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What is living simply?

  • 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.

I love to hear from you!

  • I love to receive your comments and get to know you a little bit better. I don't always respond to every comment--but I will do my best to answer any questions. Don't want to leave a comment for all to see? Feel free to email me at thesimplewife [at] aol [dot] com.

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Comments

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lynn narloch

Who can you help Joanne? Is it time for you to reach out to others and rediscover your servants heart?

Diginee

Have prayed for all those years and will continue to ---- I cry with you, hope with you, stand by you ---- even though it is through cyber space. Sending you a cyber hug.

dee

It's so good to read your words. I think you are on the road to recovery into a fully abundant life. Put the books down and turn the TV off. There is more that you can do than to escape into those mediums. Your writing (for one) is inspiring me to make a few changes that I need. I have an able body but I have become accepting and complacent in many ways which are harmful to me. Please keep on discovering your "cans" and continue moving forward. It's never too late and your family needs you to be stronger- do it for them. Move on...You CAN do it! (And so can I!)

Carrie

I prayed for you as requested. Lots of people will have plenty of suggestions and to dos for you. You requested prayer as you've already realized this is something that will come from the Lord and not from your own strength.

dgraceofgod

Praying in Canada
Deborah

NON-Superwoman

So great to see you on the blog :-) Praying that your abundant life will be filled to overflowing.

Mssell

Praying in Australia

Deborah

Your writing and willingness to share your struggles and insights are a blessing to me. I absolutely believe God still has a ministry for you. I, too, pray that you will come to rejoice in His goodness in the land of the living.

Cheryl Veenstra

Your heart and ministry continues...as always, through your honesty and vulnerability. THANK YOU so much for sharing your thoughts and encouraging me. Trying to get out of my own pit caused by chronic health issues in my family. Praise God that His mercies are new every morning and we have HOPE!

Always blessed by you...Praying for you!!

Lisa Dingle

Praying for you Joanne. I have followed your blog since the stroke and I have always been inspired by your authenticity. This is such good stuff that we all need to hear...there any many who feel they are just existing for a myriad of reasons and God wants us to know more and experience His goodness, like you said.

renee altson

I am sorry that you have lost so much. I remember after my ECT treatments, I kept telling myself that it would get "better" again, but, as you say, my life was never the same.

I struggled with how to define myself after the treatments - I hardly even felt like a person. People dismissed my feelings, quoted crappy Bible cliches that only made me angry, and told me to stop being so selfish. All of that hurt me even more, and caused me to withdraw from most of the world.

Dear one, loss is a valid and acceptable feeling, and I hurt with you as I think of all that has happened. My love and wishes and care are with you as you seek the Lord in the land of the living.

That's quite a verse, isn't it?

I love you dearly and think of you more often than you know.

xoxoxoxo

Courtney McDermed

I was thinking along these lines this morning. I was thinking, what is the purpose of life? Aside from glorifying God, I think the purpose of life is to alleviate suffering. So, I started trying to think about what are the causes of human suffering. Buddhism says it's attachment. For example, I think Buddhism would say a lot of your suffering comes from the attachment to how you used to be, good health, strong, independent, capable. But while I can intellectually understand the concept, I don't really agree. Your suffering is real and whether it is because you miss being the way you were 3 years ago or not, it is valid.
I think of you and pray for you often. There are many times when you are the primary reason I pray. When I feel so discouraged about my own failures and feel disconnected from God because I am so selfish or narcissistic or whatever, I pray for you. I remember my mother saying that sometimes people go through tremendous hardships (like Jobe, probably) so that the glory of God might be shown. I do feel like you are suffering like Jobe and even though you probably don't feel like it, I see the Glory of God shine through you in so many ways. At the same time, it hurts my heart to think of you suffering. I pray you find a new way of experiencing abundant life. You HAVE been robbed but I pray there is a way to find a new abundance in your new confined circumstances.
Thank you for sharing and for allowing me to step out of my own selfish worries and for giving me the opportunity to pray for you.

Deborah

So sorry for your heavy heart and sorrow. Been praying for you for awhile and will continue to do so. Don't loose hope!

