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?