Sunday, May 27, 2012

Count Your Blessings

Count Your Many Blessings

Through my car’s dirty windshield, I snapped a picture of my most monumental rainbow sighting thus far in my life. A double rainbow appeared after a morning storm near Johnson City, Tennessee. Traffic slowed as drivers captured this beauty with their cell phone cameras- This picture doesn’t really do the rainbows justice, but I will always remember this beautiful blessing!

Blessings of Blue Skies & Rainbows are a couple of my favorites!

Cool -Whip Clouds

Finding Jewelry & Forgotten Treasures is always a nice surprise. This bracelet was found in my driveway one morning before I left for work. Its origin is still unknown. Finders Keepers!

My husband is as goofy as I am. That’s definitely something I’m thankful for! I also have a wonderful father-in-law.

Buttercups just make me happy, in general. You can’t be in a bad mood  around them. If you are feeling grouchy, go pick some buttercups for an instantaneous attitude adjustment!

Our casa. We are blessed to have a home. This is something I should never take for granted!

Call me crazy, but I really like birds. They fascinate me, so I must count them in my blessings. There’s nothing quite like listening to nature’s music of birdsongs. Hey, that reminds me of another thing for which I am thankful- Beautiful voices. Here’s one I’m especially fond of- her name is Birdy, too…I love this song and video:
I don’t have a voice like hers, but I am blessed with some musical ability. I rate the sound of a piano among the most beautiful noises that I’m blessed to hear. Nobody beats Jim Brickman, in my opinion. Here’s “Angel Eyes” for your acoustical pleasure:

Non-Traditional Blessing: MAC Computers that take your picture with ease.

Photo-Editing & Technological Advancements are some amenities of our generation. I know I’m thankful for both of these!

Friends are the Family We Choose

Floating & Fallen Feathers always remind me of Forrest Gump. It’s the simple things in life that mean the very most!

Now, Ain’t that the truth.

Lucky to be able-minded, healthy, and very much in Love. White Coat Ceremony for Joshua at Belmont College of Pharmacy. This was a monumental milestone of accomplishment for us this year!

This is a quote that I’ll always associate with the movie, G.I. Jane. It’s originally from a poem by David Herbert Lawrence. This always reminds me that life is too short to feel sorry for myself. I have far too much to be grateful for in my life…and I’ve always been a bit of a “wild thing”. 
(You know I had style. Untameable since childhood.) 

 I ‘m thankful for cats, though I should explain that I am not fond of them. I am less fond of mice. Therefore, cats are a blessing. Not as pets, just living mousetraps…

What would I do without my sister? I don’t think I would have made it this far. She’s blessed my life in more ways than I can count!

My Mother is now my best friend. We have more in common than I ever imagined and I’d truly be lost without her.

Art and Crafts of any kind- I love to paint, but am no Picasso. Creating and Enjoying Life’s Beauty with those I love- I’m blessed to have creative crafters in my family!

My dog, Halle, in the snow. I’m thankful for doggies and snowflakes. Put them together for guaranteed happiness.

My Aunt Tina’s best friend, Phyllis Taylor, is truly missed by our family. We all loved her dearly and were so blessed to have her in our lives. Joshua and I remembered and honored her this year at Relay for Life. I think Phyllis would have laughed at my cheesy bag inscription. You were always guaranteed to have a good time with her. She was truly one of a kind!

Laughing, Imagining, and Being Silly are sure to keep us all young at heart. This sign was posted on the Relay Trail and served as a great reminder to prioritize the true important things in life.

Of course, I love my husband to pieces. I cherish this picture- he went with me this year to Relay for Life. Today marks the five-year anniversary of his mother’s death. In Loving Memory of Sandy Hodge, the woman who raised the most wonderful man in my life. Though I never met you, your life changed mine forever. We are blessed by your love each day and honor your memory.

“Memoria in Aeterna”
Remember Forever
Sandy Hodge

I love my Daddy. He’s taught me more than he’ll ever know by setting my expectations of what a true man of character should be.

Little things in life are to be enjoyed. Tiny little red berry shall be listed among nature’s tiny little blessings of beauty.

I believe in God each time I look at the intricate beauty of nature- even in the teensie-est bittiest bitties of flowers like this one. Perhaps we should count each flower as a blessing to ensure that we take time to notice how wonderfully they are made.

Each moment lived should be a moment cherished. Look around you- Take notice of the blessings in your life. Be thankful for pretty sunsets and silhouette trees against a radiant evening sky. Today, as we remember Sandy, we count her life and love in our blessings. I wish I could have watched this sunset with her by my side. I wonder what we would talk about or if she would have liked me. I'm assured that she would have loved me. I love her back. This post is dedicated in her memory. She changed my life, my future, my entire world, by living a grateful life full of blessings and beauty. 

Sandy Bryan Hodge November 29, 1952 - May 27, 2007
Sandy died of cancer on May 27, 2007, at the age of 54, sur- rounded by her sons, husband, and friends. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ruth Maxine Weaver and Charles Franklin Bryan. She leaves to celebrate her life and yet mourn her passing: her husband, Mike Hodge; her sons, Zachary Bryan Hodge, Joshua Bryan Hodge, and Micah Bryan Hodge; her brother, Andy Bryan; her sister, Pat Bryan Wyatt; her father's wife, Nola Bryan, and extended family in Kentucky and Georgia. 

Sandy was raised in Hampton, Kentucky, graduating from Livingston Central High School (1970), Western Kentucky University (B.S., 1974), Scarritt College for Christian Work- ers (M.A., 1976),and Vanderbilt Divinity School (M.Div.,1992). She was ordained in the Tennessee Conference in 1995. 

Sandy heard a call from God early in her life, leading her to many areas of ministry: children's ministries for United Methodist Urban Ministries and The Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church, The Peace Advocate & Family Ministries Programs of the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church, oncology chaplain with St. Thomas Hospital, pas- tor of Martin's Chapel and Mt. Zion United Methodist Churches (1996-1999), and pastor of In- glewood United Methodist Church (1999-2004). In 2004, Sandy took disability due to a recur- rence of breast cancer in her bones. She and her family returned home to Edgehill United Meth- odist Church. 

Sandy embodied a fierce love for her sons, husband, family, and friends a love that was liber- ally laced with humor. She would often tell whichever son was in earshot, “You're my favorite!” Her three sons and her husband knew that we were all Sandy's “favorite” — and she will always be ours. 

Beyond college degrees and careers, Sandy's life was defined by an open acceptance of all, an intolerance of injustice, and a pointed challenge to take action. Further, she knew God's love and grace to be abundant and for all people. She modeled this in her various vocations and by per- sonally sharing her love, her time, and her home with a wide circle of God's people. Now, family and friends remain to celebrate her life and to carry her legacy of love and grace into the future. 

The Hodge Legacy Continues On…

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.


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