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A Salt Sky Inspiration story
Inspiration, Stories

The Power of Believing

Social science research teaches that the way we understand our intelligence and abilities deeply impacts our success.

When our daughter Samantha was 8 years old, she started taking ballet classes. We quickly realized that she had a passion for dancing when we saw that nothing could stand in the way of ballet.  One year, she even decided to forgo her own birthday party as she simply could not miss her ballet class. By the time she was a junior in high school, she decided she would audition at The University of Utah School of Ballet.

I called the dean of the school to ask a few questions to better understand the process. By the time I hung up the phone I was very discouraged and wasn’t sure how I was going to tell my daughter the bad news. The dean explained that her program was rated the second best in the country and that in the spring hundreds of dancers from all over the country as well, as some international hopefuls, would travel to Utah to audition for only 30 available spots. Those that would make it into the program would be the very best and would start school in the fall. The dean said, “Your daughter is welcome to try but the chances of getting in are slim, though it is always good to try so that she can gain experience.”

After getting the mountain of paperwork ready for her application and sending it in, the day of the audition finally came.  Samantha had written on sheets of paper that she placed in her room, bathroom mirror and refrigerator the words: “I WILL MAKE IT INTO THE U BALLET.” These words were in front of her daily for over a month; it’s all she though about.

But as we drove to drop her off, she felt scared, she asked her dad if he would walk her in to register and get a number that she would pin on her leotard. I stayed in the car. All I could think about, as I saw hotel shuttles unloading beautiful and talented ballerinas, was the crushing disappointment she was headed into. All I could do was pray for her to do her best. After 6 hours, we picked her up, it would be about two weeks before the letter arrived in the mail with news of the results of that day.

As Samantha held the unopened letter in her hands, I reminded her that she had done her best, that no matter what she had a bright future and all would be okay. I knew how hard she took rejection, I witnessed it when as a little girl, she didn’t get a part that she had auditioned for. But this was the audition of her life and I imagined that the disappointment this time would be monumental.

She opened her letter and read the words: “Dear Samantha, Congratulations, you have been accepted to. . .”  The rest was a blur as we both screamed and cried and jumped for joy.

I think great things happen when we believe in ourselves.  The subconscious picks up on our beliefs so we have to fill our mind with positive beliefs about being able to achieve our goals.

As this year comes to a close and a new year approaches, will you join me in clearing our minds of useless fear and stress of things we cannot control and filling our minds with positive thoughts, with affirmations that can have power over good and righteous goals.

Additionally, write it on paper and put your goal in places where you will see it. Repeat it over and over and most importantly, believe it. After all the hard work, you never know, a little miracle might just be around the corner.

Samantha finished her senior year of high school while at the University of Utah, the years that followed were her most difficult. Physical injuries were a way of life, the “corrections” that she was constantly given were at times harsh criticisms that hurt deeply and tore her down. But the hard things also made her a stronger person in the end.

What goals will you work towards this year?

Remember, after all you have done to get where you are, the most powerful thing you can do is believe.

katty

A Sabbath Blessing Story
Inspiration, Stories

A Sabbath Blessing

Today I was thinking of an experience I had exactly one year ago. My new little granddaughter who had been born a few days earlier was at Primary Children’s Hospital. It was a Sunday morning and I was on my way to be with her so that her tired parents could go home to shower and rest for a little while.

Sundays are a sacred and special day in our home, we attend church and partake of the sacrament bread and water, pray and think of the promises we have made with God. It is a time of peace and reflection and if ever I needed to do that and to be in church, it was on that day. But my daughter needed me and I needed to be near a tiny angel that was not well.

I had heard that Sunday services were held in hospitals throughout the Salt Lake valley for all religions and that members of my church go around to the patient’s rooms offering the sacrament to those in hospitals that cannot attend at their churches.

As I drove to the hospital, I told Heavenly Father that my heart was aching, that I was tired, I was worried for my daughter who had just delivered a baby and was not able to rest like she should.  I told him that I wanted this new grandbaby to be made well so that she could go home. And I prayed that if it was possible and not too late, that someone would find our hospital room and bring the sacrament to me.

I sat in that quiet room for about a hour holding a little piece of heaven in my arms, a tiny bundle with more wires coming out of her than I could count, I heard a knock at the door, and there stood two men in their 20’s holding sacrament trays. They asked if I would want to have the sacrament, with tears in my eyes I told them that I had hoped they would come, I had prayed for them but thought I was too late.

We talked for a little while, they asked how the baby was doing and told me that they were both married and in medical school, they took time out of their busy schedule to provide this service and it was one that brought them much joy. One of them humbly knelt on the floor, uncovered the tray that held the sacrament bread and blessed it. After I had partaken of the bread, he blessed the water.

The room was filled with the sweetest feeling, I will never forget how that special Sabbath day felt. The words of the sacrament prayer washed over me with a renewed hope that God is a loving God who listens to our prayers and though we may have many hard things to go through during the week, on Sunday we can pause and be filled with his spirit. The only source of true happiness.

Today, I held that same baby girl from a year ago. She is chubby, has the biggest rosy cheeks around, and is full of laughter. The family came together to celebrate her first birthday, she wore a crown and opened presents and ate cake.

Today I feel blessed.

katty

Inspiration, Stories

A Change That Makes the Difference

It’s election week!  I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad it’s finally here. I’ve become weary of the negative words that I hear daily on the news and social media.

So, here is something I choose to concentrate on as the events of an uncertain future loom.

PEACE

Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

Peace begins in the heart, it spills into the home, the community and everyone you come in contact with. Someone once said that inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.

Yesterday I was watching some of my granddaughters at play, one of them was so adorable that I said to her: “Can I hold you and sing you a song?”  Her reply was “But grandma, I’m not crying.”  I realized that I may scoop them up into my arms to sing and rock them mostly when they are sad or hurt.

I decided right then and there that I will find more times to simply hold those babies in moments of quiet and peace.

This week and always, let’s remember that peace is possible in the storms of life and that we have the ability to not let people pull us into their storm, we can pull them into our peace.

Carpe diem Salt Sky friends!

katty

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Inspiration, Stories

An Act of Kindness

Today I was thinking of a time when a stranger did something special for our family. I’ll never forget it because it came at a tender time.

We had just left a funeral and we were all hungry but in a hurry to get to the cemetery, we decided to go through a drive-up and get something to hold us over.

There were several cars in front of us, we placed our order and as we pulled up to pay, the clerk told us that the family in front of us had already paid for our food.

We were shocked and filled with gratitude and warm feelings all at the same time, as they drove away all we could see was a couple with a bunch of children in a van. It happened so quickly that we were not able to thank them.

I suspect that gratitude was not what they were looking for, but a chance to do something kind for a stranger and a chance to teach their children about service.

I’ve thought about this kind act many times through the years.

What kind of people do something like that? I’m guessing we weren’t the first and that they must get so much joy from doing this kind of thing.

I also suspect that their children grew up and have fond memories of the acts of kindness that they shared with their parents.

The 13th-century Persian poet, Rumi said:

“Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.”

What can you and I do this week for someone special or perhaps a total stranger?

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Inspiration, Stories

It’s about learning something new

I read a quote this week that said: “WHEN GOD WANTS YOU TO GROW, HE MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE.” It’s a timely quote. This past week I was asked if I would lead the music at an important meeting coming up next week. Little did the person know that I am the least qualified person to conduct music.

I don’t know what came over me but I said yes. I asked what song we were to sing and I was told I could pick any song from the approved list. I chose the shortest song I could find and immediately made a call to a very musically gifted friend of mine. She knows how little talent I have when it comes to music so her first question was “Katty, why did you say yes? Why did you accept this assignment?”

I told her that I’ve always believed that if we don’t share our talents then God will take them away; in my situation since I have no musical talents then I would have negative talent! So I accepted, now I needed her to teach me and I only had one week to learn.

She came over right away and we went over the hymn many, many times. I followed along until we made it through without any mistakes. She patiently taught me and showed me music notations that I had never noticed or paid attention to.

It’s funny how things work out; everywhere I turn lately I am noticing the things my friend taught me. I find musical notes written in odd places and I’m listening closer to the sounds of beautiful music. I was looking at my Facebook this week where someone had posted a beginner’s video on how to read musical notes.

This week I have made my husband sing the song I will be conducting so that I can practice, my girls have had to endure the same, and I just hope I don’t mess it up terribly when I get up in front of those very experienced singers next week.

It’s terrifying and sweet all at the same time. Learning something new can sometimes feel daunting, but if we don’t try, we’ll never grow.

Join me this week in trying something new. You never know, it may just turn out ok in the end.

Here’s hoping!

katty

"Let me love you a little more before you're not little anymore."
kids, Stories

Tiny miracles for mamas who need a little help

Growing up

I saw this quote today right after my little girl went off to her first day of preschool.  She has always been a mama’s girl, my little sidekick, the one who isn’t really into making friends, glares at people that are “looking at her,” and one that would be content if it was just our family all the time, at home.  She is however, the most loving and sweet little girl with an awesome personality.

Knowing that she was going to school and that she would most likely have a meltdown when I left her had me worried all summer.  This morning she cried every time I left the room and told me that she didn’t want to go to school.  So my amazing family members all said little prayers for my her as I drove her to school with knots in my stomach.  We got there and the UNEXPECTED happened… she jumped right out of the car, never looked back and went into school with a big smile.

Miracles happen everyday.  This miracle of mine today may seem small but it is huge to me.  I cried as I pulled away, not because I didn’t want her to grow up, not because I’d miss her (though those things are also true).  I cried because she did it and I knew that she did it with the help of heavenly angels.

Sheri Dew once said that if we knew how close heaven was, how much we are loved, we would be asking for angels to help us in our lives daily.  And so I’ve started doing just that.  Asking for angels to snuggle my babies that are afraid of sleeping in their own beds, to go to school with them, to be there for them when I can’t but want to.

They come, I know they do.  Small miracles happen and they mean the world to me because I’m a mom who needs a whole lot of help.

xoxo,

Brittany

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Inspiration, Stories

Sometimes We Just Need a Push

As many returned to school this past week after a long and wonderful summer, I was thinking back on a teacher I once had.

For the life of me I can’t remember her name, but the details of her face are engrained in my mind. She taught High School Sophomore English, she never smiled, and was known for being a tough teacher.

On the first day of school, I waited after class to speak to her. I explained to her that I had only moved to the United States a couple of years prior and that I was not confident that I could keep up with all that was required in her class.  I thought that my English was simply not advanced enough to take on the challenge. I thought that the level of literature was a little over my head and even though I knew this course was required, I wanted special treatment.

She said something like this, “Your English sounds good enough to me. I will not take your request into consideration.  If I do, you will not reach your potential. You will be graded just like everyone else, I know you can do it.”

At that moment, I hated her.

And then, I learned to love her.

She was right, I had to put extra effort into her class just to keep up. By the end of the semester I had grown by leaps and bounds.

She saw something I simply could not, I had no confidence in my abilities but she believed in me.

I’m sure she has passed on, but some day, I hope we meet again so that I can thank her and tell her that what she did for me didn’t just help me in her class but it has made a difference in many areas throughout all my life.

This week, I hope you too can take a moment to think of a special teacher that touched your life for good. Maybe sharing the story with our children or grandchildren will help them appreciate their teachers a little more this year.

katty

 

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Inspiration, Stories

The Key to Peace Among Sorrows

My husband Bob was asked to speak last Sunday to a group of elderly people in a nursing home. I asked him what he was going to speak about, wondering how one could address people who are suffering so much physically and make a difference. I went along to listen to him and was so touched by his words; I’ve taken parts of his talk to share today.

He started by quoting an old Southern poem, which Neill Marriott shared in an address she gave, it reads:

Have Thine own way, Lord…

Thou art the Potter;

I am the clay.

Mould me and make me

After Thy will,

While I am waiting,

Yielded and still.

Then shared this quote from her: “How do we, a modern, busy, competitive people, become yielded and still? How do we make the Lord’s ways our ways?” “I believe we begin by learning of Him and praying for understanding. As our trust in Him grows, we open our hearts, seek to do His will, and wait for answers that will help us understand.”

 Bob then shared these words:

For me, the key to this statement is our willingness to do “His will”. When you think about it, the only thing we can really offer the Lord is “our will,” meaning, our ability to choose, to use our agency. Our Savior created this world, which provides for our needs and wants. We are in his debt in every way. But we do have our agency; we do get to choose our path.

Many of us have spent years learning about our Father in Heaven and about the gospel of His son, Jesus Christ. Admittedly, there is always more to learn. To me, the hardest part is waiting for answers that will help us understand – to understand what our earthly challenges are meant to teach us. What is the Master Potter doing with my clay?

I want to share part of my mother’s story to illustrate this point.

Devona Moss was born a “blue baby” due to a defect in her heart; she had 3 chambers in her heart instead of the normal 4. As a child she suffered a broken back when her father hit her with a shovel in anger. As a teen she had to drop out of high school because of repeated bouts with rheumatic and scarlet fevers, which forced her into bed and temporarily took away her ability to walk. As a young mother, she had to be revived after giving birth 3 times. Later, she died for more that 30 minutes while she underwent open heart surgery and was brought back. She developed breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy. At age 56, she lost her husband to colon cancer. Although this is not a complete list of personal trials, you get the idea.

