The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life DecisionsEmily P. FreemanRevell / 2019 / Hardcover$10.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 33 Reviews
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Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Is It Time to Declutter Your Soul?June 17, 2019Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Decisions are hard, and we want to make good ones. I, personally, want divine guidance on the level of sky writing: "Buy the Silver Honda" in puffy, white lettering against a blue sky of clarity. Since this has never been my experience, I'm in the market for quiet wisdom that will heighten my listening skills for the guidance God does choose to provide, and so I found myself pausing and paying attention to Emily's gentle suggestions for discovering my Next Right Thing.
"Do the next thing" as a mantra and as marching orders came into its own through the ministry of Elisabeth Elliot, but it actually has its roots in an anonymous poem, assuring believers that "Many a questioning, many a fear, Many a doubt, hath its quieting here. Moment by moment, let down from Heaven, Time, opportunity, and guidance are given. Fear not tomorrow, child of the King, Trust that with Jesus, do the next thing. Certainly Jesus held to a "next right thing" mindset in his ministry among people. Whenever he told someone to hold out a hand, pick up a bed, wash in a pool, or go home, he was offering an object lesson in the importance of small acts of faithfulness.
Thoughts on Decluttering
Simple, soulful practices offered in The Next Right Thing bring grace to the reader's cluttered table. For example, pro/con charts have been toxic for me in the past because I'm intent on (obsessed with) a successful outcome.
These thoughts felt like someone opened a window to the light and the fresh air:
"You can only make decisions based on what you know at the time. We live in an outcomes-based culture where the correctness of our choice seems based on the success of the result Successful outcomes might look great on paper, but we want to build our lives on love, faith, connectedness, redemption, laughter, wholeheartedness, joy, and peace."
"We make our list alongside Jesus and bring these things to him, asking him in every situation what he wants us to do. And then we trust that our desire can be trusted because he isn't just with us; he lives within us and he'll let us know what we need to know."
Doing the next thing in love lightens the decision-making load by fine-tuning our focus. Following Jesus certainly involves multiple and complex choices over the course of a lifetime, but this is accomplished by following Jesus for the next ten minutes. And then the next. He has promised us light for our path, but most of the time my eyes are darting off the path, worried about eventualities that never materialize. By faith, we can clear away the clutter of indecision and walk with confidence and joy in the light that's given as we do the next right thing.
Many thanks to Revell for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.
Academy2524 Stars Out Of 5An encouraging read...June 11, 2019Academy252Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is the latest nonfiction from Emily P. Freeman. It falls into Christian nonfiction somewhat self-help and somewhat devotional in nature. Each chapter is a short vignette with spiritual thoughts on how to know what to do next. It is all about making good decisions as a Christian. She uses scripture and personal experience to help us find clarity in times of hesitation and questioning.
I spent a few weeks reading this book. It has 24 shorter chapters which could easy be used as a devotional text. She has a prayer and a practice at the end of each chapter to encourage you to seek the Lord and practice decision making. I love that she says it is like so many other things in life the more we do it the better we get.
I enjoy Freeman's writing style very much. She is personable and encouraging. She is not afraid to share her journey and this has made her ministry richer. She has a heart for the things of God and takes her role as a Christian writer very seriously. If you are in the midst of wrestling with decisions in your own life I think you would benefit greatly from this book.
I have also listened to her Next Right Thing podcast for quite some time. If you have listened to them you might consider this a companion guide as well as a transcript of many of her podcast episodes. She repeats much of what she has shared already but it was good to see it in book form. It gave me a chance to underline and write a few things in the margin.
Jennifer McLucas5 Stars Out Of 5Great wisdom for taking next stepsJune 11, 2019Jennifer McLucasQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Emily P Freeman has done it again! She has written a book that speaks directly to the need of my soul. Her words are empowering as I wrestle with the "whats" and "hows" and "whys" of life. I feel motivated and full of courage as I look at my next right thing.
Emily's book starts with the same simple truths that she always shares so beautifully and bravely. She begins with a reminder that "love is the important thing." Immediately that woman inside me, the one wringing her hands with worry, has to sit down as my soul comes up for a long-awaited breath. Such a beautiful moment as the "piles of everyday life" move out of the way so that my soul can come alive again. Emily's chapter about becoming a "soul minimalist" was both profound and obvious at the same time. I just love how Emily does that!
I think the chapter that was most beneficial to me was the one about being where you are. I realized that I am asking myself to keep doing all the outside tasks I was doing 3 kids, 4 pets, and a diagnosis ago. No wonder I feel so much stress! This chapter helped me to realize that my next right thing is to honestly reassess where I am today and recognize that, now that things have changed, I probably need to let go of some things. It was such a powerful observation, and yet so obvious looking at it now.
That is what I love most about Emily P Freeman's books. She speaks so tenderly about things that are probably obvious to everyone but me. She reminds me that I'm only human and that if I want to have anything close to extraordinary I need to draw closer to Jesus. More than that, she shows me where that closeness might be lacking and how it's possible to close the gap. And her answer is so easy, at least in theory- be still in His presence. It should be the easiest thing in the world, so why is it so difficult?
If you are at a point of decision or going through any kind of transition, please pick up a copy of this book. Let Emily P Freeman remind you who you really are and why that's really the most important thing.
knowltonnest5 Stars Out Of 5The Next Right...BookMay 30, 2019knowltonnestQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Next Right Thing: A Simple Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions by Emily P. Freeman is a delightful and heartfelt read from a popular podcast presenter. Her vision is simple, do the next right thing. If you struggle with "decision fatigue" as Emily refers to it, this book will show steps to "create space for your soul to breathe." Each chapter begins with a timely quote on the topic of the chapter. Emily weaves her story along with inspiring actions and new ways of thinking to address the topic. She ends the chapter with a short and hopeful prayer along with a simple practice to guide the reader to give life to the actions outlined in the chapter. Emily is a master in keeping the attention of her readers as she shares her thoughts and musings. The ideas presented are shared in quiet expectation. She is inviting her readers on a magical journey by just choosing the next right thing...today.
Last summer a friend of mine who knows I listen to podcasts asked if I had heard of Emily P. Freeman's The Next Right Thing Podcast. I had not, but as soon as I heard the title I knew I had to check it out. I started at the beginning and devoured the words I heard through my ear buds. Emily's sweet voice floated through my mind and caused me to unearth some hidden thoughts and ideas that I never knew existed. I was so excited to read this companion book and I could almost hear Emily's voice reading it to me as I devoured it too. I crave the simple and quiet spaces in my soul where I can breathe and connect with who I really am. Emily's book is just the right pace to spur me to make decisions with ease and confidence.
elinsmomAge: 35-44Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Very IntrospectiveMay 16, 2019elinsmomAge: 35-44Gender: femaleI really enjoy Emily P. Freeman's writing style. This wasn't one of my favorite books by her, but it was still an enjoyable read. One of my big take aways from this book is that I don't really struggle with decision making. I find it hard to decide where to have dinner or what to spend my birthday money on, but major life decisions are fairly easy for me to make. I appreciated her chapter on critics. I really needed to hear that right now. I also appreciated her focus on making small decisions today instead of worrying about the big decisions coming up next month. This book is very introspective and touchy-feely, so if you are a more black and white decision maker, like me, you may not like it.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of review.