Episode 261 (The Zaugg Family)
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 gonna give it my all.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:00:38] Welcome back to dadAWESOME. Guys, today, Episode 261, this is our five year celebration. So the podcast started five years ago, January 22nd, 2018. So at that point I was the dad of two little girls, a one and a half year old and a four and a half year old. Now I have four daughters. At that point, my wife and I, we were living in Minnesota and I was serving as a pastor of a church. Now I live in an RV with my four daughters and my wife, now we are traveling the country. Many things have changed over these five years. But guys, I am so grateful. This is this started this was a ten week experiment, a little side passion project to help dads love being dad. Help dads add some intentionality to the dad life, lead their kids to Jesus. That was that’s it. I mean, this thing started from a, let’s just try this to help the dads in my own church, to help my dad’s and my own, just my friends, that’s where this thing started. And here we are five years later, 261 episodes of the podcast later, two RV tours later. Here we are recording a celebration for the five year. And I decided this guys, instead of doing a solo episode, some of my friends, I’ve got a few friends who host podcast and they asked me, how often do you do solo episodes? And the answer has been in the last 12 months, I think once. I think I’ve done one solo episode in the last year. I decided I don’t want to do a solo episode for our five year celebration. It’d be the natural thing to do is do a solo episode, just my voice. Instead, I actually am going to be joined by five guests. Today, I’m going to have five people join me. I’ve never had five guests in one episode before. The five guests are my five favorite people in the entire world. Guys, my wife and four daughters are joining me for episode 261. To celebrate five years, I’ve got my wife and daughters joining. I’m going to share one quick thing first before I jump to my back to back to back to back to back yes, with my four daughters and my wife. I’m going to share this first, this I read this morning. I’ve been trying to wake up early, about 5 a.m. to spend extended time just soaking, reading, meditating, just being kind of immersed in God’s Word, in the Bible, in prayer, in my current method is a $5 notebook that I picked up at a dollar store. Usually dollar stores a dollar, but this was a $5 notebook. I’m writing in black ink one verse at a time from Psalm Chapter 119 in black ink. And then I’m, in blue ink, writing a prayer that accompanies that verse. And then I go to the next verse and the next verse. So I’m through 80 verses of that Psalm, kind of meditating, praying my way through that Psalm, and I’m doing it in a paraphrased translation in The Passion translation. So this is, I’m on verse 80 was this morning. I do about three or four verses a day and then go on to other reading. But this is this is what it says. Psalm 119, verse 80 in The Passion translation, Make me passionate and wholehearted to fulfill your every wish so that I’ll never have to be ashamed of myself. Okay, one more time. Verse 80 Make me passionate and wholehearted to fulfill your every wish so that I’ll never have to be ashamed of myself. It is still the norm as I chat with people who are grandparents, it’s more of the norm someone in their sixties and seventies eighties to say, Man, I missed it, I wish I would have spent more intentionality pursuing the hearts of my kids. Man, I missed it, I didn’t put enough focus on my marriage in that season. I put too much focus on generating assets and wealth, not enough focus on being a dad. So guys, that’s when I think of so that I’ll never be ashamed of myself, I just know that this is a possible area for shame to come into our hearts. Presently I’m 40 years old today. It’s an easy area for shame to sneak in. That’s from the enemy, that’s from Satan, that’s not from God, when shame comes in. But this verse ends with So I’ll never be ashamed myself. We can make decisions that lead to guilt and shame in the future, and we can make decisions in this case that says Make me passionate and wholehearted to fulfill your every wish. That’s my prayer over you guys. It’s my prayer over myself that we would be dads who are passionate and wholehearted to fulfill God’s every wish. And His every wish is that we would see the role as being dads, as a gift from heaven, that we would walk into this role with passion, not perfection. We would be passionate about being dads, that we would experience wholehearted, that we would actually experience healing and bring our whole hearts to being dads, that we would not bring hurts and pains to pass on to our kids, but we would experience God’s healing and a restoration in our hearts would be turned to our kids, guys. Wholeheartedness, is, I believe, is at the center of God’s heart, for us and that we would follow God’s every wish. He has so many wishes, so many gifts, so many blessings, so many like His goodness and Fatherhood is everywhere. But the norm is for guys to complain their way through fatherhood. The goal is for people to arrive in their sixties, seventies, eighties, wishing they had done things different in the younger years of being a dad. And my prayer and I think I would not at all say mission accomplished, after five years, I would say we’re just getting started. But we have seen stories, testimonies. I personally have experienced more passion. I’ve become a step more wholehearted, and I believe I’m a step more in tune with God’s heart and His every wish. And, man, the promise attached to is, so I’ll never have to be ashamed of myself. Psalm 119, verse 80. So that’s my prayer. That’s my prayer for you guys and my prayer for today as I just do a little nugget, little short conversation with each of my daughters and my wife, is that you guys would experience a little more passion for fatherhood and you’d walk it a little more wholehearted and man, you’d pay attention to God’s wishes. He’s got good wishes, good plans, good gifts for you as a dad and man that we get to walk in freedom and never be ashamed. So that’s my prayer for you guys. Let’s jump in. This is my sequence of conversations with my five favorite people in the entire world. Welcome to episode 161, our five year celebration for the podcast. Hi, microphone.
