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  • Living simply is not so much about the particulars of our lives as much as it is about the principles that govern them. Knowing what God has called you to do, and then doing it--that's living simply.

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  • On Jan. 11, Joanne suffered a major stroke. She is now at home and continues on the journey to recovery.

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« Nice Move Toben (Toben) | Main | In the Swing of Things (Toben) »


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Marla Taviano

Love you guys! Praying for you every single day. Thanks for being such an awesome husband to my friend. xoxoxo

Child of God

Hi Toben,
Sometimes we will never know the answers to our questions until we get to meet our Lord Jesus face to face.

I am sure your story has touched many peoples lives and the love you show towards God, your sweet wife and children speaks volumes to those of us reading. I know it has impacted me in numerable ways. The dedication and love towards your family mimics the dedication and love God has towards us.

It is to be glory to God in all circumstance good or evil, health or sickness, rich or poor. He is the giver of all, the Creator of all and just because He is God, He deserves praise and worship all of the time.

Job 2:10
"...Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

There is a reason for all of this that you are going through and one day you will know the exact reason why, but in the mean time praise His Holy Name and worship Him for He is good always!

Praying for you family often.


We love that "density" line, too! Beautiful post... I'm still praying!


It was your destiny for all of us to witness a real miracle. I never thought of anything else but that miracle God had placed before us to witness. My thank you and continued blessings to both.

renee altson

still thinking of you all often. <3

Linda Hughes

The why? I am a huge fan of Elisabeth Elliott, I used to listened to her radio program every day. She taught me "what is given is assigned". Psalm 16:5 Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup, and you have made my lot secure. When I lost my right arm to cancer, It was as if Elisabeth was speaking directly to me. This is my assignment from a Holy God who will never leave my side.
Another Why? Why Is my one arm friend going home so soon? She has fought and fought and fought the ugly beast? I don't know why? But I will find out why when I finally meet face to face in Glory!
I pray for you and your precious family.


The Tobit model is a statistical model proposed by James Tobin (1958) to describe the relationship .... to be the standard normal probability density function.


Reading your thoughts gives me perspective on dealing with my own Why's and How's. Like you, I want to trust God has the answers while I live with unanswered questions. I'm so grateful that my destiny…and in His loving, capable hands!

Karen Booker Schelhaas

I admire your courage, yours and Joanne's and Audrey's and Emma's. You have giant-sized courage. The four of you are epic in your life together, just the fact that you ARE. The "why?" of life seems like the wrong question to me sometimes -- it takes courage to ask "what?" You four are some of the most courageous people I know! I pray for you often. This path is beyond difficult -- unimaginably difficult. But my word, you're an inspiration to everyone. Truly.


"knowing we'd go through everything again, I'd marry you again in a heartbeat..." That's what my husband & I tell each other frequently. "Everything" has included heart attacks,surgery, cancer, losing our house, scary career changes & more. And who knows what is to come? But we'll face it together! You & your family are remarkably strong and such an inspiration. Bless you all.


I love that picture of our lives being epic stories. Beautifully put and spot on. Thank you for that to dwell on! Godspeed!


I am not sure when I found your blog, but it was shortly after the stroke. I've been following it since then and keeping your family in my prayers.

I am reading a book right now which I wondered if you have heard of:
"An Honest Look at at Mysterious Journey" by John Stumbo
It made me think of the journey you are on and if you haven't read it yet, you may find it to be an encouragement.

Brian Elder

Great blog! Thanks for keeping it real. Will pray that God will bless you during those epic moments.


Why? Because God has His amazing purposes, which we may never discover. But there is not a tear that falls in vain. He knows each one, and would NEVER allow us to go through something not needed. Trials are a MARK of His love - proof! And I don't just casually, tritely say that. I am now 46 years old. The age my mom was when she died of breast cancer. (It's a really weird year for me.) I was barely 17 at the time she died. Before her death, she battled breast cancer, and bone cancer for 8 years. The last year of her life, she had a major stroke, and never regained use of her right (dominant side). After her stroke, she spent weeks in a coma, then the last 10 months in a nursing home. She had to learn how to speak all over again. She had been a gifted school teacher. Nothing is for nothing. God is working behind the scenes, moving the scenes that He is behind. Lives are being shaped, molded. What our family endured was horrific, but from His hand of love - He does everything in love. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

Much love in Christ, with prayers!!

Wayne Nash

I ran across this post because I searched for the "density" line, but now I believe God wanted me to find you, Toben. This was such a random event. A few months ago I just buried my wife at 43 years old after a 2 year battle with pancreatic cancer. Like you, we had a rollercoaster ride of 18 years marriage involving family deaths and infertility, losing all of our children in the process, the last being triplets on 2007. Then the cancer showed up, and our faith was tested again. But with all that we had been through with God over the losses, it seems we were actually better prepared to express and pronounce our faith in God's plan through the ongoing fears and failing health. While it is not easy, and believe me, it's not easy, it eats away at your very core to watch your soul mate suffer so much, we must remember that we are watching God's design from the back of the tapestry, with all the knots and messy threading and crossed lines. We don't see it from the front, where God sits, admiring the picture emerging from the acts of His faithful. On my wife's journey, she became sensitive not to the "why", but to the "who". Who will it impact? Who will your wife and you change based on your expressions of faith and acceptance, knowing that God will still work good through this trial? Who may be driven to the Holy Spirit to finally drink of the Living Waters? In her final days, my wife, and we, prayed for His miracle of healing, physical healing, and it never came. But His ultimate healing did, for our faith did not waver. I sometimes think of it as a "cost-benefit" issue, meaning if the life of one faithful is taken, what is the benefit to God's kingdom? At my wife's funeral, there were over 600 present in the church, with church leaders from 4 area churches, co-workers, family and friends. It was a celebration which I later heard affected many who did not know of the Gospel and were now asking questions. So I look on it now knowing that her work of witnessing was completed through her homegoing, because now many more souls are approaching the throne of God. While I certainly don't wish the same for you and your family, I do want to answer your question of "why". Stop asking. It's the who you should be asking, and just praise God that you still have another day to work for His kingdom. It's hard to swallow, and tough to do. But I have far more peace of mind knowing that my role is to serve God on earth as He needs it, and focus on keeping my eternal soul under His care. I pray that your wife is healed and that God emboldens your strength to be the ultimate husband He wants you to be. I have posted a lot of these thoughts on my blog; feel free to read. May God Bless You both! Wayne

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