Using All Of Your 8 Smarts

Using All Of Your 8 Smarts

Using All Of Your 8 Smarts


Many parents and teachers ask me how to determine which smarts are the strongest for their children. I understand why they want to know.

As valuable as that may be, I was recently reminded again that talking with children about choosing to engage all their smarts at the same time may have more value. Using all 8 adds joy to every experience.

Last Wednesday I drove through the Fossil Rim Safari in Glen Rose, TX, with my friend, Dede. We used all 8 smarts.

How Did We Use Our 8 Smarts?

First of all, the way that Dede and I used our word smart might be obvious. We visited and talked and shared stories as we drove to and from the park and while we were in the park. But, it’s thinking with and learning with the smarts that are keys. We did that as Dede read about the animals in a booklet. Then, when she read that the Arabian Oryx “can switch from ruminating to eating” we looked up the word “ruminating” at I knew it meant to think deeply over and over again when applied to people. We discovered the meaning when applied to an animal is “chewing the cud.”

Because when using logic smart you think with questions, this overlapped with our use of word smart. Also, we asked a lot of questions of each other as we discussed our lives, our friendship, and the animals. For instance, we asked why God created animals that were so strange looking, whether animals with similar patterns in their fur were definitely related, and what was in the food we were allowed to feed them.

Even though I don’t consider myself terribly picture smart, I, of course, used my eyes all day and thought in pictures. I compared the zebras and the giraffes to those I have seen on safari in Africa. I compared the landscape to what it looked like the last time I was on this particular safari. And, of course, just seeing the beauty of God‘s creation made it a very refreshing day.

Using All Of Your 8 Smarts

How Did We Your Music Smarts?

In addition, can you think of a way that we might’ve used our music smart skills while on a safari? I don’t remember that either of us hummed or sang. However one of the animals that appears to be a part of the elk family definitely trumpeted a warning of sorts. We think he was communicating to other males to stay out of his territory. We heard it because we were thinking with our ears and realized that it was a type of music. We heard it again later when we were having lunch at the Outlook Café and were quite far away. This might be one of my favorite memories as I reflect on it.

Self smart because that’s the smart that requires us to reflect and think deeply inside of ourselves. It’s important to realize that I’m drawing the conclusion that it’s a favorite memory many hours after actually hearing the sound. While at the park, Dede and I did use our self smart as we thought internally about our experiences and for whatever reason chose not to verbalize them. It’s not necessary when being self smart.

What About The Last 3 Smarts?

Believe me, though; we were more people smart than we were self smart. When being people smart, we think with other people. Accordingly, I said something and Dede responded. Then she said something, and I responded. It’s through the conversation that clarity and new insights arose. Dede and I did that all day long.

What about body smart? When using this intelligence, you think by moving and by doing. Although we were stuck in my car, so we were limited, we did use our hands to express our joy often. And, our faces lit up, too. Feeding the animals out of our hands and petting a few of them increased the depth of our memories and joy.

Using All Of Your 8 Smarts

That leaves nature smart. We thought with patterns all day long, and we enjoyed being in and surrounded by nature. We especially pointed out the patterns on animals’ fur, the shape and design of the different horns, and the shape of unique trees. I’m not terribly nature smart, but it didn’t matter. I used all 8 smarts and had a great day!

Encourage The Use Of All 8 Smarts

Let me return to my opening statement about parents’ desire to determine which smarts might be their children’s strengths. That certainly is a worthy endeavor. You can use experiences like I had to figure it out. Listen and look.

When you’re having fun doing something or doing nothing in particular, which smarts do you see your children use? What do they talk about and when they do ask questions, what do they ask about? Are they depending on their eyes to think with? Are they moving and acting things out? Do they need to talk with you about their insights or do you see them pondering things privately? If you want to make note of their current strengths, you should be able to.

Just remember that because children’s intelligences are being developed and are growing, they will be heavily influenced by purpose and passion. What you observe your children do often and well today may be very different from a month ago. That’s why keeping your eyes and ears open and never assuming you know for sure how children are especially smart is smart parenting. This is especially true when your children are young.

Who You Are?  Or What You Do?

Who You Are? Or What You Do?


Who You Are?  Or What You Do?


Here’s what I want you to think about today. Do you believe that who you are is more important than what you do?

If you’ve followed me a while or heard me speak at an event, you know I feel strongly about this. Do you agree? If not, why not and what would it take for you to change your mind?