Zara Zaugg: [00:07:10] Hello microphone.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:07:10] Can you say, my name is Zara?
Zara Zaugg: [00:07:14] Hello.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:07:15] Hello. Say podcast.
Zara Zaugg: [00:07:17] Podcast.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:07:18] Welcome to dadAWESOME.
Zara Zaugg: [00:07:21] dadAWESOME.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:07:24] Kiva, you are now nine and a half years old. Is there anything you want to say to the dads listening on the five year celebration? Anything you want to say to the dads?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:07:33] Happy five years!
Jeff Zaugg: [00:07:33] Would you say you’re glad that your dad leads this ministry called dadAWESOME, or does it make you sad that I lead this ministry? [
Kiva Zaugg: [00:07:43] It’s fun because we get to travel around for Fathers for the Fatherless and dadAWESOME.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:07:49] So you you like that We get to travel? Is this our second year of living in the RV?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:07:53] Kind of.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:07:54] Kind of, because we did half a year, last year. That’s right. So if it wasn’t for this ministry, it wasn’t for Fathers for the Fatherless events around the country, you probably…
Kiva Zaugg: [00:08:02] And dadAWESOME too, because you could…
Jeff Zaugg: [00:08:04] Yeah.
Kiva Zaugg: [00:08:05] Do interviews.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:08:05] Yeah, I interview people along the way. So it is pretty cool that we get to do it as a family. What if your dad led a ministry called dadAWESOME and I hopped on an airplane twice a month and flew away from my four daughters..
Kiva Zaugg: [00:08:18] Twice a month?
Jeff Zaugg: [00:08:19] How would that feel if I led dadAWESOME and I flew away from you to go places without my kids?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:08:24] That would not be, that would not make sense. Because if you’re leading a ministry that’s helping dads be more intentional, then you’re not being more intentional by flying away from us, that just doesn’t make sense.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:08:36] Is that kind of why God led us to live in the RV? [00:08:39][2.7]
Kiva Zaugg: [00:08:39] Mmhm.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:08:40] Yeah, you’re right. That’s it, it didn’t make sense, but yet I did that. I did one flight away from you guys. Just, just once.
Kiva Zaugg: [00:08:48] That was the Philadelphia one. Right? No. That was the New York. That was the New York.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:08:52] Yes. Could you just help everybody know, in case they don’t know, what Fathers for the Fatherless is? Can you tell me what that is?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:08:57] Fathers for the Fatherless is bike, they do bike rides around the country that raise money for kids without dads.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:09:05] Yeah, usually the bike rides are, how far do we ride?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:09:08] 100 miles.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:09:09] So, great job explaining what Fathers for the Fatherless does. I guess I would love to hear, Kiva, what makes a dad, dadAWESOME? Any ideas of some of the things that make, that cause a dad to be dadAWESOME?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:09:24] Spending time with their kids. Like doing fun things. Doing Daddy Dates. Those are, those are fun. And just being around, like, instead of, like, always going somewhere with your free time, when you’re not at work, then and then spending time with your kids or going to places with your kids.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:09:51] Yeah, great. I mean, that is a lot of what we pray for with dadAWESOME is that dads would do those exact things. Another thing we hope for is that dads will lead their kids to Jesus. The dads would experience the love of God and help their kids understand how much God loves them.
