Experience Joy

I am VERY grateful for the honor to write for The One Project. The One Project was a life-changing turning point that brought so much joy to my family and me.  I will be forever grateful for the ability to provide (what I strongly feel is) a healthier example to our children of what really matters.

There is a commercial I love that I have shared with my friends many times. I’ve never been the type to talk about a commercial, but this one has really stuck with me.  The scene opens with a group of parents and babies gathered in the park.  As they begin to compare, it becomes apparent they have very different ideas regarding parenting. They quickly start pointing fingers and judging each other. It’s funny at first but soon gets ugly and ridiculous. At one point the parents rush to fight one another and one mom throws up her arms saying “Let’s do this!” as she lets go of her baby’s stroller to join in. The baby stroller starts taking off down the hill.

Everyone immediately turns to run after the baby in the stroller. I literally can’t even say those words without choking up. If you haven’t watched it yet, trust me it’s worth it.  Watch it here.
This is exactly what the One project was for me; a defining  moment of clarity. We’d become so good at arguing about the color of the carpet, the length of a skirt, piercings, and which music should be played. It was easy to get caught up in pointing fingers, bickering, and acting childish; while that precious “baby” is taking off down the hill.
As we approach the Christmas season – I’m reminded of another place in my family’s life where we’ve attempted to cut away the excess and put our focus where it matters. Over the years, we have worked to make Christmas about experiences in our family versus shopping for things. This greatly minimized our stress and allowed us to put our energy and money into doing something as a family. This has been a real gift to ourselves, and hopefully a gift to our children as well.

Each year, as  Christmas Eve approaches,  I regularly wonder “Ok, what are we doing?  Is this a mistake?  Are we ruining our children?” In a panic, I quickly round up a few things to place in their stockings in order to at least have something for our kids to open. Now our kids have grown, and we’re not sure what Christmas will look like in the years to come, but I am grateful as I look at all the memories we’ve been able to create together.

Perhaps  you love finding the perfect gift and experience real joy in watching your loved ones as they open that carefully wrapped package.  Or maybe, like us, you love to create family time together making memories or going on a new adventure.  Either way, I encourage you to share the best of yourselves with the ones you love and reclaim some joy that may be lost in the business and excess  of the Christmas season.
May you be blessed and find your joy in Jesus.

Listen to - “Give Love on Christmas Day” on Spotify
Shelley Leonor
Ocupational Therapist, wife & mom, from Southern California
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1 Comment

Denise - December 24th, 2022 at 12:52am

Thanks so much. I truly was blessed aa I read, as well as seeing the video clip. Spot on, Shelley. Blessings to you and Sam and your family as you honor the birth of The One who made our Hope possible. And who is our Hope.