My Beloved Old Blue Chairs

I love seeing old things restored and I adore antiques, so I have no excuse for what happened to my ladder back chairs. After we inherited my grandmother’s antique dining room chairs, I stuck my old blue chairs outside and forgot about them.

Each year, they got a little more worn.

A little less respected.

Kitty Thelma used them for scratching posts.

I tried to ignore them. Made me sorta sad to see them.

One morning this spring, I went antiquing and spotted a pair of gorgeous ladder back chairs. Someone must’ve cared about them.

They’d been restored.

Overwhelming compassion for my old blue chairs enveloped me.

I had to do something about their pitiful plight.

I found a man working there. “Do you know anyone who restores chairs?”

“It’s almost a lost art, but there’s a shop in Maysville, Heritage Chairs. Go see ’em. They’re good people.”

The next Saturday, my husband and I took my chairs to Maysville.

“If I re-cane them, it’s gonna cost you more than they’re worth,” the shop owner said.

I appreciated his honesty, but a fierce protective love rose up in me about my chairs.

“That is,” he said, “unless they’re worth something to you. Then they’re priceless.”

“Oh, they are. I love them.” I ran my fingers over the raggedy cane and looked at my husband.

Can we get them fixed?

“It’s up to you,” he said.

I love you.

A few weeks later, we picked up my chairs. I got all teary-eyed looking at them.

Welcoming them inside our home, I found a special spot for each chair and thought about how God restores us.

Thank You, Lord.

You love us.

Even in our broken condition.

In Your eyes, we are priceless.

P.S. My new favorite song below. It’s all about How He loves us. Listen for the word Surrender. 🙂

Surrender proceeds our own restoration.

Do you love the word RESTORATION too?








  1. Sandra Walker says:

    This one is priceless! My tears say it all . . . .

    • Sandra….thank you. A writer knows she’s done her job when she can stir readers’ emotions.

      Blessings my sweet friend.

  2. Chris F-F says:

    I surrender to my God and put my trials, hopes, dreams in His hands.

  3. Anna Haney says:

    Oh, Julie! What a wonderful post! Restoration! Many times I think as Christians, a lot of get into that youth group mindset. We all heard someone give a testimony in which some one spoke about overcoming a wild past—something so far removed from what we know–that we forget how God restores us daily. I can look back at the 30 something me who did the same kind of job I have now and I realize that that woman was immature, got bitter easily, and had no real idea of how to deal with people who needed more than just a class schedule. But time and experiences and His restoring power has left me far better suited for this profession today than I once was. You bless me each Wednesday! Have a wonderful day!

    • Thank you, Anna.

      I can just whisper “restore me” and sense Him drawing me back. It’s a beautiful thing–and not something we can do for ourselves.

      You’re absolutely right. It’s time, experiences (even though we don’t think we’ll get through) and His restoring power.

      Thank you. Hugging you in my heart.

  4. I’m a constant work in restoration. If I look hard, I can see beauty where there once was none. Even inside of me.
    Thanks for the peek at your chairs, and into your world.
    Love you!

    • Roberta Messner says:

      Restoration–with my love of antiques, it’s one of my very favorite words! I think your chairs are something called Thumbprint Ladderbacks. Adore them. Roberta

      • Roberta, I’ve never heard of Thumbprint ladderbacks. And I see you made ladderback one word. Oops, I bet it is. 🙂

        I was so hoping you’d have a chance to see this blog. I had a feeling you’d understand.

        Love you dearly.

    • Love you too, B.J.

      Absolutely adore what you said. I always do.

  5. Great word. Great hope. Great song.

  6. That’s beautiful, Julie. We have two chairs similar to those from my husbands great grandmother … maybe handed down to her. They sit around, pretty like … just for decoration. They are such small chairs … afraid I’ll bust them! 🙂 My FIL refinished one … the seats are rope and he re-roped it … he is in heaven now. So that makes it more special. My husband refinished the other to match the one his dad worked on. Lovely.

    • Love hearing about your chairs, Shelli. You understand!!!!! And what a gift from your husband to take the time to refinish the other one.

      I’m so glad we’ve connected. Wish we could sit on my front porch and talk. 🙂

      May God bless your writing, my new friend.

