Episode 241 Transcript (Jeremiah Curran)

Episode 241 (Jeremiah Curran)

Podast 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’ll give it my all.

Jeff Zaugg [00:00:39] This is episode 241 of dadAWESOME and today I have Jeremiah Curran joining me for an amazing conversation. We recorded this like ten weeks ago and I’ve been like, when is the right time? And it’s the right time right now, I saw Jeremiah today. I actually rode the 100 mile Fathers for the Fatherless bike ride, today, my voice is a bit more raspy than usual, but that’s okay. You guys can put up with it. This conversation is phenomenal. We recorded in a nursery at church nursery. We had some toys that were like digging of lighting up and making sounds as we recorded, which is just weird, and it kept us on our toes the whole time. I want to invite you guys, quick announcement, invitation, one week from today, our family, my four daughters, my wife and I, we’re hitting the road in the RV for round two of the dadAWESOME RV road trip. We’re headed for Minneapolis through Lincoln, Nebraska, out to Colorado, Loveland, Colorado Springs. We’re heading out to Southern California, will be in Phoenix, Arizona will then head over to Dallas, Texas, from there to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, down into Florida, several spots in Florida. Then we will be up to Atlanta, Georgia, through the Carolinas, back to Nashville and back to Minnesota, nine months later. So this is a listening tour. It’s an interview tour. It’s a writing tour. We’re so thankful, we’re hosting a couple more Fathers for the Fatherless bike rides. But one thing that we’re doing is we’re hosting dadAWESOME meetups. We hosted nine of these on the last tour. If you’re at all interested, you live in one of these cities or at a spot between those points I just mentioned, just simply reach out to me, and Instagram is actually a great way to just fire me a message. I’m putting a little more focus, we just passed a thousand followers on our dadAWESOME Instagram, just @dadAWESOME. Make sure you’re following us because we’ll post updates, but also you can message me if you live in one of those spots and are interested. We’ve hosted these meet ups in garages, and skateparks, and coffee shops, at breweries, we’re going to host some of these are the beach. We’re also doing some family gatherings at playgrounds where you can meet each other’s families. But the the dadAWESOME meetups I want to learn from you guys. It’s not for me to speak. It’s for me to learn. And what are you learning? Who are your mentors? What books are you reading? What questions do you have? It informs the way that I continue to lead this ministry, dadAWESOME, so reach out. Today’s conversation, though, Pastor Jeremiah Curran, Pastors Westbridge Church in Saint Michael, Minnesota. They are an amazing partner church for Fathers for the Fatherless. We talk about it a little bit in this conversation, but they’ve just come around this and said, Oh, we’re going to own this thing and we’re going to grow this, we’re going to raise money to help the fatherless, we’re going to create deep brotherhood in our community. They had 47 guys being a part of their team riding just last week, so this conversation will go all over the place but you’re going to be glad that you listened today, buckle up. Here’s my conversation with Jeremiah Current. Help us just get to know your family for a moment here.

Jeremiah Curran [00:03:34] Yes.

Jeff Zaugg [00:03:35] So let’s talk about age of kids, the excitement coming up this summer of adding a son to the family.

Jeremiah Curran [00:03:39] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:03:39] And how long you’ve been married?

Jeremiah Curran [00:03:41] So my wife and I met when we were 16. Yeah, we were just friends for a while and then kind of realized like, man, she’s the one. Dated love long distance for a long time, I lived in Chicago. She lived here. And then I moved back here and we were 18, we got engaged, 19, we got married.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:00] Yes.

Jeremiah Curran [00:04:01] So been married for 23 years. My oldest daughter, Caylee, is 19. She’s getting married this summer. That’s the that’s the bonus son.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:09] That’s the bonus son, Zack?

Jeremiah Curran [00:04:10] Yes. And, you know, we can’t say anything to them because we were younger than they are.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:16] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:04:17] So it’s not like we have no ground to stand on to be like, maybe you guys should wait a little bit, you know? But they’ve known each other their entire lives. We’ve been friends with his parents since before any of us had kids. So…

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:27] That’s like the best case.

Jeremiah Curran [00:04:28] They’ve only ever known each other.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:30] Wild.

Jeremiah Curran [00:04:31] And so they’re getting married this summer. And then I have a daughter who is 16 this summer, actually on, her birththday, her 16th birthday is the day of Fathers for the Fatherless ride.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:41] Oh no way. So she’s cool with her dad riding?

Jeremiah Curran [00:04:43] Yeah. Well, she’s giving me a lot of, you know, hard time about it. So she’s like, Oh, so, so you’re going to leave me fatherless on my birthday, you know? So she’s definitely ah, she’s got a lot of good sass about her.

Jeff Zaugg [00:04:55] Passionate.

Jeremiah Curran [00:04:55] Yeah, but she’s giving me a hard time, so. And then my son is 14. I have a 14 year old and he’s just a fun guy, super musical and just kind and kind of artistic, but just a funny, funny kid. And then we’ve got a kid, a son, Liam will be eight this summer, and he’s just basically the happiest person you’ve ever met in your life and is friends with everybody he’s ever met.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:21] Yeah, he became my favorite person when I came to church last summer and met him and we were riding around in that go kart pedal thing.

Jeremiah Curran [00:05:27] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:27] I was like, Your son is so cool.

Jeremiah Curran [00:05:28] Yeah. He just lives life 100 miles an hour every day. Yeah, it’s just, that’s him.

Jeff Zaugg [00:05:34] So what has your focus this season, if you’re thinking mostly on the fatherhood theme. Is there anything that’s like, hey, this has my focus, my like I’m giving extra thought to this area of the dad life. Has anything kind of rise to the top right now as you think about that?

Jeremiah Curran [00:05:47] Man. That’s a great question. It’s really, it’s really about spending time. It’s it’s presence more than anything else right now because especially because, you know, my oldest daughter got engaged. It’s like you you are really, really hit with the fact that time is limited. And you always know that sort of subconsciously, it’s like, and we always say that, oh, it goes so fast in times of but it’s like, no, no, no, there’s, there’s a date to this now. Like July 22nd, she will no longer be yours. She will no longer be living in your house. She will not like, so it was it really shifted things to like man presence matters.

