So, I missed blogging on my birthday because my hard drive on my brand-new-in-July computer crashed.  It crashed on my actual birthday.  That's just not ok.

But the day ended up still being super great, and the computer is under warranty, so we'll probably all be ok.

Speaking of being okay, I've learned something over the past few weeks.  Gratitude breeds gratitude.

I'm Captain Obvious, I know, but it's just become so apparent to me that the more time I spend thinking about being grateful, the more I realize there is to be grateful.  And, the more time I spend thinking about gratitude, the more I realize that I'm really so very minute in this world.  My life is total vapor-rific.  And, the more I recognize my own insignificance in the grand scheme of life, the more my heart opens to see more clearly how great God the Father is.  It really is the coolest paradigm.

And, today, I had another opportunity to sit back and just try not to explode with gratitude.

Today was race day. 

This race is the culmination of the city circuit of races that Asics does in Panama.  It's the Gamboa Half Marathon (21k).  I- of course- have never run it because that's really far, and it's really hot and humid, and I really am not interested in dying.  Carson and Tony have each run it in previous years.  This go-around, Carson really wasn't interested in such a long distance, and Chloe really wanted to run it but wasn't sure about the distance.

We remembered that there is a relay option where a team of 3 each runs 7km.  Carson and Chloe loved the idea of this, but they needed another member.  This is where you are expecting me to say that God gave me the heart to do the race, I trained, and I successfully completed the 7 km.  Why are you laughing?

Ok, so I wasn't the answer to their problem.  That's actually one of the reasons for my gratitude.  Even though I was not the answer to their problems, I had an idea who could be.  Enter my favorite male high school math teacher currently employed by CCA (have to add lots of qualifiers or my hordes of math teach followers will erupt) to save the day.

I try really hard not to have favorites.  I try to love everyone equally- like Jesus does.  Fortunately, I know that I'm Jesus' favorite which means that Jesus has favorites; therefore, I can have favorites, too.  (like that math?)  And, Aaron is one of my favorites. 

I have always wanted a little brother (ask my mom- it's true), and my big brother happens to be one of my favorites, so I wanted my older two kids to have a big brother.  Aaron, without me asking his permission, has filled both roles.  He has helped Chloe with math at 9:30 at night.  He's played basketball with Carson.  He's made me cookies.  He's reminded me that I'm not always in charge, but he still lets me act like I am.  And, he agreed to run 7km, so my kids could participate.  (He killed his leg of the race.) He even drove home since Tony was feeling a little off after he finished the race.  When he got home, Aaron thanked me for offering him lunch. 

Our life here in Panama is hard for lots of different reasons.  I think the hardest might be that transient existence.  We get friends for 2-3 years, and then they leave.  And your heart aches.  But, and with God there is always a but, there are also always new people coming in to remind you of the hearts ability to heal and grow and expand.  All the goodbyes are ultimately reminders of all the wonderful hellos. 

And our family is grateful for the hello that was Aaron.

To knowing that the cup is neither half full or half empty but in the constant flux of overflowing,


Rose Hultstrand said…
What nice comments on my step-son Aaron. He really is a great kid (I mean guy, he's not a kid anymore) and I had nothing to do with it, because when I married into the family, they were already these awesome adults. But I sure can be proud of them and the job that their Dad has done with them. And I am extremely grateful and blessed to be a part of the Hultstrand Family.

Rose Hultstrand

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