Experience Health & Joy

Weekly Blog

Summer Shape Up, Part 2: Walking!

Reading time: two minutes. Carol and I just got back from our morning walk.  About a half mile from our house, we met a guy about 15 years younger than us on a morning "jog."  He looked really bad!  He was huffing and puffing noisily, his feet were slapping the pavement, he had an agonized look on his face, and he could only muster up a weak little flip of the wrist as we waved and called, "Morning!" I hope he looked at us and thought, "They seem to be having much more fun than I am!"  Today I'll give you a quick version of what we've learned about fitness walking over the years. I truly believe you can reach almost all of your fitness goals through a brisk daily walk.  Read on!  I'll give you our most important tips about a daily fitness walk. Read More

Forgotten People…The Call Of The Gospel

Written by:  Heidi Goehmann Sunday morning looked about like the usual, rushing and more rushing, throwing a bagel or a baggie of cereal to my children, and doing a fair amount of hollering to get out the door, always five minutes behind.  It is, and probably always will be, controlled chaos trying to get to church.  I walked through the church doors and grimaced at the louder than necessary slam of the church door, while the strains of the first hymn play, my small parade of little ones behind me.  We make it through the children's message without incident, we raise our voices in praise, and then we begin the weekly wrestling match that is the sermon.  I have three small people in my house that can (mostly) listen to the sermon or color quietly.  I have one that requires a great deal of patience, multiple bathroom trips, a bundle of threats upon dessert, and sometimes more than a little heartache. The tears begin to roll down my cheeks.  I feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and in so much of it, very alone.  The last hymn comes and I wipe my eyes quickly.  I paste the smile on my face and cheerily greet my fellow believers in the narthex.  Do you know who I am?  Am I a single mom, the parent of a special needs child, the pastor's wife?  I could be anyone.  The question is...do you know me? The church is full of people silently struggling.  In fact, most of us are struggling with something.  Maybe it's the health of a loved one, our own health, our marriage, finances, job stress, whatever.  We all have junk.  The reality is, though, that it is easier for some members to go by unnoticed.  Maybe it's because they are quiet.  It's easy to shout out an expectation that they should just share their burden, let us help with the load, but there may be reasons we cannot even begin to understand that are holding that person back from getting the care and fellowship they need. Look around you.  Who is sitting in the pews with you that you do not know?  There are hidden shames and struggles that leave people in the margins.  Imagine the margins of a book, or this magazine.  They are blank, yes, but more importantly they are the place where the words don't go.  It is hard for us to find, much less accept, that which we do not know, or even more, where we do not go.  God calls us to go there.  To reach across the aisle to someone. Read More

Summer Shape Up! Healthy Eating!

Reading time: two minutes. It's summer shape-up season!  Our roots as a health and wellness ministry for professional church workers are found in a physicians office, so it seems logical to take a few weeks and turn our focus to physical wellbeing. I typically work my way around the wellness wheel and all eight aspects of wellness.  I'll get back to that in a few weeks.  In this short series, I'll offer some real, practical, down to earth ideas for your physical wellbeing. Let's take a look at the Bible's  take on what healthy eating for the Lord's people looks like! Read More

Preparing for Confirmation

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Our house is a bit of a hub-bub in this season of our lives.  We have four beautiful children, with lots going on.  My husband and I are both professional church workers with our own schedules.  But much of the hub-bub has a little less to do with the everyday and a little more to do with what is to come. We are preparing for confirmation at our house.  Confirmation versus are being picked.  Party ideas are being pinned.  Food, and invitations, and attendees are being selected. At first glance it may seem like a bit much, but we have been preparing for this moment our whole lives, as a family.  We aren't making it a big deal because we want every thing, every party to be bigger and better, which, let's be honest, is kind of our culture in America.  Holidays can't be celebrated casually between a few friends.  There must be crafts and over-the-top food and drinks.  The decorations must be top notch. This planning, though, is for a different reason.  It's not about the cultural expectations, or what people will think.  It's not for the "Ooooo-s" and Aaaah-s."  This party is for our child's moment to proclaim what she has learned, what her foundation is, what Jesus has done and will continue to do and be in her life.  This moment is HUGE, in and of itself. And it deserves to be celebrated as such! My thirteen year old is beautiful - inside and out.  She is a precious child of God.  I know that every mother of a daughter reading this feels exactly the same way. So I would like to take this moment of her confirmation to celebrate that fact.  More than that, to celebrate the beauty of Christ in her. Read More

Risen and Brand New… Financial Wellbeing!

