Dr. Kathy Koch, Founder and President of Celebrate Kids, is a dear friend. We have known each other for almost 19 years. God has used her to significantly impact my life on many levels including the release of my artistic gifts at the age of 35 (ten years ago). She is an amazing communicator with an amazing message.
I am not a big “what if” kind of person when looking at the past but I do wonder “if” this website, and my artwork, would have ever found a place in this world “if” I hadn’t run into Dr. Kathy. That’s why she is the FIRST of hopefully MANY interviews to come!
Let’s get to it … My questions are of course bolded. Kathy’s responses follow each question in kind, and are not edited in any way.
What do you want people to know about your efforts to “Celebrate Kids?”
It’s a privilege to inspire and help parents, grandparents, and teachers to better understand their children, grandchildren, and students. We do that primarily through presentations at churches, all kinds of schools, and conventions. And, speaking directly to children/teens is always a joy. We have a helpful product line and a vibrant social media presence, too.
Celebrate Kids, Inc., is 22 years old – hard to believe! I still enjoy speaking to small and large audiences, interacting with people one-on-one, creating new online courses and materials, and traveling and meeting people.
This ministry isn’t mine nor is it all about me or my staff. It’s God’s ministry and it’s about the people we’re called to support. Meeting needs is amazing!
Your teaching concerning Mind Styles™ was actually the catalyst for the release of my own artistic expression at the age of 35. Do you find that to be the case with other people (artists and otherwise) over the years?
First, let me say that God using me in that way in your life is among my greatest privileges and joys. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day. You’re not the only one to receive revelation during this training.
Way too many adults have been stifled by past experiences or encounters with negative people. Gifts can be paralyzed when they’re not affirmed or worse – when they’re seen as problems. Your artistic talent and just the way you see the world now is a great strength. I also believe it’s a gift to those of us who interact with you.
When people learn the kind of mind they have and see it as good and smart, freedom is birthed. Now, risks are possible. The past can be reinterpreted. The future can be fulfilling because they’ll be living with integrity according to God’s design of their unique combination of strengths, challenges, passions, and so much more.
Marriages have been healed, adult children and parents are able to talk to each other and not about each other, and young children can be raised to be who they were designed to be. When I do the training in corporate settings, it’s amazing. For example, administrative assistants who have never felt known, understood, or truly appreciated get the most amazing feedback from their supervisors. Tears of relief from both sides are very common.
Thinkers (like me!) discover they’re not boring just because they’re not as spontaneous as people like you. They understand why they’re more comfortable with thoughts than feelings. Just that truth that it’s okay increases their confidence to feel. And, many who are designed more like you understand they’re just as smart as us thinkers even though they usually respond to life first with feelings. I could go on-and-on. I’ve learned all of us have something good hidden within that wants to come out.
Whether I’m teaching about Mind Styles or something else, one of my goals is always to help people discover more of themselves than they know is there. And, for parents especially, I want them to know their children. Children need to be known and understood. It’s very powerful!
I personally believe that we were created by our Creator to create. In whatever way God has wired us, there is creativity there. For example, I have come to believe that even though I am math-allergic … mathematics can be considered its own “song.” Would you agree or disagree with the thought that there is an artistic/creative spark in each of us?
I totally agree and love the way you expressed that. Whether I’m teaching about Mind Styles, multiple intelligences, or our genius qualities, I continually find people who were taught that creativity was something only artists had or that we only had to draw upon in art class. That’s such an old-school, limiting view.
We’re created in God’s image and He is very creative. Therefore, we are! For some people, it’s been paralyzed because they weren’t “creative enough” or they were laughed at when sharing a picture or unique thought. That’s sad. Those of us who get it must share with others.
One of my favorite things to do with mathematicians who say they’re not creative is to challenge them to think of 10 ways to put 3 numbers together to equal 10. Oh, my! They use negative numbers and they multiply and divide. Some people only add three numbers together. When they realize what they’ve done, they have to laugh and admit they’re creative.
You have often mentioned your own love for music. What is your favorite genre? … artist? song?
I don’t have one favorite genre – I love music too much. Is that fair? I like classical music because it’s what I grew up with and played in band and orchestra for so many years. I actually enjoy big-band music and think I might be a swing dancer if I didn’t have a bad knee and foot. Oh, yes!
I listen to worship music that glorifies God and inspires my desire to follow Christ well. I’m especially moved by songs that have rhythms and melodies that help me feel and experience the lyrics. Not everyone will understand that, but I bet other music-smart people will!
The song “Beautiful Things” by Gungor has lyrics I wish every person – every person! – believed. I could have written that song. And, friends of mine who lead worship at Stonegate Fellowship in Midland, TX, have produced their first CD. The song “Glory Be” by Tyler and Bailey Dodds is fabulous. Since I’m in so many different churches throughout America speaking, I get to meet some phenomenally talented young people. Then I enjoy encouraging and promoting them.
If Mariah Carey were to show up on your door and say, “Dr. Kathy! I have to sing a song of your choice or the world will blow up!” … what song would you ask her to sing?
What a great and funny question! The first thing I thought of, which tells you something again about my passion, is that I’d tell her a bit about me and my dreams for my tomorrows, our families, and our world and I’d ask her to choose a song she thinks I’d enjoy. I’m so audience-focused, I’d want her to be, too. I hope this makes sense. I’d be fascinated to hear her choice.
What upcoming projects do you have coming up? How can people learn more?
Thanks for asking. My third book will be available in March. Written with Jill Savage, No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids For Who They Are, will help moms and dads raise the kids they were given and not the kids they wish they had. I’m very excited about the effect the truths in our book can have.
I’m working on my fourth book for Moody Publishing. It will be about the lies technology teaches children and will include DVDs for use in small groups.
We’re all excited and humbled that I’ll be on the Focus on the Family radio show for two days in late March to discuss how children are smart. Some people have prayed for this opportunity for over 20 years. Seriously! God’s timing is always right and He is faithful. It’s good to dream and place our hopes in His hands.
We’re designing our first app, redesigning our website, creating other products, and looking forward to new audiences to influence. Life is full and very, very good!
My blog is www.DrKathyKoch.com. We post written work on Mondays and Wednesdays and videos on Thursdays. Our website, www.CelebrateKids.com, has information on my main speaking topics, information about booking me, and our shopping cart. People can like our Facebook page, too. www.facebook.com/celebratekidsinc
How would you encourage creative people?
Know yourself well enough to know what time of day is best for you and if there are certain locations that stimulate you or people who inspire you. Then make your situation work for you. For example, I’m creative primarily with words and thoughts and I’m also very people smart. I do my best thinking with others. Brainstorming and discussions work to get my juices flowing. We don’t even have to be talking about something relevant to my project necessarily. Talking always helps me. And, I think better at night than in the morning, in comfortable environments, and noise doesn’t bother me. What about you? Knowing helps.
Hang around positive people who get you and your desire to create. Stay away from negativity (e.g., negative people, the news, depressing movies) and critical people who have to be right. That doesn’t mean you don’t ask for feedback, but you must ask the right people. And, if you don’t understand their ideas or concerns, ask questions. Get clarification. Be open to their ideas, but be confident enough to reject them, too.
If you have reasons for creating and causes you’re supporting with your creativity, then do it. Work hard. Play hard. If you are just creating because it gives you joy and adds color to your life, that’s enough of a reason. Enjoy it!
Pray. Always. Pray.
See, I told you Kathy is fantastic :). To end this post I wanted to post the video of the song she mentioned above, “Beautiful Things” by Gungor. Thank you Dr. Kathy!