An Extra Mile: A Story of Embracing God's Call

An Extra Mile: A Story of Embracing God's Call

by Sharon Garlough Brown

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Overview

  • Christianity Today 2019 Book of the Year Award, Fiction

The women of Sensible Shoes are navigating both deep joy and devastating loss. Can they find equilibrium in the midst of all that has changed?
Mara: While faced with the turmoil of divorce and chaos at home, she is also listening for a call to serve others with courage and creativity.
Hannah: As she grieves the twin losses of her dear friend and her Chicago ministry position, she also begins to embrace the joys and challenges of a new marriage.
Charissa: Overwhelmed by her pregnancy and the demands of her teaching schedule, she is in need of even more grace for herself and others.
Becca: Bereft and filled with regrets, can she find hope for the future and a way home?
In this final installment of the Sensible Shoes series, you're invited to travel with these beloved friends as they endure trials that test their trust and their willingness to walk an extra mile.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830843329
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 02/06/2018
Series: Sensible Shoes Series
Pages: 373
Sales rank: 86,536
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Sharon Garlough Brown is a spiritual director and cofounder of Abiding Way Ministries, providing spiritual formation retreats. Her book Sensible Shoes was named one of television personality Kathie Lee Gifford's "favorite things." Sharon earned an MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Jack, have served congregations in Scotland, Oklahoma, England, and West Michigan.

Table of Contents

Part 1 In the Shadow 1

Meditation on John 11:17-44: Resurrection and Life 24

Part 2 Broken and Poured Out 93

Meditation on Mark 14:1-11: A Beautiful Thing 98

Part 3 Rolling Away Stones 203

Silence and Solitude Retreat: Waiting for Morning 212

Part 4 All Things New 283

Meditation on John 21:9-22: Embracing the Call 305

Acknowledgments 367

Companion Guide for Prayer 371

Journey to the Cross 377

What People are Saying About This

Debra Rienstra

"Sharon Garlough Brown has once again given us an irresistible page-turner, bringing this series to a satisfying close while celebrating that life with God is always unfolding anew. Rarely in fiction are we invited so deeply and generously into the secret contours of the spiritual life. Through the realistic stories of these four women, readers experience what it feels like to enter the darkest places of loss, resistance, and frustration, and find there the abundant grace of God."

Lynn Austin

"I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Sensible Shoes books and hated to say goodbye to these wonderful characters. But An Extra Mile provided a fulfilling close to this great series. Thank you, Sharon, for enriching my life with these novels and teaching me so much about my own journey of spiritual transformation."

Susie Larson

"Sharon's novels take you on a healing journey. She deftly intertwines compelling story and spiritual direction in a way that both draws you in and invites you to heal. And she never rushes her characters through the process of transformation—much like God never rushes us through ours. If you want to get lost in a great novel and at the same time find healing for your own soul, read An Extra Mile. You won't want to miss one of Sharon's books."

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

"Still reeling from Barefoot, I was eager to welcome back my Sensible Shoes friends in this final book, An Extra Mile. How appropriate that stories about spiritual journey in the midst of life's grit and grace should conclude with so many challenges. Here, significant changes for everyone have threatened to unravel their sweet friendship connection. It's time to discern and follow God's new calling. Yet again, Sharon Garlough Brown offers the perfect blend of a riveting story and spiritual content—this time during the season of Lent. Redeeming and refreshing, I highly recommend it, even though it means saying goodbye to literary friends I have enjoyed for four novels."

Marilyn Hontz

"Author Sharon G. Brown has done it again! Once more she powerfully weaves the stories of women who are struggling yet desiring to grow their faith in everyday life with its ups and downs. You'll identify with them as they seek to move forward when life is difficult. You'll watch how they begin to realize that life challenges are actually an invitation from their Heavenly Father to trust him even when the way looks very dark. Ultimately, these women show us a way to embrace God's joy and his personal call on our own lives."

Rebecca DeYoung

"An Extra Mile is a testimony to the joy that comes with spiritual growth and increasing trust, even amid setbacks and sorrow. In Mara, Charissa, Hannah, and Becca, we see God faithfully renewing real, messy lives with grace and tender patience, stretching his beloved ones to greater love and service. In this final installment of the Sensible Shoes series, Sharon Garlough Brown offers a beautiful invitation to share in the deepening sacred journeys of her characters and to make this pilgrimage our own."

Beth Booram

"One of the greatest gifts a Christian author can give us is a realistic picture of what it looks like to be human and a follower of Jesus. In An Extra Mile, Sharon Garlough Brown offers us this exceptional gift. She portrays the spiritual journey of four women with compelling, candid, and relatable prose. You could be any one of them as you witness each navigate grief, conflict, jealousy, and disappointment. Just as the patterns of their own personalities trip them up, so the faithful urgings of God's Spirit spur them toward a better way. In this final book of the Sensible Shoes series, readers will grieve, pray, and celebrate the victory of love that comes to those who dare to walk an extra mile."

Amy Boucher Pye

"I finished reading An Extra Mile at exactly midnight with a tear and a sigh. Sharon Garlough Brown has done it again! I loved this final book in the series, and especially enjoyed seeing the transformation of the characters who now feel like friends. In this book we experience grief up close and too personal—I wept with the friends at their losses. But I cheered with them too when they found meaning and hope in the God who loves them. How I will miss these women and their spiritual journeys."

