Wednesday, July 25, 2012


For some reason, I've been in a lot of conversations about relationships this week.  I remember Andy teaching our youth years ago about relationships.  He made the point that there are many levels of relationship:  acquaintance, casual friend, close friend, intimate friend.  There may be more but that's what I remember.  And we probably learned it from someone else.

Relationships are built on trust.  You meet someone and as you begin to know one another through exchanging ideas and interests, you decide whether you can trust that person.  You might meet this person through another friend (which gives some substance immediately to the relationship if you trust the mutual friend), church, social media, through some function or just striking up a random conversation.  You can remain an acquaintance and never take it to the next level.  I have lots of acquaintances.
A casual friend is one you see at lots of functions, work, or just on a social media oulet.  You may not spend a lot of personal time together, but you may have lots of mutual friends and agree on some issues.
But to become a close friend, you have spent time together and gotten to know each other's thoughts, feelings, hurts and successes.  And you care about one another.  You may even spend vacation together.  You'll probably have fewer close friends...those friendships take time, energy and investment to develop.
An intimate friend is someone who knows all (or most) of your secrets, desires, hurts, disappointments, problems, dreams and faults...and they love you anyway.  They are the friend who sticks with you, prays with you, helps you, carries you.  They don't just love you--they love your family and care about those whom you love.  Their love covers a multitude of your sins--they overlook your faults--and vice versa.  These friends are few and far between.  They don't run when you're in trouble.  Instead, they circle the wagons and call in the troops to help.  You may not see these friends for years, but when you do it's as if you just saw each other yesterday and pick right up where you left off.  These friendships are priceless. 

But you can see through the progression how important trust is.  If trust is broken early on in the relationship, our human tendency is to avoid that person in the future.  But the more trust has been developed, your friend may mess up (in sharing something you didn't want shared, for example), but you're willing to overlook it because you love them.  And the deeper the friendship, the harder it is to destroy that friendship.

Trust is a fragile thing.  And it takes risk.  But if you don't take that risk, you'll never have meaningful friendships.

Monday, July 23, 2012


This is BIRTHDAY WEEK in the Dietz household.  Our first three children have birthdays within a week of one another.  In fact, our first two are one year and one day apart.  And then....we gained a daughter-in-law whose birthday falls on the very same day as our firstborn!  They appear as follows:

Matthew Dietz--July 26
Shanna Dietz--July 26
Amy Dietz Wright--July 27
David Dietz--August 3

We love this week!!  In fact, this is a special year (30th) for one of these people.   I just wish we could have one big birthday party together like we used to.  If you kids want to come, I'll cook.  Heck!  I'll even make a cake.  ;)  You can each invite 2 people.  Ha!  Love you guys!!

Happy Birthday, Dietz Kids!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


"Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the works the Lord had done for Israel."  
Joshua 24:29
What a sad verse.  Israel served the long as there was someone alive to remind them Who God was and what He had done!  Joshua was nearing the end of his life so he gathered all of Israel together to remind them of all God had done to deliver His people.  Then he declared this infamous command:  "...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve;...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." 
Joshua knew the people would have a choice.  They could serve the gods of the nations around them...or they could serve the one true God.  After he delivered his speech and left the people with the challenge ringing in their ears, it says:  "So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance."
The people were sent away to the land each tribe had inherited.  But they were also sent to the inheritance of their choices.  
We each have a choice.  And our future will be determined by our choices.  As I read these verses again, I began to pray, "Father, let us know Your works.  Let us be the ones reminding the generations behind us of Who You are and what You have done.  Draw the lines clearly in our minds about Who we are serving.  Help us to choose wisely each day...because we will inherit according to our choices."
Israel had been restrained because the elders had seen God at work.  They knew His power and His great love.  Their hearts were turned towards Him because of it.  
We still have a choice and an inheritance today.   And one leads to the other.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's NORMAL??

My friends and I have been talking again.  We've longed for things to get back to normal...but then we have to stop and ask, "What's normal now?"
I think the thing that most concerns us is navigating the mine fields Satan has planted all around us.  I've never seen as many traps for "offense" as I've seen lately!  It's like Satan and his demons have gone crazy putting traps filled with bait at every place you turn.  There are so many opportunities to take up an offense.  Parents being offended by children.  Children offended by parents.  People offended by church leadership.  Church leadership offended by people.  Employees offended by employers.  I even heard a patient accusing her doctor this week over an offense.  (And you know how often I go to the doctor!)  It's craziness!!
I think back to when I was growing up and my parents' lives seemed so stable, even, and...normal.  I have to believe Satan has a new tactic.  He's trying to destroy unity.  Unity of families.  Unity of churches.  Unity of friendships.  Just unity.  And it can be over the least incident that becomes so divisive that members of families or friends don't speak for years.
I don't know that things will ever be normal again. But my advice is to stay alert...and watch out for those traps.

I Peter 4:8
"Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fish for Sale

While we were in China, we found these adorable purses for little girls.  They have a long strap to carry on their shoulder or as a sling purse.  

