Thursday, January 28, 2016

7th Update on Brody & Announcement to Google Followers

"The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe."
Proverbs 29:25

What is the worth of a smile?
How much does it mean?
How much difference can it make?

I pondered these questions after receiving this precious photo sent to me yesterday from little Brody's grandmother, Debbie.
She said it was taken right after he was given some medicine to make him feel better and to ease his pain.

I can't even begin to comprehend the effect Brody's smile had upon the loving heart of the one taking this picture!

A smile speaks volumes.
It says that even though the road is difficult, it is absolutely worth the travel.
It says that God is looking down, and strength will be given to take that next impossible step.
It says that all is well from God's point of view, and things are better farther on.
It says that the rain will one day stop, and things will be right in our world again.
It slips into the room, like a glimpse of sunshine on a cloudy day,
and it brightens the whole atmosphere.

The worth of a smile cannot be measured.
Especially the smile of a child.

Along with the precious photo, I received this update about Brody:

"Yesterday things didn't look too good, his X-ray even looked worse than days before.
Well, thank God, today was a better day. 
The X-ray looked a lot better and the doctors seem more confident about being able to get him off the ventilator within the upcoming week or maybe if he continues to improve, this coming weekend. 
We had a scheduled meeting with a large group of doctors today at 1 this afternoon.
Brody has a very serious disease and the (hospital) staff that care for him wanted to discuss his care and what may be ahead for him.
Well, you and I know that it is God that knows what is ahead for Brody. 
The doctors are educated and great with his care but it is God who is in control."

Yes, dear Debbie, you and I DO indeed know Who is in control!
And it is in Him that we all live and move and have our being.
(Acts 17:28)

I must say that I cannot understand why a precious baby like Brody has to suffer like this.
It is hard for me to reconcile.
I don't think there is any way TO reconcile it.
He is so tiny.

So eager for life, bless his little heart!

As Kevin, Zach, and I looked at Brody's photos, Kevin and I recalled when dear Zachary was this tiny, and Kevin commented how he could not imagine what this dear mother and grandmother must
be feeling and going through.
If it breaks our hearts, how must it be breaking theirs?
And how tired and weary they must be, as life goes on, and its demands continue,
even while their world is falling apart, and worries increase.

Dear praying friends, please keep lifting Brody's name to the Father,
and please remember to pray for Debbie and her daughter, Jenn, (Brody's mother),
as they press onward through these trying days.

Surely God is their refuge and strength, a very present help to them in this time of trouble.
(Psalm 46:1)

God bless them and hold them extra close!

To read previous posts about Brody, please click the follow links:
On a sidenote, some of you have probably already noticed some things that have taken place when Google made changes to their programming on Monday, January 11th.
I don't really understand it all, but I know you can no longer sign in to Google Friend Connect
in all of the ways you used to be able to, and if you have a non-Google account profile,
you are being removed as a follower of certain blogs.

I have noticed that several of our Google Friend Connect Homespun Devotions followers have dropped off, and we, of course, have no way to tell who was dropped by Google or who may have chosen to stop following, nor do we have a way to get in touch with those who may still want to follow, but were removed because of the changes Google made.

My suggestions are these...
if you were dropped and didn't want to be, you can follow Homespun Devotions by entering your email address and clicking "subscribe" near the top of the page in the right sidebar of our home page.
Or, you could open a Google Account (if you do not have one) and follow Homespun Devotions (again) through Google Friend Connect by clicking on the blue "Join This Site" button near the bottom of the right sidebar on our home page.
You can also follow us on Pinterest by clicking here and/or Bloglovin' by clicking here.
I apologize if you have been dropped and didn't choose to be, 
and I truly have had no control over it.

I am sad that some were dropped and will miss the interaction and fellowship with them.
Hopefully, they/you will find your way back!
Thanks for your patience and understanding!

In closing, I ask, how are you today, dear friends?
I often wonder that...
as I type, click "publish", and send words on their way....out into the unknown.

How are you, dear readers?
I care deeply, you know.

