Episode 240 Transcript (John Odom)

Episode 240 (John Odom)

Podcast Intro [00:00:01] Being a great father takes a massive amount of courage. Instead of being an amazing leader and a decent dad, I want to be an amazing dad and a decent leader. The oldest dad in the world gave you this assignment, which means you must be ready for it. As a dad, I get on my knees and I fight for my kids. Let us be those dads who stop the generational pass down of trauma. I want encounters with God where he teaches me what to do with my kids. I know I’m going to be an awesome dad because I’m going to give it my all.

Jeff Zaugg [00:00:38] This is episode 240 of dadAWESOME, and guys, I’m excited this week and many of you are like you’re always excited. Well, if we haven’t met yet, my name is Jeff Zaugg. I’ve been hosting dadAWESOME for 240 weeks. That’s, that’s four and a half years and this is the week heading into our fourth Father’s for the Fatherless bike ride, here in Minnesota. Last year we were in five different cities. This year, Minnesota is the largest city, it’s the largest event ever in the history of Fathers for the Fatherless. 212 men have signed up to ride their bikes 100 miles on behalf of the fatherless. We’re, we’re a mission trying to ignite men around a common mission. Man, fatherlessness is at the center of God’s heart. Let’s be men who do something in that area of do something. We’re joining as teams, we’re riding 100 miles. We’ve trained together. We’ve grown deeper friendships. We’ve learned about fatherlessness. We fundraised for them, and in fact, guys, we just passed a half a million dollars fund raised over the last four years. So we’ve we’ve passed $500,000 raised for local and global partners. So if you can’t tell guys, I’m excited, I’m passionate, I’m prayerful. Right as this podcast is being released, I’m actually biking 100 miles this morning, August 25th. I decided this year I’m doing a prayer ride, so I’m riding the whole route, 100 miles. I’m prayer praying as I ride, so instead of riding with these 200 plus guys on Saturday, the 27th of August, I’m riding today, two days earlier because we’ve just grown as a ministry. So I’m going to help be a cheerleader, be a coordinator, I’m get to serve in other capacities. I’m not going to be in spandex on a bike this year, the Minnesota Bike Ride. But anyways, I’m rambling. I want you guys to know though I’m thankful we’ve got a couple sponsors who came behind and said, We’re with you. We’re going to cover the operational kind of overhead expenses of the rides so that all your fundraising can go right to partners. And those organizations are Olive Holdings. I’m going to talk about them a little later in the conversation, but thank you to the team at Olive Holdings for being a national sponsor. And thank you to the team at Alpha Omega Wealth Strategies for for saying we’re in, we’re behind you. These are our two, that’s our local sponsor. I mentioned Olive is our our national sponsor. So thankful for those guys. I’ll talk about them a little later in the conversation. Today, though, episode 240 is John Odom. He’s joining me as a guest. I had three different people say you got to talk to John Odom. He’s he is on the career side and the community side. Just so much leadership, so much bringing engagement to serving others into building an organization that is just bringing so much good to the kind of southwest, metro and beyond. And then secondly, on the home front, him and his wife, Barb, it’s like their kids, these are the kind of kids that we all want to raise, kids like their kids. I was like, you got to talk to this guy. Also, he’s an endurance athlete. He’s worked with the U.S. triathlon team, he’s done races and rides all over the country. So it’s like it’s a perfect week to feature this conversation on Father’s for the Fatherless Week. So let’s dive right in. This conversation is got so much wisdom, wisdom coming at you. Episode 240 my conversation with John Odom.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:02] You have a grandson or a granddaughter?

John Odom [00:04:04] Grandson.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:04] Is that from Johnny?

John Odom [00:04:06] Yeah. Yeah. Johnny’s first one.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:07] How old?

John Odom [00:04:08] Four months old.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:08] Four months?

John Odom [00:04:09] Yes. So, so brand new. Our first grandson. Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:13] Did they, have they named, are you going to be Papa or Grandpa?

John Odom [00:04:17] Yes. So all the so the names, they typically call me around like their friends are either doc.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:26] Yeah.

John Odom [00:04:26] Or Po.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:27] Po?

John Odom [00:04:28] Popo Odom.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:29] Yeah.

John Odom [00:04:30] So I’m Po and my wife is Mo, Mama Odom. So we’re Mo and Po.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:36] Mo and Po?

John Odom [00:04:38] So all of our friends know us, Mo and Po. So like, yeah, so all those, all those guys know us as Mo and Po.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:45] Wait, that’s not just for what your grandson is going to call you, but you’re saying that whole crew calls Po?

John Odom [00:04:50] Oh, yeah. So our our house, because of my wife, you know, she was always we’re always able to have her at home. So our house was the house that all the kids gather for sports and after school, that kind of stuff. Yeah. So, so Mom Po became a big name to a lot of a lot of kids. Sure. And so, so that’s kind of how that developed, they still call us Mo and Po and so with the grandkid we had to come up with a grandkid name. So it’s now Popo and Momo.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:18] Oh you add it, you double up.

