Audiobook Review: Long Days of Small Things by Catherine McNiel

Long Days of Small Things
Catherine McNiel
Narrator: Andrea Emmes
Length: 4 hours 44 minutes
Publisher:Two Words Publishing
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: Parenting
Rich, soul-inspiring practices for moms who have neither quiet nor time.
 Dirty laundry, crayon-smeared bills, and smashed crackers . . . And there's your Bible--buried under a pile of diapers. Bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, without a moment of peace and quiet, you wonder if the spiritual life you crave is even possible. But God sees you. He designed this parenting journey, after all. He understands the chaos of motherhood. And he joins you in everything--whether you're scrubbing the floor, nursing a fussy newborn, or driving to soccer practice. Catherine McNiel invites you to connect with God right here, in the sacred mundane of every mothering moment.

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Long Days of Small Things is a spiritual guidebook explaining spiritual disciplines from a mother’s perspective and how they can bring a mother closer to God, as well as herself, her children, and her husband. Written for moms seeking to discover a richer spiritual life,while in the midst of legos, dirty socks, and endless laundry cycles, the text leads mothers to live a life infused with joy, peace, self-acceptance, and a deeper relational understanding of God. The discussion of each discipline is supported with scriptures and real-life examples that help listener grow closer to God.

McNeil has penned an unpretentious, genuine, and poetic spiritual manual for mothers. As a mother who once felt invisible, she humbly exposes the secret trials that mother’s endure as they pass through seasons of child-rearing, where the mere idea of spending 5 minutes in the morning reading the Bible are impossible.  Mcneil beckons from a literary mountaintop that motherhood is sacred, for it was meant to teach and guide us to a deeper relationship with God as we parent His children.  

It is important to reiterate that she explores the classic spiritual disciplines through the eyes of a mother. Along the humbling journey through motherhood, she shows it is only through the use of the spiritual disciplines that a mother can truly find spiritual growth. Similar to Richard Foster's seminal work, she focuses on the inward and outward spiritual disciplines and graciously shares through personal examples how they can be apart of a mother's daily routine. With crucial insights, the listener gleans the biblical view of simplicity, again on the journey through motherhood, learns how to invite joy and balance, both inwardly and outwardly, and how to experience the beautiful gift of motherhood.

The disciplines are presented in a manner accessible to grandmothers, aunts, and every female with charges to care for and love. Moreover, dads will also learn, with a little massaging of the text, how to apply the spiritual disciplines to fatherhood as well. While this author is a Christian, wisdom can be garnered from her book by listeners of any denomination or nationality.

We know that hearing and understanding wise words can be impacted by the speaker. In Longs Days of Small Things, the narrator provides a unique tone to each section of the book. Her vocal intonation is seamless, even down to her pitch when the tone of book is reminiscent of a best friend whispering in your ear. 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest​ review. 

Literary Apothecary Rating
Overall ★★★★★
Performance ★★★★★
Story ★★★★★

About the Author

Catherine McNiel writes to open eyes to the creative and redemptive work of God in each present moment. She serves alongside her husband in a community-based ministry, while caring for three kids, two jobs, and one enormous garden. Receiving each day of life as a gift, Catherine is striving to see beauty, learning to expand her perspective, and praying to keep her eyes and heart open. Catherine’s works have been published as Bible studies, devotions, and articles for her church, and in publications including Christianity Today’s Her.menuetics and Plough Quarterly. She lives and serves near Wheaton, Illinois.
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About the Narrator

Andrea Emmes started as an SAG-AFTRA, Equity Actor and has been performing for over 20 years on stage, TV and film. An Audible Approved Narrator known as "The Girl with a Thousand Voices", her wide range of character voices and dynamic/emotionally invested performances has reviewers and listeners alike commenting on how she effortlessly pulls listeners in, has versatility and charisma and is quite suited for YA. LA Music Award winner for Best Contemporary Christian Artist for 2008 debut release album, "I'm On My Way". Andrea has two degrees: A.A. in Fine Arts and a B.S. in Game Art and Design and resides in Northern, California.
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