Jeff Zaugg [00:06:30] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:06:30] Like my presence matters with my sixteen year old, my fourteen year old, my eight year old. So I’m playing a lot of Mario Kart these days and jumping on trampolines and you know.

Jeff Zaugg [00:06:39] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:06:40] Just presence is such a it’s so much bigger than we realize.

Jeff Zaugg [00:06:44] Well, you mentioned a couple of years ago saying no to riding the 100 miles with Fathers for the Fatherless, because of that exact same theme of presence with the age of your son. We say it takes about 45 hours of time investment with the team to be ready to ride 100 miles. Talk, would you just explain a little more around that, thinking about what are you saying yes to you, what are you saying no to with presence being such a high value in focus?

Jeremiah Curran [00:07:08] Well, yeah, it’s it’s every time you say yes to something, you just say no to something else, right? So it’s factoring in which things, which things are the most important, what are the big priorities. So, there’s just a lot of things, even in my schedule, that I’ve learned over the last couple of years to flex. So there’s just certain days that I do meetings, there’s certain days that are study days and there’s certain days where we actually homeschool. So there’s days where I don’t go to the office to 11:00 and it’s just set into my schedule. Like I’m in the morning, I’m there with the kids. We’re reading scriptures together, usually to start our days, we’re digging into different topics. And so it’s not like, well, I’m leaving them for my wife to homeschool.

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:56] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:07:56] And I’m like, Oh, I’m going to go, you know, win the bacon.

Jeff Zaugg [00:07:59] Right.

Jeremiah Curran [00:08:00] You know, it’s no, we, we co-homeschool them together and…

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:04] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:08:04] And that’s huge, and part of our motivation to homeschool was not like, you know, I think there’s a whole big misconception with homeschooling and but our motivation was we just we wanted to have more time with our kids. And what we were finding was school and then homework till bedtime was not work, it was not conducive to a healthy family life.

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:25] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:08:25] And so we just said and I told my wife this is several years ago, I feel like I’m homeschooling anyways because we’re doing homework for 4 hours in margins.

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:34] Yeah, you’re doing it.

Jeremiah Curran [00:08:35] Let’s just do it. And then we’ll have our evenings where we can actually be a family.

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:38] Wow.

Jeremiah Curran [00:08:39] And that really motivated us to begin homeschooling. And so I think that’s, I’ve flexed my schedule, shifted my schedule, and not everybody can do that. But with what I’m, you know, I’ve been able to go, these are the days that I’m here and then I’m present and then I’m involved.

Jeff Zaugg [00:08:55] So that’s my my heart. And of course, there’s different approaches to school options and everyone has to prayerfully make that decision. But we are heading into our second year of being a homeschool family.

Jeremiah Curran [00:09:04] Oh, right on.

Jeff Zaugg [00:09:04] And our approach has been weekly to look for our looking for one hour gaps of that, this is when Dad’s a part of homeschool today and then tomorrow, where’s that hour gap, I’m a part of homeschool here. And it’s, it’s working and it’s not working.

Jeremiah Curran [00:09:18] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:09:18] So I’d love to hear a little more about the approach and because that approach of carving out a chunk of time till 11:00 or whatever on that one day a week of this is focused time, it’s an appointment on your calendar that other people aren’t grabbing versus us kind of fitting it in secondary just slices. Would you explain a little bit more how you’ve gone about that and what are some of the other focuses outside of kind of Bible together? What else do you kind of how else do you use that time?

Jeremiah Curran [00:09:43] Yeah. So that’s been a big, I mean, I feel most equipped to teach in that area just being a pastor, a pastor. But also there’s this isn’t original with me, but I heard Andy Stanley say this early on and we just really latched onto this. Like the the things we really want for our kids are for them to follow Jesus. We want them to trust and follow Jesus with their life. And then we want them to want to be around us and each other when they don’t have to be.

Jeff Zaugg [00:10:13] Right.

Jeremiah Curran [00:10:14] And when I heard that years and years ago, I was just like, that’s such a great filter and a lens through which to parent. And it’s like, if we can just preserve that, that’s man, that’s it, I think what it did it it free, it freed us from having to feel like, well, we better do this better than like healthy kids always have this and healthy kids always have that. And it’s just like, Oh, I’m going to do the best I can. But man, a lot of what is this, a lot of what comes from our four kids is like wired into them. It’s how God created them to be. And you’re not going to fight it and you’re you’re not going to, you know, sort of nurture it out of them. It’s this is who they are. And so we just went, okay, let’s just boil it down to those things, and we’re going to do our absolute best and we’re going to leave the rest up to God. And as far as the scheduling goes, this is something I’ve learned just in the last couple of years, is to make appointments with myself.

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:07] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:11:08] And it’s like, I don’t know. I don’t know why. I never thought of that before.

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:11] Blocking them in on your calendar.

Jeremiah Curran [00:11:12] Yeah, because what happens is when you don’t, it always gets filled in with something.

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:17] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:11:18] Right. And then people and I’ve had this so many times where people go, Hey, do you have something going on there? And you look at your calendar and you’re like, Oh, no, I don’t. And they’re like, Great, because I got something. And you’re like, and if you don’t fill it…

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:27] Give it away.

Jeremiah Curran [00:11:28] …somebody will. You know? And so it’s like, no, these are the times where now I can literally say to someone, Hey, can you meet with me on Tuesday at 9:30? I really can’t because I have an appointment.

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:39] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:11:40] And I really do.

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:41] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:11:41] With my kids, homeschooling, you know, and, and then we’ll, and then we’ll do the scriptures together. This is a great way for us to start, it just opens up so many conversations with our kids about spiritual topics.

Jeff Zaugg [00:11:54] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:11:55] Because we just read a chapter in the scriptures and work our way through a book of the Bible. And then we’ll talk about it like, man, what did you guys think about that? Hmm? Anything stand out to you? Any questions about that? And sometimes it’s not at all. Sometimes, just like, you know, blank stares around the dining room table and you’re like, okay, we have failed miserably at this, you know? And then every once in a while, it’s like, one of my kids, just like, I kind of think this, and you’re just like, Oh, yeah, something’s sinking in, you know?

