GNO: Cathy Barnes’ Favorite Things


I am a wife, mother, and a daughter of the King. God has blessed me with a rich and varied life. I have been a dancer, police officer and art teacher, and have participated in everything from beauty pageants to search warrants.

I have been married to my hero, Jeff, for 26 years. We’ve raised two wonderful adults, Allie (27) and Charlie (24), and are enjoying the incredible bond that comes from weathering years of experiences together…. good times, and bad—joys and sorrow. I am blessed to be working with children every day teaching them about art, and the Ultimate Artist—God. I love drawing, painting, reading, …and picking up a gun for some target practice now and then. Continue reading

GNO: Paula Robinson’s Favorite Things


I am a working mom of 3 kids, and have been married to Shawn for 17 years. I am a native St. Louisan but my heart lives in Montreal – or Arizona – or Bora Bora. Let’s just say I love to travel.

First, I’d like to say that it’s an honor to read everyone’s favorite things. You can tell a lot about a person that you may have never know before with these posts. Thank you, Karen, for creating an avenue for so many phenomenal women to share their insight, encourage one another, make us think, make us laugh – have a girls’ night out! Continue reading

Twenty Years

As of last month, it’s been twenty years since my first-born was placed into my arms. It seems like yesterday, and so long ago at the same time.

I look at his tiny body in the picture and can’t believe that he is now a man: strong, talented, intelligent, sensitive, and godly.

And I look into the face of the young version of myself and remember. She is clueless about being a mother, but Continue reading



“What happened here?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I think I cut it while fixing the gutter.”

I rubbed my eight-year-old fingers along yet another deep groove in my father’s finger.

We drove in the car. It was before air bags, and I got to sit in the front and hold his hand.  It was our father-daughter ritual when sent on a grocery run.

I loved how I felt small and safe with my hand in his. I rubbed my smooth girl-fingers along his palm. The countless calluses and cuts were evidence of his hard work taking care of our family.

My dad’s weekend hands fixed, built, and lifted.

My dad’s nighttime hands held my mom.

My dad’s early morning hands pressed my back when I heard his voice, “I’m crazy about you.”

As a teenager and young adult, my dad’s hands had to withhold privileges or set boundaries.

Occasionally, my dad’s hands rescued me and paid my debts.

My dad’s hands pointed me to the Father. Because of the work of his hands, I recognized the work of the Lord.

And later, as my hands slipped from his, it seemed so natural to cling to Another’s pierced and callused hands.

Hands whose work is always to restore, and never to destroy.

Hands that I can trust to hold me up.

Hands that apply pressure from a crazy kind of love.

Hands that fence me in for my protection.

Hands that reached down to meet me. To rescue me and pay my debt.

And there, in the palm of His hand, I’m a child again. Small, safe, and loved.

Happy Father’s Day!