Krista Monson

Krista Celebrates One Year at Gloria Dei

Krista Celebrates One Year at Gloria Dei

by Krista Monson

When celebrating a “birthday person,” one of my favorite traditions is to ask them to share two highlights from the past year and one or two things they are looking forward to in the new year. June 4th is quite a significant day in my life. Not just because it’s my birthday, but it is also the day I started working at Gloria Dei. This year, I celebrated my birthday and the annual anniversary of being a part of Gloria Dei. So my response to a highlight from the past year was joining Gloria Dei!

Reflecting on the past year and my first year here at Gloria Dei instantly brings a smile to my face. I have met fantastic people. I have gotten to know youth and witness their growth inside and out. I am amazed and humbled to play witness to their questions, wonderments, and senses of humor. I laugh a lot here! My heart is gladdened to call people by name. I know them! Plus, sharing our stories and sharing in The Story.

I really appreciate hymns and have some favorites that date back hundreds of years. One being I Love to Tell the Story. It instantly transports me to standing on the pew between my grandparents, proudly holding onto the heavy hymnal, singing aloud in my Kindergarten voice that didn’t fully know the words, and listening to the clear voices surrounding me in song.

Stories and memories have been created with the Gloria Dei youth and community. Whether it be being mistaken as the mom of five seventh grade girls on a summer trip, “Wow quintuplets!”, or utilizing my Harry Potter knowledge to tame a wiley kid at VBS; the chance to sit with a sixth grade small group as they share the intense issues they face in middle school, or listening to a parent share current joys and concerns of his or her family; I am constantly awed and humbled by my opportunity to grow and learn alongside you.

In one year, we have shared many stories. I look forward to sharing more. I look forward to more moments when a child hears a Bible story and their eyes go wide in wonder. I look forward to unpacking The Story with middle school Confirmation students and connecting how it relates to us now. I look forward to sharing in experiences and building memories that become our shared story. What a blessing of connection we have here. I am so blessed to be a part of it.

Confirmation Year in Review 2018-2019

What a year! The last night of Confirmation this year was cancelled on Wednesday, April 10th due to snow and weather. Quite a reflection on the oddball weather we experienced throughout the year. We still got many chances to connect, learn, laugh, and worship together. Water’s Edge worship is our large group time. Many stories were shared this year. The four seasons, the greatest gift I have ever received, Aha Moments, and Love in Lent (aka Get on the Bus!), and more.

Highlights include: small group time, Christmas party, creative and fun LABS projects, silly gifs in the announcements, and service projects. A big thank you to all volunteers who helped make this year happen: service project leaders and small group guides! These caring adults make the Confirmation community a fun and awesome space to learn and grow.

This was my, Krista, first year on staff and involved with Confirmation. I had a blast! It has been a blessing getting to know everyone. Next year I look forward to more Water’s Edge worships, guide huddles, LABS, service projects and small groups; as well as the addition of retreats! Keep your eyes and ears open for the 2019-2020 Confirmation calendar and updates this summer!

Thanks for a great year! Check out the Family Hubs’s photo gallery for some snapshots of this year’s events and captures.

Good Minutes Holy Week & Easter

Good Minutes Holy Week & Easter

In case you missed them, here are the Good Minutes for Holy Week and Easter!

Good Minutes is a time to gather the family, watch, learn, and wonder together. Krista shares about beginnings, endings, and middles reflecting on Holy Week. New Year’s, the school year…so many moments in life have a beginning and ending, and it’s what happens in the middle that shapes those endings.

Easter is celebration and light! Jesus is the Light of the world and the darkness cannot overcome it! Krista engages viewers to find the light and how light always prevails over darkness.

Week 5: Love in Growth & Transformation

Love in Growth & Transformation

Written by Krista Monson

New growth is exciting! It is happening right now outside our doors. Green is starting to sprout up from the ground, and seedlings are sprouting as well! Hooray!

We experience growth too. We take our first steps, we lose teeth, we learn to ride a bike; no matter how old we are, we keep growing. 

Growing can be difficult too. Growing pains are experienced by our bodies aching and hurting as we stretch taller and bones grow. In order to get a new tooth, we first had to lose one. Losing a tooth can be scary and hurt a bit. But it doesn’t last long! Soon a new tooth grows and maybe you are rewarded for losing a tooth and growing.

Same goes for moments that happen in life. Painful or scary moments may happen only for a little while, but we still get nervous about them. We try to avoid feeling pain. Doing our best to protect ourselves from it. When it happens, we can get upset and frustrated. We tried so hard to avoid these moments! Why do they still happen?