  7. marci says:

    How great that you were able to have your chairs restored. Yes, restoration is such a good word.
    What a wonderful lesson, to save and that there is hope for the damaged- things we treasure, and us in the places we are broken. Too often the world is ready to throw out the damaged and broken, not seeing the value. The older I have gotten the more important I find the lesson you expressed here. Don’t we all have times when we feel like those chairs? And when God restores, how great is that?

    I really like your chairs. There is something special about those things that have been with us for a long time. Yes, I am so glad that the Lord sees our value, and he restores. I am very thankful for that. I am thankful for your sharing

    I just had to get on here so I could read what you wrote, today.
    I will be noticing the things around me a little more, and think of what they mean to me.
    God Bless!

    • Amen, Marci! There is Hope for the damaged and broken. And yes-yes-yes I’ve felt like my chairs many times.

      But God. 🙂

      He restores.


  8. Julie Gilleand says:

    I love your blue ladder back chairs! We had a rocking chair re-caned one time. Living near Shipshewanna, Indiana (Amish country and home of a giant outdoor market full of arts and crafts, collectible items, antiques, quilts and a huge flea market that people come from all over to visit) it is not hard to find someone who knows how to do it, but you’re right, it’s not cheap!

    The way you feel about your chairs is how I feel about my car — the Black Pearl, my kids named it 11 years ago when we bought it. It was already 10 years old then, so it’s pretty old now and it shows. However, it has been the best car I’ve ever had. The repairs have been normal upkeep things, some costly, but not unexpected, and some just routine things. I’ve decided it’s time to give my car a gift of pampering and so I’m taking it in this Friday to be detailed — cleaned inside and out, vacuumed, the carpet and seats shampooed, the vinyl cleaned and treated and then the exterior washed and waxed too. This also is not cheap! It’s a lot for my budget, but this car deserves something nice for how good it has been to us all these years. I can’t wait to see how it looks, feels and smells when it’s done! Just as I was considering doing this and pricing different places, an unexpected check came in the mail for precisely what it will cost. I thought about how there were more practical ways to spend that money and how extravagant it was to spend this much money on a 21 year old car! But then I remembered that scripture where Mary poured expensive oil over Jesus’ head and the disciples grumbled at how it could have been sold and the money used for something more necessary, but Jesus basically told them to “let it go” and approved of what she had done. They hadn’t understood that what she had done had meaning and purpose. So it was settled, I was going to bless this car that had served us so faithfully for so long and had endured so much (especially this past winter that was the most brutal one I can remember!). And wouldn’t you know, after I decided to do it and casually mentioned it to a co-worker, she told me she’d just done her car, too, for the very first time and recommended a place I’d never heard of, that just happened to be a block away from where I work, so I can drop it off, walk to work, and pick it up after work again. It was all designed by Someone else and it was just a matter of my getting on board with it!

    Think how many things there are that we might judge as not worth it. Not worth the time, money, effort or even love, but how differently God values things than we do, just as you said!

    Thanks for sharing your story and for showing us the before/after pics! Love, love, love the chairs, even before you had them “renewed” and now they are even more beautiful!

    • Julie, don’t you just love it how He is a part of even the tiniest details> (get it??? detail?? :))

      What kind of car is it? You know, my husband restores old cars.

      I love how God orchestrates circumstances like He just did for you and your car. Some things, can be so unclear for years, and then He does something like this and RESTORES our faith.

      Love you sweet friend.

      • Julie Gilleand says:

