Impressing Others is a Tricky Business

Why is that sometimes when we are trying to impress others all the magnetic poles line up to foil our attempts and mock us?

I was walking into the restaurant, following the waiter through a tiled floor maze of occupied tables. Curtis was bringing up the tail.

I felt a joy in him following me, watching me. We were still dating and I was trying to make a good impression.

We had just come from church and I was in heels, hose, and a skirt. This was not just any outfit thrown together. I knew this was an outfit I looked good in. I was feeling confident.

“It is just over there,” the waiter said, pointing.  

I smiled. “Okay.”

I took another step, and another step.

I was beginning to memorize the waiter’s back. It seemed we had wound our way in and through and out and around the sprawling Mexican restaurant at least two times by now. By the time we reached the table I would be famished. I was just hoping the food wouldn’t be cold by the time it came to the table. If it had to traverse our current route, the possibility was bordering on highly likely.

 Step. Step. Step. It felt like one of my toenails was to long. Why is that high heels remind me that my toenails need cutting? Step, pain, step, pain.

 Suddenly all ceased. No more steps. Things were still. Too still.

 I blinked.

 Was that the ceiling?

 Why were the waiter and Curtis peering down at me with looks of alarm?

 What was I doing lying flat on the floor?

One miss-step and I had landed flat on the floor. So fast I didn’t even feel myself falling or have time to try and catch myself.

Both towering men were asking me if I was all right. Telling me to catch my breath and don’t move for a moment.

When you are lying on the floor between two tables of dining people and two towering and receding men who are standing up and then kneeling down and then standing up, you feel pretty flat and small. You also just want to close your eyes and either sink through the floor or wish yourself into some other three-dimensional space that is very far away.

“Should I call the ambulance?” the waiter asked.

A child’s voice floated down, “Mommy, that woman just toppled over dead.”

Embarrassment and erosion of pride and dignity were descending quicker than a falling thermometer in an artic storm.

I mentally checked my body parts. All felt fine. I felt no pain at all.

I sat up and tried to gracefully stand with Curtis providing a helping hand under my arm. (My straight skirt was both a blessing and a curse. It is harder to arise gracefully from a prone position on the floor in a straight skirt. But a straight skirt also can’t fly over one’s head and allow bare skin to touch the tile floor littered with food drops and foot prints.) Soon I found myself upright.

The waiter kept apologizing and asking me if I was fine.

I smiled.  “Yes, and where was our table?”

He glanced around, trying to remember and then pointed forward.

“Mommy, the lady was resurrected.”

I may have been resurrected, but I felt like I was drowning in embarrassment and a strong case of get-me-out-of-here syndrome.

Curtis tucked his hand under my elbow and guided me to the table. If I was going to slip and upend backwards on another puddle of tortilla soup, cheese grease, or slimy salsa, he was going to be there to catch me. He was going to protect me. He was going to walk beside me and lead me to our destination.

Somehow, we got to the table and had lunch while about 4 attentive waiters kept asking me if I was all right, was there anything they could do, and could they pay for the cleaning of my clothes?

Sure, I was mortified and thought my raggedy pride would take awhile to recover, but it felt good to know someone was on my side ready to catch me and clear the path of spilled food.

Curtis is still by my side, walking besides me, and for that I am thankful.

But someone has been besides me even longer than Curtis.

God resurrected me from my old dead life and now walks patiently beside me. Beside all His children.  

God is our protector. When I slow down and focus for awhile on Him, delighting in Him, I feel his hand under my elbow, gently leading me down the path, walking besides me to clear or minimize missteps, tenderly pulling me back to me feet when I upend, resurrecting me from despair and helplessness and filling my heart with joy, love, and peace. 

I don’t know about you, but in my reality where I live daily, trying to impressing others is a tricky business, and often ends in failure. Luckily, we don’t need to impress God.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important and have a lovely day.

Theresa

 

Join the Discussion: How do your efforts to impress others end up?

