Walk Right In Ministries is privileged to have nationwide collaborators who share our passion to come alongside families facing disability with encouragement and the hope of Jesus Christ. The way that happens ranges from partnering on projects or events, co-presenting at conferences, and writing for each other’s blogs to making referrals when caregivers, their families, or their churches could benefit from the products or services they offer.
Mallory Brown of Open Door Encouragement (ODE) is one such partner I want to introduce you to her today.
Mallory is the founder and director of ODE and the creator of Bible-grams, blogs and the Days of Devotion series. She offers an exciting example of how God multiplies blessings when someone simply and generously follows the delights of their heart and holds their gifts out for God to multiply.
Over the course of Mallory’s life, God laid it on her heart to “serve Him through serving others”. For some time, she served others as an Occupational Therapist. But God “flipped the script” in her life even though she never expected to be a stay-at-home mom. He shifted her heart about parenting and career goals, then also gifted her with their son, Adam, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2021.
Mallory explains, “God trained me for years in hospitals, research labs, and rehab centers how to care and serve so many people with various ailments and disabilities. I had no idea that He would use my profession as a training ground to prepare me to be a stay-at-home mom with my own son.”
Now years later, Mallory feels very fortunate that God selected her and her husband to be Adam’s parents. And she’s been astounded to come into connection with faith-based organizations like Walk Right In Ministries that rally around families like hers. “God has opened the eyes of my heart to see what a unique and special crossroads He places those of us in the community walking with a loved one who experiences disability.”
Mallory recently created custom Bible-grams for WRIM, themed to share at our annual Jammin’ Pie Fest event. Even if you won’t be able to join us locally for live music and pie tastings, you can download these beautiful bible-grams that will be among the giveaways at the event.
As early as Mallory can remember, notes, cards with sweet words, and letters with encouraging words have been a big part of her life. Both of her parents lovingly left notes in her lunch pail, at her seat at the dinner table, and in countless other areas. It didn’t take long for her to take a keen interest in hand-written notes and the heartfelt gesture behind them. She felt seen and loved. And she wanted to share that feeling with others.
During grade school, Mallory had a pen-pal. And that experience further developed her appreciation for encouraging friendships and the power of artistic communication.
Since cultivating Christ-pointing friendships and belonging are such a significant aim at Walk Right In Ministries, we asked Mallory to share some background for the inspiration behind one of the Bible-grams she created for Jammin’ Pie Fest.
Mallory offers four prompt words for cultivating quality friendships: steep, strong, sweet, and share. These words will be at the front of our minds when we celebrate Jammin’ Pie Fest this coming weekend too.
We can steep ourselves in Christ-like character in order to carry God’s qualities into our friendships. When we take the time to steep ourselves — really soak in God’s Word and the truth of His teachings, learn about His character and press into His presence on a regular basis, wonderful things happen! God’s character shows up in our daily life and in our friendships because we have habitually spent time with God and focused on His truth. Colossians 3:2-3 is a wonderful passage that encourages us to habitually focus and steep our soul in things above — godly things like His character, His truth, and His promises. Carrying that perspective into our friendships puts an eternal spin on what we say, think, and do.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. What do you mean by strong? Do you want me to be stronger than the people I’m friends with? Not exactly. I’m not referring to the huge and muscular kind of strong. What I want us to think about is being strong in our faith because we know Whose we are — God’s children. And as 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 shares with us, we receive a heaping dose of God’s character, comfort, and compassion by extension of being His children. That is awesome! We become strong in our faith because of the kind of fuel God is pouring into us as our Creator and Heavenly Father. We experience comfort and compassion as God’s companions. Then we carry that into our friendships as well. So, my friend, let’s take the invitation. Let’s brew strong faith that is fueled by God’s compassion and comfort.
Another element that we should wrap each of our friendships in is sweetness. Being sweet, kind and thoughtful. Those elements will help carry our friendships and cover any rough edges. Sweetness smooths out any wrinkles, knicks and lumps. When you have a moment, take a peek at Proverbs 27:9. I will share with you what The Message has to say (a version of the Bible in less formal language). “Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. Wow. I love that! I hope you do too. Let’s ask God to give us that kind of soft-hearted sweetness that we can shower over each one of our friendships.
To me, this is what solidifies and strengthens our friendships with one another. Sharing with each other. Being open to someone and having a deep care about what’s being shared is integral to quality friendship. When we say yes to sharing on a soul-level, it opens the door to a lasting friendship. Our good friend Jesus was frequently sharing with his Disciples — His friends — throughout the Gospels. And along with the sharing flowed beautiful fellowship with one another.
Mallory encourages us to drink deeply of Jesus and cultivate lasting friendships. “Ask God to help you steep in His truth, brew a compassionate and strong faith, have a sweet note in all of your friendships, and ultimately the desire to share with others.”