Tuesday, November 08, 2011


These days I meet a lot of discouraged people. Times are tough. You probably know folks in your inner circle, as I do, facing struggles like unemployment, debt, medical concerns, lack of access to education, military deployment of loved ones, divorce, anxiety, depression...the list goes on and on. Maybe you’re facing some of those lemons too.

I was swapping stories with some friends and we were talking about times when we felt burned out, frustrated, and alone. Then a funny thing happened: our conversation switched to stories about the remarkable things that have happened in our times of great need—the perfect job at just the right time, an anonymous donation, reconciliation with a loved one. I was so encouraged. Sometimes it’s when we think life can’t get any more sour that something sweet surprises us with hope.

Even when we can’t physically fix the problems in our friends’ lives—and if we can, we should!—we can always give each other the gift of encouraging stories. You may not be able to help pay your friend’s medical bills or provide a job, but you can talk about the times in your life when you unexpectedly discovered hope.

I call those lemonade stories, and I recently created a book project called God Makes Lemonade to share hope across America. I’ve read hundreds of true stories about everyday folks who are surprised by unexpected sweetness in the midst of sour circumstances…and more stories are arriving on my desk every day.

As a result of God Makes Lemonade, we’re spreading hope by supporting a better quality of life for single moms and their children too. When my wife and I were talking about a worthy cause where we could send the royalties from the book, nothing made sense to us like giving those royalties toward supporting single moms. They endure more stress and heartache than most of us can imagine—I really believe single moms and their children are the widows and orphans of our day and I love being able to support them in this way.
If you need some encouragement or if you know someone else who does, take some time today to think about your story. When were you afraid things would never work out? When were you surprised by hope? Do you have a lemonade story? Share it. There are millions of people out there who need hope and inspiration.

An Interview With Don Jacobson

Don Jacobson is the creator of Lemonade Books, a series of books that tell true stories about everyday folks discovering something sweet amidst sour circumstances. He’d love to hear your story and he pays for stories approved to be published in future books. Find out how to purchase a copy of God Makes Lemonade or submit your story at their website. Also, follow God Makes Lemonade on Facebook and Twitter.

Huithiang: Where do you live?

Don: My wife, Brenda, and I have been living in Central Oregon for over 22 years. We’re currently living in Bend, near Mount Bachelor. We have four adult children and one son-in-law. They’re scattered across the West Coast, from British Columbia to Portland to Southern California.
Huithiang: What are you up to these days?

Don: After selling Multnomah Publishers in 2006, I started DC Jacobson & Associates, an author management company. I’ve always loved interacting with authors and developing creative book ideas—after working with hundreds of authors and over 1,000 books, I still love it! I decided to start my own publishing company last year, publishing true stories, starting with God Makes Lemonade. This is the first book I have ever published as an author/creator, and it’s been an exhilarating process.
Huithiang: Tell us more about God Makes Lemonade. What inspired you to begin the project?

Don: Well, are you ready for a story? [Smiles] I started God Makes Lemonade because people need hope. I know so many people who are really hurting right now. And I know what they’re going through. I’ve experienced some tough times, too, but the thing is, I really wouldn’t erase those tough times because so many good things have come out of the bad. Sometimes the only thing we can do for each other during those difficult times is share our stories. Really, I’m a walking-talking lemonade story, and every day my goal is to inspire and encourage others to not lose heart amidst the lemons that life hands us. I want God Makes Lemonade to do just that—bring hope to people one story at a time. 
Huithiang: Aren’t you giving away the royalties for God Makes Lemonade?

Don: Yes. Brenda and I knew we wanted to send all of the royalties for God Makes Lemonade toward a worthy cause. We went back and forth for a couple weeks trying to find the cause, and then it hit us: single moms and their children. I can’t think of a more worthy cause, actually. My sister has been a single mom for 15 years, and Brenda and I have a number of friends who are single moms. The amount of work they have to do every day is almost incomprehensible to me. I remember times when Brenda went on quick trips and left me alone with the young kids for a couple days. She’d return and I’d say, “Well, now that I’ve had the kids for two days by myself, I need a two-month vacation to recover!” We discovered that there are upwards of 10 million single mothers in the U.S. and no nationwide organization solely dedicated to increasing quality of life for single mothers and their children. Moms wake up every day alone, hurting from a broken relationship, and looking for hope. If you want to know more about where we send the royalties, see this link: Lemonaid Foundation.

Huithiang: God Makes Lemonade is a collection of stories, right? Could my readers submit stories for your book? 

Don: I hope they do! Our website has more detailed guidelines for story submissions, but basically we’re looking for stories about those times when sour circumstances were unexpectedly sweetened by something—picture Cinderella toiling away at her housework until a surprising visit to the ball leads to her marrying the prince. Some lemonade stories are dramatic, and some are simple and sweet, but all of them help spread hope and inspiration.

Huithiang: I’ve heard you’re collecting stories for God Makes Lemonade 2. Is that true? What other projects are you working on?

Don: We’re having fun promoting God Makes Lemonade right now, and yes, we’re already working on book two. We’ve got quite a few stories in already, but we’d love for your readers to send us more. And we have a brand new series that we’re excited about announcing soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment