Heart Choices: 2012-02-19 -->

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Thankful for Sumstad Family

It's Thankful Thursday and I am so very thankful for family.  I had the opportunity to meet several of my Sumstad (my maiden name) relatives for the first time.

Here are four generations of Sumstad's.  I am on the left, then Barb, Sandee and Reidar Sumstad.  Sandee was on vacation with her friends. Since they would be staying for a time in Phoenix, we arranged to have a meetup at The Farm at South Mountain.

The weather was perfect for a picnic lunch.  We got to order sandwiches at the Farm Kitchen and take them out to our table in baskets.  Then we spent time getting to know one another.

I brought many old photos I had accumulated.  Reidar has worked diligently on a site called Ancestry, posting photos, documents and even videos of our family.  I can't wait to see the video of my Nana and Grandpa Sumstad visiting his family in Seattle back in the 1940's.  Technology is amazing!

As I was speaking with Sandee, I noticed how many of her features resembled my Aunt Ruth who is my dad's only sister.

Photo taken in Sumstad, Norway
All of these family members trace their roots back to Sumstad, Norway.  It is northwest of Trondheim, Norway.  My grandfather was born on the family farm there.  He came to the US via Ellis Island and settled in Brooklyn, New York in the 1920's.

Here are a few photos of the town of Sumstad, Norway.

I felt right at home with my family.  We were able to share insights into our family, like the love of music, art, and writing.  I grew up with my mom playing the piano and our family singing Norwegian songs together.

Reidar began singing a few Norwegian songs and they came right back to me.  He even recited many Norwegian phrases that had us laughing like "uff da" and "tussen tak".  We all knew the Norwegian prayer before meals.

I began learning about second and third cousins and what it is to be a second cousin twice removed.  However, I must admit I'm still a bit fuzzy on that one.  :)

But I look forward to learning more about my Sumstad family.

How thankful for the wonderful afternoon of meeting my relatives in a beautiful environment.  God is so good!

I'm linking up with Iris of Grace Alone for Thankful Thursday.

Blessings and love,


What is Contentment?

It's "In Other Words Tuesday" and Loni of Writing Canvas is hosting this week.  Loni chose the following quote for us to write about today:

"Being content does not mean we are satisfied.  In fact, to be content is to know we will always be groaning on this side of eternity.  Yet when we believe that fullness will come, that there is more than this life, we live with contentment."
Lisa Graham McMinn, The Contented Soul
Found in devotional, Mornings with Jesus

What does contentment look like to you?  I had to laugh at the little girl and the kitty in the photo.  No worries; just pure contentment.

But life isn't quite so simple.  There are always new challenges to face, opposition to deal with and the uncertainties of tomorrow.

As a Christian, I live by faith and not by sight.  

I used to live in my dream home.  A house situated in an exclusive area of town backed up to a mountain I could easily climb each  morning.  Every piece of furniture was specifically designed to my specifications.  It almost seemed perfect; all that I had dreamed of for years.  I was satisfied with the finished product.

But life happens and changes occur.  We had to sell our dream home.

For the last two years, my husband and I have lived in a temporary house.  That was such a disappointment for me.  All of the furnishings I had taken so much time to make perfect ...were suddenly gone.

It was a reminder to me that this isn't my real home.  I'm just passing through.  There will be disappointments.  There will be let downs.  So I can't expect it to be a place of perfection.  There's a quiet knowing within me that there's more to come.

I long for my heavenly home.

But what do I do in the meantime?  I remember that God is my dwelling place.  No home, no matter how beautifully designed and decorated, is permanent.
  • I learn to rest in Him.  
  • I learn to live each day depending on His strength.  
  • I learn to take life one moment at a time.
  • I learn to count my every day blessings.  
  • I learn to love with His love.
My husband and I will be moving in the next month.  How thankful I am for a place closer in to town and work.  We were able to buy back some of our furnishings.  The new place is very small and old.  It is not in an exclusive area of town nor is it backed up by a mountain.

But I am content.  God is my dwelling place.

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14: 1-3 (NIV)

Blessings and love,

Photo Credit: Mind Readers Dictionary

Sweet Blessings

I have had so many sweet blessings. Valentine's Day was so much more special as I got to celebrate it with our class of three and four year old children. They normally wear uniforms but on this day ...it was time for dress up!

I love frilly dresses on little girls!  I remember dreaming of having a little girl and dressing her up so pretty.

The children's parents were so helpful at our Valentine's party. They organized all the activities including the crafts.

They even brought in a chocolate fountain.  The kids had strawberries and bananas on a stick and they got to dip them in chocolate.  Yummy!

Is she precious or what?  I love the chipped nail polish; just like mine at times.  :)

The moms even did some hand painting.  The children got to choose their design and they were so excited to have 'tattoos'.  Temporary ...of course.

#347  Celebrating Valentine's Day with a children's party
#348  Awesome parents who took charge of our party
#349  Smiles of children as they tasted the chocolate
#350  The excitement over having a hand painted in bright colors
#351  A beautiful day of sunshine and perfect temperatures
#352  My sinus infection is finally getting better
#353  Enjoying the three and four year old children who share their love so sweetly
#354  Coming home to a dinner prepared by my husband
#355  A long weekend with parent/teacher conferences and President's Day
#356  Receiving a book called "The Allure of Hope" from my blogging friend Janette
#357  The cutest pair of Valentine's socks arrived in the mail from another blogging friend Bethany
#358  Acceptance and love from my Norwegian sister Sonja in an email
#359  Meeting my long time friend Helen for church and lunch afterwards

I'm linking up with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays when we count our every day blessings.  Are  you counting those every day blessings yet?

Blessings and love,

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