Kim Feth

Joanne, I've followed your blog for a couple of years before the stroke and have not stopped following the blog even during seasons of silence since the blog. You still have a lot to give other people on this planet, and I'm sure even more to give to people in your home and in your path of life.
I will pray these prayers for you.
Kim Feth
Apex, NC

Sharon Brumfield

Sometimes I catch myself living to much in the future. Life has been hard. I think sometimes that if this or that would change life would be easier and I would have more to give. I have to remind myself that God is all about the here and now. That even when my eyes do not see it...He is at work in me and through me.
Depression is a daily companion...but there are moments in the day where it is not every breath I breathe. I am learning to recognize those times and thank Him for them.
I have Beth's book on my kindle....I need to start reading it like you are. :)
Hang in there girl...eternity is coming! Pain endures for the night but I am told joy comes in the morning. ;)
We will do this thing! I stand on the promise that He WILL complete the work He began in US.
He will....He can not lie. Hold on...help is on the way! You are extravagantly loved. Yes....even when we don't feel it.

Laura

You continue to bless us all - I know you don't "feel" blessed but God is using you! I'm reading that book now on my kindle and it has given me so much to think about.

Melanie - NJ

Joanne, it seems I could have written almost every comment in this column because they are my thoughts and wishes for you, too. You are correct about the past - it will never be the same but we all can attest to that. I pray God gives you the yearning to want to let it go and continue into your future with all your wonderful attributes. Do you fully realize how good of a writer you are? Do you realize how much you affect others lives for the good? Do you realize how courageous you have been through all this? You are all of those and so many of us who have not even met you are telling you that. You still have great things to do on this Earth - don't let the opportunity pass you by because you don't feel they can be done. Start by concentrating on just one of your strengths (hope it will be your writing on this blog)and take it to the max. At some point a corner will be turned. God Bless and God Speed!

Joanne Heim


Thank uou!
J.

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Joanne Heim


I dont think ill ever really finish the book. Going to stick with this chaptet awhile...
J.

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Joanne Heim


Yes and amen!
Praying for you now,
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you kim!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thanks!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you, friend!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you
Love and miss you,
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you so much!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
With love,
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Lisa Chandler

Joanne,

Thanks for these specific prayer requests for you. I've prayed for your family since your FB post awhile back. Something I prayed for you about was that you would write again. I've never met you (briefly met Toben when he was @ Truefaced), but have followed your blog for these past 3 years and feel a connection because you are my sister-in-Christ. I will continue to pray for you and your family as you (together) trust God to fulfill His promise to (all of) you of an abundant life! Amen. love & hugs, Lisa Chandler

anna {girlwithblog.com}

Oh dear Joanne... lifting you high to Him today in your desperation.

Bobbie Lutz

I think many have already said this, but your writing has always been a gift to me...you've got a very special God-given heart to share with us. I know from your words today, that beautiful heart is hurting. Keep sharing and writing these feelings down and hopefully it will clear all the doubt and hurt and we can help fill you with lots of love. Praying daily for you and your beautiful family. Hugs from Texas!

Lynn Kelly

Been praying for you since your stroke and this blog was one that really lit up my brain neurons! Your writing remains a very unique part of you and it comes through loud and clear in this post. My first thought was WOW! So glad she is communicating her feelings so clearly as I do share some of them in my disability with heart disease but I'm 70 years old and my family work/time/chores is long behind me, so I'm not lamenting those years because I did have those years you have/are/will miss because of limitations.

But I also see that you have a ministry if, and when, you choose to pick up your pen again. I also see that I'm not the only one seeing that. :-)

Just know that we are praying for you and loving you along the way as you seek the Lord and his leading in your life.

God bless you as you chart new courses in your life!

Elizabeth

Many of us connected with you after the stroke. We are friends of the new seasons who know you from the stroke to now. Being defined by 'being' vs 'doing' is an ongoing struggle for each of us. God has given you a very specific life message that His body needs to hear. You have a perspective that few could share as eloquently. I can hear you suiting up for this call, and feel the energy that comes with hope. Obedience is saying 'yes' in tangible ways, and as we say 'yes' others are encouraged to be bold too. Continuing to pray for this new season as you walk in news shoes designed perfectly for you by your Father, who never stops thinking about you! Ps. 139
Elizabeth in Idaho

Charlotte Moore

Very touching!!! GOD BLESS!!!

