Courage to Climb by Sherry Shoemaker

Posted by on May 22, 2015 | 3 comments

Courage to Climb by Sherry Shoemaker

My guest this week is Life Coach, speaker, and author of Courage to Climb: 12 Women Surmount the Impossible, Sherry Shoemaker. I know you will enjoy meeting Sherry and hearing about 12 extraordinary women who faced seemingly insurmountable challenges and turned them into successes. Be sure to leave a comment and sign up on the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a Kindle copy! 

Fabulous Fridays

Welcome Sherry! What inspired Courage to Climb? I was struggling with codependency. (The term today refers to people who are susceptible to being affected by another person’s behavior while also remaining inordinately focused on controlling that person’s behavior.)  I eventually found Al-Anon, learned to control what I can in my life and detach from what I can’t and then I shifted my focus to let go and let God. One year later, I found myself stepping out of my comfort zone and going back to school to become a life coach. Coaching, I discovered, was my God-given purpose, and it was why I’d experienced all the good and bad in my life. It is my mission, my career and, in some ways, my own salvation. And yet, it is not the endpoint. After all, empowerment doesn’t come quickly or easily. After my training (and countless hours of introspective work), my own coach said to me, “You need to write a book.” I didn’t reject this idea outright, but it did take me more than two years to work up the nerve to start it. Just the thought of it made me queasy! But what spurred me on was the knowledge that, as long as I felt supported and trusted that I was doing what God meant for me to do, I could do anything. This faith would, ironically, become a motif in this book.

Can you tell us something that your readers might find surprising about you?Courage to Climb As a child, I grew up with really strict controlling parents.  If I wanted to do something that was risky, I was always told that the worst would happen. Now I still hear those voices, recognize them and do it anyway. I take calculated risks. If I fail, I look at the learning that took place during my journey.

What was the greatest problem/challenge you faced in writing this book? I started writing and set a schedule that I would write early morning for 15 to 20 minutes/day and sent in my chapters for editing and rewriting, that seemed doable. But life had its own twists and turns. We had the wedding of my son and daughter-in-law and all the happiness and stress of that. Three weeks before the wedding, my mom had congestive heart failure and recovered in time for the wedding, I fractured my wrist gardening and had a plate and screws surgically implanted.. Hard to type- the next year, 3 weeks before my launch, I broke my arm in 3 places and smashed my computer. Two days before the launch I had to get a crown. One might say- why bother with all of this with all these obstacle? I have a passion for helping women and wanted to make an impact in as many lives as I could.

How would you like to inspire your readers? That with trusting God, passion and perseverance, you can do anything.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now? Stay in the day and God is in control and to trust him.

Often we desire to teach a lesson in and through our writing, but we as writers also learn something. What was one thing you learned while writing Courage to Climb? I learned that I can do anything if I trust in God for it to work out.

What is one of your favorite Biblical passages (or books) to study through? The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1) and  Philippians 4:13King James Version (KJV) 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

What events in your personal life have most impacted your writing, and how? In July 2005 we returned to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and my husband lost his job after 20 years. He fought for a generous 19-month severance package and, with that in our back pocket; we invested heavily in a high-risk venture company where my husband had accepted a position. After one-and-a-half years, it went belly-up and we lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. My reaction? To think, Okay, we still have our house and our health. We will be all right. About 2 months later, my husband said to me, “Honey, I want to invest more money into a franchise.” This was a unilateral decision—he was going to do it with or without my support, which floored me after five moves, two children, years of counseling and even more years spent married to one another. Did he actually have what it took to do this?

But this turned out to be one piece of a much bigger puzzle. The new franchise, was a religious company, and my husband felt a calling to be part of it. My husband, whom I had known and loved for so many years, had started reciting scripture and putting God first in his life. I saw glimpses of this fundamental religious conversion coming but never thought it would become a lifestyle.

My husband was active in church as a child, and it was his faith that helped him get sober. While I hadn’t been raised with the same level of church involvement, my own faith had become stronger during my time in Al-Anon: I had hit my emotional bottom so many times in my marriage, and that led me to rely heavily on God. Still, my religious path was very different from that of my husband, and I certainly wasn’t ready for the financial and emotional commitment this new faith suddenly required. (Especially since I had zero say in the matter.)

As a result of my husband’s decision, I thought my head was going to explode. “How could you,” I demanded, “spend more money after we lost so much?!” His reply? He saw it as making money in a down economy. In a way, he was vindicated: The company is doing well, thank goodness. But the catalyst that got us here, the action that triggered the change, was still fundamentally wrong. Never in our marriage had he made a major decision without me. I realized I needed to do something for me. That is how I decided to become a life coach and hence decided to write a book. I didn’t have to stay somebody’s wife, mother or daughter. I could create my own future.

Please share the first page of your book with us.

Chapter One: Thomasine Landis Until 2008, Thomasine Landis was an outgoing, attractive and fun-loving lady who, by all appearances, had the perfect life. She was 49 years old, and she loved her job. (A trained nurse, Thomasine worked her way up to become the client-services manager at a senior-assistance company.) She had a house, a dog, a husband who supported her and a 20-year-old son in college.

Behind closed doors, however, her story was anything but perfect. Thomasine’s husband, Paul, was an alcoholic. That alone was bad enough, but she’d learned to cope with it by creating a separate life for herself and her son, Jason. She routinely attended work and personal events by herself, leaving Paul alone at home to drink. She would make up excuses as to why her husband couldn’t attend. Nobody seemed to question her. But the rape by her husband was something she couldn’t ignore.

In September 2008, she began taking sleeping pills to quell her anxiety and help her sleep at night. One morning, however, she awoke to find herself naked in bed and alone. She figured out that Paul, while in a drunken stupor, had had sex with her unresponsive body. She was terrorized and humiliated. How, she wondered, could her husband of 21 years respect her so little that he could so that. She’d loved, trusted and supported him, despite his addiction and this was the consequence.

Book Blurb: Life throws a lot of curve balls, and how people respond to them often determines their sense of satisfaction in life. In Courage to Climb, Author and Life Coach Sherry Shoemaker takes readers on a cathartic journey through the lives of 12 extraordinary women who faced seemingly insurmountable challenges and turned them into successes. Wives, mothers and daughters alike will find both inspiration and step-by-step guidance in these pages to help them become—as the women in the book have—happier, healthier and more fulfilled human beings.

About the author: Sherry ShoemakerSherry Shoemaker is a life coach, entrepreneur, educator and speaker in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In her practice, she works extensively with women to help them find their inner strengths and confidence so that they may achieve the success, be it professional, personal or both, that they seek. This is her first book.

Connect with Sherry: Website:, and

Facebook Author Page:




Book link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Enjoyed reading about her inspiration and decision to write. Love reading about people overcoming obstacles. Well done!

    • Thanks for commenting, Bonnie! She has a powerful story!

    • Bonnie, Thanks for your thoughts and well wishes, I love seeing people overcome adversity.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Did you enjoy this?

If so, please help spread the happiness! Share this post with your friends!

%d bloggers like this: