“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Slowly but surely

Be of good cheer. Do not think of to-day's failures, but of success that may come to-morrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will have a joy in overcoming obstacles—a delight in climbing rugged paths which you would perhaps never know if you did not sometimes slip backward, if the road were always smooth and pleasant. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.
—Helen Keller.
Pressing on.


Crawling forward.

That has been my "mode," for the most part, over the past several months.

I've been the fabled tortoise, plodding along on my various projects, making bits of progress as I go, sometimes feeling like I will never get there.

Yet, as Aesop (and the hare!) wisely discovered, slow and steady wins the race. It may take a while, but it will happen.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:12
I am in the midst of several projects right now, and some of them feel like they will never come to an end. Yet, if I persevere, they will, slowly, but surely.
  1. I am writing a book
  2. I am organizing my home
  3. I am training my children to follow Jesus
  4. I am becoming a more submissive wife
  5. I am growing in Christ
  6. I am developing my writing gift
  7. I am building up my editing business
  8. I am developing and growing my ministry of encouragement
  9. I am doing other things I'm not remembering at the moment
With only two days left of 2008, I can honestly say I have not achieved any of these goals. But do you know what? I'm further along today than I was at this time last year. I am pressing forward. I am getting closer each day (though occasionally--maybe more than occasionally--I "skip a day," or even slip back a bit). But the point is, I am moving forward.

As I look over the past year, I realize that it's okay to not achieve my goals (though I actually did achieve some goals - just not these!) as long as I'm moving in the right direction. And I am.

So, I am claiming the Helen Keller quote above as my "theme quote" for 2009, and Philippians 3:12 as my "theme verse." I hope some of you will join me--either in encouraging me, or grabbing one of these as your own direction for the new year.

And my goals? I only have one "completion" goal. Because of a "deadline" of sorts, my goal is to finish my book, and get it polished enough to redeem my half-priced editing from Finesse Editing and Writing Services, run by the wonderful Deb Porter.

As far as the other items listed, I want to press forward on each, and be able to say, with confidence, that I am further along in December 2009 than I am today.
Because slow and steady wins the race.


  1. My beloved tortoise who is teaching me soooooo much!! You amaze me as you lead by example and alternately encourage and whip me (you should see the noodle she keeps in her back pocket!! yowza!!)

    You WILL finish this book, not just your month's goals. You go, girl! Love you!!

  2. When I consider where I was last year at this time, I've accomplished much...rather God's accomplished much through me. And while others may not see the growth, I see it and am glad for the journey. I'm expecting as much for 2009.

    Keep to it.


  3. OH MY GOODNESS! Joanne, get out of my brain! I just redesigned my blog and added my theme for 2009 - the one I've been working on for awhile now. It is, Stay the Course, with Phil. 3:13-14 as my verse! Guess great minds think alike, huh? ;-) So, can I be a tortoise with you? Blessings, my friend!

  4. Your gift of encouragement shines in this blog. Thanks for the reminder that plugging along is what it's all about. The end of the race is the reward for keeping on keeping on.

  5. You're an awesome tortoise, my dear! I'm glad you haven't stayed in your shell!

  6. Cheering you on in this new year, Jo. You can do it! You can do it! YOU CAN DO IT!


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