why chartreuse is the color of a dream come true

The store smells strong of paint and wood. Adele plays from a speaker in the back and I have a compulsion to touch everything I see. Story is thicker than the paint in the air.


The shop owners greet me when I turn the corner. She waves from behind the desk, steps around to offer a hug. He smiles and holds up his paintbrush. They have been married as long as I’ve been alive.

This is what they do, they keep this shop and sell these goods and remake things already made.

The man, he’s a long-time family friend. He knows more of my family story than perhaps anyone on earth. He sings like an artist, listens like a friend, laughs like Jesus.

If I ever have to act in a play and my job is to cry the real, I will think of what our lives would be like without this family friend. I tear up every time I imagine it. I try not to think of it at all.

Before the store was a store, she has a dream to create a place where they take the old, beautiful things and give them new life – a store where they do what they always did: make the used into art. He is up for the adventure and she goes to bed dreaming of a name. Chartreuse comes to mind, a word that hugs both art and reuse, though she won’t realize that until later. She keeps the name to herself, falls asleep dreaming.

They wake the next morning and he tells her he thought of a name in the night. “What is it?” she asks, curious.

You know where this is going.

“Chartreuse.” He says. The same word, the same night, two different people. But not really.

And so it was.

I don’t share their story to advertise their shop (although it is one of my very favorite places in Greensboro to find things for my house). I share their story because they had a dream and they weren’t afraid to make it come true. And the Lord, he put himself right in the center of it, literally.

He makes the used into art. Chartreuse.

“Having vision beyond your resources is synonymous with dreaming big. And it may feel like you’re setting yourself up for failure, but you’re actually setting God up for a miracle. How God performs the miracle is His job. Your job is drawing a circle around the God-given dream.”

Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker

Do you have a dream you’re afraid to voice? Are there things swirling around in your heart that need to find a place in your life? Do you believe God can give that dream a name?


  1. says

    Why is that colors have the ability to express our deepest emotions? This post is definitely imagery in motion. You have allowed God to speak to my heart through your beautiful words. My dream doesn’t have a name …yet it feels within in reach when I choose to let God create it in His image.

    Thank you for your colors.

  2. says

    One night, lying in bed praying, God spoke something very specific to me. It was my own voice in my head, but I knew it was Him, because it was something I would never have dreamed up on my own. He said, “Her name is Luisa”. At the time, we were praying about possibly adopting from Colombia. I assumed this was the name of the girl we would eventually adopt.

    Over time, several doors closed on our adoption dreams…at least for now. But as we’ve continued to pray, God has led us down a different path. We are currently being licensed to host a refugee teen girl from Central America – not full time, but one weekend a month, as part of a respite care program. (She will be living in a group home for several refugee teens.) We are confident this is the right path for our family in this season, for a variety of reasons. We don’t know what our “referral” teen’s name is yet. But I will not be surprised if it is Luisa! :)

    Thanks for your post this morning, Emily!

  3. says

    Love the way God speaks like that in confirmation. And that quote from Mark Batterson? I have that book on my nightstand, tried to start it in my sleepy, just before bedtime, reading glasses state and this did it for me. Your quoting it was like their dream, God saying I need to read it. And I think I’m afraid to name the dream, because then it will become real alongside the responsibility to do something about it. Just sayin’. Maybe its why I need to read that book.

  4. says

    Wonderful story of art and life and love and dreams and faith and work and family and … all woven together with joy and heart. Thank you, Emily, for the inspiration of your faith and your art. On their website, about the artists, Janice Burns Baker said, “It is all meant to be shared…meant to be given away…” You are an example of that, as you share your art with us, and give us your heart.

  5. says

    I love this post Emily. I can envision those lovely people and their shop of rebirthed goodness. And Chartreuse is a magnificant color. What a great name for their shop….it evokes so much possibility.

    Your quote from Batterson made me think. Just this morning a dear friend told me that she didn’t want to dream any more….nothing ever becomes of her dreams….it’s just too painful anymore for her, seeing them dashed. I thought I might send her the quote and then I realized she’s driven a stake and refuses to dream any more. What would you say to her if she were your friend?