Kiva Zaugg: [00:10:12] It’s kind of like when a waterfall comes down, you feel like a mist coming from when you’re even when you’re not under the waterfall, you still can get wet.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:10:20] Mm hmm.
Kiva Zaugg: [00:10:20] Just like God’s the waterfall. And then..
Jeff Zaugg: [00:10:24] Who should step under that waterfall? Who do you think should step under the waterfall?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:10:27] Your dad.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:10:28] Yes. And if the kids are anywhere nearby, is there a chance that the water is going to going to get off of them?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:10:36] Mm hmm.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:10:37] Yes. Great is the love our Father has lavished on us that we should be called Children of God. And that is what we are. Lavish. The word lavished means ridiculous waste. Extravagant, crazy amount. There’s actually a waterfall that we were at down here in South Florida where we’re recording at this water park that we jumped off the side of the pool under the waterfall, and it shot us down in the pool. You remember that?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:11:04] Yeah.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:11:05] Like a waterfall is powerful, super powerful. So if we can step under the love of God, if the dads can do that, experience the love of God, experience healing and forgiveness and experience all God’s heart for them. Then those dads, the mist, as you called it, the mist can get off of them and their kids can feel. Can I give you an example?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:11:26] Mm hmm.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:11:27] So we were in a fishing boat up at Nana and Papa’s when Papa was sick. So when you’re, when you’re Papa, my dad, was sick with cancer, we were in a fishing boat, and you were fishing. And what book was I reading to you? Do you remember reading a book to you when we were in the in the boat?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:11:45] Pilgrim’s Progress.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:11:47] Pilgrim’s Progress. Which is a really old book, but we read the kids version. As I was reading that book, I was feeling so much of God’s love because I was hurt, I was sad because my dad was sick at the time and now Papa’s in heaven. I was reading Pilgrim’s Progress, feeling the love of God, sharing it with you, because I was reading it and we talked about it. I mean, I cried. You didn’t cry. I cried because I was feeling God’s love. The story of the burden that he was carrying in the cross and how because of Jesus, the burden came tumbling off His back. The big backpack that Christian was carrying went rolling down the hill and he was so light and so free. We were telling, we were talking about and I was I was feeling emotional about God’s great love. That was just one example of a book that we read together and I experienced love, but I got to do it with you, with you. Sometimes, sunsets, beautiful sunsets have been moments that I felt the love of God and I mean sunsets and sunrises.
Kiva Zaugg: [00:12:40] Because it’s God painting the sky with His colors.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:12:43] Yeah. It’s amazing. Remember when we went surfing early morning in the waves were really, really powerful? You remember that?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:12:49] Was it, was that one in Oceanside?
Jeff Zaugg: [00:12:51] In Oceanside, California. Was that a scary one? It was cold and scary. It was powerful waves. So that was a sunrise. And what surfaced next to us? Was there something that came to the surface of the water?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:13:03] Dolphins.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:13:04] Dolphins. That, to me, was a moment of like, we’re doing something cold. It was early. It was a little bit dangerous. We each had our own surfboards. We were out there and it was kind of crazy. But those dolphins, when they popped up, that was a moment I was like, This is totally God’s like God in creation, doing a special thing for me and my daughter. I felt his love in that moment. So there’s lots of ways, I mean, praying before bed together we can feel God’s love. Do you remember when Ruthie decided to follow Jesus? When she came home from camp and I sang the song, I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided… So, I sing that song to say good night to girls. What did Ruthie say, that evening?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:13:52] I decided to follow Jesus at camp.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:13:53] She said, I did that.
Kiva Zaugg: [00:13:54] I did that.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:13:57] And then, and then we ran and got Mom right?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:14:01] Yeah. We were like, Mama.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:14:02] What? And we all celebrated as a family that Ruthie decided to follow Jesus.
Kiva Zaugg: [00:14:05] She didn’t even tell us until you started singing.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:14:07] That was a moment that I felt God’s love. I was under the waterfall of God’s love.
Kiva Zaugg: [00:14:12] Before Ruthie even told you?