Reading time: two minutes. The last of the Post-Easter reflections on the Lutheran Wellness Wheel.  I've enjoyed this so much because Easter changes the way we think and the way we look at everything in our lives, including money. For a guy who didn't have any, Jesus sure talked a lot about money and possessions.  They say it's the number one subject of the parables, but we all know that the primary subject of the parables is human hearts. I guess that's why Jesus talked about it so much.  He knows where our hearts are. Read More

Lutheran Senior Service Chaplain’s Retreat

Everyone needs Jesus’ love, and no one more than the thousands of senior adults who are residents of Lutheran Senior Services in the greater St. Louis region.  Program Director, Darrell Zimmerman spent the evening of May 11 with more than a dozen LSS chaplains, encouraging them to come for… Read More

3 Things I can learn from my 8 Year Old

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann This is Jyeva.  (Pronounced Yay-Vuh.) If you look up the definition of “free spirit” in the dictionary, you will likely find her picture.  Jyeva has a fresh way about her, a caring and affectionate nature, and an offer… Read More

Risen and Brand New… Physical Wellbeing!

Reading time: two minutes. Happy Easter/Ascension!  I hope and pray that you are still basking in the glory of our Lord's resurrection.  It changes everything.  From death comes life, and we're surrounded by death and dying every day.  Our own aging, dying bodies are a constant reminder of our mortality. But don't our bodies also, in a paradoxical kind of way, also testify to us about life, new life, and the healing power of Christ?  I'm trying to pay more attention to the wonderful healing work of Jesus in my own life.  When I pay attention, it's an encouragement to me every day! Read More

Closed People or Open People

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Spring has finally decided to settle itself into the far reaches of Northwest Ohio.  It is a much more patient wait here than it was growing up outside of St. Louis.  But just like anything that requires patience, the wait is worth it!  After the long months of winter, colors begin to protrude out of every nook and cranny, from garden beds to sidewalk cracks, vibrant greens with splashes of the happiest yellows and oranges and purples and reds. Tulips are my favorite.  They always have been.  They seem so dignified, but also have a certain weakness about them.  They bloom bright and fast, but only last so long.  You turn around once and the petals lie on your dining room table, leaving you wondering what in the world happened.  There's a mystery to the tulip.  She doesn't give up her secrets. I always thought that tulips were at their best, at their "peak" when they were in their tallest state, petals sharply at attention.  This is the state right after the bud.  The tulip has given up it's tight grip and opened to stand straight and tall.  This is the tulip we see in childhood pictures and books.  This is the shape of the tulip you can draw with ease for pictionary, a semi-circle on a stem with two peaks.  Voila! Then, I substitute taught as an aide for the preschool class.  Nothing changes your life perspective like 20 three and four year olds.  Monday, we went on a walk to look for spring things. "Oh Mrs. Goehmann, look at this!  I found a beautiful rock!" "Oh Mrs. Goehmann, look at this leaf!" "Oh Mrs. Goehmann, did you see my new tennis shoes?!" Joy abounded in every sight and sound and touch.  The first class took their walk around 10am-ish.  The tulips were a favorite find for everyone, colorful, stately, just as I expect them.  The second class took their walk around 1pm.  It really was a beautiful day.  There was oodles of sunshine, the temperature was perfect.  The teacher led the class right by our friends, the tulips, and I was shocked to see this: Read More

Risen and Brand New… Vocational Wellbeing!

Reading time: two minutes When I pray for church workers, I pray for joy.  From my own experience, I know that joy comes from seeing the beauty of Jesus when He shows up in my ministry. It's a little bit like Peter leaping from the boat in John 21 when He recognized the risen Jesus standing on the shore after the Miraculous Catch (Part 2).  When we witness those wonderful moments in ministry that are the "Only Jesus could do that!" moments, joy follows. I hope you have those all the time. Read More

Armed Forces Chaplains Retreat, Jacksonville, FL – April 18 – 22

If there’s a “double whammy” of stress in ministry, it’s the military chaplaincy.  What a pleasure for us to minister to clergy families who also proudly wear the uniforms of our nation’s armed services.  At the invitation of synod’s Ministry to the Armed Forces, Grace Place Wellness offered a… Read More