Becky Thompson [00:00:02] But here’s the thing about Noah is that he invited his sons to build with him that it was a family built, that Noah got the download and it required the help of his whole family to create what would be for the whole family. And so I think as dads are listening and they’re like, well, this is what God has called me to. It’s not just for them. It’s with them that there isn’t anything that God calls a parent to, that he doesn’t also call the children to participate in it. Thank God for that. I.
Podcast Trailer [00:00:35] Welcome to DadAWESOME you’ve joined the movement of intentional Christian dads who are adding life to the dad life. Thank you for taking a courageous step towards learning and growing and being mentored as you become DadAWESOME for your kids. On this podcast, my dad Jeff Zaugg interviews intentional dads from all around the world and he explores the path of becoming DadAWESOME.
Jeff Zaugg [00:01:05] Gentlemen, welcome back to DadAWESOME today, episode one hundred and seventy seven, I have the coauthors of this new book, Midnight Dad’s Devotional. I’ve got Becky Thompson and her dad, Dr. Mark Spitz, joining me. And I’ll introduce them in just a moment here. But two invitations for you guys. The first is DadAWESOME de Save the Date. Save the date, June 21st it’s the Monday after Father’s Day. The first day after Father’s Day is DadAWESOME Day. Keep an eye on social media. Keep an eye on your email. Keep an eye on the podcast. We will let you know more about what DadAWESOME Day is. But want to invite you guys into it, so save the date June twenty first. The second invitation is our new text message platform. We want to be able to give you guys a nudge towards becoming DadAWESOME. And you need to opt into and sign up for this new text message platform. We’re not going to annoy you. We’re not going spam you. You can stop at any point, but you need to opt in by sending a text message. Two six five one three seven zero eight six one eight. The number one more time text six five one three seven zero eighty six eighteen. Just text the word dead and you’ll be opted in. So, yeah, join those two things that be amazing. Those are your invitations. So this was gift it to me. They mailed a copy of this up to me. Their book, Midnight Dad Devotional One Hundred Devotions and Prayers to Connect Dads Just Like You to the Father. We’re going to talk about this book. We’re going to talk about I mean, this is the first time ever a dad daughter combo. I am a dad of daughters. I’ve got four little girls. So this was a special conversation for me. So let’s welcome you. We go episode one hundred and seventy seven. Here’s Becky Thompson and Dr. Mark Spitz. We’re going to jump right in to Dr. Mark talking about kind of a setup for the conversation. So let’s go after it.
Dr. Mark R. Pitts [00:02:56] Becky always said, Dad, I want your journals when you’re done. When, when, when, when you going to be with Jesus, I want your journals. And so she always felt as though it was important that I write the things that God had showed me because so they’d be there forever. Not everybody has tape and CD and all the types of things. If we remember words spoken and she said, you can do this, dad. And I said, nah, I’m just not that person. And she said, yes, you are. You just don’t know it. And so she was the one who told me that I didn’t have to be afraid to get where I was going. And that was the realization of that showed me exactly what the book was about to be about.
Jeff Zaugg [00:03:38] And, you know, drawing out, I hope that I can draw out my daughters. I’ve got four little girls to be dream chasers. But what I love is you’re flipping that. You’re saying, what if our kids inspire us to be dream chasers? Becky, talk about that theme even a little further about how that’s played out.
Becky Thompson [00:03:54] You know, I love that because to me, being a dream chaser is being a God chaser. You know, I don’t think that we can ever separate the two. And so while, you know, Dad says that I showed him how to get to where he was going, I saw all along what God was going to do because it’s a circle. He taught me to recognize what God was doing. He taught me how to chase God, how to follow wherever he led. And I could only do that for myself in my own life, really, if I had parents that modeled it well. You know, and I want to let me let me correct that. And I hope you leave that in. I want to correct that because that’s how God worked in my heart. But I know there are so many parents listening. I know there’s so many dads listening that are going, wait, I didn’t have a dad that taught me how to be a God chaser, but that is something that I want for my kids at any generation I believe there is a place where you can say, I will follow the Lord and then I will teach my children how to do the same because of my example. And I’m just a living testament to what it looks like when a dad chooses to do that and that later in life they can come back and say, Dad, remember what you taught me? Remember what you showed me how to do? So for me, it’s a full circle moment. My dad and my mom modeled what it meant to follow God all cost. I lived it out and then I invited them on the next part of the journey.
Jeff Zaugg [00:05:20] Amazing. And part of what you wrote early in the book when you guys were kind of setting it up, you said, I learned the father’s love through yours, talking about your dad and I and I know this is woven through the entire one hundred devotionals and prayers, but talk about how you learned the Father’s love from your dad.
Becky Thompson [00:05:37] You know, I hope that my dad in a second kind of expounds on this because I know that he knows the Father’s heart so well and so clearly. But I don’t think when I look back at my childhood or my young adult years, in the years that I was in the house, I don’t remember my dad being, I guess the best word would be ugly or mean or intentionally, you know, talking down to me in any way for any reason. My dad always spoke up to what I could do and what I could become and who I already was. And so I know as I’ve grown and I’ve read scripture and I’ve met the Lord for myself, that when I read about my Heavenly Father, I’m like, oh, this is who my dad is. My dad’s just like this. My dad says, But look who you are to me. I already see you, you know, in this better state than you are right now. I see the dreams in your heart. I see who you could become. I know you. I know you. And so because my dad just put those attributes of the father, our heavenly father on display, there was never any confusion about how my heavenly father felt about me or what he believed I could do or who he knew I would become. And so I know that not everybody gets to say that. But these aren’t just words for a podcast like this is what I write in his Father’s Day card. You know, like this is what I say to him because it’s so true and it really set this standard of relation. And and that’s something that’s been a hallmark of our ministry, because we don’t just have a heavenly father that parents us. We have a heavenly father who fathers us.
Jeff Zaugg [00:07:20] yes, yes. And you even mentioned this. But I heard before we hit record, I heard your dad say this, Mark. You talked about calling up a calling up. And you want to do that to me right now and you want to do that to all the dads listening that you did that to your daughters, your two daughters as well. It was a calling up when you talk about that, that principle.
Speaker 3 [00:07:36] Absolutely. I think that scripture tells us in Genesis that God breathed into Adam a a heart, a father, everything God was everything God is, was breathed into Adam at that moment. God is a creator and so and a provider and and a restorer of life. And so in those places where we are diminished, our our our our father, our life is diminished. God promises to restore and to recreate. And so the passage there in Genesis 2 to which is to say that we are to cleave to one another are husband and wife are supposed to cleave to one another. That’s not just about marriage, it’s about parenting. It is to say that we are no longer supposed to be children. We are supposed to now decide, decide that we are parents. So the life and the breath that God breathed in to me, it is my responsibility to breathe in to my children, because just as he’s breathed it into me, I am supposed to model, not just model and and and mimic God, but to be God for them to step and be able to and to be able to allow my children and our dads, your children to see God. That’s your call, buddy. That’s your responsibility. You have no greater responsibility than to be a father in this life. And so when we are, your children will bloom, blossom, take steps greater than us. That’s and that’s also whole all scriptural that we are supposed to improve, if you will, improve our children, if they are supposed to be, we want them to be better than us. We don’t just want them to have a better life, be more fortunate, be more prosperous. We want them to be better than us. We want them to take what we have to give them what God has breathed into them, into into us, and therefore we breathe into them and that they are going to take that and go much farther than we could have ever gone.
Jeff Zaugg [00:09:50] That love the even the the the imagery around, like they get to start, they get it’s a boost forward. It’s a boost for it. It doesn’t matter. We have a constant all of all three of us and every day listening, our heavenly father, which again you guys have woven instead of instead of saying, hey, I’ve got one hundred devotionals and prayers to make you a better dad, you didn’t make you didn’t write that. You said, I have the tagline of Midnight Dad devotional. You said One hundred devotions and prayers to connect dads like you to the Father. Exactly. That’s the constant. We all have a connection, an invitation to connect with the fathers hearts. But but if we step into the invitation, we are boosting our kids. It’s just so much easier for them to experience the heart of their Heavenly Father. And just like, Becky, you talked about a moment ago. You guys wrote this in the kind of set up. You said, our prayer is that men will see themselves as God sees them. We’ve already talked about that as they are as the warriors they are, fighting in the trenches for their families against all odds, overcoming every trial that comes their way. We are overcomers, dad’s like like we’re totally we’re overcomers, that’s our stance, it’s our identity. And but it is is not a Kostyan, it’s an active stance like the visual here is very active. Love you, Mark. Just expound on that quote a little bit.
Speaker 3 [00:11:11] We’re the overcomer, if it is to be, it’s up to me, I’m responsible for me, I’m responsible for my family, I’m not I’m not. I there are no good how to books to for me in my I think I think that dads think that if there are no good how to books for me, I’ve been doing this for, for slightly longer than forever. This is what I’m this is what I’ve been doing. This is what I’m going to do. And I’m going to continue because I have become a a moderate success at doing what I’m doing. And so I’m not necessarily looking for someone to come alongside me because I think I tend to think that that person is going to try to change how I’m doing, what I’m doing. And I’ve been I’ve been fairly successful. As I said, I’ve been fairly successful at what I’ve been doing. And so, therefore, I’m I’m I’m the I am not only the armor bearer. I’m the one carrying the weapons. I’m the one swinging the sword. I’m the one taking care of it. I’m the one protecting my family. I’m the one caring for my children. I’m the one raising these these little ones. I’m the one. And I’ve only got one source. I’ve only got one response. And that is my heavenly father. And I can appreciate another man coming alongside and saying, how am I doing? And I would ask him, how are you doing? Because we are doing this. We are not necessarily doing it together. I sometimes tell a story in myself if if I’m in traffic and someone cuts me off. I don’t mind because that person is not going where I’m going. He’s not keeping me from going where I’m going. And so I want to understand what I want the men who read this book to understand we’re going where we’re going, you, father, dad, are going where you’re going. This is supposed to help you know, that you have a heavenly father who’s going to get you there, who’s going to help you accomplish that, where no other human can help you as well as your heavenly father can help you. And that’s our that’s our that’s our goal. That’s our desire. When you read these, you’re going to see yourself in scripture and how God helped a man who was maybe similarly situated, not the same circumstances, but the same types of struggles that you’re going through. God met that person in scripture where you can read about it. And so when you do, you can say, that was me. I wasn’t Gideon hiding in the wine press, but I had things coming at me for days and weeks and months and God helped him. He’ll help me. That’s that’s the real help I need.
Jeff Zaugg [00:14:00] You know, what I appreciate is instead of like an IKEA manual of directions like like which overwhelmed me like crazy, I feel like the way you guys have broken up these one minute reads minute and a half maybe that each day just one spread like is probably more like you’ve handed a compass. I would call it a nudge. The philosophy felt to me like more. Here’s a nudge and one character from God’s word or one principle from a Psalm. And it’s a nudge, a prayer, a truth. And that’s where it was just easy for me to take notes, to be like, oh, here’s one. So here’s an example is dads who build families using Noah Noah built for seventy five years. I was like how? I actually wrote my notes for decades and I looked and you actually wrote it down how many years he was building? Four. But then he took his family in to the ark. And are we thinking that perspective, thinking as builders, as dads? And let’s go to back you on this first one. Talk to talk to us about being builders.
Becky Thompson [00:14:56] Absolutely. So I lived in the house that Noah built. You know, I’m a daughter who lived in the boat that was built by a man who believed that the next generation would need this. And I think that that’s the only way I can speak into this perspective is what it’s like to have someone that’s built an ark that you can walk into. So here’s the thing about Noah is that he invited his sons to build with him, that it was a family build, that Noah got the download and it required the help of his whole family to create what would be for the whole family. And so I think as dads are listening and they’re like, well, this is what God has called me to. It’s not just for them. It’s with them that there isn’t anything that God calls a parent to, that he doesn’t also call the children to participate in. And, you know, I think as moms, I’ve seen that so easily, but I’m not sure that I always translated that over to the father because I wasn’t living it. You know, I am the mom and I see what he you know, I can see how I’m just going to be honest. I can see how as the primary caregiver, which is what I am in my family, I know that’s not the case for everybody. But in my home, my husband was gone most of the time out working out, providing and I was the primary caregiver. And I could see how the things that I did, you know, would directly impact my children. Anything that God called me to would, you know, maybe make them go to daycare, which wouldn’t happen if I wasn’t, you know, all the things. But I think it’s so important for a father to see that whether or not he is in his home or outside of his home or no matter what role he plays, he is building, he must build with his family because that is the only way to stay connected. And this is the only difference between parenting, which is what you might do at the end of the day when you come home and you decide to help with the homework and do all of the practical things. It’s the difference between that and fathering, which says I’m going to intentionally stay relational with you. I’m going to care not about what you did today, but how it made you feel. And then I’m going to invite you into my story of what God is doing in me. And the only way for a child to see the impact of what God is doing in the father is if he intentionally makes the decision to include his children in what he’s going through and how he feels about it. And and I think that’s what it means to build with it.
Jeff Zaugg [00:17:17] And I want to call out just to a parallel, because I’m learning from you guys, you don’t even know this, but I’ve already learned from you in the way that you guys have built as a multigenerational family, a ministry that now is touching my family because I have your book and we’re talking now. But like Becky, it didn’t stop with you being the solo premier, this ministry entrepreneur who does her own thing. You handed off the reins to the online community, to your mom, and then you hit it like you co-wrote a book. And now your dad’s got this online community. And you’re you’re it’s a beautiful, like a spider web approach to multi. It’s like, nope, it’s not one person. One person’s not the killer we’re going to build together. And I’m trying at a very micro level. My daughter does the graphic design work for the podcast. My wife does the show now, and we’re trying, even in the expression of ministry, to build like you guys. So I just want to call that out as just a quick example of let’s let’s build things that we’re going after in ministry as well. Let’s jump to the next one, though. So Dad’s dad’s not defined by their past. Dad’s not defined. And I love it’s just so visual to me. Saul to Paul, Saul to Paul is like Paul could have made excuses and pulled shame forward and excuses because of this is what he did to harm the church, to harm people’s lives that were spreading the gospel. But instead he said, that was my past because of Jesus. I’m going this way. So just Mark, would you talk about why we need to you not be defined by our past?
Speaker 3 [00:18:41] There is an interest, there is another an additional reference in scripture that I use and I was thinking about this when I when we wrote this devotion devotional having with Blind Bartimaeus. Yeah, Bartimaeus is referred to as blind throughout all of history and scripture. He’s always going to be blind bartimaeus. How would we like to be defined by what we were before Jesus made us? God wants us to be defined by who we are and as and when we’re when we’re when we’re pressing on. When we’re pressing on. Paul was always Saul. His Greek name and his Hebrew name, Saul, was always Paul. Paul was always Saul, but somehow his is his reputation preceded him and Paul understood that that was not him. He defines it. It gives him credibility going forward. But his but his his expectation is that he’s he met Jesus on the road and helped him realize that Jesus wasn’t I’m preaching now Jesus. That Jesus was in every word of the Old Testament. He was in every word of it. And Paul, as a as a Pharisee of the Pharisees, understood and had memorized so much of scripture. And so when he saw Jesus, when he experienced Jesus, he realized that that same Jesus was in everything he knew. And so now he’s able to take that and take Jesus on in his life. And he’s no longer defined by the things that happened in the past. Yes. And in fact, he went from being who he was in the in the in the council. And he went from there to giving his life to being beaten and shipwrecked and and bruised and and and literally left for dead. And he took that on as a mantle. He took that on as promise. And we’re seeing and Philippians, where he says, I’m going to I’ve these things have occurred to me, but I’m pressing forward to the mark of the high calling for Jesus who’s taking me literally taking me where I’m going. And I’m going to have that life. I’m I’m taking the life wherever it it wherever it leads. And that’s where I’m going. And that’s the promise that we have.
Jeff Zaugg [00:21:12] So good. And I hope that every listener’s gathering is that it’s a it’s a principle. It’s an application of scripture right into the dad’s heart with truth and with prayers and with identity being spoken. We’ll do we’ll just do one more. So we’ll do three of my six. But another one, I just think Dad’s so often were we are running on empty and we are it’s just so easy to talk about surviving this phase of dad life. I’ve got a four week old little our littlest one is just four weeks one month old. And it’s just easy to kind of like, well, I’ve got this excuse for the excuse. I’m just going to choose to run on empty. And I love this. You’re just like you went right to Psalm twenty seven. I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and courageous. It’s a I am certain declaration that you pulled from scripture and he said, no, let’s live like this. So Becky, talk about that a little bit about this running on empty posture versus. No, actually we can be certain,
Becky Thompson [00:22:05] you know, actually that scripture was one of my core like life scriptures all throughout college. And any time when there was something going on that felt hard or heavy, it was the promise of presence, which is I am certain that I will see and experience this goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, not just know about it, not just here about it, not someday. And I think that’s that’s such an important thing for parents because we need to remember and be careful how I say it. I’ll clarify it. But that someday doesn’t really exist because when you get there, there’s always a someday coming. Yeah, there’s always a someday coming. And so I think what my I just I feel like Dad said this once. You can never have more. Dad, is that you? You said that, right. You can never have more. It’s the one thing you could never fully possess because there’s always more to gain that the act of having more means that you have to always be reaching and going and trying. And I think that’s really good when it comes to who you’re becoming. That’s fine. When you always want more of who God is to be evident in your life, that’s fine. But when you’re always trying to get beyond where you are as a parent, especially, you really miss. And this is what all of those parents tell us, right? Just like the ones are way down the line, they’ll tell us you’re going to miss these and you just want them to shut up like I’m not. You know, it’s so true. It’s like, stop. I’m not I’m not going to miss the blowout. I’m not going to miss not sleeping. I’m not going to miss it. And but it’s you miss the precious that surrounded by the hard, you know. What is that like? It’s the heart that makes it great. I think it’s a league of their own or so I don’t know. But I had a good dad. But I think it’s it’s this we can’t we can’t wait for some day. We have to believe that God will meet us today right here in the heart. And that, you know, I take so much grace to say, start it over God, like, start today over like I don’t need to wait for the sun to come up. I just need to know that I’m going to experience your goodness right here in the middle of it
Jeff Zaugg [00:24:13] wow, that perspective. And it’s so fun for me, these kind of conversations, because it just washes a new perspective of like, let’s think, let’s look, let’s lift our eyes from our present to God’s for us. He’s speaking life over us, we are taking ground, we’re not retreating like all these things and erm, like I said, there’s three more and actually there’s ninety seven more that we do because there’s a hundred takeaways. And again, thanks for sending this up to me as a gift and my daughters have caught me reading it in the morning and so, so they’re like wait it’s not midnight my seven and after midnight. Dad what are you doing. Reading this in the morning at six thirty in the morning. So it’s and it is a skimmable because I didn’t I didn’t just go in order. I didn’t read the whole hundred since you mailed it to me. But it’s also a flip through and look for and do I need this and we need that as dads again, we need the compass, IKEA map, the guide. But I want to give each of you a moment. Anything you’d want to share with these are intentional dads who are becoming DadAWESOME. That’s who’s listening. They’re becoming they’re on that path. But anything you’d want to speak encouragements, tips, like a little challenge? So I’ll maybe start with you, Mark. Anything you’d want to share as we as we say goodbye.
Speaker 3 [00:25:19] I would like to tell a dad that just as Becky said a moment ago, that you can never achieve more, you can never actually hold more. I want to tell him that this is going to be a lifetime journey. If you if as you get into the devotionals, you will find that most of them have to do with the fact that it’s going to take time. The accomplishment of your fatherhood is going to take time. It takes time. It has taken time and it is going to take time. And so you need to recognize that there’s and the second and along that same line, you’re never not going to be a dad. You are never not going to be a father. You are always going to be a father. And so you might as well just get used to it. This is this is what you’re going to this is what you signed up for. You don’t get to say, well, I’m just going to take a break and not be a dad. I’m going to stop adulting today or I’m going to stop dad-ing today. No, you don’t get to do that, Dad. And you need to remember that. You need to to to to acknowledge that that you that that this is what you who you are. And I finally I would say there’s no best dad. There is no perfect dad. There is no there is only one perfect Father. And we even receive what we have from him through a glass darkly. But we don’t always get the perfect down road. And so we’re not always going to be the perfect download. We’re going to miss it. You’re going to miss it, Dad. And I wish I’d love to be able to say you’re not that there’s not going to be a big billboard that says world’s best dad. It’s just not going to happen. But in your heart, I have said I have said at times before, I have made spectacular failures as a as a parent. I have never made a failure as a father because my heart is pure, my heart is true. And what I want for my children is what my heavenly father wants for me. Dad, you’ve got this.
Jeff Zaugg [00:27:13] Oh, thank you. Thank you, Becky. Any any parting words?
Becky Thompson [00:27:17] Good goodness. How do you follow that? How do you follow that? You know, I guess I guess the hope that I have to offer for the dad listening is there will be a day when you and your children have moments like we’re describing here, when they’re adults and they look back and they recognize the impact, the generational legacy that they have created on in the hard moments, on the days like today, on the in the middle of the parenting woes and to DOS that you are creating a generational legacy. You are building a boat for your family and and there’s a father who is teaching you.
Jeff Zaugg [00:27:56] Thank you so much for joining us for Episode one hundred and seventy seven with Becky Thompson and Dr. Mark Spitz, her dad, all the conversation notes the action steps that link to purchase their devotional is all going to be at DadAWESOME.or/177. Actually want to jump back in for a moment. I thought I was done recording and we had one more little conversation for about another minutes talking about my little girls. And then Becky jumped in and kind of prophetically spokeswoman’s over me as a young dad. So here’s that clip.
Jeff Zaugg [00:28:27] I did want to tell you this, and I chose not to do it on the recording, Becky, but I. I see my four daughters and this is not some weird guy in Minnesota saying this in a weird way. But like my four daughters, I see them wearing your cap and I let that into the future. I see them being on a podcast with me. Someday someone might want to interview me and one of my daughters. And so it’s a gift. Yes. I just wanted to share that with you. It is a gift to you. I love that. It is. It’s kind of my first time doing a dad daughter. So I’m like, oh,
Becky Thompson [00:29:00] you know what, though? I’m just going to I’m just going to speak into that, because as you share that and you had this picture of it, I think that is the Father’s heart for you and your daughters. And I think you’re creating generation. I’m not just saying it. I think you are creating generational legacy by inviting them into the process, but just letting them see you reading the book, like letting them see you spend time on things that matter to you and that the Father cares about for you. And so because they’re learning and seeing like this is what I saw. This is this is how I knew it mattered. You know, you see what matters to your parents. And so for you, I just I’ll agree. I fully agree and say that I hear heaven agreeing that it was a picture that you have the choice to grab on to and walk into in the future. And and, yeah, your your Heavenly Father, it’s his dream for you to have daughters who run alongside you and then take over and pass you.
Jeff Zaugg [00:29:53] I receive that. Thank you. Thank you, amen.
Jeff Zaugg [00:29:57] I’m so thankful, so thankful for this conversation. It definitely is. You could hear a second ago I was inspired. And if you’re listening to the audio of Becky is wearing was wearing in the conversation of blue, a blue hat a blue cap. And so I was just seeing the face of my daughters in under her cap. So it was it was a cool moment. So, again, guys, thanks for being a part of this journey. We’re we’re approaching Father’s Day. We’re approaching DadAWESOME Day on June 21st. I want to continue to invite you guys as well into the Fathers for the Fatherless Initiative. We’re in five cities when I invite you. If you haven’t signed up yet, we’re well over. A hundred and fifty dads have already said I’m into bike one hundred miles, but there’s still room and we’ve got five locations, five cities. So so join us for that. And lastly, that text. Want to invite you guys into dadAWESOME. Our new text platform. You just need to text six five one three seven zero eighty six eighteen. Text the word dad and you’ll be in for those updates that nudge towards becoming DadAWESOME. So let’s go after this week. Let’s add some life to the dad life.