Derek Johnson (02:54):
It takes a tremendous amount of grace and humility, um, to be a dad where the reality is, we don’t know you are jumping into this process. And the funny thing, my wife and I, you know, even a little bit of a backdrop for us, uh, our early years of relationship and our early years of marriage were a mess, we were such a mess. So one of the things that we found early on is that we would we’d read books, we’d listened to podcasts and sermons. And we were just constantly gathering tools, trying to fix our heart connection, trying to fix our communication skills. So that kind of immediately on-ramped us into the mode. We went in as parents. And so a lot of young parents, they’re doing the same thing. They’re reading all the books, they’re reading all the sleep methods that, you know, they’re doing all of the stuff and all that’s amazing, but the reality is what we found….And I’ll, I’ll actually never forget the experience when my daughter was born. She had about seven days as they were kind of checking for an infection that she had to stay in the NICU. So it already started off like, well, this is not what we planned for. But she was, she was fine. After the seven days we were released back home and, uh, we, my wife and I both remember, we kind of get in and we pull in that afternoon, we get to the house and then we’re just staring at each other, like, like where’s the nurse, you know, who’s going to tell us when to feed this baby and how do we change the diaper and how can we leave her alone when she’s sleeping and you just kind of immediately, and it’s actually beautiful because one of the things you find in that moment and, you know, it’s been a continuous journey that I’ve found with my daughter and now with my son is when you have children, I think more than even in marriage, you start to understand what love actually is and what love looks like, and kind of that responsibility in that way, that hits you. The reality was our daughter was mostly fine. Babies are going to tell you what they need. They’re going to tell you when they’re hungry or they’re going to cry like crazy until you put them down or change the diaper. So a lot of it is it’s so natural that I think, I think for many especially fathers, and you know, there can even kind of be a mindset where, you know, mom’s a nurturer and dad’s a protector and those roles are actually pretty true. But what I’ve found, even in my experience was, um, I actually have turned out to be quite a nurturing father. You know, I can change diapers and do nap times and all those, all those sorts of pieces. So I would say for any dad stepping into it, uh, navigating all the emotions, all the worries, um, you actually are very well equipped to be a dad because you’re going to love your kid. And you’re going to just absolutely fawn over every coo and the moment you start making them laugh, look out, I mean, it’s literally going to grip your heart and it’s never going to let you go. So I will do anything to make my kids laugh. But you know, most of it, honestly, it is, you can read all the books, but most of it is it’s just inherent. I mean, God has designed us to love our children. And so much of it really flows from that, you know?
Jeff Zaugg (05:55):
Well, and I can see this in your eyes. Derek is just, your eyes are shining when you’re talking about being a dad. And I knew this before we got on today, just from, uh, friends of yours who told me about you and your, um, just pursuit of loving the dad life. Uh, give me a story, a recent, or it could be, you know, six, seven years ago, right? When you started a moment that really caused you to be like, Oh man, my eyes are shiny. My wife’s eyes are shining. My girls, like just say, uh, of moment as a family. And you’re like, that was a, like one of the highlights of the dad life. Can you think of a, one of those moments, the shiny high moments?
