Jeff Zaugg [00:01:04] This episode, 174 of DadAWESOME, and today I have Danny Gutierrez and Tim Burt joining me for a double DadAWESOME conversation. So Tim Burt, his oldest daughter is Stephanie Gutierrez, who is Danny’s wife. And this is fun. You may recognize some of these names because Danny was on episode 16, Tim was on episode 23. And then I featured Stephanie and Renee. So Tim’s wife, Rene, Danny’s wife, Stephanie, as a mother daughter combo on episode 69. So if you’ve been around for a while, you’ve heard these, this family. But I’ve never had an opportunity to chat specifically with Danny and Tim, father and son in law, about the dad life. And that’s what we’re doing today. So thanks for joining us. This is my conversation episode 174 with Danny Gutierrez and Tim Burt. I’d love for you guys to just riff on the theme of affirmation and speech specific words, whether it’s in a marriage context, wife or to our kids. Maybe Tim, you can start on this theme for us. Just what are your thoughts on how the power of that and how to do that with, you know, an added to focus as Dads?
Tim Burt [00:02:22] The reason you’re even bringing this up is because affirmation is a powerful biblical encouragement for us to participate and to encourage one another and to lift up one another. And so, you know, when you’re a young dad and that’s, I think, a lot of your audience that we’re, you know, we’re speaking to today when you’re young, Dad, it’s just like you’re hoping always that you’ll do the right things. And encouragement in affirming your children is something that’s so important. You know, if I can just bring this in real quick, I remember when I first ever saw the show, American Idol and all these kids would get up and they and they they really couldn’t sing, but their parents were constantly affirming them what they could. And then somebody just said the name ever tell you you don’t have a good voice? And so it’s not that kind of affirmation. Yeah. You know, it’s real affirmation, finding the really good things in them and helping them recognize their strengths and things like that. So, you know, I learned that from an early age. I learned that especially with daughters, every woman wants to be pretty woman. Think a lot about that. They want to be pretty and they want to be special and they, you know, all those things. So, you know my daughter, Stephanie, thank God I only had one and I think I had one. But the fact that I only had one, I would I could always say, gosh, you are the most beautiful daughter in the whole world. And I didn’t have to worry about sisters and anybody to say, that’s right. And so I told her that all her life and I just always exhorted her, always encouraged her. I always encouraged that she could do those things that were on her heart. And and I think Stephanie would probably say that the affirmation she’s received over the years is it’s been a real strength in her development. But I but again, back to the young dads. You’re told to do these kind of things, but you just you just kind of really go really is it going to make a difference? And it makes such a powerful difference when you affirm your kids. So there’s a quick story. One time I’m sitting in a shoe store with Renee in my and my kids and they’re little and there is this dad, this big guy berating his daughter, just ripping on her. And it’s I’m a pastor. I don’t get in physical fights with people. But it was the first time I ever wanted to beat a guy up. You know, I’d just say, dude, this is your daughter. Can you just be nice to this person? But anyway, all that ever did that I never forget that story because it reminded me always encourage your kids and don’t ever berate them. Yeah. And so, well,
Jeff Zaugg [00:05:08] Before I jump to Danny on this topic, your daughter Stephanie, she said this because I had a chance two years ago to interview her and we did a special the month of May, momAWESOME month. And I interviewed both of your lives, which was cool to do a combo. We’ll link back to that as well. But the the quote was, my dad not only loved me, but he liked me.
Tim Burt [00:05:27] Yes, I. I do.
Jeff Zaugg [00:05:29] I want daddy you to expound on that on that principle.
Danny Gutierrez [00:05:32] Well, what I would say to that is there’s more ways to affirm than just verbal, you know, like the atta boy, the great. You’re so pretty. You’re so smart. You’re so awesome. I think it’s a little things too, that that I’ve watched him be so intentional about with, like the hug at the right moment, the kind of eye contact, the kind of questions that that he would ask. I think those afirm you like my feelings count. What I’m going through today is important in the fact that you’re you’re curious or that you’re being intentional with your interest. It just affirms me that I’m here in that that that you care. And so, yeah, I would I would say if I have a story I was hearing you, you speak to him and I was remembering back to when you came down to Peru for a visit and there was a men’s event at church that we both went to. And I had no idea what the topic was going to be. We had a guest, you know, fly in from the States. And so it was awesome because it was in English and in Spanish. So Tim could understand and without need of translation. And this this speaker was precisely talking about affirming like fathers, affirming their sons. And, you know, we’re listening to it. And I just remember at the end when we stood up, there was just a moment where Tim just he just wrapped his arm around my shoulder and he just pulled me in tight. And it wasn’t like it was appropriate at that time to turn to one another and start speaking. But just with that hug and that non-verbal squeeze at that moment, it just felt holy and it felt like everything that I just heard and like the concept behind it, I was experiencing it in that embrace. And so I would say the affirmation that I’ve seen and I’ve learned from Tim has been like all those levels. Yes, say it. Don’t hold back, you know, apply, you know, the reward, but also take interest in also those those those those moments that words just don’t fill it. Yeah. And it’s just like affirm with that pat on the back or the the smile, I don’t know.
Jeff Zaugg [00:07:42] And some of some of the dads listening, myself included, you sharing that story brings up a little bit of pain because of wanting a dad who maybe did that physical like bring some strength that that hug moment. And I just want to remind myself in all of all of us that that one, our heavenly father, is that father for us. But two, we get to step into being what maybe we didn’t receive and that we didn’t have modeled for us. Maybe either of us want to add on that even that concept of of there’s gaps, but, man, we can step into being.
Danny Gutierrez [00:08:15] And that’s that’s really what my story is. Right? So. I didn’t have a lot of that. I did not grow up accustomed to someone asking me how the day went and, you know, that that knew how to engage with any kind of emotion that I might have. I don’t have those a lot of those stories. And so I think that’s what made it even more powerful, is that here, as a grown man with my own kids, I was being melted. I was like, this is so meaningful to me. Maybe precisely because of what you’re saying. I’m not I’m not accustomed to it. So I’m thankful that I have that in my life. Like you’re saying earlier, with your daughters someday meeting a guy, I’ve got daughters, too, that are going to meet a guy. And I’m already preparing my heart. I don’t know what story they come from. And if they had that in their life and whether they did or they don’t, I want to I want to pull a Tim on them. Yeah. I want to be able to do what I have received then to be able to to give to whoever that young man is.
Tim Burt [00:09:19] for sure anything. And I you know, if you ask me about my dad, I’d say the greatest dad in the world. It was just a really great, hardworking, loving dad that raised ten kids. But the the one thing I would say about my dad was, you know, for most of my life we could talk about subjects, but we really could never talk from the heart. He just he just didn’t you know, it was that generation and the generation before, you know, they didn’t even say, I love you much. But we you always felt it. But so we didn’t talk from the heart. I remember having this conversation with my next youngest sister before when my dad was in his 90s. And and and I said to her one day, I said, you know, there’s only one thing left in life I want just one thing. I want to have heart to heart conversation with my dad, with dad. And I want to talk I want to hear from his heart, not just, you know, surface conversation, because he just didn’t know really how to get to his heart very well. And when my mom died, a switch flipped and all of a sudden the man could speak from his heart like I had never heard. So for the last five, four or five years of his life and we we got together almost every week, he could talk from his heart. And it was the greatest thing ever to hear my dad and start hearing about his feelings of raising ten kids and how it was hard and what he was going through at that time. And so I encourage, you know, try to talk to your kids. I, I do remember this. I so I you know, I like fathers date their daughters and I know you do that and you teach that and it’s great. So I used to date my daughter and then I used to like, just take my sons out so we could have some of this heart to heart. But I don’t think I was super successful because, you know, just for all of a sudden, the kid that, you know, talk from his heart, I tried and they will always remember that. But but it was really Renee that got them to start talking from their heart, because for me, when I talk, I’m always trying to teach somebody something. Sure. I’m just wired that way. And it would have been better if I hadn’t tried to teach them something, just listen to them and just hear from their heart. Yeah, but the second they told me a crack, I could teach them something, you know, I would do that. But anyway, the effort is they’ll never say that they didn’t try to. And if that’s
Jeff Zaugg [00:11:45] important. Yeah. Let’s go on that theme of like thinking back for you, Tim, to areas that maybe you missed it or wish you could have added a little more intentionality to some areas of you. Can you look anywhere in the kind of through high school age kids? Right. So that chapter of dad life, any things in hindsight like, oh, I would have put more focus there?
Tim Burt [00:12:04] Yeah. You know, I would have changed. OK, so, you know, at the church where I was pastoring, I let our Bible school for ten years. I mean, I was the director of the Bible school. I just I love to teach the word of God. And I’m in a and I probably and my mentoring, that’s one of my strengths, to teach people how to think and how to do things. But with your kids, it can’t be all that. So if I could go back in time, I would have backed up from that and I would have just, you know, just drawn them out. Just drawn them out. Tell me what’s going on, how’s it going in school and all that and spent more time and not trying to fix every little thing. You know, that’s always the joke of them. And men are trying to fix everything. And I was that person. It’s still a little bit of my weakness is to try and fix situations quickly for somebody. And my daughters always kidded me about that. But I would just say just being that listening ear and giving them that opportunity to just talk and not as they tell us in the husband and wife thing, don’t try to fix your wife. Just listen and have empathy and and, you know, maybe a little here and a little there. Well, I got really way better at that when my kids became adults. So I have done that much better. But I wish I had been. Well, better at that one.
Jeff Zaugg [00:13:22] Yeah, he was drawing out versus fixing or putting them in the direction you think they should go, any any just observations for you, Danny, watching Tim and even this current chapter of just seeing that as an area of, hey, draw out versus appreciate or tell the right answers. Any thoughts on what you’ve seen from him?
Danny Gutierrez [00:13:39] Well, yeah, because I’ve been seeing him. We’ve been up here in the States for a couple of months. And so and we’ve been living with with Tim and Renee. So we’re in the same space, you know, same dinner table every day. We’ve been loving it. I don’t know, maybe
Tim Burt [00:13:54] We’ve been loving every second.
Danny Gutierrez [00:13:55] But I’ve seen him interacting not just with Stephanie and with me, but with with with my girls. And so everything that he’s saying that he wish he would have, I’m seeing and he’s he’s doing exactly the right thing with my girls, especially Macy, Macy right now. She’s she started an internship here at the church. And she’s she’s in this new, exciting season of life. I’m sure she’s got a lot of questions and things that he could just jump in and teach her. Right? And I’m seeing him be intentional about drawing her out with the right questions and just letting her just share her heart. And so, yeah, I’m loving. I’m loving seeing them get their granddad this way.
Jeff Zaugg [00:14:34] Well, it’s another chapter, though, that you get to take what you learned and implement the learning. And that’s what all of us get, is there’s all these new chapters or additional children gives you a second shot at some of the like. So I think there is something beautiful about we’re not finished as dads and you’re not seeing yourself as finished right now in the dad life. Not at all. Daniel let’s jump to you on that question of it is technically it’s my not so awesome dad moment question. It’s areas that you feel like you missed it or you may brought some some pain to your family, your girls, but you learned something from it and maybe that there’s a transferable principle to us dads listening.
Danny Gutierrez [00:15:10] If I was to say one thing, and I think it stems from Madeleine being our first born and, you know, she’s she has special needs and being thrown into basically fatherhood as advocacy, like realizing from the time she was in the special care nursery that if someone doesn’t put their foot down and someone doesn’t say something, this child can’t defend herself. I remember, there’s a moment where I draped my body over her little incubator and had to say to the nurse over my dead body, will anyone touch this child until I talk to a doctor. And so there’s a moment that I think I don’t want shifted something on the inside of me. So when my kids would run up into difficulties or stuff, I felt like I had to jump in right away and rescue almost like push them out of the way and take hold completely because I was the advocate. Yeah, I’m your dad, but I’m the advocate and over my dead body will… And so it wasn’t until I think Macy had the vocabulary. My youngest had the vocabulary and the strength to kind of say, Dad, I just want to tell you this. I don’t want you to do anything, but I still want to tell you. But I don’t want you I don’t need you as my advocate. I can advocate for myself. I’m just looking for a little perspective or wisdom. Until she got to that age and it was still difficult for me to do. Like my wife – and she constantly had to help me, not automatically jump into that. And so I wonder sometimes, you know, like what would be different had I had I created a little bit more space for that earlier on where, hey, we’re in this together. Hey, let me jump into the mud with you and let’s figure out creatively, you know, what can be said, what can be done. I think I. I don’t know. I don’t know if that makes sense. So I know it’s a transferable principle, is in that.
Jeff Zaugg [00:17:09] Well, I think it’s either side because I know you’ve inspired me in the past even I think it was three years ago when I interviewed you on episode sixteen. But the I want to be more of an advocate. I want to step in more to even uncomfortable areas. So I think some of us the transferable is to step in more. The some of us is to do what you’re saying is to actually let our our kids, our sons or daughters fail or let them navigate and not be, there’s some overlap with the fixer side as well. But I think it’s a knowing that is the recent as your daughters now are not out of the house, but they’re young young ladies. They’re adults now. Is the current chapter, are you seeing some adjustments. You are making that change, or is it still difficult to step back?
Danny Gutierrez [00:17:48] No, I think I am making the change. And I think it’s because Macey’s getting more mature and she’s able to even hold her own space and ground a little bit better. And I am telling myself that perhaps her wanting that a little bit more is making her more willing to step into spaces where someone her age probably wouldn’t like. She’s in an internship. She’s seventeen. I think the next youngest person in her same program’s, like twenty five or something. And most people are like in their late 20s and early 30s or whatnot. So she’s she’s definitely in a space where she’s holding her own. And so I’m very proud of her.
Jeff Zaugg [00:18:22] Yeah. What I’ve found is that in, in these areas, my fatherhood journey in three years of leading DadAWESOME by sharing what I’m learning, being a curator, being hungry to learn, I have grown way, way, way more than I would have if I was just thinking about myself and thinking about others. Your marriage, Danny, you and you and Stephanie like because you’re thinking about resourcing others? Like for sure, the depth of learning, depth of impact, depth of it’s it’s almost it’s more for the person who shares and then God’s word over two decades. Tim, I mean, the impact the way passages will jump off the page into your heart, like way more like we know this to be true and I want to encourage. I want you guys to riff on this like the dads listening. There’s probably some area that that is not just for them. That is an area of intentionality that they’re thinking about stepping into, they’re already being intentional, that God is wanting to call them to help others, to share what they’re learning, to export this in some way, because it’s not very expensive to export whether it’s starting a podcast or doing a Zoom group or, it’s very inexpensive, but it takes some focus to say I’m going to think about others. Yeah, talk a talk your thoughts on this theme of being men who who step into the multiplication effect.
Tim Burt [00:19:36] You know, and years and years ago when I was a fairly young Christian and really felt like I had a call of God on my life. And so, you know, you think you have a call of your God, of God in your life, you know, what do you do with that? Do you go to a Bible school? Do you do this? Do you do that? Well, anyway, there was this one gentleman who was a real mentor to me. And one of the things he said, I never forgot it. And I have said it a thousand times and it really came from him. But he said, pay attention to how God uses you. Pay attention to how God uses you. And so I you know, I just I just did that I paid attention to how people how God used me with people at the time I was working in the airlines. I love to read my Bible a lot. Sometimes I’d be in a break, going to be reading my Bible and people go, oh, you like reading the Bible? And I go, it’s just changed my whole life. I love it so much. And and they go, well, tell me a little bit about it. But then they’d come back later and ask me personal questions, you know, does I ever say anything about this or that? And and I would be able to go, yeah, actually and turn to some scriptures and show some things in it would like these people got saved, they got born again. I mean, they gave their life to the Lord just through that. And that happened, you know, I work for the airlines for 14 years. That happened over and over and over for 14 years. So I thought, OK, I’m I’m somehow able to help people move forward a little bit. And that’s what this guy said. Pay attention to how God uses you and just go with that. He’ll use you in a whole lot of ways beyond that. But so whatever it is, you know, people are all good at different things and it’s just not something you’re good at. It’s something that God can take to another level. So that’s why the enrollment’s 12 of the Bible says, you know, that, you know, you might be organized or you might be a teacher or you might be you know, you’re merciful and compassionate or all these different things, but it’s how you begin to discover how God wants to use you.
Jeff Zaugg [00:21:44] Yeah. And it could be starting a small group. It could be. You know, I’ve met with my closest buddies in a garage last night. Right. A little social distant. But, you know, together in person is so good sitting in the garage. It might be a small group. It might be, though, moving your family for a decade to another country. And I’m looking at you, Danny, because with a special needs daughter, to move your family, like, the courage required to say no, we actually believe God has spoken so clear that we’re going to take this massive, massive risk. I I just want you to speak courage into all of us to take a step, whether it’s a small group or it’s moving to another country, like there is a step that’s about more than just the dads listening. It’s about their family. It’s about the impact beyond.
Danny Gutierrez [00:22:28] Yes, I would say now that there are those ten years behind us, Jeff, that that fear, because you’re absolutely right. There was just something about, man, at least here in the state of Minnesota, there’s lots of services. There’s a lot of different things that she had available to her or us as a family that we were saying goodbye to and going to a third world country where there’s none of that and that just none of that. But there’s a deep stigma culturally on children with special needs to now fast forward ten years. And that fear has been replaced with gratefulness, like what we’ve seen that experience do in the lives of our of our girls, the women that they’re becoming. That season of life for them was very molding. It was very important. So, yeah. So I just say, you know, even if you’re afraid, do it afraid, especially if it’s God that’s leading you into it. Because we’re very thankful.
Jeff Zaugg [00:23:27] We’re thankful. What do you think maybe Tim, what holds guys back? What holds dads back from taking a step of courage to be a starter, to be to chase a dream, to join and to even seek brotherhood? Like what do you think’s holding Dad’s back?
Tim Burt [00:23:43] I’m not saying this is the only answer, but I but this was for me, I was afraid to make a commitment and especially commitment. I might fail that. I remember sitting in a congregation and the pastor saying literally for the first two years I was there, you need to get involved somewhere. You’re going to build relationships. You’re going to, you know, discover how God can use you and things like that. And and after two years, I honestly, I just felt so guilty. You know, I talked with Rene about it. Well, we signed up to be children to do children’s ministry. We thought we could we could do that. And but I actually I was terrified of it. But Rene said, come on, I’ll just I’ll lead the class and you can just help me. So we we went and did that. Well, you know, you find out we found out we loved it. We loved ministering to the kids. It was something we ended up doing for almost ten years. And and little did I know at the time that that was going to teach me how to minister to my own kids were just babies at the time, you know what I mean? And so but but I would say, you know, if you will just make a commitment to do something, you’re going to find out what you shouldn’t be doing and what you’re absolutely not good or gifted at. And you’re going to discover the things that you are gifted and you’re good at. And the discovery is part of the whole thing. But it doesn’t happen without. Taking some kind of a commitment and as a pastor, I’m going to say God want you to commit to serve in the local church because it’s not for the church, it’s for you. It’s all about him developing you.
Danny Gutierrez [00:25:23] If I could add one more thing, it’s just that sense of inadequacy, like especially if it’s something that we don’t have experience in or we don’t know much of. I think we like buy into this lie as men that we have to already know or be already good at or gifted at. And I think there is a there there’s different seasons where we get polished and we get stronger and we learn and we grow that, you know, we just want to skip over that. Right. We want to burn that stage and just go from like right now I’m being called to do something to I’m so good at it. And at least I’d say in my own life, it’s been that that voice of inadequacy, like, you know, you’re not going to it’s is not going to work out.
Jeff Zaugg [00:26:03] Yeah. It keeps us from from taking a step. Well, I’m thankful for this time. This I call it the double DadAWESOME because I get, I get to catch to you guys. But we we are I mean, this is a pathway. We invite all of us dads to just choose a pathway of becoming DadAWESOME in a way that brings our Heavenly Father tons of glory when we’re just going to step in as imperfect fathers in that direction, though, in our kids, you know, benefit. Danny, any last things you were hoping to share that would be, you know, around this topic of just and you could even maybe on the practical side of like this is a this is a way you’ve seen as you coach younger dads, an area to consider when it comes to becoming DadAWESOME?
Danny Gutierrez [00:26:42] Well, I don’t know if I mentor dads intentionally, but if I did, I would I would say be intentional with your interest, because I think right now we live in a world where everything’s asking for it and we give it away so easily, whether that’s on social media or just, you know, digging around with different things. And I think if when we put interest in our kids and what they’re interested in and what their hopes and dreams are and what some of their what they like to do and what’s going through their little minds or what season of life they’re in, when we give intentional interest to that, I think it becomes molding us into the kind of dads they need us to be in those particular seasons. So I just say intentionality with interest interested.
Jeff Zaugg [00:27:29] Yeah, that’s that’s amazing and super helpful. Any any thoughts on that same question, just on the last words.
Tim Burt [00:27:34] Well, you know, I just again, if you just have a short priority list, you know that you typically think God has laid out for you, you know him and then your family and spouse and work and church and all those things. You know, all I would say is, is that just just decide in your mind what is really true, that God is intimate and deeply, deeply loves you and cares about every single detail of your life, if you will think that way. And then you will just understand that Grace is a word that’s used over and over again in the Bible and God God’s grace is his. It’s everything. It’s his compassion, his mercy, his power, his help is provision. It’s all those things. And if you will just be very conscientious about asking God for help all day long, every day, you’ll constantly be taking off some of the burdens of fear or inadequacy or anything else that you’re facing in your life. And all I would say is just try to remember some of the things you answer because he answers a whole lot more things than you’re paying attention to. And if you’d pay attention to him, you’d know how much he works in your life, which is the proof of how much he loves you. And he would be so much more real to you.
Jeff Zaugg [00:28:50] Thank you so much for joining us for episode one hundred and seventy four with Danny and Tim. The conversation notes, the transcripts, the action steps and links are all at DadAWESOME dot org slash one seven four one. Encourage you guys. Let’s be men of action. Let’s not just listen and move forward, but let’s let’s put one area into practice, one take away from this conversation and in a way, to just refresh your mind around a man. What were some of the the bullet points and action steps? He is again hopping to the show notes or whatever. After listening to this podcast, you can simply just scroll down, see the showdown in that might be a nudge of, hey, I want to be a dad. That makes a difference. I want to be a dad. It’s present in the life of my kids. So so thank you for taking a step today in the direction of becoming DadAWESOME. Let’s go add some life to the dad life this week.