Today’s guests discuss how families can work together to do good in the world and leave a legacy that will have impact for years to come: author and speaker Bob Goff and his daughter Lindsey Goff Viducich and businesswomen and philanthropists Jackie Green and her daughter Lauren Green McAfee. Bob Goff is author of the New York Times bestseller Love Does, and is daughter Lindsey is a schoolteacher. Together, they talk about their new book Love Does for Kids and why they’re passionate to help kids all over the world. Jackie Green and Lauren Green McAfee’s family runs the Hobby Lobby chain of stores. As co-authors, earlier this year Jackie and Lauren released the book, Only One Life: How a Woman’s Every Day Shapes an Eternal Legacy. Today the mother-daughter team tell us what legacy means to them, and why every person is equipped to leave behind a life that can reach countless generations into the future.
Families Building a Legacy of Love: Bob Goff & Lindsey Goff Viducich, and Jackie Green & Lauren Green McAfee – Jesus Calling Episode #116
Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling Podcast. Today’s guests talk about how families can work together to do good in the world and leave a legacy that will have impact for years to come: author and speaker Bob Goff and his daughter Lindsey Goff Viducich and businesswomen and philanthropists Jackie Green and her daughter Lauren Green McAfee.
Bob Goff is an internationally known speaker and writer of the New York Times bestseller Love Does. His daughter Lindsey is a schoolteacher. Together, they talk about what it was like growing up in the Goff family and Bob’s unconventional parenting style. They also talk about the important work they are doing overseas and why their hearts are burdened for children in need from all parts of the world. Together, they have written a book for children called Love Does for Kids.
Growing Up in a Whimsical, Engaged Life
Bob: I’m Bob Goff, and I’m just so glad to be here. I’m a lawyer by training, but what we do now is we go around the world and we start schools for kids, particularly kids that are in countries where there’s just a lot of upheaval. So that’s what we spend most of our time doing now.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and then moved down to San Diego for college, and I’ve been here ever since. I went to law school down here, stuck around. I met sweet Maria. She wasn’t sweet Maria Goff at the time I met her, but she was after a long time pursuing her. She became Sweet Maria Goff, and then we’ve just had this beautiful family. One of my favorite people in that family sitting next to me, and it’s Lindsey.
My name’s Lindsey Goff Viducich, and I am a second-grade teacher here in San Diego. I also spend a lot of time in schools and working with kids.
I love getting to be with my students all day. I have 26 students. And all day I get to teach people how to read, how to use a computer, how to add things. It’s awesome.
So this is what it was like to grow up in San Diego and with Dad: when we moved into our house, our childhood home where most of our growing-up years happened, instead of just having regular bunk beds, Dad lag-bolted in rock climbing holds into the walls so we could belay each other into bed. And I feel like that pretty much sums up our childhood. Like, if there’s a normal version, you do [whatever] the whimsical version [is] right off to the side.
Bob: When I was growing up, nobody could touch the walls. It was like a big offense, like a misdemeanor or a felony if you touch the walls. So and I remember thinking, When I get a house, I’m going to do whatever I want to those walls. So I think it was cheaper than therapy.
And the whole idea of like belaying each other to bed the bed, it was never a problem getting anybody into bed.
Lindsey: “No! This is amazing!”
Bob: They’re like, “It’s bedtime? Yes!”
So part of that, most of us are either a reflection of or a reaction to the people that have been closest to us. And so if you were raised in one way, you’ll either reflect more of that or react to that.
“Most of us are either a reflection of or a reaction to the people that have been closest to us.” – Bob Goff
Lindsey, what would you say that you are: a reflection, a reaction, or both?
Lindsey: I think a reflection.
Bob: And how so?
Lindsey: Yeah, a lot of stuff. Like the way that now that I’m married and we have our own family, and that idea that you always pick meaning over practical every time, I think it’s a big family value, which is really great because I married someone very practical, so we balance each other out. But like the “always choose the meaningful version and the whimsical version and like the relationship-building version.” You really structured life around that.
Even when Mom would leave out of town you would take us to go do kid dinners. Do you remember that?
Bob: Oh yeah. Oh yeah totally.
