(Previously published September 20, 2010)
I have four hubs in my home...places where many hours are spent each day and each week, a hub of activity, if you will. Being a word girl, a hub is the central part of the wheel upon which the spokes are inserted. God has blessed me with a lot of spokes: A hubby, precious children, and a couple years ago, He called me into coordinating women's ministry at our church, as well as teaching a Thursday morning Bible Study. Without the hub, there would be a lot of chaos. I don't much care for chaos. Order, even if it is just visual order, sets a good rhythm to my beating heart.
Each place is rich in its surroundings, not because of what indwells there, or because of the physical decorations that may beautify that space, but because of the activity that takes place there. It is meaningful, it is lasting, and it sets about change and often deep heart activity. I've already shared with you my first hub: my front porch. This is where in the spring and summer days, I meet with the Lord. If my meeting time is disturbed, oh boy do the spokes come lose and that wheel wobbles all over the place. The front porch is my sanctuary of sorts for the Lord. It is where I open my Bible to hear from Him and then close my eyes to talk to Him. It is where I worship Him and praise Him for who He is and all that He is. It is where my faith begins growing as I learn more of Him. It is the most essential part of the hub....as without Him the spokes become detached and chaos ensues.
My second hub is what I call my "runway." No not where I do the cat walk, although there is a lot of walking that takes place on the runway. It is more like an airport runway.....planes come in and planes go out....although on my runway those planes would be the 12 feet that daily (ok, let's be real...I have 4 boys: 1 teenager and 2 coming close...they eat at all hours/minutes of the day)....coming and going from the kitchen. My runway is a span that runs from my kitchen sink to an old, antique jelly cupboard that sits along the wall at the end of my kitchen holding our dishes, the phone, some homeschool supplies and curriculum hidden behind the bottom doors and my cookbooks. On one side of the runway is a wall of cabinets, our stove, pantry and fridge, and on the other a long kitchen island where 6 of us cozy up for long talks, many a meal, schoolwork, crafts....you name it, it happens here. I walk up and down that runway throughout the day pouring into the lives and mouths of these growing and changing babes.
The third hub is my laundry room. It is off my kitchen and nestled in the back corner of my home. I'll be honest, sometimes it is my hiding place on those days when my heart is overwhelmed and I need a moment to get right with God. It is where I get semi-instant gratification. The clothes come out of the washer and go into the dryer and then get folded and put into bins for each child to carry off to their room and put away. Ahh, completion, even if only for a moment, for the laundry NEVER ends in this house. No sooner do I think I am done and all clothes are neatly folded and ready to whisked away, another dirty item ends up on the floor of the laundry room. But I don't mind. I actually love doing the laundry. I love the fresh smell of laundered clothes. I love the process. I love the completion. I know, I might be a bit crazy. Between 7 people, 5 beds, loads of towels, dirty football uniforms, swimming suits and towels, muddy motorcross apparel....without my third hub....let's face it....we'd be one dirty and smelly family.
And then there is my 4th hub and what bring to the original picture I posted. It is my desk in the office I share with my hubby. I love this space. It brings me back to the days when I first laid eyes on my husband as we sat next to each other in high school English class. We were seated alphabetically and our English teacher either had the class arranged with the alphabet running forward or the alphabet running backwards: either way Barclay either was in front of me or right behind me as he was a D and I was a B. And throughout 11th grade English class, he and I passed notes back and forth. Silly notes with stars adorning the pages. Notes I still have today. Notes that marked the beginning of 22 years together. And now, once again, as he is back working from home, he has his desk and I have mine, and as he works, I am often sitting at my desk working alongside him. This is where many an email is exchanged, many a Bible study lesson written, a phone call taken, a children's writing assignment graded and questions answered. It is my hub. And at this hub, I do have things around me that go to the core of who I am. There are Bible verses tacked to the filing cabinet next to my desk, there are pictures of those close to my heart, there are poems thathave touched me....and there sits in front of me, upon my desk, a little wooden, 3 draweredcabinet, with items that are significant to me: a rock given to me by a dear friend with an inscription from Psalm 62:7:
"For God is my salvation and my glory. The rock of my strength."
