As a spiritual director one of the most frequent topics I hear from my directees is about making decisions at significant points in their lives. Discernment, uncertainty, worry and/or fear of change, the unknown and mystery of what will happen if…affect all of us throughout our lives.
Knowing this is a huge issue for many people is what attracted me to Sherre Hirsch’s new book, Thresholds, How to Thrive through Life’s Transitions to live Fearlessly and Regret-free. I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review, but am excited to share it with you today.
Sherre Hirsch is a Rabbi who weaves wonderful Bible story examples and contemporary illustrations into her writing. She is easy to read, encouraging, engaging and empowering with this message. This book would benefit anyone facing life transitions or those who help others in those challenging times.
One section that made me smile is titled: “It’s Time to Stop Using the F word.” Using Moses as her example, she shows how fear is at the root of most of our excuses. She does acknowledge that fear isn’t all bad – if can save us from life threatening situations like a bear attack but most often we allow fear to direct our decisions, whether to cross certain thresholds or not in a response to something not even real.
Another clever title was “Trauma and Drama are Not the Same Things” – – how true. See why this book not only is helpful, but enjoyable to read.
Hirsch also present very practical tips, like using a Wait Box. Don’t make quick rash decisions you may later regret. She writes “There is always value in waiting and letting the thoughtful response catch up with the emotional one.”
Another good quote:
“You get it right when you trust yourself. When you realize that while other people can offer you advice and suggestions, the real answer in inside you. When you choose to believe in yourself – even I moment when you feel tremendous doubt. When we realize that each time you face your fears, you are getting better at it; you are becoming more practice and more skilled. Then you will see that making the decision to move to the next room becomes easier and easier because you value and trust in your own decisions.”
A good book filled with wisdom and guidance and one I will recommend to those struggling with discerning their next steps. I have several passages marked for personal use in my journal too. Rabbi Hirsch would be someone I would love to sit down with over tea or coffee and get to know better.
What books are you reading right now?
Lisa notes says
Sounds like another interesting book. I may just have to follow your lead and get this to review too when I’m ready for a new one. Thanks, Jean! I always trust your opinions.
Jean Wise says
We sure do both enjoy discovering and devouring new books, don’t we? Your lists are the best!
Hi Jean! This sounds like a great book, and an encouraging one to those who want to face new things, but like Moses, seem to find every reason not to do it! I would include myself in that. I read Chittister’s new book on your recommendation, and really liked it. Maybe this one will be great for me too. We seem to have some of the same likes when it comes to spirituality 🙂
Jean Wise says
I really like Chittisters writing. We do seem to like the same books. Hope you are having a great week.
Nancy Ruegg says
Thank you, Jean, for a thought-provoking book review. The last quote of the author especially stirred my thinking. “The real answer is inside you,” she says. That’s true, IF the Spirit of God resides in our hearts. Only by his wisdom are we able to discern the best choices (Proverbs 3:5-6). Believing in myself (as she recommends) doesn’t offer much confidence; believing in my loving, all-powerful God does! I do agree with Rabbi Hirsch when she says, “Each time you face your fears, you get better at it,” but not because I value and trust my own decisions. Each time I face my fears with God by my side, I see him work in and through events for my good (Romans 8:28). My faith in HIM grows. HE’s the One who carries me through.
Currently I’m reading “Holy Land Devotionals,” a locally published booklet, written by a tour group that visited Israel. Having been there myself back in the mid-90s, I’m enjoying the revisit in my imagination to various locations, and the lessons each person learned during the pilgrimage.
Jean Wise says
What a great devotional book. I can image how you are reliving that trip. And once again you are so right about only by his wisdom. Interesting enough I am reading Brene Brown’s new book Rising Strong which also has much of the same type of thoughts. We can’t lose sight though that all we are and have comes from God. Yes he is the wisdom he so desperately need.
Nancy Ruegg says
Oh, yes — “All we are and have comes from God.” Praise him for being so generous with all his attributes, including that all-important one: wisdom!