Also, I wonder if your children believe that who they are is more important than what they do. If you want them to believe it, how could you persuade them?

I communicate this truth in different ways:

  • Who we are is more important than what we do because everything we do we do because of everything we are. (I know that’s a mouthful! Read it again.)
  • Children do what they do because of who they are.
  • We are human beings not human doings.
  • By watching everything I do you can learn a lot about who I am.

Think about your past 24 hours. What did you do? Do you see how your being – who you are – was present at all times? Do you see that at least some of what you did was influenced by who you are? Maybe all of it?

As you become more aware of the intersection of your being and your doing, you’ll be able to see how you can improve what you’re doing by changing who you are in the moment.

Kindness changes actions and words.

Patience changes actions and words.

Love changes actions and words.

Humility changes actions and words.

Joy changes actions and words.

Peace changes actions and words.

Generosity changes actions and words.

You get the idea – who we are matters.

When we want children to understand that who they are matters, we can ask this question:  “Who were you today?” They may respond with silence as they try to figure out what you mean. Some may laugh and question you.

When they answer, “I was Kathy today. I can’t be anyone else!” you have your discussion starter. “Which Kathy were you today? The kind and outgoing Kathy or the silent Kathy? Were you patient like we know you can be or were you impatient?”

“What did you do today?” is a much more common question. It emphasizes “doing” and not “being.” It’s absolutely fine to ask. But, if you value who your children are and you want them to pay more attention as well, also ask, “Who were you today?”

Will you try this? I hope so. I’d love to know how your children respond to the new question.

Relationships and friendships aren’t easy. Therefore, we’re beginning a series of videos to help you help your children and teens. Let’s consider the skill of choosing friends. When you help your children know who they are they’ll be able to identify who they might enjoy getting to know or having fun with. How would they answer the question, “Who am I?”

Are Your Children Confident In Who They Are?

Are Your Children Confident In Who They Are?

Are Your Children Confident In Who They Are?


Do you want to know how you can figure out if your children are secure? Here’s one way. Would they answer this question as my friend’s 16-year-old daughter did?

If you could be any person living now or in the past, who would you be?

There’s more than one “good” answer, of course. Think about it. How would you love your children to answer this?

My friend’s granddaughter had an immediate response when her mom asked her the question. She enthusiastically responded, I would be ME, of course. God created me, and I am special to Him, so why would I want to be anyone else?

How do you respond to that? I had these immediate responses to her response.

Joy for her because she has such confidence in who she is.

Not only that but tears of gratitude for her parents and others who have raised her to be so secure.

Of course gratitude to God for equipping her parents and for speaking truth to the girl.

Hope that she represents many young people who are learning to be satisfied and even joyful about who they are.

At the same time, sadness for all the youth who aren’t satisfied, but are running from who God created them to be.

Let me ask you again: How would you love your children to answer the question, “If you could be any person living now or in the past, who would you be?”

Now, spend some time thinking about and praying about what it will take for that answer you desire to be an immediate response. Then be proactive. I pray for your success! And, if you’re willing to share, I’d love to know positive answers you’ve thought of. Thanks.

Developing Real Relationships

Developing Real Relationships


Developing Real Relationships


I want to create a relationship with you.

This is how some emails I receive begin. Because they’re from spammers who think this opening line will motivate me to contact them for some business opportunities.

Therefore, I want to scream at my laptop, “Well you don’t get everything you want!” Then, in my mind, I question their use of the word “create.” It’s just wrong. Then I hit “delete.”

We do want relationships. So do our teens and children.

Relationships, which can mature to friendships, start with noticing the people around us and engaging them in conversations. But, that’s a dying art because of texting, social media, and self-centeredness.

So how do we engage people and get to know them? We can ask better questions. We can be fully present to listen to people’s answers and ask follow-up questions that honor them. We’d all be better off if we took the time to get to know people. Right? Let me write that again: We’d all be better off if we took the time to get to know people.

Ask These Questions

Here are my favorite questions to ask when wanting to get to know someone better. Some of them I ask during my first encounter. And others I ask after we have gotten to know each other a bit.

  • What would you like me to know about you? (This is my all-time favorite because it honors them. They can decide whether to share about family, career, their past, their passion, or something else. As a result, I often learn about their priorities by what they choose to talk about.)
  • What are you passionate about? Why?
  • What fascinates you? Why?
  • What concerns you? Why?
  • What’s important to you?
  • What you are most grateful for?
  • What breaks your heart? Why?
  • What brings you great joy?
  • What has been one of your greatest victories?
  • If you could give advice to people, what would you share?
  • Who are some of your favorite people? Why?

