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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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Stopping now to spend some concerted time in prayer. Thanks for allowing us the privilege of standing in the gap.

Julie Price

Praying for you, Joanne, your girls and the doctors. Also praying miracles for Joanne . . . no lasting trauma or effects of the stroke and brain swelling.

Our God can move mountains!

God Bless!


Praying for good outcomes and the peace that passes all understanding as you move into the next phase of Joanne's recovery.

Marla Taviano

We love you guys so much. We won't stop praying, friend. Thank you for taking the time and energy to let us know how our sweet Joanne is doing!

Barb Motyka

Praying for all of you, and will keep on praying...
Barb in CNY


Prayers will keep flowing up to heaven.
Kindra in DC

Ria@Life as a Wife!

Praying from MN! Joanne is such a sweet a woman and what a blessing to have you sharing updates. Praying for STRENGTH in your weakness and that God's wisdom would be thick in that hospital room. Blessings!!


I just found out about Joanne a few days ago via the miracle of cyberspace and bloggy land. I never "met" her before then, but God has His timing! As I browsed her blog to kind of "get to know her" a bit, I was struck by the fact that like me, she is married to someone with bipolar disorder. I clicked on the link to "Our Crazy Marriage" and immediately knew that Joanne was a kindred spirit. So I have definitely been praying for her ever since. Not only that, but I have a special prayer in my heart for you, dear Toben. My prayer is that God keep you in His special care during this very stressful time, that you have good support and that God give you His strength to keep you strong. I know how it is when disruptions can throw off balance, which I'm sure you know is especially sensitive for the bipolar patient. Continuing to pray for everyone involved.


Continuing to pray!

lisa walker

Your entire family is covered in prayer...for today and for the future. Only God knows how many times a day Joanne is lifted up in prayer, but know in your heart it has to be an incredibly big number! It is an amazing blessing to be able to pray for Joanne, you and your children. Thanks for letting those of us who don't know you in on the specific prayer requests you feel. As the next days go on, know that I will be praying 2Corinthians 12:9 for you all.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness".
Praying in Atlanta.

Molly Fuglseth

Prayers from MN. Praying for complete recovery for Joanne. Praying for comfort for you and your children. Take one day at a time.
Take Care.


You have been on my heart so much lately. Praying that rest over you. Deep rest even when awake.

Hugs and prayers from TN!


So glad the morning started off well with the girls! Praying the day ends as well as it started for them.

Yesterday I stumbled upon your "Our Crazy Marriage" blog, and found something that brought me to tears. This was so inspiring, especially during this time in my life. It spoke to my very soul. Then it dawned on me ... it might be comforting to YOU to read these words again:


Entrust your loved ones to Me. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.

Sometimes you confuse loving others with rescuing them. When a loved one has a problem, you often feel responsible to come up with a solution. Then you plunge headlong into problem-solving mode, as if you're obligated to provide sound advice. I want to help you stop feeling responsible to fix people since that is My role--not yours.

It is My prerogative to bring about change in people's lives as I choose to do so. You can be part of the process, but remember that I am the Author and Director of the drama. You need to follow My script rather than creating your own. Do not usurp My role in people's lives, no matter how much you long to help them.

When you feel compelled to rescue a loved one, take a good look at the quality of your love. Learn from Me, because I have all authority in heaven and on earth: I could rescue or control anyone at will. Yet I intentionally created people with the capacity to choose good or evil. I wanted them to be free to love Me--or not. Love that has no choice is not real!

Subordinate your deficient, controlling love to My perfect, empowering Love. Prayerfully release your loved ones into My protective care. Restrain your urges to solves their problems. Instead, use your time and energy to listen to them and pray for them. Trust in My Love and My unsearchable wisdom. I can work changes in your loved ones' lives beyond anything you might ask or imagine. As you release these precious ones to Me, linger awhile in My unfailing love--for them and also for you.

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me." (Matthew 28:18)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm 143:8)"

You and your family are never far from my thoughts, and always in my prayers.

