Joni Parsley Daydream Believer
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Well, January has come and gone and it is still winter. Being stuck indoors a lot has given me time to think and observe…perhaps, too much time! Here are some thoughts on 2014 so far….
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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

At the beginning of a new year, we seem to look inward. Starting fresh seems to equal a renewal of disciplines we’ve allowed to slip or have ignored altogether. It’s time to start a new diet, work-out, read devotionals, drink a gallon of water, watch less television, spend less time on phones and Facebook, and swear off fast food forever all while we walk on a treadmill! We decide to change behaviors all in an attempt to answer that annoying inner voice that’s nagging us to be better.

To be honest, I quit making New Year’s resolutions because the list barely made it to March before it ended in the trash! I set my goals so high that an Olympic athlete or Mother Teresa wouldn’t have been able to succeed. I decided to set one goal daily - to be better than the day before at something. I’m not talking about huge feats of greatness but little adjustments even if it’s in my attitude…um, maybe that’s a huge feat, after all! If I can improve at being a Christian, in some capacity, then I can have the discipline it takes to do some of the things I don’t like doing.

The odd thing about Christianity is that it takes an ability to look both inward and outward in order to grow. To be better we have to look inward but to be even better we must look outward. The only reason for self-improvement is to be ready and able to serve others. If we are striving for “the mark of the high calling of Christ” then we are striving to be like Him…a servant. I promise it’s in the Bible and I didn’t make it up!

We live in a world that is flooded with self-serving, self-absorbed and thus, self-sabotaging messages and unfortunately, it has crept into our churches. Self-sacrifice is meant for our new year’s lists but never makes it to March - it sounds good in theory but not in practice. Why? BECAUSE IT IS HARD!

It’s hard to deny SELF! It wants cookies not carrots! It wants mind-numbing television with someone’s reality that looks better or worse than our own. It wants a soothing gospel that costs us little instead of the one that costs us everything. Self is like a hoarder that wants to keep the junk so it can keep the excuses but it’s time to clean out the garage, the closets and the storage room. It’s a great winter project - empty out the trash and then, maybe God can have some breathing room!

We all want “more of God” but we have to do the work to make “less of me”. It won’t happen overnight but making it a priority will yield better results than all the starvation diets I’ve been gone on combined!

Saint Francis said, “You are that which you are seeking.” That said, let’s ask ourselves every day, “Who am I?” The answer should be fairly obvious.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas songs have been on the radio since early November. We drive along trying to get in the holiday spirit amidst the long lines, traffic, and hustle and bustle of the season. Honestly, I never knew quite what hustle and bustle meant. Is someone dancing the hustle while wearing a bustle…I need to Google this. Anyway, the rush is on and by now, I’m growing weary of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and every singer known to mankind doing a version of “The Christmas Song.” Does anyone roast chestnuts on the open fire anymore? If Jack Frost nips at anyone’s nose these days he’ll get pepper sprayed followed by a lawsuit. Oh, the world…the weary world.

It makes me think of one of my favorite songs, “O’ Holy Night.” The words of this classic so beautifully capture the predictive moment when mankind was visited by the miraculous…a Savior was born. The condition of humanity is described and then of all the words, these stand out to me: "'til He appeared and the soul felt its worth." What an arrow to the heart!

Until Jesus appeared in my life, I had no idea of my worth. The mere idea that I was loved so much that death would be a willing exchange for me was beyond my mortal comprehension and still is. However, I accept this by faith and receive it in love with gratitude that I can’t humanly express.

This I know, especially this time of year, there is no amount of money, no diamond big enough, no car elite enough, no house fancy enough, nor closet full enough to even begin to match the true worth the soul feels at His appearing. May I also add, there is no other person that can give you worth - it grows from the inside knowing that Jesus took our insignificance and replaced it with His significance. He made us worthy!

His appearing didn’t happen just one holy night. His appearing comes at the mention of His name, the thought of His love divine, the quoting of His transformative Word, and the carrying on of His ministry to “the least of these.” He comes to the heart that belongs to Him and that’s just it…He comes now because He came then and because He did, a weary world still rejoices, “O’ night divine, O night when Christ was born.” Divine is the only word that could describe it.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013
When I was picking up my son from work the other day, I saw a sign posted on a shop window, "Be Right Back". That explains a lot when I think about these last few months. I realize I haven't been posting on a regular basis but I've been putting the finishing touches on my book that will be out in early 2014-God is good! Tomorrow is a final deadline for the last items the publishing house needs so I've been working on that. Once everything is finally finished, I'll be "back" on a regular schedule!
I've missed this blog which is the whole reason the book even transpired-YOU have made it possible! If only there were more hours in a day, I could fly a helicopter instead of a car, or be secluded in a cabin somewhere, I could do it all!
I have an idea for a post for Christmas that I'll write by the weekend-it's about worth. I've thought so much about the holidays since I've not done a lot of what I normally do. Instead, I've tried to take in moments here and there. I didn't want to lose the meaning of this time while drowning in a sea of work or holiday rush. So, I'll be talking about what happens when the "usual" doesn't.
In the meantime, take some time to enjoy the gift of this season. I watched the snowfall the other night and that was free and I didn't have to fight traffic either!
God is and is everywhere..I don't want to leave Him out.
My sign will be out of the window very soon, by the way! Thanks and blessings to you all!
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This was the easiest and hardest title to choose. Since I’ve been staring at the screen for a while, all I’ve seen is the blinking of the cursor. I felt like it was taunting me and saying, “Go ahead, just try and move me!” It’s not the only thing that’s taunted or maybe, haunted me. My laptop is in a bag, which I keep in my room, where I do most of my writing. I’ve walked by said bag countless times. I’ve stared at it and swear it’s been mocking me too, “Go ahead, pick me up and at least move me from this spot!” I moved the bag by my favorite “writing chair” and decided it clashed with my décor of all things!

Yep, I’ve had it bad! I’ve had a severe case of writer’s block that’s been accompanied by a severe case of excuse-making to myself, God or anyone else that has asked. Speaking of excuses, my phone is ringing! See how busy I always am?! Hmm…That was my husband telling me he was hungry as if I was to magically do something about it over the phone! See how distracted I always am?! I’ve had two calls, seven text messages, and two dogs interrupting me (I don’t mean my husband either). See how hard it is to get a minute of peace?!

If I’m being honest, I haven’t wanted to write. I couldn’t bring myself to settle my mind long enough to string some thoughts together because none of my thoughts were making much sense. I try too hard to figure things out; there has to be a reason for things or some answer. I will contemplate and analyze a situation for combined hours. See how preoccupied I can be?! However, some things cannot be explained. What can’t be explained requires something from us…trust in someone that has the explanation. Where there’s a student, there’s always a master. I think you know where I’m going with this. In the case of being a Christian, we are always the student because Jesus is forever the Master.

Once we accept our station in this relationship, it’s a sigh of relief. We don’t have to do the heavy lifting, know everything or shoulder the responsibility alone. In a world where uncertainty abounds, it’s so comforting to have the Lord to depend on. Every time I’d stare at this computer screen, I kept thinking that I needed to explain the last three weeks. A lot has happened that has profoundly affected me, not the least of which was the sudden death of two people I cared about. I have no answer for that. I have no reason for it either. I can’t find the logic in people mourning the loss of loved ones…I can only feel hurt for them and myself, for that matter. What I can find is assurance. What I do know is that God is always there when answers aren’t.

It really is okay to just show up and whisper His name – showing up is sometimes all we can do. He gets it and He gets us. So often, we make it harder than it has to be when all we need to do is trust. Trust says, "I’m here and I know You’re there." Trust says, "I don’t know but I know You do." Trust is silent, but it speaks volumes. Trust just says yes.

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About Joni

Thanking God for blessings too many to list. He is my all and my always-the glory and the lifter of my head... He never fails.

Why the Name

"For a child, it’s as easy as blowing out candles on a cake, or wishing upon a star. But as for one of those 'grown-ups,' 'No dream comes true until you wake up and go to work.' " ...