More Questions That Will Help You Get to Know Others

I love my Facebook communities so I asked them, “What’s a unique question we could ask someone we wanted to get to know better?” There are some great questions here. I’ve printed this out so I remember these. I want to honor people and get to know them better.

  • What makes you have joy in the midst of a crisis? I am just curious because I see how well you manage your family and your life.
  • What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever faced and walked through?
  • When do you see yourself as the best version of you? (Ex: in a deadline crunch I am my best driven self.)
  • What inspires you? And why?
  • I am intrigued by you. I would love to hear your story.
  • What is one occasion when it was undeniable that Jesus was present and at work in a situation?
  • What is your biggest dream? Why? Are you taking steps to accomplish that dream?
  • What’s the hardest part of your job (or if there’s no ‘job’ insert the words “typical day.”) Or what part do you like doing the least? You could ask the opposite too. What’s your favorite part of your job.
  • What is your passion? What motivates and moves you?
  • Whom do you most admire and why? What character qualities do you most admire in your spouse /or best friend /or child?
  • What is your life motto or favorite Bible verse?
  • If I wanted to get to know you better what kinds of questions would I ask you?

And A Few Fun Questions

  • Do you prefer Star Wars or Star Trek?
  • What makes you smile?
  • What book has influenced you the most and why?
  • Do you have any pets? Why did you choose them?
  • What has your favorite vacation been?
  • Can you picture an elephant in your mind? Describe your elephant to me.
    (This helps to learn how the person thinks/processes/learns.)
  • What is your least favorite food?
  • If you have a few hours of down time to do whatever you want to do to recharge, what would you do?
  • What is the wildest adventure you’ve ever had?
  • Tell me four things about yourself, with a catch. One of them has to be a lie. I will then guess which is the false answer.
  • When I hear someone has gone on a trip I like to ask, “What was your favorite thing?” I prefer that over, “Did you have a good time?” I get more than just a casual ‘yes’ answer.
  • If you could only have one, would you choose salsa or guacamole, and why?
  • When was the last time you cried and why?
  • What’s the neatest thing you ever made?
  • Tell me your story.
  • If you could buy a ticket to anywhere, where would you go?
  • What is your favorite place in the whole world?
  • So far, what month has been your favorite this year? Then, what happened?
  • Say you’re arrested. Who’s the first person you’d call to bail you out?
  • What is your favorite food and how do you fix it?

A Little More Personal

  • You have died and come to heaven. In heaven there is all understanding and completion, but before you step through those gates to become whole, you have an opportunity. A question. Just one question. Anything your heart has most desired to know. What do you ask?
  • How can I pray for you?
  • Who took a chance on you and offered you an opportunity to do something meaningful — even if you, or they, didn’t feel you were totally ready for it yet — and what happened?
  • Hi, you look like a very interesting person. I’d love to hear your story.
  • If you could spend a few hours with anyone who has ever lived in history, who would that be? Why?
  • What are you excited about?
  • What are you hoping for today?
  • If you save one photo from your life what would it be of?
  • What fact most surprised you when you learned it?
  • If you weren’t here, what would you normally be doing this time of day, this day of the week?
  • What circumstance in your life has caused you to grow the most?
  • Who was the person that changed your life and how did they do that?
  • If you could know anything about anything, what would you want to know?
  • How would you like to change the world?
  • What’s on the top of your bucket list?
  • What is your biggest fear? And what do you love most?
  • Can you talk freely about your past? What are your aspirations for the future?
  • What is the one thing you are most passionate about and why.
  • If money wasn’t a problem what would you like to do and why?

