I want to tell you about a book that changed our lives: The Opportunity, by Joel Ackerman. Its inspiring message helped us seize an opportunity that was sailing away from us. If it weren’t for his book, Turning Little Hearts may never have happened!
When we first heard about The Opportunity, Jonah and I had just made many huge life changes–we had bought a wholesale bakery, we had moved to a different state, we had a new baby (our sixth!), and we were settling down in our “forever” home. Buried underneath all these changes, was a dusty email from a publisher who had expressed interest in a book we had submitted more than a year before.
While the publisher had no interest in the first 99% of our book about why and how family stories were powerful, they were curious to see an expansion of the last 1% of the book–a list of 10 activities that families could do to engage children in learning their family stories.
That dusty email had been exciting, yet disheartening when we had first received it. Yay! They like…part…of the book…! But we worked so hard on that… And how could we ever think of enough activities to fill an entire book???? With those thoughts and feelings, we let the email sink to the bottom of our inbox without response.
Over the next year, we occasionally thought about that email, but as more time passed, it became easier to just brush it off as impossible. Until we saw Joel’s book. The cover had a marvelous ship at sea on it. The opening line was “A boy in a tree looked out at the sea”. And the message was Don’t let self-doubt or any other excuse let opportunities sail away from you! I immediately thought of our email from the publisher. Yikes! We were letting this opportunity sail away from us without even trying!
After we put the kids down to bed that night, we prayed for inspiration and began brainstorming enough kid-friendly family history activities to fill a book. To our total surprise, a couple hours later, we had about 100 ideas scribbled down. In the next couple weeks, we spent many late nights sketching out the page designs and text on white paper to give an idea of what the format should be. We submitted those pages hoping that the publisher 1) would even remember us, and 2) that they would see potential in our sketches.
You know how the story ends. If you need a boost to strive for your dreams, The Opportunity is it!
Here is the website to purchase the book The Opportunity (Click here)
Here is a great video with interviews of people who have read it (Click here)