21 February 2016

Interview with Susanne Dietze

Author Susanne Dietze

Susanne, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 
Thanks for having me!

Would you tell us about the one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?   
The last time I was here, I shared about a diagnosis hanging over me. It seems like God uses health crises to teach me to rely on Him, because it’s something of a theme with me. A health problem arises with my family, and I get anxious.
I’ve struggled with anxiety for years, but stressful circumstances can set me on a spiral. These circumstances most often happen when one of my children is sick, stuff like pneumonia, paralysis+limp=possible brain tumor (turned out to be Bell’s Palsy and a strained muscle), and the possibility of lymphoma. I wish I could say I handled each event with aplomb and faith, but I didn’t do well. I couldn’t eat. I cried out to God but didn’t trust Him to help us. Even now, when I think of those times, I get a pit in my stomach. I haven’t healed, and it’s a reminder I need to work on this element in my spiritual walk.

What passages in the Bible have been most helpful to you in those times?
Ps. 112:7 ~ They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
Ps. 28:7 ~ The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
Ps. 34: 4 ~ I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

What helped you get through or helped you cope with this difficulty?
An understanding family helps. I have a good friend who offers spiritual direction, and it’s wonderful how she doesn’t judge, but listens with encouragement and love. Also, I’m learning to keep track of God’s victories in my life, times He’s shown me He’s faithful or blessed me, etc., so I can go back to the list and remember that yes, He hears me. Yes, He loves me. One last thing I’m working on is sitting still in His presence, focusing on His character.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  
One theme in the book is that God’s love can be hard for some to accept since we associate Him with the behavior of His children. Members of our family and/or Christians, people we’d expect to nurture and welcome us, don’t always reflect God’s unconditional love. Lily, the heroine, expected church to care for her when her mother died, but instead parishioners scorned her for of her father’s sin. Therefore, Lily feels God didn’t take care of her. She doesn’t yet know God as her perfect Father who’s always held her in the palm of His hand.


BIO:
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she writes in the hope that her historical romances will encourage and entertain others. A pastor’s wife and mom of two, she loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, travel, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. Susanne is the author of six new and upcoming novellas; her latest, For a Song, is in Barbour’s The Cowboy’s Bride Collection. You can visit her on her website, www.susannedietze.com.

Susanne’s Links:

Question you’d like to ask readers:
Lily thinks she’s taking matters into her own hands to provide for herself and her sister, but God has used the situation for His purposes. Have you ever been in a situation God used for a purpose other than you intended?

GIVEAWAY: We're giving away a paperback copy or ebook copy of Susanne Dietze's new release from Barbour (paperback USA only.) Answer Susie's question and leave your email address if we don't have that from previous contacts with you.

62 comments:

  1. We're so delighted to have you visit with us again, Susanne, and congrats on your new release with Barbour in the Cowboy's Bride collection! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you for inviting me, Carrie! I'm honored to be here and blessed to share what God is doing in my life. Thank you so much for the kind words.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your testimony Susanne. Psalm 28:7 is one of my favorite verses I cling to. Congratulations on your new story release.

    I have the Cowboy's Bride collection...enjoyed your story and the others too.
    Blessings,Tina

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    1. That's one of my favorite verses, too. It's a powerful one to memorize and use when we need a reminder of God's protection, love, and faithfulness.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the stories! The other authors in the collection are amazing, and I'm honored to be in there with them. Blessings, Tina!

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  3. would love to win. angelachesnut246@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by and expressing interest in the book! The other 8 stories are really good--can't speak for mine, but there are some amazing authors in the collection! Have a blessed day.

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  4. A moment God used in our lives is that my husband had a job offer in Kentucky to work and live at Bluegrasschristiancamp and he wrestled with and ultimately excepted the position moving us over 500 miles from family.
    Which when we looked back my husband current job at the time was going out of business and the home we're renting from his then boss was going into foreclosure. If he hadn't excepted this job where we are now we would have been out on the street because his former boss hadn't given him a clue as to any of these problems.
    Thank you for sharing your testimony and about your book. Jenny

    jennydtipton at gmail dot com

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    1. Wow, Jenny, that's a great story. Isn't it amazing how we go through difficult choices or challenges, and then can look back later and see how God worked everything out? Praise Him for His faithfulness! I'm so glad to hear you're right where He wanted you to be, with a home and job, safe and sound.

