“Be a leader, Not a follower.” I bet your parents told you that at least 100 times growing up. We strive as parents, to teach our kids about leadership, peer pressure and the danger in following blind behind popularity with statements like, “If Susan jumped off a bridge Lindsay, would you do it?” I don’t know about you, but most times I would be shaking my head no but jumping for joy with a “yes” inside. I have always struggled with the idea of being liked. It was important to me that people like me and I think my life speaks for itself when it comes to poor choices in the name of fitting in.

Being called a sheep in slang, means someone who follows blindly. If someone is calling you a sheep, they are stating that you will follow the crowd instead of leading the pack. All of us would rather be known as the fearless lion that destroys anything in front of them.  One of the most famous bible verses about a lion in in peter and it says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Lions are quiet in their approach and then destroy with no apologies.

Did you know that sheep are the most mentioned animal in the bible? They are mentioned more than 500 times. God’s people are often symbolically described as sheep and God as our Shepard. In John, he says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” The problem is that in this world we have become sheep with so many different shepherds and we keep God tucked away for rainy days.

I was the queen of wanting the graces of God without the walk with God. I needed him to rescue me from my terrible choices but didn’t need him convicting me of my actions. When I speak to kids now, what I tell them is this. I wasn’t having sex because I thought I was ready to be a mom. I was having sex at 14 because I thought it added value and worth to who I was as a girlfriend. I felt more desired by others if I would give them what they wanted in bed. I believe it was the same reason I fell into alcoholism and smoking as well. I felt so much more desired as a friend if I was involved in the risky things. I had the attitude that I didn’t care what anyone thought, and I was ready to do me. I wanted to lead my own life even if it didn’t fit in the box.

As I continue to read and get to know God on a personal and intimate level, I feel more and more weird. Like an outcast or loner. There is one particular author who is the talk of everyone personally and professionally. She is the guest speaker at several big corporate events and both of her books are at the top of the charts. Her social media is booming, and she is the new epitome of a “New Age Christian”. The more I watch her social media and dig into her new book, I see an overarching theme of wanting to appease every audience. She constantly states she is a Christian yet has a hard time standing firmly on a single one of Gods truths.

I wrote a few blogs ago about my issue with truth. How are we supposed to live on this earth and speak through truth without being called judgmental or hypocritical? I don’t think I will ever know the answer or understand Gods will fully until I am at his feet, but what I know is that while I am here on earth, I want God as my only shepherd regardless of who follows. I have always struggled with following the earthly trends in the name of popularity, but I am not there anymore. I am a different person and I want to be popular in heaven more than I do here on earth. (For the love of Pete, I am basically my grandmother trapped into a 32-year-old body #thestruggleisrealyall)

Success can be measured in many ways. Currently, it is followers on social media, bank accounts and belonging. The bigger the house, the trips, the more toys, the more successful you must be. The problem with this is that I don’t believe that is Gods calling for all of us. For some people, they are meant to be CEO’s and travel the world. Some are meant to sell everything and mission here in the United states or overseas. Stay at home moms dedicate their whole life to their kids and family at the risk of not ever having their own careers and I am noticing that this idea is slowly but surely becoming “weak”. With whole paragraphs out of books and Instagram posts about how its more empowering to “do you” than bake cupcakes for the school cake walk. Like when did just being a mom become less than or disqualified as success?

What I am noticing is that the trends are changing the more chaotic our world becomes. It is now more empowering to see women killing it in their CEO/ ownership positions who are at every important function. The flip side is watching stay at homes in yoga pants running ragged in the pursuit of operating as a mom, wife, maid, taxi, chef and still try to keep up status quo with the rest of the world. I was a single working mom of three and I have been a SAHM. Both are hard, and both are a juggling act between responsibilities and self-care.

I am not saying one is better than the other or that SAHM are boring and can’t kill it in life. But what I see is this dangerous exchange in empowering women at the cost of our kids. It’s the fad to raise big businesses and hire someone else to raise good kids. A fad to be on the top with the most followers and biggest fan base. A fad to care for ourselves over the care of others in our home. We compare ourselves and if we aren’t working ourselves to death, (Both SAHM and working moms) we aren’t living our best life.

This brings me to my point of being sheep and allowing God to be our shepherd. I want to live as fearless as a lion, but I want to be as attentive to Gods voice as a sheep. I have a nonprofit, I write bog, I speak in schools, I teach two classes at the boys and girls club and I sell product from an MLM, but I am a mom first and foremost. Not because I think that is what I am expected to do or because I think “I need to please everyone else” but because that is what I believe my shepherd has asked me to do. Because I understand the effects of putting my kids on the back burner in a pursuit of the “DO YOU” attitude. If we are so focused on the pursuit of success, our kids may become an inconvenience and we will stop looking to God for guidance.

As desirable as worldly success and riches looks, we must listen to Gods voice and then follow him. Whether he is asking us to pursue our dreams or slow down to homeschool our kids, (OH HELP ME LORD I EVER HEAR THOSE WORDS) we must decide right now that we will follow him. That we will trust that even when his directions sound crazy and make absolutely no sense (Starting anchor 180) that we will walk in obedience. The money will come. The plans will unfold. It will look so different for every single one of us but the more I read, the more I know without a doubt that our kids were never meant to be given our leftover time or energy. This doesn’t mean that working parents can’t do it and do it well, but I would venture to say is, it would be impossible to do it well if we aren’t searching and asking God for guidance through each day.

Psalms 23 Is one of my very favorites. “The lord is my shepherd, I lack NOTHING.” King James say, “The lord is my shepherd, I shall NOT WANT.” The beauty of God is that he promises to provide every human need. Where we mess up is that we desire every human WANT. This world is crazy and there are so many ALMOST good things we can follow. If we aren’t sheep listening for his voice and lions willing to devour anything that isn’t of God, we will get off track and miss the beauty of what he already had in store for our journey. So regardless of what is popular and trendy, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (psalms 23:4)

Gladly Following,

Lindsay

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