John Odom [00:05:19] We double up.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:20] Yeah, yeah. You need the two syllable for just to hear the little cute voice.

John Odom [00:05:25] So…

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:25] Momo and Popo. Yeah. That’s phenomenal. Yeah. So I can tell that you love this, that you’re entering this season.

John Odom [00:05:34] Oh, oh, are you kidding? It’s, it’s, it’s it’s even more than what people say, you know? So, so, you ever, you remember the movie The Grinch? Do you remember the part when little, little Lulu, she she, like, finally gets to him? And do you remember like at the end of the movie, he’s like, I’m feeling something strange and like, I don’t know what it is. It’s like, I don’t know what to do with it. And then all of a sudden it shows his heart goes from this and it starts like, boom, boom, boom. It gets really loud.

Jeff Zaugg [00:06:05] Yeah.

John Odom [00:06:06] That’s what it was like when I held my grandson. I was like, I had no idea. Like, I thought my capacity was here and I think it could be any greater to be a father. Yeah. And then was like, I saw my grandson. It was all of a sudden like out of my chest like, ooh, ooh.

Jeff Zaugg [00:06:23] I love the visual because I can see it, the hearts that goes not only like three times, but it’s like 20 times larger in that in that moment. I felt that when I became a dad, okay, the increase that I did, it was unexpected. Yeah. Yeah. And then I’ve told a few friends that when you have your second child, the interaction between the kids and just like you’re, at least for me, it felt like it was a it was a compounded bigger heart. And that’s what I want for all four, I have four daughters. I want I want their hearts to grow bigger and bigger. Like that’s what we want. Yeah. So I love hearing I love hearing that recap of holding your little one. And now the same summer that you’re holding your little grandson is the same summer that two of your children are getting married.

John Odom [00:07:06] Yes.

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:06] One already got married, is that correct?

John Odom [00:07:08] Yes. Yeah. So we have four kids total. So, so book end boys. So Jonathan the oldest and the Harrison’s the youngest. And the two in the middle are girls. And there’s five years between the oldest two and the second two.

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:20] Gap. Yep.

John Odom [00:07:21] There’s a pretty good gap there. And yeah, the gap is so large, it’s interesting because like, you can never have planned this. My son, they all went to Liberty and my son Harrison, his first year, he had to take biology and his biology teacher was his brother. His professor was his brother. Biology 101.

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:43] That’s amazing.

John Odom [00:07:44] Isn’t that crazy?

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:45] Yeah. Just had enough time to get that role.

John Odom [00:07:48] Yes. Yes.

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:49] I always thought it takes like ten years to become a professor, but just he figured it out. He got enough time to do process.

John Odom [00:07:55] Yes. Yes. So, yeah, so the four kids and Jonathan and Caley, the two oldest ones, got married the same year and I was like the year before COVID, but they got married on the same year. And now the younger two are getting married the same same year. Yeah. Yeah. So Memorial was Gabby and now Harrison’s in a week and a half.

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:13] Okay, well, this is my favorite, like, hinge point dad moments, are my favorite moments do interviews because you may share something that ten years from now you’re like, Oh, what was I thinking? I shared this. But I think you’re probably poised to be more reflective in a, you know, becoming Popo.

John Odom [00:08:31] Very reflective.

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:31] And I guess I’d love to hear to start with when you think back all four of your kids and it could be any things that whatever jumps to your mind first but something you’re like, I’m glad I got that part right. You know, we don’t get everything right. We’re making mistakes as dads, all of us. But like something you’re like, I’m glad I put focus there. I’m glad, like, I feel like I got that right when it came to the dad life. Anything top of mind just jump into your heart?

John Odom [00:08:54] Oh, lots of things. I mean, one, their mother. Yes. So I’ll start there.

Jeff Zaugg [00:09:00] Yes.

John Odom [00:09:01] Choose, choose your wife well. I was telling my kids, yeah, choose your spouse well, it’s really important. They’re the parent of your children. Yeah. So that thats one. My my wife is amazing. And so, got that right. And and then too, obviously, just with that, we both a spiritual formation at the for foremost of our minds and our hearts. It was something that we didn’t really come from strong Christian families. And so, you know, when Paul introduced her to Christ and my journey to Christ, it was so like organic for us. It was so important for us. And we saw the difference between a family without Christ and family with Christ. So we both kind of came from that similar thing, where like, we know what it’s like to be in a family without Christ and we don’t ever want to see that again. And so she was that was like, like first most on her mind, first on my mind. And so that’s where formation was very, very important. So I would say that was something that was done intentionally and done like God had really put that on our heart.

Jeff Zaugg [00:10:04] So you made the right choice, with, and tell me your wife’s name again.

John Odom [00:10:06] Barb.