Jeff Zaugg [00:12:26] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:12:26] And and so it’s just the consistency, the rhythm of that. And then, and then we go into different areas, sometimes my wife takes my youngest and they practicing reading and writing and, you know, the basics. And then we’re doing, you know, algebra and, you know, science and other topics, and it kind of varies day to day.

Jeff Zaugg [00:12:44] It’s amazing. And I think about those evening slots that were kind of hustle home school. It was home, homework for school that you guys said were full, that you got back to be a family.

Jeremiah Curran [00:12:55] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:12:55] That the second goal that Andy Stanley mentioned of just like a family that loves being together, wants to be close to each other. So I’m imagine you’re making more memories versus hustling with agendas of to do list in the evenings now. Is that is that accurate?

Jeremiah Curran [00:13:08] Yeah and I, it’s so we have like a weekly bowling night with our whole family actually this year, bought bowling shoes.

Jeff Zaugg [00:13:15] You guys are awesome.

Jeremiah Curran [00:13:15] Because, because we realized, like, we’re spending way too much money renting shoes, but we could just buy them. So, like, we went on a, like a family, go buy bowling shoes day. And so now like we bowl every Tuesday night, our whole family does and like, you know, I’ll take off early that day because it’s like we get to like the lanes fill up in the winter. So you got to get there early, you know, and get your get your lanes. We just love it, man. It’s just it’s just such a stupid, fun thing to do together. But we would have never had that opportunity because it was I mean, it was literally homework till bedtime, ending in tears. Dad, why do I need to learn this? And then I’d have to honestly answer, you really don’t. You don’t need to learn that, I don’t know that, and I’m living a pretty happy life and I don’t know trigonometry. And, you know, it’s like, are you and are you going to go into a field where you need this? No, because I hate it so much. Okay, then don’t worry about it.

Jeff Zaugg [00:14:09] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:14:09] And that’s the other thing about just the homeschooling conversation. It’s allowed our kids the freedom to pursue the things they’re naturally passionate about. So my son has thousands of views on his reels and YouTube channels, and he’s got an EP on Spotify. He’s playing piano like at a whole other level than I, and it’s just, he taught himself how to do all that.

Jeff Zaugg [00:14:37] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:14:38] He had the time because he wasn’t trying to memorize some answers, to get it right on a test so that he could then forget it the next day. And that’s what I did that all through high school. I was like a good test taker, so I had great grades in high school, but I don’t know, I didn’t learn anything.

Jeff Zaugg [00:14:54] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:14:54] You know? But we’re going, look, what are you passionate about?

Jeff Zaugg [00:14:58] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:14:59] Pursue that. What does that look like?

Jeff Zaugg [00:15:00] The creative expression and, and the my guess is your son’s eyes are shining to a different degree that they were the other path.

Jeremiah Curran [00:15:09] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:15:09] When he was forced to do things that weren’t, and not that we can spend our entire days doing things were passionate about, none of us have that. But you’re seeing it’s working right now.

Jeremiah Curran [00:15:18] Yeah. My oldest daughter, she was in seventh grade, that’s when we had the homework epiphany. And so we started homeschooling the next year. And she took a photography class, like a freelance photography class, fell in love with photography. We got her a camera that year for Christmas, like, it was like a really nice, you know, professional, this is what photographers use. And it was like, this is your Christmas gift for the next eight years, basically. And and then she started running with it and she, so then it was conversations like math became, she started doing senior photos and she’s done a couple of weddings and like, I think I could make this into a career. So then math became really applied math. It’s like, Hey, when you get paid, what percentage are you saving? What percentage are you putting into your business? Someday you’re going to need new lenses, you’re going to need tripods, you’re going to need whatever. And so just those conversations…

Jeff Zaugg [00:16:12] It’s helpful math. It’s actually helping her with what she wants.

Jeremiah Curran [00:16:13] It’s real life math. Yeah. So that’s been super, super cool.

Jeff Zaugg [00:16:17] Very cool. I would love to go back to you, before we hit record, you shared the story of saying yes to biking 100 miles for the Fatherless. But then going out for your first ride and riding six miles. Would you help us, because I think there’s a transferable principle from that and what you experience because you didn’t give up, to some of even these fatherhood topics we’re already talking about of like things, to change a schedule to move shift can be very difficult and there could be obstacles. Yeah, I think the parallels are many. Would you share the story about the six miles?

Jeremiah Curran [00:16:46] Yeah, yeah. So I went with two guys that, you know, in my eyes, professional, you know, cyclists and had a lot of experience. And like, Oh, come on, we’re going to go on this six mile loop. And so we started out and I mean, I thought I had know, I had nothing to compare it against.

Jeff Zaugg [00:17:02] Or what was what was the distance it was going to be before? How long were you going to ride with them?

Jeremiah Curran [00:17:06] Well, it was a six mile loop.

Jeff Zaugg [00:17:08] Oh, gotcha.

Jeremiah Curran [00:17:09] And so and I know I knew that guys had been riding this loop, it’s pretty close to here, it’s kind of a pretty popular training ride.

Jeff Zaugg [00:17:16] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:17:16] And so it was like, we’ll probably do the loop like two, three times, you know? So that way you can go, you can go 12, maybe 18, you know, it was like, okay, that’s it seems reasonable.

Jeff Zaugg [00:17:25] Right, because the goal is 100 eventually. Yeah. So that feels like, yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:17:29] I’m like,12 feels, we can do that. And, but I never, I had nothing to measure it against. So speed was, I had no concept of how fast we were going. So we started out and I’m like, Oh, dude, this is we’re going to crush this, this is going to take 5 minutes, you know. And, and then we’re and then it’s like we haven’t hit the six mile loop yet, and I feel like we should be close. And so I look at my, you know, my GPS and we’ve gone like two miles and I’m like, Oh, man, this is this is not good. This is not going to go good. And so I’m like, we finally get back to the six mile loop. And I unclip and I sit down and we’re all sitting there kind of catching our breath and like, So what do you think? You want to go another loop? And, and I was like, Oh, no, no, guys, I’m done, done. And they were like, it wasn’t like they were like, oh, no, come on. They like they like look, took one look at me and were like, Yeah, you’re done.

