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  • Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Joanne and I’ve been blogging for many years under the name The Simple Wife (you can see all of my old posts under the archives or by clicking on any of the categories that interest you). I love receiving comments from you and try to respond to each one personally. I hope you’ll visit often!

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Hello Joanne, I am a reader in Zurich. I met your Mother in Law when she spoke to a group of ladies here. Before that, I learned of your situation through the Living Proof blog and Beth Moore. I've been praying for you and your family from the beginning.

First, I'm sorry for the losses you have suffered. 2ndly, I will keep praying and I appreciate the specific requests. 3rd, I'm reminded of these sweet words of the old hymn:

Jesus, Jesus
How I trust you
How I've prooved you over and over
Jesus, Jesus
Precious Jesus
O for grace to trust you more.

Instead of trying harder to trust, lean into that grace and ask the Lord for his grace for all situations. At least that is my hunch.

And let us pray for you.

God bless you and your family.

Courtney J

Praying for you and your family! The Lord pricked my heart about you a few days ago, and now I know why. Thank you for opening up and sharing your burdens; think on Matthew 11:28-30. "Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest..."

Bunny Vance

Praying for you all!!! You are an inspiration to many and look to God for strength. Some answers do take too long but they do come in God's time. Hugs to you all.

Missy M


My heart breaks for the difficulties you and your family face daily.

I am praying that your fear and depression lessen and that your relationship with your daughters is strengthened.

Blessings to your and your family.

Linda Hogeland

Dear Joanne...I am overcome with emotion when I read of your daily struggles. Yet I do know that God is your strength and I am trusting Him to get you all through each and every day.

Keep hold of your faith sweet lady..we are all lifting you up in prayer. Praying that Tobin will find the job God leads him to...and that things will start to turn around for all of you.

Thanking God that your friends have remained close to you and that your family and the in-laws are there for you too.

Sorry about the bankruptcy...but it seems there is no other choice, so just don't let it bring you down...just know that God loves you dearly...and so do those who are out here praying for you. :)

You are are a treasure!
Love and Prayers,
Linda Hogeland

I love this quote...and it has helped me many times. "You are loved with an everlasting love...and underneath are the everlasting arms!"...Elisabeth Elliot


Thinking of you Joanne... My heart is sad for you and I hope your challenges fade away soon. Your little family deserves smiles & joy. Is there anything I can do to help?


Praying for you and wish I could offer something inspirational. Just know that you are all in my heart.

Sharon Novell


I have been waiting and praying to hear your voice, and it is beautiful! I know how hard these past few years have been for you and your family. I wish you all strength and love and encouragement as you regroup, repair and start fresh into the Season of Advent and the New Year.

Keep those posts coming - I knew the old Joanne was still in there.

Love and Hugs for 41 years.

Sarah Roberts

Your family is strong and I am amazed when I read you or Toben's posts. Hang in there!



This is one of those times when I am not sure what to say but at the same time, I want to extend so much love your way.

You have lost so much and while I know you are aware of your many blessings, that won't take away from the hurt that you feel. I can hear your struggle and my heart hurts for you.

Love and prayer to you and Toben and the girls.

Krista Kliebenstein Weber

Joanne, my heart breaks for what you are going through. Thank you for sharing and updating. I hope you keep writing, however you can. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Lots of love to you,


Joanne, oh how I miss your blog... I feel like I have "known" you for years. My heart hurts for you, and how life in general takes many painful twists and turns we could never see coming. I will be praying over all your requests! You didn't mention your walking, has that improved? Hugs to you, my bloggy friend!

Kaelynn Judd

Oh sweet friend, you are in the midst of quite the spiritual battle. Depression can be a bear to fight. I have dealt with it for about seven years now. It makes everything so difficult... even the little things...

Praying for you as you go through the challenges that you are facing right now. Try to remember that this is only one chapter of your life. There is an entire epic story that God is working on for you :) Hang in there!


Dear sweet friends and I have been praying for you from nearly day one...
We read everything we can find to see how you are doing...Toben has written his struggles and yet not much of it is sooooo good to see you here!
There are no words for what's going on in your life. I wish I had the magic comfort wand to make all well and victorious.
We all do....please don't give up.
Never give up. No, not Ever. We are lifting you in prayer like no one else and we trust that your life is to be amazing, creative and strong. I have faith in God. I have faith in you. I know you can have a sweet life...We will continue to in Sugar Land, TX.