Jeff Zaugg [00:10:07] Barb. Nan calls her Barbie. Yes, which is just so amazing. I love that because Nan is became kind of a spiritual mom to her. Right. So you already brought up Paul. Paul and Nan Bertelson, which they just have a treasured place in my heart as well, how they guided me to this ministry journey. So it’s fun that we share that. So with you, it wasn’t modeled for you then or for Barb disciplining your kids, like leading them to Jesus. You both found Jesus before you found each other. But how like, how did you wade into that without having any examples or did you have I guess we mentioned Paul and Nan. How did you kind of know this is how I’m going to guide my kids to grow to love Jesus?

John Odom [00:10:48] Yes, so, I mean God was gracious to give us good models. So even though we didn’t have necessarily parents that modeled it, we, God provided that and that, you know, that’s encouragement to anyone. Right? That that if you didn’t grow up in that home, that God and His graciousness can still provide that for you. And so for us, that’s what He did. So great coaches, great mentors, obviously, the Bertelson’s were huge in Barb’s lif,e. I’m so, you know, her, Barb’s dad died when she was, you know, like, what, sixth grade or so. And Paul came into her life shortly after, like at seventh, you know. And think about that, she didn’t have that Christian upbringing. But she had Paul, you know, all throughout junior high, all through high school. And, you know, Paul, I mean, that’s that’s that’s real life on life. That’s real like, you know, let me show you Jesus. And that’s quite a yeah, that’s quite a period of, you know, being under that kind of, you know, spiritual mentorship is huge. And then I had the same thing, you know, it wasn’t my parents, but it was coaches. It was, you know, Young Life, FCA leaders, you know, and and in Colorado, where I grew up, those groups were big, like here the church youth groups were big, like, you know, Colonial CPC and that kind of stuff were big here. But we didn’t have big churches like that, youth groups, but FCA and Young Life was huge in Colorado. And so I grew up with those leaders and those leaders mentored me, kind of like a parent.

Jeff Zaugg [00:12:12] Rubbed off.

John Odom [00:12:13] Yeah, yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:12:14] So what were some of those things that did rub off that you gathered from mentors and leaders that you said, Hey, I’m going to bring this in to being a dad? Obviously, there’s different stages of fatherhood, but any just top of mind like, hey, this is something I wanted to bring forward and kind of guide my kids towards.

John Odom [00:12:29] Yeah, I think, I mean, with Young Life and FCA taught taught us is that it make it real make it life and how we translate or how we talk about that now in our families that I mean, we talk about this principle, this idea of the Shamar and so, you know, that Jewish principle of, you know, write it on your doorsteps, write on your door posts. You know, when you lie down, when you wake up and you’re going and you’re coming. You know, this idea, this Jewish idea that that that faith is organic. It’s it’s not just, you know, Sunday morning at 10:00. And so that idea of making a organic making it just the rhythm of your life is what I think we modeled through these ministries growing up in that what we aim to bring in our families that that we want to make it a one day or a Christian Easter, Christmas type of thing. But we make it every day, all that we did. Whether we were going doing laundry or we were going to the grocery store, you know. And so I think that that was a big thing that we brought into our parenting in our in our family. We try to not make it unusual to talk about God. It was like talking about, you know, a sports team or whatever. Yes, very natural in our house.

Jeff Zaugg [00:13:45] Let’s pause on that side and go a little different direction, back to your dad and I guess I don’t know this part of your story. So was your dad in your life and active in your life or what what was your upbringing?

John Odom [00:13:57] Yeah. So he my my dad was very typical African-American. He was military, worked hard, grew up in Harlem, so knew hard life. And so, you know, you know, a lot of life can be relative. So he was, you know, of six kids and he was the only one of six kids to ever make it out of the city. And the military is a big part of that. And so in his family’s eyes, he was a huge success, you know, because he didn’t end up in jail or he didn’t end up on drugs and end up on the streets. And and he actually, you know, did have a family and all of those sorts of things. And all my other uncles on my dad’s side, they never knew their kids. You know, it was is a very common kind of black story where the black male is not seen, you know? And, you know, when I grew up and went back to Harlem to see my family over there, my grandma raised all the all the grandkids, all my cousins. They were all in her home. They weren’t in their own homes. It was my grandmother that raised all of them. And so in some sense, my dad was so different than the rest of them. It just in the fact that he made a living and he came home. Yeah. You know, I mean, and so, again, it’s amazing how relative some things were, but but yet that was far different than, you know what, I aspire to in my family. You know, he again, very militant. And so then there was some distance because of that. He was very authoritarian. You know, it was talked about faith, but didn’t really live that faith. Again, he came from a hard life, he had a hard life. I have obviously a lot more kind of grace, understanding as I get older. Yeah, he did a lot with what he had, but it was far different than living in under Christian leadership.

Jeff Zaugg [00:15:55] Were your parents together when you grew up?

John Odom [00:15:57] They were together most of my life and then divorced when I was in eighth grade.

