Welcome to Ryley Writes, a collection of thoughts, stories, and work from deep in the heart of Texas.


I'll be honest, I kind of forgot to write a post for this week.

Sunday, I flew to Virginia with my parents and one sister for an early Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family and the other sister. Today, I'm flying back to Houston. Tomorrow I'm eating Thanksgiving Part II lunch with my dad's parents, then driving to Austin for a friend's wedding (HI, SYDNEY) this weekend.

So this is coming to you live from Charlotte, where I figured instead of spending the next three hours stressing out about how many ways this airport could figure out how to delay/cancel my flight during such a long layover (CHARLOTTE DOUGLAS INTERNATIONAL: WHERE LOGISTICS GO TO DIE), I would write you people a nice little post to chew on with your turkey. (Granted, it's going to be short and a little stream-of-consciousness, but hey — better than nothing!)

It feels really unoriginal to write about being thankful during Thanksgiving week, but the truth is that gratitude has been on my mind a lot lately, anyway.

I've mentioned before I'm a prayer journal-er. There's a host of reasons for that — words make most sense to me on paper, and my prayers tend to be unfocused in verbal form — but chief among them is that I can turn back the pages to see what I prayed for in the past, and how they were answered in the future.

For the bulk of my life, the space between initial prayer and "answer-recognition" has been vast. I pray for something, I get an answer, and I absentmindedly chalk it up to outside sources or my own doing. I forget I prayed the prayer to begin with. I don't remember making a request. It's amazing God does anything for me at all, because more often than not, I lift up my wants and needs and take far too long to acknowledge when they're given.

But I think the more I grow in my own faith, the quicker that turnaround becomes.

I've told multiple friends recently that I feel like for the first season in my life, I'm not just acknowledging answered prayers in my past — I'm walking aware of them in the present.

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for a million things, big and small; but I'm thankful the most that I've been thankful for them already. Does that make sense? Thankful that it didn't take a dedicated day to stop and think. Thankful this isn't the first time I've paused just to say wow. Thankful, for once, I haven't been missing it.

I'm thankful for being thankful, lately, because it's how I want to live my whole life.

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