Linda

Keep writing! You have the ability to touch peoples' hearts with what you have to say. Your writng will lead you to the abundant life you are praying for.

Jennifer "InfertilityMom" Saake

On BibleGateway.com the verse of the day is "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9 NIV " And last week I was reminded that in Him we live, and MOVE (a big one with post-stroke mobility issues!) and have our being.

Kimberly

You are so loved.
Always praying here.

Marian

Praying in Kentucky!

Maryellen

My heart breaks for you in your pain and loss. Praying for joyful days and days of encouragement for you. You have much to offer and contribute to this world. You will find your way. I think of Joni Eareckson Tada and her amazing journey. May her life bring you encouragement. You do matter and you have purpose. We all look forward to your posts.
Keeping you always in prayer.

Cindy Coker

You inspire so many people, including myself. I will be praying for you and your family. I have followed your blog since a prayer request crossed my path on Facebook. I think you are an amazing, well-spoken woman. God will show you the way. ((HUGS))

Pam Cole

Joanne, as I read your post above, it brought tears to my eyes. Even though I've never met you face to face, it has been, and continues to be my pleasure to pray over you and your beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your heart here with us and giving us specific things we can pray over you on. He will bring you that abundant life. It may not look the same as before, but He is faithful to do as He promised. I can't wait to see what happens next! Hugs!

Joanne Heim


Thx!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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yin

Praying in Singapore!

Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Darla Baerg

I followed your blog very closely for some time after your stroke. Just last week I was thinking about you and decided to check in on the blog. I was so sad to read about your relationship with your girls. Truly it just broke my heart. I don't know what is going on but I can only imagine the despair that that would bring to a mothers heart.

You're right. Scriptures tell us to live joyfully and abundantly. . That has to feel so hard when your body is different, your relationships are different… And everything has changed. The job loss for Toben has got to be difficult as well.

I agree with what the others have written. You still have a ministry. You're a beautiful writer with an even more beautiful soul. Perhaps you can go minister to others who have had a stroke. Perhaps it is writing. I don't know what the Lord wants from you but I do think there can be beauty rising from the ashes.

Praying for the joy that can come only from The Lord. As someone else said abbé.... Put down the books and start writing your own. You are loved.

Ruthy :o)

Hello Lovely Lady what a BLESSING YOU ARE x
The Good Shepherd Cherishes you Delights in you and LOVES you SO Much x

The scripture that comes to mind for you The Lord WILL RESTORE the years the Locust has eaten.

With MUCH LOVE
xxx <>< xxx

Joanne Heim


Thx! I love you back!
J.

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Alicia

Dear Joanne,

I started reading your blog the day of your stroke as I was redirected here from some other blog. I am around the same age range as you with young children and I remember crying and praying to God to spare your life. I couldn't bear the thought of your girls growing up without a mother, especially a mother like you as I got to know you through your blog. In many ways it was because it is my greatest fear to not be around to see my children grow up. I do not pretend to understand how you feel, but I can empathize a very tiny bit because I like doing things for my family and being independent.

I also do not pretend to understand why this happened. I have no spiritual truth or verse or theology to offer you. Instead I will just selfishly admit how much your blog has helped me in my spiritual growth. To see you and Toben in all your honesty, vulnerability and even doubt stubbornly holding on to faith, family, each other and God even if the life you envisioned is nothing like reality has been better than any sermon or devotional I have ever read for my faith, even life. I only want to say Thank You and you are being prayed for.

If you and/or Toben ever want to write a book about walking in faith or how to hold on to a marriage through the hard times or any topic I will be first in line to buy. You are one of my heroes in faith Joanne, not because you don't have doubts or crisis, but because you choose to hang on to faith despite them.

God bless

Jen

I'm so happy that this verse has touched you, Joanne. I firmly believe that you are meant to have an abundant life, even now after your stroke. I think of the platform that you have here online. The many faithful readers still checking daily for posts from you. I think this blog was a gift from God before your stroke, with its most important possibilities to come after your stroke. Your presence online was powerful and inspiring before...and it has the possibility to be even more so now. I am so excited to see what God has in store for you. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. :)

lynn

Isaiah 61:3 (NASB)
3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Dear Joanne...after reading your comments, this verse has instantly come to my mind...May our God do more than we ask or imagine...even on this side of eternity!!!

