Book Review: "The Next Right Thing" (plus a bonus)


Disclaimer: I was given an advanced copy of this book to review. The review is entirely my own. Yes, I'm going to tell you I loved it but no one needed to pay me to love it. I just do.

Recently, I spent an entire weekend with my insides churning and thoughts spinning. Distraction City. I needed to make a decision about some writing goals. That may not sound like a big deal to you. Honestly, I agree. Yet, there I was, letting an unmade decision ruin a perfectly nice afternoon of domestic bliss as I batch-cooked safe food for my family. Anxiety rose as hours ticked by. My body reflected the difficulty I was having in deciding which path to take.

Have you been there?

Emily P. Freeman, author of The Next Right Thing (and the Podcast by the same name) shares that we make 35,000 decisions each day. Everything from what to wear, what to eat for breakfast, which errands to make, which phone calls to return... to which paint to pick, what present to buy, which college to attend, which house to buy, and on and on.

We've all experienced Decision Fatigue. Or being stuck in our decision making process. But what if there was a way to honor what our bodies are telling us when we are stuck? What if we could accept the strengths and weaknesses in ourselves and honor them in the decision process. What if we could see every decision as an opportunity to lean in closer to the heart of God? Emily says, yep, we can do that.


Each short chapter teaches a little soulful step you could take to make space for making decisions well. Each chapter ends with a short prayer and a tiny but powerful step you can take today. Those were my favorite parts.

Which steps did I used to get unstuck last weekend? So glad you asked.

  • I listened to my body and named what I was feeling: discouraged and confused. I felt an urgency to my decision which, after I named it, I realized wasn't real. It was an urgency I had made up in my mind.

  • I stopped. I gave myself space to think without also cooking and cleaning.

  • I asked myself if I was being led by loved or pushed by fear.

  • I told God what I wanted and then went about the rest of my day in the kitchen. I knew he would speak to me and I could wait. It was a small but important step in getting myself unstuck.

Those are just 4 of the steps Emily outlines in this book. Many of the steps are things I've already learned and incorporated into my life. I intentionally live moment by moment in the knowledge that everything is spiritual and any moment can be a holy moment because God is with me at all times. In this book, Emily carefully strings together so many of the little things I do to live intentionally. I appreciate the beauty in that. It's like she lined up a string of pearls, pearls of wisdom, and I get the benefit of her efforts.

I've underlined about a third of the book and I'm guessing that the next time I read it, and I will read it a second time (or third), I'll underline even more. So, this one's going in the reference section of my library.

And so, I wrote a book review. But I also wanted you to know that Emily wrote an e-course based on what she teaches in the book. It's called "Discern and Decide" and it will help you create your own rhythms of life. You can find it here.


If you would like to buy the book, you can find it here. By using this link, I get a few pennies back as an Amazon Affiliate. Thanks.