What I Want / by Sarah Schwartz

"So, what are you doing with your life? What's next? What do you want to do?"

I've been getting this line of questioning a lot lately. It's funny too, because I can tell that a lot of the people who ask me questions like this really do expect me to give them a respectable answer. Expect me to lay out my five year plan, or show them my application to grad school, or flash them a ring on my left hand. None of which I possess. None of which I currently want to possess.

But I suppose the questioning isn't all that bad, because it has gotten me thinking. Sarah Christine, what do you want?

I want to learn the art of loving both much and well. I want to spend my life celebrating people like I actually believe God Himself breathed life into them, like I believe He stamped them with His image. I want my everyday words to be full of the things we usually wait for deathbeds or eulogies to prompt us to say. I want to go to sleep each night knowing that I spent the day loving people like it was my profession, like it was on purpose.

I want to live simply and without fuss. I don't want to spend my days shackled to a shopping bag, constantly in search of fulfillment or a sense of worth in the pages of a catalog or in a shade of lipstick. I want to be like my mother, owning things, but never owned by them, hair constantly in a pony tail, nails always filled with dirt from helping my grandfather in the garden. My mother, who, in a room full of perfectly put together and manicured women, is the always the happiest, who can never be found in anything but jeans and an old tee shirt. I want to live in that magic place where contentment and confidence meet.

I want to preach the gospel, in and out of season, with and without words. I want to be so wholly consumed by the work of redemption that it spills out of my pores, rushes from the ends of my fingers, shoots out the tips of my eyelashes. I want to live every moment in the light of eternity, in the knowledge that a holy God has busied Himself bringing me back to Him, making me one with Him. I want to live in the knowledge that He offers me His furious and unchanging love as my abiding place, today and forever.

I want to drive the back roads to my farmhouse, the country highway that winds through miles of fields dotted with old silos and barns. I want to drive with my sister until the pavement turns to gravel, and park on the side of the road so we can lie on the hood of my car and watch a tractor weave back and forth into the sunset while our favorite song plays on repeat. I want to sleep on my trampoline during combine season so that when the farmer comes to harvest during the wee hours of the morning I can watch the lights of the combines decorate the landscape.

I want to write poems for birthday presents and have ice cream picnics on the top of buildings. I want to go on Sunday afternoon adventures and wear red lipstick to the movies. I want to cover my walls with pictures of the people who possess my heart. I want to keep old birthday cards in shoe boxes and stop every day to soak in the colors and feelings of dusk. 

This is what I want. This is what I am doing with my life.