I thought it would be just another great book for teenagers by those Harris boys.  I planned to read it and review it.  Just like I read and reviewed Do Hard Things. But it wouldn’t really apply to me, of course.

I read Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are. And I was convicted.  Nothing like reading a book on prioritizing written by teenagers to help a mom get her own priorities in order.  Since I am supposed to be, you know, raising my own children to do hard things.

Start Here is written to teenagers (read on to find out how to win your own copy!).  Which is why I asked my little sister to give it a quick read and review for us here at ylcf.org as well (look for her guest post tomorrow).  But it’s just as applicable—and perhaps even more hard-hitting—for moms and adults of all ages.

Do Hard Things may have left some readers feeling like they weren’t in the spot to do big grandiose things for God.  Like the big sister whose mom desperately needs her help all summer when everyone else is going on a missions trip.  Or the mom who spends her days tending to little ones, with no time for writing best-selling books or highly-trafficked blog posts.

Start Here shows you that no matter where you are in life, you can do hard things right here, right now: in fact, life is all about doing hard things.

Start Here reminds us that we shouldn’t skip over the mundane hard things right here at home to do something big for God.  Usually, doing God’s will starts right at home.  Always, God’s will is going to be in line with the Scriptures (which includes a command to obey your parents).  And when we are proved faithful in the little things—like doing dishes or cleaning the house—we are more likely to be trusted with much more.

The best thing about Start Here is that it summed up exactly what the teen years are all about: being teenagers who work hard and glorify God in order to become adults who work hard and glorify God.

If we fail to prepare adequately as young adults, responsibility will be like a weight that is too heavy for our untrained arms.  The problem will not be that we grew up too fast but that we weren’t prepared when we did grow up and become adults.  Rather than learn to properly balance hard work and fun as teenagers, we let a preoccupation with fun set us up for failure.

But if we assume that the teen years are about preparation, as they have historically and biblically been defined, we will become mature, competent, and responsible men and women who know when and how to have fun.  With this understanding, “growing up” doesn’t spoil the teen years; it is the fulfillment of the teen years lived well.

Alex & Brett Harris, Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are, pg. 90

  • To enter the drawing for a copy of Start Here, comment on this post to tell us one way you are doing hard things right now, where you are.
  • Drawing ended at midnight, Thursday, March 25, 2010.
  • Thanks to the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing this book for review and giveaway.
  • Congratulations to Zoe for winning a copy of Start Here!

Stop by ylcf.org tomorrow for a review of Start Here by a real teenager: my little sister Jessica.  And be sure to come back Saturday for a chance to win a copy of the book that started it all: Do Hard Things!


  1. Cherokee Smith says:

    This post is to give God the Glory, because He deserves all the praise! I went to school one day and came home motherless at the tender age of twelve, I had to go and live with several relatives at different times, one of whom molested me over the course of 7 years. Soon after I moved away I became a Born-Again Believer–and I faced my hard thing–I was confronted with the message of forgiveness, it was tough at first, because I really did not totally understand the concept.
    Yet, once I truly allowed the Lord–by making a choice to let forgiveness overtake my heart–I found how wonderfully refreshing forgiveness was! After several years, I wrote and made contact with the person and poured out my heart about what they did to me, they wrote me back a long letter and asked me to forgive them! Today I understand how freeing and exciting it is to not only be forgiven myself–but how wonderful it is to let others off the hook by forgiving them when they ask–the same way that my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ forgave me for my sins when I asked Him! Moreover, I am presently enjoying a wonderful relationship with this same relative because I now understand that real forgiveness treats the person as though it never happened!

  2. One of the hard things I’ve been doing lately is learning to be content without having close Christian friends (we moved almost 2 years ago and haven’t met any Christian families in our area yet). I am also working on developing close, edifying relationships with my family members.

  3. Right now I’m working on some sewing for a rescue mission. When the request came around, I didn’t want to add such a big time commitment to my already busy schedule. March is one of the busiest months of the year for me. But God made it pretty clear that He wanted me to use my skills for Him and to serve these needy ones.

  4. Hard things, God is faithful in providing them, isn’t He? But we grow through choosing to tackle them!

    Some of the hard things I’ve been doing is:
    -branching out on my own, now that my family is growing up and not each, always at my beck and call. “Growing up,” you might call it.
    -Then, trying to get over my own shyness to better minister to people.
    -Joining a Bible study as the youngest member, and actually participating!
    -Giving up leisurely free time for time in The Word.
    -Learning to hold my tongue with people who try my patience.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

  5. Learning to keep up with what I’m supposed to be doing right.

  6. The ‘hard thing’ I’m going through now would be just taking care of my family on a daily basis, and living for the Lord every day.

