Tag Archives: START

Loathe Entirely


I have been thinking about haters for over a month now. I actually thought I didn’t have any or wouldn’t have any.  And then one showed up around 7am on the day that our START assignment was to ignore them—or at the very least, don’t give their opinion too much weight.
Only she was calling me out for something I did that she didn’t like. She wasn’t really hating me, she just wasn’t getting her way, wasn’t being patient, and was acting poorly.  And she was doing all that AT me.
I don’t really think it is accurate for me to call her a 3D “hater” because:

1) She doesn’t know me well enough to hate me and

2) She and I weren’t on the same timetable for the favor she was requesting of me.

Her thought was ASAP, mine was in a day or two. She found this unreasonable.
Her online spew AT ME caused me shock & surprise, which feels oddly like outrage. I immediately began mentally listing things I already am doing and became extremely defensive and rebellious—wanting to make her wait.  At the same time, I battled within my mind over doing a better job with more time vs making her happy by doing it NOW but substandard. Furthermore, I was no longer in the right frame of mind to fulfill her request in her way OR mine.   Because it had to do with writing, which is on my to do list for the risk I wanted to take that round, I felt even more thwarted if I ignored her request completely. Although I succeeded in not responding to her rant, I did not do so well with the “ignoring.”  She is VERY hard to ignore in real life AND online.

In the end, on that same day I ended up giving her a version of what she asked for, although it would have been a better version had she waited.  So who won?  Was it a tie?  What was the desired outcome?  I find myself a peacemaker, but should I have truly avoided and ignored this request for an “above and beyond” ministry favor from someone in the church?  I don’t know. I was paralyzed creatively until I got that task off my plate.   Afterwards she kind of gave me a “was that so hard?”  kind of attitude vs true gratitude, but that part I can ignore with ease.
My definition of a real live 3D hater is someone who knows you, defies you, and comes against you at every turn. This person may be jealous, hurting or both.
My definition of a START hater is a pesky stranger who pops up at inconvenient times when you are focused on your goal and about to do something risky or awesome and triggers the internal voices—be they negative, self-defeating, or just plain distracting.
Some haters love you but hate your dream. Don’t ignore them.
Some haters hate you but love your dream. Don’t ignore them either.
Some haters hate you and your dream. Others hate everybody and all their dreams too.
Those are the ones to ignore.

Unless God calls you to love one. Good luck with that.

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.

The Care & Keeping of a START machete


[Thanks to fellow Starter Stephen Gutshall for contributing.]

The machete is commonly known as a large cleaver-like knife. In the START experiment, the “machete” you will use is cleverly disguised as a journal with goals, dreams, risks and tasks recorded therein.

In various tropical and subtropical countries, the machete is frequently used to cut through rain forest undergrowth and for cutting down sugar cane. In the START experiment, your machete splits open flimsy excuses, destroys inner voices that lie, and clears away the brush of average.

Because the machete is common in many tropical countries, it is often the weapon of choice for uprisings. In the START experiment some uprisings may come from without—comments from the discouraged, criticism from those with limited understanding, people who mistake your intentions.  Still other foes come from within–self-defeating statements such as not having a place at the “the cool kids table,” self-doubt, and fear.

Your START machete should be used daily.  With confidence and practice, you will become one with your weapon.

Directions for using your START Machete:

Step 1:   Sharpen your START machete.  Lubricate laser-focused thoughts with community support, like-minded adventurers, and energetic encouragement.  Match the angled edge of the blade to the surface of the obstacle and strike with medium pressure a dozen times on each side.  AKA:  “hustle”

Step 2:  Grip your START machete firmly.  Also check the security of your mental grip and maintain appropriate distance from the disillusioned complainers and generally negative people. AKA: “haters”

Step 3:   Stand close enough to your target not to require a long reach but not so close that you will have to delay your swing. Keep in mind your target may change and therefore your stance and proximity to obstacles or “average,” must also change.

Step 4:  Swing down at an angle, away from legs and feet to eliminate reckless harm to self and others who are standing bravely next to you.  Snap wrist as the widened area of the sharpened START blade meets its target.  Celebrate that you now have less obstacles than you did 3 seconds ago and are now clearly more awesome.

Step 5:   Clean off debris–old ideas and habits, and renew your START machete with the oil of pride for a job well done, a risk accomplished, a goal met.  Diligently repair and maintain your START machete for future use.  Always store your START machete nearby where you can find it when you need it again.  And you will.


START Round 2 Theme Song


So no one told me START was gonna be this way


Audacious tasks are back, extensive threads every day,

It’s like you’re always trying something new,

Well it’s time to START your dream it seems, so GO and START and DO!

I’ll be there for you!

When the journal page is blank,

I’ll be there for you!

When there’s nothing in the bank,

I’ll be there for you,

‘Cause you’re there for me too.




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!

Sing a Song


You know you want to jam to my crazy awesome START playlist:

Any Dream Will Do–Donny Osmond

“Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

The world and I, we are still waiting, still hesitating, any dream will do.


Treasure — Bruno Mars

You’re my golden star.


One Day More — Les Miserables

Tomorrow we’ll discover what our God in heaven has in store.


Good Morning — Mandisa

Mownin’ Lil’ Miss Sunshine!


Right Now — Van Halen

Right now is harder than it looks.


Come On In — Oak Ridge Boys

When I get tired and a little lonely, the world’s turned it’s cold back on me,

When I’m about to swear that I ain’t got a friend left to my name,

Instead of sinkin’ a little lower, I start makin’ tracks on over

To a place where the sun shines day & night & where I know I’ll hear ya say:

Come on in, baby take your coat off, come on in, baby take a load off,

Come on in baby shake the blues off, I’m gonna love that frown away…


Photo credit


If you sing a song today you will make a better way

yeah yeah yeah yeah

yeah yeah yeah.


There are so many more…what’s in your top 10 for motivational tunes?

I must know.