Preservation

To Preserve:
• maintain (something) in its original or existing state 
• retain (a condition or state of affairs)
• maintain or keep alive (a memory or quality) 
During the first morning I walked along the beach,
 I noticed a lady with a canvas bag picking up trash.
Anything from bottles and cans to flip flops and t-shirts.  
I smiled at this.
How nice of her to pick up trash along the beach to keep it clean.
To preserve the beauty of the shoreline – what a job!
The next day I noticed 3 people walking together doing the same thing.
In fact, every morning I witnessed this kind act.
Each morning it was someone different than before.
Finally I asked a group one morning about what they were doing.
What I discovered was that there were groups of people that walked every morning,
Every day was a different group, but each group did it the same morning every week.

I didn’t find out if they were an official organization
or just a group of people with the same passion.
What struck me the most was the joy they had in doing it.
Each group greeted me in the morning with smiles and hellos.
Here they were, picking up trash,
things belonging to negligent people.
They could have been bitter and tired of picking up after people every week,
frustrated at people’s lack of appreciation for the shore,
but no, they were joyful.

It was a moment when I could have simply said thank you and smiled.
I did say thank you, but then I pondered on it.
Do I walk every day filled with joy?
When my house is a mess?
When my son is cranky?
When my laundry needs to be done?
When I am disappointed, let down or just picking up pieces from someone else’s mess?
No, I don’t.
I’ll admit it.

How do I wish to preserve these days?
My kids won’t be this age forever.
This season of my life will change to a new season.
I want my home to be filled with joy, even in the hard times.
I know there won’t always be happy days, but I can still walk with joy in my heart.
For I am loved and cared for.
I am forgiven and set free.
And so are you!


Dearest Lord Jesus, may I walk each day filled with joy knowing that you walk with me. 
There is nothing that can separate me from you.
Let no obstacle, no worry, no frustration, no sorrow harden my heart.
Help me to preserve today and do my part to make it a beautiful one.
Let me choose Joy!  For I have the freedom and the will to do so.
Amen.

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