that’s life…

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Sometimes you realize that the good, the bad, the unexpected, the pleasant surprise are what makes life, life. We can’t control all that happens and from personal experience I can say “we don’t want to see it all laid out before us.” But I do know that each event or experience offers more than one way to react or better yet to act. The other day as I was leaving the hotel in Indianapolis the shopping bag I was carrying ripped. There was no way I was going to be able to maneuver my two pieces of luggage, my purse and a torn shopping bag. The hotel staff graciously found a hotel laundry bag and I removed the items that were in the shopping bag to the laundry bag. For a moment I thought and almost sarcastically said “great way to start my day.” But I thought I don’t have to look it that way. I don’t have to let a torn shopping bag ruin my attitude and/or my day. So I made a conscious choice to not let it ruin my day. Now some times that is easier to do that others but I have a choice how I react. I am trying to learn to take a breath and act upon the situation instead of react to it. My day included a delayed flight as well but I think because I had chosen to have a good day I saw my day through different glasses. They weren’t rose-colored but they weren’t dark either. 🙂

“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds… If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Travel Tuesdays – S1E13 – Indianapolis, IN

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My current visit to Indianapolis,IN marks my fourth visit to this fine city. We drove through Indianapolis on one of our Kansas trips many years ago. At that time I saw the camp ground and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. My girls loved the Children’s Museum. Twelve years ago I visited Indianapolis with Bruce and my girls for General Convention/Assembly for the Church of the Nazarene. That is the same reason I am in Indianapolis this week. I have attended plenary sessions, workshops, committee meetings and worship services. I have established a morning hotel routine of getting coffee from Starbucks and checking my email, etc. while seating in the lobby. (Free wi-fi is available in the lobby) I appreciate the ease of getting to the convention center via the walkway from my hotel. Did you know that “50% of the US population lives within an eight-hour drive of Indy”? Probably why it is a good place for a convention.

Yesterday I had a free afternoon so I decided to go for a walk to explore a little. I didn’t want to head towards the shopping area. The temptation to purchase unnecessary items or even necessary things would have been great so no shopping. I had read in the Indy Visitor Guide in my hotel room that there was a canal running through the city. Really?!? I didn’t know there was a canal. I have been here three times before and never knew that. So I set off to find the canal which it turns out was very close to my hotel. It is a lovely area with gardens and many of the museums back onto it. There were people in rented paddle boats as well as people pedaling surreys on the walkways. There were koy fish in the canal and no swimming signs. There are bridges that cross over the canal and underneath those bridges there are painted murals. It is very clean and calm.

I had read that there was a Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial along the canal. The Memorial according to the visitor guide “celebrates the 3,456 people who have received our country’s highest award of military valor. Their names are on 27 curving glass panels at this one-acre memorial, which represents conflicts dating back to the Civil War all the way through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.” I was awed by the sheer number of people who have received “this highest military honor for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.” I am grateful to those who give so much for my freedoms.

My time of wandering was growing short and I needed something to eat before my next plenary session so I continued on for a short distance and then ascended a stairway back up to street level. At the top of the stairs was a very large piece of black granite that looked like it had be broken in two. I thought I have stumbled upon a September 11 Memorial and I was right. It said “September 11, 2001 we will never forget.” Go figure! I was struck again by the fact that my personal lose is in the midst of a national tragedy. I actually said thank you to Indianapolis. The memorial is well done. There are two large pieces of World Trade Center steel placed the way the towers stood. There is an eagle on top of one of the “towers”. There are also 4 smaller pieces of granite that act as a timeline – first plane hits tower, second plane hits tower, plane hits Pentagon and plane crashes in Pennsylvania. Each has an etching of either WTC1, WTC2, Pentagon and a PA map.

I took a bunch of photos which will have to be posted when I get home. I have a new camera and will need to download or is it upload those photos to my computer before I share them. I will share them later in the week. Lesson learned about traveling this week. Walk in a different direction and you may find something beautiful or meaningful or both.

Travel Tuesdays – S1E12 – airport observations

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Travel Tuesdays is a day late due to no “free” internet in room.

Today I flew from Newark (EWR) to Indianapolis, IN (IND). A few observations:

1.Those budget cuts you hear about on the radio are real. There was one TSA agent checking boarding passes and id’s at the security checkpoint in terminal A. One?!?

2.The lady in line behind me, who was so worried about the slow moving line, did nothing to help the line move faster. Case in point. She was carrying an open bottle of water and she didn’t have her boarding pass or identification out. Oh and some way or the other, she ended up in front of me. The TSA agent did call her forward when she stated she was going to miss her flight but she wasn’t ready. In case you were wondering, everyone else in line was rolling their eyes and shaking their heads but in the friendliest way.

3.For some reason unbeknownst to me, I am the person who gets either the full body scan and/or the hand swap. Today it was both.

4.Parents traveling with multiple children will do anything to keep them quiet at the airport. I saw a family of five with the 3 children being under the age of 8. Mom and dad were eating sandwiches and each child had a giant double chocolate muffin. The kids seemed to love their muffins, parents had a few moments of sanity and many wipes were available for the clean up after “lunch”. These were obviously seasoned traveler parents.

5. I wanted to be super organized for this trip. Ten days in a long time to be away and I didn’t want a big suitcase. So, I had my list of clothing. Colored coded two tops per one bottom. I limited my shoes. I decided to think of this trip as a test run for Japan. Only problem was when I got to the airport, I didn’t have my passport. I always travel with my passport as my form of identification. No worries for this trip, my driver’s license would work as id but that won’t fly for Japan. Oh, the best laid plans.

6. The flight from EWR to IND is the perfect length – under 2 hours. By the time you are wondering how much longer will it be, it is time to land. 🙂

an unexpected Father’s Day gift

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980963_10151673586315460_5358338_oYesterday, I received an FB message that stated ” Mrs. Van Hine, My name is RH and I am a State Trooper with the Texas Highway Patrol. I currently am serving as a K9 Handler for my Department. The reason I am trying to contact you is not to bother or annoy you, but to tell you about my K9 partner. He is a 3-year-old Yellow Lab who is trained in narcotic detection. I went through 3 months of training with him and trained him from start to end. We have been partners and friends for almost 10 months now. He was bred and raised by the TSA K9 program and adopted by my department. Their program named all of these animals after the American Heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11/01. My K9 partner is named after your husband, “Van Hine”. After learning about the origin of his name, I began to research his namesake, your husband. I just want to say it is an honor to have him named after your husband and to have it written on the side of my patrol car for everyone to see. Everyday I get someone who asks why that name is on the side of my patrol car and I tell them the importance of it and try to explain the story that I have read to show the true American Hero who gave everything to save others…”

Bruce would smile about this. He loved dogs especially big dogs. He would say he wasn’t a hero. He was just doing his job. On Father’s Day, I would like to say thank you to all those men who have done and are doing their “jobs” to be fathers to their sons and/or daughters.  I know I was blessed to be the daughter of James R Clark Jr. and the wife of Bruce Van Hine.  And thank you RH for letting me know about Van Hine.

Travel Tuesdays – S1E11- DUMBO tour

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085Today I had a delightful day touring Brooklyn with friends. A very specific part of Brooklyn called DUMBO. DUMBO is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. At one point on our tour we were truly in DUMBO – Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. The Empire State Building can be seen through the arches under the Manhattan Bridge.  Our guide stated that the Manhattan Bridge was built before the Empire State Building and the bridge builder  “framed” the building perfectly in the arches like he knew it was coming.

My friends and I started our adventure with lunch at Juliana’s – www.julianaspizza.com.  Delicious  pizza and yummy cannolis. We ventured across the street to meet up with our tour guide. Our tour was lead by Dom Gervasi, the owner and producer of Made in Brooklyn Tours – www.madeinbrooklyntours.com.  Dom started Made in Brooklyn Tours a few years ago. He was a wonderful tour guide. He was a wealth of knowledge but with the right mix of history and antidotes. Our tour lasted 3 hours and we ventured all around DUMBO even had an ice tea tasting at Mamselles Teas and Tarts and a bon-bon tasting at Jacque Torres www.mrchocolate.com.

I learned the Brooklyn was originally well-known for manufacturing –  especially of sugar and coffee. During the “heyday” of manufacturing more people lived in Brooklyn than live there today. The area suffered greatly when manufacturing was no longer the main industry. There are train tracks visible in the street from when the barges would deliver supplies and then transport those items by train to the factories and then back to the barges. Today small coffee roasters are making their home in DUMBO. We visited Brooklyn Roasting Company www.brooklynroasting.com. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for coffee but it was great to see small business people.

One of my favorite stops on the tour was Jane’s Carousel. The carousel was originally in Chicago (I think) and sold when an amusement park burned down.  It was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan company. Most carousels are sold in parts but this one was sold whole. It has been totally restored and the horses are beautiful. There was damage after Super Storm Sandy but it has been repaired and is open for business. It is in a “glass building” so it is open year round.

The views of 1 WTC were amazing. I also learned which East River Bridge is which.  From South to North it is Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg aka BMW.  Makes me feel smart. 🙂

heard recently

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While having lunch with my mother in law at her assisted living residence:

“Are those new residents?” “No, that is Hannah and a guest” – said of me and my mother in law.

“Wow, she is tall. She must be 6 feet.” said of me when I stood up to leave the dining room.

While attending a performance at the American Music Theater:

Me to Meghan – “I think you are the youngest person here.” Meghan to me – “I think we both are the youngest people here.” side note – the show was very good and this was my Mother’s Day gift from my daughters.

Text from my sister:

“Mum killed her phone today! She dropped it in water. Long story!”

A quote in a thank  you note I received:

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” J.R.R. Tolkien

At Collyde Conference at Princeton Alliance Church:

“We use imagination towards fear not love. Being terrified is about what might happen instead of imagining what God can do”  Makoto Fujimura

“You are more able than you know and people are more ready than you expect.” Jonathan Golden

“Only today is real, tomorrow doesn’t exist” Margaret Feinberg

“One day, some day are safe words.” Margaret Feinberg

“You can’t intentionally touch Jesus and not have something happen” Bonnie Gay

“My calling is not tied to the things I do.” Joan Ball

“Am I going to put my faith in God’s identity or in God’s activity?” Pete Wilson

“If God doesn’t give us one more thing, we still owe him everything.” Pete Wilson

on telephone with IRS after receiving a notice, being on hold for 27 minutes and explaining that they have cashed the check but maybe I owe penalties (long story):

“The records show there is no balance due.” – IRS   “but you sent me a notice” – me   “call back at the end of week maybe you will owe something then.” – IRS    all righty then

at Book club:

” In the summer there is more time to read so let’s read Anna Karenina.” not said by me – good news, I got it for 99 cents for my nook, bad news I needed to start reading yesterday….

Travel Tuesdays – S1E10 – summer travel plans

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I am a planner.  I make lists. I make lists on my iPhone and I write them on paper. So summer vacations are thought about, researched and planned. This coming summer is shaping up to be busy. One summer event has been on my calendar for over a year. A second summer trip has been spoken about for a few years and is finally planned and  happening. And a third summer trip was a total surprise.

Over a year ago I was elected to be a delegate to General Assembly for the Church of the Nazarene  in Indianapolis, Indiana. I also have the opportunity of attending General Convention due to my District position as Children’s Ministries Director. I have had the privilege of attending General Convention in San Antonio, TX in 1997, Indianapolis, IN in 2001 and 2005 and Orlando, FL in 2009. I was also a delegate to General Assembly in 2005 and 2009. I thoroughly enjoy both events. I love learning new things at the workshops, and exchanging ideas.  I love listening to the discussion about issues and voting on policy. I love volunteering with World Quiz registration and making connections with people. But my favorite thing about General Assembly and General Convention is the worship services. There is something about worshipping in a service with thousands of people from all over the world.  It is an amazing experience.

I will sleep in my own bed for 5 nights and then it is family vacation – yeah!!! My girls and their guys are joining me in Edinburgh, Scotland for a week. Meghan and I had spent a long weekend in Edinburgh a few years ago and we just loved it. We had decided we needed to do that trip for family vacation. Edinburgh is full of old buildings, gardens, cobble stone streets, little pubs and shops. We are renting an apartment for the week so we can cook some of our meals and also have room to spread out. Plus renting a place feels more like you are living there and I love that feeling of becoming part of a city or town. My girls and their guys will spend a couple of days doing their own thing before they travel back home. I will spend a week in Oxford, England exploring the city I was born in and then will travel to stay with family for another week before heading back to the USA.

I will sleep 7 nights in my own bed and then travel to Japan as a representative of the Tribute Center. Unbelievable!!!  I am humbled to have been invited to travel to Japan with some of my fellow docents. As stated by Lee Ilepi:

“Finally after waiting to hear confirmation from American Airlines, we can announce that there will be a second trip to Japan that will take place in August.  The purpose of this second outreach trip is to provide support to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami of 3/11, and revisit communities that were visited by the first group back in October, showing our ongoing commitment to the people who experienced loss.  Our experience as a community has grown over the past 7 years, and we feel grateful that we are now able to provide support to others who have experienced disasters.  Our trip to Japan is the first major outreach that we have undertaken and we hope that we can reach out to people in other places in the future as well.”

I have purchased an iPad mini so I can write about my experiences and I hope to share some of them with you. My Facebook friends have read about the “free camera” which will come in very handy. I am ever amazed at the opportunities that I have been given.  I am so blest. Proverbs 3:4-5  states ” Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”