My Photo

Nice to meet you

  • 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!

Subscribe to my blog

  • Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

Powered by Rollyo

« What a day | Main | Boxing Gloves »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


My thoughts and prayers are with you all . I am sending you all strength and hugs. i don't know you all but my heart is heavy and thoughts are with you. Love, Julie In Indiana


Praying for Joanne in Alabama!

Dori Cook

My prayer for you and your girls today has been a Joshua 1 kind of prayer: Do not be afraid, be strong and very courageous!

Unwavering prayers and love to you all,

Dori in Tennessee

Ron and Kim Cahalan

We are praying for your family. With 4 kids of our own, we can only imagine the emotions. May God bless you and touch you with healing hands. Ron and Kim


Different circumstances, but I've been where you are and can so relate to the pain you, as Joanne's beloved, are suffering right now. My heart goes out to you both as I lift each of you up in prayer. May the Great Physician place His healing hand upon Joanne and restore her health completely, and may the Holy Spirit fill you with peace, strength and courage as you remember that our merciful Lord is in complete control. WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. Matthew 19:26


Praying for Joanne in Georgia.


Holding Joanne up in prayer, God's blessings on your family.

Sarah Atkinson

Praying for Joanne constantly--as well as for you, the girls, her parents and sister, and the doctors taking care of her. Thinking of you all nonstop.

Lisa Morrone

So broken for your family...remaining in prayer.
Thank you for the updates they keep our prayers focused.


Toben, please give that big brave daughter of yours, Audrey, a HUGE TEXAS Size hug from me and let her know that I am so very proud of her and I know that her mommy is too.
Much Love and Constant prayers from Texas.


Karen Pudelski

Prayers for you and your family from Harvest, AL. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength!

John and Nicole Helmstetler


Our prayers are certainly with you, Joanne, your children, and the rest of your family. Praying for wisdom for the doctors, healing for Joanne, strength for you, and the peace of our Lord for all of you. God is with you.

Always in Christ,

John and Nicole Helmstetler
Mission Community Church, Gilbert


I am praying for all of you. I've been reading Joanne's blog for quite a while now. She has been such an encouragement to so many people. May God give you strength as you minister to her and to those beautiful, precious girls.
In Him,

Michelle V

Continuing the constant prayers here in TX!


with tears in my eyes... I am wishing strength for you and must credit Audrey's resilience to what wonderful parents you are. What a beautiful soul you've raised! I'm afraid I've skewed your page views a bit, as I can't resist checking for news..

Your family has hold of so many hearts - as we all sit in wait for news of improvement. Be well, Toben. Be strong, Audrey & Emma. Be a miracle, Joanne.

p.s. Joanne, I thought of you while starting a fire & promptly filling the house with smoke this morning. ;)

Melissa Thacker

Continuing to pray in Ohio...


Isaiah 41:10
"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Thinking especially of Audrey as I type this verse. What a strong, brave girl! My heart goes out to Emma as well...


Prayers for strength and healing from California


Praying in Tennessee


Praying in West Virginia!

Kristin Bradner

Praying for you in a little town in Penhook, VA. May God sheltor all of you in this time of need. Praying for a full recovery.

Jen Abbas de Jong

Toben and Joanne,
I am so, so sorry your family has to face this battle. My family is praying for yours constantly.

Toben, I don't know if you remember me, but I sustained a brain injury not long after I started working with YS at Z. It's been an extraordinarily slow recovery, and though ultimately, it became clear that I couldn't work anymore, my life has found a new normal that is beautiful in its own slow, quiet way. My prayer for you is the courage to embrace each new day you are given, in no matter what shape or form it takes, and eyes to see the miracle of each step in Joanne's road to recovery. My husband has been the greatest help in my own healing and I know that you are and will continue to be a healing agent in Joanne's life.


Sending prayers and love from Michigan.

Joanne C

Our family has been thinking of yours since we heard the news. I had to face the same scene as Audrey when I was 30. I know what a shock it is to walk into that kind of room as an adult; can't imagine having to do it at 12. It was very difficult but I needed to be there with my dad...I understand why she feels the same about her mom. Much love to you all and continued prayers for Joanne's full recovery.

Erin Koss

Thank you for the updates. They can't be easy, but they are appreciated for those of us far and wide who have come to think of you as family. I am continuing to pray for the doctors who are treating J and for your family. that is one (I'm sure two) amazing girl.

