My name is Charissa and I’m a wife, mom, reader, writer, observer and worshiper of God. I also thoroughly enjoy what usually turns out to be thought of by everyone else as mediocre coffee.

My husband & I serve a church plant on the desert, border of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. What I’ve learned living here is that the humanity we all share transcends our differences in race, culture and which side of the border our address happens to be on. There are many days I can’t carry on a complete conversation at the playground or grocery store  because of the frequent language barrier (my Spanish is as mediocre as my preferred coffee….though I’m slowly improving). Despite that we have been graciously accepted here and we all still manage to all be people together in our desert borderland. People who love, recoil, forgive, offend, ignore, sacrifice, bleed,  anticipate and weep.

I love words and there is a feeling in my bones that comes specifically (and only) when I’ve landed on the exact word or phrase I need to communicate. It’s one of those odd joys that tends to make for stilted conversation if you abruptly stop to try and describe the nuance of it (Understandably. It’s weird. Unless you’re also a writer).

I wish I was musical. I’m just not. But music expresses things I could never say in prose and it resonates with me at an invisible and transformative level.

Stories do that to me as well.

I feel most alive when I’m charged with the energy of a story that has called me back to remembrance  of the story I’m already in. The sweeping arc of redemption that spreads its light over the history and future of the world. God is everywhere.

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Good stories, good writing of all kinds, helps me see and remember what is even more true than the books around me and scent of coffee that fills the bookstore where I’m writing this. Stories transcend space and time and all the things I can touch or see and they fill in the gaps of experiences I haven’t had so that I can more fully understand God.

Because of all the things that are true He is The Most True.

The stories He writes are all transformative and His redemptive, sacrificial love that relentlessly pursues when we forget, reject or rebel is the stuff of the wildest fairy tales.

I don’t know that you’ll find anything new here. But I hope you find something old. Someone ancient. I hope you’ll see Jesus, the author of the First Story that has been unfolding since daylight dawned and the world, the stage of our stories, saw its first act.

Thanks for reading. Thanks even more for walking alongside me in search of Holy Ground, seeking to stumble across God in the common places together.