So good to "hear" your voice. I think of you often. Praying for all that you posted and for continual peace and rest and joy!


Hi Joanne- It is so good to hear from you. I know we don't know each other but I have been reading your blog for a long time. I pray for your family often. We are around the same age, with kids, etc. so I can sympathize with much you have written. Please know that you have a friend in Florida praying for you and your family! I can't wait to hear the good news from all these prayers. Please keep us posted and keep believing!!!

Jackie Rackley

Oh heart aches for you. May the God of comfort comfort you and your family. Isaiah 41 may be an encouragement to you right has helped me in difficult times. May God give you rest, peace and hope. He does hear and He does answer prayer all for our best...even when it's difficult to understand.

Michelle from Australia

Joanne, I answered a prayer request when you were in your coma. And I remember very clearly checking in a few times a day looking for the smallest glimmer of hope that you would live. I am grateful to the Lord for being here with Toben, your parents and those who love you.

I will send prayers and thoughts your way by the bucket load.

Michelle xx



I think of you often and pray for you daily. You are loved! I'm so glad to "hear" from you again on the blog, and also glad to have specific things to pray for.

Megan (you were my bible study leader at Mission =))


Dear Joanne,

This brought tears to my eyes. First, because I'm so happy to see your post after a long silence. And second, because I'm so sorry for the difficult road you have been on for so long.

Thank you so much for sharing your pain--it helps how to know how to pray for you. It doesn't sound like you are complaining at all. You are being real and authentic. Life sometimes takes a severe detour, and it truly is hard to understand God's plan at those times. I'm at a similar place myself.

So many of us only know you through your blog, but we love you and will continue to pray for you and your family.

Love from California,

Rachel Reeves

Thinking of you my sweet friend.

Heather Gerard

You are always on my heart to pray for. I will pray for these areas you mentioned. God WILL bring beauty out of the ashes...
You are loved.


I was so sad to read of the troubles you and your family are facing.

I feel a real need to share this with you:

My daughter had a serious major clinically depression that lasted the better part of a year. She tried all other antidepressants, ECT treatments and therapy and nothing worked until Vybrid (antidepressant). She is again engaged with life, and though she has short-lived anxiety now and then, she's got her life back.

You and your family are in my prayers, dear lady.

A Facebook User

Dear Friend, I just want to cry (and that is saying a lot, since one of the broken parts of my brain now seems to be the inability to cry). Not one thing alone, but everything and how life keeps happening (like Toben's job) and isn't turning out as planned (like how we imagined motherhood). Mostly though, it is how you describe the edge of depression's ugly, slimy, slippery pit! There are no words to really describe the endlessness, hopelessness of that pain. Thankfully my meds really helped, but I remember that feeling of never feeling anything like hope again and my heart ACHES for you. My prayer for you is that God restores unto you joy. {{{hug}}}

child of God

(((Hugs))) & (((tears))) my heart is breaking for your pain. You may feel alone but you are not, many are walking beside you in prayer lifting up your need to the Father.

I am praying for these needs of yours and the requests of your heart. Father knows what they are and He is answering we just need to be patient and wait on His perfect timing.

Allow Him to work in your heart, mind and soul. This is a very rough journey you are on but with your family, friends and prayer warriors beside you, with Jesus holding you up, you WILL make this journey and grow in ways you never dreamed possible.

Praying and praying.


so good to see you dusting off the ole blog. Through this unexpected journey, you, your family and friends have shared a strength that only comes from your solid foundation of faith. Just know because of your transparency, I will be much more intentional & specific covering you and yours in prayer. I look forward to more post my friend :) much love and huge (((hugs)))


Joanne, we have never met, but I have been following your blog for the past couple of years. My heart is breaking for you right now. I pray that God will give you peace and comfort and will restore your joy. I'm also praying for good, restful sleep. Praying for you in Alabama.


Prayers from Canada. I have been watching for a post on your blog these past few months and have been praying for you all, wondering how things were going. Tears in my eyes as I read about your challenges and struggles right now. I am praying for a strong dose of God's hope, peace, strength, rest and joy. It can come out of nowhere and I pray that He knocks you over with it! I wish there was something else we could all do, but I hope you sense the prayers of your sisters (and brothers) out here. You are not alone.


Just wanted to say I'm sending prayers and love for improvement and happiness in every situation. xo.


I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I will be praying for you and your family.

