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Poverty's spread

The Journal Gazette reported that poverty rates have climbed in Indiana since 2000. Are you and your family feeling the pinch?

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I love summer; really, really love summer. But Saturday, even in the 93 degree heat, it became clear that fall is on its way. I was walking to the mailbox when I saw it -- one red leaf in my tree; the signal that change is coming.

There are many things I do look forward to in the fall -- football games, s'mores, sweatshirts and even the change in my daily rhythm. It's time for me to shift out of "Summertime and the Livin' is Easy" mode. But to what mode will I shift?

I tend to look at the year from September to May, not necessarily January to January. So, in a sense, it's a new year for me and it's time to decide what this year will look like. I need to take some time to decide what to focus on, set some goals, and make some realistic plans to manage myself within my time.

It's easy for me to fritter time away (In fact, I love spending the whole day home by myself). It's not as if I don't accomplish things, I do ... today I wrote six personal notes, paid bills, made a complete dinner for one family, part of a dinner for another family, and dinner for my family. I did laundry, washed sheets, made cookies, read the Bible, spent time in prayer, answered several emails and processed the mail from today. All productive, good things (do I sound defensive?!), but not things that necessarily move me forward in achieving some bigger goals.

When I saw the red leaf today, I knew it was time to stop and consider the change that I would intentionally create this fall. I have an interest in volunteering in a specific ministry this fall, I need to invest some more time in the business I own with my sister and I want to write even more.

The sighting of this vibrant red leaf inspired me today. Change is coming, and I think it's going to be beautiful.

Does your rhythm change with the seasons? Do you refocus in the fall?