Are the burdens of life pressing you down,
oppressing your spirit, 
causing distress?
Do you struggle with regrets of the past,
fear of the future,
anxiety about today?

I just want to encourage you and remind you that whatever you are facing, in this moment,
God holds you in the palm of His hand,
and He is aware of every, single thing that is touching your life.

"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me."
Isaiah 49:15,16

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; 
but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Hebrews 4:15

Jesus knows.
He loves you SO much.
He is moved with compassion as He watches you.
He understands the struggle.
He remembers what fear feels like.
And physical pain!
Oh, how He can relate!
Rejection, betrayal, abuse, slander, grief, abandonment, loneliness, anguish, 
being completely misunderstood,
bewilderment over God's will,
being falsely accused,
 loss, heartache, concern, darkness beyond telling....
He has been there, my friend.
Standing in your shoes.
So, yes, He knows!

My prayer for you today is that you will feel His care for you never before.
That somehow He will make you see how precious you are to Him,
how much He is concerned for you,
that He is there...with you...wherever you are...whatever you are facing.
May today, as never before, you really, truly know how very much you are loved.

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  1. Good morning Cheryl! Thank you for the update on Brody and his family. I will continue to keep them all in my prayers(and you and your family, too!). Boy, this sure makes my problems here seem small. Your posts are always so encouraging and it is appreciated! You are a light for God.
    **Su Ann**

    1. Dear Su Ann! I am so blessed and humbled by your precious comments here. You are such an encouragement to me on this blogging journey, and I can't thank you enough. I am praying for you, my friend, and believing God to see you through every trial and test. Thank you SO much for praying for dear, little Brody! He had a very rough spell tonight, so surely needs your continued prayers. God bless you abundantly.

    2. Hi Cheryl! I am so sorry to hear about Brody--I have prayed all ready and will keep praying for him, his family, you, and your family. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers. That means so very much to me. I think it is awesome that you respond to each person's comment. You put so much effort and time into your posts. It shows! I am sending you hugs for your day(or whenever you need one!). Take care and smiles!!
      **Su Ann**

    3. Bless your dear heart, Su Ann! You are such a blessing and encouragement to me! I am going to email you privately to let you know how VERY much you made my day today! God bless you SO much for being so kind! I am praying for you, dear friend, and sending you much love.

  2. Praying for Brody.

    Hope you and yours are well. Take care. God bless.

    1. Thank you ever so much for your prayers, Victor. Brody had a very rough time tonight, and he surely needs your prayers. God bless you for being so faithful!

  3. Oh Mrs. Smith,
    You are just so kind. The last part of your post really encouraged me yesterday when I read it. Thank you.
    So much love...and many hugs

    1. Dear, precious Ashley! How I appreciate your sweet words of encouragement here. They truly mean so much. :) Sending you so much love back and many hugs, too. God bless you, sweet friend!

  4. Praying for Brody and his family. Before I read your words I had the same sentiment, "If it breaks my heart, what must it be doing to theirs..."

    Thanks for the prayer, sister. God bless you and yours. Praying for you too.

    1. Thank you ever so much, brother. We appreciate your faithful prayers SO much and thank you so much for the encouragement you are on this blogging journey. May the dear Lord bless you abundantly, in return.

  5. HI Cheryl! What a beautiful photo of Brody! Such a precious smile, thank you for that hopeful moment.
    You are the second person I have read who is having trouble with GFC. I used to have a Blogger blog, but moved because my GFC broke, and no one could help me fix it. I'm sorry for your troubles, I know from experience how irritating that can be.
    Have a great weekend my friend!

    1. Isn't that smile just precious? Yes, it seems I am not the only one who is being affected by the GFC situation. It can be so frustrating. :) Thanks for your understanding and kindness and most of all, your faithful prayers. Dear, little Brody isn't doing well tonight, so if you happen to see this, please say extra prayers for him, if you will. Sending you much love and gratitude for your dear support, Ceil!

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, dear Denise. I hope all is well with you, my friend. ;)

  7. You are the sweetest! Such an advocate for so many! I hope you are taking care of yourself too!

    I had no idea about GFC since I am on WP, but good to know!