Carolyn McCready

Dear Joanne -
Thank you so much for having the courage to write today. I think about you all the time and have wondered how life felt these days. I see that it's hard. So, so wish that was different. Love you, praying for you, and just really grateful that you were brave enough to tell us how it really is.
Definitely glad to have a prayer list for you and your family.
Much love to you.

Miss Chris

Oh, sweet friend. My heart aches for you. xoxoxo

annette berglund

I am praying for you and your family!
your honesty about your life and struggles help us all deal with life. You are a Blessing to your family and remember that your girls treasure you!
Thanks and many prayers are coming your way!

Pam Cole

Joanne, even though we've never met, I feel as though I know you and your sweet family through this blog. And like so many have already said, my heart breaks for you! Going through job loss and bankruptcy alone is very very hard and scary, as my husband and I have gone through that in the last few years, as well. But when I try to put myself in your situation, I don't even know I'd be handling it as well as you. Depression? Yeah, seems normal! The loss of you house, pets, relationships with your daughters... yes, my heart truly does break for you! But I also know, that God is on the throne. He knows you by name, and I am praying that He will surround you with His presence, His peace and His strength! And I also realize I need to step up my prayers over you! And even if you think you are being too negative in your blog, PLEASE let us know when you are feeling weak, and alone and afraid, and... whatever it is you are feeling. Because then we all know how to pray for you. Hugs!


MANY!! MANY PRAYERS!!! So sorry for so much struggle!

renee altson

joanne, i love hearing your voice after such a long time. i was wondering if you could try a voice dictator thing? hard if your computer doesn't work, i realize...

anyway, i love the times when we get to twitter or facebook because we're on at the same time.

i think of you very often, i did not realize the situation with your girls, and it breaks my heart for/with you.

i won't give you pat answers or cliches (its not my style) - but i can assure you that you matter very much to me. your family matters very much to me. i grieve some of your pain with you. you are not alone, and you are deeply loved.

Someone who cares

Joanne, I learned of your stroke and kept up for a while but lost you and your husband. I have thought of you and your family often because my mom had a stroke that left her paralyzed on her left side. Although I don't know you at all, I assure you that I do care about you and your situation. I will pray for you and look forward to keeping up with what God will do in your life!

Carrie P


I was so happy to see your post! I miss your voice and hearing from you through your blog so much. I am also grateful that you had the courage to share your pain and struggles with such honesty. I've been praying for you regularly & have felt really strongly led to lift you, Toben, and the girls up in the last few months. Now I know more specifically what to pray.

I am still crying thinking about the intense pain and loss you've lived though and continue to live with every day. I wish I had the perfect words to share with you....but since I don't, I will say, you are still the creative, smart person inside that you've always been. I can tell by your blog post. The real Joanne is right there the words your Dad typed for you.

Please write when you can and know that I will always be thinking of you and your family and praying for you.


lots of love, faith and prayers being sent your way. i'm reminded so often that this journey called life is not for the weak of heart!
praying for all of your prayer requests.
love is always the answer...hoping you see a glimmer of light through the dark clouds right now! it's always there!



we don't know each other but I've been reading here for a while and had been missing updates from your family. While my struggle was quite different from yours, I too know the deep pits of depression and just want to say: for all the hopelessness that you are feeling right now, know that just because you aren't feeling hope yourself right now does not mean that there isn't any. I never thought I would get to where I am now, but it was worth every second of struggle along the way. Please don't give up.

You said that you are not in therapy right now - with that, do you just mean physical therapy or also psychotherapy? If also the latter, please consider giving it another try so that there is someone by your side that you can lean on and who is professionally trained to help you. It can be a life-saver, quite literally.

Last but not least, I leave you with two quotes that helped me greatly during a very difficult time in my life: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

2There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3)


Joanne, my heart is in pieces reading. I feel horribly bad about your present condition. Will always be praying for you Joanne.


