Category Archives: Speaking

If this child was born today.

Mom labelHappy Sunday!
Today I was a part of a beautiful Christmas program of song.. Of course my part was talking. Here is my little talk I thought you all might enjoy…

If this Child were born today–

The population of Jerusalem, at the time of Christ, was 40,000. Because of the tax decree and Passover, the population had swollen to a quarter of a million.The population of South Jordan is 60,000. (The town I live in)
Then, like us, they were caught up in the pressures of the day. They had no Kitchen Aid to help them prepare the Passover bread. Wives had the in-laws over, and felt the pressure of a mother-in-law’s gaze assessing her domestic skills. The husbands were pulling overtime as the town was over run with tourists. If they had had access to it–the out-of-towners would have been on Yelp figuring out where they could eat, complaining on social media and the lack of accommodations and over crowding. Undoubtedly, they would have left bad reviews on Travelocity.
They were focused on their comforts, jobs and other’s opinion of them, just as we are today. Tucked into our lives, we are comfortable and only worry about what others think of us Perhaps that is why the angels came to shepherds and not politicians..

Sheep herding used to be a noble profession, but after captivity in Egypt, the Jewish people adopted the view of those around them. The Egyptian’s idea was that shepherds were lowly, dirty and without influence. It was a lowly position like how we may view a Hell’s Angel biker. These shepherds were uneducated, mere hired hands watching sheep which were not even theirs. They were so lowly that they were not permitted to attend temple services—they literally were not able to go to church. Their profession was viewed as low as a dung sweeper or a tax collector!

So, when a baby was born in a meager manger, just a feeding trough for animals, the rulers of the land didn’t come. Sheperds, the low of the low, fell on bended knee, worshipping.

Wise men did come. After years of searching, they watched for the signs– they looked. They asked, “Have you heard of the Christ Child? Have you … have you? We have seen the signs!” They shared with all who would listen–even Herod. On bended knee, their silken robes pressed into the dirt, they offered gifts that a carpenter’s family would never be able to possess.

When the time came to flee into Egypt, how did they fund their travel? Perhaps through the wise men’s gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, the very temporal needs of daily life and relocation were answered.

They couldn’t offer the little family protection from those that would kill for political power or governmental control over men and wealth. Those forces overlooked the humble birth because of social class snobbery. You see they weren’t like ‘us’. The religious leaders overlooked the Christ; because He didn’t preach of war craft to over throw oppressors. He preached of peace, of the human heart, of forgiveness and of forsaking worldly wealth and power. All to be given when needed to serve God. He told them to leave behind their daily concerns for heavenly ones. The answers given were not popular–the media channels in Jerusalem didn’t put Christ on the front cover as Man of the Year. He wasn’t flashy, his followers didn’t even hold down jobs. The Jewish people missed the Messiah because they wanted a leader who would take away ALL their problems which suppressed them. They did not want a leader who said that by faith you will walk through your challenges and promised the way would not be easy. But it would be worth it.

They wanted a quick fix, soooo much like us today. Do we over look Christ’s message because it isn’t the answer we want? We see life tidy, in plot lines and look to gurus and Google for answers. Our society twists facts to fit the answer it wants, while ignoring God’s law and mocking faith as ignorance.

Why not use some kind of mass communication to brand the message and take control of the story line; get ahead of the opposition party! Wouldn’t that have worked better? ‘Like’ today’s post on Facebook or Instagram! Oh wait, that could turn ugly fast as people slandered Mary and let King Herod know the exact location of the Christ child.

God doesn’t work in mass announcements. He works quietly to the heart of each of us. He works with the lowest of the low. He works with us in our lowest times. When we are hurt, afraid, rejected; is that not when we hear the Angels sing the loudest? We want gifts that sweep aside our worldly concerns. Yet he builds us stronger through refining us and lifts our load with us. Is that not when we look up and see the signs of Christ’s light illuminating our path through the darkness of doubt? Do we await the dawn of redeeming Grace?

When we stand outside the false warmth of other’s good opinions, we can behold God’s Son touching our hearts.

Would we behold God’s Son? Would we hear the Angels sing of Peace,Comfort, Joy, Compassion, Redemption?

God calls to any, and all, who will believe. He asks us to testify one on one–will you? Will you? When we are busy with life’s pressures will we hear the Angel’s call? We are no better than a shepherd in Christ’s time. We parents have been asked to guard that which isn’t even ours. We are merely hirelings asked to spread the good news.

The lowest of the low and the wisest of the wise sought out the Holy infant. Will we be among them? Would we praise with Grateful hearts? It is my testimony that the Gift of the Savior is enough for our darkest day, our heaviest burden, He is the light. He welcomes all–even you and I.

 10500483_10153847249977490_4804038506851638201_n

“Sorry”

speaker labelThere is nothing I admire more in people than when they take responsibility for their words and actions.  We all say and do things that are less than our best but we show our character when we take responsibility for what we do and say.

When I was 19, I was living in Alaska; I had read many of Jack London’s novels so I anticipated outdoor experiences where I would discover my true self through minimalist living and tests of physical endurance: a girl meets nature.  What I got instead was learning about the nature of myself.

One of those experiences came after church volleyball.  I am not skilled in any sport that involves a ball.  Typically, I am welcomed by my fellow players due to my humor.  I am pretty funny.  That day, I was on a roll, cracking jokes mostly about my own skills; self-deprecating humor is usually safe.  I made one comment concerning volleyball skills wasn’t about me, but about another young woman.  It landed not with a thud but with laughter.  Later, as I was leaving with a group of guys attending me (this was Alaska, after all, so a young lady was always accompanied), I asked out loud, “I wonder if what I said could have been hurtful?” I was strongly assured I was too sweet, everyone knows I am so kind, I was too awesome to misspeak… all words I loved to hear!  One guy, however,​said, “possibly.​”  The possibility was worth investigating.

So, I went back in and approached the young woman who had been the brunt of my harmless, not-possibly-offensive words. “What I just said, I think may have been hurtful. I am sorry.”  Today, 20 years later I don’t remember what I had said, but I do still remember the look in her eyes.  As I spoke I could see how she responded to my words that what I had said had made her question my intent – it had hurt.  And though she said, “Oh, it was nothing,” and she laughed,​I learned something that day.  It had not been my intention to hurt, yet I had hurt her feelings, even though 98% of the people there saw nothing hurtful in what was said.  That experience has stood out to me as a pivotal moment.  I am charming, it’s true.  With that charm, I could get away with saying a lot of things and people will take it, even laugh.  But I have to remember, words impact people in often unintended ways.​

I admire the ability to say sorry because I don’t think it’s a skill that comes naturally to us humans.  I think we have mastered saying sorry in a way that is laden with “why are you making me do this?” We are accomplished at the “sorry” with rolled eyes of our teen years.  We are excellent at the “sorry” that comes with expectation that the receiver will in turn validate us. We have refined our ability to say,​ “I am sorry you are so hurt,” which is not a sorry at all.  All of these kinds of saying I am “sorry” place blame on the other person and not on the one who did or said what they said. Or one of my favorites, “I am sorry it’s just that…” which comes off as saying “I am sorry but you…” where saying I am sorry is a YOU statement about someone else.

I am proud of my 19-year-old self that walked back in and apologized without conditions and then walked out.  I later recommended a guy friend of mine ask out that young woman.  They got married. I fell in love with the man that said “possibly,” because he had the character to call me out, to tell me the truth, not just the pretty words I wanted to hear; the type of words we all want to hear.  I didn’t marry him, but I did marry someone with the same quality.  My husband has many times been an accountability partner, aiding me to become my best self and me for him.  We have said sorry to each other without “you should have…” And we have swallowed the sorry’s of blame.

I admire the ability to take responsibility because I have worked so hard to develop that in myself, to say sorry and mean it.  It’s important to say sorry if there was a possibility of misunderstanding. I am pretty sure that Drama is really defined by “I don’t ever take responsibility for my words and actions,​I want you to take that responsibility for me.”

How can we trust ourselves, the nature of who we are,​if we are don’t learn and grow from our past, including our past mistakes?

 

Jamberry in Orlando

speaker labelWhen I first started speaking I was told I had to pick between being a makeup artist/beauty expert and being a speaker.  I was told I couldn’t do both; but as I see it, they go together!

We see ourselves in a certain light and how we see ourselves affects our thinking.  We need to feel good to “think” good.  If we are in pain— physical or emotional, it is harder to see the tender moments for what they are.  Instead, we are just gritting our teeth trying, to get through it.

IMG_1160This month, I spoke for Jamberry Nails in Orlando, Florida.   I was the keynote speaker and was able to share basic image concepts in the two hour program.  I spoke about what makes you beautiful, how have your clothes flatter your curves and entertained them with how to wear a scarf.  I say entertain because I literally tucked the scarfs into my clothes so that has I pulled them out— it was like magic… well kinda… because I don’t have the skills of a magician, but it was a fun surprise!  After I taught them how to use their scarves in versatile ways, each of the Executive Elites (that’s Jamberry’s top rock stars) were given a scarf along with other cool swag like my BOOK!   scarf tricks

Scarfs are a great way to bring the eye up to your face.  The extra fabric, added right at your chest area gives your figure more curve.  Here’s a sneaky beauty tip— the eye doesn’t care the size of the hourglass, just as long as it sees an hourglass shape.   Go on Pinterest and search for scarf tying ideas and play with what feels comfortable.  For me, I found stuffing them down my pants and hiding them in my blazer to NOT be the most flattering look.