    1. Thank you, dear Caroline! It is always a blessing when you stop by here...I appreciate your visit so much! God bless you and keep you always! Praying for you and sending you lots of love. :)

  8. What a beautiful smile to greet me when I came here, oh the precious smile of that sweet baby touched my heart! I am continuing to pray for him that the Lord would heal him and help him to breathe on his own again, poor sweet little darling! I too cannot imagine how it must feel to be the parents and grandparents seeing the suffering of this sweet baby. And I loved your thoughts on a smile... so very true that a simple smile can change everything! I will continue to pray for Brody and your Uncle John too. Much love to you today dear Cheryl, praising God for your devotion to sharing the needs of others with us so that we can pray. What a privilege it is to hold these special needs up before the throne of the Lord! Blessings and hugs sent your way :)

    1. I know...isn't he a dollbaby? Oh, he looks like he lights up the whole room when he smiles! Please do keep praying, dear friend, as little Brody is having a rough night. Thank you ever so much for your dear friendship, support, and encouragement. Sending you much love and gratitude!

  9. Hello Cheryl...what a sweet little baby. Poor little tyke. It just reminded me to thank God again for my healthy funny little grandson Otto. He is a blessing to us all.
    I will put him on my prayer list...boy, it is a big list! Hope all is well with you.
    My dad is doing better and God has really restored relationships in my thankful.

    1. I know...isn't he just so precious? It is just heartwrenching to think of all he is having to endure. I am glad little Otto is such a blessing to you. :) I know what you mean, my prayer list is getting so long....the other day dear Zach told me he is going to get me a journal to keep them all in. We could pray 24/7 and still not cover it all. So thankful God sees and knows it all. OH, it just blesses me to know that your Dad is better and that the relationships are restored! Praise God!!!!! Thank you for sharing here with us. God bless you, my friend. :)

  10. Cheryl,
    I have prayed for Brody. I am following you from Soul Survival. I will remember Brody and his family in the days ahead. Trusting God for His wisdom and healing.

    1. Thank you ever so much, Janis! So happy to "meet" you and to have you visit here. Thank you ever so much for your prayers. God bless you abundantly!

  11. Thank you for these sweet pictures! I am so encouraged by your words and your sharing of this heart warming story!

    1. Thank you, dear Michele! I am always so blessed and encouraged by your sweet visits. God bless you for your faithfulness to Him and to all of us who are so blessed by your presence here in blogland. Sending you big hugs!

  12. As a mom of a child who is going through a tremendous ordeal of his own, I often ask why too. But it is part of a plan we do not only God knows. Thankfully, He will always be there to comfort us and give us strength!! Praying for this sweet sweet baby!

    1. Dear Robin! I am SO sorry to hear of your child's battles. I surely trust God to bring you through this time of trial and to heal your little one. If there is anything at all that we can do, please don't hesitate to ask. God bless you and hold you extra close in every challenging moment. Sending you much love and many hugs! Thank you for your visit here. :)

  13. I lost some of my followers, too, I hope they don't think it was me that dropped them! Thank you for the update on Brody. He along with his mom and grandma are getting my prayers daily. It is kind of you to keep us current. You are a wonderful friend; God bless you.

    1. Thank you ever so much, sweet Mary! Your faithfulness and prayers are so appreciated. And, you are a wonderful friend to me, too. How I thank God for you and to walk this blogging journey with you! God bless you abundantly!

  14. Oh, praise the Lord for good news, and that precious smile! Continuing to pray for little Brody!

    1. Thank you ever so much, dear Long Ladies! I appreciate all of you and your sweet encouragement! Sending you lots of love. :)

  15. Brody's smile made me smile. I shall pray for him today.
    Blessings to you friend!

    1. Isn't that the sweetest little smile? And to think he is going through so much distress! Thank you ever so much for your dear visit, Laura. Many blessings and much love to you, sweet friend!

  16. Cheryl, Thank you so much for so diligently keeping us updated on Baby Brody's progress. When I saw the picture of his precious smile, I smiled the biggest smile back! Every day I lift he and his family up in prayer. Even though he has a serious disease, we know that nothing is impossible with God.

