The Perfect Woman (part 2)

Outdoor portrait of pretty young girl riding bike in a forest.

The perfect woman came to my house. I was merely attempting politeness when the invitation was sent. Really, she shouldn’t have come. This was supposed to be a lovely evening. Yet, in she floated like a ballerina on opening night in her fitted ivory pantsuit.

In one glance she eye-slid me. For clarification, this refers to someone who runs an eye up and down a person’s body and smirks. I peeked down at my blouse—it looked like I dragged the thing from the bottom of last year’s mission barrel. I especially liked this shirt, before tonight.

She roamed the room in a single glance, as I followed her eyes. Suddenly cobwebs burst from the ceiling and out from under the chairs, while the carpet displayed shadows of last year’s spills. My favorite designer chair looked like it arrived on the Santa Maria; the drapes I’d made a few years before seemed as though constructed by a novice.

I didn’t want her to enter the kitchen, but in she waltzed to congregate with the women who I thought were my friends. They should have halted her passage and eased her out the doorway. She offered polite conversation to those gathered while she scowled at the maple syrup drizzled down the cabinet. Why hadn’t I seen this earlier? Lemonade punch littered the counters and stuck to the white floor leaving a trail of footprints.

Pinterest offered an adorable swirly design for my cupcakes, yet now they were dry and a bit dull. In fact, this entire meal tasted like a bite of brown paper. The party ended at her entrance.

When she should have inspired me, she wilted me into sautéed spinach. For years I had contemplated her power over me. Not just her, but every woman who was polished, well educated, and widely traveled. They deflated me even when I wore my best jeans. But then something happened that forever changed me.

My transformation didn’t occur like Scrooge’s all-night drama. It was a slow slide into freedom. More like daily walks with Jesus. And listening. Listening with a heart eager to know myself and my Savior. Without Him some parts are missing. We continually struggle as seemingly perfect people rip the joy out of our heart.

Eventually, I became the gal who felt comfortable with my own imperfections. This is freedom when I can be real without fear of rejection, and accepting of those who are smarter, prettier, and thinner. This also leads to embracing those who wish me misfortune.

Jesus removes the cobwebs from our corners and brightens our favorite blouse. He takes our junk and converts it into treasured pieces that evoke our deepest gratitude. We eventually see people as just that, people—people on a journey.

I’d like to wrap this up with a fairy tale ending, but we all know life isn’t neatly packaged. We have those days when we’re in our own ivory pantsuit. Days when the president could eat from our kitchen floor and his dog drink from our toilet. But then there are those times when the perfect woman knocks on our door.

6 thoughts on “The Perfect Woman (part 2)

  1. Oh, I can so relate to this one, Lisa. But then, like you’ve experienced, came my freedom from caring about perfection. I think that’s one of the blessings of our later decades in the aging process. We finally figure out that what really matters are our relationships with others. It’s OK to have a clean enough house rather than a perfectly clean one. And what we eventually learn is that our imperfections connect us more than our perfections ever will.

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  2. Lisa and Cheryl…I love your stories!
    This is a lovely example (most likely) of how Ms. perfect feels when others visit her own home. Usually those who loath her host as ridiculous as she did on that occasion have a serious inferiority complex anyway!
    Isn’t this scene one that evolves in our everyday life as the world looks upon us Christians, many times as goody two shoe Sally’s?
    If we ladies could just approach each other (thankful that we are Royalty of the King of Kings) beaming in delight and embracing our attitudes as taught by our Savior, what a different scene that would be!

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  3. I so enjoy your writing, you know i get down sometimes that I’m not a small perfect shaped lady, but my mom always taught me pretty is what pretty does. So on that note I am who I am.

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    • Belinda: You are one of the sweetest, loveliest women I know. Body size and shape have nothing to do with the size of your heart for people. Thanks for caring so much for so many…every day! Your church family loves you.

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  4. I can picture this perfectly and feel the feelings along with you! May we all keep our eyes on Jesus rather than on those who seem perfect! What’s funny is that when I met you at the conference at Les Stobbe’s table, YOU came across as the perfectly put-together person–but not one who made me feel bad because you were gracious, generous, and thoughtful. I was glad I got to meet you!

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