Lindsey: So we got to pick out whatever we wanted to.
Bob: Remember going down and getting busted by one of your teachers?
Lindsey: Yes! It was my first-grade teacher.
Bob: We had just gotten SPAM and all of this nasty stuff. And where was she? Up by the checkout?
Lindsey: No, she was shopping. But she thought it was awesome and helped us find stuff.
Bob: Yeah, it was awesome.
We would learn things about nutrition. We would have like really healthy food, but then we would take the SPAM—and no lie, check it out—one of the ingredients is “mechanically separated chicken.” So what we had the kids do, everybody drew a picture of what that machine looked like. There’d be a little conveyor with chickens and filets at the end. And somehow they got mechanically separated.
That whole idea of being engaged, it isn’t something that happens when you fall in love and slip a ring on somebody’s finger. That’s not engaged. It’s what you do afterwards. It’s to say I’m going to live a life of engagement and wonder and whimsy and everybody does it differently, so riff on your version.
However it is that God wired you, just be that. And then pull that out of your kids. Let them bring you along delightfully. If you let them off the chain, they’ll just take you on some great adventures.
There’s a beautiful thing about being present, not just in proximity to one another. We’re still working on that as a family, just how to be more and more present.
“There’s a beautiful thing about being present, not just in proximity to one another.” – Bob Goff
Love Does for Kids: Inviting Our Future Leaders to Meet Jesus
The reason that I wrote Love Does is I felt like I wanted to get a story out there that didn’t have a lot of luggage attached to it. So I just thought I would say true things, and I thought I would do what Jesus did. In Matthew 15, it says He never talked to anybody without telling them a story. So I just took the simplest stories I could and said it in the fewest words possible. I didn’t include a bunch of Bible verses. I just said things that were true. If you want a Bible verse, read the Bible. It’s full of them.
One of the things that we can do to the people that we love, to our children, is to just speak the truth of the gospel. But you don’t need to dress it up. Make that super accessible. Jesus is the smartest theologian ever, and He points to two sheep and He says, “It’s like one one of those gets away.”
“One of the things that we can do to the people that we love, to our children, is to just speak the truth of the gospel.” – Bob Goff
So making your faith . . . not easy because it’s not easy. It’ll kill every previous version of you. But to make your faith simpler.
So the intent of writing Love Does was to write a book that somebody that’s a third-year seminary student might read and say “You know, that’s actually accurate.” But more importantly I want the guy at the tire store that doesn’t know anything about faith to say, “I actually feel invited.”
And so the idea of writing a Love Does for Kids was really this concoction that our family had together. And our best candidate to write that was Lindsey Goff Viducich.
What was your reason for writing Love Does [for] Kids?
Lindsey: We talk a lot in our family, and I think the reason behind why Love Does has all these schools and is helping all these kids is that kids are our hope. They are the ones who are going to speak for us. And so that idea of these kids getting to know, like, Jesus talking all the time in the Bible about how He’s nuts about kids like that over and over and over again as a theme. So the idea of little kids getting to know that the kingdom of God is this a very real thing is so neat. These kids who are going to be our future leaders are introduced to who Jesus so that they can be leaders like Jesus and for Jesus.
Bob: We’ve been working in Uganda through this organization, Love Does, for the last 17 years. And when we first started we decided we were going to start a school.
Lindsey went over early on. Well, tell me what that was like. We just bought you a one-way ticket. How old were you?
Lindsey: I was in college. I was, like, nineteen.
Bob: Yeah what a bad idea. So what happened?
Lindsey: We went. Why was there like right before the school started. So it was two rooms in a brick building. There really wasn’t much there.
Bob: We told 400,000 young people, among the million and a half people that were displaced by the war, that they could come to our school for free. “We’ll give you an education.”
And on the first day of school, nine kids showed up.
I wasn’t bummed, though. I was like, “We’ve got a soccer team!” And we had a soccer field, but it had a big mango tree in the middle of it. We were like, “Whatever! We’ll just get around it.” That whole idea to just not be discouraged by what happens, but be just so captivated by this idea of what might happen in people’s lives.
Fast forward, and a lot of people at Love Does are working for a lot of long hours. And there’s a school now with 37 buildings on 50 acres. And we’ll just cross a thousand students that are currently enrolled. And probably a like number that have graduated.
There’s a whole beauty that happens. Again, God is not dazzled by some big number. What He’s impressed by is people who see the people around them the way that He does. And I would say I’m not there yet. But the more I look at kids and the more I’m surrounded with people who love children well like Lindsey, the more I get a sense of the way God sees me. I’m just that kid that messed up. And I mess up a lot.
“What [God’s] impressed by is people who see the people around them the way that He does.” – Bob Goff
To Have Friends, Be a Friend
Lindsey: So as part of our leaders project, we got to meet with the vice president of Bulgaria. And one of the things that was so striking to us about that interview and was so memorable is that when we got there, we were really nervous. And he told us when we sat down, “Children, I am more nervous meeting with you than if I were meeting with your president.”
And so it was immediately disarming.
Bob: And remember he clapped his hands or something?
Lindsey: Yes! And out came kid food, and he had all three little apple juices for us. We sat with our apple juice and candies and got to learn about being friends.
Bob: This is a guy that used to be the ballistic missile commander of this Soviet bloc country. But he understood about friendship. And what were some of the things he said about friends? Like that actually a friend knows?
Lindsey: Yeah. So he said one of his big things that he talked about was to make a friend is to be a friend. And so that idea of you need to start treating people like they’re your friend already, and then you become friends. So that was kind of the whole idea behind this World Leaders Project.
“You need to start treating people like they’re your friend already, and then you become friends.” – Bob Goff
But then the other really neat thing that I love that he did was that immediately disarming saying like, “I’m more nervous meeting with you than if I were meeting with your president.” I think that’s one of those things that in friendship, you don’t have to be perfect to become friends with people.
“You don’t have to be perfect to become friends with people.” – Lindsey Goff Viducich
Lindsey: It’s like admitting your weak spots too.
Bob: So now fast forward like a decade or two, and you guys end up back in Bulgaria doing a service project for somebody. And you decided to go see a friend. They’re still in leadership.
Lindsey: Yes. So we wrote a letter and we said, “Hey! We’re going to be in town. Can we come visit you and say hi?” It was my brother Richard and I.
And he wrote back and said, “Yes, absolutely!”
And when we got there and met with him in his office, he pulled out this pen that said “Robert K. Goff, Attorney at Law” on it. He handed it to us and he was like, “You need to tell your dad to keep track of his things. I’ve had this in my office for ten years.” But then the beautiful thing that he said is, “I’m so happy that when I found it, I’m so happy that he left it because that was a sign that he would return.”
Bob: Yeah, like, beautiful things. So maybe when you go over to your friends leave something behind. You can leave a twenty dollar bill. But like leave something behind. Just have these beautiful traditions. And that’s a beautiful thing about making friends with people. They’ll have these beautiful traditions, they’ll tell you. And you say, “What does that mean, and why is that important?” And it actually makes you a friend. You make little things into beautiful, big things in your life.
It’s a lot of what Jesus said that the smallest things become the biggest thing. And the way that mustard seed story ends so that people could have a rest. And here’s a guy who took time to go meet these three kids in blazers. And I would say that had a pretty big impact on you, even decades later.
Lindsey: Oh yeah. And we asked him at one point, and as we’ve made friends with folks through that project that we did, we’ll ask them later, “Why did you say yes to us? We were three little kids in San Diego. Why would you want to meet with us?”
And you know what they said? “Nobody’s ever asked us that before.” Isn’t that crazy? Like nobody ever asked, “Will you be my friend?” And so there’s there’s power in that too.
Bob: Many of the countries that we do work in as an organization, Love Does, are countries embroiled in civil wars. Uganda just finished a 25-year war. Iraq, Somalia, these other countries that we’re headed towards, they have this one thing in common: there’s a lot of kids that get caught up in the middle of it. And one of the best indicators that the U.N. has found for the future of a country is how a country treats their children. And if they treat their children well, that country is going to prosper. And if they don’t treat their children well, it’s not going to prosper at all.
