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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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Patricia Webb

I don't know you but I do know that my God works miracles and I will be praying for one for you. Keep the faith!

angela

.....here's to the finish line!!!! God bless. Praying in NC.

Arabah

This analogy touched my heart and maybe it helps to know that others have been there and you're not alone??

We are praying and willing that today's "help station" is there for you.

Fran

Every morning on twitter I would say "run is done" and always thought of Joanne because I knew with the time difference she was just a little bit behind me. I'm more than willing and able to run this race with y'all. Hebrews 10 taught me last week about the perseverance that comes with the race. That is the word I now pray over you and Jo. I ask God to supernaturally give you the stamina to run this race. It will be Him alone.

He is shining all over you Toben. He is carrying you and will see you both down the road ahead. One step at a time.

I will never say to Jo "run is done." We are just beginning. :)

Y'all are so loved and prayed for nonstop.
Fran
Tn

Holly Smith

I have not slept through the night since this all began...the Lord has been waking me at various times to get on my knees to pray. This past week, I have "nearly" slept through the night, as the Lord started waking me at four and nearly on the hour and half hour to pray. Not about me at all...just thinking that it is neat that God is waking people to pray through the watches of the night. He is setting you up to win this race...with a cloud of witnesses to cheer each of you on.

Praying, in it for the distance,
Holly

Eliz

Praying continuously for your family. I am currently trainging for a half marathon, and used the 14 miles THIS morning to pray for Joanne! This post hit home, and will continue to remined me to pray for you while running!

Wife of Rob

Toben....the story about the ultra was excellent. Joanne is an ultra-girl....she is always in everything for the long haul. Praying constantly for you my brother.

Much love to all of you,
Jen Bartlett

Jerri

Joanne might not be awake yet but that can be a blessing in disguise. She is healing and is at rest. No pain. Give her and God the time they need to make this a good outcome for all!
I agree that while you are all running the race, God is carrying each one of you through the roughest parts.
Take care of yourself. Continuing the prayers and glad you posted. Everyone wondered how it was going last night.

sue


Continuing to fast and pray in NC. Reminded of Moses whose arms got tired (Exodus 17:8-14)So Aaron and Hur got a stone for Moses to sit on and they held up Moses arms for him. Joshua won the battle and after the victory Moses built an alter and named it Yahweh-nissi GOD IS MY BANNER. We are all holding up you and your family in prayer as you are running this ultramarathon. You will get through this exhaustion phase in Jesus' name and we will all be at the finish rejoicing with you! Raising our banners!

Carla

Praying for you like ultra crazy in the morning, during the day and at night. You are constantly in our family's prayers.

Groovewoman

Toben, this post makes me smile! It's time to tighten our laces brother... we are headed towards the finish line!! I'm right beside ya!!

Hollie Rayburn, TX

Carrie

My devotions this morning brought me to Romans 12:11-13
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

I have prayed verses 11-12 for you and your family all day. Verse 13 is my thanksgiving, I am thankful that you are practicing hospitality by including all of us in this trial. Your faith is a testimony to many who are in need of coming closer to God. And in your faith we are already witnessing a miracle.

May you be wrapped in God's loving embrace in those hours you are struggling and be able to draw an abundance of strength and endurance for this ultra!

Marilyn kaucher

Tobin
Heard about Joanne on LPM. I have been in prayer for you all since. Following the blog and twitter. Stay string in this difficult time. God is good and he knows all. Trust him.
Mailyn from KY

Thy Hand

Oh, Toben. I just read this post to my husband who also runs ultras- mostly 100-milers. While there are many significant differences between ultras and what you are experiencing, the similarities you've mentioned are spot on. Your "crew" is there because they love and adore you and your girls. They are there to support you and provide for as many needs as they can. Lean on them. Lean hard. That is what they (and your Lord) are there for. Our family is praying for Joanne, you and your crew as you run this race.

Michelle

No better way to describe this ! The stamina and power to go the distance is exactly what God has and he is along side in every stride. My thoughts and prayers go to you and the girls all throughout the day. Prayers for you Toben that you are able to find steady ground in each "waking moment" Believing in the Miracle that Jesus has in store.

Holly B.

Still lifting you up in Paris, Toben! May our God flood each of you with His strength and comfort!

Rachel Vander Wall

Hi, I found out about Joanne through a friend shortly after all this happened, and I have been praying for Joanne and all of your family. Just yesterday I let my Church Family know and so they are now praying as well. I know times like this are never an easy thing and that they drain us. But take Rest in the Lord he is there and he is listening. I pray that God will work a miracle for your family. May God truly bless you & you Family.
In Christ Love
Rachel

Janine Longoria

Toben. In my run training I take great inspiration from the Pacer whom I trust to get me across the finish line. The race is tough but u have a Heavenly pacer and a whole team of people praying u thru this ultra. Gid blesses each of us with your posts and prayer requests.
Janine
Chicago

Angela

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. There are so many people praying for you and Joanne, and we're in it for the ultra too!!

Oceanmommy

Toben,

I can't shake the thought that while God so loves you all, He has trusted your entire family with this. I'm praying as you run this race that you have endurance and that each of you know how much you are loved and prayed for! We are honored to run with you.

Stephanie
GA

Kim Feth

Toben,
Great analogy that must have come from God. And I think Joanne would love it too. I played "Ring the Bells" in the car today while I prayed for your family - it's one of Joanne's favs.
Please know that your beautiful wife and precious family are constantly in our thoughts and in all of our prayers.
Peace,
Kim Feth
Apex, NC

Lynn

In this marathon with you as much as I can be, not knowing you, Joanne, and the girls or any of your extended family. But praying for you and thinking about what is happening many, many times a day and imagining how your brain must be racing and thinking and wondering and projecting and.................

May God give you peace and wisdom in the midst of this storm and may you feel his arms around all of you.

Maribeth

I know you are all running, and we are holding you up to the Lord in prayer! God hears our prayers and our God is an awesome God. He will be on this journey, however long it may be, with Joanne, you, the girls and your families. And all of us, praying, you will all be blessed!

Debbie

So true about the similarities with the ultra runners. My friend, who competes in Iron Man events, says we should add three things to that analogy -
1) take one mile at a time - don't think about the entire race as a whole, just make it through the next mile (and look around you while you're running - sometimes you see REALLY amazing things)
2) (ironically) "in the moment" isn't always what its cracked up to be - sometimes the best way to actually make it through bad patches (pain, fatigue, exhaustion) is by being somewhere better (which is usually somewhere in the future)! we need to allow our minds to take us elsewhere occasionally. Which leads on to point 3 ...
3) keep your eyes on the prize!

Philippians 3:13&14

Thinking of you all, praying and sending love.

Pam Houston

What a perfect analogy in the "Ultramarathon" and what you are experiencing and we are cheering you all on...champions in the LORD! And counting on your victory in Christ for Joanne and your girls.. and praying, praying and praying.

Pam H.

Jean M

I like the ultramarathon analogy. Praying that you will get through this one day at a time. And praying for Joanne's complete healing.

Marla Taviano

Pledging right now to stay in this ultra with you guys to the end (as in--until we all meet Jesus!). Love and hugs!! Praying!!

yvonne

I just saw your twitter and have been believing the Lord for this moment with you. Praise the Lord you have gotten to see a peek of those beautiful brown eyes. Will keep praying...

Nikki Andrews

Praying for you guys here in So Cal. I found out about your beautiful wife after her stroke and my heart is with you guys and I am on my knees for her healing. Stay strong. The Lord is with you!

Lisa in KS

We're still praying...and focusing on the next step, and the next. The finish line will come.

Ron Farrell

Hey man,

Tell us what time in the morning you need prayer, and we'll make sure to pray for you RIGHT then.
I, myself, always have problems at certain times of the day (usually the same time every day) - so I know it will help you.

Ron Farrell

Nanci

Continuing to pray for Joanne as well as you and the girls. This will be a long race indeed but you have a lot of people running along side you. Our God is an Awesome God and nothing is too much for Him. Keep the faith as we all continue to pray for a miracle.

