Day 8: 30 Days of Gratitude

Today, I am grateful for Bethany.

Twenty-two years ago, a true bundle of joy entered our lives. Every time we were having a baby, it was special and exciting. But this time, it was a different kind of excitement because we had lost a baby.

Some words that describe Bethany are:
Kind, Friend to the Outcast, Wise, Thoughtful of Others, Steadfast, Godly.

There are more words, but these are the ones that rise to the top. When she was a toddler and preschooler, she was a spitfire. She was different from Blake and Hannah in that respect. They were active, but we had to try to stay a step ahead of Bethany. There are moments that have stuck out in our memories that we still laugh about (though we probably didn’t laugh then).

One of the most memorable moments was when Mary had gone upstairs and noticed that Blake’s big art kit was out of his closet and there was paint on stuff where it shouldn’t have been. When she walked into Bethany and Hannah’s room, Bethany said, “Don’t look over here.” Well, those are dangerous words. Let me tell you. There was red paint spread all over her bed. And there was red paint all over her. Mary asked her, “Bethany, did you get into Blake’s art box?” “No,” she said convincingly. I suppose she thought Mary would believe her. I don’t know. But we laugh about that almost every time we are together.

The funniest moment for me was when Bethany was downstairs laying on the sofa reading. Mary went downstairs and heard the cat crying. She looked around for it and couldn’t find it. She asked Bethany if she knew where the cat was. Bethany nonchalantly said, “Maybe she is in the refrigerator.” It turns out that the cat kept bothering Bethany. Instead of letting the cat outside, which is probably what the cat wanted, she just put her in the refrigerator. We laugh about that. A lot.

Bethany has always brought a lot of joy to our family. She is one of the most creative people I know, she is an artist, and a phenomenal baker. Bethany is compassionate and is drawn to people that need a friend, and isn’t afraid of being near people who others tend to run away from. It’s one of the things I love most about her.

The thing that encourages me most, though, is her desire to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, she grew up in a Christian family. However, there always comes a time when your faith has to become yours and not your parents’. She definitely has her own faith and her own relationship with the Lord. I have been so blessed to see her grow and flourish since she left home for school at John Brown University. They see many of the same things in her as I do. Last year and this year, she has more and more responsibilities in her dorm with freshman girls. I can imagine that the girls have found a mentor in Bethany, and I know that she ministers to them in ways behind the scenes that no one will ever know about.

Bethany, today I am so grateful for you and I love you very much! It is a blessing to be your dad. Your beautiful smile brings joy to my heart.

Chris Malone

Chris and his family serve as missionaries near Kyiv, Ukraine. Chris and his wife, Mary, have nine children. Five of their children have Down syndrome and four of those are adopted from Ukraine. Their four older children are in various stages of starting college and starting careers.

2 thoughts on “Day 8: 30 Days of Gratitude”

  1. Loved this about Bethany! She is a blessing to all who know her. So thankful I have the privilege of knowing and loving her!

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