Daily Devotions

We are thrilled to once again be sharing a daily devotion with you for the season of Advent. These inspiring devotions have been written by YOU the members of Good Shepherd.  A sincere “thank you” to everyone who opened their hearts to share a small piece of their faith journey with us.   As we journey toward Bethlehem in this season, take time each day to walk with God and experience the stirrings of the deep love that took on flesh to walk with us.  

During the four week Advent season, each Wednesday our devotion will be a video reflection by Dr. Kevin Seal, Director of Worship and Music at Good Shepherd, as he shares a teaching about the Words and Music of Advent.

Each new day’s devotion will go live directly on our webpage, goodshepherd.com at 6am, (look under the worship tab at the top right of the front page) or you can follow the link that will be sent out later each morning in an email from Good Shepherd.  

Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

Kellie Grabenbauer

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

    As 2019 rolled into 2020, I chose Strength as my word for the year. I was just coming off “hard chemo”, the kind that knocks you out of activity for a week, gives you a week to recover, then hits you again. I had 12 rounds of “easy” chemo left, then surgery & recovery. Add in the underlying question “Is this working?” and that seemed like a lot to deal with.

     Enter 2020, pandemic, stay at home orders, and more. Strength, yes and a whole lot more. Istarted contemplating the idea of Stolen Moments. My heart grieved for the losses. I walked out of my classroom March 11, not knowing it was my last day with my students. I watched friends lose graduations, senior seasons, precious time with loved ones. I walked into chemo and major surgery alone. And others faced more devastating effects; loss of jobs and loss of life. So many stolen moments.

As we “hunkered down” (as Dad would say), I tried to find quiet places in my crowded house to just breathe and pray. Ironically, chemo (patients only) became the most peaceful hours of my week. My mind was worried, my body tired, and yet my heart was full. Full of stolen moments of a different kind.

   As the weeks wore on, I found joy in the unexpected moments provided by 2020. My college nursing student moved back in, likely her last long stretch at home, just in time to help with my post-op care. All of us gathered around the dinner table, night after night, a rare occurrence when most springs are filled with practices, meets, and games. I watched long hours of NFLClassics snuggled with my almost-teenage son while my body healed. How much longer will he initiate that? There were so, SO many neighborhood walks with my working-from-home husband. I had the privilege of driving my 16-year-old around when the BMV closed before she could get a license. And clearly, when faced with a life-threatening diagnosis, every day I’m here and healthy feels like I’ve been blessed with a little “extra”.

    There is a song, Just Be Held, by Casting Crowns, that I’ve loved for years. It sums up 2020 beautifully. It starts out “Hold it all together, everybody needs you strong. But life hits you out of nowhere and barely leaves you hanging on.” Anyone relate? Later they sing my favorite line:

“Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place. I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held.”

   It took God to show me that life wasn’t stealing moments at all, it was giving me back moments that I would not have had in a normal year. It was a time to pause, to see the places and people and moments closest to my heart. It was letting go of things I can’t control and making a difference where I can. Is 2020 still crazy and chaotic and incredibly stressful? ABSOLUTELY. But now I can see God’s steadfast gifts within the losses. Where do you see God blessing your life in 2020? What pandemic lessons will you carry into the future when we return to “normal?”

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5 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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Heidi Johnson

This is so powerful! You are one of the strongest women I know, and sharing your blessings amidst all this chaos -truly a blessing. Take care.

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Laurie Boisclair

Thank you for reminding us to cherish everyday moments...to love one another and reach out to someone today with a kind act to lift our spirits.

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Who would think that experiencing cancer treatments would provide those peaceful moments you have been craving for years? Thank you for sharing how God has worked in your life this year!

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Roy Johnson

Admire your strength, thank you for sharing. Good luck with continued recovery.

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Danelle Buelsing

Kellie, I love how you found joy and gratitude in the midst of really challenging times. Thank you for sharing your story!

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«October 2020»

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