Karene

Beautifully written. God has been waking me up in the early morning hours to pray for all of you. I feel blessed to be part of your spiritual family, and to run this race with you.

Karene in California

Donna in Fredericksburg, Virginia

You don't know me and I don't know you, but I have been praying for Joanne and your family (especially your girls) since I was alerted to your situation. Use God's Word (our best tool) for those tough times of day...Psalm 143:8 "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you!"
I am continuing to pray for you and your family in all ways.
Thank you for updating for us.

Judy

We are all running this ultra with you and your family, Toben. I continue to lift each of you before the Lord. God bless you and give you strength daily for this marathon.
"...let us run with endurance the race set before us." Heb 12:1

Barb

Praying for Joanne and her amazing family! I too will make special time in the morning to pray for you Toben in hopes of easing things for you in that difficult early morning time. Thank you for posting and keeping us updated!
Barb from CNY

Kathy Rivera

Toben,
Your analogy shows you are able to unpack the process and see it as a diamond from any angle. Our God is the God 'in the midst of thee' (Zeph. 3), not watching from a distance but in the fire drawing us through. You cannot help but minister even as you update the facts because the life of faith connects continally with the source of Life! You are both the runner in the race and one on the side offering the cool water to those of us invited to run with you in prayer. We all watch together as God moves in these powerful, mysterious ways. Our faith grows as we accept His invitation to cling to nothing but Himself. The Body of Christ is one.
Kathy from Idaho

Tasha Via

I just found your story last night and I simply cannot stop thinking about you all. I've been waiting all day to see how Joanne does as she wakes.

We don't know you but we are praying for you as you run this ultra laid out before you.

Carrie

Toben,

Our love and prayers are with you. I started crying as I read this post, so many memories flooded my heart. Sept. 26, 2007 began a marathon for our family. My husband almost died twice and all I could think in those wee hours of the moring, as I lay in bed before heading to hospital to see him, was how am I going to care for our 6 children without him.

There were many extremes during Hubby's time in the hospital. I think those extemes were needed. For it is through the agony that we are better equiped to appreciate the peace; it is because of the pain that the comfort is so sweet.

Savor each and every moment (bitter and sweet). Each was created by God just for you and your loved ones.

God keep thee, Carrie

Heather

I didn't know you before this and only know you now by this blog and twitter, but I want you to know how often I think of Joanne during the day and your family, especially praying for the girls at school and that they are doing okay. You've all taken up a space in my heart and I pray that one day soon you'll all be laughing and talking together.

twinkle

Oh, Toben, I hear you, brother.
I'm running an ultra marathon spiritual race to victory right now myself.

God gave me three words.

Abide.
Amen.
Outloud.

Hardest race I've ever had to run because He alone can run it. I can't.

I just stand firm, believing.
Psalm 91
The victory will come, it will be sweet, and it will be His Work.

kay miers

May The God of Peace Rule In Your Hearts! Praying for the entire Family.

Erin Koss

Continuing to have your family on my heart, mind and in prayer. You should be proud of that 12 year old writer of yours. Much love to J and all of you.

Sherry Roscoe

Continuing to pray from Delaware. Praying that she will continue to get those eyes open!!! Praying tonight special prayers for your girls.
Sherry in Delaware

Dan

Praying for Joanne and you and your two daughters.
San Diego, CA

Lisa

Beautiful analogy. I'm praying for you all and for God to be glorified.

Michelle from Australia

Prayers coming to Joanne, you and your family and friends from our little family in Australia.

Lana D

Still praying in Sugar Land TX

Kathleen Bensi

Toben
I run. Not marathons, but I run. I hate running. I have run for the last 20 years. Running changed my life. Running keeps me fit and strong. I hate the process but love the outcome.
I don't know you but I think about you and Joanne all the time. I pray for you and Joanne all the time too.
Hold on to His truths. He loves you so much.

Colette

Still praying in Mesa, Az.!!! Reading Jeremiah 31:13
"Then maidens will dance and be glad,
Young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow."

