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Below are the 13 most recent journal entries recorded in Prayer of Jabez's LiveJournal:

Sunday, January 6th, 2002
2:29 pm
Day 12
Lord, what mountain do you want me to ask for in Your name today?

I helped someone this past week and felt very satisfied with that. I'd not known what to say or how to comfort this person. Even when I did speak, it seemed so inadequate. It just didn't seem like enough.

Apparently, it was just the right thing to say.

So I felt comfortable in knowing that I'd helped someone. I reached out and did God's work. Then I was done.

But that isn't what I'm supposed to do. I shouldn't get comfortable in one task. It's scary to keep going after more. It's easier to bask in the glow of a good deed. But I must ask God to send me more. Isn't that the way to increase my territory?
Friday, January 4th, 2002
6:35 am
Day 11
What fear is stopping me today? And what lie is giving that fear so much power over me? The next time I face this fear, what should I do

Fear...I know that any fear I have is a result of not trusting God. That's ironic. The reason I have so many kids is because I made a decision to trust God with my family planning. I went farther with it than even my very Catholic mother thought I should. She tried to push me into NFP - not rhythm, but the temp-mucus checking - to control my reproduction. My thought was that if I truely trusted God, then I should trust Him completely. NFP seemed like a cop-out. I trusted God regardless of my physical, emotional or financial situation. And it al worked out the right way.

So why is it so hard to trust now? What is my fear?

I suppose I'm afraid of being found out. I don't want anyone to know how really screwed up I am. So often, I feel like a fake. I'd hate for people to know how fat I am when I take off my clothes or how ugly I am when I wash off my makeup or the bad thoughts that sometimes go through my mind or the temptations that I must fight constantly. I'm afraid that someone could get close enough to really know me and then they won't like me.

And that is an admission that I've never made before.
Thursday, January 3rd, 2002
6:18 am
Day 10 (a day late)
What are the ways that I've been letting the ticking of the clock drown out the roar of eternity?

Ah...the ticking of the clock. I am a procrastinator. I wait till the last minute, then I am rushed. I never have enough time in the day to do it all so I often do nothing. I am busy...waiting for more time.

I have tried pure willpower to get me off my butt and do the things that need to be done. I'm okay for a while, a day or two, but then I get so overwhelmed with a list of to-do's that I just give up. I need God's hand on my life.

Yes, I need God to break my life into smaller chunks so that I can handle the tasks. I need God to show me the opportunities to do more. Willpower alone isn't cutting it. This one is too big for me.

Maybe that's why I didn't get this done yesterday like I should have. I put it off because it hit too close to home. I had too much other stuff to do and still got nothing done. So now, it's God's turn.

My territory is going to expand and I will need the time to deal with it. Okay, God, have at it!
Tuesday, January 1st, 2002
12:56 pm
Day 9
Open my eyes today, Lord, to see the larger life You're calling me toward.

I've been wondering exactly what territory God is going to expand. I'm not sure what to pray for exactly, so I've been vague. Today, I read that I should ask myself two questions to get an indication of where my territory is:

1. What is my overlooked opportunity?
2. Waht is my enduring passion?

Okay, my overlooked opportunity....should I be spending more time showing love to my kids? Should I be pushing them harder in the direction of God? Maybe it's their friends...should I do more than just be nice to them?

Or is my opportunity at work? Is there someone there I need to help? Is there someone for whom I can make a difference?

And then there's my enduring passion...oh my! I have so many passions. I am passionate about my kids, no doubt. I am passionate about politics, computers, loyalty, family.

I'm afraid these questions that were meant to guide me have only muddled my mind more. I'm still not sure.

Okay, God, here's a revision to my prayer....

When you increase my territory, please put a big sign on it so I'll know it's my territory.
Monday, December 31st, 2001
7:52 pm
Day 8
Who has set the boundary lines in my life? Circumstances? Others? Me?


Yes. I believe that I have set boundaries. I've looked at my life and decided....this I can do, this I cannot. Wrong tactic. I need to say....this I can do, this I can do with God's blessing. I need to ask for more.

I suppose it follows that I must ask that my boundaries expand for the good I can do. I mean, if God loves me enough to bless me, should I not use those blessings to help those around me? It would not please God if I took His blessings and hoarded them.

God's blessings have no boundaries. What does the Bible say.....If you have the faith of a mustared seed, you can tell the mountain to move and it will....or something like that. Faith in God's blessings......I have always had faith in God as long as I wasn't asking for anything for myself. Now I must ask that He give me more. I cannot share more and give more and help more unless He gives me more.

I will have no boundary lines. Nothing is out of my reach. I am asking for God's blessings - in abundance - from this day forward.
Sunday, December 30th, 2001
8:47 pm
Day 7
Since I can't possibly use up my quota of God's goodness and favor adn desire to bless me today, what should I ask for?

I read this this morning and decided to ask God for a few things today. For one, I asked that he alleviate this head congestion so that I could actually use my day off to get some things done around here. Head was clear within an hour.

I asked God to get me off my butt so I could get the work done on our old pc so the kids could use it. That was a big one. I knew I had to wipe the hard drive clean - some files were personal and I don't want remnants laying around - then reformat. I'd been procrastinating because I was worried about unexpected problems with such an old computer.

I'm downloading updated printer drivers right now. In other words, the computer is up and running fine.

But I'm not done asking. I need to see a light at the end of my tunnel. This is my bad time of year. For one, it's winter and I hate cold weather. I hate snow. I hate early darkness. It's compounded by......TAX SEASON. This always nudges me into depression. I don't want to deal with it. I'd rather climb into bed and come out after April 15.

This is the time of year that I plot my escape. I'll pack a few small items in a tote, drive to a truck stop and hitch a ride away from here. I'll be annonymous. I'll live on the street. I'll live by my wits. No kidding. I've thought about many times, always in January as tax season approaches. Now that I've had a hysterectomy, that small monthly inconvenience is no longer an issue. The only thing that holds me back is the kids; if I thought they wouldn't hate me, I'd run.

So this request from God is bigger than all the others. I need blessings - big time - to get through this time. I'm asking God to make this whole tax thing go easier. To ignite the fire to make me do the work that gets it done quickly so I'll have nothing to fret about for the next four months.

Seven days into this devotional and I'm asking for help with my biggest problem. Already, I'm asking for a major blessing. My life depends on it. Literally.

Current Mood: worried
Saturday, December 29th, 2001
6:19 pm
The secret to true abundance in my life is to want what God wants. What are two or three things God wants for me?

I've thought about this all day. I'm still not sure what God wants for me. I imagine He wants me to be kind to those around me. Since those around me are mostly my kids, He must want me to raise them with love and joy. I've tried to do that; sometimes I've failed.

I want to be a good mother. I want to not lose my temper or be too preoccupied with the pressures of life to give my kids what they need from me.

The pressures of life......

Honesty time, and maybe more personal stuff than I ought to put here....I want my husband to not start drinking again. I'm scared about that. He doesn't have enough sober time under his belt. I want a sober husband.

I want the money worries to go away. I don't need furs and diamonds. I don't need a brand new car. I just need ot be able to pay the bills and have enough for the unexpected - like the flat tire I got today - so that I won't get so stressed that I snap at the kids. In fact, that's usually when I snap at the kids - when I'm trying to pay bills or wondering where I'll get the money for someone's field trip or new winter coat. I have more than most people but there never seems to be enough.

I want...oh, geez! I want a clean house! Isnt' that shallow? But that's what I want. I love my kids and I don't want a clean house if that means they're not here. But oh, how I'd love for all of them to pick up their stuff and not pee around the toilet and to please get that deer meat out of my sink and packaged up soon!

I don't think that's the right answer to the question but I had to vent for a second....

Okay, I want to be loved and happy and at peace. I know those aren't concrete things but that's what I want. Isn't that what we all want? I don't know how to get those things so I'll just ask God to bless me with those gifts.

Current Mood: tired
Friday, December 28th, 2001
6:36 am
Day 5
Lord, what labels or attitudes have I attached to me or my life that might be limiting what You want to give me, who You want to make me, or what You want to do through me? Please show me.

Poor Jabez! His mom named him the Hebrew word for pain. During those times, a name was very important, kind of like an omen as to what a kid would be like, how his life would turn out. Jabez didn't let his name define him, though.

My own name means "from the sea" and I think that fits me, since I have a passion for the ocean.

But what have I labeled myself? Average? I'm not stupid and I'm not brilliant. I'm not fugly and I'm not gorgeous. I'm not evil and I'm no saint. I'm average.

I guess "average" limits me. It says that I don't have to excel. It lowers expectations. It keeps me from looking for something magnificent in my life. Maybe it allows me to keep quiet about my faith and is an easy excuse for when I do the less than Christian thing. Average holds me back.

I will look for a new label that You intended for me. Even if it means hard work on my part, or more trust in You, I will accept that label.

I do want to meet my potential, then shoot even higher. I can only do it through God. I know this. I am searching for the message in my life, the arrow that points me in the right direction.

I'm ready, God. Show me.
Thursday, December 27th, 2001
3:07 pm
Day 4
Lord,thank You that You have big plans for a nobody like me! Now I beg You to pour Your extraordinary favor on me today. Bring to me the "small thing" You want to bless in my life.

I've thought about this all day. God loves nobodys; we are the ones He uses for great things, right? Well, when?

I'm feeling quite useless today, kind of disconnected from the rest of the world. So all I know to do is to pray: Okay, God. Bless me. I'm empty and waiting. I'm ready.
Wednesday, December 26th, 2001
3:00 pm
Day 3
What are the main reasons I don't ask God for His blessings?

Hmmm...I do ask God to bless my food. I ask for blessings for others. Until reading the Prayer of Jabez, I did not ask God to bless me very often, if at all. I guess it seemed a bit selfish, to ask for something for myself.

But God is a parent. I am a parent. I give my kids certain things because they're my kids; if they want the extras, they have to let me know. If they ask, and I can give it, I do. God can give me the extra blessings but I've got to ask. That's what I'm doing now and for the past 3 days.

I really do want to see blessings in my life. I really do want everything that is good and there for me.

Okay, God, Bless Me. Give me Your Blessings today.
9:20 pm
Day 2
I should have done this yesterday, but Christmas was spent in RL, not here online....

"God, please help me to see what a lavish feast of Your blessings would really look like in my life, and how it would change me for Your glory."

It's hard to imagine a "lavish feast." My life has been so chaotic, with so many twists and turns, ups and downs. I hold my breath, waiting for the next disaster to strike.

Christmas day, though, was a glimpse of what my life could be like. Everyone was busy early on. The kids were checking out their gifts, I was trying to get food prepared and the house halfway cleaned up and Jesse was running around to set up Hoots PS2 and give Ryshelle her gifts.

Then everything became calm. The kids all took turns with our new PS2, Nick took his new scooter out, Chris and Lisa stopped by, my parents visited for a short time and everyone just had a great time. Brian watched John Wayne movies all day and didn't drink for the first Christmas since I've known him.

Except for a brief tantrum from Boomer when he and Nick both wanted to play the PS2, (and that ended quickly when Nick's girlfriend called), there wasn't a problem all day.

Is that what God looks like in my life? Just happiness, pleasant surroundings, loving family? that would be enough for me. It's what I really want. Okay, I want more.

Late last night, Lisa and I were talking. She's very liberal and we disagree on certain points. her parents are very conservative, more than me.
We shared some views and I think she began to understand another way of seeing things. I think she softened to some issues that she was very adamant about. Now that may not seem like a "religious" thing, but most issues are about right and wrong. We naturally touched on faith and since we share a Catholic upbringing, we found many common opinions.

In the end, she asked about his prayer that I've been saying for the past week. I had an extra book so I gave it to her. I thanked God for that opportunity to share.

So that may be a glimpse of how my life would be with God's blessings. But I want more. I want to touch others. I don't really want to shove anything down anyone's throat, but I do want to be an example of God's love in every life.

I don't think I've really claimed the goodness that God offers to each of us. I don't think I've felt I deserved it. I do. Each of us does. I am going to claim God's blessings for me and my family and share that whenever I can.

Current Mood: rushed
Monday, December 24th, 2001
8:52 pm
First day
The questions at the end of the first day devotional made me think:
What is my portrait of God? Which of God's personality attributes do my actions prove are the most important to me? Which are the least?

My portrait of God is that of a loving father. That's the personality trait that I focus on and is the most important to me. I guess it's because I was blessed with a wonderful father (and mother) and that is what makes me feel protected. I can also relate to that as a parent. It's my way of connecting with who God is. The least important? The angry, punishing God, I guess. That never sat well with me. I can relate to anger - like when my kids fight with each other and someone ends of crying - but the anger never lasts. I love them as God loves me.

Current Mood: peaceful
8:44 pm
I heard of the Prayer of Jabez from my mother. I was curious so I bought the book. It appealed to me because it was a small book, easy to read and easy to carry with me. I am now reading the Prayer Of Jabez devotional. There is a suggestion that one keep a diary while reading the devotional so I thought this would be a good way to do that. Then I figured I'd make it a community in case anyone else wants to do the same.

I've never gotten excited over religion. I've been to weekend "retreats" where everyone left in tears of joy...everyone except me, that is. I never felt that rush of the Holy Spirit. I began to think that I simply was not blessed. Still, I believe in God and I see myself as spiritual.

I don't think I can explain this book and this little prayer or how it has touched me. I guess it's given me hope. It's a quiet kind of experience, the kind I'm comfortable with. Maybe that's it.

I read the first day devotional yesterday. There are questions at the end of the first day that I will answer in my next entry here.

To all new members, blessings.

Current Mood: hopeful
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