Linking up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory); and Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope).  A Wise Woman Builds her Home, Pat and Candy, Messy Marriage, Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth), Missional Women, Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), and Lili Dunbar (#FaithOnFire).

24 thoughts on “Impressing Others is a Tricky Business

    • Thank you Teresa! I am glad this spoke to you. These pictures were taken at Meramec State Park in Missouri. They have a number of caves there one can explore. When we went hiking in the woods a few weeks ago, the wildflowers were blooming. It’s a fun place to visit. There are camping and cabins if overnighting.

  1. Dearly beloved writer: this type of situation happens to everyone. I was showing off to a group of people I very much wished to impress. We were eating lunch. I stopped speaking, lifted my glass, missed my mouth, and poured the drink down my face. You would hope that would have taught me something! It is hard (very hard) to be human. Love your blogs, postings, and voice. You are fantastic!

  2. ThankThaThank you for this sharing. 🙂 It’s so true and I’m so thankful that nothing that we do will earn God’s love or impress him. It’s all because of His sweet grace!

  3. I typed out my response but I am not sure what happened to it. Sorry if you get two.

    Oh my goodness, I can’t quit laughing. You have made my day. I have been praying for laughter and Theresa you delivered. We have had a great deal of sadness in our lives lately. You delivered just what I needed tonight. I know the end of the story had some great points but tonight I am just going to stick with the laughter.

    I am so glad you were okay. I too have made a few spills in my life. Once I was trying to impress my dates family. We were at a football game in great seats. I was trying to show my expertise and enthusiasm for the game so when the crowd roared I jumped my to cheer. It was so exciting until I sat down and the chair had folded up and I found myself on the floor.

    I am going to share your story on my fb page.

    • Maree: So glad this provided some laughter. I love to make people laugh with funny stories. (That’s one reason I started my podcast, Life as it Comes, to tell funny stories and get people to laugh more.) So yay, that this had you laughing. Because afterwards (of course not at the time) it was funny.

      Thanks for your funny story about the chair and cheering. Hey, in both of our stories, we ended up on the floor!

      Also thanks for sharing on FB.

  4. Theresa, looking at your picture before I read this story made me think you were one of those perfect christians! So glad to know I was wrong. Just kidding, I much prefer those who can admit that we are all imperfect and that’s why we need God. Lovely pictures and blog post too. #TuesdayTalk

    • Your comment made me smile, Steph. I am hardly a perfect Christian or perfect anything. I am always making blunders! So much so that my family now says, “You pulled a Theresa.” Episode 31 of my podcast, Life as it Comes, lists a whole bunch of these blunders I stumble into. Luckily, they have developed my sense of humor. I think learning to laugh at our self helps us admit that we don’t have it all together and need God. Thanks for stopping by and making me laugh.

  5. Such beautiful photos, Teresa! That falling episode must have been really embarrassing at the time, but does make a good story. It also illustrated beautifully how there were people to help you and show concern which easily led to reminding us that God is always with us and will never let us down. As you said, we don’t have to try to impress Him.

    Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #HeartEncouragement.

  6. Oh goodness! It seems when we’re trying to impress things like this happen! Glad it’s a memory you can laugh at now. 😉 Happy to connect with you from Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory. You have beautiful pictures.

  7. Oh, Theresa. I’ve had a few fall on my face moments, but I love the way you illustrated your point. My efforts to please other generally resulting in me being agreeable and saccharin sweet, and not at all authentic or genuine. I’ve learned (the hard way) that it’s better for me and everyone around me if I choose to be kind and gracious, but acknowledge that I have ideas, opinions, and values which they may not share. And that’s ok. I agree, so glad God doesn’t need me to work to impress Him!

    • Oh, Tiffany! How often we change ourselves and twist ourselves into something different when we try to impress others. Great point. Best to be our authentic self. Both for others and God.

  8. This sounds like something that would happen to me. Ha! I’m so grateful that we don’t have to impress God. He loves us regardless! By the way, I really like your photos. ?

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