Or These Personal Questions

  • What are passionate about? What sets you ablaze? A certain kind of movie, a certain kind of food, a certain kind outdoor activity… like surfing or jet skiing?
  • If you could trade places with another person, who would it be and why?
  • In what ways are you smart?
  • What’s the hardest situation you feel like God bailed you out of in a really cool way?
  • What keeps you busy during the week?
  • What’s your greatest fear?
  • If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Getting To Know Their Background A Little More

  • Tell me a story of your name and how you got it.
  • What is your favorite childhood memory?
  • As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  • What did you like about the place where you grew up? What things did your parents do when you were young that you really appreciate now?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • What truth has most impacted the way you live? How?
  • What’s the most heroic thing someone did for you and who did it?
  • How did you come to know Christ?
  • What are the top 3 most significant events in your life that changed you as a person?
  • If you could live in a different city, where would that be and why?
  • What’s on your bucket list?
  • What made you giggle as a child?
  • What book are you reading or what kind of music do you listen to?
  • How do you like to spend your time?
  • What do you love most about your life?
  • When do you feel the most alive?
  • What is a personal goal you have set or achieved?
  • What are you good at?
  • If you could do one thing and be guaranteed not to fail, what would you do?

Will You Use These Questions?

So, what do you think? Will you use some of these? Will you share some with your teens so they can get to know peers in unique ways?  Maybe some would be fun to ask our teens. Let me know how the questions work. I’d love to know!

Dr. Kathy doesn’t just have books in her office. In today’s video, she explains why she has an unusual “picture” of an eagle hanging there. Do you know that they regularly fly at 100 miles an hour and can strangle animals four times their weight with their talons? They’re strong animals!
#Kathyism #DrKathyKoch #parenting

How To Help Those In Need

How To Help Those In Need


How To Help Those In Need

On Monday, we heard about and then grieved the loss of life in Las Vegas. As of when I’m writing this, 59 people have died and 510 were injured. Of course, everyone there was affected. It’s hard to imagine.

There’s so much on my mind.

We can’t prevent every tragedy, but we can love well. So let’s let people know we care. We love. We like.

Make eye contact. Smile. Ask how they’re doing and care enough to listen to what they say. When people ask us, we can answer their questions.

We can offer comfort. Be present. We can listen. Sympathize. Empathize.

We can share. Talk. Ask. Tell stories.

We can see needs and help before being asked. We can let others help us.

Reach out. We can let others reach in to us.

We can look for the lonely and sit by them. Listen. Talk. Just be present.

We can comfort the hurting by listening. By offering support. Maybe by connecting them to those who can help.

We can “weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15) We don’t need to question or analyze their tears. Just share them.

We can hug and smile.

We can ask “How can I help?” instead of “Can I help?” We can keep asking “How can I help?” until they let us.

We can be careful to not share verses like “God is close to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18) unless we stay close, too. And, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) unless we welcome them to come to us, too.

Finally, in good times and bad, let’s be who we know we can be and let’s do what we can do.

Uniting In Christ

Uniting In Christ


Uniting In Christ

Did you read last Monday’s blog, Give The Gift of a Car? In it, I told the beautiful story about friends from a church who decided to give me a car.

I commented that the church is most beautiful when it’s being the church. For example, check out these “one-another” passages that were written to the church:

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

“Encourage one another and build each other up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

These verses describe my friends well. They are beautiful people from a beautiful church.

In several ways last week, I observed another beautiful scene – the unity of Christ. Like me, do you sometimes grieve denominational differences? I understand them, but I grieve still the same, especially when they become barriers and not just differences. I grieve even more the differences that can exist within one church.

Uniting In Christ

Last Week’s Rally

Last week, my friend Suzanne and I attended a rally in Charlotte, NC, sponsored by Love Life Charlotte held outside the City Hall.  This pro-life group works to prevent abortion at a large “women’s center” in Charlotte. The center’s director petitioned the city to change the parking laws on their street. If passed, it will mean mobile ultrasound units can’t park there. That will mean missed opportunities to save babies so we were there to remind the mayor and other voted officials that many people in Charlotte value life.

Uniting In Christ

Walking back to our car after the rally and our time in the City Council Chambers, Suzanne and I talked about the crowd. There were men and women. There were children, teens, and adults. Different races were represented. At one point, five pastors representing different denominations linked arms and worshipped together. Prayers were offered by different people. Tears were in our eyes often and it wasn’t just because we were praying that God would save babies. The unity of Christ was precious. It is precious.

Uniting In Christ

Two days later, I spoke at chapel at Charlotte Christian School. That night I spoke to parents. From their website: The student population of more than 1,083 reflects a geographical, denominational, racial and ethnic diversity. The unity of Christ was compelling. I was impressed with the faculty, staff, and students. Their joy was obvious. The Spirit was active.

Uniting In Christ

God Tells Us

In Ephesians 4:1-7, we read this:

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

Psalm 131 is beautiful:

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!

It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!

It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.”


This week, I want to be part of the unity. How about you?

