GNO: Susan Maynor’s Favorite Things


I am the mother of two tender young warriors (middle school and high school), wife to a scientist (high-school/college chemistry teacher), and a child of the gracious, living God. I love to produce visual stories, develop new ideas to transform the learning experience, and inspire creativity to make the world more beautiful.

My Favorite Song:  I love music. In my life’s journey, I think I’ve claimed thousands of songs as my “favorites.” My first record player, now considered vintage, was a 1978 Fisher Price turntable. For hours, I would escape to my fairy tale world, pretending to be Cinderella singing “In My Own Little Corner” to my Rogers and Hammerstein’s LP. It wasn’t long before I graduated to Marie Osmond, Donna Summer, and once the 80’s hit, I knew the Thriller dance by heart.

As an adult, Christian music has consistently ministered to me as I’ve faced various challenges and trials. Sara Groves, Chris Tomlin, Lauren Daigle, Hillsong — so many musical Christian artists craft relevant, personal, and worshipful lyrics that speak truth into my life and my heart. One of my absolute favorite songs is “In Christ Alone“. Written as a contemporary worship song by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, this song is about all about Jesus and the gospel. I’m not sure I’ve ever made it through this song without tears streaming down my face and hands raised high in praise. The words give such hope and assurance of His love for us.

Lyrics for you:

“In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.”

Various versions by amazing artists:
Lauren Daigle
Owl City
Natalie Grant
Christina Grimmie
Mercy Me


My Favorite Bible Verse:  My favorite verse is Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” I tend to worry about everything, so I play this verse on repeat in my head when I feel anxiety begin to sink her spindly talons into my everyday. It brings me great comfort and assurance that I am not alone.

But more than that, this verse displays God’s power and presence to me. When I feel crushed under the weight of this broken world, He is the one who strengthens. He is the one who helps. He is the one who upholds. He is the one who is righteous.



My Favorite Movie:  Visual stories. I love, love, love them. Several years ago, my brother asked me what movies do I resonate with the most and why. Upon analysis of my choices, I found the pervasive themes of freedom and courage thread through my movie choices, not necessarily in the movie theme, but in the main character’s journey.

Gladiator: A beautiful hero’s journey story. In the final scene, as Lucilla commands, “honor him”, I cry. Every time.
A Little Mermaid: Ariel is a creative soul who loves to explore. I was just finishing college when this movie was released. My creative soul could not wait to explore the world and be “wanderin’ free.”
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Holly Golightly’s free spirit, so magnificently played by Audrey, makes me want to shed my introverted self and call everyone I meet “darling.”

What movies do you resonate with and why?



My Favorite Thing To Cook for Company:   Four years ago my family moved to Kansas City, and one of our favorite Saturday morning activities is going to the City Market. Fresh fruit and veggies, gorgeous flowers, delicious coffee, beautiful people, and my favorite spice shop. A generous scoop of Greek, please. And Lime Pepper, Lemon Pepper, KC Burger, KC Smoke, Sweet & Smoky, House, Fiesta Lime. These spice blends have transformed the food we eat in our house.

When I cook for others in my home, I like to use these spices in what I prepare. In summer, my favorite is House-rubbed grilled chicken with mango salsa. When I make a meal to deliver to someone, my favorite is to create a turkey taco bar. I use the Fiesta Lime to season the turkey. So delicious.



My Favorite Holiday Tradition:  We have framily we consider cousins. There is only one girl in the mix of kids, and she is a beautiful, bountiful bouquet of creativity. When our kids were little, and it came time for giving gifts, we made sure it included something that would encourage her to create.

For one of her birthdays, we bought her the Pink Princess Cookbook. Before we wrapped it up with a sparkly paper and a fancy bow, my youngest, Briggs, insisted we read through the recipes to see if there was anything tasty he and I could make together. It didn’t take long for him to discover the Chocolate Chip Peppermint Scones that seemed to whisper: “Tell your mom we would be perfect to make for Christmas morning!” Briggs copied the recipe onto a piece of notebook paper, and several days later, we made our first batch. “Delicious!” piped Briggs as he reached for a second…then a third.

We make these for every Christmas morning but have added a creative twist to the traditional scone design. We use various cookie cutters in shapes that reflect the meaning of Christmas: angels, stars, even the cross. And, of course, each child insists on creating his initials in scone dough. It is always a competition as to which scone initials stay together after baking!

Your friend,

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