GNO: Elizabeth Anderson’s Favorite Things

11255403_10204161661189127_8663793590824035785_o (1)My name is Elizabeth Anderson. I am the proud mother of two incredible sons, Tom and Sam, and we have a lovely Labradoodle named Regan. We live in Brentwood, and have some of the most amazing friends. I love reading, hiking, and being in wide-open spaces and wilderness areas.

I earned two degrees in natural resources management and fire ecology. I spent 15 years fighting fires and lighting prescribed burns for the US Forest Service and National Park Service. I am currently the Chief Operating Officer of Wildland Fire Associates, a company I helped found in 2001.

Recently, I pressed “Publish” for the first time on my brand new blog, “Out of the Desert“. Hope to see you there! 

When I started to think about my favorite things, I realized that they have three things in common. The first is that I love to travel to beautiful places, and these places have become the spaces that I mentally return to when I need to relax and breathe. The second thing that they have in common is that some of my favorite people were often present with me. And as you will see, military history appears to be an unexpected third common thread… 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

GNO: Christan Perona’s Favorite Things

Christan Perona is the Director of Communications at Central Christian School, a racially and socio-economically diverse Blue-Ribbon school in St. Louis. She is involved in the racial reconciliation and diversity efforts of Greentree Community Church and speaks to various group within and beyond her church about the redemption of the Gospel of Christ. Christan (sporadically) writes about practical theology when the inspiration hits and time allows ( She and her husband, JD, have two children.

It’s not something I do often — think about my favorite things. I have a hard time identifying what my true favorites are in most areas because there’s so much I love. So much I crave. I used to think it was an affection for change, but I’m pretty sure I’ve discovered the truth — it’s a restless heart. One thing I’m looking forward to about eternity with Jesus is for my strivings to cease. Can any of you relate?

I love beauty. I’m not referencing the super narrow, ever-changing definition of beauty that’s been offered to us in the 21st century. You know, those definitions that tempt us all to “stand out” by being the same, by following the guide of what’s “in style” for our clothes and make-up and homes and cars… you get the picture. You can’t escape it.
I’m talking about beauty that calls to the deepest parts of our soul when we see it (or hear or feel or taste it). There’s a feeling that reminds us we were made for more that’s incredibly hard to describe. And while it leaves us longing for Heaven, this feeling whispers that our Father sees us, and knows us, and wants us to experience beauty here in this world, too. What a gift. Which leads us to my favorite song.
Continue reading

GNO: Jenny Smith’s Favorite Things

Jenny picture

I randomly decided to move back to Saint Louis a few years ago after college, and I feel pretty confident about that decision considering it lead me to marry my high school sweetheart (Taylor) and also to me working at Central Presbyterian Church. Since college, I’ve somehow acquired four animals (dogs: Mustard & Dill, cats: Poe & Turnip).  I enjoy (most) change and like to make things look nice. Which is probably why I paint my front door, on average, twice a year. I’m excited to see where God takes my little Noah’s ark-esque family, and I’m sure the two things that will never change are my love of popcorn and the amount of fur on my clothes. Continue reading

GNO: Linda Gurney’s Favorite Things


I’m a freelance musician (piano, clarinet).  I have been widowed ten years, have three grown children (two are married) and am a new grandmother of 3-month-old Adelaide!  I love old movies, playing tennis and pickleball, and have survived breast cancer for two years.  I love the women of Central Presbyterian Church and am honored to participate in Karen Brown’s “Girls’ Night Out”!

This is a wonderful topic, to write about things that we love. That is to say, some of God’s sweetest gifts in our lives! Continue reading