October 10th, 2006: Wow, I can't believe that the summer is already a memory. I sometimes feel like life is taunting me to "just try and keep up". I do love this time of year though. The cool nights and pleasant days of fall are always such a welcomed change after our hot and clammy days here in Nashville.

I'll try not to make this entry in my Journal read too much like a "show and tell" at the start of a school year but I'd love to share with you some of the fun things I have done over the summer and into the early fall…

In May of this year, Doug and I had the great honor and pleasure of taking my Parents on a Fifty Year Wedding Anniversary trip to the mountains in Ashville, North Carolina. We stayed at a classic and beautiful hotel there. Mother and I went for a spa day while Doug and Dad played golf. It was such a special time for us all. Mom had never been to a spa. My fondest memory of that day was when I saw her lounging in a big chair in front of the fireplace after her first massage ever. She was in her complementary robe drinking an herbal drink and lazily said, "Well, that was my first, but it won't be my last". I loved seeing her so relaxed. In my life, I have never seen her relax very often. She is always on the go. My Dad and Doug had a great day on the links also. What a joy for Doug and me to be able to spend time like that with my folks.

Doug and I finally got to return to Florida where we love to sit under an umbrella on the beach just be together and talk. It seems like ever since we said our "I do's" we've been so busy with things to be done.

Just this week we returned from a trip to New York City too. We both love it there so much, especially this time of the year. We walk for miles up and down the streets of that incredible city, go to plays and museums, eat like pigs and find humor in everyone there rushing along as well.

It seems lately that God has wanted me to spend time with those I love the most in my life. I've sometimes wondered if I am supposed to be getting a message from this. Maybe all of us are supposed to be getting a message from God to spend more time with those we love. I mean, when I watch and hear what is going on in our world today, I want to hold on to the one's I love a little more tightly. I also want the Lord to hold me a little more tightly.

This morning in my Bible reading, I was at the point in Matthew where Jesus is talking to His disciples about what is to come before the end of time. My spirit almost jumped out of my skin as I read the words He told them in Matthew: 24. Every time I have read this over the years, I have had the same reaction. The words seem as if they are written about the times I am living in at the time of my reading them. I do however always find something new that speaks loudly to me though. Today as I read in verse 9, the part about "you will be hated by all nations because of me", I felt as if I could now really see this happening in my lifetime. Always before, it seemed too far in the distance to imagine. Unfortunately, I am beginning not to feel this way. Oh, when I am going to a church or conference, I don't feel this way. I do however feel more this way when I am just out among strangers on my travels. This makes me so sad. As a Christian, I know that our Lord left us as His servants. He left us with some pretty strong and detailed instructions on how to continue as His followers when He physically left us for a while. How precious it is that He didn't leave us in the dark.

When I read what Jesus told His disciples that day in Matthew 24, I don't get frightened. I honestly feel more loved by Him. Through His instructions, the way I see it, He is assuring me that He is holding on tightly and not to ever think He would ever let me or any of His Children go. So maybe during days like these it's natural to feel the need to hold on to those we love here on this earth more tightly also. It's so wonderful to know that I can hold on tightly to Him too.


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