those prayers. I know You hear my prayers now, and are teaching me to accept and live my new normal, trusting the one who designed it.


IMG_20190408_093058Day Three: Leaving Laban
How many times in my life have You led me away from Laban, and Laban being my family too. It’s hard leaving people you love and are supposed to be able to live together in trust and helping one another… rejoice as they rejoice, and weep as they weep. I remember how hard that was to do with a little one, and several times through his childhood, up through college… all to follow You, and live as You teach. It’s amazing how six people can grow through life together under the same roof (most of the time) while living six different lives, but that was us.

IMG_20190408_081556Day Four: Comparison’s High Cost
You are absolutely wise to warn of the high cost of comparison because that is exactly what it does. It costs us the relationships with those we are comparing ourselves to, even if the only one we are comparing to or about is our self. Laban comparing himself to Jacob cost him the relationship he first enjoyed with him, and it cost him his daughters, and all of his family. Rachel and Leah paid the high cost of not being able to rejoice in the birth of each other’s children, and robbed them of the ability to console one another on loss. It cost them a relationship as a sister to the other. The comparison my sister insists on, and my comparison to lessen and blame myself continues to cost us and our family. And it’s so sad because we really need each other, just as Rachel and Leah needed each other. But You knew it would not be their path. Sometimes the only way we avoid the cost of a relationship with You is in abandonment of all and who we know, or be abandoned by them.

IMG_20190408_082725Day Five: You Be You
There was another pop quiz at the end. Sometime these tests are hard to answer because it forces to choose answers that are KIND of what you would say. For example question one was answered by what usually happens. When a bunch of strangers get together (especially with kids) it is one loud activity that usually comes in the form of questions… Do you go here? How long have you been here? Which one’s yours? Question two would not be about coffee because I don’t even like coffee. Yuck! 

IMG_20190408_082810Question three was answered with fear of not knowing where we’re going, and being used to being the one who gets the directions and visits through Google earth before our family goes anywhere. Question four I would actually sit anywhere, including the front. I actually prefer it. I can see and hear better, and am less distracted from“comparing everything and everyone.” I am too busy praying for those singing and preaching. That takes a lot of faith. Question five is pretty much the same as three, trying to combat fear of the unknown.

I came out tying with Mostly 2s, You’re excited about unseen work.
Ironically, thought the tests are opposite of how I think I answered, the result is right in that I am excited about unseen work. How crazy is that to be afraid of people, yet loving working in their lives… wanting them to know God loves them?

The other I tied with was Mostly 5s, You’re excited about new relationships.
How crazy is that!! It’s so true, yet I am always so afraid of people! I want to love them as God says. I so want them to know God’s love and have their own personal relationship with Him, but I can literally be so terrified of people. Even the ladies of this study, as much as I love them as dear sisters in Christ. Yet God says that’s excitement for new relationships??

This study is coming to an end, but its affect and teaching will still be going on for as long as God sees fit. And that’s a good thing. He always is! ❤

The key thing He has taught me is that
comparison is a battle with self.
If I fix my mind on Him,
I will dwell less on me.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.”

– Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.”
– Isaiah 26:3 KJV

Rachel & Leah Bible Study: Night 5 of 6

RLLBS.2019.18Week 5, Lord! Only one more night after tonight. 😦 Thanks for letting me make it! I’m not quite as rested as last week, but I’m not as quite exhausted as I have been either. img_20190408_081103.jpgTruth Five (aka Week 5): Her Gain Is Not Your Loss
Verse for Week: Romans 12:15
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.”

Making it in I got my badge, a prayer card for my request this week
(I asked prayer for my doctor who will be referring me to a new neurologist),
and my door prize ticket.
IMG_20190408_084514No prize this week, but I’m still BLESSED You allowed me to find my ticket for a picture. I have such a tendency of losing it within seconds, even if I just go straight to the table. By the time I get my camera (or phone this time), I lose it. More often, without ever finding! Praise Your Holy name I found I was sitting on it, and got the pic! 🙂 Thank you!