~Michelle from Cincinnati, Ohio

Kristy Reed

You don't know me... but I'm praying for you from Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Your friend in Christ,
Kristy Reed


Lifting you all up in prayer. The Lord is with you. Let him minister to you. Please know that I am holding Joanne in prayer. I know, this is a difficult time.


Still praying for Joanne's full recovery, and for all of you--that you would feel God's presence lifting you up when you physically and emotionally can't go on in your own strength.

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)

Karene in California

Amanda J.

I'm praying hard for Joanne and for your whole family. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I pray God will show you His faithfulness is a big way today.

Amy in So Cal

Following via No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane....Joanne, You, your precious girls and your family and friends are all in my daily thoughts and prayers. Your posts have brought me to tears....thank you for sharing and allowing us to help during this time. Bless you.


I continue to pray for your sweet family. Thank you for the updates.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end: they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Bloggy friend from CA


Praying endurance for all of you


Oh my, Toben. I learned about Joanne from some blogging friends and will commit to pray for all of you. I was just about to post about Joanne's "Sharing a good word" entry over at Our Crazy Marriage and the piece from the book on "Control". Lo and behold, Melissa posted it just a bit before me. I wanted to bring it back to your mind as well. However, as I read those words, I realized they are also for me.

My husband and I are going on our 7th month of being unemployed. It is not as easy thing to go through and I have done my share of complaining. When I read about Joanne, it put things in perspective for me.

I will continue to pray for you all. For strength and rest. For God's peace to wash over you like a fresh spring rain.

Mary Lou

Prayed as you requested. Will continue to pray here in TN..God is in control of it ALL. She is being held by His righteous right hand...


God heal this family. Keep their spirts high to you for all to see and hear. Praise be with them.


I just wanted to leave a comment and let you know that I am praying for you guys, and that this journey you are on right now has a special place in my heart. You see, I am a new Pediatric ICU nurse, and since January 14th I've been taking care of a patient in a VERY SIMILAR situation. So although I don't understand what it's like to have someone you love dealing with this, I do understand the ICP...the CT scans...the pentobarb...the EEG. All of these things are in the forefront of my mind as I care for my patient in the same situation. As I take care of my patient, I pray for him, and I also pray for Joanne, knowing that she is dealing with the same things. And as I pray for my patient's family, I lift you up to our Father as well.


Amanda Jones

I just found this blog from a link on Angie Smith's blog and am praying for your family. What a trial to endure...praying for peace for all of you.
I read back a ways and saw that Joanne grew up at Village Seven. My husband's grandfather, Bill Leonard, is the founding pastor of that church. My husband and his brothers also grew up going to Denver Christian schools...small world.


Hi Toben,
I have been the German best friend and sister in soul of Maribeth from Meredith since 10 years and I have heart about what happened. I am with you in my thoughts and I pray for your family and Joanne.
We don´t know each other but please be sure there is someone in Germany who thinks on you and your family an I keep crossed my fingers for everything will get well :-)


Toben, when my little girl was in the hospital at the end of December, a dear brother in Christ texted me this verse as we waited in prayer:
"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power SO THAT YOUR FAITH MIGHT NOT REST ON MEN'S (doctors) WISDOM BUT ON GOD'S POWER" 1Corinthians 2:5

I know God has gifted doctors with knowledge and wisdom and we certainly need to mindful and respectful of them, we also know that Jesus is in the business of MIRACLES and so we will trust in His healing and miraculous works!!!

Leslie Wright

Praying here in MT, for Joanne, for you and for your girls.


Hoping for a good outcome, that Joanne has no lasting trauma or effects of the stroke. My thought are with you, your girls and Joanne. This is indeed an emotionally draining time. I wish you and your family lots of strength for the next couple of days.




toben - i found out about joanne's condition via beth moore's lpm website. i don't know either of you but am drawn to you, your vulnerability and willingness to share so openly. your trust in god is evident...your love of him sure and deep. he will hold you up and as the body of christ continues to envelope you in prayer support. i have been memorizing this verse from exodus 14:14 "the lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (niv) i know he is fighting for joanne, your girls, you, the whole family as you journey through these circumstances. i'm praying for you...and that peace will come to you in midst of all of it. continue to hang tough... you're doing an incredible job so far and being an outstanding example of living out your faith.