  7. One hard thing I doing now… I guess that would be graduating from high school, figuring out where and what I’m supposed to be doing next.

    ~ Tarissa

  8. Kirsten Dalton says:

    Getting ready for the arrival of our son, and preparing for the blessing and challenge of having two little ones under 16 months! ๐Ÿ™‚ Dying to myself and choosing to serve my husband with joy even after long days. Choosing to invest my time in things that matter, instead of wasting it on things that will pass away.

  9. Hard things now:

    -loving others unconditionally
    -doing everything to the BEST of my ability

  10. A current hard thing I am doing, is starting to lead a Bright Lights group (which is a Bible-based, older-to-younger-girl type discipleship ministry) in our living room. It’s been a struggle and a learning experience for me, planning the lessons and then presenting it to 9 girls in a way to give them a desire to serve the Lord in their youth.

    God has our family living in an area where there aren’t any other Christians who have the same convictions we do, and honestly, we are very lonely. But I feel that God has called me to reach out and encourage young ladies who might not get the instruction at home that I do. On Thursday, the day this giveaway ends, we will be having only our 2nd meeting. (Blog for our Bright Lights group: http://brightlightsnj.blogspot.com)

    Loved reading about all the “hard things” everyone else is doing where God has them! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. The “hard thing” that I have been focusing on is time management! It is so easy to become distracted and procrastinate, but I have been striving to use my time wisely and diligently.

  12. Samantha R says:

    One thing that I did that I never ever thought I could do or was “qualified” to do was tutor.
    When it was first mentioned, I thought “No way”. and then God began to work in my heart and basically asked if I would do this hard thing for Him.
    Within short amount of time, I was able to joyfully say “YES!” and tutor a 6th grader in Math. Pre-Algebra Math, that is. (Math that I didn’t necessarily enjoy when I was there… )
    Honestly, once I said Yes, I was really excited about it!
    It was a challenge at times and we had a few frustrating days but it was well worth the “investment”.
    God has brought so many blessings from this opportunity; I grew and learned a lot and I think she (my student) did too ๐Ÿ™‚
    Looking back, I can see what I would have missed out on if I had said, “No”. What a loss that would have been!

    Don’t be afraid to step out on faith, even when you feel you aren’t “qualified”. God can use anyone!

  13. I guess my current “Hard Thing” is being a willing servant to my family…….it’s a blessing to have the priveledge to serve them, but it’s not always what I feel like coing!
    I’d love to win!

  14. I loved Do Hard Things and my brothers have also enjoyed reading it, particularly my 15 yr. old brother. I would love to win a copy of “Start Here”.

    I don’t know if this qualifies, but it seems like the hardest thing I am doing right now (and on a daily basis it can be a real battle) is simply just waiting. And walking by faith. At almost 25 yrs old and with no prospects in sight…it is hard to lose sight of God’s perfect plan for my life. And to conform to what everyone else says I should be doing is not always easy to stand up against…but His word hidden in my heart is stronger than any of those pressures!

  15. The Lord has been helping me with several “hard things” recently. Right now I’m volunteering at the local homeless shelter for women and children and I’ve been tutoring several of the children/teens. It’s been challenging but also very rewarding!

  16. I’ve really been trying to be joyful, with my focus on the Lord during my daily tasks and it’s hard. But the blessings are huge. ๐Ÿ™‚

    This book sounds great!

  17. I am doing the hard thing of learning to hand out a tract ~ even if I am scared. I am also doing the hard thing of learning Spanish in hopes that I will be able to use it for ministry.

  18. I am doing hard things in:
    staying pure for my future husband,
    trying to fix my relationship with my younger sister…
    glorifying God in all that I do, including Cadia Magazine and my schoolwork

    I LOVE Do Hard Things… definitely one of my favorite books! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway YLCF girls! You are so encouraging to me… and many others! I have recommended your website to Leslie Ludy – I’m sure she’ll love it too. May God bless you as you continue this wonderful ministry!

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Chare @ Her Price is Far Above Rubies

  19. I have been doing a hard thing for 4 years now through doing foster care. My family has been able to adopt 2 of our foster children but we have had to give one back just recently.

  20. I’m expecting my first baby this summer, and I keep noticing things in my life that would be a bad example to a child watching me. It’s a scary responsibility, but I’m trying to give up the selfishness that motivates my daily activities. If serving my husband is too hard now, caring for a baby constantly will be impossible. My main goal right now is learning to listen to God instead of to myself each moment, to determine my attitude and the way I use my time and energy.