Here’s a picture of the BLESSED Rae Dunn cup You allowed me to win last week since my frequency of winning is extremely low. It honestly doesn’t bother me. Of course I love surprises like anyone else, but I love seeing others win too and celebrating with them!
(hey… Lord, That goes with our message and verse this week! 🙂 IMG_20190330_140458I also love saving the ticket to get my blogger friends a pic too! 🙂

We had a blessed time in fellowship, even if our numbers are dwindling. Maybe that’s why I was more comfortable talking so much this week. I was so open and honest about my health comparison so much more that after I got in the car I kept telling myself “You shouldn’t have talked so much!” But, Lord, I am just trusting Your leading, and the dear friends You have given me in these precious ladies in the study with me. They share so much with me too.

It’s hard to put your heart out there about things that have already hurt you just to have happened or be happening. It makes it so much harder when that pain is treated like whining or a waste of breath.

We had snacks while we discussed how our week and gone from Truth Five: Her Gain Is Not Your Loss We had so much laughter in discussing different details regarding Jacob, Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, Bilhah, and Laban. Of course we have been discussing Your word with reverence and sincerity, Lord. But it was such a blessing to laugh about those questions and thoughts we are all asking, but usually cannot when around the guys, the children, and those who would take it as gossiping. It was actually the laughter and sharing those questions that shed a better light of understanding, and compassion… in them… and ourselves. Thank You for allowing me to take part.

Keitha let us know her church is having a
Good Friday Walk ThruIMG_20190408_083542Front of card (top photo), back of card (bottom of photo)

and Easter Egg Hunt.IMG_20190408_083000We each took some business cards and fliers to share with others.

 We then went into the auditorium and watched Nikki’s video. We then discussed a little bit on the last theme we will have next week Let The Success of Others Encourage You Not Discourage You, and how it was comparison that led to an obsession  for both sisters to think that any gain for one was a loss for the other, and that a loss was actually a victory. Laban made this same comparison with Jacob, and was afraid to let Jacob leave with all he had gained. These sisters could not rejoice for one another because of the same greed and manipulation they had learned from the father. We too can do the same thing. We need to Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15

Keitha then said a prayer out loud for all of us, and then we broke up into smaller groups to exchange our prayer cards and take turns praying quietly aloud in our group.
(Did anyone catch that cool oxymoron, Lord? 😉 )IMG_20190408_081032Sadly, the card I received has 2 more ladies (Caitlyn and Tara) with breast cancer. Some may or may not remember (or have not read) that our class is praying for one of our own ladies (39 yr old Nikki, not the author of the study) fighting a pretty rough battle with metastatic breast cancer. According to this card Caitlin is in her late 20s.

It was such a blessing to fellowship with the ladies… to laugh… to pray… to participate in the answers for the leader You gave us (Me and God love you, Keitha! ❤ ), and to actually share a little of me with them, as they have shared so much of themselves with me. It may not be the answers that first come to mind, nor those things that must stay between me and You to the grave, but my health is a genuine comparison issue for me. And as I know these ladies and each person who may read this knows in their own secrets that will go with them to the grave, when You, my dear Lord and Savior, bring them out… it will surely be time to deal with them then and You will show us how. There will be no more hiding those secrets.

Oh and thank You, Lord, for helping me to answer another prayer given to You during this study. I was able to stop by Walmart and get the battery to Anthoni’s Kia key fob changed out. (pic 1 and 2 below). Praise Your Holy name it was as simple as buying a small pack of batteries and changing it myself. Thank You for the girl in the jewelry department for showing me the info and demo. Thank You for not having to go to a dealership or anything expensive. I’m still praying about the Explorer keys.

pic 3– Oh and I got a new puzzle book! Thank YOU!!
pic 4 – Also while checking out, I met a lady who had no shame in sharing You!. She actually turned to me and apologized (with enthusiasm) for holding up the line, but gladly explained that she was giving You glory! Of course I told her she was just fine! And praised You with her! (And I prayed for the rest of the line too). Tameika had a darling little girl with just as much life. Tameika then gave me her number because she is opening a restaurant or something to do with food.  She had a sale the next day. I missed the sale, but will be calling her back to see if she still needs me to pass along word about her business. Maybe even just drop by for a bite some time. 😉 At the least I met a new sister in Christ… make that 2. 🙂