        LoL, Yep, I get it, God is in the DETAILS and also in the RESTORATION business! My car is a ’93 Chrysler Concorde. The A/C compressor went out years ago and I was never able to get that replaced due to cost. The black paint on the car is doing that thing where it turns silver and looks streaky in places (like someone keyed the side of it) and there is rust on top. Some electrical things have gone out, like I can’t open my moon roof anymore, the radio comes on once or twice a year for a few minutes (!), one of my back windows is permanently down a couple inches (not fun in winter!). But those are pretty minor things except that a paint job is pretty costly! It’s the first car I ever bought “on time”. All the cars before this one were even older and bought for me in cash and all had lots of mechanical problems. I was scared to death to sign for this car, as a single parent at the time but my other car just went kaplooey. End. Fini! I test drove it and showed my boys. They loved it and called it the Black Pearl after the Pirates of the Carribean movie we’d just seen and loved. Because pearls are my very favorite things and have special meaning, I felt that was God’s way of putting his stamp of approval on it. Plus, the salesman’s name was — Mr. Rogers! Only God and my boys knew how much I LOVED Mr. Rogers from TV. Two stamps of approval! I literally shook as I signed the papers but have never regretted it and have always loved and appreciated this car. Can’t wait for it’s cleansing and renewal tomorrow!! It’s like a salvation, isn’t it. Batptized, cleansed and renewed. Given a new life 🙂

        • Other Julie, I’ll make sure my husband reads this. He’ll LOVE it! I do the same thing when I’m making decision–look for Him in the details. Send me a picture! Or be sure to put one on FB. I have to see it about it’s been reborn.


  9. Brenda Greene says:

    Hi Julie Girl!

    What precious blue ladder-back chairs that seem to be perfect for your log-cabin home! Restoring the old, not throwing it out…Priceless! Reminded me that I experienced my own “restoration” just yesterday. Hubby had been unusually grumpy because of some new aches and pains and a “sense of defeat/discouragement” was falling heavy on my shoulders. When he took the dog for a ride in the Mule on our woodland trail, I turned off the TV, rebuked the “enemy of my soul”, prayed for peace and comfort, not only to him but me and our home. After about 20 minutes I could sense “restoration” taking place….and it was free! 🙂

    It was a good thing….three of our five grandcuties came “tumbling” in the door a couple of hours later! No parents, just them…the dog was SO excited to see them, they were hungry, full of energy, bubbling over with tales of the final days of Summer, and eating the food as fast as I cooked it (shrimp, french fries, and home-made hush puppies-a favorite of theirs). Whew, when two left a couple of hours later, leaving the middle one to spend the night, the peace was evident and precious! Enjoyed one-on-one with our 14 year old granddaughter. [Even helped her learn to play “Bringing in the Sheaves” in the Cokesbury Hymnal that I learned to play out of at that same age.] God is good.

    Continued thanks for “Wednesdays with Julie”…they keep SO many of us focused on Jesus! Love you. Brenda

    P.S. Especially loved your DG devotional I read yesterday morning about walking your neighbor’s trail with cute “art work” and praising God at each object. Thinking seriously about doing that on my own trail. Thanks!

    • Hey Brenda!

      And the thing is, He’s SO close. I forget this. And all it took was for you to change your focus and look what happened. Sounds like such a good time! Wish I could have been there with y’all. You have a wonderful family, my friend. And such yummy food too!!!

      Thank you for the kind words on my art work devotional. I’m telling you– I was dragging that day. Did NOT want to walk. Did NOT want to praise Him. But ohhhhhhhh how it changed my heart to do the opposite of what I felt like.

      Thank you again for reading and connecting with me.

  10. I love them!

  11. Patricia Martin says:

    What a wonderful message, Julie, and how it applies to faith!(; Even when faith is starting to look “old” and in need of “replacing” a little restoration like surrendering or rest can make it like new!((((((: Today, my family and I got to see the mysteries of the ancient Egyptian mummies IMAX at the Phoenix Science Center and eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory (yum) ((:). Even though artifacts from ancient Egypt are extremely old they are priceless and that includes the mummies! Blessings to you and yours.
    Patricia (((:

    • Love how you said, that Patricia!! When faith starts looking old–wish I’d thought of that. 🙂

      Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what a fun day you had. We have a Spaghetti Factory in Atlanta. How neat–you got to tour old things. I’m so glad you understand my love for old things.

      Love right back to you!

  12. What comfort and peace to be reminded that we are priceless and worth every drop of blood He gave…
    Love this, Julie! Thanks!

    • Thank you, Vonda. Always love seeing your smiling profile picture on your comments. You’re so dear to my heart!! Such an encourager.

  13. I’m like the old version of your chairs…and the thought that God might not mind restoring me …well it brings me to my knees…thank you J

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