it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: retreat

Bethany’s Retreat and Our First Myci Linka

Bethany's Retreat (11/15/14)

Bethany was gone on a youth ministry women’s retreat from about 4pm yesterday until the same time today when she got home. Above is a photo of what she woke up to this morning. Not only is that an incredible view, but the weather again was gorgeous today. I originally thought she was headed in to Poland for the retreat, but found out late last night that they had actually stayed at our sister church’s facility here in Czech, about thirty minutes away. Bethany said the entire event was really well done and she was glad for some time to get to know the girls better. She also said that it gave her a great opportunity to just practice listening to the Czech language because all except for one session was in Czech. Below is a photo of “the fabulous food that we were blessed by,” as Bethany put it.

Bethany's Retreat (11/15/14)

Back at the home front, the kids and I enjoyed a fun Saturday together. This morning as I was making breakfast for all of us, Avery was playing with the clementines on the kitchen table. First she told me, “Daddy, I made a ‘W'” (top left in the photo below). Of course I snapped a photo because I thought she was clever. To my surprise she quickly took one of the oranges away and said, “Now it’s a square” (top right). Sure, it’s a crooked square, but I’ll take a photo of it too. No sooner had I gone back to making scrambled eggs and Avery said, “Daddy! I made a butterfly!” (bottom left). Nice one. Then she told me, “I can make Mickey mouse, too” and rearranged them in to those classic three circle shape we all know and love (bottom right). She concluded with, “Yeah, I can make shapes and letters and stuff.” Yes, you can, Avery.

I Survived 24 Hours Without My Wife (11/15/14)

Besides making orange shapes, Avery also helped destroy some orange circles and mixed up the scrambled eggs in the bowl. When mommy’s not home I’ll take all the help I can get!

I Survived 24 Hours Without My Wife (11/15/14)

We have been talking for a while about getting the car washed and since I can’t really do it in our driveway (I still need to buy a hose and some buckets), I decided to take the kids through the drive thru wash at a nearby Shell gas station. Another missionary put the thought in my head and I have been wanting to try it out. The kids and I cleaned out the car and went over there as I pulled up I saw this sign.

I Survived 24 Hours Without My Wife (11/15/14)

Uh oh. I was pretty sure that “Myci Linka” means car wash, but other than that I don’t know what any of that says; I better call in reinforcements (I realize we have these in the States, but I haven’t really used many of them so I just wanted to make sure I was doing it right). Our friend Mel helped me navigate the fact that I needed to get out of line, go inside, pick a car wash, pay, get a code, and come back in line with my car and type it in. Through my broken Czech I was able to understand that I was getting the first car wash option and it would be an 8 minute cycle. Whew, OK, here goes nothing.

I Survived 24 Hours Without My Wife (11/15/14)

I was able to watch the guy in front of me with this car and Mel’s directions were great and it all worked out in the end. Above is a photo of the car in front of us finishing up before we headed in. Sadly, I didn’t get a photo of the end result, but the car looks great and now I know how to do that if I ever need to in the future. Our first car wash in Czech…I’m so proud.

Foggy Day and Bethany Gone at a Retreat

Foggy Day (11/14/14)

“I can’t go to school; it’s so foggy.” These were the first words I heard this morning as Titus woke Bethany and I up. I looked out the window and he was half right, it was really foggy, but that wasn’t going to keep him from going to school.

The fog had lifted a little by the time we walked to his school (photo above), but for the most part the day stayed foggy. I try to check the forecast on a regular basis to see what’s upcoming but I never saw fog in the forecast. Honestly though, we can’t complain. Lately we’ve been hearing from family in the States that it’s warmer here than most of the U.S. Last night I saw a map of America that showed the majority of it in blue (e.g. cold), with a lot of states showing highs in the 20s and 30s. This is like 15 degrees cooler than us so we’re very surprised. We’ve been hunkering down and expecting severe weather, but so far it’s mid November and I don’t even think it’s been below freezing the entire month.

No matter what the weather, Avery’s looking fashionable.

Foggy Day (11/14/14)

This evening Bethany left with our friend Rachael and headed in to Poland for a youth women’s retreat with the girls from our church. She was originally asked to speak, but with all of us being sick (yes, Avery and me are still hacking) she opted out this time around. Even though she’s not sharing, she was excited to be a part of it and hopefully grow some relationships with the young women in the youth ministry. I sincerely hope it goes well and that God uses that time to grow relationships and build a strong community among the young women.

With Bethany out this does present me with twenty four hours of Titus, Avery, and Daddy time. Tonight that meant taking the kids to McDonald’s for dinner. Is McDonald’s twenty minutes away by car? Yes. Would it have been possible for me to make dinner for them at home? Maybe. Did I want to kill time and make it easy on myself? Absolutely. But hey, you have to at least give me a little credit. We did bath time when we got home, jammies were put on, and Bible reading time went off without a hitch. Not a bad night! Now my only concern is if McDonald’s here is open for breakfast?

A Bear Named Titus

Bethany took the photo below of an announcement on the door at the preschool which we think has to do with school photos. It looks like you can sign up for a time and bring you kid in for some Christmas portrait? We’re not exactly sure.

School Pictures (11/5/14)

You could say there is an ongoing dialogue with Titus about just what exactly is going on at his school. His teacher does a great job of trying to give us some explanation of what is happening, but Titus usually tells us the full story. Today the teacher said the kids are doing some kind of play tomorrow in the late afternoon. Titus, however, said that he’s dressing up like a bear. He told us his teacher helped get into this so-called bear suit and put a nose on him. I guess we’ll just show up tomorrow and find out if our kid is going to be a bear. Ironically, Titus is supposed to play a bear in the Christmas play at our church here in December. They even gave him a line to memorize (all in Czech). He must just have those bear like qualities?

I finished up my retreat with the Creative Communications team today. Mostly today we spent meeting on a lot of different projects and how we can improve our processes across Josiah Venture. We had some great conversations and I think the team left with a lot of clarity about what the future holds and how we can be good stewards of the time God has given us. I’m really thankful for this team and their hearts to see God glorified in their work and the quality of what we produce and care for us as a team.

Tonight I have had to fight fatigue and tiredness. I realized on the drive home this evening that I needed to try and push hard to be “all there” for Bethany and the kids as I was returning from being gone for two days. It’s so easy to want to come home and just relax because I’ve been busy for two days, but Bethany has had her own hands full with the kids and she too needs a break. She’ll have to evaluate how I did, but it’s amazing how much you have to fight to serve and care for your family when you’re just plain old worn out.

Retreating

It’s been a full day and I’m pretty tired. I’m going to try and summarize the best I can.

Sunshine (11/4/14)

First, had a great meeting with the international team this morning at the Josiah Venture office. We really just spent a lot of time sharing recent stories and happenings and weaved in prayer throughout our hour together. There’s always a lot going on in the lives of the team here and I was encouraged by how God is working in each of them.

After the meeting my team left for a retreat. All five of us had lunch together and headed to Josiah Venture’s retreat cabin called “Selah” (which stands for a place of peace and rest). It was designed for all of our missionaries to have a place to come and just rest. It’s a beautiful cabin in the mountains here in Czech. Our team is meeting here today and tomorrow to just regroup and think through projects for the upcoming year. This evening we spent some time working on getting a few things for our office to make it professional and hopefully a great place to work. I’m excited about what God is doing with this team and for our time today and tomorrow to just focus and plan for the months ahead. Below is the incredible view from Selah.

Retreating (11/4/14)

Tonight was kind of crazy because one of my teammates, Daniel, got a phone call while we were at the store from his roommate. His apartment was robbed tonight. Thankfully nothing major was stolen, except for some cash in one of his roommates drawers. We left the store and went to his place and I helped him pack up some of the important things he owns and of course he felt like he had lost a little trust in where he lives. The police came and fingerprinted everything and took photos so we’ll see what happens.

It’s already a late night and I’m off to bed. Only the Lord knows what tomorrow holds.

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