Jeff Zaugg [00:16:02] Eighth grade. Okay. So thinking back to what you didn’t have and how it informed the direction that you and Barb chose to chose to head, you didn’t have the faith side. You know, you’ve brought up some of the specifics around your dad, leveled up from what he experienced and what family brought to the game, but yet, you know, you want to go a different direction. Are there any other areas that you’re like, oh, this is something that like besides the faith conversation that we already had that you’re like, Man, I really wanted to go pendulum swing from what I experienced with my my dad to what I brought to my four kids.

John Odom [00:16:40] Yeah. I mean, there were actually a lot of things that I would say I wanted to do differently and, you know, again, it wasn’t necessarily because of a spite thing, but because I just saw that that led to destruction in some ways, or maybe not even destruction. But but I definitely just wanted to do different things differently because I didn’t feel them at home. And so I wanted to do whatever I can to be be a different father and be a different husband. So whether whether it was like making faith real, I mean, that was obviously a big one. But but even little things like even the military thing, I would say the biggest for sure, one of the biggest arguments and fights we ever had was over the military. He and I understand now where he was coming from. He in his mind, it saved him. It brought him out of the city. It has literally saved his life. It could have ended up in jail or on the streets. And so I can understand that. But then he thought that then therefore, the best thing for his son is to be in the military.

Jeff Zaugg [00:17:57] Push you that way.

John Odom [00:17:58] So. So he really wanted me to be in the military and like coming out of high school, you know, I had opportunities to go to the military academies and, and when I turned that down, that was a huge blow. I mean, it was almost, it was almost like I killed him, you know? And, you know, he didn’t know Christ and kind of have that understanding this this was this was his God, you know, this was his thing. And, you know, in a in a good way, he one of the he felt like this was the best for his son, an opportunity for him to be. And, you know, something he couldn’t do. You know, he enlisted. And here his son could have went in as an officer and have a great career and retire well, all that kind of stuff. So he saw all that. And when I said no to that, he could not understand.

Jeff Zaugg [00:18:48] Yeah.

John Odom [00:18:48] Even when I became a doctor…

Jeff Zaugg [00:18:50] Still wanted that path.

John Odom [00:18:51] Even when I became a doctor, he he said, you know, you could still be a doctor in the military.

Jeff Zaugg [00:18:58] Just kind of a fixed mindset that’s the…Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Would you describe yourself as like an endurance athlete? Like would you say that’s something that’s a passion is doing hard things that are athletic.

John Odom [00:19:11] I say I like to do hard things. Yeah. You know, I started out in football and that was kind of my my my thing. And then endurance that that part really came out of medical school and the grind of medical school and just needing something I could do athletically.

Jeff Zaugg [00:19:35] Physical.

John Odom [00:19:36] I could do physical. Something I could do to reduce stress. And then it just kind of continued based on that. It was the easiest thing. And as you get to be a busy father, it was the easiest thing to go and run, you know, a couple, you know, a couple of miles anytime of the day you could do this year. You know, you didn’t need a gym membership, you didn’t need a bunch of people. You could just do it. And so it just became kind of something that fit my lifestyle well. Sure, but, but I always like to do hard things.

Jeff Zaugg [00:20:02] Okay. Well, the reason I ask, and I think our first phone call was you were driving up to do the loops in 90, 99 or 99 mile mountain bike race, right? Yes. So that’s significant. And in part of our ministry is Fathers for the Fatherless, these 100 mile bike rides that will move towards doing triathlon teams and likely Spartan obstacle course races and runs and that we’ll branch into other things than just cycling.

John Odom [00:20:26] That’s great.

Jeff Zaugg [00:20:27] But I was curious, the parallels that you’ve seen between being a great dad, not a perfect dad, but like these are things that like tie with the dad life and some of these like pushing yourself, choosing to push yourself athletically. Can you see any like, draw any parallels, or just even common things between something like the Lutes and 99er and encouraging the young dad to be intentional dad.

John Odom [00:20:52] Yeah. I mean, you know, I mean, you live this life, you know, there’s a ton of parallels between the two. You know, you can you can we could talk all day about these parallels. I mean, one, it does require a degree of toughness, at least a decision to be tough. You know, it’s not you know, fathering is not for wimps. And you would say that about Lutes and you’d say about some of these endurance race like like you, it’s a challenge. It’s it’s maybe one of the toughest challenges you’ll have to do, but obviously the most worthwhile challenge you will also do. And so there’s obviously a lot of parallels to that. There’s a lot of parallels in to the grind, right? Like the every day, like, like, you know, I, I used to like, you know, when I look back at my parenting and being dad and that sort of thing. And again, some of this has become my up, my upbringing. One of the things that I think about that that I probably would have done differently is that I was kind of the dad who thought, you know, if I if I work hard and I and I help save up for a trip to Disney World, you know, that’s going to be a great dad move. Like they’re going to think that you’re such an awesome dad. We got to go on these trips and do all these kind of things. And, you know, and so it requires sometimes to to be at the office more. And I think I realize that my kids would much rather prefer, instead of that big trip, just that dad who is in their lives a lot more the day in, day out, you know, just kind of the grind of it. And, you know, that that’s really how endurance races are. You a lot of times when you go to these races, you know, people, you know, think like, well, like this is your bucket list race and, you know, this is you know, you know everything that that you’ve ever done right here in a race. But the reality is you’ve trained already for that. The race is just the cherry on top. Yeah, I guess it was the training that was the hard part. The race was hard, but the training was harder, you know? And you know, if you’re if you’re doing a real endurance thing, it’s the training. It’s a getting up early morning. You know, it’s the discipline of how you eat. It’s the week after week is consistency. It’s not getting injured because if you get injured, it’s all over, you know? So it’s all those things really leading up to the race. That’s that that’s the big deal. The race is just the cherry on top. And matter of fact, you if you’ve done it right, then if you happened to like blow out a tire or something, you know, terrible happens in the race, you’re not actually that bothered by it because you got through a training block that was intense.

Jeff Zaugg [00:23:29] You’ve already succeeded.

John Odom [00:23:31] You’ve already done an amazing amount just to get there. And I think that parallel is is quite a bit to fathering like, like that journey and that grind every day of putting in the work and getting up in the early morning hours and just, you know, being there when nobody sees that sort of thing. That’s, that’s the fathering.

Jeff Zaugg [00:23:51] So the training, let’s just go a little step deeper. You mentioned faith and just, you know, trust in God. You mentioned marrying well. What are some other like it training pieces that would cause you to be prepared and ready to show up as a dad? Any other just like to take the parallel a little further. Any ideas of how that could apply the training, putting in reps here, it’s going to pay off. Any other ways you would take that?

John Odom [00:24:17] Yeah. I mean, I think other training things I would think about is, we we kind of have a term in our family that when we think about our parenting philosophy, I would say we always wanted our kids to be inoculated, not insulated. And so, like, like in training. You never do anything in a race, you probably heard this principle in racing, you never do anything in a race that you haven’t trained before.

Jeff Zaugg [00:24:47] Yep

John Odom [00:24:47] So you don’t, you don’t use a new shoe, you don’t try a new diet, you don’t use a new supplement or a protein. You don’t do anything on race day that you haven’t that you haven’t done before in training.

Jeff Zaugg [00:24:58] Can I interrupt you here?

John Odom [00:24:59] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:24:59] So Taylor Doolittle, our mutual friend, he introduced me to Anti-Fog Spray for the goggles on race day and we both looked at each other because we know this rule and we both grinned are like, let’s just go for it. And it worked out. It worked out. But on the shoe side, I followed your advice. I ripped out my shoe on some turf, but it still held enough support that I chose to not use a new shoe to keep the ripped shoe because of exactly your principle. Five and a half miles, I want to keep the same shoes. Yeah. So anyways, both sides. I’m totally interrupting you. But say the phrase more time, so you said inoculated versus insulated?

John Odom [00:25:32] Versus insulated.

Jeff Zaugg [00:25:33] Yeah keep going on that.

John Odom [00:25:34] Yeah. So, so it’s similar that the training principle that we talked about but but inoculate versus insulate. So what we mean by that is that and I think this is more and more relevant as our world is crazier, whether you’re talking COVID or you talking some ideology, that sort of thing. And one of the best books I’ve read probably in 20 years is The Coddling of the American Mind, but it kind of talks about this a little bit, too. And it’s really this idea that, you know, as Christian parents, we had to be careful of this culture of safety-ism and we have to be careful of saying, I’m just going to shield my kids from everything that’s bad in the world. And then so, you know, so they won’t get hurt, you know? And I think we all obviously should do things to keep our kids safe, I know, no one’s ever advocating to do anything contrary to that. But what we’re saying by inoculation is that it is good to give them one, a taste of the real thing, so real faith in your home, and so that can grow, grow food in their heart. So one, give them a taste of the real thing, really practice what you preach, really, you know, mentor and be that example. And then two, you know, to expose them to things within your house, expose them to ideologies within your house, expose them to contrary thoughts within your house, bring people into your house who are not like you, who don’t look like you, who don’t think like you, who may not even act like you might not even like them.

Jeff Zaugg [00:26:55] Sure.

John Odom [00:26:55] But bring those people over for dinner.

Jeff Zaugg [00:26:57] Yeah.

John Odom [00:26:58] Let your kids see and experience and dialog and get a taste of that, you know. And so when they go out into the world, you know, it’s not like this, all of a sudden scary place that they’re ill equipped for. The Holy Spirit and your parenting should allow them to say, I’ve seen this and my faith is okay with this. You know, I’m not intimidated by this. I’m not fearful about this. You know, I, I, I can I can still grow in these experiences that I see, you know, and so that that was important for us.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:32] Yeah, that’s really, really helpful. Inoculated versus insulated that right?

John Odom [00:27:37] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:38] And we’ll link that book in the, tell me the name of it one more time though.

John Odom [00:27:41] The Coddling of the American Mind.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:43] Yeah, I’ve heard it brought up before, but have not read it yet.

John Odom [00:27:46] Yes, it’s very good.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:47] In just a minute, we’ll jump right back into the second half of my conversation. But I want to do a quick tell you about our Fathers for the Fatherless, two of our sponsors. So we’re so thankful at a national level. Olive Holdings came in and said, we want to support what you guys are doing with the Fathers for the Fatherless ride and not only is this company saying, man, I care about this mission, but they are actually creating a company culture and a culture in Olive Holdings and in their portfolio of companies that is in alignment with our mission. So they want to be dads who are presence in intentional dads on the home front, but their company culture in the way they’re saying, man, culture matters and we want to have a generational impact in the in the companies that we run. They run Pairs Painting, Haven Builders, Paper Boy Marketing and expanding group of investment companies of saying, man, we’re going to go after and build companies and build leaders in our company. But guys, I would highly recommend you check out their their portfolio of companies. And I just want to give a huge shout out and thank you to that team for believing not only locally in the Twin Cities, but saying we’re coming in at a national level sponsorship. So very grateful for those guys. Also shout out to Mike and Alpha and Omega Wealth Strategies. They came in at a local gold level sponsor for Fathers for the Fatherless and their company, man, there’s like there’s fears when it comes to finances, and their company, their whole goal is to help with financial planning in many different areas, but to say, let’s bring down those figures, let’s operate in encourage and incompetence and very thankful for Mike and his company, Alpha and Omega Wealth Strategies and their sponsorship of our Fathers for the Fatherless ride. All right, let’s jump right back into the second half of my conversation.

Jeff Zaugg [00:29:22] A few of the of our mutual friends who knew that I was going to sit down with you today said you got to drill in on this one. Like the it’s just easy to see people really like see a ton of success either on the home front or on the professional front. It just feels like people more often like one or the other, it’s hard to do both. And from your circle of mentees and mentors, both sides, I and friends, there like it feels like how is that possible to raise four kids who love Jesus, who are not perfect, nobody’s going to perfect kids, but like, just really like all all the people I chatted with were like just so impressed by your kids. And have a practice of business, professional things like have really taken off over these two, two decades, right, you’ve owned this practice. What do you think like has helped you navigate both those spheres and to do them simultaneously or did you even do it simultaneously? Or was it like gas on, brake on, like like tell me about that journey.

John Odom [00:30:27] Yeah. So, I mean, like, like you said in your your introduction to that. Yeah. It’s it’s first not always been perfect right there, there’s some times where both of them kind of gotten out of balance and and there’s there’s times where both of them maybe seem like they’re failing or chaotic. So, yeah, with with that caveat, like you said, it doesn’t always look like it, like it does sometimes. But I would say, you know, again, one of my big answers to that would be my wife, you know, again, back to choosing, choosing well. So she, you know, she’s she’s used to one, dealing with all the chaos. She’s great nurturer, so she’s nurtured our kids so amazing you know and it’s it it is kind of partnership and marriage too where like everything we do, we share, you know? And so like when, when she is, you know, ministering to, you know, the women’s group or mentoring a young gal, I’m part of that because, you know, what I do here allows her to do that and vice versa.

Jeff Zaugg [00:31:32] Partnership.

John Odom [00:31:32] When I’m successful in my practice is because, you know, she’s, you know, taking care of things here and freed me up to do this. And so that partnership has been huge, you know, and and it it can’t be like understated, you know, it’s like she has carried a lot of load, you know what I mean? And and we do that for each other. And, you know, so sometimes, like, I need to, and obviously you understand this, like with the medical school residency, sometimes I need to work 100, 130 hours a week.

Jeff Zaugg [00:32:13] That’s a lot of hours.

John Odom [00:32:14] You know, and, so, so…

Jeff Zaugg [00:32:16] So non existent at home in that period.

John Odom [00:32:17] Exactly, exactly. And so, you know, how do you have, you know, a family or kids that still know you when you get back. Well, your wife is you know, you know is holding that up. And so and vice versa, you know, there’s times where, you know, I’m home and I’m first at home, that sort of thing, she’s taking care of other things. And so, you know, that can’t be understated. Just just that that compliment.