There are two things in Dr. Kathy’s office this week that are often, but not always, there. She uses them to explain the power of God’s call on her life. Her insights may help you figure out why you’re feeling the way you are about what you’re doing.

Give The Gift of a Car

Give The Gift of a Car

 Give The Gift of a Car


What do I want you to remember after reading this blog?


  • The church is most beautiful when it’s being the church.
  • When like-minded people come together, they can accomplish much.
  • People should do what they can do and not think so much about what they can’t do.
  • Accepting help is humbling, refreshing, and right.
  • Not being able to find adequate words to say “thanks” with is frustrating.
  • Paying it forward can be more emotional than receiving a gift.
  • Sometimes telling others about a need is hard. Do it anyway.
  • Be open to the Holy Spirit telling you that someone needs your help. Then follow through.

That’s a lot to remember. Do you agree it might be worth it?

What’s my story?

In August, 2016, two friends helped me with my products. As they transferred boxes from one car to the other I commented about how easy it was. I remember them looking at me with a confused look on their faces.

I explained that I have an older car with a very deep trunk. One friend immediately commented that I need a new car – something like theirs with a hatchback that allows for easy loading and unloading of heavy suitcases and boxes. I rather quickly dismissed the comment and explained that my car worked fine and I wasn’t in a financial situation where a car payment would be a good thing to add.

Fast forward to last May when my chiropractor and I decided that his medical team would inject stem cells into my back in hopes of healing what was long-standing and increasingly challenging pain.

Dr. Gideon saw my car. He told me he hesitated to keep treating me if I continued to drive that car. He was concerned about the loading and unloading of my product in and out of the deep trunk. But it was also the fact that I had to fall into a deep seat and then really make an effort to step out of my car which was low to the ground. Also the seats weren’t fitted so my back had absolutely no support. Again, in that instant, I dismissed his comment as important but irrelevant because I didn’t think I could do anything about it.

Trust God

Before the end of that day I believe it was the Holy Spirit who reminded me of my friend’s comment from the previous August. After praying and searching my heart to make sure my motivation was appropriate, I called her. I briefly explained that she might have actually had a Holy Spirit divine inspiration many months prior based on what was now going on with my back.


I asked her if she was serious in her offer to help get me a car. I had no idea what she had in mind but I decided that if I teach and believe that our relationships are intentional and God introduces us to the people He wants us to know, then acting upon her verbalized interest and concern was appropriate. She listened and very quickly exclaimed, “I’m on it. Glad to help. No problem. You’ll hear from me soon.”

Humbling. That’s what it was as I recognized that this friend and the other friend who was a part of the original conversation were going to encourage people from their church to help me in my time of need. As I understand it, emails were sent to people who have gotten to know me and the reason for my need was explained.

Notes and checks arrived in my mailbox. Before I knew it, people from one church decided to be the church. They blessed me with not just a car, but an ideal car for my situation. One gift would not have bought me a car, but working together, small gifts and large gifts made the difference. I was reminded that we can all do something.

My friends worked with Steve Beck, my fabulous salesman from AutoNation Ford South in Fort Worth, and he found the car they wanted to buy for me. I was overwhelmed when a friend dropped me off at the dealership so that I could see my new car for the first time and drive it home. It’s still hard to put into words an adequate expression of my gratitude to the people who stepped up and did something precious.


Thank-you notes have been sent. Many prayers of gratitude have been spoken to God, the One who gives the greatest gifts of all. I’ve asked Him to bless my friends in beautiful ways.

I paid it forward by giving away my car to someone who I knew needed it. That was such a fabulous feeling and continues to be a reason I’m grateful for my friends’ generosity. Yes, my fitted and heated seats are helping my back tremendously. Having a hatchback for loading and unloading boxes and heavy suitcases for airport trips is fabulous. Knowing that my friend has reliable transportation gives me great joy. Great joy!

What are you going to do today or this week? Will you be on the lookout for someone who needs help and will you respond? Do you have a need and have you been afraid to tell someone? Maybe today is your day. Could you pass a blessing forward and be doubly blessed? Do you need to thank someone for something? Accept help? With others from your church, how can you be the church?




If you’re in need of a car, Steve Beck of AutoNation Ford will be great to work with. He’s been a missionary and pastor who is now known as the pastor of the dealership. He knows cars and will get to know you so he can find you exactly what you need. Give him a call at 817-564-3979.