I also am praying Ps 3 for you. Thanks for blogging!!!
Blessings and prayers from Michigan...lynn

Cami

I am another sister in Christ who has read your blog since the prayer request was sent out on the web about your stroke. Your voice and testimony is used by God in my life. Praying for you, Joanne.

Nan

Isn't Psalm 27:13 beautiful? My friend passed it along to me as her source of strength after learning her unborn daughter has Downs Syndrome.

Praying for you and know there is so much you CAN and WILL do. Open your heart to His guidance. Trust in Him!

child of God

Praying for you Joanne for all of these concerns you have.
In God you have a future and a hope. In Christ alone will you find yourself. Praying you will be filled with the presence of Jesus Christ and that the Holy Spirit will flow freely through you so you are a living vessel where others will see Him in you.

(((Hugs))) and love and prayers.

Bobbi

I am glad to see you regaining your eternal perspective on life. I'm praying for you as you start living abundantly in His strength...accepting everything from His hand. All my love...and many prayers!

Kristen

I love you sis. You are beautiful inside and out.

Missi

Lately I feel the same, as in every day being monotonous. But God is moving and has placed the desire to serve in my heart. I have a small opportunity that has recently come up that will only be for a couple of months but it's a start. I am excited about it! Reading Ann VosKamp's blog is inspiring and uplifting and reminds me to have a grateful heart. I am reading God is Able and that is great too. It really talks about trusting. Trusting Him and letting the future "go" is freeing. So as soon as negative emotions arise, I say, "NO, Lord. I am trusting you." There is another new book out called Restless that looks really good. I got it on Amazon for my Kindle for around 2.00. I'll be praying for you!

Joanne Heim


Yes, it is! Thank you! Praying for your friend and her baby now!
J.

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Joanne Heim


I love you back!😍

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Joanne Heim


Thank you !
J

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Marcie

Please read Second Firsts by Christina Rasmussen ... Gave me so much hope!

Joanne Heim


Thank you! Will look it up!
J.

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Brandi Luiz

Joanne,
You are an inspiration to me. I may not be any famous person or blogger or author or speaker or anything but the wife, mother, nurse and friend that I am. I have found that reading your blog since just before your stroke, that you have a voice, you may not be able to "see" the impact of your sharing with us, but know that God is using you. You are our "conference speaker Headliner" each time we read your blog, you are there, on the platform, sharing your heart from the lessons you are being taught by God. Thank you for that, don't ever stop. Your life may not be the same and we may never be able to fully comprehend that as your readers, but we know you are a blessing. Praying for you!

Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Lynne

Please keep sharing your thoughts; that in itself is a ministry. You never know who you might have helped today.

Joanne Heim


Thank you
J.

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Holly Cory

Joanne, I miss having your girls in class. They were both so gifted and different from each other. I will pray for their relationship with you. God continues to use you and Tobin - even though the road is painful and rough.

Holly Cory

Cari Minton

Joanne-
When I read your last blog it made me think of a blog that helped me. http://www.gitzengirl.blogspot.com/
Gitzen girl is now in heaven but her story touched my heart and taught me much. I pray the same for you.
Cari in Iowa

Joanne Heim


Thanks, holly!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you cari!
J.

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Joanne Heim


Thank you!
J.

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Amy J

I really needed to hear this!! I have struggled with an undiagnosed muscle weakness/deterioration issue for 2 years. I have 3 kids and feel most days I just aim to put one foot in front of the other and make it to the bathtub at night. I keep saying I am just surviving but this isn't living. Thanks for the Wake up. I too plan to try to look forward. Thank you for sharing!

Amy

I prayed for you and I will keep you in my heart and prayers. Thank you for writing and for sharing the verses above. I don't know you and I have only read 1 or 2 of your posts, but this really affected me. Psalm 27:13, in particular, is something that I needed to hear. I am planning on becoming a housewife and mother as a career this summer. I have worked full-time for the past 8 years. I am very happy about this prospect and at the same time struggling with worry and guilt. It's very refreshing and inspiring to see women like you out there sharing such wonderful things about being a wife. God Bless You and Your Family!

Kristy

Oh...just tears... How my heart hurts for you!
Though my life is so different, I too know the pain of life not turning out how you thought it would...and how it feels just existing, and wondering where and how to live the abundant life... Wondering how to be at peace and find joy when our circumstances are difficult and sad...
Hugs to you my sweet friend... Praying we each find Gods peace and joy and happiness, even despite of....

Joanne Heim


Thank you for understanding!
J.

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Jen

Hi Joanne,

You have been on my heart so much, lately.
I have followed your blog for a long time and always look forward to reading your posts.

I am praying for all you have requested, my friend and sister in Christ.

I have been listening to the podcasts from the Nancy Leigh Demoss webiste....and I am finding healing in these. I wanted to share with you and thought you might want to listen in when you can.

"Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit."
Psalm 147:5

Love you

Jen M

Joanne Heim


Thank you
J.

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Kathy @ In Quiet Places

All of our hope is in the Lord, He hears every prayer and I believe as you keep praying and asking and seeking He will strengthen your faith day by day.

Please keep up your writing! I think there is still something for you there...

Angie

I remember when I read one of Joni Erickson Tadas books (she was paralyzed at 17 if you aren't familiar) Her prayer after realizing God was not going to heal her or let her die like she wished was, 'Lord if you won't let me die, then teach me how to live." I haven't been around here to know, but have you ever read "40 years of wisdom" by Joni Erickson Tada. It is written to the suffering from someone who has been in and around it for most of her life. She speaks life and purpose into hurting hearts. I will keep you in my prayers. I pray that you will understand the depth of your value and your purpose in this new phase of life.

Joanne Heim


Thank you! Ill look up that book today!
J.

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Carole

Joanne,
I have followed you and Toben (from Southern California)since Beth posted a prayer request when you had the stroke. Press on, sweet girl. You are inspiring SO MANY across the globe! You are loved - and chosen - to speak from the depth of your soul of God's word TO THE MASSES through your gift. Blessings and peace,
Carole

Joanne Heim


Thank you, carole!
J.

Sent from my iPhone

Missi

You may have already read about this family, but it reminded me of you and all you've gone through. I found it on Design Mom blog, click on Home Tours, and then find Living with Kids: The Wolfe Family dated Nov. 19th, 2013.

I hope you have a happy day-Missi

kimberly

I miss you!!!

Joanne Heim


I miss you too!
Love,
J.

Sent from my iPhone

Traci

Joanne~ God is doing work that we can't see! I have read your journey for years. It seems weird to say I feel like I know you. YOU...before the stroke... during... and after. Maybe i'm totally wrong, but God seems to have designed you to be a "big plate" person. Your life(plate) three years ago, could hold a lot on it. I look at your blog and see what a go getter you were. Today, it sounds like you struggle to physically "go" or "get." I can not comprehend what that must feel like. (I am a "small plate" type of person...so your blog has always inspired me to stretch the edges of myself. :)
After reading this post, I hear your struggling heart through your beautifully authentic writing. The same YOU is still here! I want to tell you, the same YOU is able minded...is a deep thinker...is a smart woman...is a tender momma...is a creative soul!! I know I am a stranger, and I just read some comments that seemed bold to say to you, so I am so sorry if any of my words sound too bold, but Joanne...your story moves people to trust in Jesus!! Please write! Please speak! You are still the contagious woman who anyone who met you seemed to be drawn too. I wish I knew you outside of cyberspace, Joanne! Maybe someday I will introduce myself after coming to a book signing...or a conference where your amazing self has just communicated a message straight from Jesus. :) love you!

Joanne Heim


Thank you, Traci!
J.

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pam

Joanne,
I check every day to see if you've written something - anything. Only God truly knows what you are going through; only He can fully understand. Please don't stop writing, even if it's only one word or one sentence each day. We, your readers, count you as our friend, even though many of us have never met you. We pray for you as we hold you in our thoughts. Talk to us.
Pam

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