Jeff Zaugg [00:18:21] So you hit the wall?

Jeremiah Curran [00:18:22] Yeah. Like, like you really shouldn’t get back on the bike. Like they saw it on my face, like, right. It was like, yeah, we’re going to take you home.

Jeff Zaugg [00:18:29] So then you’d already signed up at this point to ride 100 miles for the Fatherless?

Jeremiah Curran [00:18:33] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:18:33] And what, I mean, you had a couple options at this point of being massively defeated or to keep trying. And how do you step forward?

Jeremiah Curran [00:18:39] I just went home and I just go, okay, I’m going to I’m going to take a day off, I’m gonna rest, I’m going to go back out.

Jeff Zaugg [00:18:44] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:18:44] And maybe I can go more than six. And so I, I tracked it and I went, I was like, well, if I could go six out, that would force me to have to go six back, right?

Jeff Zaugg [00:18:55] Yes.

Jeremiah Curran [00:18:55] So then I was like, then at least I would do that. So I rode six one direction and then six back and ended up being like 13 that day.

Jeff Zaugg [00:19:02] Okay.

Jeremiah Curran [00:19:03] And then I go, okay, I’m going to take a day off and go again. So a couple of days later I went 20 and then I took a day off and went another, you know, every other day I was going and then, that, I went 30 and then I took a day off and I went again and I went 40. And when I went 40, so now we’re eight days later and I did 40 and I was by myself and wasn’t in a group and I went, I think that was probably the turning point. Like, I think I could do 100, I think I could actually do this.

Jeff Zaugg [00:19:32] And the reason I wanted to share that story, Jeremiah, is I think there’s many areas of our life that we could feel stuck or we feel we tried and we hit resistance pretty early on. And to bike 100 miles to feel resistance at six miles is highly like there’s no way if you hit resistance that early, but eight days later you’re doing 40 miles, which is not actually recommended for many of our training. You don’t do that because you’re one. You’re just sitting on the seat of that bike for 40 miles with only eight days in is going to be highly painful. But you did it.

Jeremiah Curran [00:20:05] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:20:05] And there’s another story that I think ties in before we go to practical application, which is you realizing, hey, I want to take health a little more seriously. And so I know this about you through friends of yours, but I know you’ve also even share with your church like, like this is this is a game changer saying this is something I don’t want to coast into this season of life. I want to actually be intentional. I don’t know the whole story, though. Could you share a little bit of what happened?

Jeremiah Curran [00:20:29] Yeah, I mean, I was, long story short, I mean, I was always athletic.

Jeff Zaugg [00:20:33] Right.

Jeremiah Curran [00:20:34] So a high school athlete played sports, got to college and was on the cafeteria meal plan and took full advantage of that, you know, and it’s a they say it’s the freshman 15. But my first year, I put on 30 cases. I know I’m a overachiever here.

Jeff Zaugg [00:20:49] Freshman year for me, yeah, I gained 50 pounds and four inches my freshman year.

Jeremiah Curran [00:20:54] Oh, in height?

Jeff Zaugg [00:20:55] In height.

Jeremiah Curran [00:20:56] Well, see, Yeah helps.

Jeff Zaugg [00:20:57] That, that’s different, but that’s still a lot of pounds in one year.

Jeremiah Curran [00:21:00] That’s a lot of punds in one year. So I gained 30 pounds, no inches in height. Yeah. And, but I was pretty, I mean I was pretty skinny but definitely. And then we got married, right? I was 19, we were in college when we got married and, and then I was a youth pastor. And so I’m I’m hanging out with teenagers, I’m eating fast food and pizza and lock ins and just, you know, just pretty much just not thinking about health. And then we started having kids and then it was like, oh, my, I mean, my wife wants ice cream, you know, of course I’m going to…

Jeff Zaugg [00:21:29] We’re together together in this.

Jeremiah Curran [00:21:30] Yeah. I’m going have ice cream with you. Yeah. Oh, you don’t want ice cream? I’ll have it for you. You know, it’s like there’s all kinds of reasons. And I think over the years then, you know, when I turned 30, when we started the church, I was 26 when we started the church and I was 240 pounds. Okay. But I carried it. I still play basketball all the time. It’s still like I just I was always athletic and I didn’t realize how much nutrition mattered. And so even through all the way through my thirties, I’m like, man, I should lose weight. I should lose weight. I hit 40. And it was, COVID hit like three weeks later, after my 40th birthday. And I was like, okay, my kids, like, I want to be around. I want to be the fun, active grandpa. Not the grandpa that, like, they come and they just give a hug to and like, and then I get to watch from, you know, my rocking chair.

Jeff Zaugg [00:22:24] Recliner.

Jeremiah Curran [00:22:25] Like, I want to be out rolling around with them in the grass, my grandkids, you know, not just my kids. And when I think about my dad, I love my dad, have so much respect for my dad. But there hasn’t been a season in my dad’s life where he hasn’t been trying to lose weight. And I thought to myself, I’ve been saying this for long enough. Like I’ve been saying, this is my year for, like, 15 years in a row now. This, I got to actually do something. And what I didn’t realize was the emotional attachment I had to food.

Jeff Zaugg [00:22:55] Yeah,.

Jeremiah Curran [00:22:55] And that was everything. When I when I could start to realize that food was for fuel. And I and I just, I, I entered into a health pro, I got a health coach, I went to a program and it was like that changed everything. I was like, Oh yeah. When I’m bored, I go to the pantry. Oh, when I’m stressed, I’d go to Culver’s. Oh, even when I’m, had a great day, I celebrate with food.

Jeff Zaugg [00:23:21] Sure.

