it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: walk (page 1 of 2)

Rainbowed

I’ve been a little emotional today. As a guy, you rarely say things like that, but I think I have a pretty good reason. Mainly, I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year here. I even started working on tomorrow’s one year anniversary post just because I had some things on my mind.

Avery Riding (6/23/15)

I took a walk with the kids tonight (photo above) and as we were walking I was just thinking about all God has done this past year and how it has shaped our family. This whole process has been challenging, but it’s also brought us closer together as a family. The Lord has used it to humble us and cause us to look to Him for our strength. I’m sure many missionaries would say the same about their first year. It’s not easy to fumble through the language barrier. It’s not easy to feel like an outsider (foreigner). And it’s really not easy to know that it’s going to be a while before you’ll be able to really communicate your heart. But the Lord always gives grace.

I was also thinking about how much of an encouragement people have been to us. Whether it’s been personal notes, phone calls, text messages, Facebook messages, comments on the blog, Instagram comments, or Twitter replies, we have had countless people encourage us in so many different ways. It’s hard to put into words just what that has meant to us. Even now my eyes well up just a bit as I think about the amazing people God has brought in to our lives to not only be part of sending us here, but of holding us up in prayer from thousands of miles away. My family is so thankful for you and continue to ask you to pray for us!

Rainbowed (6/23/15)

I left the house around 8 o’clock tonight to run to the store for Bethany. We decided to divide and conquer so I went to the store and she gave the kids a bath. As I walked out to our car I looked up in to the sky at one of the most incredible rainbows I’ve seen. The photo above doesn’t even come close to doing it justice. It was so bright against a stormy sky and one end of the rainbow settled behind the big church next to our apartment. Immediately my heart was thinking about the promises of God. In fact, I thought specifically about Philippians 1:6 where Paul writes, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” That’s a great promise. I was also genuinely reminded of the Psalm I had read earlier today that another missionary friend emailed me. Psalm 93:1 says, “The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.” Don’t you just think of God’s majesty when you see a rainbow? I know I did tonight. It was truly majestic to behold.

Rainbowed (6/23/15)

I took the photo above just before walking in to the grocery store and as I turned to walk inside I saw a man leaving. I think he was taking a bite of bread as he walked out the doors and then he just stopped and stared at the sky. I watched his reaction to the wonder and amazement of a beautiful rainbow making it’s way across his entire view and then I thought, “I wonder what he thinks of that rainbow?…I wonder if he knows what it means….I wonder if He knows the God who made it?”

My heart is full tonight. I have a mix of emotions that I just can’t quite describe. The Lord has definitely reminded me tonight of His goodness and that has come through His creation and His Word. He’s also reminded me of the great care He has for His children. I’m thankful to be a child of the King. I guess sometimes it just takes a rainbow to remind me of all of that.

Storming the Castle

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

I was up and out the door early this morning to get our car to the mechanic. Again our friend Tadek met me and drove with me to the mechanic’s shop so he could make sure everything was taken care of and that I would be able to get a ride home. It was a gamble leaving our car for the day with Bethany so clue to having the baby, so I had a “back pocket” plan of using a friend’s car should we need it. Thankfully we didn’t to go to plan B as we’re still waiting for our little girl’s arrival. I got the car back late this afternoon and it’s all fixed. This week alone we’ve put on new tires, had an oil change, brakes changed, and even some joints repaired along with a realignment. Driving the car today felt like a new experience and I’m excited to have that stuff all done and taken care of.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

Before lunch Papa and I took the kids to the park while Nana and Bethany worked on the house. They are trying to get our bedroom ready for the arrival of the baby which involved some furniture being moved and getting things organized so we have a spot for the bassinet and changing table. It’s looking good! Back at the park we had the place to ourselves and I think it was mostly because it was a little cooler out this morning. Above is a photo of Papa and Titus on the little spring seat thing that goes back and forth.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

Avery had begun working in the sand so the boys joined her and thus began construction on a super sand castle. I appreciate Papa’s willingness to literally get his hands dirty with the kids and just sit in the sand and play with them. As the castle grew in size they began adding flags to the top of the towers (shown below).

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

While walking back home for lunch we stopped off at a little memorial thing that I’m pretty sure was erected by the Germans at some point. Here’s Titus and Avery climbing on it and claiming it as their own.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

One of the things we’ve been wanting to do since Papa and Nana arrive is walk over to the castle ruins that are literally down the street from our place. If you’re an avid reader of the blog, you’ve seen this place before but each time we go it’s more amazing than the last. The sun broke through just as we were walking there today and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Here’s a few photos with captions beneath each one.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

This is the river the separates Czech and Poland.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

Just across the river in Poland.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

Just another shot of the city that sits right next to the castle ruins.