Allyson gave this to me early in my diagnosis with breast cancer. It is a reminder to me that God is my strength-daily. There are 2 bells: one which was a part of my grandmother's antique bell collection and the other that was my mother's. She would ring this almost daily around 5:00PM when I was a child telling us girls that it was time for family devotions. I rebelled a bit growing up regarding these family devotions, but know that it was foundational for who I am today in Christ and thankful for that time in God's Word as a child. And there is my grandfather's pipe. He was instrumental in my life for many reasons and when I look at this pipe, I am taken back to many good childhood memories when Grandpa was by my side.
There are two other small rocks. One which my friend Brenda brought back from her trip to Israel. A rock she picked up for me in the place where David fought Goliath. A remembrance that as David fought Goliath, He was fighting in the strength of the Lord.
"David said to the Philistines, 'You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied......for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands."
1 Samuel 17:45, 47
Oh, this is my battle cry each day. Lord, this cancer battle, it is yours. My weapons are not of this world, they are yours.
And then there is this verse, simply framed, written with a black sharpie on a crinkled piece of brown paper bag, tucked into a glass Ikea frame:
"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
And it brings me to the purpose for this post in the first place....sorry it took me so long to get here! The journey of life can't be walked by sight. That is my temptation...daily...to look with my eyes, find solutions, understand, figure out, and press on. But I tried this long ago and guess what....chaos ensued in many areas of my life. I don't have the answers. I don't see the big picture. I don't have the strength needed most days. And as God always does in His Word, He gives us all the answers we need for life. He tells us to walk by faith. To walk trusting in Him not what our finite eyes can see. I look at this verse everyday when I sit at my desk. I need this before me, as a reminder that God knows everything and all I need to do is trust Him, believe Him and walk with Him. Simply and obediently. He will light the step for each next step. He has done that and more as I've walked through this new journey.
After I was diagnosed with breast cancer this past June, God began opening my eyes to a part of disease that I had never really recognized before: the financial burden of that disease. In an area of our marriage and family where God has begun stripping away years before, He now was doing on an even greater level. Will you walk by faith and not by sight with your finances? Will you give your finances to me? Will you trust Me that I will provide for your every need? Will you give me your first fruits and not the leftovers? Do you know that your money, is Mine? Will you allow me into this place, your finances, and allow me to show Myself strong as you walk obediently, humbly and faithfully before me? Yes, Lord, we will. And God has taken us on a financial journey of letting go. It hasn't been easy, but He has been faithful every step of the way.
And as my eyes became open to the financial burden, my heart began aching for every other woman faced with breast cancer, maybe without insurance, maybe without the financial resources to draw from to pay the out of pocket expenses...and I prayed.
In the meantime, my sister, Tasha, shared with me what God had been doing in her heart and life as she had started running. She shared with me that she wanted to run in a race to support me financially as we walk this breast cancer road. She felt God telling her to pay her own entrance fee, but raise money for me instead. I've got to tell you, this was a hard one for me. I really have a hard time receiving, especially when it comes to money. As I prayed even more on this, I watched as God began putting all the pieces together once again, softening my heart and saying yes. This Saturday, Tasha will be running in the Hers Breast Cancer 10K run in Freemont, CA.....for me. Her team is "The Beatties." :) If you want to read her story and find out more click here and see a glimpse into her precious heart. Thank you, Tasha. I love you so!
My friend Jill, came alongside to help, as well, offering her support and technical assistance. She has been a precious friend and sister in the Lord for some time. She is the one who originally gave me the nudge to begin blogging and has encouraged me along the way. You can stop by her blog, as well and get a glimpse at what she and Tasha are up to. Thank you, Jill!
I am beyond blessed by their hearts not only for the Lord, but for me. My hope is that someday in the future, God will put the pieces together to bless other women financially as they too, walk through breast cancer. I don't know what this all looks like, but that is my heart: to raise money not for research, but for women. To give a financial gift to another woman whose life is touched by breast cancer to help alleviate the financial burden of treatment, to help her purchase a wig, to give her the option of alternative treatments....to help lighten her load. I trust that if God desires to put this together, He will one day, in His way and according to His timetable and purposes. But He has put the seed in my heart.
And so going back to my hubs, which are calling me at this very minute....I leave you with this:
"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 5:16-18