Monday, January 19, 2015

My Writing Partner

This year, I want to focus on the riches, or blessings, in our lives. In my opinion, our greatest blessings are our friends and family. A person is truly rich if they're surrounded by people who love them.

I couldn't pursue my writing career without my family and friends. I have a husband who believes in me, family members who encourage me, friends who inspire me, a church who equips me, a community who embraces me, and children who love me unconditionally.

Within each of those groups, there are individual people who touch me and minister to me in unique ways. From those closest to me who know the intimate details of my daily life, to those on the outer rings, who simply know me by name and face, they each play a significant role in my support network.

I thought it would be fun to highlight some of these people from time to time on my blog. They have no idea I'm going to write about them, but I hope through my words they know how much they mean to me.

This week, I've been especially blessed by a writer friend I met a few years ago. She's an amazing woman I have the pleasure of calling a friend. She, along with Melissa Tagg and Lindsay Harrel, have become a lifeline for me. Ironically, in our day to day lives, Alena and I would have probably never met in this big, wide world. She lives in Texas, and I in Minnesota. But through our shared love of writing, we were introduced at ACFW by Melissa.

Alena and I at the 2014 ACFW Conference
Alena Tauriainen is who I want to be like. She has a heart like no other. I love her gentleness, wisdom, and positive perspective. She's truly a servant at heart, and loves to bless people with her time and energy. As a mom, she's the type everyone wants to have. She offers her children discipline and grace, and sprinkles in a lot of laughter and fun. As a wife, I admire the way she loves and respects her husband, and speaks so highly of him.

Alena is the retreat coordinator for My Book Therapy. She takes care of everyone and does it with so much love, you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If you've ever been to one of the retreats she hosts, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Alena and I became writing craft partners a few months after we met. Besides critiquing each others writing, we've agreed to keep each other accountable to follow through with our writing goals. But more than that, we're here for each other to encourage and offer support. It's amazing what one email, text, or phone call can do to brighten my day. When I receive writing-related news (both good and bad), Alena is one of the first people I tell. Even though she's in Texas, I know I have someone who understands what I'm going through.

I've learned a very valuable lesson on this writing journey. I'm not meant to walk it alone. God has brought amazing people to help me down this path. Alena is one of them.

I can't wait to tell you about the others. :)

Your Turn: Who has blessed you this week?

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Speaking of great writer friends, this Wednesday I'll be welcoming author Lisa Jordan to my blog! Stop back to learn more about Lisa and enter to win a copy of her newest release, Lakeside Redemption.


  1. Gabe,
    WOW - I'm absolutely speechless.
    It's always amazing to me how God puts people together at just the right (or write :0) time.

    Looking forward to years of successful partnership in writing stories that lead people closer to the amazing God we are privileged to know and serve.

    Now, I'm off to show my family your blog so they can see how really cool I am (hehe!).


  2. Thank you for the encouragement and time you've given me this week, Alena, and all the other countless ways you've blessed me the last few years. You inspire me to be a better wife, mom, friend, and writer. Your friendship means a lot to me. Go print this out and hang it up for your family to see, but I know they already think you're cool. :)

  3. love, love, love this. This is what MBT is all about!! So thrilled for you both!

    1. MBT is life changing, Susie! Thank you for carrying the torch for the rest of us to follow. :)

  4. Alena is one of the best people you can meet along the writing road. I am so thankful for her friendship -- and I admire how she lives life.

    1. You've said it perfectly, Beth. I'll be thinking of all of you in Florida next month, wishing I was there to revel in the friendship (and heat!). :)


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