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Genre: Christian Self-Help
For anyone who suffers from decision fatigue or sweats bullets over making a decision about their next right move, The Next Right Thing is a must read. If you’ve ever wished you could have a crystal ball to tell you what to do, The Next Right Thing will be a delight to your soul.
I’ve been a fan of Emily’s podcast, also called The Next Right Thing for about a year. When she launched the book, The Next Right Thing, I knew I had to be part of her launch team. The wisdom in her words far exceeds the simple and practical title, the plain yet classic black cover, sans the dust jacket.
Between the pages of The Next Right Thing, you’ll find nothing trite or pat about her soulful approach to decision making. Emily shares innovative and insightful ideas, along with real strategies like making a Life-Giving vs. Life-Draining list instead of a Pro/Con list. Whether you trust your gut or make moves based on your emotions or Pro/Con list your way through life, you’ll find affirmation and encouragement to move forward in confidence and love.
The most important takeaway from this book for me is to change the way I look at making decisions from asking, “Is it right or wrong?” to asking “Is it bringing me closer to the people I love and the God I love?” While no one can tell us our next right thing, Emily has outlined practices and strategies that will help us all move forward as we navigate the uncertainties of life.
I have read a lot of books about the writing life and how to access one’s creative potential, but I’d have to say so far Big Magic is shaping up to be my favorite. Elizabeth Gilbert’s no-nonsense approach to the creative life (writing in particular) is about as practical as can be while still being inspiring and motivational. Gilbert discusses fear and how to deal with it once and for all, how to embrace risk as a creative, and how to embrace your own curiosity to let creative ideas flow and inspire you. If you think writing, or creating, has to be hard, painful, and lonely, Gilbert shatters all those stereotypes and will encourage you to take yourself and your work way less seriously than you have been. Easy to read, I’ll keep this one as a go-to time and again for rich wisdom and nuggets about creativity.
Educated is a New York Times #1 bestseller and for good reason. Tara Westover’s impactful story will resonate with everyone on some level. Fascinating, as in truth-is-stranger-than-fiction fascinating, this story will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Soulful and courageous, as any good memoir should be, you’ll find yourself rooting for Tara with verbal affirmations like “Take the next step”, “Keep going!” and “You can do it!” Her journey from an uneducated, isolated child raised by survivalists in the mountains of Idaho to college student and eventual Harvard and Cambridge graduate will leave you inspired and amazed at the resiliency of the human mind and spirit.
Despite physical violence, emotional abuse, and the lack of any education, Tara took brave steps to untangle herself from all the dysfunction and found her way. For anyone who loves a great human interest story or needs to be reminded that we make our own way in life, Educated will keep you riveted to the end.
Are you secretly harboring the desire to paint or write or open your own flower shop but you feel guilty even thinking about indulging in such things? Have you always wanted to forsake the sensible career for the one that knocks on your heart’s door daily? Were you once on fire for the things that make you feel alive but opted for the safe bet and the regular paycheck? The Creative Call is a spiritual guidebook to discovering or re-discovering one’s creative gift or purpose in life. For anyone who has a nudging in their spirit that they were created to do something more with their life, Janice Elsheimer has a message for you: you have a creative gift and it’s your responsibility to serve that gift. With biblical inspiration and insight into how we all have a creative ability because we are part of the overall plan of creation, Elsheimer walks the closet artist through a series of exercises designed to help him/her break out of the mindset that has held them back.
They say truth is stranger than fiction and in the case of Anna LeBarons’ story it’s true. Her memoir reads like a made for television movie but the reality of what she went through as a child of a polygamist cult leader is all too real. Neglect, fear, and poverty were all everyday realities as Anna learned to survive the traumatic events of FBI raids, being separated from her mother, child labor, and even the murder of family members. All too often she found herself alone and vulnerable or responsible for the care of much younger children, so she learned to “buck up” and find a way to survive and make the best of every situation.
Anna’s tenacity to overcome shines throughout the book from her first realization that she could harness the fear she felt and use it as excitement to her courage to defy her mother and run away from the cult that had abused so many.
Her will and determination to make a better life for herself have helped so many, not only in her family but those who hear her story and learn that one’s family – no matter how evil or heinous – does not determine one’s destiny.
You will find yourself turning page after page, digging into “just one more chapter” as you cheer Anna on in her quest for truth, acceptance, and unconditional love.