Jeff Zaugg: [00:14:12] No, when she told me, I was just like, This is the most amazing thing. Heaven is celebrating. Heaven is having a dance party. We’ve got to have a dance party. And we celebrated like crazy. One other example of a time that I felt God’s love and I felt like you actually is your kinder date. Do you remember? Can you explain what a kinder date is?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:14:32] A kinder day is celebrating going to kindergarten. It’s like, yeah, it’s celebrating going to kindergarten. You do something you don’t usually do.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:14:40] And did you have a day with dad and day with mom? Two separate kinder dates?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:14:43] Yeah, two separate ones.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:14:45] Pretty special. Pretty special. So, ours we did like an indoor obstacle course, indoor playground, trampoline park. We did a movie, we did Chick-Fil-A, we did a lot of fun stuff together. But at the end of that kinder date, do you remember me getting a basin of warm water and us washing your feet? Do you remember us washing your feet?
Kiva Zaugg: [00:15:05] No.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:15:05] You don’t remember it? It was a long time ago. So it was late in the evening and you were tired. You were kind of sleepy. So we washed your feet with a little soft rag and some soapy water. Mommy and I prayed for you and we washed your feet, the evening before you went to kindergarten. That’s a long time ago.
Kiva Zaugg: [00:15:22] I think I vaguely remember that.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:15:24] Yeah, because it was late at night, the night before you went to kindergarten. But it’s okay if you don’t remember it. Because it was a moment, though, that I felt God’s love. Because it was a moment of showing you this is we serve you, we love you, we’re down washing your feet, praying for you. You can go be a servant. You can love kids. You can be kind. Kind Kiva, We talked about as you went to kindergarten. That was pretty special. Just examples. These are all just examples of ways that we can feel God’s love and help our kids feel God’s love. Kiva, thank you for being a guest on the five year Celebration Episode. High five. Love you, Kiva.
Kiva Zaugg: [00:15:58] Love you.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:16:03] Often I start the podcast with saying something like, This is so fun. This week on the podcast I have blank. And this week my favorite person in the entire world is joining me and is holding a microphone across the room for me. Michelle, I love you. I’m thrilled that this year we’re going to celebrate 17 years of marriage. I’m confident that dadAWESOME does not exist without you. I’m confident that just about every part of my leadership is made better, stronger, more effective, more fruitful because of you. And I’m just really, really thankful to celebrate five years of this ministry with you. And I love you.
Michelle Zaugg: [00:16:46] I love you.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:16:47] Five years ago, I recorded the first episode on a sledding hill. It was December of 2018, and I came home just filled with passion because it had been three or four weeks, I’ve been thinking about, at that point, thinking about what if I had a resource to help dads, help myself, help other dads? And I called it, do remember the name that I called that first episode?
Michelle Zaugg: [00:17:06] Dad Ventures.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:17:08] Dad Ventures. So the whole idea, right, was dads leading adventures with their kids, leading the adventurous life. And you watched and listened cause it was both audio and video filmed at a sledding hill in the cold. And I put a lot of my heart into that episode. And you your response to remember your response to that first episode?
Michelle Zaugg: [00:17:27] I thought you should do another take.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:17:31] I mean, I was kind of kind of crushed because your opinion was it’s not, and I wasn’t sending that out to the world, was going to be out to about 20 of my friends, emailed, and you’re like, It’s not good enough. Do another take. Because in your and I value this so much like your heart was, you were actually calling me into, you can you can do better, you can make a better resource. You can actually bring a second or third take and be a lot more effective. But either way, I was crushed in that moment because a lot of my heart, a lot of passion, I sat out in the cold, recording. So, I, looking back five years, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for sending me to do another take. Thank you for your heart to see the ministry be better, more excellent, more effective. And I went back out a few days later and recorded episode one and changed the name, you didn’t even give me the feedback in the name, you’re just like, The content can be better. The delivery can be better. So it was titled We Trust God. And here is the core verse that I shared, this is the paraphrase message version of Proverbs 3:5-8. Trust God from the bottom of your heart. Don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go, He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God. And I really feel like I share that verse even on that very first Dad Ventures episode. I mean, the line on don’t try to figure out everything on your own, my default is, I’ll pray to God, I’ll get passionate and I’ll go do the thing. And a lot of times my default is not to seek feedback, seek critique. Yet, you bring and I believe you bring God’s voice, you bring, you hear from God, and you’ve brought really an answer to that, that promise, that prayer on Proverbs 3:5-8 and not trying to figure out everything on my own. dadAWESOME is not where it’s today, if it wasn’t for you and it started at that one little pivot of record another take of episode one, but it goes way beyond that. Any more reflections from you, Michelle? And just like how at times I need another voice and another encouragement or hey, go try that one again.