  21. I am learning to be content as well as make my own decisions in regards to the future.

  22. Three Sisters says:

    Together, we spend a lot of time doing different ministry projects, leading a girls’ Bible study, and preparing for whatever God wants us to do someday.

  23. Elizabeth says:

    The hard thing that I’m doing right now is trying break the start of an eating disorder that I have. Also trying to learn to be a help and an encouragement to my sisters even when I don’t get a long with them.

  24. I would love to enter the giveaway and read this awesome book.
    One hard thing I did recently was the read-a-thon I hosted over at my blog, raising money for a great ministry, Compassion International, that is working in Haiti to help the earthquake victims.

  25. A month ago this Monday I started homeschooling my niece through the rest of 7th grade. I’m 24 years old (not an experienced homeschool mom). I am thankful for this “hard thing”–it is both ministry and a dream of mine fulfilled!! I am so blessed that God gave me this responsibility and opportunity to influence my own niece right as she enters her teen years.

  26. I’m going through a trial right now involving both men in my life, my fiance and father. For me, the Lord is teaching me a whole lot about submission, and believe me, submitting is not easy! But I know it is God’s will, and the blessings it brings are wonderful. Doing hard things for me is starting right here where I am, mending broken fences, repenting, and walking in the Spirit moment by moment. There are times when the actions of others reduce me to tears, but it helps to pray for them, bless them, love them, and do good to them in spite of the pain they cause me. It’s hard, but incredibly rewarding when you do it God’s way.

  27. One of my current “Hard Things” is illustrating a children’s book for a friend. Not only is this a new realm for me, but I’m illustrating her childhood so it has to be “real”!

  28. Lydia Jane says:

    I am running with the local high school track team. Having been home schooled all my life, it has been really hard for me and I’ve had to get out of my comfort zone and get more comfortable interacting with kids my age. It’s been really stretching for me!

  29. One of the hard things I am doing right now is helping my Dad with his business. I take care of all the admin/paperwork stuff. When I get discouraged and tired of it, I hear God reminding me once again to “just be faithful…..be faithful…..be faithful to do what I have I have called you to do”.

  30. TanyaBeth S says:

    Choosing to intentionally love my family, show love to my friend-family, and seek to find ways to glorify God.

  31. One very hard thing I am currently doing is attempting to get a College degree online. I am a senior in high school right now and at this time have 42 college credits. It has been challenging, for sure – I know I could have never made it this far without the Lord’s help.


    1. We’re glad you started your hard thing, Zoe. Congratulations on winning a copy of Start Here!

    2. Cherokee Smith says:

      Hi Zoe, I just wanted to encourage you that you can make it! I too went to college and it took me nearly seven years to finish, yet I did not give up, I just took my time and I finally graduated! I had to have 69 credits, and in my first year I maintained a 4.0 GPA and I made the Dean’s List in my second year! So keep hope alive!

  32. It seems God is teaching me to do a lot of “hard things” right now….one of them is learning to joyfully live with Crohn’s disease, having complete trust in God and His plan. Thank you for doing this giveaway! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Laura Anne says:

    I’m definitely learning that we have ample opportunities to do hard things right where we are. In the midst of halting an engagement and an upcoming out-of-state surgery, it’s easy for me to feel burdened and overwhelmed by the past and the future. Yet I realize that if I take it one day at a time and do the ‘small’ hard things of daily serving the Lord and others in a season of trial and uncertainty, then the ‘big’ hard things can be left in His hands. It’s a challenge to focus on the hard things I need to do today, but I know they are the stepping stones to His plan for tomorrow.

    In His peace,

  34. The hard thing I’m doing right now is converting to Christianity even though my husband is not Christian. Working out our differences in regards to our future is really difficult!

  35. I guess for me, “doing hard things” would be making it through 1st trimester while chasing a toddler ;-). And training the very same toddler. Training little ones is hard work, and very daily (or hourly!), but also worth it!

  36. I am a stay at home wife, and mommy to a 2 year old and 1 year old. I’m seeking daily to do the hard thing of dying to myself and living for the Lord through serving my family. I am so blessed and when I think about it, it seems like this should be an easy thing to love and serve the beautiful family God has given me, the truth is that there are days when it is a really hard thing, and I don’t feel like serving anyone at all — except maybe myself. I would like to read this book and then pass it on to my younger brothers who would probably be encouraged by it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *