The Battle Within and Without



I watched a short video clip recently that left me feeling profoundly motivated and inspired. The video clip was about mascara. True story.

How, I wondered, can a video about mascara possibly be this inspiring? I don’t even wear mascara!

The answer lies in the process that was described. This small group of innovative women wanted to create something that had never before been created: a safe, highly effective, toxin-free mascara. It seems ludicrous to me that this isn’t already the norm, but that is another story.

These women were laughed at.
They were told it wasn’t possible.
They were ridiculed.

The brief description of their story made me think of Noah when God told him to build an ark, nowhere near water. Everyone laughed at him and thought he was nuts. But who was the winner in the end? And so goes this story.

For me, the video struck a chord deep within. I, like many of us, have a strong, persuasive inner voice that says things like “you can’t do this”, “you will be ridiculed”, “this is not a good idea, the outcome isn’t guaranteed”. This voice is my group of mockers, of nay-sayers. This voice keeps me from being all that I want to be, all that I was created to be.

I know that my ultimate desire is to become ALL that God has created me to be. And I believe that this person is courageous and a risk taker, passionate about justice, one who loves far beyond herself, one who says “yes! I will try!”, one who doesn’t just want to make a difference in the world but one who is willing to go for it and take risks to create those changes. Yes, this is who I want to be. And this is the person that this video spoke to.

So here I am. I have joined this movement. I have joined this company whose mission is “to get safe products into the hands of everyone”. Sometimes I am passionately excited and motivated and on board. And sometimes I am terrified and think “what am I doing? I can’t do this”, “I am annoying people” (by talking about the truth?). This voice lies a lot. This I am learning.

I want to be like the women in this video:

To stand when others laugh at me.
To say “yes I can” when they say “you can’t”
To believe that I can be different, and that I can make a difference against all odds.

I have a father who dedicated 8 years teaching overseas, because he believed he could make a difference. He spent the majority of his career inspiring high school students to become more than they thought they could be. He had the patience of Job, and then some. And he succeeded. I still hear from old high school friends about how much they loved my dad as a teacher. That is pretty awesome!

I have a mother who started her own NGO because she saw a need. She, like these women in this video, was playing in the boys club, but she did it anyway, with great success. Her passion has impacted thousands and thousands directly, and continues to impact thousands indirectly through the eye hospital that continues to blossom in Kumasi, Ghana.

I have a husband who has dedicated his life to creating change, training up farmers in remote African villages, working on policies in Parliament, journeying with addicts in our church, our neighborhood and the Ottawa Mission. He is fearless and wise.

With these role models and mentors, I know it is within me to truly go for it and join this mission for change! I long for a future where toxic chemicals are banned, where we can buy products and food without reading every ingredient on the label for fear of what might be held within. I am one person, but I have decided to join a greater movement. I am writing this story because I need to speak the truth to myself, first and foremost. And I am sharing this story because I need accountability. During those times when that nay-saying voice tells me I am being ridiculous and should quit, I need to remember what I have written here. Knowing that I have shared it broadly will help keep me accountable to my own goals.

I want to make a difference, both within, and without.

See the mascara video here:

Take care of your body
This is me in the kayak on the West Coast

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