Back in the day, my Sunday school leaders (along with people all across the country) caught The Prayer of Jabez fever. One day in class, we were handed coins with those few, unique verses in Chronicles written on them.

If you are unfamiliar the passage, 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 interrupts a long string of genealogical information to give a bit more information on one specific man.

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez,<sup class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NIV-10395a" value="[a]”> saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

My teachers explained that “enlarge my territory” for us would be metaphorical. When saying the prayer, we would be praying for God to enlarge our sphere of influence, the places where our witness for Christ would reach.

I still carry my coin in my purse. Before starting each of my post-collegiate jobs, I prayed these verses. Before my first date with a certain scruffy Ohioan, I lifted these words to God. During our wedding, the minister cited this scripture. Never did I think I should have prayed a disclaimer, but it turns out God took me literally.

Since marrying my darling, I have become a real estate investor. We’ve bought and sold several pieces of land. We bought and sold “our” first house, and moved into the cabin where we currently live.

A couple of years ago, he found a 1 bedroom cabin foreclosure. We bought it for the price of an average car, and have since had it with a rental management agency. While I wouldn’t exactly call it passive income, Lots of Lovin’ (the cabin name) has been a good low hassle money-maker so far.

Now there is this…

…a cabin with an indoor pool in the basement. Super cool, no doubt, but this one also comes with a heftier price tag. If Lots of Lovin’ is our affordable Honda, this is our sports car – tricked out with all the bells and whistles (or will be when Jay is finished with it).

This cabin is not only expanding my territory according to the property tax assessor, but also stretching my comfort zone. For over a decade I’ve made it my #1 financial goal to be debt free. I think it goes without saying that (baring anything unforeseen) its just not gonna be happening anytime soon.

picture from the porch of the one that got away,
freeing us up for this opportunity
I’ve written this blog a million times in my head over the years. God granted {her} what {s}he requested. I hesitate each and every time. 
Am I encouraging the prosperity gospel that so many Americans chase? I pray that’s not the case. While I’m convinced He is using this for us, its not a reflection of how He chooses to bless anyone else. Likewise, while I certainly don’t assume its going to continue for us. I don’t discount the possibility of a Rich Young Ruler type encounter for us somewhere down the line.
Am I bragging about the material blessings in my life? Once again, that’s not my intention and I hope its not how this blog comes across. I am only here by God’s plan, and equally true His plan for tomorrow may hold something completely different for Jay & me.
My purpose in this blog is simply this: I prayed an audacious prayer. 
God heard. He answered me – literally. 
And that terrifies the living snot outta me.