My mother was a lifelong faithful Christian who was tested with many difficult physical trials. Her life was filled with physical pain and suffering. She went to the Lord on many occasions to ask for relief and understanding. I imagine her asking, “What am I to learn? Or, please give me understanding and strength to understand how my trials will teach others what they need to learn. My mother did not get angry and say that a loving God would not let her suffer. She accepted her life, stayed faithful, and sought to understand.

My trials are not like her trials and your trials are likely not like mine. What is the purpose of our trials? What is the master potter trying to mold with your clay?

Neill Marriott taught, “True worship begins when our hearts are right before the Father and the Son. What is our heart condition today? Paradoxically, in order to have a healed and faithful heart, we must first allow it to break before the Lord. The result of sacrificing our heart, or our will, to the Lord is that we receive the spiritual guidance we need. With a growing understanding of the Lord’s grace and mercy, we will find that our self-willed hearts begin to crack and break in gratitude. Then we reach for Him, yearning to yoke ourselves to the Only Begotten Son of God. In our brokenhearted reaching and yoking, we receive new hope and fresh guidance through the Holy Ghost. How do we, a modern, busy, competitive people, become yielded and still? How do we make the Lord’s ways our ways?”

I suggest we consider the following steps to make the Lord’s ways our ways.

First, take time to talk with our Father in Heaven. We are commanded to pray always. Pray that the Spirit of God will touch you – invite the Spirit into your life. Ask to know His will.

Second, take time to read the scriptures, regularly. I find that reading not only teaches beautiful doctrine, it changes the way I think and feel.

Third, ponder the scriptures, ponder the ways that God has blessed your life, and ponder how you can align your will to His will.

Some may think they have failed too many times and feel too weak to change sinful acts or worldly desires of the heart. However, as covenant Israel, we don’t just try and try on our own to change. If we earnestly appeal to God, He takes us as we are—and makes us more than we ever imagined. Noted theologian Robert L. Millet writes of “a healthy longing to improve,” balanced with the spiritual “assurance that in and through Jesus Christ we are going to make it.” With such an understanding, we can honestly say to Heavenly Father:

So trusting my all to thy tender care,

And knowing thou lovest me,

I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere:

I’ll be what you want me to be.

 When Bob finished speaking, I had a deeper desire to find out what God wants me to do, especially at this time in my life.

This week, I hope you and I can take some time to think about where we are and where we want to be.

katty

 

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Inspiration, Stories

And That’s Why I Love July

I love the patriotic celebrations, the parades, the rodeo, the family gatherings, and the fireworks that surround the month of July.

The USA is not my country of origin but it is the country that educated me, blessed my life and allowed me to fulfill my dreams.

I love the words engraved on the tablet that the Statue of Liberty holds by Emma Lazarus:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

I don’t know where my parents found the courage to do all they did to get their three children to this country but I do know that it came at great sacrifice.

I remember getting in our Sunday best to go to a meeting in downtown Santiago where the U.S. embassy was located. There we waited to be called in for a interview. After entering, I looked around the beautiful room with a large desk, a Chilean flag to one side and an American flag on the other. A tall American man briefly spoke to my parents, handed them our green cards and wished us well in the U.S. That event happened at the end of 1977.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry; however, I know I did plenty of both after all was settled.  The thought of leaving my home, my friends, and my family was harder than I ever imagined.

After our meeting at the embassy, my parents took us out to eat at a new place that had just opened up in the downtown area called Burger King. We ordered strange food, including: hamburgers, fries and milk shakes. As we were eating we noticed an American family with teen-agers who were dipping their french fries in their shake; strange behavior we thought and laughed. After we ate, I remember thinking the food was not so bad and with a little bit of time, I could get used to it.

We left Chile about a month later with 5 suitcases and our German Shepherd, who spent about 15 hours in airplane cargo and never once went to the bathroom until release from the kennel.

The new life that awaited us in Salt Lake City, Utah was not easy for my parents, especially for my mom, who often cried because she missed her house and friends. But with time Salt Lake became our home.

In 1986 I became a U.S. citizen.

My family probably can’t understand, why to this day, I cry at the rodeo when the cowgirls ride in holding the American flag or when the Mormon battalion walks by at the parade in uniform waving the US and Utah flags. But something deep in my soul is touched with great and overflowing gratitude for the place that took me in so many years ago.

This month, let’s all remember the blessings that are ours and the freedoms we enjoy in this great land.

God bless America.

This post is dedicated to Lincoln R Peters & Vania Peters Mendez, my parents, and their courage.

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katty

 

 

 

 

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Stories

Oh Millennials . . . The Constantly-Swiping-Right Generation

Do you realize that millenials are the first generation to be raised with the Internet?

