I love a good story! Stories captivate our imaginations, impact our lives, and have the ability to shift whole cultures. Swapping stories with a sweet friend over a cuppa hot something is just the best. It's a joy to welcome Carina Alanson to Story Swap today! (Every Saturday I post a Story Swap feature on my Instagram).
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself. What does a typical day look like for you?
I'm a former professional counselor turned writer and artist. I'm also a lifelong Alaskan who loves cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and going for scenic drives with my husband, Paul. I work from home, so a typical day finds me writing on my computer at my sunny kitchen table, usually with a cat and mug of decaf coffee at hand.
2. When and how did you meet Jesus?
I met Jesus when I was 5 years old. I learned about Him through my parents and church and knew I wanted to ask Him into my heart, so my mom knelt with me in our dining room and prayed with me. I'll always remember that moment!
3. What are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about helping women live with purpose, grow in their relationship with God, and enjoy everyday life.
4. How are you making the most of your current season of life?
I'm making the most of this current season by getting even more intentional about what projects I commit myself to. I know there are some big things God has called me to, including writing books, and I'm realizing more than ever that if I'm going to make progress on that assignment I need to let go of some things that are good but are not directly helping me move forward.
5. How do you prioritize the Word of God?
Before I start work for the day, I spend some time reading the Bible, and I'll often record verses that speak to me in my journal. I also listen to an audio Bible while I'm getting dressed. I try my best not to skip my morning time in the Word because I know that if I do it's unlikely to happen later in the day when things are busy or I'm more tired.
6. What has God been speaking to you about and how has He moved in your life recently?
There have been some losses in my life, including in the realm of community and friendships. Early this year, I was feeling pretty discouraged about it, but in the midst of my grief and sadness, I felt God reassuring me that my best days were not behind me—that there is hope for my future and He has good things in store.
7. What is the biggest thing you've had to trust God with?
8. What story is God writing with your life?
My story, in part, is about a woman who found herself tired of doing good work that drained her soul. God met me in the midst of my disappointment and revealed that He was calling me to become a writer—a long-held dream I had discounted because it seemed impractical and self-indulgent. Through my journey, I learned that my deepest longings and the things that bring me true joy (things like writing and painting) aren't self-indulgent or superfluous but rather are keys to understanding the good work God has created me to do, and now I'm passionate about sharing this story of God's goodness with others!
Carina Alanson is a former professional counselor turned writer and artist who is passionate about helping women live with purpose and grow in their relationship with God. She lives in the subarctic town of Fairbanks, Alaska, where she enjoys going on scenic drives with her husband, cross-country skiing, watercolor painting, and reading by the fire. Visit carinaalanson.com to connect with Carina and get her free journaling workbook, How Do I Know if a Desire is From God? 5 Questions to Help You Decide, plus other resources for purposeful living. You can also connect with her on Instagram @carinaalanson and on Facebook @carinaalanson.