Leadership: Find beauty beyond the blemishes


Kathie Rotz PHOTO CREDIT: by kathie rotz

Are you crafty? Do you like to build with your hands? We all have a creative side. It just shows in different ways.

This past year my husband, John, found his hidden, creative talent — woodworking. He built me a standing desk, perfect for my height. Then, he created a quilt rack by reusing spindles from our railing. This past winter, John made another, shorter desk on wheels that nests perfectly under the standing desk. The next project on the list is a border around the garden.

All of these creations are beautiful. Yet, John dismisses any compliments. Instead, he comments on all of the flaws in his work. I do not see the blemishes. I see beauty and love in his creations.

I have found that I do not enjoy creating with my hands. Detailed and putzy projects are frustrating to me. Instead, I like to create experiences.

Throughout the years, I successfully have thrown surprise anniversary and birthday parties for friends and family members. My goal is to not “spill the beans,” no matter how challenging the surprise gets. It has come close.

One winter, my stubborn father did not want to come off the ice when fishing was good. Another time, he did not want to go to dinner at the restaurant where all of his friends were waiting for him. I got my way, though, and his 40th birthday and 25th anniversary parties were a huge success.

Each of our kids was surprised with a 16th birthday celebration. Our oldest son was amazed that we rented out the movie theater for him and his friends to play video games on the big screen. Our next son was shocked by a paintball adventure with his friends. I thought that child No. 3 saw it coming since her older brothers received a creative birthday bash. She did not have a clue that the bowling alley was home to her birthday celebration.

These celebration events are so gratifying to pull off. However, the experience I have created and am the most proud of is the experience people feel in my home.

Early on in my marriage, a friend visited and commented on how cozy our home felt. I was shocked at her comment. To me, I saw the mismatched, hand-me-down furniture, the carpet that was in desperate need of replacement and the walls that could use a fresh coat of paint. If she saw any of these flaws, they did not affect her feelings of coziness and peace.

Just like John, who sees all of the flaws in his projects, I was focusing on all of the flaws in my house. We know the details of our work but others kindly overlook it. Others see a bigger picture of beauty.

After my friend’s visit, I began to see my home in a different way. I thought about what I wanted in my home. I want peace and a safe space to conquer life’s challenges. I want a clean house with low amounts of clutter. I want the atmosphere to be cozy and comfortable. I can have all of this without matching furniture or new amenities.

As we move into a new season of building, be intentional to accept compliments from others. Your flaws add character. See your work for the beauty that it is.

Kathie Rotz is a leadership consultant and John Maxwell Certified Speaker, Trainer and Coach with Unity Consulting in Dubuque.

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