'The Next Right Thing' * Session #3

Hey, my dear Book Club aficionados!

We're launching into the home stretch of our Sunday Evening Book Club with Emily Freeman's mighty fine offering, The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions.  In this session we're going to be looking at how specially chosen relationships can make all the difference when we're struggling to figure out our own very personal next step or two.

We were never designed to do life without the warm supportive embrace of community, yet we often burrow down into hermit mode at the exact time when we'd be far better using our energy to connect with those souls who could offer us significant encouragement and insight.

And chances are, there are co-travelers around you who are yearning for you to do the same for them ...

Chapter 15
Gather Co-Listeners
{the original podcast & transcript}

'When we weren't sure what to do next, we decided to intentionally gather a few people whom we loved in our house to listen to us say words and then see what they had to say back to us.  We weren't asking for advice, exactly, although we were open to it.  We knew better than to ask for answers, though we always hoped for them.  Instead, we simply didn't want to feel so alone.  We wanted people we loved and trusted to hear what we were saying, to see if there was something obvious we were missing, and to be with us in the midst of our uncertainty.'

'The longer I walk with our Father God, our friend Jesus, and the Holy Spirit who lives and dwells within us, the more I have a hunch that he isn't so concerned with the outcome of our decision, at least not in the same way we are.  But he would be delighted to know that the decision we are carrying is moving us toward community and not away from it, that it is leading us to depend on others more and not less, and that it is turning our face toward his in a posture of listening with the hopeful expectation of receiving an answer.'

Chapter 17
Find a No-Mentor

'Unlike your co-listening group, your No Mentor will be no-nonsense, straightforward, and unapologetic.  She will not be deterred by glitz or glamor.  She is not fooled by shiny objects or mirrored balls.  She is relentlessly on your side and has the health of your soul, your family, and your work in mind.  Sometimes, this person will convince you to say yes - but this is rare and not the norm.'

'A No Mentor is not there to keep you from doing things you want to do.  And finding one is not an excuse to say no to stuff you don't want to do.  We are kingdom people and, in a real way, our time doesn't belong to us; it all belongs to God.  The problem is we've misunderstood what that means.  Instead of being people who look within and discern where he is leading us, we look around and overcommit ourselves.  When the whispers of our calling try to speak to us, we don't have the time or the space to listen.'

'When a friend comes to you with a question, a problem, or a tough decision, take a step back.  Ask lots of questions and listen to her answers.  Listen to both what she says and what she fails to say.  Watch how her body rises or falls when she talks.  Listen to her tone and her excuses.  See if her eyes light up when she talks about the thing.  Will she look you in the eye?  Does she use the word "should" a lot?  Does she sound motivated by guilt, shame, or pressure?  Consider the underbelly.  Be on the side of her soul.  Stand up for her in ways she may not yet the courage to stand up for herself.'  

Co-listeners, No Mentors, Encouragers.  
What's your experience been?  Are you one?  Do you need one? 

Chapter  18
Don't Give Your Critic Words

Chapter 21
Wear Better Pants

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Mary & Sue