For many of us back to work today, it sort of seems like Christmas is over and it’s time to look ahead to 2016. Personally, I love looking ahead to the New Year…a time to renew our commitments to our health, our finances, our dreams. As many of you know I’m a firm believer that God gives each of us special talents or gifts to use in service to Him and others and it is His will that we find out what they are and then use them to the best of our abilities. Now that the material gift giving of the hectic holidays is over, I hope each of us is ready to re-examine our God-given gifts and how we can best give them away to help others. But wait, Christmas isn’t over yet, you say? You’re right! We haven’t even celebrated the Epiphany yet, when the wise men visited the baby Jesus and brought Him their gifts. And so I believe that at the same time, we need to stay in the Christmas spirit by continuing to present to others…our families, friends and yes, even our co-workers, considering their needs as well as our own goals and dreams. Often for me it feels like the two are in conflict. Sometimes I just want to focus full-steam ahead on making my dreams come true and using my gifts that I forget to be present to the needs of others around me. I think it’s all about finding balance…looking ahead to our goals of the future and keeping our feet firmly planted in today, personal fulfillment and sacrifice for others, gifts and presence. When I feel overwhelmed or torn I try to remember my favorite Bible passage: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). I hope as 2016 looms on the horizon we find the strength, faith and courage to discover and fulfill our dreams, love and serve others more fully, maintain balance and open ourselves up to feeling more harmony, peace, love and joy. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!