Over the course of the past year, I’ve been hooked on the Sensible Shoes Series by Sharon Garlough Brown.
The book is like therapy. Through her rich characters, Garlough Brown tells the fictional story of four women who have come together through divine coincidence for a spiritual journey retreat.
Throughout the entire story, I found myself relating to each of the characters in different ways. Yet, the greatest joy of reading the books was the way each one taught me to engage with the word, practice spiritual disciplines, and connect with God through prayer.
Garlough Brown tells heartwarming stories that stick with you long after you’ve put the books down. The titles, Sensible Shoes, Two Steps Forward, Barefoot, and, the soon-to-be-released, An Extra Mile, are books I’ll be returning to again and again.
The books have taught me the prayer of examen a method of reviewing my day to look for God’s presence, lectio divinia a practice of reading scripture slowly three or four times and sitting with it a while, how to look closer when something prickles or rubs me the wrong way, prayer walking or labyrinth walking, and how to imagine myself in scripture. These tools are enhancing my walk with Christ and helping me put things in perspective.
One method of prayer really impressed me. Garlough Brown described praying with palms down while you’re making your requests known to the Almighty. It places me in a posture of letting go, and then places me in a posture to receive from study and quietude.