Their fins are made out of different fabric and sewn on the fish--making it three-dimensional.  They're also the same on both sides.  They are about 12 inches long.  What you see is all I have.  

The eyes are also made out of fabric and stitched on.  Everything on it is kid-friendly.  There's a drawstring to close the mouth of the fish.  We gave similar bags to our granddaughters and they loved them.  I have 9 left.  I'll sell them to you, first-come-first-served, for $10 each.  There will be a $2 shipping charge if you need it shipped to you.  (Please include your mailing address--or email it to  Please comment below if you want one.  When we saw them we just knew they were too cute to pass up!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Down times

I haven't posted a lot lately.  I haven't felt like it.  I also didn't want to be a Debbie Downer.  But I decided if I'm going to be a blogger, I also need to be honest in the down times.
Ever since coming home from China, I haven't felt well.  So...I went to the doctor.  Now that may seem normal to you, but I hadn't been to a doctor in 22 years.  Yep.  You heard me right.  The last time I was at the doctor was when I was 34 and had a hysterectomy.  This time, the doctor diagnosed a urinary tract infection and prescribed an antibiotic...and a mammogram.  Just because.  (Just because I hadn't had one in 22 years.)
The good news is my mammogram was A-OK.  (The technician tried to convince me that things had changed in 22 years---don't believe them when they tell you that!)
The bad news is that I still feel bad.  I've diagnosed myself with a parasite.  I'll find out if that's true when I go back to the doctor next week.  The bad news is I lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks.  The good news is I lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks.  The bad news is I have no appetite for sweet things.  The good news is I have no appetite for sweet things.  I'm nervous to eat anything because I instantly feel bloated.  That's also good news.  I'm also tired and can't get over my tiredness.  That's just bad news.
And I think it's been so long since I haven't felt well that it's messing with my emotions.  Plus there's so much swirling all around me that I think I've just kind of frozen.  I have no energy to reach out or even pray.  So I just try to be still...or stay busy.  I'm not sure which is really working.
I may not have cracked open my Bible since I've been home.  But I'm ok with that.  I am trying to enjoy God's presence in my life.
Satan has been throwing things into my life for the past 5 weeks that have been so destructive...and potentially life-altering.  But it's just making me nestle in a little closer to God's heart....and trust.  I'm learning that's about all I can do.  I can't change people and I can't twist God's arm.  But I can nestle.
At 56 years of age (I actually thought I was 57 this week and my aunt corrected me.  Bought me some more time!), I've learned that this too will pass.  I know countless people are walking through worse things, but I'm giving myself permission to have a down time.  I'm so glad God created seasons...because I know things will change.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

4th of July, 2012

What a great week.  Zach & Shanna came last weekend and stayed until Jay & Amy arrived so Shanna could meet Hadassah.    The five kids managed to fit into our small pool on their first hot day together.

Swim time!

Caitlin came loaded down with sparklers Wednesday night, so everyone got to burn some.  Josiah learned and demonstrated to the rest of us that a sparkler will even burn under pool water.

After our own fireworks display, we went to the edge of town to watch the out-of-control fireworks being shot off beside two fireworks stands.  (We're pretty fearless in Borger!)  It was better than any city display....until someone caught a field on fire.  (At which time, we hightailed it out of there!)

Later in the week, we took the kids to the spray park in Borger.  And this little bathing beauty touched the water.

Isaac was shooting the gun.  Josiah was his "coach."  
Olivia was making a new friend.

On Saturday, we had our annual Sanders Family Reunion (with my mom, siblings, and families).  This was our first time to have it at Thompson Park with a picnic and zoo time...and then to Wonderland Park.  This is a pic of 5 cousins at the zoo.  (Photo by Lindsey)

  We had quite a spread of good food.  And a really cool crowd.

These were two little darlings in attendance.  
(Don't let their cuteness deceive you--they became the biggest daredevils at Wonderland!)

4 Amigos hanging out after dinner.

Dax's hand stamp to Wonderland.

This is how Hadassah started the evening out at Wonderland.  It lasted until the train blew it's whistle--about 5 minutes after this photo.

The six little guys between 5-9 years old jumped on this ride first.  It was so cute watching them!  They lasted about 15 minutes at the kiddie rides.

Granny and Dax took a ride on the train.  
(Daddy went to the roller coasters!  Mommy was photographing a wedding--so we sent her some cotton candy as her prize.)

Uncle Gary rode as many rides with the kiddettes as he could.
(He's the one who pointed out which were the daredevils!!)

These two little cousins met up at the end of a very long evening.  Talk about two little troopers!!  They did great.

The evening at Wonderland was a HUGE success!  It was the first time my grandkids had been there  and they were the perfect age for it!  They encouraged each other to get on the bigger and faster and wetter rides--and ran from one line to another with the necessary parents in tow.  I couldn't keep up with them to get pictures of them on the various rides!  And God blessed us with some cloud cover.  All in all, it was just pretty perfect.   What a great 4th of July week!