Jeff Zaugg [00:32:40] I want to go in a little deeper because theoretically, I, I would say I’m working towards that exact same thing that we share every success. My wife and I share anything that happens here. And on the home front, we share all those successes like theory wise, we both would say, absolutely, that’s us. But I think there are some practical, like some some ways that you developed and things you did with communication with your wife, things to to like show affirmation. Right? There’s got to be some practical things that help build that. You know, you’ll just say it and it’s there.
John Odom [00:33:11] Yeah. Yeah, and, and there were definitely practical things. I mean, so, so one, like, like in how you choose your partner margins. So like, you know, is saying, you know, no to other commitments and yes to your family and your work and that kind of stuff. And, and outside that, you do have to say yes to other things to to make that your priority. Also just kind of again on the practical side, yeah, like my kids knew that, they knew that, they knew that, they knew like, like if if my wife had a problem with one of the kids or something didn’t go down right, and she even uttered the words, Your dad will hear about this. That went a long ways. Yeah. Like they knew. Like when Dad gets home, he’s going to take care of this. And so that carried a lot of weight. And, like, you know, I won’t name my kids, but some, couple of my kids were very strong willed. Very, very strong willed. And so that was hard on my wife because she would say something that they would butt up against her and they’d be like, That doesn’t bother me. You know, I don’t care. You know, I don’t I don’t care what consequence you have. But if she said, you’re, you’re going to talk with your dad about this when he gets home. That was a game changer. They knew that that carried weight and that they would change your behavior because of that. And so that was a very practical thing. You know, like like even though I wasn’t there, she knew that I had her back.
Jeff Zaugg [00:34:40] Yeah. You had the unified, like, yes, you’re in this together and they knew it.
John Odom [00:34:44] Exactly. Exactly. As, you know, we would say again in the home, like, you know, before she was your mom, she was my wife, you know?
Jeff Zaugg [00:34:53] Yeah. Now, respect, I mean, that feels like it comes from a place of respect. You respect each other. They know there’s something here that’s like Dad’s going to cause me to step up that area. Would you just talk about the characteristic of raising respectful kids and, like, maybe some some aspects of how we could, I could follow your lead to raise respectful kids.
John Odom [00:35:16] Yeah. I think I mean that that, you know, that’s a that’s a tough one. I think all of us as fathers really, really want that. And I think, you know, a lot of that comes from, one, a place of love, you know, just just letting them know that, you know, you love them. We there’s, there’s a obviously a kind of a old parenting principle from Josh McDowell, it says, rules without relationship equals rebellion. And so yeah, that kind of respect piece is kind of born in that little statement. Like, like you have to be in a relationship, have to show them your caring and that sort of thing. And then once, once that’s kind of established, then, you know, respect is kind of born on that. Like, like if you have to be hard or you have to be strict, you know, they they know where it comes from, you know? And and so I think that’s important just to have that develop that relationship and that kind of, you know, trust and love and and then and then be willing and your kids kind of know this to like, be willing to say, like, right now, I don’t have to be your friend. Like, I’m your I’m your mom, I’m your dad. And I don’t have to be your friend and you don’t have to, I’m not threatened if you don’t like me right now.
Jeff Zaugg [00:36:29] Yeah, that’s good.
John Odom [00:36:30] You know what I mean? And so and so I think. I think our kids knew that.
Jeff Zaugg [00:36:35] Yeah.
John Odom [00:36:36] You know?
Jeff Zaugg [00:36:37] Where would your wife, Barb, say, hey, John missed it here. Like, what are one or two of those examples of, like, oh, that’s an area that, like, you wish you could have turned the dial because she she knows it, you know it, she would say it, where you missed it in your fatherhood.
John Odom [00:36:51] Yeah. I mean, I think obviously there’s a lot of those examples. You know, I think one, you know, and again, there’s many I think one of the ways that she’d say kind of probably missed a mark on was time. So I think that was off. Like I probably spent too much time at work. So I’d say she probably I probably missed the mark on that. And then, you know, I think she, probably, would also say I probably didn’t say sorry enough. Okay. Yeah. You know, like when I was if I was mad about something, you know, I they would know I was mad. But, you know, it’s not too often they probably heard me say sorry. And that’s probably something she would say I missed as well.
Jeff Zaugg [00:37:37] Yeah. You mentioned earlier your it would be, I believe your cousin’s raised by your grandmother, right?
John Odom [00:37:47] Right. That’s right.
Jeff Zaugg [00:37:48] So and part of African-American community and some of the even in our country fatherlessness statistics would be that’s a demographic, ethnicity, demographic that’s higher maybe of fatherlessness. Any just ways that you would coach us dads to just understanding, and then also curious your level of hopefulness for the future as far as dads stepping in, setting reflections around that.
John Odom [00:38:18] Yeah. I mean, as I mean, you may or may not know, I mean, that that’s an issue that very passionate about. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why I think ministries like Men in the Kingdom are so important, why I, you know, have a passion for that ministry because I think, men, men need to be called a step up, you know, and, you know, I saw the you know, the fallout, if you will, from men not stepping up. And so, therefore, the passion behind and the importance behind men that really do need to step up and understand that kind of the biblical role there. I think, you know, without that our nation, you know, won’t exist as as we know it. You know? I think the way that, you know, God’s discipleship plan for our countries is through our families. You know, the dads need to be there. Dad needs to be that servant leader and be important to their kids. You know, and again, not that, not that we’re programing robots. Right? Because everybody has a decision. You can be the perfect parent and not have a perfect kid. I mean, I, I think all the time Adam and Eve were the the perfect had the perfect parents and the perfect garden in the perfect situation.
Jeff Zaugg [00:39:40] And Cain.
John Odom [00:39:42] Yeah, yes. Yes. And so, not that we’re programing kids but I think it’s important for fathers to, to step up and be that example.
Jeff Zaugg [00:39:52] Yeah, so your hope is tied with fathers stepping in and being present and being intentional. But you, you even anchored it back to Dean Stinchfield and like Men of the Kingdom, an example of like that’s a group going after it together, challenging each other to step up into higher levels of ownership, for sure. And so, I mean, the more people listening all over the country, right, that might not go to Men of the Kingdom, although there are resources, I think, expanding out, which is amazing. So we’ll link in the show notes what they’re creating. But just yet, men that say I’m going to rally others around a higher degree of like we can step into this.
John Odom [00:40:30] Indeed.
Jeff Zaugg [00:40:30] That will change the trajectory.
John Odom [00:40:31] Indeed.
Jeff Zaugg [00:40:32] I believe it.
John Odom [00:40:33] I believe it as well. I believe it quite a bit.
Jeff Zaugg [00:40:36] Do you have any just last thoughts for if you just picture a room with a dozen young dads that are just like just want to learn where can I put some extra focus? Any just kind of closing thoughts to, hey, put some extra focus here when it comes to you being a young, intentional father.
John Odom [00:40:54] Yeah, I think, if if they were in the room and asking the question, they’re way ahead of the curve. So so so that that’s the first place I would start because I I’d want men they like turn their ears, turn their eyes, turn their hearts towards this issue in the first place. Like, come on, let’s, let’s go. Like, like this is an important issue. So if they’re in the room asking the question, they are way ahead of the curve. But if they were in the room asking the question, I would say, you know, most you guys understand like athletic pursuits and that sort of thing. Like in order to get, you know, to the next level, you understand, like, I’m going to have to train, I’m going to have to surround myself, watch videos, go to camps, do these things, and I’m going to have to put in work. And I got to understand how to do this. And I think, that should be the same mentality in fatherhood. Like like like none of us. None of us come out knowing how to be good fathers. Yeah. Yeah. You know? I mean, we may know, we may see examples of them, and we may know what not to do, what we don’t want to do. But but all of us need training in this area. And so all of us should, like, say, humbly like, let’s learn. They’re resources, there’s a ton of resources out there about fathering and parenting and those sorts of things. They’re they’re out there. Make yourself a plan of how you can get better, you know, and then jump into it.

Jeff Zaugg [00:42:23] I love that. Make yourself a plan. There’s very few men that have made a plan on how they’re going to step into growth and learning and coaching. So thanks for that challenge and invitation, because it’s very available to all of us.

John Odom [00:42:34] Very available.

Jeff Zaugg [00:42:35] Would you say a short prayer for all of us?

John Odom [00:42:37] I’d be happy to. Yeah. God, I thank you so much for Jeff and this ministry and such so needed in our time, God. And as as is the thrust of his ministry and podcast to just encourage fathers to to step up and to step in. God, You are just calling us God, You were just pleading us to take our rightful place to serve. Teach us how to be great servants. I know that’s your heart. I know that’s where you want us. And so you’ve given us resources. You’ve given us all that we need. You’ve given us your Holy Spirit, God. When we don’t know the answer, we don’t know the right action, Your Holy Spirit is all but there, if we would just call on You. Holy Spirit is there to make those odd situations better, to make that time where we don’t feel like we have the right word when our kids are quiet, God, your Holy Spirit is there was to just draw on that power, draw on that resource. May we just be fully dependent on you. May we make a plan, make a plan to serve you, serve our families better. Thank you for this ministry, for Jeff, and this time in Jesus name. Amen.

Jeff Zaugg [00:43:52] Thank you so much for joining us this week for episode 240 with John Odom. All the conversation notes are at dadAWESOME.org/240. I want to invite you guys, if you’re not following dadAWESOME on Instagram at dadAWESOME, I would love to invite you guys we’re, we’re at a thousand, we’re right at the 1000 followers mark and I am going to be adding some extra focus just to building this as a more valuable resource for both you guys, but also other dads who have never even heard about dadAWESOME. So if you could take a moment, make sure you’re following and then potentially you could just tag a few other dads that you know, you could add them to a comment of one of the previous episodes of maybe this episode, and that will just kind of alert them, hey, check this out. Just a way to grow the impact. Have more dads be be influenced by a dadAWESOME. Guys, thanks again for for listening. Thanks for praying for us this Saturday, August 27th, as 212 men are out riding their bikes 100 miles to for the fatherless, you can make a financial donation to this cause by just going to the link in any of our social profiles, you can see a way to give towards this Father’s for the Fatherless ride in our four partner organizations. Thanks for choosing to be dadAWESOME this week. Thanks for looking your kids in the eye and say that I love that I get to be your dad. My my posture, my heart, my mindset is a one of gratitude. It’s a gift to be a dad. Have a great week.