Derek Johnson (06:26):
Yeah. Oh man. I mean, I, and I think this is the beautiful thing about being a father. It’s actually why, uh, one of the first things I ask young men in our environment who are getting married and their wives, I’m like, Hey, when are you having kids? You know, like, I actually want to, I’m trying to encourage it because honestly, and I’m not saying this, to make it sound overly poetic, although I probably am wired that way. But I have those moments every day with my kids. I really do. I mean, every day with my kids, even in the craziest days, I mean, there just be moments where like my son pops on a storm trooper mask and we just start doing Star Wars in the living room. And, and there, there is nothing else that brings me more joy than those moments with my kids and playing with my kids. And so, I mean, there’s, you know, there are, there are thousands of those moments. Um, I will say probably one of my, one of my favorite moments as a dad, because my wife and I, we actually had a pretty unique scenario where, because of the nature I had spent about seven or eight years, leading worship and kind of traveling all over. So in the busiest of months, maybe I was gone three weekends out of the month, but for the rest of the month, I was actually home. And so how that worked out in our family was my wife finished her three month maternity leave. She had a full-time staff position, you know, that was office hours with our ministry. And so we had to make this kind of crazy decision that at three months she was going back to work all week long and because I would be home, I was going to stay with our daughter. So I will never forget the day that, you know, little three-month Lucy’s in my arms, mom’s backing out of the driveway. And I am now face-to-face with this is not what I expected at all. This was not the picture that most men kind of get in their mind when you think of having children. But that season was one of the greatest gifts of my life. Like the relationship I have with my daughter. Now that foundation was built in those early years, that dad was changing all the diapers and doing all the naps. And so I just, you know, when you talk about those kind of sparkle in the eye moments, I mean, I think these are the reasons why I can wake up and, you know, high five, my daughter, when she’s brushing her teeth in the morning and there’s that sparkle, or my son, when I get him out of his crib in the morning, it’s like we, we have those even, even for young dads, new dads and dads have been doing it for years. I think this would be always, my encouragement is, um, those investments, those investments are so priceless. And I think one of the things that has started to really zone in for us is, as our daughter gets older and as we have a new baby on the way, you really, I know it’s a trope. Everyone says this with all of their kids. It goes so fast, but it really does. And so even the older our kids get, the more that we are finding ourselves kind of redesigning the function of our life, just to have as many of those moments as we can. And I realize people have very different careers and very challenging schedules. And so we’ve often said, even if it’s the 15 minutes at the end of the night that we get to sit down and read a book with the kids, it’s like, you know, I know this is your heart with this podcast is my heart. And what we try to build here in our community is those little moments, those moments are kingdom. Like those moments are when we actually are showing the father’s heart to our kids by being present, even if that’s 15 minutes of just undivided, you know? So, um, that’s it, I mean, all of that is to say, it’s, it’s the moments, it’s the small little moments that, um, that really mark you.
Jeff Zaugg (10:05):
Well. And if you look for the moment, this is what I hear you saying. If you’re looking for the moments, you’re going to find more of those moments. And I think that a lot of dads are maybe less hopeful. They’re going to have a moment. That’s going to make them just gush with joy and the sparkly eyes. If they’re not looking for the moment though, they might not find it. And I, I just feel like we can invite everyone listening. I can invite myself more into looking for those moments, treasuring those, and what you treasure you’ll find more of biblical principle, right? Like if we treasure it, we’re gonna find more of it. Uh, so I just want to encourage everyone listening. Um, it is possible to have shiny eye moments every single day with our kids, but it won’t happen on accident. It’s not going to happen on accident. And I guess I’d love for you to compare your dad and you growing up versus the choices you’ve made. So to be dad, who’s experiencing those moments every day, who is at home three months with little Lucy. Um, talk a little bit about your dad and, and both the similarities or differences of how you’ve approached father.
Derek Johnson (11:02):
Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, I think for many of us, when we look back at our past, um, whatever our experiences were, you find out that they’re either supporting the way that you parent or they have encouraged you to parent differently. You know, they, they really kind of give you a laser focus for, and my wife and I, we use this phraseology all the time, but, uh, we all are going to have gaps, you know, no matter if you have the greatest parents in the world, or if you grew up with foster parents, like whatever this scenario looked like for you, both of them are going to leave you with gaps that we would know only the Lord’s gonna fill. Um, th like these are the gaps we all have. So for me, you know, my, my dad grew up in an incredibly dysfunctional and abusive home. Um, so, you know, mom, mom had left when he was young. Dad was severely abusive. So he leaves home, you know, around 14, 15 years old, moving in with his