Erin in Oregon


I linked to this blog a couple days ago after the call to prayer on the Beth Moore blog. I have been checking back and appreciate the updates. How amazing is our God to connect us in a prayer covering for your family. Through the reports you receive and the pain in your hearts, He is with you never leaving or forsaking His own. May you sense his presence and may each day bring a healing miracle from our Father.
With heartfelt prayers,
Kathie (near Seattle)

Doug Petersen

We are in constant prayer for Joanne and your family. Your family has touched so many lives and I feel so honored to be able to have you and Joanne as my friend. As I read the posts that friends and family have sent to you, I can see the impact that your family has had on so many others as well.
Love you brother!

Audrey Walker

Praying in the mountains for your entire family! (No, you don't know us...just friends of Holly Smith)

~Audrey Walker

p.s. Hang in there, Audrey, your presence means so much to your mom....


Toben, We are a family in Littleton and found your wife's blog via a friend. My heart aches for all of you. This is so close to us, as a family friend is currently enduring the same scenario. She is a mom of two little ones (6 and 4). She seized on Dec. 3rd and is just now slowly coming out of her induced choma. They live in H. Ranch. We will pray diligently for your sweet Joanne, just as we pray for our friend Heather. God is good...and although we do not know or understand His ways, He is faithful and may Glory be to Him throughout!


Praying for you, because I know it is the best thing I can do.

Corey in Idaho


Continued prayers from Canada.

Barb Motyka

Thank you for taking the time to update us, in the middle of all that your family is going through. Continued prayers for Joanne and her amazing family.
Barb from CNY

Gina Rigdon

Prayers for all of you from Jacksonville, Florida.
The Lord bless you and keep you...

Gina Rigdon

Sharon Brumfield

Holly is a sweet blogger friend of mine and has been keeping us updated on FB concerning your wife and the changes taking place. It was sweet of her to let us know where your wife's blog was so that we can come by and comment and read your updates.
And although I did not know your wife before this....I do know that she is my sister in Christ and what touches her touches me.
So I want you to know that prayers for Joanne and all of your sweet family are going up to the Father from the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina.
We love you and we are praying.


Praying in Virginia. Our God is mighty!

Lysa and Bruce Barrell, Colorado Springs

Toben, we are praying for Joanne and your family, and we don't even know you (although my husband Bruce, mentions that he may have met you). We are friends with Andrea and Steve Vidano (and attended FBC a decade ago), and Andrea told us about, and asked us to pray for, Joanne. May God bless you with a supernatural peace, that can only come from him, and God, please heal Joanne. God, we implore you to restore her and return her to her husband and children. Father God, we can see your handprints all over this situation and we know that you do still perform miracles each and everyday. When the time is right, Lord, open Joanne's eyes and show the doctors that the healing is from You. To You, Lord, be the glory.


Toben, I don't know you or your precious wife and kids but I work in Christian publishing and learned about what has happened to Joanne. I am praying for your family and for God's peace during this time. Appreciate the time you're taking to write these updates. May God be glorified in all. God's blessings to all of you.

Debbie in Illinois


What a beautiful sight to imagine....Audrey expressing so much love with her mom...yet I know very difficult.

I continue to pray for Joanne and all of you.
(a bloggy friend from CA)

Thank you so much for the updates.....I check in quite frequently.

Donna J

I just found your wifes blog recently. Clicked back on today, after several days away and was blown away by the news. I will be praying for your entire family. What a lot to deal with. May the Lord bless you all with strength, courage, stamina, awesome medical care and love.

Marla Taviano

Bless you for taking the time to update, Toben. Crying tears for Audrey, so thankful God gave her the strength to go back in. We love you all so much!


Thoughts and prayers are with your family and Joanne!


Praying in Castle Rock.

Julie Reynolds

Continuing to lift you all up to our Father. Praying and believing for Joanne's complete healing. Also asking our loving Father to continue to guard the hearts of the girls and give them strength. You are all loved and prayed for in Alabama.


Fellow siesta from over at Beth Moore's blog. Lifting all of you in prayer from Nebraska. May God continue to give you all strength and courage and hold you in the palm of His hand.

Lynn Donovan


Thank you for updating us on Joanne's progress. We are praying for you here in California. For your children and for Joanne. Peace, healing and hope.


Praying in Seattle. And, Toben, please no worries about a "late" update on Twitter. I'm sure I speak for many when I say that we're humbled that you would take the time to give as many updates as you have. I am a speech therapist who has worked with many post-stroke survivors. I've seen miracles, Toben. And our God is so big.


Love and Prayers. I also saw in Psalm 45, vs 13, that I believe the Lord would say of Joanne...

"The King's daughter is all glorious within"


Praying continuously here in Northern Colorado.


We are praying for Joanne in Portland. May the Lord bless and keep all of you in His perfect peace. May He bring mighty healing.


praying here in northern wisconsin.


Praying that God wraps His arms around ya'll and gives you the comfort, peace and strength that ya'll need. We will continue to pray for the entire family as well as the hospital staff taking care of Joanne. The Willis family--Tupelo, Mississippi

Courtney Walsh

I am praying for your beautiful wife and your family... thanking God for her miracle.


Continuing prayers and sending (((HUGS))) for all of you.


"Our God is greater, our God is stronger... our God is healer, awesome in power!!"

Praying for you and your precious girls Toben, all the way from Wales xxx

Sarah Rader

Praying for Joanne and your entire family in Burlington, KY. Since I read about what happened to Joanne on Beth Moore's blog, she has not left my heart and mind.

Sarah Rader

Sarah M

Lifting your family up in prayer from central New Jersey


Still thinking of you and praying for you...

Elizabeth Rhodes

Joanne and you and your daughters and her parents and your parents, all are on my mind.... and I breathe short prayers a lot during the day and night. I don't even know you and only read about your situation yesterday. Yet all of you come to my mind all during the day.

and I've told my sister about Joanne and am about to be sharing your situation with my 4 young adult daughters.

Elizabeth in Alabama


Prayers for Joanne and your family from Kentucky.


praying for your sweet Audrey...


Praying in Minnesota!

Marcy Kerr

Hi Toben,
Saw this post on E-Quotes today, and thought of you. Had read your earlier post.
Here it is: "I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears of all my life." By Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Thank you for opening up your lives to us, we are praying fervently for Joanne. The Kerr Family from Cherry Hill, NJ

Jamie Patano

Continuing to pray for Toben, Joanne, Audrey and Emma as well as their extended families. I also pray for the medical team treating Joanne. May they be rested daily, fed and ever diligent in their expert care in taking care of Joanne.
Having gone through 3 strokes with my own Dad over the past 1 1/2 years I know how challenging this time is. My prayers and strength to Audrey for being able to be with her Mom. It is important for both she and Joanne. My Dad sure knew when I was there (He lived in PA) so I was not able to be with him daily but went once a month for at least 4 days at a time. Anyway, music was soothing as was quiet conversation so keep it up. Joanne will have a long recovery but will be gathering strength from every ones prayers, and good wishes. God Bless all of you and remember to take care of yourselves at this time also, you need rest and food and yes even time away from the hospital. Jamie Patano Streamwood IL

Bill Jensen

Praying with heart groans that cannot be uttered.

Patti and Rich Phillips

Keeping you all held up in prayer. The precious visual description of a daughter loving on her mommy any way she can in the midst of such pain and heartache brought tears of joy to my eyes. Thankful you all have people with you to help you through all of this. I talked to Christy last night and I am so glad they are on their way to be with you, love on you and help hold you up.

Samantha - Texas

reading this about your daughter made my heart break but also reminded me of myself. February marks 2 years for my mother's massive stroke that completely wiped out the left side of her brain. I remember as a 24 years old woman, walking into the hospital room not really knowing what to expect & fighting the entire time to hold back those tears. I fought but did not succeed. It was because of that moment that my father & I began more of a relationship than I've ever had with him my entire life before that point. It was also because of my mother's stroke that we now are pretty close & I get to share the Gospel with him consistently. I remember looking at my mother thinking I shouldn't have to go through what I was going through & not really thinking about the future or even what my mother was going through. There is so much to be thankful for in the little moments. So glad your daughter is taking it all in & loving on her mama greatly. That is so beautiful. She will look back on those moments & be thankful one day. I'm praying those things for your family & also for healing. Blessings brother.

Mark Spencer

Words fall short of the feelings we have for you, Joanne and the girls right now. The Spencer household is praying, the entire mission family is praying for Joanne.

Debbie Starr

Praying for you all in Kentucky!

