Just Do the Next Thing

December 24, 2022 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Liz Cowen Furman –

Sometimes life comes at such a dizzying pace I am unsure how to proceed. Last fall was one of those times. We have a little family motel in Dubois, Wyoming, The Black Bear Inn, that we are working hard to rebuild. We work sixteen hour days all summer. When I arrive home in the fall, I generally sleep for a week.

But this year when I pulled into our driveway I knew it would be different.

We had invited an amazing college student from the Czech Republic to live with us and intern with my husband. I’ve worked the motel for several summers, which is usually the time a person would do fix-up projects like paint the homestead, etc. So to say that our house was in need of some serious TLC would be an understatement.

During the summers my husband is busy at work and in his off time he comes to the motel to see us and help there. So when I arrived home there was a mountain of work to make our house presentable to our new friend.

I sat down the morning after arriving home and made a list. It was daunting to say the least. As I pondered the task ahead the words of an old friend that had made our motel resurrection possible, rang in my head: “Just do the next thing.”

Every morning, I said to myself over and over, “Just do the next thing”, then prayed for wisdom on what to do next, plugged in my book on CD and went to work.

A few times during the next couple weeks I was amazed at how much I actually accomplished in one day by doing the next thing. So was my family.

In just two weeks I cleaned our house within an inch of its life; re-caulked the sinks and showers, painted and installed new flooring in one bathroom; cut, stained and installed trim for same; shampooed the main floor carpets; stained part of the house; cleaned off the deck piled high with detritus; cleaned out, furnished and decorated Martin’s room that hadn’t been used since he went to college (did I mention that a pack rat sneaked in undetected and died there a few weeks before I arrived home, AAAKKKK); moved the furniture in the living room; cleaned the yard and cut the weeds which filled nearly ten industrial trash bags; moved edging rocks in my garden that the snowplow had inadvertently moved the previous winter; and that wasn’t all.

I believe what my mother told me all those years ago is true: We can do anything we are willing to work hard enough to achieve.

So if you are faced with an overwhelming task just break it into little pieces, get a couple great books on CD then proceed with gusto to Do the Next Thing and you will conquer it as I did. Oh and do what James tells us to do…ask for wisdom on what the next thing should be (James 1:5).

About Liz Cowen Furman

Liz is an author, artist, encourager, mentor, teacher and popular speaker. However, her most important job is as mother to her three teen-aged boys and being a support to her husband, Appellate Court Judge, Dave Furman. All of whom give her much fodder for her writing and speaking (with permission of course). Find out more at www.lizcowenfurman.com
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