“One of the best indicators that the U.N. has found for the future of a country is how a country treats their children.” – Bob Goff
And so part of the idea behind writing a Love Does for Kids is to say, “Let’s go treat our kids well. Let’s point towards beautiful stories that are super accessible and then just say, ‘Go make your own story.’”
A win is when you turn the last page of that story and you want to run outside with a handful of Band-Aids. Let’s go do that and see how it turns out. Because a bad day isn’t when it doesn’t work. I would say a bad day around our household is when we didn’t try.
So the whole idea of Love Does for Kids was, it isn’t getting it down to like a less significant message. It was to say, “What if we provide a more significant message to children and their parents about how they can enter into this adventure called ‘raising a family?’”
Making the Kingdom of God Accessible for Young Hearts
Lindsey: As a teacher, something that I absolutely love is taking really big, abstract concepts and then translating them into eight-year-olds. Like, bringing these really big ideas like grace and the Kingdom of God and forgiveness and mercy and making that into something that a little kid can understand.
And so what books like Jesus Calling for Kids and then Love Does for Kids both do is that they take these really abstract concepts, and then they make it so that it’s accessible to these little hearts and little minds, and that those things can really sink in and become part of who kids are.
Bob: Yes, and sometimes with illustrations, I know you spent a lot of time with that. Tell us why pictures, what have you seen in kids lives when they see a picture and identify with it.
Lindsey: As a teacher I think reading pictures is reading—like that’s the first step. And so for a little kid to be able to flip through a book and see these really vibrant pictures and be able to tell the story themselves and remember these big concepts on their own with a picture attached to it, that’s been really neat.
Bob: And the coolest part is when somebody has a photograph or an image that you respond to that you start talking about your life and your story. And that’s what we want for parents and their kids.
Just like with Jesus Calling for Kids, the idea is to tee up that conversation that could happen, start from something really relatable to something in their lives that’s really relatable.
So one of the things that we each do, we have these rhythms, these habits. We hope that people will take a chapter, that they’ll read through that almost like a devotion, that they would take and then they would when a couple of pages are done, they would say to their kids, “What do you think about that?”
Isn’t that what your style is in school? You read a little bit, and then ask them. Why do you do that, and what are you hearing back from the kids when you when you draw out from them, “What did you see in the pages?”
Lindsey: It’s actually really beautiful when you sit and read with a child. I immediately thought of our little nephew. He calls it “being cozy.” So he’ll say, “Can we go be cozy?” He wants to sit and read and be cozy. So that idea that a child is going to love reading because they’ve sat and been cozy and get to read about this, but that they’re going to associate that with faith. Like, that they think about it in that way that it’s this place of comfort and safety and all these things.
I love that picture of a parent being able to do that with a child with these children’s books.
Bob: And the crazy part is when you start having these habits in your family and start doing it with your kids, these ripples go out. And you don’t even know as a parent what shore they’re going to wash up on, but you know they went out. And so take the time. Read these devotions, Jesus Calling, Love Does for Kids, read these things with your kids. Let it feel like that’s a really cozy, safe place. It’s not just where you just learning stuff. That’s where you’re actually expressing yourself about how you see the world how you see your faith. So we really hope you’ll enjoy the book.
“When you start having these habits in your family and start doing it with your kids, these ripples go out. And you don’t even know as a parent what shore they’re going to wash up on, but you know they went out.” – Bob Goff
Narrator: Look for Bob and Lindsey’s book, Love Does for Kids, from your favorite book retailer today.
We’ll be right back after a brief message about a free offer from Jesus Calling.
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Narrator: Our next guests are businesswomen and philanthropists Jackie Green and her daughter Lauren Green McAfee. Jackie and Lauren’s family has built and currently runs the Hobby Lobby chain of stores. As co-authors, earlier this year Jackie and Lauren released the book, Only One Life: How a Woman’s Every Day Shapes an Eternal Legacy. Today the mother-daughter team tell us what legacy means to them, and why every person is equipped to leave behind a life that can reach countless generations into the future.
Jackie Green: I’m Jackie Green, and my husband is the president of Hobby Lobby Stores. And we together helped co-found the Museum of the Bible that launched in Washington, D.C. in 2017, in November of 2017.
I’m a mother to six children. I’ve been married 33 years, and I have four grandchildren. And my favorite thing to do is to be with my family.
