Tag Archives: Jon Acuff

START review


cell phone pix feb april 2013 505

I purchased this book at the Atlanta Orange Conference in April, hoping that Jon would be one of the Keynote speakers. I am re-reading it in August with new eyes as a result of the START experiment. About every 3rd page is dog-eared with wisdom and something to remember or reference. Readers will find the humor and practical advice Jon shares to be relevant for anyone alive who is compelled to do anything of worth. Hash-tagging any of the three subtitle phrases or #STARTexp will bring you in contact with a mob of supportive community and helpful discussion on twitter.

I also appreciate the word picture “fear piñata” and am now using that image in my everyday thought life.

The roadmap to awesome Jon has produced is a powerful yet simple concept but challenging to accomplish. I will keep this book as a reference for the rest of my life and give it to everyone I know & love, as well as random strangers on planes, who desire to be even more awesome.



This has been a summer of risk taking.  Not sky-diving, triathlon competing, bangs-cutting type risks, but risks nonetheless.

Writing:  I made a goal to write a blog post for 24 days straight which I proudly accomplished.  Some posts were silly, some were exciting, and some were just a few words long.  It wasn’t something I was afraid of, just doubtful that I could or would complete.  I discovered that the acts of pondering and refining are essential parts of writing–which I thoroughly enjoy.   I also discovered that it is important to honor, appreciate, show attention to and gratitude for good writing.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as with any art, but someone who CAN create with words is expected to do so.  With diligence and confidence and FOCUS,  I discovered that all it takes to accomplish a dream is an idea and a START.  The rest will unfold with continued hustle.

Parenting:  My oldest son graduated from high school in June.  We were worried for a while that he might not.   I believe the word “miracle” was tossed around mid-May.  As children morph into adults, they get their own ideas of what is important, what is acceptable, and what is useless.  Newsflash:  this list is generally opposite of their parent’s ideas.  My parenting risk is the process of tweaking my vision to his, allowing the extra freedom which an 18 year old craves, which is more than I want it to be.  I must avoid becoming a massive brick wall of a frowning woman dressed in a flowerdy bathrobe & hot rollers, hands on hips holding a rolling pin and shouting, “What in the world are you thinking?”  when he shares his own dreams.  Instead I must remain a voice of reason, at a time & place it will be best heard, a respected role model and life coach, and his biggest fan.  Now is the time to remember that failure, which WILL most certainly eventually come, is never final.  For him or for us.  (But thank GOD & guidance he graduated).

Church:  Our church went from a multi-site venue to a combined, portable church in a matter of weeks.  Both sites moved which meant staff came together.  We combined services which meant volunteers came together.   We changed buildings which means all the people came together.  We had to figure out how to do this different way of meeting, participating, and worshipping.  In the children’s department, where I work, we had specific obstacles to overcome.  Everyone has something to contribute though all are challenged by change.  Risk is MAXIMIZED, but kingdom risks are often the most exciting ones to take!

At Orange Conference in April, just a few weeks before our church moved, I picked up a copy of Jon Acuff’s book START, read it in 3 days, and let it roll around in the back of my mind.  The things that I recall are how it’s never too late to start chasing a dream, fear will be a LARGE enemy that deserves to be beaten down–not THAT hard to do–and that hustle is the main way to smack fears down.

How amazing that God would place this in my life right at the time I needed to beef up for some fear smack-downs?

So now after 24 days of the START experiment (a new one begins soon–highly recommend) I choose to CONTINUE.

I will CONTINUE writing daily.

I will CONTINUE hustling and focusing and succeeding.

I will CONTINUE sending children out into the world to make it better.

Now it’s time to continue.

Punching Fear & Taking Names


Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside-down
Just take a little minute & here’s one hint
I’ll tell you how I became a part of the START experiment.

A quarter-million people, invited to play
On tablets, phones, in cubicles, spending part of their days,
Reading Jon’s blogs, sharing comments and laughs, shootin’ off links to friends and better halves,
When in 24 hours a challenge was claimed
Jon was punching fear & taking names
We sent in one little email & then all got scared and said,
“Speed it up Becky & Myra — we’re pulling out our hair!”

Out to our partners and groups got named
And we said to each other
“Yo Holmes, blog ya later!”
We all named a risk and found fears to punch
We will claim the BIG WIN as the Brave STARTexp Bunch!

Pinterest Inspirational Version


My close personal friend Jon Acuff (who is a dude) has invented a Pinterest board entitled PIV.

It has things like this on it:


Yesterday in the Start Experiment, our task was to “ignore the haters.”  I wasn’t sure I had one.

Until I did.  At 7:09 am.

That hater was HARD to ignore.

That hater thought I had done them wrong.

And in that person’s perspective I had.

It was difficult to correct by ignoring, but it was empowering to not be sucked into battle or manipulation.

As the day went on, I spoke to  others who were experts at ignoring their haters…many of whom were in their own families.

By day’s end, I had a thought.  What if I am someone else’s hater?  Intentionally or not?

I made a “joking” comment to someone earlier in the day.  I may be someone’s hater.

I said something that wasn’t uplifting, but pointed out an obvious flaw in a non-constructive way.  I may be someone’s hater.

I got frustrated with the person who was frustrated with me.  I may be someone’s hater.

I don’t want to be anyone’s hater.

So the only antidote I could think of was to encourage.  Sincerely and from the heart.

I thought about what I wished my hater had said to me instead of the yuck.

I listened to what other people’s haters had said to them and had stuck.

And I said the opposite to people.  It was fun.  I could put that energy of “fixing” to use in a completely different direction rather than the downward spiral brought on by the hater.  Like a wind-up toy that just gets picked up and pointed in a different direction.

Maybe “ignoring” can be inspiration to act in a different direction.  How did you ignore YOUR hater?