Steve Lambert


I learned about you through my friend Heidi St John (The Busy Mom) and have been following your story and praying for you since the day of your stroke. I check this blog several times a week and had feared there would never be another update, but was thrilled to see your latest post. That said- the update is heartbreaking on so many levels... but it's R.E.A.L. and that counts for so very, very much. So often in Christian circles we say what we think others want to hear instead of what is in our heart. THANK YOU for being vulnerable and real on so many levels. It encourages my heart in more ways than you can imagine. Life is often difficult and your life is far more difficult than most these days. The fact that you continue to hold onto your faith, even though your grip may be tenuous on some days... is an encouragement to me. I didn't realize you were active on Facebook so just sent you a friend request as I would love to keep up with you there if that's possible. One other note- You have as much to say as ever- and in many ways you probably have more to say than ever. As others have said, there are technological ways around the typing issue and if you need a new computer or software I am absolutely CERTAIN that your extended community of friends can make that happen. I would be honored to help make that so. I'm continuing to pray for you... for your physical, spiritual and emotional needs... but also for you to have the courage and the strength to step back into the arena of writing. The world needs to hear what you have to say now more than ever. Blessings- Steve


Hello Joanne,
I have a strong feeling that God is taking you into a new chapter in your life. I have joined other brothers and sisters in Christ in agreeing with your prayers to God on 'child of God's blog' I know that God heals as I have experienced it in my own life, and I know that God can change your circumstances for the better. My two trials throughout my Christian lifetime have been in sickness and finances. I still go through trials ( I am in one now ), but I have learned, and still am learning that all things are possible with God, including what is not possible with man. Take every thought captive Joanne and bring it into obedience to Christ. When the enemy tries to tell you the negative, challenge it with the promises of God. May God bless you and your family with His perfect will for you, which is not to do you harm.

Susan Hodgin

Praying for peace and strength for all.


Please see a psychologist and see if they can't change your anti-depressant medication, I know this is difficult but the right medication can make all the difference in the world. I, too required anti-depressant medication after my stroke; and I too had a difficult time finding the one that was right for me. The doctor helped me realize that I might need it because of the stroke. Lexapro is what helped me.

Also have you ever tried to "SWYPE" like you do on the Samsung phones? It's where you type one handed by moving from letter to letter. I bet something like that is available on whatever device you use. Maybe it will help give you some independence.

Most of all know that you are in my prayers and you can say anything here, even complaints and it is okay.

Never Forsaken

Hi Joanne, I'm coming over from Child of God's blog...
Praying for all these requests and more blessings to you and your family...In Jesus Name~Amen!

AKA: (Never Forsaken

Susan Purifoy


My heart is aching for you.

I know the struggle of recovering from a stroke, and I identify with how HARD it all is.

I can pray, and will pray, with deep understanding.

I remember the grief, the overwhelming grief, of accepting changes, yet yearning for more recovery. How blessed your readers are to read the transparent reality, right from your heart.

I am praying for you, your husband, your girls, your parents.


April Bridges


I had a stroke and I know your fears. I have felt them. It is fear that is tormenting your life. As I gazed at my 3 small kids in the hospital room, it paralyzed me with fear when I thought of not mothering them. God not only had to heal my body but also my mind. Work hard to let God turn your fear into faith. I know it is not easy as people teach and preach. But it is possible. Watch the birds fly and the trees sway. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of your children's voices filling your house. It is the sound and scenes of life. You are living. Embrace life, the life you have. Remember Job? I saturated myself in the book of Job after my stroke. You might feel like you are in a non-existent state with no hope. But there is! Here is hope- you have two wonderful girls, you have a great husband, you have amazing parents and best of all you have life. God teaches us the most when we are at our least. God loves you Joanne and He has blessed you with life. Live every second of it, grasp it. Learn to live again. Yes, it is different but it is living. And God has an amazing purpose for you just waiting to be filled. I will be praying for your mind to be healed as well as your Spirit because as long as their is God, there is hope. Your new chapter in life is waiting to be written, what will it say?

Praying for renewal,

a former stroke patient


Sweet Joanne, It *is* so good to read your words. I followed for a short time back in 2011 before your stroke, and of course, your dear girls' and family's posts afterwards. He is the restorer. Beauty from ashes. One day at at time. We are all here, rooting for you. God sees and cares.


I'm praying for you, your needs, your desires, and your family as well. May you be lifted up by the hands of our Father, sister. It always seems to be the most highly chosen to lead the rest of us.


Dear Joanne,

I am praying for you & yours. <3



Joanne - There are no words that I could say that would ease your heartache right now. Sometimes life just stinks. I do pray, however, that this season will end soon for you. That God will send you encouragement, hope, peace, and most of all lots of love. And I pray that your precious girls will draw near to you once again.


Thank you so much for updating us! I've been worried about you and your family! Thought something like what you described had happened, so continuing to pray for you! God be with you! God has promised to be there for EVERY thing!!! Promised!


You are loved! I've read the comments here and see people from all over the world who are praying for your family (me included). God loves you more than all of us together and I'm praying that you feel His loving arms holding you tight and guiding you through these trials.

lynn hall

You have been brought to mind, many times in these last weeks...praying on for you and yours.
lynn from michigan

Jill Savage

Thank you for your honesty, Joanne. There's community found in honesty and while you are not feeling very "accomplished" right now, you accomplished so much with this post. You are letting others see your insides. When they compare their insides to your insides they see that they are normal, their struggles are normal, and their feelings are normal. You have accomplished so much with your honest words, sweet friend.


Joanne! I have been checking the blog and was worrying when I saw no changes in blogging. I am sorry Toben lost his job. I will pray he finds a job that blesses him in spirit, passion, and providing for his family. Joanne, I understand some of how you feel. I have a chronic condition I was born with and have had chronic pain for the past 13 years. Depression and anxiety are common to me as well. I will be praying for you. I will pray for your girls. They are missing out on something so special that you can give them. Just writing about your challenges will help you to work through and with them and begin a new chapter. Keep pushing through to them. I am sorry about not being able to have your cats. Pets bring comfort and a goal of taking care of something that always loves back unconditionally. May God give you guidance, strength and peace beyond all understanding.


Praying for you Joanne!
Remember that no matter how dark times can feel, Christ is there with you. More, You are the most vibrant witness for Christ I've ever known, and you reach and help so many people, more then you may ever know about.

Shelly Johnson

Hi many who follow you, I don't know your family but have followed you for some time. I have lived in Colorado Springs for a very long time. If you or Toben are reading your messages, send me Toben's resume. A gift God has provided me is the ability to 'network' people. My friend calls me 'the connector'. If I find anyone that is hiring, I will gladly recommend Toben. My email is Know that I am praying for your family, very specifically as you have requested.

Shelly Johnson


Praying for you...Thanks for the update. I will pray over these request.

Kristi Lonheim

My heart is broken. The tears silently slip down my cheeks. I shake my head and then my fist at God. This is one of those times when I have no stinking clue what He is up to yet I know He has a plan. That only makes it a bit easier to take. I will continue to pray for you, Toben, and the girls.

April Bridges

JOANNE OR JOANNE'S DAD, READ THIS POST!!!! I know Christmas is just around the corner. But I was thinking, Toben lost his job. You are in financial stress and I'm sure myself and many others on this blog would love to send you and your family Christmas gifts. Gifts to encourage you and let you know how loved you are by others because of God. Do you have an address we can send the gifts to? Please send it QUICK, so we can send some Christmas packages in the mail soon.



Joanne, Thank you for writing such an honest and real post. I've followed your blog since your stroke, and you have really been on my heart lately. I will continue to pray that God will bless your family.
As I was praying for you the other night, I thought about what you wrote a while back in your marriage (I went through and read old posts)- about how you were on the brink of divorce and then suddenly found yourself working on your marriage. Like God picked you up and put you somewhere different. That is my prayer for you, that at some point, God will turn the tides, whether that's with your depression, or finances, or family relationships (or all 3, I hope!). In the mean time, I'll pray for endurance for you. Thank you for being so real and for letting us know how we can pray.

Ruthy :o)

When you can't trace His hand Trust His Father heart x He loves you so so so MUCH x

Also take note of Marena's message x

Blessings and Love n Hugs from England x


you are loved.
you are missed.


My heart broke for you when I read about your daughters' purposely distancing themselves from you. Teenage girls can be so cruel; I remember this from when my daughter was in that age group. She was an angel to everyone else, which only made it worse. I wish I had some sage advice to offer which would make you feel better but I don't. Be assured that I will remember your family and especially this particular situation in prayer.


Prayers continue to go up for you and your family from Kentucky. Thank you for sharing your pain, please know that I am thinking and praying for you. I know God has not forgotten you or your family. Holy Spirit, intercede for this precious family, I pray.


I am praying for you and your family.


Joanne, I have been following for quite some time, and wondering how you and your family have been. I'm so sorry for the struggles, your pain and depression, your daughters' distance, and Toben's job loss. My heart is heavy for you, but I am so thankful you've shared these things with us. I am praying intentionally for you, for your family, for your daughters, for your recovery. As I'm writing this and praying for you, the words God is putting on my heart are "Send her love. Send her love." Joanne, you are loved. I've never met you, and likely never will, but you are my sister in Christ, and I love you. My heart is full and bursting and running over with love that oh I wish you could feel. How I wish you could feel the loving embrace I am wrapping you in as I am praying for you right now. Never forget, you are loved, so much, by so many. Hold on to that love Joanne. My prayers are with you.


I kept checking on you and have been so worried. My heart breaks for the burdens you are under, but in writing this I see you dipping your toe into the light. That, my darling lady, is a glimmer of hope and where you will shine again.

I can feel it.


Dearest Joanne and Toben --- I am in tears reading your post. I have checked multiple times for updates. Will increase prayers. I am so sorry for this additional time of crisis in your lives.

Ruth Broxup

Joanne and Toben: I am so sorry to hear about all the new trials in your life. I was very concerned when I didn't see any updates for so long. I will continue to pray, especially for your relationships with your daughters and Toben. And a new job. Mostly though, I pray that this coming year be one of great peace and blessing for all of you.


Thank you so much for posting and sharing, especially the difficulties for now we all know how to pray specifically. Know that you are loved!! We have all missed hearing of your amazing progress and I am so truly happy that you have posted. I will continue to ask the Lord for his blessings for your family.


Hi Joanne -

I have periodically checked your blog since I first learned of your stroke on Beth Moore's blog, but I admit it's been a while since I stopped by. I'm so sorry for these issues you and your family are facing right now. I'll pray for all of you. May God show us all how He is making all things work together for our good. May He help us understand His thoughts and His ways, even though they are so much different from ours.

Praying for you,
Wendy in Arkansas


God brought you to my mind so I popped on here to check-in..I am grieved for you tonight! I am praying for peace and contentment for you..


So many people love you and support you, as evidenced by the comments already posted. Praying for your peace and your family's wholeness. Blessings on you for your brave and honest statements!


You are venturing out in this blog, linking arms with the prayer team and letting us walk with you. These are great steps. You have some stored wisdom that will be hand holds for you as you climb through this crevasse. 'Remember' is a great OT word. Remember what you know, what you have seen. Each of you are in rehab since the stroke because all four were impacted. Praying for each one, Toben, Joanne, Audrey, Emma. The Mighty One is in your midst. (Zeph 3). You are greatly loved.
Elizabeth in Idaho

Kimberly M.

Praying for you and your family. Had an extended prayer session for you today.


Hi Joanne:

I have followed this blog since your stroke, as we all began to pray for you way back then. I hear your tired heart and mind in these words. I am so sure I would be the same. What both you and I know is that God does not mean for your life to be like this forever. He has saved your life for much more than where you are right now. I feel so sure that another chapter is ahead, for you and Toben and your girls. It's been a long dry desert, but... GOD! I will keep praying for all of you, and I am sure all of our prayers are being heard. It's for sure that when something happens to one of us, it happens to our entire family. There is a lot of love in your home, and you just keep 'pleading the promises of God'. It's all we have, and He is enough. You just wait... there is good coming. Prayer is not just words, it changes things. I am waiting with you for some of those changes. He hath said!


Sue M

Thinking of you and hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel soon.


I just found you through a Google search for a teacher-related question, which led me to a blog called Flibbertigibberish, where I clicked the button with your name...all of that to say, I know I found you for a reason and will be praying for you!

hugs, Chrissy



I was so happy to read a blog post from you yet I am sorry for the troubles that you are going through.
I have your name written above Psalm 46 in my Bible. I continue to pray this Psalm over you.

Many hugs and prayers

Jen Medeiros



I am glad to see your update though sad to witness your pain.

I hesitate to post this, but perhaps it would be of some use to you or Audrey:

My dad died very unexpectedly, about two years ago. I was really close to him and have had a very hard time coping with his death. One of the hardest parts has been establishing a new relationship with my mom. Though I love her, we were never as close as I was to my dad, and in some ways I blamed her for his death even though it was not her fault.

Mostly, interacting with her reminds me of what's been lost. It's not fair to either of us, but it is what it is. And while limited contact is really all I can manage (civilly!) at this point, it makes me sad for both of us, because the loss of my dad is compounded by the difficulties it's introduced in our relationship. Knowing that doesn't make it easier for me relate to my mom, though. Neither do the well-meaning friends who point out that I'm not being fair, that my mom is trying, that losing her too won't make me miss my dad any less. And that's because I KNOW all of those things. I just can't act on them yet.

If any of this is similar to how Audrey is feeling, then maybe it will help her a little to know that she's not the only one.

I wish you, Audrey, and Toben and Emma the very best, and wish this wasn't such a hard time for all of you. -- JG

Donna Boschma

Joanne--i am pretty sure you do not remember me--You and Toben were at Mission Community in AZ for a time--that is where I met you. I decided to check the blog this morning while sipping on my coffee. My heart breaks for you and Toben and the girls. I have been praying for you all day off and on--when God brings you to mind. Just know you and your family are on my mind and in my prayers

Holding it all lightly
Donna Boschma


Joanne, today I was putting some books back on my bookshelf and as my eyes scanned over the books sitting there on my shelves I saw your book 'Living Simply'. I realized it had been a long time since I checked in on your blog. Actually it's been a long time since I've read any blogs. But, I was curious about how you were doing, how your recovery is going. So, I stopped in today & saw this post. I am so sorry that life has so many challenges right now. And, I will be lifting you and your family up in prayer. May you be blessed & sustained by our Mighty God...the Great I Am.


You have been on my mind recently, just wondering how you've been doing. Also remembered the pictures we took of our charm bracelets for your encouragement - and I took the opportunity of sending a snowman charm bracelet to my friend who had surgery for breast cancer on the day you posted this. So hope you know that you continue to encourage others.


Joanne, I know that all of our compassion and love for you still pale by comparison to that of our great God and Maker......the One Who orchestrates and controls both the wonderful and the horrible. He knows we don't have the answers for your situation nor for many of our own. But we do, however, know what He's promised. We know His heart for us and His faithful, flawless purposes and timing. Only He can reach through the debilitating pain and despair that wracks His children. Joanne, this will not be for nothing. He is not ignoring your cries and ours on your behalf. We care so much about you, sister and will be faithful in bringing you before the Lord to find help in your time of great need.

Fran Shea

Joanne, here it is December 19th and I am just reading this! I started following you right when Beth Moore notified us of your stroke. So I feel like I've only known of you in continuous recovery mode. I have learned the stark realitiy of what a dramatic life event brings with it over time. I have seen both joyful posts and in the pit posts. But every post reminds me that we all need to continue to lean into Gods loving embrace and let him carry us. Your comments about your daughters reminded me of my struggles with mine. As Beth would say we are siestas in that for sure! But I will pray specifically for your needs and those of your family right now! Keep writing or dictating when you can!


Dear Sweet Joanne,
As I was contemplating the upcoming new year, I was remembering doing Memory Mondays with you. I rarely check in here at the blog because...well, I missed your voice so terribly. As much as I'd appreciated Toben's efforts to keep this blog functioning I just missed "Never Met In Real Life" friend...the friend who taught me to memorize scripture with my kids, to practice advent, to make iced coffee. But, when I checked in today...and read your heart and in "your voice" my heart cried. I went to my knees for you...and I apologize for not being more faithful to do so. God is the Only One Faithful and True...ABLE to lift our heads. I love you dearly...but God loves you so SO much more!



So good to hear from you, though I'm sorry for the reasons we haven't heard from you sooner. We pray for you at least twice a day and am glad to know some specifics on how we can better be praying for you and your family.

Just the other night, I was thinking about you and was reminded that your theme for the year just prior to your stroke was "Love." It made me wonder if you have a theme or word for this upcoming year?

Erin Koss

Thank you for sharing, Joanne. I am grateful for your honest words. Parenting is hard under the best of circumstances. Adding insult to injury has got to be so overwhelming at times. Hang on to the strong God who has us in His palm. Mine are 14 (boy) and 12 (girl). 😉


Thanks so much for writing, Joanne. I have followed your blog since 2006/2007 - the first blog I ever read! Now I think reading blogs is a big part of my life... thanks for introducing me!

I think of you often, and have missed hearing your updates. I've been reading through Living Simply again. That is how I first found your blog - as a Junior in college looking for some simplicity - it takes on a new message as I am now a wife and mom, thinking what kind of home and life I want for our family.

I don't really have words to say for the heartache, physical and emotional pain that you are your family are facing right now. How I wish we could go back and change that January day! (I was going to say two years ago, but now I am thinking three years ago??)

I'm so, so sorry for all that you and your family are facing... :( Thanks for updating!


Maybe someone can get this to you.

I Love you. What I write next I do so that you are not alone. I am a private person and have not done this before. I followed your blog for a long time and have saved the emails we shared to each other.

In 2005 Our Pastor used to tell me my spirit was perfect. He was counseling me on being ill. I was very active in church and was pretty sure as my illness progressed I would no longer be one of the churches intercessors I would now be on the prayer list. It became that and more. I had a very hard time not being able to get to church. I still do. Today I have hope I can get there.

I knew and told him at the time that the illness would progress and I was terrified. People talk about fear. Not me I was terrified. For the first time in my life.

I was an independent woman, educated, loved the Lord, happily married, creative, handmade gifts, a great baker, trying for a family of our own. I could not accept or understand loosing just about everything. Even my ability to do basic math with a calculator I get confused.

Terrified of becoming dependent on others
Sad that there would be no children
Terrified buying my first wheel chair, which I have to be pushed in
I lost memory of all my memorized bible verses
Having my husband work full time, cook for me, bathe me, do the laundry, etc and worrying that it was too much to ask of any man. He is human and had physical limits.

I used to blame myself for my illness and the progression of it which was rare. It started at 32, now 40 I see things differently. I no longer blame myself. It is for me God's Will. I do not understand why. I no longer try to understand. Our marriage is over 17 years and is stronger than ever. I have crying and sleeplessness that goes on for days. There have been times I have felt like my entire body would just crack. My heart had in 2005. I still have more testing to do at a university hospital. I am currently so ill they can not do the tests.

Dear Sister in Christ I have been and will continue to pray for you, your family, your girls. I found grace, faith, gratitude at an entire new level. My perspective changed. The things that mattered before make me laugh now. I used to concern myself with trivial things, how clean was the kitchen. Would they like the handmade quilt I was giving them. I hear someone complain about their child or having to go to work and I think if only they knew how blessed they are.

I am blessed. I am grateful. I love the Lord and say thank you and I still do not understand. I am alive today. If I make it through today I am thrilled. Everyday is a gift and I try to enjoy every moment. Even not being able myself to pack our home to sell it because I fall and then stairs are a challenge. Plus so is the packing. I am unable to clean my own home.

The update to me was beautiful. It was honest and sincere. I am glad you updated us. We love you just as you are, right now. Big hug

I hope this is ok to write, I want to share my journey because you are not alone. NO JUDGEMENT, ONLY LOVE.


I have no words of encouragement. No words of explanation. No words of joy. I am at a loss. But I weep with you. I weep for your loss, for your despair. And I pray for faith and hope and assurance. And freedom from fear and for the return of joy.


The most heartbreaking sentence in this post is that you have very little interaction with your daughters per their request. Something about that is just so sad and wrong. I have 2 daughters and cannot imagine the pain. I am going to pray for complete restoration of your relationship.


The spell cast by [] made wonders, if you have search for a powerful spell caster to restore relationship and they have all failed you then i will advise you to run to robinson buckler, call him and you will have your lover back
Jennifer USA.

Rick Simpson

I am Rick Simpson, Am out to notify you all that my cannabis oil is now out to get your cancer cured. The only email you will contact is ( ricksimpson_phoenixtears (@yahoo) .com, fix email to normal to contact to know you are not a spammer or scamer ) every-other email is not approved by me as it is only the above email that is been used to be posting on blogs. This cannabis oil will cure you of your cancer in just four days or at-most two weeks as it is as powerful as that. The oil is with my trusted doctor called Dr Johnny Haban, As during my research to get permanent cure to cancer he was there for me all the way and did not start lying that the cure is out when is not out like one of my agent that use to operate my face book page that was lying that the cure is out and was sending fake that can not cure cancer out just to start earning money for himself and thank God he was caught at the early stage by the FBI agents. I personally is out now to let you all in the world know that the only email you must contact is ( ricksimpson_phoenixtears (@yahoo) .com, fix email to normal to contact to know you are not a spammer or scamer ) and the person that will be responding to you is by name Dr Johnny Haban, PHD and the cannabis oil is of three types which are GOOD / BETTER / BEST. They are categorized in that form. But let it be know to you that if you contact the above email which is the only email and approved email by me, Dr Johnny Haban will attend to you and let you know how you will get the oil and it is scam / spammer free if you only contact the above email. Trust him and work with him to curing your cancer as he is my agent and trusted doctor of mine that don’t lie. I wish you all sound health as my cannabis oil is the best of it kind which you all already know and are aware off. Please beware of duplicate comment of this as all this spammers / scammers will just edit it and change the name and email. please beware. Rick Simpson tells the world.


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