Scarf style

I had so much fun working with Jamberry Nails.  They have these nail stickers they call “wraps”.  You heat them up and they stay on your fingers or toes with no chipping for weeks!  They have hundreds of patterns and I have become addicted.  I used the product before and in my professional opinion there is nothing better for your toes.  Seriously, they take just minutes to but on , no smelly application.  On my toes, they stay for at least 4 weeks and look great the whole time.  Here’s the bonus: right after you put them on you can climb into bed– no time waiting to dry.  I love beauty that is simple—that is what I have been doing for the last 15 plus years full time—making beauty simple through my makeup classes, image workshops and speaking.

Why I’m a Speaker

speaker label
When I was 13-years-old I sat in the front row of a crowded room while Scott Anderson spoke.  He delivered his speech with such passion, but never lost sight of his audience.  I could feel his emotions as he spoke, I could see the tear as he talked about his brother and his battle with drugs; and I could relate because my own brother was in the grip of addiction.  Scott shared a deeply personal story with a message for us.  Afterward, I waited for him, thinking how cool it would be to shake his hand.  If this had happened in today’s world, I would have taken a selfie with him.  I still love meeting the speakers that move me, shaking their hand, thanking them for their speech and taking a picture with them like we are old friends.

I didn’t think about being a speaker until late 2009.  When the thought came to me, it never left; at first I thought it was a sign I was going crazy.  I didn’t want to stand in front of people with the kind of vulnerability that I had seen and admired in speakers like Scott Anderson.   I didn’t see the skill sets building though years of leading classes and workshops on image and makeup.  But God was pushing me hard to it.  I was Leta.  That was awesome enough.  The amount of influence and interaction I had with others, my kids, hubby, my neighbors, friend’s – I was fulfilled, life was good.  But now, even though I’m a speaker, I’m still me, Leta, even with the embarrassing clapping.  I find it humbling that I have more influence and impact than I originally set out to have.

The speakers that I respect see the microphone not as an improvement to their status, ego or power, but as a gift that we have the honor to hold.  Jason Hewlett, Kelly Swanson, Chad Hymas, Dan Clark, Kathy Loveless—for those of you not in the speaking world, these are some of the greats.  They all view the stage as an honor.  They are consistently in high demand, and deservedly so; they are really good people.  They all have humility; they all have a deep knowledge that they are just people – they are normal people who get to do something incredible for their job.  They are not in it for the glory, or the money.  These speakers, like me, are in it because they feel pushed to speak.  It’s a big responsibility; every single time before I take the stage I pray.  I pray that my preparation was enough, that my message will connect, that I will make them laugh and then I get on stage.  It has taken me a lifetime to become what I am and really intense focus to prepare my message.  It didn’t just happen.   What you see on stage is me in HD (High Definition).  I am still me off stage, I’m still funny and prone to telling stories—but when I walk on stage it is no longer about me.  It’s about the audience, it’s about you.

Because the truth is, you are why I speak.  I speak to light up something in others, to make an impact, to know I really helped someone to laugh and think I really changed something—there are no words for that feeling.

Leta Speaking

Jamberry Nails

The company Jamberry nails has a very cool concept.  Instead of waiting for what feels like eternity (at least to me) for your nails to dry, you can use these nail wraps.  They’re made from vinyl and once you know what you’re doing, it’s really easy to apply.  Even better- the wraps last for weeks.completed nails

You all know I do makeup, all day long.  Because of that, I love long-lasting, easy beauty.  I love looking great without the fuss.  I’ve found Jamberry fits in perfectly with that mentality.  They’re gorgeous and I particularly like them on my toes.

So, when Jamberry called me to speak for them, I was not very dignified on the phone.  I was so excited to have the opportunity to speak for a company that does something so cool.

jamberry logo

Jamberry organized an amazing show for their executive level leaders, and I brought the Hotness™ to share.  While I know you’re dying to hear the details, I can’t tell you all about it because they asked me to participate in the same show again.  I’ll be traveling with them to Orlando, Florida in January.  Jamberry treated me very well and even gave me the swag bag they gave their hardest working leaders.  All of the attendees received a copy of my book at the show.

Recently, I also spoke at “The Women Empowered Conference” put on by the Ogden/Weber Chamber.  They gave each attendee my book in the swag bag.  It’s such a thrill to be able to speak and have the attendees be able to learn more about How to Embrace their Inner Hotness!

I was on Fox 13 Good Day Utah yesterday!

I had the opportunity to be on Fox 13’s Good Day Utah segment yesterday to discuss my book, How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness, and the importance of self-esteem and being nice to ourselves.