oldest sister and just kind of launched off into starting his own life. So you kind of fast forward to me being born. I’m the youngest of six brothers. And the gap between me and the next brother closest in age is seven years. So I was like a very surprised baby. My dad was about 40, I think when, uh, when I was born, but in that season of life, he was so drastically different than even the dad that I’ll hear my brothers talk about growing up with who was, you know, probably a bit more of a disciplinarian. And then by the time I came along, we always kind of joke, but it was more like I had grandparents a little bit. But the reality was for all the, there was a lot of amazing things that my dad did. You know, he was an incredible provider, literally worked hard every day. Him & my mom are still married. So those things, and I, I mean, I, I’m naming those on purpose to watch your mom and dad keep the covenant. And I’ve watched them through very, very hard years, very hard seasons of life, but to protect the covenant that they made before God, an incredible piece of wisdom, incredible piece of my legacy that’s passed on. Um, and then just to watch him as a, as a provider, also an incredible piece of the legacy, uh, but where there were gaps were certainly in emotional heart connections, you know, um, I, I just didn’t have the kind of dad who was going to ask me, um, how was my day or, or, you know, uh, what are you dreaming about or what do you feel – super supportive of my dreams. We didn’t have that kind of heart-to-heart connection that I think every, every son, every daughter longs for, with a father. So, you know, that colored my parenting in this really unique shade where I knew going into parenting, I really, really deeply want to be present with my…. I want to be emotionally present, I guess is what I’m saying. And so, you know, that that has come with, um, you, you kind of learn from those things, you pay attention to the own, our own pains in our hearts. And so, you know, many of the men who would listen to this many of the fathers, I’m sure a lot of them have read through Eldridge’s Wild at Heart or Fathered by God. I read through the book Fathered by God and I wept. I was like three pages in, totally rocked, but what’s so beautiful about it is, I think there’s two things we can take away from it. One, we need to be really intentional in the way that we father our kids, that really it is going to have to happen on purpose to get in there and have the conversations and have the heart connects, realizing that our kids don’t know how to do it. Like they just don’t. So we’re the ones who are there shaping that. We’re modeling that. Um, it’s one of the conversations. I literally, my daughter last night, she so kind of a random tangent, but she loves science. She loves to kind of spout off science facts and just like the smartest little girl. And she said to me randomly last night I was talking her in for bed. And she said, you know, sometimes when I feel sad about things, I like to just kind of say science facts. And I, you know, this funny how these little windows opening with your kids. And I was like, Oh, that’s amazing buddy. I said, but you know what? I really would love to hear. I love your science facts, but I really want to hear what makes you sad. Like, I’d love for you to share that with me if you want to. Yeah. So these are the small little windows that open up where I think for us as fathers, we want to, we want to create, you know, we call them heartstrings, but we want to create little heartstrings from her heart to mine my heart, to hers, where she’s opening up about her emotions. So that’s the intentionality part. The other part is having grace for ourselves. If we actually have to have a tremendous amount of grace in that, the short, the story I just shared, it’s something that, I learned last night, literally in the midst of it where you’re, you know, you’re kind of, you’re doing things intentionally, but it’s foggy.
Derek Johnson (15:50):
You’re moving forward on things. You’re, you’re learning things. You’re reading great books like Eldredge, and you’re wanting to apply them to your family, but you really don’t know it’s working into little windows like that open up. And then when they happen, I just have to have a lot of grace for myself. I have to really thank the Lord that man, God, thank you. That you are in the middle of my parenting. You’re in the middle of my fathering. You are shaping a ton of what I’m doing. ‘Cause I accidentally end up being a good dad in like a thousand moments. And I realized it’s God’s grace on us.
Jeff Zaugg (16:20):
Yes it is. And I think you mentioning gaps, uh, I was so impacted by the book father by God, by Eldredge. So impacted. Almost daily have moments where a gap is I realize a gap that my dad did not fill and I’m carrying forward a gap that I can pass that another gap on. But actually instead of passing a missed opportunity, I think gaps actually cause me to revert to a young Jeff, an immature Jeff, an impatient anger, like actually harmful emotions are attached to gaps in my past that can easily if left unchecked. And I think awareness that gaps exist, and awareness that our Heavenly Father wants to father us through those gaps so that we can help our kids get that step forward without the pain being passed forward. So I love what you set up there. Can you, I mean, you said you’re crying through pages in, I know there’s other things from even that resource, that book Fathered by God, any other areas, the windows concept is profound, of looking for windows to connect to their hearts, spying them and be like, I can actually learn about what causes her sadness that’s that is a really helpful visual to me.
Jeff Zaugg (17:28):
Where’s a window cracked open that I can actually connect a little bit. But any, any other things from that book or just around this, this concept?
Derek Johnson (17:35):
Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, kind of Fathered by God paired with a book that I’m still actually currently currently reading, I’m not finished at all the way. Um, but it’s called the Voice of the Heart by Chip Dodd, both of those books. I mean, what I loved about Fathered by God was actually just the permission to recognize the gaps, to feel the pain of the gaps and that paired with the book, like Voice of the Heart. That’s actually what that book is about is that actually the pain, the heartache, those gaps that you feel when you look back on your childhood, whether it’s mom and dad or whoever the caregiver was, those gaps that you feel you actually need to feel them. This is how you’re going to push forward to a place of healing, uh, and even begin to recognize, you know, sometimes, um, one of the things I love just to a very specific thing from voice of the heart, you talk about the emotion of anger. And so how many of us men, can deal with the emotion of anger? The cool thing that this book highlights is that your anger is connected to passion. So somewhere in there, if you filter that pain and that anger correctly, what you’ll find is something you’re actually deeply passionate about. And every one of us would know this. If I’m out at the park and some kid pushes my daughter over, anger is going to show up, right? But why is that? Because I’m extremely passionate about protecting my daughter. And so we have to begin recognizing this stuff. So this, for a lot of men, this may even show up. I know it shows up for me in my parenting where if one of you, if my daughter is disrespectful or short or whatever, there’s anger, but what’s going on? It’s not just for anger’s sake. I have a passion actually to see my daughter, live out the virtue of respect in her life, towards our family, towards her friends. So these books are super instrumental and I think connecting that, God created us with emotions. They are there for a reason. They do need to be managed and certainly they need to be touched by the Holy spirit so areas can heal. But they’re supposed to be in there. So, you know, that book is an incredible tool voice of the heart for anyone who wants to dive into that. And they talk about anger, sadness, loneliness, they touch on all the different emotions that we kind of feel and, and, and really kind of reveal they have a proper place. And I think if, for us, as men, for us as fathers, if we have a vision and we should have this vision to have kids who are emotionally healthy and capable in their friendships and their marriages and their careers, then we, we have to begin by doing the inner work ourselves. And just being that example. But where a book like fathered by God comes in is that book, you really will cry through this book because what you’ll begin to realize is through every one of those gaps, there has been a heavenly father who’s been right there, um, attempting over and over again, although we’re, we’re pretty good at putting up walls to kind of keep them out of our gaps sometimes, but he wants to fill them. He desperately wants to fill them. It’s always been on his heart. And so, as I read through that book, you know, I would just have flashes old memories of, Oh God, there you were. In the moments where I felt fatherless or in the moments where I felt like I felt misunderstood, or I felt like my heart wasn’t seen and my heart wasn’t known you were always there. You were always there wanting to learn and know my heart. So, you know, these books are instrumental. There’s a reason why they carry so much traction. I think amongst men is that many of us, I mean, there wouldn’t be one of us who who’s grown up without areas where our earthly fathers were, you know, let us down in some way, disappointed the needs of our hearts. And, uh, and I think, again, that’s why I said, as fathers, we have intentionality, but we have to have grace for ourselves because guess what? I can say all this stuff, and guess what I’m creating in my kids? I am creating gaps. There’s no doubt about it. And so all of us, all of us are. And so this is where we can, this is where we begin to take that next step to as fathers of going, okay, God, I’m trying my best. I’m being intentional, but I know ultimately you’re the father who’s going to fill in the gaps. Even for my daughter, Lucy, I’m trying, I am trying my hardest to be like, I want to be the model for hopefully the man that she will marry. Right. I’m trying, that’s it. I’m going to have to meet boyfriends and it terrifies me. But, I’m trying to be that man now, but there will be gaps inevitably. And I just have to trust that, that, He, the Father is her father even more than I am. And, uh, so that gives me some peace, you know.
Jeff Zaugg (22:24):
That gives all of us hope and it’s all of us take the, take the bar down. You don’t, I mean, we want to have a high bar for us being dead awesome. But at the same time, know that it’s our heavenly father. It’s not us, we’re not forcing a direction. And you know, you mentioned that anger is actually connected back to good passions pain. We know that pain also is connected hard, valley moments that we walk through – pain, disappointment are connected to passions and how we even prioritize areas for our family. Can you think of a story, a personal story of, a pain that you walk through, maybe it’s you and your wife, Becky together, you walk through something painful that actually has affected how you parents and how you lead your family. Can you share a story like that?
