Each month, we take time to get to know one of our church members just a little bit better. We hope this short interview allows you to lean-in and helps us all know one another better and grow together as a body of believers.
Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I'm Amanda Ryan, and my family and I moved to Tuscaloosa in September of 2017. My husband Philip and I met while both attending Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO where I earned my Masters in Counseling and Philip earned a Masters in Exegetical Theology. We moved to Atlanta for his second Masters at Emory, and then spent some time in ministry in Atlanta and South Georgia before moving back here to my hometown. We have been married for 7.5 years, and have two daughters, Greta (6) and Ruby (1 on Jan.9th). I'm currently learning how to be a home educator, which means I'm learning how to give and receive lots of grace. Some days better than others.
Can you share one way that God has been faithful to you recently or something he is teaching you?
The years between seminary and moving back here were difficult for us. We were stung, and then really wounded, by church leadership and our move here was sudden and painful. Although I was glad to be moving near my parents, I was unsure about living in a place I'd been away from for 17 years, with no real base of relationships to come back to other than family. I was unsure about how Greta would react to a sudden move that she didn't understand, scared of moving in the middle of a pregnancy with no health insurance, grieving some life losses for our family, and just generally beat up and fearful of the future.
We moved in with my parents, and it just so happened that there was a job with my dad's business that Philip could take, and my grandparents old house, previously occupied by my brother and his family, was opening up because they were building a new house that would be ready just two months after we moved back. Greta got a last-minute spot in the preschool at my parents' church, giving pregnant me much-needed time to rest and figure out things like health insurance and finding a new OBGYN at 20+ weeks pregnant. We started to feel at home very quickly, and started attending Trinity the Sunday after we moved back. After a year serving outside of the PCA, we were so glad to be back and immediately felt a sense of "home." We got plugged into a small group pretty quickly, and have so enjoyed the lovely people we've gotten to start building relationships with there.
Philip has had opportunities to be in his element, providing pulpit supply for churches in the presbytery, and teaching Sunday school and youth at Trinity. We've been able to pay off a lot of student debt (thanks, Dave Ramsey!), welcomed the sweetest baby girl into our family, and have had the joy of seeing my family get to love on both of our kids up close, something we'd missed more than we realized. There is no way that God didn't have his guiding hand on us in the middle of what felt the ground opening up beneath us. He has grown our marriage, our family, and our faith in ways we couldn't have anticipated. We're so thankful and looking forward to what He's going to do next.
What’s your favorite piece of clothing you own / owned?
Apparently I really love my buffalo plaid shirt because I had a hard time finding good photos of me not wearing it.
What songs have you completely memorized?
I have an uncanny knack for song lyrics, so A LOT. Philip is always making fun of me for knowing all the words to every song on the radio. I think he's just so amazed by my skills.
What are some small things that make your day better?
An afternoon French press, kisses from Ruby, and seeing joy in Greta as she learns
Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
Sara Groves, all time fave; recently, Jess Ray
What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
Fold a fitted sheet
What is one of your favorite smells?
Onion & garlic sautéing in a pan
Name three things you are loving.
I am loving Kombjcha, leggings, and hearing Ruby say "uh oh".
What are you reading or have you recently read?
Home Education by Charlotte Mason; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis; Make Something Good Today by Ben & Erin Napier ... all at the same time, which means they're all taking forever!