That is where love comes in. Pain and fear are facts of life. They cannot be avoided. The blessing experienced in those moments is the opportunity to learn and grow. We need to express love and care to ourselves in those difficult moments. It is okay to be frustrated. It is okay to need to take a pause or a break to unpack and sit with these hard moments; to take a deep breath and let ourselves feel. It is important to share love with people close to us feeling these frustrations too. Showing them care and giving them support.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
— Romans 5:3-5

Self-Care

A great way to help with transitions and tough moments is to take care of yourself. What do you do to show yourself love? Is it treating yourself to something delicious? Taking a bath? Taking a nap? Doing a favorite activity? Having quiet time?

Challenge

Try something new. A new place to eat, a new hobby, a new book, etc. Pay attention to yourself. How do you feel beforehand? How do you feel while trying something new? What do you learn?

-OR-

Share as a family, or ask someone close to you who has known you a long time to reflect with you, about times in your life that you have grown (physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally)? Share your own moments or highlight other’s that you have witnessed.


Week 3: Love. What do we expect?

Love. What do we expect? -Written by Krista Monson

Let’s face it. We love to be loved. We need to be loved. Many times we want to be loved in specific ways. Our hearts may be just a bit happier if we got a hug, or if someone we love sent us a nice text or phone call. Maybe a bad day would be brighter if we spent some time with a friend or someone close to us. When we do not experience love in a way we want or expect, we tend to feel more lonely, isolated, and even disappointed in the people close to us.

We all show love in different ways. There are different love languages. Five to be exact, according to Gary Chapman’s work. Five ways to show/speak love: Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Quality Time. The 5 Love Languages highlight that there are specific ways people tend to give and receive love. Think of a bad day; perhaps one that you have had recently. What did you need to get better? How could someone have helped you feel better? What does that show about how you like to receive love? Now, reverse it. How do you like to show others love when they are experiencing a hard time?

A fun way to consider the 5 Love Languages!

A fun way to consider the 5 Love Languages!

1 Corinthians 13 shares that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” We can get caught up in how we expect to be loved and miss seeing love around us. We also can feel burdened by the expectation we feel to show love and not experience love in return. Or some of us even neglect to let others help or show us love! 1 Corinthians is an invitation to release our expectations on love. To allow the unexpected and communicate to one another through love and compassion.

Time to Chat.

Which do you think is your top love language? What ways do you like to receive love? For example, I like hugs. Which way do you tend to give love? I am a helper, so I tend to give acts of service. Is it the same language of giving and receiving for you? Want to learn more about the 5 Love Languages and take a quiz to learn yours? Kids, teens, couples, and singles can all take a quiz here.

Challenge.

Take what you have learned about love languages and apply it through a random act of kindness this week! That’s unexpected! We need to learn and challenge ourselves to continually show love to others. A great way by doing this is random acts of kindness. Try using words of affirmation and leaving a kind note for someone in your family or a stranger. A post-it note or small note of encouragement can go a long way! Acts of service can be helping a neighbor clear their sidewalk of ice or picking up litter. There are multiple ways to show love! Choose one language and try to “beef up” your skills and show love all week.

All the Feels- by Krista

All the Feels

by Krista Monson

My mother said something to me when I was young that has stuck with me for decades. “Emotions are valid. It’s your attitude that is your choice.”

She constantly reminded me, and still reminds me today, that there is nothing wrong with feeling angry, frustrated, sad, upset, jealous, or disappointed. Those are emotions. Feelings. Every single one is completely natural. The choice we have is what we do with those emotions; especially when interacting with others. As a child, when I chose harsh words and actions towards my siblings to reflect my feelings, I was rewarded with a time out. Time to reconsider my attitude and actions. Time to take a break, breathe, and make a new choice.

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” James 1:19b

Decades later, I still practice choosing my attitude amidst days of emotions. A common phrase a friend and I use is “All the Feels” to express how overwhelmed we can be by the sheer number of emotions we experience in a day. It can be tiring. It can leave us not knowing how to proceed. I take comfort in the reminder that emotions are valid and I can take a time out to breathe, pray for patience and guidance, and consider my attitude and how I interact with the world.

Summer Camp at Good Earth Village!

Summer Camp at Good Earth Village!

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Summer Camp registration is open at Good Earth Village! Super Early Bird discount is 15% until February 3rd, 11:59PM. Details for dates, programs, costs, and more are available at www.goodearthvillage.org/summer. Gift certificates are available at www.goodearthvillage.org/giftofcamp, or by calling 507-346-2494.

$50 Gloria Dei scholarships are available for week long registrations. Contact Krista at kristam@gloria-dei.com with any questions.