  6. says

    This wrecks me into bits and pieces in the inside. Friend, you have no idea. {although, maybe you do.}

    Over this weekend I thought a lot about this dream I believe He’s been weaving in me. And about the quiet I’ve been about it. And how I think it’s time I step out and share my thoughts with my groom. Dance in delight over His dreams. And by talking it’ll give it all legs. And we’ll see. I’m just so afraid. But, I’d love to see His miracles in action.

    Such good stuff here, friend. Always.

  7. says

    Oh, my. Beautiful. Yes. And written with the best. words. ever. For us? A little house. Balancing on the rim of (what felt like) insanity, we were compelled by a dream of small, tasteful, and paid-for. We’re just putting the finishing touches on now. Eeek!

  8. says

    I love this story of how they came up with the name. Names are so important to God, his intentional naming of people (I am reminded of Abraham), places and things speak volumes of His love. God whispered the name for my blog, not while I was sleeping like the couple above, but while I was running on a treadmill.
    After recently finishing The Circle Maker I have started to write my dreams down and circle them in prayer. I am excited for what God will do now that I am no longer going to let fear stop me from naming my dreams!

  9. says

    Emily, your writing always moves our dreams close. When I read your words, I feel myself relaxing and not stretching so far to reach those dreams. What a gift, what a gift.

    And I want to visit that store! Sounds like my kinda place.

    Much love to you and yours this Monday morning, friend.

  10. says

    This is the sort of story that inspires me to rejoice in a God that is just so perfectly personal. It also inspires me to jump in the car and high-tail it to Greensboro for a look-see in their store. And a coffee meet-up with you of course. : ) Maybe one of these days.

  11. VIckie says

    Didn’t see that quote coming! Reading this post brought me the release of gut level , sobbing Hope. I did not know I was denying my dream the freedom it needs to move closer to the forefront. I am in a time of transition that seems to be unearthing all my core beliefs, understandings, and responsible actions. On the outside it all looks like a woman losing her mind. On the inside it is the energy of raw wild adventure! Thank you Emily! You have become a soothing and wise voice to my heart.

  12. says

    So perfectly timed. There was a whisper and a pointing my dreams last night…my eyes could not focus on what was there. Perhaps tonight the name will come. Lovely story.

  13. says

    Oh, sweet Moses. I am in love. I cannot believe this: “though she won’t realize that until later”, only I do believe it, because you said it.

    I also feel like in some parallel universe, this was the start (or the middle) of your color/feeling “thing”. (I forget the real name.) Color DOES have life.

  14. Karen says

    I have a dream… a big one… already beyond my resources – just. & because it was only just out of reach, I thought it was possible.
    & just recently it got bigger. Bigger than I can do. Big enough for me to realise there will have to be a miracle. How scary – and exciting at the same time. And all I need to do is my part, & trust Him for the rest.

  15. Jeannie S. says

    Oh Emily, what a sweet story. Yes, I have dreams I am afraid to dream, afraid they will taken away by sickness or not enough faith. We went to a sweet little Texas town this past weekend and met a sweet man named Henry Hubbard. I want to write a story about him and his buddies that meet for lunch every day at 11 am at Joe’s Place. Trying to figure out how to start. Your words flow together like a clear stream running over rocks. Thank you for sharing and stirring up the dreams that are afraid to come out. Blessings!

  16. says

    Emily, thank you so much for this post. It really struck a cord with me. God has been bringing to life some dreams I’ve never even considered. I was homeschooled and graduated in May; I planned to attend my small local college. I felt that was where God was calling me. Apparently He thought otherwise. :)

    Despite fighting tooth and nail against going away to school, I’m now heading to a great school with fantastic opportunities, the classes I’ve always dreamed of taking – and my best friend happens to be going there as well. That school was never in my “plan”…but mine is not His. He’s made it very clear that the doors that have opened are because of Him. I’m very excited and scared, but ready to take this chance. Ready to jump. And trust He will catch me.

  17. Katie says

    What do you do if you feel like you have tried to walk out that dream that God has given you and you have failed or get burned out trying to live that dream? How do you keep yourself from feeling like God has failed you?

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