Michelle Zaugg: [00:19:38] Yeah, well, I think we’re a good team because I tend to want to work on it, work on it, get feedback, you know, on things that I’m doing, or just things as a family, be more hesitant to just go do something. And so I think that’s why we are a good team is because you love to just go do it. And I have a little bit more of a wanting to critique it and make it better. And so…
Jeff Zaugg: [00:20:02] Yeah, you’re a developer and you’ve helped to develop me, develop the content. I mean an email that I want to send out, you’ll be like, Come on, let me, just give me, take it, or even help make it better, make it better. I’m like, It’s good enough. You’re like, No, that five minute video can be two and a half minutes. Let’s go. Another take. I mean, there’s been a lot over these five years. It’s been a lot. Not every episode, but you’ve you’ve really contributed a lot, a lot of your gifting to make dadAWESOME, I believe, better. The theme for that first episode and the theme out of this, these passages is really around hearing God’s voice and running to God. And I was just curious any ways that you’ve seen me run to God and me listen for His voice? Because I think that’s a principle that all of us dads can like, do more. We can turn that dial of intentionality. I want to do it even more. Have you seen any specific ways that I’ve done that over these years?
Michelle Zaugg: [00:20:51] Yeah, Well, even, I mean, when this started, like, you were listening, you were you were noticing and listening and even seeing a need that you had, you know, that you didn’t feel like was being met. I feel like that’s something you’re really good at is seeing a need, a need and then going and trying to meet it. And that’s something I really love about you is that you start stuff and so maybe you just want to share like about how you even started. Yeah.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:21:21] Because it really was from from hearing God’s voice. So I moved roles from a campus pastor, small groups pastor, this was years even before starting dadAWESOME, to a kids ministry role in an interim role, it was going to be a 5 to 6 month interim role and it turned out…
Michelle Zaugg: [00:21:37] I think it was supposed to be like 9 to 12.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:21:39] Was it supposed to be 9-12? Thank you. You’re also good at remembering details and but it turned into like three and a half years. Is that is that accurate?
Michelle Zaugg: [00:21:45] Yeah. Yep.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:21:46] So way longer of doing kids ministry. I had no idea at the time, but I was still doing like listening for God’s voice, trying to like, pause. Actually, even monthly, I would take a prayer day and listen for God’s voice. And what happened is because of that change and the extended timeline of doing kids ministry, leading as a kids pastor, I believe I saw from that perspective all these dads that we were offering nothing, as a church, we weren’t offering anything for tools, for resources, a pathway of being the way we call it now, the pathway.
Michelle Zaugg: [00:22:14] And that’s how most churches are. Most churches are, it’s not anything about, you know.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:22:19] Yeah. You check their small groups directory, check their ministries, from any church website or even call and ask, and it’s very, very rare that someone’s doing something to help in the area of intentional fatherhood, of a pathway of being dadAWESOME. So that’s where the need originated. But then it was like, Well, let me just try something. I was like, Let’s try something. And that’s where it was a ten week trial of like, I’ll just do ten episodes for my friends. I was office social media that entire year. So I just emailed out to my friends, these video links, the one that episode one, the one that you which now has over a thousand listens and views.
Michelle Zaugg: [00:22:49] That’s so funny.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:22:50] Which is wild. I’m glad you something back to do another take. Any any other just like these are ways that I that you’ve seen me listen for the voice of God?
Michelle Zaugg: [00:22:58] Yeah, well I think those prayer days are important to talk about because that’s really been a huge direction for our family. And I try to do them too. But it’s it feels harder sometimes for me to do it. But I, just you taking that first day of the month, we learned about that from a friend of ours who was really consistent about doing this for years and years. They have they have six kids now and like their families, just really thriving. And we admired, they just had three at the time, I think when we heard about it and just seeing how God was directing their family by him taking these monthly prayer days, it was like the first day of the month. And so you started doing that. And I feel like that was huge with being able to hear and God course correcting as we go. And I think that’s how you heard about this and how, you know, heard from Him about how to start this.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:23:47] I think I was spending half of, so I was using my vacation days, PTO days to do a prayer and planning day, once a month. For I believe now it’s close to ten years I’ve been doing those days. So for sure the last the last five years while while dadAWESOME has been going on and I just try to set aside time, put it on the calendar to look back and look forward and say, God, is there any adjustments, any areas, I’m open to Your guidance. And that has, I mean, almost every change, every additional resource, every pivot, like even launching Fathers for the Fatherless, that came and was developed and refined through those prayer days, every single month. But some of the mentors that I have today have been God, like I felt His nudging to, like, reach to a certain person and pray for. And often actually prayer has led to people then saying yes to my invitations, which is amazing.
Michelle Zaugg: [00:24:40] Yeah, yeah. Well, and even when you started, it just was we just looked around at like, who were the dads that we admired, that we saw their families thriving and we just were like and was like, I want you to learn from that, Dad. You should interview that Dad. And I mean, I didn’t I didn’t influence all the people, but, you know, like just choosing people that you just wanted to learn from our friends that were really intentional, that had families that were that just really admired their families. And so it just that’s how it started. And then it kind of grew from there to like mentors and authors and, you know, people from around the country now that that you’re meeting with in person as you travel.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:25:22] Very grateful. And one thing I admire about you, Michelle, and how you hear from God’s voice is you can see things many times before I do and you actually saw like this passion within me to help in this area of intentional fatherhood, help dads experience the love of their Heavenly Father and bring that love with their full hearts to their kids. Like you actually, in a prayer group with some of your friends, you shared with them probably a year before I saw it in myself that this could be something I give the rest of my life to or give like a full time pursuit to you. Would you talk about that?
Michelle Zaugg: [00:25:54] Yeah, well I remember being with some friends, they were my college roommates, and someone asked me, like, So where you know, what do you see, what do you see with this podcast? Like it was just a podcast at the time. And I was like, well, I mean, I think it’d be amazing if he could spend all of his time doing this because there’s such a great need.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:26:15] And that meant a lot to me to hear that you believed that God was up to and could use me to do something more significant than this small on the Side Passion Project. One last thing I want to mention on hearing God’s voice is just people will say like, What does that look like? Is it audible? Like how do you those prayer days once a month, really hearing God’s voice?
Michelle Zaugg: [00:26:33] Yeah. You should include maybe what are the you know, because you have quite certain questions that you ask like maybe including those.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:26:38] Guidance type questions. So yeah, I can definitely link to that. But to me often through a process of praying through questions, sometimes I’ll even flip through photos from the past month to like jar my memory, to like things that have happened and then look back to like, like, God, what are you calling me towards? So often to look back at kind of vision statement or some of our hopes or our purpose for our family. But I often will just pay attention to where is my heart beating a little stronger. Jesus when He was walking with his disciples, after He rose from the dead, was like His disciples did not recognize Him. But later they said, Didn’t our hearts burn within us? Burn with passion. So I believe that all of us dads can pay more attention to man, where is God stoking up more fire, more or less like or passion. And that is often the primary way I hear God’s voice. So like the fact that we’re living in an RV right now, the fact that we chose to buy an RV, rent our house, hit the road, and then you even said, let’s go another year. Like you felt God’s guidance and leadership to like give another year to this dadAWESOME RV tour. I believe it’s all because of the pause, I’m going to try to listen and I’m going to pay attention to where’s He opening doors and where is He stoking more passion. And I mean, that story of the RV is a crazy one. Should I share it real briefly?
Michelle Zaugg: [00:27:50] Yeah, well, I mean, it’s just it’s just kind of ridiculous, they’re doing this. This was never a dream. This was never a plan. Like I love, I loved my house. I love our community. I just like it’s yeah, this is not something that we had, like, dreamed and planned about for a long time. But God just kind of kept opening one door after another and paving the way. You should tell the story of how we, of getting the RV.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:28:14] Yeah. We rented one for ten days, a little trial trip and then and then about six months later we borrowed one because of two of the Fathers for the Fatherless events. And we did a crazy amount of miles in 23 days, borrowed one. Super hard trip, but also, like we loved it and we’re like, Man, it’s weird that we loved it this much. But then we looked, we had like ten days to look to buy an RV before we needed to either hit the road or fly to the next city for the next event. And this is just a year and a half ago. We did a 200 mile radius search for this RV. What we were looking for, something we could tow a vehicle with, something that had bunk style for, we are a family of six. 200 mile radius search, we found one that met our criteria. It was 20 miles from our house. We drove there, right away we kind of felt like we were hitting off with the couple that owned it, an older, older couple, but we didn’t know them. It we just kind of like we felt good chemistry with this couple. I went back up for a test drive and it checked a lot of the boxes, but it was still more expensive than we had in the budget. And they told me, they said, Hey, we actually know who you are, you know, our daughter and our daughter’s best friend. So I’m like, What? What? And you guys listening don’t know this, but I’ve I’ve like, I dated two other women each for, like, three months, like, like really short term. Like I held hands with one of them, which was a big deal, before Michelle. So I, like did not date much at all. But if you go back 20 years ago, 21 years ago, before I met Michelle, freshman year at college, I dated a girl. And it turns out this couple that owned the RV were like her, not her biological parents, but her friends parents. And they became like parents to her. So she knew and she they knew about me. They knew I never had met them. But they knew about me. They knew about like they knew a crazy amount. So they not only took the price way down in the RV, but they also stocked the fridge with snacks for our girls. They did all the extra stuff. They gave us tool kits. They did, they went way above, like it made it so clear. So sometimes God speaks through just like this makes no sense this would ever happen. The one RV that we find in a metropolis of 4 to 5 million people is someone who knows who we are, cares deeply about ministry, the fatherhood of the father. So anyways, crazy story I just want is a transferrable like this impacts every dad. Let’s all believe and seek Him and say, God, I want you to speak. These verses out of Proverbs 3, Like like don’t try to figure out on your own the dad life. Listen to His voice in everything you do, everywhere you go, He’s the one who will keep you on track. dadAWESOME has been kept on track, I’ve still made mistakes for sure, but He’s kept our family in this ministry on track because we’ve listened to His voice. And don’t assume that you know it all, which is, again, the principle for Michelle of like, Jeff, maybe try again. Do you have something to say?
Michelle Zaugg: [00:30:50] Well and I think it was so it was just was so affirming, like it was such confirmation, like with the way the price came down and all the gifts on the way out and just that this connection with this couple. And then I feel like we’ve continued to look back at that and be like, Wow, we know God, God paved the way for us to do this. So even when it was super hard, even that first day that we left was like crazy hard. Like when we’ve had hard things, it’s been like, Well, we know that God made a way for us to do that. And so it’s given confidence, even getting through some of the challenges.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:31:28] It anchors our faith back. And actually, I do want to mention this principle of remembrance is something that you’re super passionate about. The reason that you care deeply about video clips and photos is actually if we remember back, and by Passion, you just take a lot of intentionality around, like, let’s celebrate, let’s share. We actually, as we travel in the RV about once a month, sometimes every other month, we’ll fill a piece of paper with, look what God did. We’ll make a list of look what God did. So remembrance to that miracle with the RV allowed us to get through some storms. And that’s huge with these verses about like trust God from the bottom of your heart. But if you don’t remember the ways He’s come through in the past, it’s hard to trust Him. Ruthie, you are my second oldest daughter. Sometimes when I pray for you at night. Is there ever times that I, I say, Ruthie, can you see my eyes?
Ruthie Zaugg: [00:32:19] Yes.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:32:20] Do I do that sometimes? So Ruthie, why don’t we just do it right now? Here, let’s do this bedtime blessing prayer that Daddy learned. So I’m going to look you right in the eyes. Ruthie, can you see my eyes? Can you see that, I see your eyes? Do you know that I love you? Do you know that you can never earn more of my love? And Ruthie, do you know that you can never lose my love? Ruthie, who else loves you like that?
Ruthie Zaugg: [00:32:49] God and Momma.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:32:50] God and Momma. So that prayer is sometimes, when do I usually pray that prayer over you, that blessing?
Ruthie Zaugg: [00:32:56] At nighttime.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:32:57] At nighttime. Well, let’s actually just talk about shiny, sparkly eyes for a moment. Ruthie, how often do I look you right into your eyes? Do you see me looking you right in the eyes?
Ruthie Zaugg: [00:33:08] Sometimes.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:33:10] Sometimes. Do you know why look you write in the eyes, Ruthie? Because your eyes are beautiful. Do you know what color your eyes are?
