What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thoughts on Restoration

Psalm 23:3a “He restores my soul…”

Have you ever restored a piece of furniture, or an old house, or some other precious antique? If you have, there were probably many times during the process of that restoration that you stopped and asked yourself why you were doing this! I have had several such experiences, but the most memorable project of restoration was my husband’s grandmother’s “Hoosier Cupboard”.

Quite a few years ago now, John’s beloved Grandmother, “Nanny Martin”, passed away. Nanny was more to my husband than a grandmother…she was his confidant, encourager, disciplinarian in many cases, and a lovely example of a Godly woman who trusted and served the Lord with her whole heart. Nanny was very special not only to John, but to me as well. I was so blessed to become a part of the family early enough to get to know and love her myself. When our dear Nanny departed this world to be with Jesus, we became the recipients of several pieces of furniture from her home. Her lovely antique curved glass- front china closet, complete with the enclosed china, the dining room buffet, table and chairs that had so graciously served all the most wonderful family special occasion dinners and gatherings, and the “Hoosier Cupboard” that stood in a corner of her kitchen ever since her children were young, were among the treasures handed down to us.

Well, this “Hoosier Cupboard” had quite a history itself. My husband loves to tell how as a little boy he would open up one of the drawers and play in the snowy white self-rising flour that was stored inside. Had his grandfather ever found out that dirty little fingers and possibly small toy trucks or soldiers had trampled through the very flour that made his biscuits, there would have been some kind of trouble for those dirty little fingers and a certain young man’s behind! There is also a dent in the porcelain enamel counter top about the size of a silver dollar where a certain young lady, (my mother-in-law) dropped the flat iron that was kept on the very top of the cupboard, when she, as a young child was climbing up to the top to see what was there. But with all of its scratches and dents and six coats of paint, I saw potential and beauty waiting to be restored!

To make a long story short, the potential beauty lying under all that paint took me quite a while to recover. Each layer brought new revelations, (why did she paint it that color?). The old-fashioned metal sifters attached to the cupboard were rusty and crusty and dented, but it wouldn’t be complete without them. So they too were cleaned, stripped of their paint, and varnished to show their natural metal sheen. The porcelain enamel counter top received a new layer of paint, but the dent where the iron fell retained its character.

After several months of painstaking work stripping away those layers from every crack and cranny, the natural wood began to glow. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a solid oak cupboard as I had hoped, but a mixture of several different hardwoods on each side. But, no matter, the completely restored “Hoosier Cupboard” was a thing of beauty…a true conversation piece, and an honor to the memory of a dear loved one, as well as a practical addition to our household. I’ve had many offers from other admirers, but this cupboard will remain in our home as long as the Lord allows, and hopefully to be passed on to one of our children someday.

Why did I go to so much trouble to restore an old piece of furniture that at first didn’t look like anything but an overly-painted worn out old cupboard? Maybe it has something to do with seeing the potential within…wanting to preserve something that had been a part of someone we loved…maybe it was because we could see how useful and special that object had been and could be again.

Why does God go to so much trouble to restore His children? Could it be that He sees the potential waiting beneath the layers of sin and burdens and cares of this world that we have placed upon ourselves? Could it be because He wants to make us like new and useful again? Could it be that we belong to Someone He loves? Could it be that He loves us that much…that He would go to great lengths to scrape away the layers of ugliness that have attached themselves to us over the years of hurt and sorrow? I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father didn’t just throw me away on the scrap heap of wasted lives…He saw something beautiful waiting within…He saw the character that had developed from the dents and scratches of life…He saw me, and brought me back to new life in Him, restored, forgiven, and transformed into a person of beauty…for His honor and glory.

Thank You, dear Father, for not giving up on me.


  1. "Why does God go to so much trouble to restore His children?"

    We are Hoosier cupboards! :) and our dents will be heirlooms one day.

    This was beautiful and encouraging. Thank you!

    1. Sandi, I just saw this comment today, almost two years later! I didn't realize we knew each other so long! yes, we are like "Hoosier cupboards"...I like that our "dents will be heirlooms one day." Testimonies of God's grace and power to heal and forgive. Thank you for that thought. You always have the best thoughts!!!


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