| from Dr. Kathy Koch |

Plateauing scares me. In a former job, I was surrounded by people who were satisfied being average. They weren’t growing. If they saw that they could improve, and I think that’s a big “if,” they didn’t seem to care. It scared me because I knew I didn’t want to develop their attitudes.

I don’t want to be so obsessed with maturing, growing, and improving that I can’t be content. There’s tension sometimes. I don’t want to be satisfied when I know I could improve and I also don’t want to be anxious that I must.

Perfection isn’t the right goal. That’s unhealthy. It’s wise to aim for healthy, realistic improvement.

Where do you stand? Close to mediocrity, perfection, or somewhere in between?

Hanging out with people who are who I want to be and who have skills I need is essential. Being that for others is a humbling privilege.

I learned to love studying the Word of God because of my friend, Chip. She was so significant in my spiritual growth!

My friend, Andrea, has taught me “people before things.” She has helped me be fully present with people rather than working my to-do list in my mind at the same time I’m listening to someone. I’m so grateful!

Brad taught me how to write my first book. I had been a professor who was used to writing articles for educational journals. I needed to know how to write a book and he helped. Look at what that investment has resulted in! I’m thankful!

Proverbs 27:17 reads, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” I pray you’re spending quality time with people who sharpen you.

A number of years ago, I began inviting others to write and speak because I value other perspectives (e.g., from parents and teachers) and I knew the ministry was expanding. They’re good for me, many of you have discovered their blogs are worth reading, and I pray I’m good for them.

The first one I invited to write for us and with me is Tina Hollenbeck. This was an easy decision. Many more years ago than either of us would want to acknowledge, Tina was a student in several of my courses when I was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She was involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship where I served as the faculty advisor. Two of of my great privileges include standing up for Tina and Jeff when they were married and being called “Aunt Kathy” by their daughters although we’re not related by blood.

I have exciting news!

Tina was one of the best writers I encountered during my 7 years of teaching at the university. Many of you have appreciated her blogs. Her skills and her understanding of children, homeschooling, and the 8 smarts made it easy to choose her to write 8 Great Smarts for Homeschoolers.

You read that right! We’re very excited about this new book, Tina’s growth as a writer (because plateauing isn’t for believers!), and the ideas you’ll benefit from. Just as Brad mentored me, it’s been a joy to mentor Tina. Now you’ll benefit.

You’ll want to read Tina’s columns in the next two newsletters. And watch for more about the book.

Dr. Kathy Koch (“cook”), is the founder and president of Celebrate Kids, Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in 30 countries through keynote messages, seminars, chapels, banquet talks, and other events. She is a regular speaker for Care Net, Summit Ministries, and Axis. She also speaks for other organizations, churches, schools, and pregnancy resource centers. In addition, she hosts Celebrate Kids conferences through their Ignite the Family conference division. She is also a popular guest on Focus on the Family radio, she was featured in Kirk Cameron’s movie, Connect, and she has written and published five books with Moody Publishers, including Five to Thrive, Start with the Heart, Screens and Teens, 8 Great Smarts, and No More Perfect Kids (with Jill Savage). Dr. Kathy earned a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University.