Welcome to my blog, “Journeys of the Heart”. What a journey my life has been! Let me begin by telling you a little bit about myself. I could tell you I am a writer, a speaker, and a retired teacher, but those are things I do, not who I am.
I am a wife, a daughter, a mother, a story-teller, and a believer. I am also a miracle. My life journey has wended its way through the laughter and tears of raising a family, the tragedies of burying my two young sons, triumph over addiction, world travels, grappling with grief, and the precious gift of true relationships.
So what is my blog going to be about you ask? All of the above, especially the relationships. In the beginning it was all about the human relationships, but now my journey leads me towards the most important relationship of all—my relationship with God, and his son, Jesus Christ.
In my first book, “Christopher’s Journey” I write about my Chris’s 4 year battle with terminal cancer. The book recounts Chris’s daily life on treatment from the age of 10 until his passing at 14 when he spent his last peaceful moments comforting us with his heavenly encounter. Despite its sad conclusion the book is full of humor and love. Tales of Chris’s jokes and gags abound as Chris teaches us to live in the moment. In future blogs I will share Chris’s antics and explain how he was responsible for jump-starting my spiritual journey. http://www.maribethditmars.com/.
My second book, “The Bald-Headed Princess” (See link above) is a middle-reader chapter book for children affected by cancer. In this story 11 year old Isabel must grapple with cancer, treatment, hair loss, and missing her friends. In the end Isabel gains remission and learns to reach out to other struggling patients. I look forward to telling you how amazing it was to read this book to my fourth grade class (including one shy little boy with cancer) and to witness a transformation in the hearts my students!
I have several other books in the works. I don’t have contracts yet, so I can’t say much, but they are on the lighter side with characters like misbehaving teachers and an unusual eyeball scampering across the pages. I look forward to sharing those publication journeys with you.
Eventually, I will return once again to more serious fare. Last summer, our 21 year old son, Jarrod, was killed in an accident, 14 years after cancer took his older brother. Never in my worst nightmare could I have imagined that we would bury a second son. Like Chris, Jarrod was full of fun and humor, often sailing through the day on a stream of laughter. Also like Chris, Jarrod had a deep spiritual side, and I will be writing about that as well.
In the years between the passings of my two sons the Lord worked many miracles in my life. He saved our floundering marriage, He released me from the bondage of addiction, and He has given me many opportunities to be useful to others. Now as I trudge through the pain of fresh grief, I have found a strength and a purpose that does not come from this world.
Romans (NIV) 5:3-5: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Last fall Rob and I sold our home and became full-time RVers. We plan to travel in the summer and return to the Sarasota area in the winter to spend time with our family, including our daughter and grandchildren. We are accompanying our spiritual journey with a physical journey. I already have RV adventures to share with you! Right now we are camped for the summer in the beautiful Asheville N.C. area. We are hiking all of the magnificent mountaintop and waterfall vistas, pausing to listen for that voice of God inside of us.
Please join me each Tuesday as I blog and share all of my “Journeys of the Heart”.
I would also like to invite you to join me Thursday, June 16th at 6:00 EST on Unity Radio’s “Grief to Grace” program with Chaz Wesley.