      Thank you for sharing your story!

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    2. I'm glad too! Then you wonder why you fight Him so much!

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  5. Congratulations on the release of The Cowboy's Bride Collection, Susanne Dietze. It seems like a long time since I first heard of it, last Autumn it was and it will finally be published very soon. Yeah. So excited and I hope to read it soon.It has such a beautiful cover too. Years ago my children started helping me with making Christmas cookies. We had so much fun trying new recipes and making more and more. I started out with making cookies for my family but now we make Christmas cookies every year for our neighbors as well and visit with them. All of my neighbors are elderly so they enjoy the company and I ask them if they need a trip to the grocery store as well. I bring tea bags when I visit with the cookies as well. So God has used me in a different way then I originally intended but I am so glad it has turned out thus way. Deanne Patterson Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

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    1. Hi Deanne! I agree about the cover...it's really pretty. The team at Barbour does such a nice job.

      I love your story about visiting neighbors. God used what you'd started and multiplied it to bless others! So many folks are lonely; you are a gem for reaching out to those around you. I am sure you brighten up so many days. This warms my heart. Thank you for sharing how you've shown His love. It inspires me to do the same.

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    2. Hi Deanne, I have referenced you below at my post ~ February 22, 2016 at 12:15 AM Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

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  6. Yes I have! Shelia Hall sheliarha64(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Sheila! Yes, it seems like most of us have been in positions where God uses us or our circumstances for something other than we expected. It's a joy to be His servant.

      Thanks for coming by!

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  7. Oh yes, many,many times! ! ! I have SOOOO been wanting his book, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

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    1. Hi Wendy! Thanks for showing interest in the book. Who doesn't love a cowboy?

      It's really neat to see how God works in our lives. Thank you for coming by today. Blessings!

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  8. Unfortunately many times....or perhaps I should say fortunately. The Lord has taken many of my feeble attempts to direct my life and changed them into something for His glory. Thanks for the giveaway - I would love a chance to win :)
    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Betti! I know just what you mean. Unfortunately and fortunately. Walking with God is not always easy. And trusting Him can be painful indeed. I still struggle, and it can hurt sometimes, but you are so right about God changing things to His glory.

      Blessings!

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  9. Without going into details I have more than once tried to think ahead and control a situation by planning etc and doing things my way. God has a great sense of humor and much better plans than I do. It is easy looking back to see what he planned and how many ways and people benefitted from it. Some of the situations were extremely stressful and soo much work. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

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    1. Jan, you remind me of me...a planner! If I plan, then I have a modicum of control, right? Ha! Sometimes control is an idol we cling to. Not always, but sometimes. I am praying to recognize situations where I seem to desire control over God's plan. And as you said, it takes so much work, but often I'm kicking against the goads. God's ways are far better than ours, that's for sure!

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  10. Thanks for sharing Susanne!

    I certainly believe that many situations we go and don't understand at the time can be used later on for God's glory and having gone through certain situations we can later benefit/help those around us

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    1. Excellent point about helping others from our experiences, Patty. Thank you for reminding me of that. Every grief in my life is something God can use to help another person. He is so loving!

      Blessings, Patty!

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  11. Certainly has! When we were wanting to move, the house didn't sell for a year. But that gave us a place to stay when my mother became sick & we could be there to help out :) Would love to read this!

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    1. Deanna...I was in almost the same situation with a house! We once had to sell our house three times. Talk about agonizing. I imagine you were fighting anxiety that year, but then God revealed His plan and you had a home for your mom! Wow! His timing is amazing. I hope your mom is well. Bless you for caring for her. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. God is always in control and I always pray, "Thy will be done." I M so thankful that I do not walk the paths of life alone. How blessed I am!

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    1. What a wonderful reminder, Melanie...we do not walk alone. We have Jesus, and we also have the gift of one another to help bear one another's burdens. I will pray this week for my eyes to be opened to those in need of help bearing their burdens.

      And yes, "Thy will be done." Amen.

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  13. Hi ladies! It is so sad what the body of Christ has come to represent in some people's eyes. But each of us has the chance to show His love in a personal way. I know you do that, Susie.

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    1. Dear Deb! Waving hi. We do indeed have a responsibility to show Jesus' love to those around us. And to fix our eyes on Him, not each other. Thank you for your encouragement, Deb. It means so much to me! I've seen you reach out in His love, too. Hugs, friend!

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  14. I got laid off from my job and ended up offering to help someone in there business. Ended up that without me she would have had a hard time staying in business for the extra 5 years that she did. Her daughter ended up having medical problems and she was gone a lot but I was there to keep the doors open for her. People told me after I got laid off, that everything happens for a reason. I'm pretty sure she was my reason. She needed help and God put me in her path!

    Kellerbuddy@gmail.com

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    1. Oh Nancy, that's such a touching story. You showed great love, humility, and kindness in that situation. And yes, God put you there! Thank you for serving Him!

      I love sharing our testimonies, because they glorify God and they build up His body, too. I am so encouraged today. Thank you!

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  15. Yes and my faith was rewarded.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. What a blessing, Mary. God is so faithful. I am so glad to hear of your obedience and blessing!

      Thanks for coming by today!

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  16. Hi, SUSANNE! Congrats on your new release and thanks so much for sharing your inspiring testimony with our viewers here at OWG! We love having you!

    I'm sure your testimony on anxiety resonates with everyone reading it. I know full well that gnawing feeling in the pit of my tummy as a result of anxiety. So then when I make up my mind not to worry it seems as though I don't care about the person involved. I decided not to worry about my grandson's recent illness and it felt like I didn't love him and wasn't concerned. The enemy will get us anyway he can! I mean worry is love, right? Wrong -- and I'm working on it! Thank you!

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    1. Oh, Diana, I am so sorry you've been going through such a difficult time with your grandson being sick. How scary. It's good and right that we do all we can for the little ones in our care, but Jesus reminds us time and again that worry accomplishes nothing. I think it feels like a false sense of control to me at times. I've been working on trusting God, but it's hard work in certain situations.

      Praying for your family. Blessings.

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    2. He's fine, SUSANNE. He got mononucleosis from someone at school or on his football team, and was so overtired from it and had an enlarged spleen. He still gets a bit tired, but it takes awhile. Worry definitely is a false sense of control. Thank you so much for your well wishes.

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    3. I'm so glad he'll be all right, Diana. I had mono as a teen and it took a while to get over. Hard for a teenager to sit still, especially when he's such a busy kid and plays sports! Praying for his quick and complete healing.

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  17. Hi Susannne. Great verses! God's plans may never be our plans but sure makes for some interesting moments! I can recall several times where God uses something or a circumstance differentlydia than I intended, one being my move to another city. I did it for my career, He did it to bring me closer to Him. Thank you for sharing with us and the giveaway.

    Annie
    Justcommonly(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Annie! Oh, I love what you said: "I did it for my career. He did it to bring me closer to Him." Amen! God is so good. Many times I've thought my life went a certain direction for one reason, but God had plans to work on me through my circumstances. His love is astounding.

      Thanks for sharing!

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    2. So true Susanne! His love is truly astounding, and sometimes I find myself speechless in awe of it. =)

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  18. Wonderful post, Susanne, thanks so much for sharing and encouraging everyone! I can't be in the giveaway but this collection is high on my wish list, so hopefully soon I'll get to read it! :-) Many times God has used situations for other purposes than what I thought, but thank God He is in control because His plans are always SO much better than mine. ;)

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    1. You said it, Noela: His plans are always better than ours, even when they seem mysterious, or difficult, or strange...He knows the bigger picture.

      Thanks for being interested in the book! It's a fun collection. :)

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  19. I honestly don't think I have though my memory is bad. Congratulations on the book!! Hoping to win :)

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    1. Hi Lori! God works through all our lives in different and amazing ways! He knows just what each of us needs to learn, grow, and be more like Him.

      Thanks for the kind congratulations! Blessings.

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  20. Deanne, I enjoyed your story so much. It reminded me of long years ago when my son was young and he tried to shovel an elderly neighbor's front sidewalk. She kept shooing him away. He came home crying and said, "She won't let me." I went over and she said she didn't have money to pay him. I said, "He doesn't want you to fall." Convincing her that he wanted to do it for her, she let him. When he finished and started to walk away, she came to the door and handed him a paper bag full of fresh baked cookies. In memory, I have always thought what a treasure that she had her house smelling from the cookies she had baked for him. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net I would love a print copy of your story, Susanne! Blessings.

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    1. re: Deanne Patterson Cnnamongirl (Unknown February 21, 2016 at 4:44 PM)

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    2. Kathleen, that is such a sweet story. Your son's tender heart! What a blessing you both were to your neighbor, and she to you, sharing those cookies. I am always encouraged by hearing about these acts of love. Thank you for sharing.

      Blessings to you, too!

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    3. It really blessed my heart to read about your son and his kindness . I am so glad your son wanted to help her out. He is very blessed to have you as his mother
      : ) Thank you for sharing this tender story with us.
      Deanne Patterson Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

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  21. Hello Susie!!! Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. Congratulations on your new release. I am currently in a situation that He is using for His purpose. I am holding onto Romans 8:28. He has me in a learning season. Thank you for the giveaway.
    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Caryl! I will be praying for you as you cling to His word and His hand while He teaches you and leads you. That's an excellent verse to hold on to. Blessings.

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  22. I have found that my plans are not necessarily God's plan for my family's life. I recently had to put my children in public school, which I was certain I would never do. This was not in my plan! But God had a different plan. He is using my children to be a witness in a sometimes dark place. It has been amazing to watch and has helped me to know that when my plans don't work out as I expected, to watch for what God will do and how He will accomplish what He wants in my life and that of my family.
    reneerachoyolsenATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Heather, I can relate to your story. I think homeschooling is wonderful, but we felt called to be in public schools. I didn't always understand why, but it's been a blessing to be involved in the school and our community in this way. Maybe my kids or I needed something by being involved this way, and maybe we shine a little of His light. All I can say is, God asks each of us to serve Him in different ways, even in ways we don't expect. He can and will accomplish His purposes. Thank you for obeying His call to you and your kids!

      Blessings to your family!

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    2. Heather Olsen, you are our winner. I only homeschooled our son for one year. It was very difficult. Teachers have a hard job. Praying all is working out with your children in public school.

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  23. ALways excited when i find an author who is new for me just more books to read. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom.

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    1. Hi Kim! I feel the same way about new authors. So much fun! This book is a debut for Jaime Jo Wright, but Becca Whitham and I are fairly new to being published, too. It's an honor to be in the collection with some of our favorite established authors. I hope you enjoy!

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  24. Years ago, after much prayer, we lost our 7 month old daughter, who was born 3 months early. The day she died, our son was born, though we didn't know it until we adopted him and his sister, 18 months later. God already had our family started.... Tomorrow is THAT day, Matt will be 29 and Sarah Beth will have been gone 29 yrs.

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. Melody, please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your precious daughter. I am so sorry for you and your family. Tomorrow, the day of her passing and the day of Matt's birth, is an amazing day of testimony and I will pray for you.

      Thank you for sharing your story. God bless you and your family.

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  25. OH yes! :) I'm sure there have been many but the one I can think of is when my mom and I volunteered to help with senior luncheon at our church and the Lord orchestrated it in a way that ended up with us in charge of it! :) God is AMAZING! He surprises me ALL the time! LOL! And SL has turned into a GREAT blessing!

    Hugs, Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a.)
    amada_chavezATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Isn't it fun when we volunteer to help, Amada, and then we end up in charge? LOL. He has great plans for us! Bless you for taking charge of the luncheon. I'm so glad to hear it's blessed you, too! Isn't that always how it is? We are blessed when we serve!

      Thank you. Blessings!

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  26. Well my family moved to a new area shortly after I got out of high school and where we moved I couldn't get a decent job so I had to go back to school. You know my job isn't "work" I didn't know you could go to work and enjoy what you do. If we hadn't moved I might have missed the oppurtunity to find a job I loved. Would love to read your book sometime :)
    Jking23(at)kent(dot)edu

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    1. Jen, that's a fabulous story! I can only imagine how traumatic it must have been to move away from your friends right out of high school. I am so glad God put you in the best place, providing a job that is fulfilling and fun. What a blessing. So many people dread going to work; when you love what you do, it's a reason to give thanks.

      So glad you came by!

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  27. I love how God can take some of our darkest hours and turn them into opportunities to encourage and lift up others later who experience some of the same situations. In my life, being in an abusive relationship and at another time the loss of a child. I praise God for His grace!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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