Thursday Fun (5/28/15)

The view from the top of the tower. It cost $1.50 for us to walk to the top. I carried Avery up all the stairs while Titus and Papa walked it. The views are incredible up there and everything just looked so peaceful. Everything to the left of the river is Poland and to the right is Czech. Our city is a little like Kansas City in the States as it sits across two countries. Pretty wild! Click the photo for a much larger view.

It was just a great time together and we’re continuing to enjoy our time as a family and having Papa and Nana in town. Until tomorrow, good night!

Our 2 Year Visas Are Approved

Visa Stuff (1/3/15)

Today was kind of momentous for us even though it never feels that way when you’re in a government office in the Czech Republic. Our two year visas were approved! Our friend, Katka, got a call last week saying the paperwork went through and that we needed to go back and do photos and fingerprints. Today we went to the Foreign Police and signed a bunch of papers, took photos, and gave them our fingerprints. I didn’t feel as comfortable trying to capture everything on my iPhone today, so I only have the one photo you see above. All in all, the process was smoothe and the kids did good getting their photos taken. We’ll go back on the 19th to retrieve our new “Biometric” cards which serve as our permit for residence!

These Kids (2/3/15)

For doing a good job at the Foreign Police we told the kids they could get hot chocolate at a nearby cafe afterwards. Above is a photo of them waiting together at the cafe.

Took a Walk (1/3/15)

Around sunset we decided to go for a little mini hike up around the big Josiah Venture hotel/training. Since my class last week, I have wanted to take Bethan and the kids up there to show them the snow and see the view. The sun was shining a lot today which was awesome, so we tried to catch a little of the sunset tonight. There were a few clouds so we couldn’t see it perfectly, but we had a great time together as a family in the freezing cold.

Took a Walk (1/3/15)

The temps were in the 20s so things were icy, but the kids thought it was hilarious when their feet would give out while we were holding their hands and walking. We didn’t walk a super long time, but we laughed and enjoyed our time together. In fact, the more I think about it the more I feel like it was special. We were just walking up and down a little hill, but the kids were happy, Bethany was happy, and I was happy. We were having a fun time together and it was devoid of distraction or trying to rush to the next thing.

Took a Walk (1/3/15)

It’s late and we have language lessons in the morning which I’m really excited about. It’s been a few weeks since we have had any formal instruction. Bethany and I have been working harder this week to review our vocabulary and do whatever kind of studying that we can on our own. I even started a new little “Field Notes” notebook of Czech words that I want to know or understand better. It was a tool they taught us to use at language school in the States and I’m excited to engage it more. Some how, some way, I am going to learn Czech! Pray for us.

An Unexpected Walk in Poland

A Walk to Poland (10/18/14)

This morning Bethany had plans to be at a baby shower for our friends John and Erin. Their son, Shade, was born about three months ago and some of the missionary women around here decided to through Erin a little shower and bless her. Bethany made a couple breakfast quiche dishes and off she went around 10:30am. I didn’t have any serious plans with the kids until I got a text from Casey who’s house the shower was at, “Hey, what are you doing today? I have to leave my house for 3 hours…do you want to go to the park?” Casey has two boys who are friends with our kids (all of them shown above) so I said, “Sure, let’s meet at 11.”

A Walk to Poland (10/18/14)

The park was a bit soggy from rain last night but the kids were having fun. Casey and I were just talking and hanging until he said, “Hey, have you been over to the castle?” “Nope,” I replied, “How far is it?” Casey said we could practically throw a rock to it and said we would really like it. As soon as I told the kids we were going to a castle Avery got really excited and said, “A castle?! Princesses live in castles!” With that kind of excitement we had to go so off we went.

We’ve said before we live on a border town of Czech and Poland–literally on the border. When we left the park we crossed the river and went right into Poland where the castle is. I guess it’s like a castle ruins of sorts with lots of cool structures in a beautiful park-like environment. It was built in the 13th century! It’s all free to walk around in and explore, and apparently you can go to the top of one of the castle towers but it costs so we didn’t do it today. Everything was majestic because of all the leaves on the ground and the kids were having fun dropping leaves in to this huge, I mean huge, dungeon like whole thing. I don’t how to describe it and I don’t have a photo, but when I read the plaque they said it was for prisoners. Let me just tell you…you would not want to be a prisoner in that thing.

Here’s a few photos of the leaves and the one remaining castle tower (of the original 4):

A Walk to Poland (10/18/14)

A Walk to Poland (10/18/14)

A Walk to Poland (10/18/14)

After the castle we decided to walk further into the town square. Our town is a lot like Kansas City in the states, a city that spans two states. In our case it’s two countries. On the Polish side it really feels like Europe. Small streets, little sidewalks, cobblestone, and just a little more charm. Don’t get me wrong, the Czech side is great, but it feels a lot different on the other side of the river. Casey knew of a little place to get food that was kid-friendly so we grabbed lunch right on the town square. Everyone was pretty hungry from all the fun. Here are the kids chomping away.