Ruthie Zaugg: [00:33:18] Blue.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:33:20] Blue. Have I ever called them blueberries before? So, Ruthie, I think a dad who looks their son or their daughter right in the eyes, a dad whose eyes are shiny, like do my eyes right now looks shiny or dull? They look a little bit shiny. You know why they look shiny? Ruthie, It’s because I love being your dad. Like I love being your dad. Do you know that I love it? Wait, wait Do you think I just kind of like, I have to be Ruthie’s dad? I just have to. Do you think that’s how I feel, or do you think I feel this way? Ruthie,I love that I get to be your dad. Which one?
Ruthie Zaugg: [00:34:05] I love being your dad.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:34:06] Yeah, that’s how I feel. So then, because of that, are my eyes a little bit shiny, sparkly. And then do you think that your eyes shine a little brighter because my eyes are shining brightly? They are. You don’t have a mirror right now. But, Ruthie, your eyes are amazing and they are shining. And that’s part of what we pray for at dadAWESOME is that every dad listening that they would love being a dad and that their eyes would shine with passion and love. So you’re seeing my eyes and my eyes, do they look loving or do my eyes look like I have to be a dad? Which one?
Ruthie Zaugg: [00:34:45] Loving.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:34:47] Loving. So that’s one of our prayers. Ruthie, thank you for praying the bedtime blessing with me. We learned that one from one of the podcast guests that I interviewed. Thank you for reminding us that having shiny eyes as a dad, is a pretty sweet thing. I love you, Ruthie.
Ruthie Zaugg: [00:35:04] I love you too.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:35:07] My name is Daddy. What’s your name?
Raya Zaugg: [00:35:11] Raya.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:35:11] And how old are you, Raya?
Raya Zaugg: [00:35:13] Three. Four.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:35:14] Four, you’re not three anymore. You’re four. Is there ever a time where you and Daddy go on a daddy daughter date?
Raya Zaugg: [00:35:23] Yes.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:35:25] What is, what is one of your favorite daddy daughter dates?
Raya Zaugg: [00:35:30] When we get ice cream and we go at the playground.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:35:35] Do you remember in Colorado getting Tic Tacs together? What color were they?
Raya Zaugg: [00:35:41] Pink and purple.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:35:43] Pink and purple Tic Tacs. That was a fun one, wasn’t it? Raya, do you know, why does Daddy have these microphones? Do you know what I use these microphones for?
Raya Zaugg: [00:35:51] For interviews.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:35:53] Interviews. What are interviews? Who do I interview?
Raya Zaugg: [00:35:55] Your dad friends. Your dad friends.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:35:57] Dad friends. Do you think maybe I might ask people about being a dad? Do you think, do you think I might ask them how to be a bad dad?
Raya Zaugg: [00:36:07] No.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:36:08] What do you think? What kind of dad do you think I ask them?
Raya Zaugg: [00:36:10] Good Dad. Good Dad. To be an awesome dad.
Jeff Zaugg: [00:36:25] This podcast has been going for how many years?
Raya Zaugg: [00:36:28] Five years!
Jeff Zaugg: [00:36:35] Five years? So that wraps up my five conversations with my five favorite people in the entire world on our five year celebration of dadAWESOME. Guys, thank you for being a part of today’s celebration episode. Thank you for listening. I would welcome your prayers. That’d be my request, on the five year mark, we have 56 people on our prayer team that pray for our family, that pray for the ministry. And if any of you are interested in joining the prayer team, we simply send an email once a month to our prayer team and then we send some Marco Polo video updates a little more frequently, a little two minute videos out once or one, two or three times a month. So, guys, all you have to do is go to dadAWESOME.org/pray. dadAWESOME.org/pray to learn about the prayer team. Guys, thank you for choosing this pathway. This pathway of becoming dadAWESOME, of experiencing love from your Heavenly Father and bringing that love to your kids, pouring that love out to your kids, seeing your kids eyes shine brightly. Your kids knowing that you love being their dads. Your kids seeing on your calendar that you’re setting up a one on one time to to spend time with them and daddy/daughters dates or dad/son one on one time. Guys, all these things matter and I just want to encourage you guys, your kids are not thanking you today, most of them, but they will thank you in the future for being dadAWESOME. So have a great week. Enjoy the week with your kids. Thanks for listening.