I know you know we are praying, but know we are praying without ceasing and that your family is never far from our thoughts. Praying this transition goes smoother than expected.


Lifting you up in prayer. Praying that God will grant you wisdom and courage in the days ahead and rest when you are weary. It is priviledge to pray for all of you.


Praying for your sweet wife. She inspired one of my closest friends. My friend was killed in a car accident on her way home from Dalhart, TX on December 26th, just a few weeks ago. I will continue on in prayers for you.


I just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for all of you and hoping for the very best. Tricia


‎"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance to God's will." (Romans 8:26-27)

Praying for your requests and asking the spirit to intercede for you in this emotional journey.

Tammy Stephens

We are praying here in SC. ~Tammy

Tammy Snyder

Toben and Family~I pray that God will give each of you such a peace and a reassurance of His love. You, Joanne and your daughters are special to Him and to many others that you have touched with your honesty and your generous spirits.

Janet (JayCee) Cline

Prayers from St. Louis, Missouri....

Heather Griffing

I found this through the "Keeping Up with Katie" blog -- so moved by your situation and am praying for God's hand on your family and this situation. It gives me strength to see that even in the most unthinkable of situations God gives us strength beyond comprehension. God will work through Joanne and your family, no matter the outcome, this struggle and hardship is not in vain. Praying fervently for her recovery and for your families endurance during this season.

yanna westmoreland

I will pray specifically in the morning during my hour of prayer walk for all of your mentioned request as well asking God to give you peace and refuge under His wings. Thank you for the updates so that those of us like me, who only know Joanne via cyberspace can pray as one with all of you. I am a prayer warrior who will not cease in Bryan, Texas.

Pam Houston

So many all around the world are fighting the good fight of faith with you, your girls, the family and Joanne albeit from afar. May you receive supernatural stamina and emotional and spiritual strength that cannot be explained so you will be empowered to go the distance in this marathon for Joannes life. We are praying a hedge of protection around your heart and mind. All any of us can do is trust and obey. She is in God's hands. Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to keep we "prayer warriors" informed. You are quite a man of God, exampling and soldiering it out for the love of your life. "I am my beloveds and my beloveds is mine...." Song of Songs 6:3


Praying your entire family is blessed BEYOND MEASURE.
Praying the girls had a GREAT day at school today.
Blessings to all of you,
Isaiah 41:10
Psalm 46:10


We are continuing to pray for you and your precious family.

Amy Hawk in Hood River

Last week I heard a testimony about a lady who had a stroke, and when her recovery process was complete, it was as though she had never had the stroke, except that she was closer to God. I grabbed that testimony and spoke it out (in the spirit) over Joanne. Sweet Jesus, we believe You for a true miracle of complete and total restoration for Your sweet princess Joanne. I pray for the girls, that school would be a welcoming and blessed distraction. I pray for Toben that he would continue to draw close to You and lean on Your faithfulness. Phil 4:4-7 Your friend, Amy in Oregon

From Canada

Praying from Canada for your whole family. May the God of All Comfort be your constant source of peace.

Thy Hand

I'm still praying for you all and on behalf of your family. May God reach down and touch each of you in the areas you need it most.

Kathleen Jaeger

Still praying, not commenting often. You all are on my mind a lot and wanted you to know.


Prayers and love from Ireland as always - especially praying for your babies as they face the world of school!


Continuing to pray throughout the day, every day for all of you and asking God for a miracle for Joanne.

Sharon - Ontario Canada

Praying for God's strength and wisdom to carry and guide you, and that you will feel surrounded by His love.


Still praying in Texas and will continue to pray for a miracle for Joanne and the whole family!


I will pray that Joanne will come out of her coma and pray for you all as she does. It was a hard reality for me to face with my husband but know that however she is doing when she wakes up that is not the end result. Remind yourself that it is a marathon recovery as they say. We were well into a year before I felt I really had my husband back although he was home just two months after his brain injury. I can't even pinpoint when I had him back but it did happen. Just keep praying, keeping faith and trusting God to carry you through each day. He will.


Holding you and your sweet family up in prayer here too. I am the mom of two daughters (in their 20's) and I find myself thinking of your girls and praying for them many times throughout the day. His grace is sufficient and I pray you feel that especially today.


Praying for you all that God's mercies will be fresh for you. May you feel Him so close and reviving and refreshing you for each minute ahead.


This is my first time visiting Joanne's blog. It breaks my heart that this has happened to her and your family. Please know you have my prayers.


Praying for you and your entire family from Tennessee - May God continue to cover your family with the peace and strength

Julie Reynolds

Continuing to pray for Joanne & for you and the girls. Cant wait to hear about the girls day at school. I just know God did something special for them today! Toben thanks so much for keeping us updated and know that we will take each of your request and pray specifically. May God bless you and overwhelm you with His faithfulness during this time


It's a privilege to pray for Joanne and your family. Trusting God with you for a miracle for Joanne!


I began following Joanne's blog when I read on Beth Moore's blog about her stroke. All of you have been on my heart and I just want you to know that I have been praying for Joanne and the rest of your family.

Thank you for all the updates so that we can continue to pray.


Praying, Praying, Praying! I am believing God for great things and standing in agreement with so many others for Joanne's healing, your continued strength and encouragement, and the girls success in school! Please continue the updates so I know how to pray specifically!


Praying comfort, peace, rest & healing over all of you.
Zeph 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

Becky K.

You remain in our prayers here in Lancaster County, PA!

Kim Feth

Praying for you and the girls and family to have endurance, patience, and grace. Praying for Joanne to have such a miracle healing that it could have only come from God!
Kim Feth
Apex, NC


Praying in Oklahoma for your family.

Erin Koss

Continuing to pray for you and your family over these next critical days.

Erin in Eugene, OR

Lana D

In Sugar Land Texas and praying.


Praying for your family.
Amazed by your strength.
Inspired by your faith.
Believing in God's timing.

Love and prayers to you all.


Still praying for you all both specifically and without words (Rom. 8:26-27) ...and especially today - that the school wrapped their collective arms around the girls just as our Saviour does. Praying rest for you tonight and wakefulness and clarity for Joanne in His perfect time.


Praying that the Lord will sustain you all, and that he would miraculously heal Joanne. Lifting the girls also, for the first day in school to be warm and welcoming. Bless you all!

Helen at A Work of Heart

I can't thank you enough for mustering strength to keep us provides some connection for us and I pray that it provides you a necessary outlet as well.

Wait for the LORD,
be strong, and let
your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Psalm 27: 14

Praying that as you all wait that God would give you abundant and necessary strength as well as courage.

Portland, Oregon


Thank you for letting us know your specific prayer requests, I'll be praying them tonite for you. Elaine in Missouri


Praying for you and your family.


So very touched by your story!!! Praying much for Joanne, the girls& you:) I do not know you, but you are in the family of God, so that makes us His beloved! praying His miracles to be known for all of you Zeph.3:17 ......


So very touched by your story!!! Praying much for Joanne, the girls& you:) I do not know you, but you are in the family of God, so that makes us His beloved! praying His miracles to be known for all of you Zeph.3:17 ......

Theresa Roach

I am praying daily! I hope that your girls came home with smiles and new friends! Hugs to all of you and continuted prayers that all of your needs are met and prayers answered! Theresa


So very touched by your story!!! Praying much for Joanne, the girls& you:) I do not know you, but you are in the family of God, so that makes us His beloved! praying His miracles to be known for all of you Zeph.3:17 ......

Ed & Janie

Hope the Audrey & Emma had a wonderful school day!!!:o)
Your entire families are in our hearts & thoughts.
We continue to pray for All of You.
Thank you Toben, for daily updates. Altho miles apart, We are with you All...Believe!!!!!


Continued Prayer.Hope the girls had a good day at school. Thanks for keeping us updated.

Denise Arvidson From Denver Christian

Never have stopped! You got
ItmToben.... Will continue to pray through out the day for Joanne, you, the girls and family!


You, Joanne and the family are in my thoughts and prayers, to give you all the strength to overcome the obstacles that each of you face now and in the days to come.


Often praying for Joanne and the rest of your family! Anything is possible with God! ♥

Tonya Vander

We just received and email about your wife. Our hearts go out to you. Our family had similar situation when my husband was in an chemical induced coma due to a car accident in Florida. As we have walked this out, I can say God is faithful.
May He give you the wisdom, love, and hope for each day. May his angels protect your little ones at school.
I will stop by regularly to see updates.
the Vander Family


Praying in NC.


Still praying here in VA....
One of my prayers is a selfish prayer, I think, but to be able to look into her eyes again and tell her 'thank you for all you do' and that 'we love her' is one that I am asking for.
You, the girls, and Joanne are loved so!!

Julie Hoagland

Praying for the needs you listed and more. Praying for Audrey and that she will settle in and love being at school. Praying for complete healing and recovery. Praying for strength and peace for you and the whole family during Joanne's recovery process. Praying she wakes; swelling stays low and vitals stay normal.

Praying comfort, peace, rest, love, patience, kindness, stamina, endurance and provision for you Toben.

Julie Hoagland - Seattle, WA


I did not know of you or your family until January 13 when a friend posted this link on facebook. I've been praying everyday. What a blessing watching you glorify God as you go through this unbelievably difficult situation. I will continue to pray that God gives you extra strength to sustain you through your physical and emotional exhaustion, and I'm also praying for your daughters as they adjust to a new school.

Sherry - Delavan, IL

Alyssa W.


Deborah Shipes

I'm praying for you all! God is ABLE to heal, He is the Great Physician, He is our Healer!!! Praying for strength for you all!!! Thank you for the updates! God bless you & your family!


Your posts are lovely, thoughtful and thank you for letting us pray for you all. This morning our family prayed for continued healing and for your daughters to adjust fully to school and new routines. We will pray that Joanne opens her eyes soon and for emotional strength for all those standing by her side. Praying also for you and the girls to have endurance as you all run this race.

Blessings to you and the family,

a family in Oregon


Oh Jesus, please hear these prayers...praying from Texas.


Father God,

I ask that you bring peace and good health to mind, body and spirit for this family. Father we may not always like or understand your plan, but even through dark hours we know that your plan is perfect, even though it takes us a while to get to that conclusion sometimes.

Father, I ask that you guide the hands of all the care givers that are taking care of Joanne. I ask that you guide their hearts, hands and minds to provide the best care for Joanne so she can make a full recovery.

Father please be with Joanne's family bring peace to their spirits, allow them to feel your arms around them through this time. Allow them to know that you are thier shelter and Joanne's as well. I lift them up to you because they really need you. Please be with the girls during this time to help them through. Allow them to grow, accept and see them through this rough time. Allow them to excel at school and make lasting friendships. Allow them to see good can come out of bad. Allow them to have a positive attitude and maintain it.

Father, I lift up Toben as well. Give him the strenghth to travel with Joanne through this. Give him the power to balance, give him the peace to get through this time so he can be the husband and father while at the same time processing all that has occurred.

Finally Father I ask that Joanne's recovery be a quick one. That the swelling in her brain stays down. I ask that through all of her healing that all of the family, doctor's, nurses and friends see you. I call Joanne healed in your name and thank you in advance for this blessing. In Jesus Holy name AMEN.


Please check this out,

I saw this directly after I first heard of your family and it has been on my heart to share it with you. I do not believe in coincidence and I find it interesting that literally right after I left this blog for the first time, the first thing I see is this. It may be nothing, but who knows it may help.

I also wanted to share this verse with you it always helps me through hard times, to remind me.

II Corinthians 4:7-9

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.


Fasting and praying today...


I know what it is like to have your life change in an have a healthy, full of life family member and then things change so quickly catching us off guard. How wonderful to think that while the changes in life may catch us by surprise they never come as a surprise to our God who loves us so much. How thankful to know that Jesus is not smaller just because our circumstances are greater. I read of Joanne on Beth Moore's blog and have been praying ever since and every time God brings her to mind. 1 Cor 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. Love and prayers from Nebraska.


Prayers and hope from Massachusetts to you and your family.

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