A Walk to Poland (10/18/14)

This is a shot of the town square (below). The kids enjoyed chasing the pigeons around and making noises at them. I’m never sure how we look to the nationals, but I guarantee our kids are the loudest ones around.

A Walk to Poland (10/18/14)

Even though we had a great time, there was a lot of walking so by the time we started to head home the kid’s energy was starting to fade. Below is a photo of us heading back towards our house on the Polish side. Shortly after this photo we were walking down some stairs and Avery stepped in doggy doo-doo…and it wasn’t a small amount. I was helping her get it off but she was wearing her Crocs which just spread the mess inside her shoe. A nice Polish lady saw my trying to scrape it all off and offered me her little bag of tissues–it as really kind of her. After a few minutes I got it figured out but Avery was not happy about her foot having doo-doo on it and was sad about it most of the walk home. I was proud of her though because despite all the walking she didn’t really want me to hold her and did it all on her own. When we got home I gave her a bath just to make sure we got her all clean!

A Walk to Poland (10/18/14)

Start to finish we were gone for about two and a half hours. We got home around the same time Bethany was getting back from the baby shower. Our kids took a nice long nap this afternoon, but I’m glad we got them outside and the weather was nice enough to walk around. I’m super thankful for Casey showing us around Poland and I’m excited to take Bethany over there at some point. I really don’t have any excuse when we can just walk there!

It Was Nice To…

Czechs love to walk. Especially if it’s not raining (and somtimes if it is!) or if the sun is out or both. You can walk pretty much anywhere you need to in our town. The post office, the grocery store, the city hall, the bank–it’s all within a few minutes of where we live. Today I had to walk to the bank to finish up the crazy situation with our rent and finally was able to deposit the right amount for our landlord. I asked Titus if he wanted to go with me but he wasn’t up for it so I went alone. There were a lot of other people out just walking. It almost feels like downtown New York to me. That’s the only place I know of and been to where you just walk. It was nice to walk today.

A Day in the Life (8/13/14)

I really enjoyed our Czech lesson today. I’m not sure if it was because I had just gone on a nice walk and my mind was more clear, but I felt like I was really making progress today. I would say the same for Bethany. Of course, I could use more discipline, but I think the work we’re putting in is paying off during our lessons. Below is a photo of Bethany working through a little exercise where we were given a photo of “our” family (it was actually a photo of someone else’s family) and we had to say what relationship we had to the person in the photo and say what their name is…all in Czech. It wasn’t easy but I really thought Bethany and I did pretty well (I better be careful not to overstate our progress because I know our teacher reads our blog!). For sure language learning is slow process, but I really enjoyed it today. It was nice to study a little Czech today.

A Day in the Life (8/13/14)

A Day in the Life (8/13/14)

On my errand to the bank they gave me some paperwork along with our new Czech debit cards that had come in. I wasn’t able to get Bethany’s because she has to sign for it so we decided to walk there after our Czech lesson. The second walk was better than the first. I think mainly because I didn’t feel rushed and we didn’t have a super set plan. It’s nice to just slow down and not have a set plan.

A Day in the Life (8/13/14)

A Day in the Life (8/13/14)

Once we finished up at the bank Bethany said we should go to the Christian book store which we hear may be one of the only ones in the entire country. It was just a block down the road from the bank and I’m glad we went. Bethany was able to pick up a little stack of postcards with Czech verses on them and the kids and I just kind of looked around at all the fun things they had. It was nice to just enjoy the bookstore.

A Day in the Life (8/13/14)

A Day in the Life (8/13/14)

A Day in the Life (8/13/14)

We actually made two more stops before we went back home. The first was at the town square water fountain where the kids and I played while mommy went to get a few things at the “kosmetika” store. I chased Avery around with the stroller and Titus basically ran in a circle around the fountain for fifteen minutes. The second stop was to the little mini-mart grocery store where I decided to spend 77 cents to get the kids a little juice drink and where mommy was getting the last few ingredients she needed for tonight’s lasagna dinner. The whole trip from the bank to home was only about an hour of time, but I loved our little outing. It was nice to walk a second time today.

A Day in the Life (8/13/14)

A Day in the Life (8/13/14)

It was nice today. The weather was cooler and it didn’t rain. I got a few projects done for JV. We had a great Czech lesson. We had a fun time walking the city. Maybe I needed a nice day like today more than I knew. I do know that when I sat down to write this I was happy and smiling and as I finish I feel the same. It was nice to write about today.

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