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

Home Again II: Shoutout My People

shoutout my iPhone (and my right arm #selfie)

shoutout my iPhone (and my right arm #selfie)

When I posted about my move last week, I mentioned my all-by-myself tendency.

It’s a thing of mine, a pride and perfectionism issue that demands I do it all or admit to being weak.

After college, I deeply wanted to be independent. I wanted to be this person who had worked really hard and hustled and had the chops to do it all herself.

Going back to Austin was entirely counterintuitive to that. I was so initially stubborn and ungrateful that this was where God would place me, yet the ones who most knew that are the ones who have been the most gracious.

It’s been a sweet and humbling reminder that no matter how hard I work, I will never be anyone or do anything entirely in my own strength — including this move and job. I walked into my first day of work the product of countless people.

I am a product of Angie McDowell’s blueberry muffins and packed lunches and constant encouragement and mentoring.

I am a product of Duke McDowell’s unpacking and re-packing my car so that I didn’t get robbed or look like the Beverly Hillbillies and comforting, practical advice.

I am a product of Clay Barton’s hugs and his turning the floor of Bannockburn Dripping Springs church into a giant map of my route to work and walking me through directions on how to get there, because he knows I can get lost anywhere and loves me anyway.

I am a product of Sharon Barton texting me Bible verses and heart emojis in the morning and letting me take naps on her couch and always being the best listener I know.

I am the product of a church that didn’t just open its doors, but handed me casserole dishes to arrange and babies to hold and teenagers to love and opportunities to serve; because more than anything, I wanted to feel at home again, and rolling my sleeves up and immediately jumping into the fray was exactly what I needed to do so.

I am the product of grandparents who believe in me relentlessly and pray for me constantly and sometimes pay for things like a kitchen table because I am young and poor and to them I basically always will be but they don’t mind and let me draw from their endless help and knowledge because grandparents are the real MVP.

I am the product of friends who let me snot-cry on them and send stress-fueled text messages to and willingly grabbed my hand and chose to walk through this crazy season right with me. You all know who you are.

And Lord knows, I am the product of Lana and Ryan Rush, who have seen me at my brattiest, and still choose to do things like pray over me on the phone and risk their spinal health to help me carry a couch up two flights of stairs in their spare time.

I am not myself by myself. I am the product of a lot of prayers prayed and wisdom shared and help given and arms outstretched.

The most important thing I’ve learned since moving back home is that the help I have from others doesn’t make me weak. I am stronger and loved and lucky because of them, and I’m thankful I don’t have to do it all by myself.

#BroDiaries: Working with Women Vs. Working with Men

High-Five Friday