Thanking God for all the gladness of this day and for the days to come!!
Trusting Him for this promise!
Continuing to believe in a complete healing Miracle for Joanne!!

ginger morris

Still praying for you brother. I pray that you are surrounded with people who are taking good care of you, too. Remember 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 & rest in the power of Christ:
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Susan in Zurich

Still checking in over here in Zurich, and praying for strength and endurance for you and your family, and peace. And of course healing for your beautiful wife. I've had a chance to read more of her blog; what an amazing lady she is.

Edwynna L.

Toben,
You can rest assured that Joanne is right in the palm of God's Hand. (And just after I typed this, I recalled Christy Nockels' song "He's got the whole world in His Hands".)That is exactly where He keeps & protects us when we are at our most helpless. So many are praying! And He hears, and is answering!
Praying for YOU that during this emotionally vulnerable time, that the Lord will comfort your heart, carry you, direct you, and speak clearly to you. It is okay to cry if you need to! (You guys were high-school sweethearts--- I peeked at Joanne's blog to better understand the woman we are holding up in prayer, and saw your lovely wedding photo!) Praying that He will provide the household help that you & your children need. Praying for Joanne's parents that He will heal the shock that parents feel when their child undergoes something of this nature, and that the Lord will strengthen them to be pillars of strength to you & the girls during this time. Praying that He'll give Emma the courage to visit her Mom (if she hasn't already.)And that He'll heal her from any trauma that may have resulted from her being the one to discover her Mom immediately afterward. I see that God is already answering my prayers for Audrey, in her obvious appreciation of her Mom, and Audrey's sweet spirit! God sure did give two beautiful daughters to the High-school sweethearts!(Yeah, you know that already!)
He will carry and sustain you all, moment-by-moment.
I became aware of Joanne's situation from Dr. Dobson & Ryan's radio program. You have LOADS of people praying for you! Praying that Joanne will be back on her blog to see all that God did behind-the scenes as she was recovering!

Elizabeth W


We are all miracles, but I am also one of those miracles & examples of God's miraculous healing power.  All things are possible for and with God. Tobin (and others) be blessed by the comforting thoughts that Joanne may be talking in a special way with Jesus. I am alive and here to share with you that I was blessed with such a treasured and memorable time when I was very near death, but praise and glory to God for answers to many prayers by many (2nd Corinthians 1) and for granting my request also  for more time here that I am alive and am able to share truths and praises with you. God will use this time in your lives to grow you and you will be blessed beyond words if you will continue to take captive your thoughts to Christ, spend precious time with our Father God and Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in your Holy Bible and prayer. Run to our great physician, comforter, counselor, Prince of Peace, Best Friend Ever, Mighty God, etc etc etc....the Great I Am! He tells us to rejoice always. Praise and thank Him and count your many blessings naming them one by one when you are experiencing moments of human weakness. Listen to and sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs and bless your precious Joanne with these for her to hear even while she is resting and healing.  Make melody to the Lord with all your heart always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Ephesians 5:19-20, Philippians 4, 1 Peter 5:7-11, Romans 8 (esp. v26,28,37-39) 2 Corinthians 1 & 12:9-10 Jeremiah 29:11-14 John 16:33 Proverbs 17:22 & 16:24 Psalms 94:19 and many more in Psalms, Isaiah, Lamentations, Hebrews, Matthew 11;28-30 etc etc etc. :-)  Your body needs rest but you will also be strengthened and refreshed and refueled through God, Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit as they minister to you along with the love, support, comfort, and encouragement they bless you with through brothers and sisters in Christ. I'll close with this prayer for you from Romans 15:13 Father God, "May (you) the God of hope fill (this family and all those concerned) with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit (they) may abound in hope." In the precious and powerful name of Jesus our Lord and Savior Who Strengthens Us and Assures Our Eternal Victory I pray. Amen

Tonya

Just keep running that race...

Elizabeth W

Wow! Blessed by all the love and truths shared as I read through a portion of this blog. Reminded of many things, including the great love and faithfulness of our Father God Almighty and the marvelous and wonderful and mysterious ways He works in and through our lives. Also, makes me thankful for all the ways He shares and grows His love in us and through each of us who believe and trust in Him. Love the scriptures, analogies, and words of encouragement being shared (Had to write many down in my     journal to reflect on and share with others) