A lot of people use the start of a new year to try and turn over a new leaf, to rid themselves of bad habits or shed unwanted pounds. My gym manager said the busiest month for membership sales is January, but by March most of the new members have already slowed their visits or stopped coming altogether.

I decided years ago that making resolutions or trying to change bad habits on New Year's Day was, for me, an exercise in futility. Now what I try to do is use the new year to "clean the slate" emotionally and start with a better attitude. I believe one of the greatest gifts of my faith is the promise in God's word that His love is "New every morning"... and that "Great is His faithfulness"... If this is true, that God's love in our life is new every morning, then so too should be our love for others and for mankind.

To be more present emotionally for my children, to be more involved with my family and friends, to be more intimately connected to the people God has placed in my life...this is my hope for 2014. To be able to weather the storms of life; to see the troubles on the horizon and face them with confidence that God is already in tomorrow making a way for me to come through the challenges stronger and wiser.

This is my hope and my prayer for the new year.