Jeremiah Curran [00:23:22] Every holiday, every birthday, every party is all centered around food. I didn’t, I think I have a really unhealthy emotional attachment to food. And and when I realized that and just started using it for fuel, to fuel my body, and not to actually satisfy my emotions, the the pounds melted away. So over seven months, I lost 70 pounds.

Jeff Zaugg [00:23:44] Wow.

Jeremiah Curran [00:23:45] And and I’ve been maintaining that for the last two years.

Jeff Zaugg [00:23:49] And that was before this bike ride story? You had the weight off right before.

Jeremiah Curran [00:23:54] Yeah. But the the idea of it actually was far less about a plan and a work in pressure yourself through. It was a..

Jeff Zaugg [00:24:03] It was a shift is what it sounds like.

Jeremiah Curran [00:24:05] The biggest thing that changed was my was mental.

Jeff Zaugg [00:24:07] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:24:08] Because once I realized what food is for and what I’d been using it for, it was like, Oh, well, I just have to, I have to start using it differently. I have to start using it to fuel my body and not to satisfy my emotions. And when I fuel my body properly, then your body responds, you know? And so, yeah, I, we were talking about that a little bit. Just, I, I totally changed my nutrition plan completely. I mean, and, and it’s weird, I don’t miss it because you realize I can actually satisfy my emotions other ways and other ways to do that. Food is actually for fuel.

Jeff Zaugg [00:24:45] What are some examples of other ways that instead of that stop at Culver’s to celebrate or on the rough day? What is the other examples of how you satisfy the emotional?

Jeremiah Curran [00:24:54] Yeah, I mean, when you’re when you’re stressed, you have to just it’s still like this kneejerk reaction, like, oh, man, I just want a bag of chips right now, you know? And for me, it was never sweets and everybody has their thing, right? For me, it was like anything, anything fried and grease or or salty. It was like my go to and it’s I just have to pause and go, Oh, you know what? If I’m hungry, that’s a reason to eat. If I’m stressed, that’s not a good reason to eat. Right? So if I’m hungry, let’s get some fuel. If I’m stressed, man, really, oh, wait a second. That’s not a good reason to feel my body. So what else can I do? I can talk to someone. I can go on a bike ride. I can, I can work out, I can I can just go for a walk, I can read a book. There’s so many things I can do that I enjoy doing that actually help relieve my stress. I can call a friend. For me, I’m a massive extrovert, so sometimes it’s just it’s pausing long enough to recognize that kneejerk reaction towards food and then redirecting it towards something that actually fills your tank.

Jeff Zaugg [00:25:53] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:25:54] So for me, it would be like, oh, you know, phone a friend like this is easy, I’ll just get it. And then I forget about, Oh, that’s right. And I start talking with a buddy and all of a sudden it’s like, No, I’m good.

Jeff Zaugg [00:26:04] So the the destination or the reason for the change was thinking grandkids and active. You know, you had that all along and there was just something shifted that you found this aha, like I had it wrong, my approach. To take that back to the story about biking, there’s also, for our Fathers for the Fatherless team, have a destination which is the team biking 100 miles for a cause that matters and and in the same way, I guess, I’m curious if it was because of the commitment in the team and I do the hard things that I say I’m going to do or if it was the mission like it was. What caused you to keep going versus give up on the bike ride side?

Jeremiah Curran [00:26:43] Part of it is the extrovert me.

Jeff Zaugg [00:26:44] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:26:44] So part of it’s the team.

Jeff Zaugg [00:26:45] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:26:47] Part of it is we just believe so much in the mission and then I think part of it is just like, dude, I don’t want to give, I’m not, I can’t quit. Yeah. You know, like, six miles, and I’m done. That can’t be my story. You know, like that cannot be…

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:05] Yes.

Jeremiah Curran [00:27:05] …The story that I tell is like, yeah, I tried it. I went six miles. And so I was like, I got to get back. I just got to try it again and I got to try it again and I got to try it again. And and then I think slowly my confidence built. It was like, Oh, wow, I can actually do this.

Jeff Zaugg [00:27:21] The reason I wanted you to share these two stories is our kids are watching, you just mentioned, that’s not the story that I wanted to live, like, our kids are watching the story the dad is choosing, the story with our health, the story with how we approach food, the story with do we stick with hard things we decide. The story of do we choose to do something attached to a mission or is it just about us and our thing and we’re centered around our own desires and wants for hobbies and things like that. I I’d love for you to just take us in a little further to how kids are watching and why dads who choose to stick with it and press through resistance, why it’s just like it’s a better story and it helps our kids live better stories. I love that kind of hear you’re thinking around that a little bit.

Jeremiah Curran [00:28:07] Well, I mean, you said it right. And and when you think about it, my story is going to be their story. So, yeah, the things that I face that are hard, they’re going to face hard things, right? So they still I mean, last year, my my 15 year old was in a massive car accident. That’s a really hard thing. And she had a long recovery and it was like there was some stuff she had to go through to get back to wholeness. And so it’s like the things that I face, yeah, that’s my story. But my stories, your story, your stories, everyone, everyone’s story is similar along the way. You’re going to hit a wall. You’re going to hit hard things. You’re going to face something. I want my kids to look at me and go, Oh, okay. Like in the same way that I got through 6 and then 13 and then 40, and it’s like, Oh, I can do this, for myself, I started to see that. I think you can pave the way for your kids when they’re watching and they see that as well. And they go, yeah, he was, I remember that day he came home after the sixth. You know, like, I remember that. And, and then he, you know, laid on the middle of the living room rug for, you know, 45 minutes and didn’t move and groaned and. Yeah. So I think what I think it’s just you said it, they see us. They’re going to face hard things. My story is their story in some way. And it’s everybody’s story. And it’s when they hit that wall, when they hit hard things going, no, I think I think I can get through this. I think I have the confidence. I think I think I can overcome this. I’m at least going to try. And that’s one of the things I learned early on when you start a church is, man, I would way rather, that we fail spectacularly. Like if we fail, it’s going to be a show. If we fail, it’s going to be the most spectacular failure that this city has ever seen.

Jeff Zaugg [00:30:06] Wow. Just all in passion. All, in with the heart. All in with the generousity. Yes, yeah, yes.

Jeremiah Curran [00:30:11] Like, let’s not fail because we like we just didn’t give it everything and go all in. And it was like we gave up. Let’s fail, because, man, we we went so hard after this thing and it just imploded on itself. Okay, I can live with that.

Jeff Zaugg [00:30:26] Yeah. I’ve heard a couple of my mentors talk about that with with parenthood of like, I’m going to give it everything I have and of course my imperfections, but like, my kids are going to know I gave it everything I had versus which we can’t actually give the dad life and our treasured kids everything we have if if we’re actually not eating healthy, if we’re not getting stronger, if we’re not.,So that ties with the other story as well.

Jeremiah Curran [00:30:50] That’s a big part of it, there’s a big part of being a good dad, being someday, you know, an active grandpa, being a good leader, you know, being a being a pastor. It’s like there are so many things that, you know, we try to help people deal with wise decisions in their lives. But here I am, you know, not making wise decisions every single day. And I’m, but for years I’m teaching, you know, about Proverbs and wisdom and, you know, it’s like, but here I am just, you know, not not really living that consistently in my own life. And there’s there’s something to that of going.

Jeff Zaugg [00:31:27] Yeah. I think it’s Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, talks about protect the asset. And that’s our body, our mind, our like energy. So I, I know that both these stories that I had you tell about the bike ride, the six mile bonking, hitting the wall, and and the story about your health preceded the phone call you received last summer about your daughter.

Jeremiah Curran [00:31:49] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:31:49] And I want to protect my four little daughters, yet I can’t control I, we’re not in control. And you had one of those moments of realizing I’m not in control. Can you take us into that story?

Jeremiah Curran [00:32:03] Yeah. It was July 31st. And we actually had a friend in town to speak at the church. So often during the summers, I take weeks off. You’re coming to speak for us this summer. And, and that just helps me prepare for the next school year, so we had a buddy in town, he was staying at our house. Good, good, close friend. He’s going to speak the next day. We’re out to dinner. My daughter’s with her best friend and, and her parents and brother. She’s 15. She’s 15. She’s, she’s 14 at the time.

Jeff Zaugg [00:32:33] 14.

Jeremiah Curran [00:32:34] About to turn 15 and just kind of a freak accident and slid off the road, hit a culvert, flew 80 feet through the air. She’s in the back seat. Her and her friend are in the backseat. The older brother’s driving and and the parents are in another vehicle in front of them. So just following each other and landed I mean straight down, took out a telephone pole, end over end flipped six more times landed in a field upside down. So we’re just at dinner, it’s 5:00, it’s a Saturday night. You know, my buddy Dave is going to speak the next morning and I just get this call and it’s her friend’s mom. But on the other end of the phone is actually, so I pick it up, I’m like, Oh, hey, and it’s actually a police officer calling from her mom’s phone.

Jeff Zaugg [00:33:19] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:33:20] And just said, I just got to confirm identity, you know, kind of go through the main logistics that they do and just said your daughter was in an accident and she’s, she’s unconscious. She’s being airlifted. She’s in critical condition.

Jeff Zaugg [00:33:36] Helicopter flight.

Jeremiah Curran [00:33:37] Yeah. She’s being airlifted. We don’t know where. We don’t know which hospital.

Jeff Zaugg [00:33:42] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:33:43] We’ll call you back. And that’s pretty much it.

Jeff Zaugg [00:33:46] At a restaurant.

Jeremiah Curran [00:33:47] And this is it’s one of those really surreal moments, because right then, it’s like, you know, nobody else knows what’s going on. I’m on this phone call. So you have this server, like right in that moment bringing food, like who’s got the salad and who’s got that? And I’m just like, is this happening right now? Like what? It was almost like an out-of-body experience, so we just literally stood up and left. My buddy goes, Go, go to the truck. They, they paid for everything. We jump in our car, we just start driving towards cities and, we go, it’s going to be the city somewhere. We’re just going to start moving that way. So we’re 10 minutes out. We get a call from HCMC. She’s here. She’s on life support. You know, when you get here, please get here as soon as you can. And, dude. That moment for me was that was the worst moment of my life. And so we’re driving and I’m, and I’m crying and driving and praying.

Jeff Zaugg [00:34:44] Right.

Jeremiah Curran [00:34:45] But I’m also, Khloe is one of the funniest people in the world. And so she is, she makes our whole family laugh. So I’m simultaneously praying, God, please let her be okay. Please let her be okay. Please let her be okay. And at the same time, I’m, I’m imagining our life without her. Mm hmm. And how, how this is going to impact our family. Because I’m going there’s a very real chance she doesn’t survive this. And so I just, just siad okay, God, before she was mine, she was Yours. I just had to tell myself that. Just over and over again. The whole way there. I’m just like before she was before she was ours, she was Yours. So, if if the gift was only 14 years, then what an amazing gift. And if I didn’t get myself in that room, I’d, I would not have been able to walk into that hospital. And so we walked in and met with the chaplain right off the bat, which is like the worst because you’re just like, okay. Just just give it to me, you know.

Jeff Zaugg [00:36:05] Before meeting with the surgeon or doctor, the chaplain.

Jeremiah Curran [00:36:08] Chaplain, and that my wife saw the chaplain, she’s like, no, no, no. She was like, no,didn’t want to talk to him. And he was amazing. And he just, he goes, he calms her, calmed both of us and he’s like, she’s okay. She’s not responsive. Like, she’s, you know, she’s on life support, but they’re, they’re scanning your brain right now, like they just want to make sure. Okay. So then we go up to ICU. And the wild thing is her friend was conscious. Her friend, and, and the brother were both conscious at the scene. Ambulance to a different hospital.

Jeff Zaugg [00:36:50] No, no. No flight for them.

Jeremiah Curran [00:36:52] No flight for them. But then she had to have emergency surgery, her friend. They brought her to HCMC.

Jeff Zaugg [00:36:57] Same hospital.

Jeremiah Curran [00:36:59] Same hospital. Had surgery that night. They ended up in ICU rooms right next to each other. And, you know, they were planning on having a sleepover that night. And and they still had their sleepover, it’s just not the way we were anticipating. And, then, she slowly came out of it over the next couple of days. So this happened on a Saturday. She’s in ICU for two days. They took her off of life support on Monday, moved her to another room Monday night. And then we were home on Wednesday.

Jeff Zaugg [00:37:35] There wasn’t a major surgery for her?

Jeremiah Curran [00:37:37] She had to go back later for some surgeries. She broke all the bones in her face, basically. Orbital socket, cheekbone and jaw and all this stuff. Lacerated spleen, three broken ribs, concussion, stitches.

Jeff Zaugg [00:37:55] Goodness. When were you able to talk to her? When was she conscious? Was the next day?

Jeremiah Curran [00:37:59] We talked to her late Sunday, early Monday morning.

Jeff Zaugg [00:38:03] Okay.

Jeremiah Curran [00:38:03] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:38:04] So, like a full day later?

Jeremiah Curran [00:38:05] They finally they took her off life support. She’s on life support for about a little more than 24 hours. And then they took took everything out. They said, we’re weaning her off. It seems like she’s breathing on her own. We don’t know if she has brain injury, spinal injuries. We’re keeping her sedated. We’re keeping, you know, and then slowly they weaned her off. So by Monday morning, we were really chatting with her.

Jeff Zaugg [00:38:25] You’re home Wednesday?

Jeremiah Curran [00:38:26] We were home on Wednesday. Unbelievable. And then here’s. This is amazing.

Jeff Zaugg [00:38:31] Okay.

Jeremiah Curran [00:38:33] She has to have bones in her face, you know, realign a titanium plate put in. I’m just in awe of modern technology and medicine because they went in through her mouth, made an incision in her gum line and went up behind. And he said, you know, we try to do that because then she’ll have no scars on her face.

Jeff Zaugg [00:38:57] There’s no external incision on her face?

Jeremiah Curran [00:39:00] No external incisions at all. And I go, that’s that’s, A) it’s just absolutely amazing you can do that. But B) It’s so thoughtful. You know, how very thoughtful. I mean, for a 14 year old girl that’s so thoughtful of you. And so and so she went in, she had a titanium plate put in her face, three screws holding the bones all together. And and then she just recently, a couple of months ago, went in and had that plate removed. And so now she is 100%.

Jeff Zaugg [00:39:27] Wow.

Jeremiah Curran [00:39:28] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:39:28] So you’ve shared a little of this already, but I mean, the internal wrestling.

Jeremiah Curran [00:39:33] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:39:33] On the drive there, there was some of that. Then there’s the day of waiting to have the first conversation. The not knowing, spinal damage, like the, can you just share any anything else for us that are just like I cannot imagine being in that place and everything like I, I see the role of being a dad as a gift. But like we feel, I feel that gift is owed to me for longer than 14 years. Yeah, that’s that’s my that’s me saying how it is like.

Jeremiah Curran [00:40:03] Well, and I think every dad does, I think every parent does. But I think it’s in specifically in those moments where you have to come to grips with the fact that you’re not owed. You’re not owed tomorrow. None of us are. And it’s one of those weird things because subconsciously you’re like, Yeah, you know, you think you’re going to live forever, you know? And it’s like, the truth is, when you’re faced with a true life and death situation, you, you, you don’t have a choice. You have to come to terms with the fact that you are not promised tomorrow and that whatever that gift is, however long it is, you were never owed in the first place. If it’s a gift, you were never owed in the first place.

Jeff Zaugg [00:40:40] That’s true.

Jeremiah Curran [00:40:40] And, and so it’s like, I’m looking at people in my own church who have lost, babies.

Jeff Zaugg [00:40:48] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:40:48] And there’s no way I can there’s no way I can take for granted the gift of 14 years when they had a week or three days.

Jeff Zaugg [00:40:56] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:40:57] And so I’m reconciling that not only as a as a, as a dad and a parent, but also as a, not even a pastor, but just as a Jesus follower. Going, I know people in my church, I’ve I’ve officiated the funerals of babies and I’ve been in the hospital with them when they had to say goodbye after two or three days. So the fact that I cannot, I can’t allow myself to go to the point where I feel anger or bitterness when I’ve had 14, almost 15 years. So if if this is the direction it goes, I had I had to prepare my heart ahead of time. If this is direction it goes, then, God, you’ve given me more than I deserve. And she was already yours. And so that and I, I really, I spoke that Sunday.

Jeff Zaugg [00:41:50] Wait, wait. You spoke the next day?

Jeremiah Curran [00:41:53] So we have a Wednesday. So we get home Wednesday. My body was in town speaking that Sunday. We get home from the hospital Wednesday. And everybody was like you don’t have to speak, you don’t speak. I just I go, I really feel like I want to. Like I would not if I didn’t feel it, but I feel like I want to. And I really wanted to address people, I knew there were people in our church who had lost kids. I knew there were people in our church who had lost teenage daughters to car accidents. And mine survived. How do you reconcile that? So I needed to speak into that and go, Look, this is where, there’s a very real chance that we would have lost her, and I needed to, I need you to hear that, no matter what it’s a gift.

Jeff Zaugg [00:42:40] Yeah. Yeah. And I will link that message. I have the YouTube link of that message already for some of our listeners are going to want to just hear what were your the more extended version of how you wrestled through and trusted through…

Jeremiah Curran [00:42:54] Yeah.

Jeff Zaugg [00:42:55] …that. I’m grateful to just enter in with you sharing that story and to just, I feel like it rattles me in a really good kind of rattling. We pray for that with this with this podcast that we had, we would not listen with comfort in our ears to this, but that we would be rattled and be willing to wrestle into. And yeah, just not, not, not say that’ll never happen to me. But let’s let’s actually let’s trust now for because we can’t control.

Jeremiah Curran [00:43:23] Yeah. Yeah. And this is the crazy thing is, you know, and then her friend is 16 and got her driver’s license and she’s like, Hey, can I go ride with Lilly? Right. And it’s like it’s like, these are the two girls, you know, that we love so much. And you’re like, Yeah, like, that was tough and that was a tough day to be like, but but what are you going to do? Like, lock her in the house for the rest of her life? So you go, yep, go, have fun. Please be careful.

Jeff Zaugg [00:43:47] But we’re not bubble wrapping our kids.

Jeremiah Curran [00:43:49] Nope. Yeah. So it’s like. All right, go for it.

Jeff Zaugg [00:43:52] Wow. Well, about half of the notes that I had we didn’t talk about today. Yeah, that’s okay. I wanted to ask Jeremiah, is there anything else that you were like, hey, this might be helpful to the dads listing? Anything else we haven’t talked about that you think you want to bring up?

Jeremiah Curran [00:44:06] Yeah. This has been a mantra for me for the last two years. I picked this up two years ago from one of my coaches, and it’s been like the most freeing thing I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s helped me, I think it’s helped me be a better person. I think it’s helped me be a better follower of Jesus. I think it’s helped me be a better pastor. It’s definitely help me to be a better dad and husband. And it’s just you’ve got nothing to prove and nobody to impress. And I was with a coach and he there was probably eight of us in the room. And he went around the room and goes, he goes, how many of you know the first name of your great grandfather? And not a single guy, I go, holy crap. I don’t know the first name of my great grandfather. And I assume he was Great Grandpa Curran, you know, like, I don’t know. And he goes, Exactly. And he just goes, Here’s the deal. We get so caught up in legacy. Legacy, legacy, legacy. Like, what is my legacy that I’m going to leave in the world? And he goes, And here’s the reality. You’re going to die. And the people who like they love you right now. Like, I mean, they they think you walk on water. They think you’re incredible, like those people at your funeral, they’re going to come to your funeral and they’re going to eat cake and they’re going to go back to work.

Jeff Zaugg [00:45:32] Yes.

Jeremiah Curran [00:45:34] And you’re like, yeah, you’re right. And he’s like, so why are you why do you let them occupy so much space in your mind about trying to please them with some kind of legacy that doesn’t even exist? Hmm. Here’s your legacy, your spouse and your kids. He said, those people, those people, your life is going to make a thousand times more of an impact on your spouse and your kids than the people you pastor, the people that are part of your church, any leadership thing you ever do, like they see you from afar. But it’s, you know, the thing that you want. The people who know you the best should love and respect you the most. And that’s your legacy. So stop worrying, stop worrying about stuff. You got nothing to prove yet nobody to impress you do the best you can do and you leave it up to God. And it was like, Wow. Okay.

Jeff Zaugg [00:46:25] You kind of breathe differently after that.

Jeremiah Curran [00:46:27] Yeah. Hmm. Yeah. And just an example from my experience as a pastor, right. So this was this is helpful because it was one pastor coach to another. And but you can apply this in any any field. He said there were a lot of days on Sundays where I’d be going in and knowing the message I’m about to give is a C plus.

Jeff Zaugg [00:46:49] Sure.

Jeff Zaugg [00:46:49] And you’re like, That’s so funny. And he goes, Yeah, it’s a C plus. So I could either spend a few hours on Saturday tweaking it and making it better and miss my son’s basketball game or I can be there at that game and just give a C plus message. Mm hmm. But if I give C plus messages and then maybe some B-plus messages consistently every single weekend for 40 years, not every meal is Thanksgiving dinner, it’s just, it’s just good sustenance.

Jeff Zaugg [00:47:21] Yeah.

Jeremiah Curran [00:47:22] And he’s like, That’s my job. My job is to be faithful. My job is not to be, have this incredible, excellent legacies. Like, my job is to be faithful, and my legacy is my family. Nothing, nothing to prove, nobody to impress.

Jeff Zaugg [00:47:37] You know, it’s a perfect spot to invite you to pray over all of us listening. And we’re very grateful for you taking this time, Jermeiah. Would you say a prayer for that theme, but also that theme of trusting and giving thanks for the gift and believing that the chapter is it, it’s a gift, even if something happened. Like, can we walk with that confidence that God has given a good gift?

Jeremiah Curran [00:48:00] Yeah. God, first, thanks for my friend Jeff and for all the things that he’s doing. And for his family and his girls, and God, we’re just we do recognize really every breath is a gift. Every moment is a gift because we’re never promised another one and you don’t owe it to us. Everything we’ve experienced up until this very moment is just a gift from you, and we sort of give lip service to that. But really, when we when the proverbial fertilizer hits the wall, it’s we’re forced to come to grips with that as a reality. And so my prayer for everybody listening, for anybody who may stumble into this conversation someday is God, make us aware of that. Open our eyes to see and to, really, flavor to take in and savor the the, the moment. Help us not to miss it. Presence matters with our kids. And so we just pray, open our eyes to see that we’ve got nothing to prove, nobody to impress. Help us just to be faithful day in and day out over a lifetime. And, God, we pray for the kids that are represented in each of the families. Our ultimate goal is that they would transfer their dependance from us to you, that they would trust you, that they would follow you. And we just pray wisdom and clarity, give us eyes to see that each moment is a gift. We commit this to you, Jesus name. Amen.

Jeff Zaugg [00:49:42] Thanks so much for joining us for Episode 241 with Jeremiah Curran. All of the show notes, the links, the conversation quotes and some action steps are going to be at dadAWESOME.org/241. I want to remind you guys, we’re continuing to grow the Fathers for the Fatherless movement. We’ve got some really fun announcements coming out shortly. It’s not just going to be cycling events as we move into 2023. So keep it, keep an eye out. We’ll be announcing those on Instagram and here on the podcast, as well. Guys, thanks for listening today. Thanks for choosing, man, I’m going to be that dad who pursues the hearts of his kids. I’m going to be that dad who prays for his kids, who learns and grows and reads books and says, I’m not going to stop. I’m going to continue to learn and press in because this matters. It really, really matters. So guys, have a great week. Have fun with your kids. Thank you for listening. Thank you for being dadAWESOME.