Elizabeth Musser

"I came to the final novel of the Sensible Shoes series with a feeling of grief. How I didn't want the story to end! But once again, as with the first three novels, I found within the pages of An Extra Mile beautiful nuggets of truth to hold on to long after I swiped the last page on my Kindle. Navigating great joy and devastating loss, Hannah, Mara, Charissa, and Meg's daughter Becca each struggle to move forward in life and love. With her characteristic shimmering prose and deep spiritual insights, Brown tells another story for our times as we journey with the Sensible Shoes club one extra mile."

Sarah Arthur

"If you've been journeying with Brown's beloved characters through their densely packed year of spiritual insights and practices, don't miss this last mile. Reckoning with loss, with life not going as planned, and with relinquishing plans altogether, An Extra Mile is as harrowing as it is satisfying."

Rebecca LuElla Miller

"The story provides a satisfying ending to the Sensible Shoes series. Even for those who have not read the first three books, Brown does a masterful job familiarizing readers with her four main characters and providing the necessary backstory. Each character is realistic and believable, faced with inner and outer struggles that intermingle in ways that readers may recognize. These aren’t ‘strong females’ after the fashion of Hollywood blockbusters—they aren’t leading armies or embracing their destiny as the chosen one—but they prove themselves strong in the truest sense of the word: They face the needs in their everyday lives, recognize their spiritual condition, and struggle to walk with Christ day by day."

Customer Reviews

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An Extra Mile: A Story of Embracing God's Call 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book... very touching and all the characters are relateable. I would recommend the whole series from start to finish. I loved the spiritual disciplines.
rkfall More than 1 year ago
An Extra Mile by Sharon Garlough Brown was a fictional book that continues from another book about a silent retreat and the 4 women and beyond who participate in it. This book can stand alone if you have not read Sensible Shoes yet. She says in the book, “the first mile is demanded. The extra mile is freely given…” The characters in this book go the extra mile and we as the readers get to see what that looks like. All 4 women have a journey that they go on and we get to watch. Personally, I have participated, helped co-lead, and now lead silent retreats. I could relate to that part of this book and enjoyed those moments come to life. Cons: Unfortunately, there are parts of this book that don’t line up with the doctrine of the Bible. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An Extra Mile gave hope where it could seem like a hopeless situation and life circumstance. It showed where resurrection could take place, even in a place you do not expect. I fully recommend reading this as well as the first 3 books! Loved them all!
ElitePetite More than 1 year ago
“An Extra Mile,” is a satisfying ending to the deeply enriching “Sensible Shoes” series. I think it is safe to say, any female reader would be able to identify with at least one of the characters described in these novels. As in real life, acknowledgement of issues is the first step to change. In this book progress is made as the characters have grown in faith and courage to address their natural weakness. They do this by reverently wrestling with God and becoming more aware of God’s presence with them in the midst of their struggles. There is a shift in focus from the problems to ultimately trusting God’s character and resting in His grace. As in real life, all problems or questions are not removed; rather there is an invitation to view our wounds and scars as a means to make Jesus’ love and power visible to others. The importance and benefit of community are also beautifully demonstrated. The interaction between the characters includes love, honesty, forgiveness, encouragement, perseverance, empathy, and exhortation. The author brilliantly weaves fiction with deep spiritual insights. She provides a “Companion Prayer Guide” and “Journey to the Cross” meditations at the end of the book as a practical application for the reader. My personal devotion time has been enhanced and understanding increased by what I have learned through practicing the suggested disciplines.
ElitePetite More than 1 year ago
“An Extra Mile,” is a satisfying ending to the deeply enriching “Sensible Shoes” series. I think it is safe to say, any female reader would be able to identify with at least one of the characters described in these novels. As in real life, acknowledgement of issues is the first step to change. In this book progress is made as the characters have grown in faith and courage to address their natural weakness. They do this by reverently wrestling with God and becoming more aware of God’s presence with them in the midst of their struggles. There is a shift in focus from the problems to ultimately trusting God’s character and resting in His grace. As in real life, all problems or questions are not removed; rather there is an invitation to view our wounds and scars as a means to make Jesus’ love and power visible to others. The importance and benefit of community are also beautifully demonstrated. The interaction between the characters includes love, honesty, forgiveness, encouragement, perseverance, empathy, and exhortation. The author brilliantly weaves fiction with deep spiritual insights. She provides a “Companion Prayer Guide” and “Journey to the Cross” meditations at the end of the book as a practical application for the reader. My personal devotion time has been enhanced and understanding increased by what I have learned through practicing the suggested disciplines.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a fabulousl journey! Book 4 in this series is as exciting as the first 3. I feel like I know these characters. I was completely immersed in this book. I laughed, cried and prayed with these folks. I feel like they're real and I feel like they're friends. I cook platelet recommend this book as well as the first 3 to everyone, regardless of where you are in your own personal journey
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An Extra Mile is the fourth in the Sensible Shoes series. The earlier books in the series should be read before this one. There are many characters and their backstories are not properly explained in An Extra Mile. I wanted to like this book. There were parts that held my interest. But none of the character’s stories made me want to continue reading. I finished the book, but I do not think I will be reading any of the earlier ones. The meditations after some of the chapters was an interesting addition. While they were good and had some thought-provoking questions, they seem to have no bearing on the earlier section of the book, Having read a few reviews on Goodreads, I realize there are many who loved the book. I am glad there is an audience for Ms. Brown’s writings I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley and InterVarsity Press in exchange for my honest review. Thank you