I think that technology is one of the most significant sources of misunderstanding between the generations.

Our website recently experienced a crash. We quickly had to hire a tech professional to fix the problems. Of course my daughters who are very tech-savvy immediately went to work in getting it back up and running. On one particular day, they asked me to call our web designer with some questions. The scary part is that as he was explaining things to me, I had to stop him. I told him he was speaking Chinese and I simply was not following, he politely told me that it would be easier if he just communicated with my daughters.

Ugh? I wonder why.

I realized then, as I should have long ago, that it’s vital for us “older” people to keep sharpening our technological skills to maximize opportunities and keep communication with younger family members and friends flowing.

Recently, my husband and I were at dinner with friends when one of them said: “I really like your daughters’ Instagram posts but I have no idea what ‘Link in bio’ means.”

We laughed because I told her that I had said the same thing and that my daughters had replied: “Mom everyone knows what that means.”

So here’s a few things to know for all the boomers out there who may need a little help:

Link in Bio – the term used in Instagram to give you a direct link to a website.  On Instagram, you cannot post a link to a website that viewers can click on and go directly to the site.  Instead, bloggers and shops tell you to click the link in bio.  In other words, click on the username above the photo (this will take you to the account page), then click on the link highlighted in blue.  You can then click the link in blue and be taken directly to the website to see what the account wants to show you. Here is an example:

STEP 1
link in bio tutorial

STEP 2

what is link in bio

NOW YOU ARE AT THE LINK THAT THE ACCOUNT WANTS YOU TO SEE!


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Emojis – a small digital image, an unspoken language that millennials use instead of words. I recently sent emoji face to my youngest daughter thinking it meant “Yikes” but apparently it didn’t. The quick response was “Wrong emoji mom.”

Hashtag: (#) used on social media as a search tool, for example: If you click on #fashion on a social media post, you will see other posts that also used the same hashtag.   It is also used as an after thought in a social media post, for example: A photo of kids with their face covered in lipstick could have a caption that says: “Dang kids got into my lipstick again! #naughty”

And these are just three of the basics.  There is so much more to learn each day.  Have questions? Just ask your kids and even the grandkids, you are sure to learn something new and exciting!

katty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inspiration, Stories

Survival for an ever changing world

I read a great story in the Book of Chronicles about an army that gathered at King David’s side. We are told that this army was composed of mighty men of valor. I wondered what an army of mighty men of valor would look like. Right as I was thinking it, the next verse described them as men “whose faces were like the faces of lions” men who were “as swift as the roes upon the mountains.”

These valiant men were not only the greatest soldiers around, but they had prepared fervently and were sent by every tribe in Israel to fortify the army.

They were armed with bows, and had the ability to shoot arrows with both their right hand and their left hand and had the skill and ability to hurl stones.

When David questioned who they were and why they had come, they said to David “Thine are we, David, and on thy side.”

From this great chapter, we also learn that these mighty men of valor “Were not of double heart”…But that they “came with a perfect heart…and all…were of one heart”.  

After reading this passage, I wondered if I had prepared my family fervently in a rapidly changing world. God needs people that are on His side, valiant people, people whose hearts are turned to Him and can be set apart from the ways of the world.

This week, I hope we can say like David’s army of old “Thine are we…and on thy side.”

katty

 

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Inspiration, Stories

Sometimes you just need to breathe

This week I realized that Calm is a superpower that I may not possess.

Allergies run rampant in this family and I got to witness two people in distress all in one week.

I was at a birthday lunch at a lovely restaurant overlooking beautiful Salt Lake with family, when my nephew Jake started going quite pale. He put down his sandwich and announced that he was having an allergic reaction to something. We immediately asked the waitress if there was any way that nuts were in the sandwich. She got the manager who let us know that yes, walnuts are in the spread used in the sandwich. Jake quickly stood up to run across the street to a pharmacy to get the help he needed.

That same week my husband Bob and I were visiting a church where a friend was speaking. As the sacrament tray came around, we partook of the bread as we do each week. This particular bread had sunflower seeds in it. Bob quickly realized that he was in trouble and stood up and walked out to take care of things.

I’m pretty sure that if my throat started closing up and I was unable to breathe normally, I would panic.

Jake and Bob both remained calm.

Mark Twain once said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to control it.”

From watching these two brave men, I learned that when faced with an emergency survival situation, we may not want to panic, panicking affects our ability to think critically and exercise good judgment.

This week, in all you do, and all situations you are asked to face, I hope you and I can remember that we have the ability to do hard, scary, and difficult things that are all part of this life experience.

katty