I’ve been able to co-author two books now: this one, Only One Life, with my daughter Lauren; and a previous book, This Dangerous Book, that was launched last November 2017 with my husband Steve. I’m involved in different philanthropic endeavors with Bible distribution, and I have a heart for children finding their forever homes through adoption.
Lauren Green McAfee: And I’m Lauren McAfee. I’m a proud Oklahoman. This is where my husband and I met. We are high school sweethearts, and we’ve been married over eight years now.
And I now I’m working at Hobby Lobby corporate and in a role as corporate ambassador, handling communications and PR for the company. And I absolutely love working at Hobby Lobby and being in the family business.
Leaving a Legacy of Faith
Lauren: Legacy is something that I think upon hearing that word sounds daunting or like it’s got to be something really big in the world’s economy of having power or leaving a lot of wealth. But that’s not the way that we define or see legacy. Legacy is the story of your life that lives on after you leave this earth.
“Legacy is the story of your life that lives on after you leave this earth.” – Lauren Green McAfee
One of the quotes that we came across and have written in our book is by author Max Lucado. And he says that legacy is outliving your life.
And so with that perspective of legacy, we each have a role in leaving a legacy. Every person will leave a legacy. It’s just we have to determine what is that legacy going to be, and are we going to be intentionally investing in that legacy for good or for bad?
“Every person will leave a legacy.” – Lauren Green McAfee
All women have the opportunity to leave an incredible legacy. And it may not be the way that the world would value a legacy, but that’s not what matters. What matters is that in God’s economy we invest in the things that are eternal. We invest in people. We invest in knowing God and understanding His word and sharing that with others. That will leave a legacy that will last not only generations beyond us, but in eternity.
“In God’s economy, we invest in the things that are eternal. We invest in people.” – Lauren Green McAfee
In our book we cover 12 different character traits that we’ve written about, women who’ve lived these out well. There are some of them are courage and generosity, wisdom, or faith. But some of the stories that I particularly resonated with are for my season of life were the ones on boldness and tenacity, as well as prayer. It was difficult to narrow down what 12 character traits to highlight, but the twelve that we did come up with the her book were ones that we – my mom and I – personally want to exhibit and grow in. And so we’ve been inspired by the women that we’ve gotten to write about, and they’ve encouraged us in our own faith journeys.
And with with the journey, the season I’m in right now with pursuing a PhD, that was something that I never anticipated in my life, and I honestly just didn’t think that I could do. I didn’t feel like I was capable of keeping up in a PhD program. And so the chapter on boldness and tenacity, those two chapters really have meant a lot for me as I’ve tried to just rest in the faith that God has a plan and walk in boldness in that and with tenacity to continue pursuing my studies every day. It’s an arduous process to get a PhD, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity and continue to try and draw upon the encouragement of the women that we got to write about in those chapters that have meant a lot to me.
Jackie: One other aspect for being legacy minded is to look futuristic, but also look to the past and see the examples that we’ve all had with women in our lives that may not have realized what an impact they did have in our lives.
We use 36 women in our book, we use examples of women and the Bible, women in history, and women that are current-day using our lives as examples of legacy mindedness and [who] have impacted our world and will continue to impact our world.
So many of these women, you know that they did not realize when they were in the midst of their life that they were really going to make a difference for others that would come behind.
Lauren: One of my favorite stories that we share in the book is about a woman named Elizabeth Ann Everest.
I love that we got to highlight her story because I know she may be someone that not many people are familiar with. But in the chapter where we talk about a legacy of faith, we share Elizabeth Ann Everest’s story of her continuing impact in the world today in the way that she invested her faith into someone that many people would recognize. His name is Winston Churchill.
Winston Churchill had parents that were not very involved in his life. And he was raised by a nanny. Her name was Elizabeth Ann Everest. And her faith in the way that she invested in Winston really shaped the man that he became. Obviously, he’s had an incredible impact in our world.
But there are so many women from the scripture to and from today that I absolutely adored getting to share their stories. Women like Joni Eareckson Tada, who has been an inspiration. Mary Beth Chapman, who has shown an incredible generosity and her story with adoption and passion for adoption is really connects with me and my mom. I’m in the adoption process. My mom has adopted my sister. Many touch points with the women’s stories and how they inspired and connected to us.
And I hope that that’s the way this will feel for other women that read the book, is that there will be little bits that that feel a personal connection to as they read these stories.
The Legacy of One Woman’s Prayer Journal
Lauren: We loved highlighting Sarah Young in our book in the chapter on wisdom because we fit in really beautifully.
We were writing about Sarah Osborne as one of the women in history who has left an incredible impact. And Sarah Osborne was a big journalist and Bible reader and so she throughout her story left behind this incredible legacy of some of her writings.
And that reminded us of a current-day Sarah that we knew who has also had a love for scripture and writing. That’s how we got to Sarah Young and her impact that she’s had through writing Jesus Calling, this devotional that has touched and inspired so many and has such value in highlighting the Bible and how that can be influential in our daily lives.
And we love that Sarah Young has shared that with the world, and also that Sarah continues to value the Bible as the highest and most important thing for our lives. And so we loved sharing and highlighting that particular work that she’s done with Jesus Calling and her passion for the Bible because that is where we find our foundation for all of what we should be looking to for our legacy.
“The Bible is where we find our foundation for all of what we should be looking to for our legacy.” Lauren Green McAfee
An Ancient Book for a Modern Audience
Narrator: In November 2017, the Greens opened the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., three blocks from the US Capitol. The museum aims to offer visitors an immersive experience with the Bible and show its ongoing impact in the world around us.
Jackie: The mission of the Museum of the Bible is to invite all people to engage with the Bible.
So far there have been over 400,000 people go through, and it’s continuing to grow and thrive. We’re just so grateful to be a part of it. It’s been a monumental project for our family, in particular, my husband Steve and myself just supporting in any role that I could. And we’re just grateful to see scripture highlighted in the museum in all forms and through all time and history. And it’s just such a great resource for people, for individuals for families.
We’re seeing families that are just so excited to be able to take their children. And there’s a children’s area. It’s very interactive very immersive, so it’s something that is enjoyable by all age groups. And you know, it’s something they can do together and really have their heads over the scripture and reading together and learning new things.
Lauren: There is something for everyone. It’s very engaging and interactive. And one of the most technologically advanced museums in the world, actually. So it’s taking this ancient book and reminding us that it still has impact today and is impacting lives impacting culture and impacting the world. And it’s something that people still engage in every day.
It’s amazing to see how far it’s come in just the eight years since it started. And now it’s opened in Washington, D.C.
Each of Us Can Leave a Legacy
Jackie: I think that as women we just need to take the time to recognize that the little things we do every day really do matter. They really can matter and be sensitive to the spirit of God and the opportunities around us to influence and impact those that are placed around us in our home, in our work, in our community.
“The little things we do everyday really do matter.“ – Jackie Green
Lauren: There’s just this realization that we each have a powerful opportunity for leaving an eternal legacy. And that one of the beautiful common threads that I’ve seen throughout the stories of these women is that they each had an incredible legacy, but they may not have realized that in the moment and in their lives. It is only as they’ve looked back and seen what God’s done that we can now appreciate the beautiful legacy that He has shaped through their obedience and their faith in Him.
We don’t have to feel like we have it all together. But it’s that daily offering to the Lord saying, “I want to be faithful with what you’ve given me,” and steward that well, whether it’s our time or our talents or treasures. And that’s the opportunity and the invitation that we each have.
Narrator: To learn more about the Museum of the Bible, visit museumofthebible.org. Jackie and Lauren’s book Only One Life is available wherever books are sold.
Narrator: This week’s featured reading comes from the January 25th entry of the Jesus Calling Audiobook:
Let My Love enfold you in the radiance of My Glory. Sit still in the Light of My Presence, and receive My Peace. These quiet moments with Me transcend time, accomplishing far more than you can imagine. Bring Me the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones.
Through the intimacy of our relationship, you are being transformed from the inside out. As you keep your focus on Me, I form you into the one I desire you to be. Your part is to yield to My creative work in you, neither resisting it nor trying to speed it up. Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace. Hold My hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step.