The Year of Small Things: Rad­i­cal Faith for the Rest of Us

Sarah Arthur Erin F. Wasinger

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Nonfiction -

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

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