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The SpirFit Blog


Not too long ago a friend asked me to thank my dad for recommending a podcast to her.

Incredulously I responded, “My dad knows what a podcast is?” Followed up by, “And what podcast would that be?”

My dad had recommended Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Bible in a Year podcast. Now, my dad and I talk a fair amount about religion so I was surprised he’d never mentioned this podcast to me. But that surprise was overshadowed by a bigger shock when I learned that it was the #1 Overall Podcast

in the U.S. last year! With 170 million downloads in 2021, how hadn’t this podcast fallen into my playlist?

For years I’ve been slowly reading the Bible. (Still haven’t made it out of the Old Testament, in case you were wondering.) The Bible hasn’t been a quick read for me. I’ve found it dense, with endless details and storylines and lessons and themes. My hand-written diagrams and notes have somewhat helped, but the accuracy of my interpretations are anyone’s guess.

The fact that there is now a (free) podcast in which a theologian (with a nice voice) is reading and interpreting the Bible makes me feel beyond grateful (and relieved)!

In my opinion, there are a few key elements that really make this podcast great. First, rather than taking a linear approach to the Bible, Fr. Mike threads the chapters and books into one giant epic story. (Forget the start-stop-reset approach.) Second, Father thoughtfully explains the readings, drawing the listener’s attention to key points that will likely be pondered far after the episode is over. Lastly, each episode is 20-25 minutes, the perfect length for a lunch break or commute.

So, if you’re looking for a new podcast in 2022, I’d highly recommend this one. Yes, you’ll be trendy, but you can thank my dad for that.

As I cuddle up to a cup of coffee, I can’t help but smile as I reflect on this past weekend's Retreat, Reclaim Your Peace & Joy. Retreats are such a wonderful way to invest in yourself. Sometimes we forget to do that. Life has a tendency to sweep us away from our inner needs with all its external demands and distractions.

Retreats are different.

They carve out a space in time for you to breathe, to reflect, to drop the mask that you wear outside to fit in and accept the person God is calling you to be.

I’ve received thank-you’s from many attendees for offering this Retreat. These messages remind me of why I started SpirFit, and why I offer SpirFit Stretch classes and retreats. I do this because I see how hard you are working in your professional and familial lives. I also see you’re stressed, and perhaps your spiritual life may be suffering. I recognize it because I’ve experienced it too. I know what it’s like to feel depleted and stressed to the point where Joy and Peace seem so far out of reach. But the truth is, Joy and Peace are always within reach. God is Joy. God is Peace.

And as Father Ross Kelsch reminded us at the Retreat, “If we allow God to dwell within us, then we can be joyful on the outside. Joy is Peace deeply rooted in the heart. Joy is holy work.”

Heading into 2022, I hope to offer more opportunities for you to experience God’s Peace & Joy. Please keep checking back for updates. Until then … keep up the good fight, stay inspired and pray often.

Dear friends,

As we find ourselves in the midst of these strange, unprecedented times, I’d like to discuss the importance of Whole Body Wellness. Perhaps, it’s more important now than ever to take care of ourselves. We needn’t complicate this. Actually the simpler the plan is, the more effective and fruit-bearing it may be. But it’s important we do it! Put the oxygen mask on your self now, so you can be of good use to yourself and others.

Before I proceed, as a quick reminder, Whole Body Wellness entails the Mind, Body and Soul. These areas are individual and yet codependent. That is why we take a different approach to caring for each three sectors, knowing that each success is directly related to the whole.

Let’s begin now by examining the Mind. We are a product of our thoughts.

And thus, during these times, we need a good defense. Perhaps you, like me, have encountered an abundance of negativity, fear, division and criticism which leaves one feeling “down in the dumps”. The plan to rectify this can be quite simple really. We can protect our eyes and ears by limiting how much news we consume, limiting communication with the “Debbie Downer’s and Negative Nancy’s” in our lives, blocking negative influencers on social media, and so on. There are so many beautiful things happening right now to pick our spirits up. Like companies, organizations and community resources pulling together to help the homeless; citizens sewing masks for medical workers; neighbors like Traci and Matt Nestheide giving people a reason to laugh with their homeschooling antics; and teacher friends, like Kelly Olliges and Kim Weyer, who are encouraging their students to keep moving and virtually learning by sharing fun ideas and videos. Good is being radiated all over the world right now. We simply need to dial in and receive it (and call-block that negativity)!

Moving on to our Body. The message is to move! Our bodies house all the hormones and chemicals that affect our minds as well as our internal bodily systems (the human body has 11 organ systems in all). Each system depends directly, or indirectly, on the other. And thus, poor performance in one area of the body can cause dysfunction in the others. “Based on the type, timing and severity of the applied stimulus, stress can exert various actions on the body ranging from altercations in homeostasis or life-threatening effects.” (You can read more about that here.) But MOVING, whether it’s calming breathing exercises (that slow the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and improves oxygen intake) or some form of physical exercise, will help our internal systems run at their optimal levels. So, for the sake of your sanity and health, get movin’.

The last piece of the Whole Body Wellness Pie features our soul. Why is our Spiritual Health so

important? Let’s contemplate this: “Our souls will remain restless until they rest in the Lord”. Friends, we look to our Government for answers. We look to Science for answers. We look to our History Books for answers. But which can we fully trust? Our foundation of trust must first be rooted in the Lord. That is why we pray during these dire times: that God will reveal strong leaders, new vaccinations, and solutions to the multitude of problems that lie before us. There is only one thing in life that is constant and true. So let’s turn up our Spiritual dials to make contact with this higher power that transcends space and time, and to entrust our lives to Him so that he may hold us in the palm of His hands.

Whole Body Wellness: it might not remove the obstacles in our path but it will make the tough times more tolerable. So take care of yourself and keep the plan simple: Protect (the eyes and ears), Move (the body) and Pray. I’ll be praying for you, and whatever role you find yourself in now, may you do it well. Wishing you the best.

Peace, health and happiness.

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