The Year of Small Things: Radical Faith for the Rest of Us
Sarah Arthur Erin F. Wasinger
Brazos Press Softcover $17.99 (240pp) 978-1-58743-382-5
This funny and grace-filled project shows that living simply is doable—especially if you’ve got a supportive team.
In The Year of Small Things, two families share their yearlong project of living in a way that is more in tune with their Christian values.
Inspired by the tenets of the New Monasticism movement, the Arthurs and Wasingers incorporated prayer, lived frugally in order to give more, opened their homes to the needy, and decluttered from possessions. Each chapter relates a new monthly goal for living more faithfully, and each ends with questions and titles for further reading. By admitting that the two families still haven’t aced their mission, the book establishes a welcoming, realistic-but-striving vibe.
Both writers are accomplished and know how to tell a touching story. Their voices blend fluidly together—it is sometimes hard to keep track of who is saying what—forming a chorus in a book which is, after all, about striving for a more spiritual life through togetherness.
In describing the families’ spiritual journeys, The Year of Small Things makes some wonderfully honest points about the hardships of raising young children. Both families deal with depression, but their community and their faith help them shine light on their sometimes uncomfortable feelings.
Funny, poignant questions are asked. A chapter called “Stuff” covers December’s goal of living more simply—no easy task while celebrating