Are there things I want?
Obviously. Pottery Barn's marketing tricks don't work on me for no reason at all. They definitely speak my language. And all those ads that I saw in Architectural Digest yesterday? I think they intend to make us feel less than, so that we'll think buying their products will make us somehow up-to-par with Diane Von Furstenberg. But even Diane has needs that money can't buy, and if she and I were to meet one day and be totally honest with each other, we would probably both agree that this world plays a cruel game of hide-and-seek--but never find--the things that will really and truly fill a person up. I think we all feel the sting of rejection and loneliness and sadness at some point along the way.
But when this very week, my very own Anna came home with "some of the kids in my grade have sleepovers with their boyfriends and girlfriends" (THAT'S the kind of parent I want, she said) and I was left stunned, standing there in the middle of the kitchen, one hand still lifted in my horrified state, nothing coming out of my open mouth, I decided that the things I want are very, very different from where I used to be.
What do I want now?
Courage to stand up for what I believe in.
Bravery to face the storm.
Wisdom to raise my kids.
Comfort for my aching, scared heart.
Determination when I want to shrink back.
Confidence in the face of fear.
To speak up and use my voice.
Honesty and integrity when everything in me says to lie.
To laugh at the days to come instead of cry.
Peace. Especially in my house.
Patience and kindness.
A soft heart.
Spicy emotions that I can admit I feel.
A loud and vibrant love and life.
To let go of perfectionist tendencies.
An abundant life.
Innocence combined with shrewdness.
To rise up as a warrior and fight.
For my son and daughter to see their mother rise to the challenge of being a faithful servant of Christ, who is thankful for every single minute of life I've been given, who doesn't back down or shrink back or look the other way just because the going gets tough, who speaks up and uses her voice for good, and for that son and that daughter to want to rise to the same challenge, despite of the way society lives and breathes. I want hearts that follow God.
In an instant, it was like my brain was flooded with scenarios where I've pined for and whined for clothes and shoes and furniture and accessories and jewelry and hardwood floors and apron-front sinks and curtains and all the things that I thought could ever make me happy, and I suddenly understood, when I realized that seventh-graders are spending the night with their boyfriends, that I could have all the gold in the world and still lose. I could have all the finery money could buy and still lose. I could have success and power and be regarded as having it all and still lose. Those things don't provide an abundant life. At least not the kind of abundance that I'm looking for.
Lord help me, Pottery Barn still commands my time, engrossing me in the details of their rooms. But will Pottery Barn come save me when I've made decisions that can't be undone, or just provide me the bed to lie in after I've made it? A rhetorical question, obviously.
May my heart be constantly undone by the precious love of Christ. May I never lose my life by trying to gain the world. For what can anyone offer in exchange for your soul?