Derek Johnson (23:05):
One of the coolest kind of God journeys that we’ve experienced as a family, was around getting pregnant with our son, Julian. So, and then kind of just, a brief backdrop. When we got pregnant with my daughter, we literally had like a month window where we said, you know what? We should probably try having kids we’ve been married for about four years at that point, I guess. And we’re like, Hey, we should try having kids. And so for like one month we tried at the end of that month, we were like, man, we’re crazy. Why were we thinking that we were ready to have kids? She was pregnant. Right. So it was like, there was, there was almost no effort her, um, getting pregnant that time around, well, fast forward about a year and a half later, she gets pregnant again. She miscarries, uh, which was actually pretty devastating for us. Just, you know, all of us have this, we get our expectations set on something and then it doesn’t work out that way. And it could just be so devastating. And then on the other side of that, we then went into about a two year period where kind of unexplainable to our doctor. We just couldn’t get pregnant. We had no idea what was going on. And so, what it opened up a process in our family was this incredible process of faith and prayer that we got to live out with our daughter, Lucy we’re literally every night for a good, you know, year and a half, two year period. We were praying. We’re praying that mommy would get pregnant. Again. We were praying for the babies that we knew God had promised us. And so we kind of invited her into that prayer process and really cool part of the story is that we were, we were just about to jump out on to like a medication cycle with the doctor and start some interventions to see if we could figure out what was going on medically, around not being able to get pregnant. And lo and behold, one morning, 7:00 AM my wife screaming from the bathroom, wakes me up. I think she’s burned herself with like a hot iron or something else happening. And she said that she was pregnant and, um, and just this kind of beautiful testimony of us contending and praying and believing, and then even seeing her get pregnant without the help of medical intervention and the, and the doctors didn’t really know why that worked. And we just praise God and knew that he knows the timing of our kids. And, and then even with this next pregnancy, which is kind of amazing, really weren’t trying, it was no, it was no struggle like the last process. And here she is pregnant and we’ll have a new baby in two months. So we got to walk out for our daughter, which I think is key in the life of every believer. And it was actually being shaped in us, was, this was not like we were professional, um, contenders and believing in things that are hard. It was a deep, deep struggle that we cried through these prayers most nights, confused and not understanding what was going on, not understanding why this was our process, not understanding why we couldn’t get pregnant, knowing like Lord, in a moment, you can make this happen. What what’s happening, what’s this struggle. And we walked that process out with our daughter and the cool thing on the other side of it watching her, you know, she was about four, almost five going through that process. She’s now seven. She has this resolve about prayer walking through that process where, when, when something seems shaky, when something seems uncertain, she’s like, let’s pray. Let’s pray. We’ve seen God do it. We prayed. And I have my favorite best friend, baby brother, Julian here. So I know that God can do it. So I think those moments like, uh, you know, and I, I guess the reason I’m sharing even that one is we even had a choice as parents do. We shield our daughter. And of course, you know, in an age appropriate fashion, we let her into the process of what we were wrestling with, but we had this choice to make, do we, do we shield it and pretend like everything’s fine. Or do we let her in on this struggle? Right? Like Jacob who wrestled with God, like, are we going to bring you into this process that God actually calls us into where we contend for things in prayer or we’re believing for him to come through, um, and then begin to shape that faith process. So, um, I always look back on that as such a special time. And, and, and, you know, I actually feel really blessed as hard as that situation was. I feel God’s hand in maturing us through that process as a family,
Jeff Zaugg (27:37):
You know, every baby we know this is a miracle, every baby is a miracle. Oh my goodness, what a gift these babies are, but the process of waiting and trusting God and praying with your daughter, um, when I watched the, um, Instagram gender reveal video of your baby a couple of months ago, right? Two, three months ago. Yeah. I, I watched the video and I saw your wife’s eyes. And now of course you’re firing off a confetti cannon, but like I knew that there was deep prayer attached to that baby, just by, just by that one little moment I could tell. And I think one, all of us dads can remember, let’s remember that our kids are miracles and it doesn’t matter if we prayed for a year and a half, two years, these kids are miracles. And the, I just feel like we, we can walk with a level of gratitude more than any of us do. All of us can turn up that dial of gratitude. And, and then introducing our kids to prayer. I mean, we just, we’ve been praying for this little recorder, this little purple $10 recorder that my daughter’s playing to an annoying level. She gets lost. It’s been lost for a week. And yesterday I prayed again yesterday. And my, when my three-year-old walked up, my I’m sorry, my four year old walked up the stairs with it, the look in her eyes – it was not just ‘look what I found,’ it was ‘a prayer was answered.’ So again, a transferable principle for of all of us. Let’s go a dad fail. And again, because none of us are perfect. A not-so-awesome moment. Can you just share one or two dad fails? Not so awesome dad moments and what you learned from them?
Derek Johnson (29:06):
Yeah. Well, you know, it’s funny in our, in our family dynamic, right. Kind of my wife and I, um, I’m, I’m definitely much more of a calm, demeanor person. I don’t like panic or get scared very easily. I’m kind of the first, you know, and my wife’s kind of the opposite. Like if a kid falls down she’s instantly, like where’s the tooth that’s been knocked out, where I’m kind of looking at I’m like, I don’t see blood. I think it’s fine. So kind of, you know, as a good backdrop, but the greatest dad fail of me being scared thus far was, my daughter, we were outside playing in the backyard one day. Mom was driving home from work. So she wasn’t there yet. It was just me and her in the backyard. And she, somehow she had gotten like a bitten by a mosquito somewhere on her face. And what it started was this kind of allergic reaction on her face. So when I walk and I see her face, what I see, so this is just like, you know, dad brain going crazy here is, it looks like a chemical burn is like forming under her eyes. And so I start to freak out. And the first thing I’m thinking of is like, did you get into the pool chemicals? Right. So I’m, I’m just trying to like, listen, you’re not gonna be in trouble. And I’m shouting at her. I’m like, you’re not going to be in trouble. I just need you to tell me what chemicals did you get in? What chemicals did you put into your eye? And now she’s crying. She’s scared. She’s like, I didn’t put any, there’s no chemicals dad. I didn’t do anything. You know, so we’re having this exchange. And then my wife walks up, having pulled up in the driveway from work, walks up in the middle of this, and then, just absolutely calm, walks up and is like, “I think maybe honey, it’s like a mosquito bite or something” and then brings all the anxiety down. But I was, you know, and then afterwards we’re laughing and I’m like, I’m pretty sure I just scarred our daughter by me, screaming at her to tell me where the chemicals are freaking out. Totally afraid. You know, but just, I mean, there are these, there are these silly moments, where I’m like, I’m looking at my precious baby girl thinking her face is melting off. And losing my mind. Um, you know, so I mean, it’s kind of a silly one, but, you know, and I think, I think probably the more practical ones, and you know, this is something that happens weekly, sometimes daily, just the moments of, being short with the kids being disrespectful. Um, you know, and they’re such hard moments, right? Because particularly we have such a value in our home for, we’re trying to shape a specific culture for our kids to grow up in a biblical, a Christ-centered culture. I want to live out the virtues in front of my kids. I don’t even one of the things we talk about often. I don’t even want to list it out on a list and so that they can memorize it. I’m like I want to live it so that you can catch it. So we’re trying to do that, but you know, the hard part is then when I’m, I’m human, I’m imperfect, I can be impatient. And so when I have those short interactions or those disrespectful interactions with the kids or for my son, I mean, anybody who’s kind of had, a boy and girl dynamic, it’s blew me away and how different the two of them are my daughter. If you handed her a flashlight, she’d point up and start pretending about the butterflies and the fairies that are flying. And then I hand my son a flashlight and he sticks it in his eye. They’re just completely different, you know? And so it’s like for my daughter, I could be so calm and ask her to come down from something and she would do it. And for my son, if I don’t shout at him to get off of the couch, he will have stitches in five seconds. Right. So you just have to navigate these things and they, and they, they feel so silly. And but you know, one of the things we try to do all that to say, if there’s a main point in the middle of those mistakes, um, I don’t expect not to make them. I mean, I’m going to be short with my kids. I’m going to be disrespectful sometimes when, you know, they’re waking me up and I haven’t had coffee and I’m frustrated and I’m tired or whatever, and they’re not ready for school. We have those interactions. We had a bummer morning yesterday because we were trying to get out the door for school. But at the end of the day, what we, what we can do, what I try to lead in lead, my kids in is, um, is asking forgiveness and apologizing and cleaning up messes is the phrase we use all the time. You know, cause like we yesterday had a hard morning with school and you know, it was a lot of barking orders and just trying to get out the door and then her and I would get in the car, we’re making the drive to school just her and I, and I was able to clean it up and apologize. And Hey, let’s, let’s come up with a plan tomorrow on how we’re going to do this better, better for me, better for you. Um, but you know, I mean, those, those moments happen every day
Jeff Zaugg (34:02):
And that that’s circling back though. And using the concept of even the imagery of we’re going to clean it up. I’m going to be in charge of like, let’s go to clean up what happened here and choose a different path for that’s. That’s so helpful as you were praying about this conversation, Derek and I am so, so grateful for the conversation that we had so far, but it was there any other topics or any other just, Hey, I wanted to share this with our dadAWESOME community.
Derek Johnson (34:25):
I’ll kind of leave it with this some great advice I had from a friend. We were, kind of a men’s group meeting. We’re actually, we’re reading through this voice of the heart book together. And, um, and uh, in, in the last few months, the last kind of months of 2020, I had, we had moved my entire family into the house we’re in now, um, moved my parents in with us as a huge life change. Um, and to get into the house we were in, in a crazy sacrifice, an insane season. My wife, when she’s pregnant gets, pretty like out of commission, sick for several months with a condition called HG. So anyway, just as a nice backdrop, I was, I was going through it holding like six people together as we were getting into this home. And so I’m processing with the guys one morning and I was just struggling feeling like, man, I’m just, tearing up and emotional and I’m just processing all the hardships of the last few weeks. And I said to the guys, I’m like, listen, I just, I just want to be a great dad like that. It it’s, it’s what I care about. Most ministry, all these other things, my first mission in life is to be a great dad. Now, it sounds great. And I’m an idealist, right? So it sounds beautiful and poetic and awesome. But one of my, one of my friends says, Oh, that’s awesome. Derek. What if you were just a good dad and the weight of that? I mean, it’s like it shook something off and it’s something that still has really stuck with me. We’re gonna, we’re gonna carry that weight. I’m sure. Every one of us is carrying that weight of, I just want to be a great dad. The reality is, You are one. You are really a good dad here. I could tell you this much. If you’re listening to this podcast, you’re a good dad. You’re trying to put in the work you’re, you’re, you’re trying. And I think, similarly to our walk with the Lord, it’s the same as our walk as fathers. It’s the same as our walk with the husbands, we’re actually not called to perfection. We can’t do it. We never will. We are called to try. We are called to try to get up every day and I’m going to try to be a better dad than I was yesterday. And if I’m doing that, um, it’s going to have a radical impact on me. It’s going to have a radical impact on my wife, and it’s going to have a radical impact on my kids.
Jeff Zaugg (36:58):
Would you say a short prayer for all of the dads listening and specifically for some of those miraculous moments, even if they’re short moments to some of those moments of heartstrings. So if you pray for us, that’d be amazing. Yeah.
Derek Johnson (37:09):
Yes, yes. Father, Lord, we thank you that you’ve given us this mission to be fathers. Thank you, God, that you have trusted us with these beautiful babies. God who really are image bearers. God, they bear your image. They bear your likeness. They bear your heart. And God thank you that we can even, even imperfectly begin to represent the love of the perfect Father in heaven to our kids, that we can create that culture in our homes and God, what I, what I pray for, for every father listening to this for every father to be who is listening to this in preparation. I pray God that you’d give them eyes to see the moments God, to be, to be fully and completely present with their kids. And to embrace that joy, to embrace those moments, God, to embrace the laughter, to embrace the tears, to embrace the shouting, to embrace the noise, to embrace the food thrown on the floor, to embrace it all God. And one of the things father you have. So blessed me with is just, uh, just a, uh, an understanding of the process that we get to watch these kids grow. We get to watch them learn. We get to watch them grasp new skills and do it imperfectly and I love God that it models for us the same way you’re fathering us, that we are, we are as men as fathers, we are learning new skills imperfectly every day, and that you’re there teaching us in your patient and you are kind with us and you’re encouraging to us. Father help us live that out in our fatherhood, help us live that out in our marriages. God help us live that out towards our kids. And God that, that we would be champions of who they are and who they are becoming God, that when we are imparting identity and it’s loving who they are and who they’re becoming. So God, we thank you. We thank you for allowing us to be fathers to love these, that you’ve entrusted us with God. In your name we pray.