Debbie Starr Louisville


Sending love and prayers from the UK again today - special hugs to Audrey for being so brave and compassionate when her mum needs her most! Will keep posting (and praying) every day until we get GREAT news!


Praying for your family!!


Praying hard in Charlotte, NC


Praying throughout constantly for Joanne, you and the girls! Praying that God will be compassionate and merciful and that He will provide all that you need and provide for the needs you aren't even aware of yet. He knows what we need before we even ask! I am praying that He show His faithfulness to you all.


Prayers and love from New Hampshire..God bless you all!

Cristina Wright

I am so sorry to hear about your dear Joanne. I am claiming Psalm 46 for her...and praying for you and your daughter. Please Lord, come quickly and answer our prayers.


Praying in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Praying for healing and peace for all of you.


Healing thoughts coming from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Thank you for the updates.


Praying for your family from Spokane, WA.

Christy Jesse

Wow...I am so sorry for all that you are going through. You don't know me, but I have been following the updates given by Steve and Elizabeth Reiter. My family is praying for you during this uncertain time. I pray for God's peace that passes all understanding. I do know what you are going through as my mom was in a similar situation 10 years ago. I am thankful to say that Mom is completely healthy and is the best MeMaw to my boys. I pray the same outcome for you. Thank you for sharing during this time, it is nice to know how to pray. God Bless You!

amy~ the gypsy chick

lifting Joanne & your entire sweet family up in prayers..


Praying for strength, peace, and for full recovery.

Our hearts are heavy but our faith is in God's healing hands.


Laura Cochran

Praying for Joanna and your family. Love from Michigan.

Amy Congo (Christy's Sister-in-Law)

Praying for Joanne in Brea, California.
Our God IS Mighty Healer and Awesome in Power!


Prayers going up for your precious Joanne from Home, KS!


Praying for your precious family. Love from Crawford, Texas


Audrey is an amazing girl. I believe with all my heart that Joanne knew Audrey was there. Continuing to pray before His migthy throne for you all...

Adrienne - Jasper, TN


Praying for God to be BIG for you today! Hugs from Missouri!

Carla Sorensen

I am praying in Columbia, Maryland. So sorry that you all are having to go through such a tremendous trial like this. Praying for Audrey.
In Him,


Praying in Franklin, NC, for Joanne, you, and your family--particularly your brave Audrey.

Andrea S.

Oh sweet Audrey...what a sweetheart you are and what a wonderful blessing to your mama! I know how hard it is to see someone you love so much like that! And I think you are one brave little girl!

Toben- Your love and adoration of your wife is so touching. I am in awe of how honest you are and how loving....despite the circumstance that God has placed you in. Please know that though we have never met you and we don't really know you...we are praying day and night....I have thought of your family so often today...every time God prompted that concern in my heart I said a little prayer. You are all handling this with such poise and grace...and I know that comes from leaning on our mighty God. Thank you so much for keeping all of us posted, even though your plate is full enough right now!

A fellow Siesta,
Andrea S.


praying for you from Georgia. God is able!


Following Joanne's story and praying hard.

allison morrison

Praying for you, your girls, and most of all your beautiful wife...I scrolled down the blog where she made an entry on Jan. 10 and wow...hits hard to see that!

Kim Feth

Thank you for posting an update, considering everything else. We are continuing to pray for strength, courage, and grace. How many times did the angels say, "Do not be afraid!"? I'm sure Joanne could tell us exactly how many times the angels proclaimed that, and now I'm proclaiming it for your family. You, Audrey, Emma, and Joanne have been on my mind constantly and in my prayers throughout the day.
Kim Feth
Apex, NC
A Fellow Siesta who follows Joanne's blog.


Praying for you all!!!
from Australia


Praying from Texas


Praying from Florida.


I just read Psalms 46, that you have claimed for Joanne. I have lifted her and you all up in prayer and will continue to do so! God is SO good! May he wrap his precious, loving arms around you all during this time! Will continue to lift Joanne up in prayer, and will check back in here. I have become a follower of her blog now.

in Tennessee


Praying for Joanne and family from Bend, Oregon

Halley T

Just wanted you to know that our family is praying for your family during this difficult time. Praying for a peace that passes all understanding. Prayers from Lewistown, PA

The comments to this entry are closed.


Adopt a Compassion child

  • Sponsor a child online through Compassion's Christian child sponsorship ministry. Search for a child by age, gender, country, birthday, special needs and more.

Visit my Amazon bookshop