    See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

    Blessings to you dear Cheryl. Your accompanying Scripture verses along with Brody's updates are always so edifying and encouraging.

    1. Thank you so much, dear Karen, for your faithful prayers, your consistent encouragement and support and your dear visits here. I SO enjoyed your blog post tonight, too. God is so good to bless us to lift one another up and keep one another encouraged on our Heavenly journey. :) God bless you abundantly!

  17. What a precious smile from sweet Brody. Thank you for the update. I have always said, when a company says they have a new and improved product - - it is never as good as the old one was. Any way, I haven't noticed any problems with my blog, and I do like Google and prefer it to Word Press. Thank you so much Cheryl for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

    1. Thank you ever so much, dear Hazel! God bless you abundantly!

  18. Awe, prayers for Brody, Jenn and Debbie. I hadn't heard of his story before. What a sweet smile. Children have a way of teaching us so much, don't they? Thanks for sharing. ((blessings))

    1. Welcome here, Brenda! Yes, children surely do teach us! Thank you for your prayers for this dear family and little Brody. God is able! I appreciate your kind comment and hope you will visit again! God bless you. :)

  19. Cheryl, I can't even imagine what it must be like for his family. Sweet baby! God I pray for sweet Brody. I don't know all the details of his situation, but Lord you do. Father I pray supernatural healing and rest in his body. I thank you Lord that his precious little body is lining up with Your word- that any sickness or disease has to go in Jesus name! I pray peace and rest for his family. Give them strength to perservere through the tough days, Lord! Father we wait expectantly for a good report for Brody, In Jesus name, Amen! Glad I stopped by from the Word Filled Wednesday Linkup!

    1. What a precious, inspired prayer! Thank you ever so much for your visit here and for the dear encouragement you left behind! God bless you abundantly! :)

  20. I can hardly look at dear Brody's face without crying. He's too precious, too sad. Of all the things that wound me deepest, it's the way that a fallen world hurts the helpless and innocent. Babies, animals - my heart grieves over how flawed creation has become, how far we have fallen from God's original plan.

    But...huzzah!! Praise His mighty name, He did something about it! He sent Someone - our dear Jesus!

    Jesus will stand next to the helpless. And His sure presence is in that hospital room, holding on to Brody's tiny hand. No matter what happens, He will NEVER let go...


    1. Oh, I agree with you, dear friend. It is heartbreaking to think that a baby would ever have to suffer. May the dear Lord have mercy. YES, praise His name, we have a Redeemer Whose atonement did not just include healing for our souls, but Divine-intervention healing for our physical bodies, too. When He said, "It is finished", He covered it all, praise Him forever!! I am so thankful He will never let go, as you said. Love and appreciate you, Sharon!

  21. Replies
    1. Thank you, Regine! I appreciate you stopping by. :)

  22. What a beautiful smile!!! You're right - God is in ultimate control and we will continue to pray for Brody's healing. Also praying for his mother and grandmother.

    Thank you for sharing this on the Counting Our Blessings Link up!

    Blessings - Julie

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and support, Julie! I do trust you are feeling much better now. God bless you for stopping by!

  23. Thank you so much Cheryl for updating us about Sweet Baby Brody. I continue to pray for him. What comfort to know that God is in control. We have to find rest in him. Thank you for sharing with us at Sitting Among Friends. I look for your updates and appreciate them.

    1. Thank you so much, dear Jaime! It is such a blessing to know you on this blogging journey. I appreciate your heart for God and for your faithfulness to pray and care. God bless you abundantly for all you do! Thank you for the link-up, too! :)

  24. Praying for baby Brody. Thanks for sharing updates. I am using my phone to access the internet until our service is installed at our new place, and it isn't easy with this phone! I love that I am still able to view your blog though. Love ya!

    1. Oh, my, bless your heart, Chris. I hope all is going well with you at your new place and trust God to work out all of the details. He is able! Thank you for using your internet time to visit me. It is always a huge bright spot when you stop by! Love you, sweet friend! :)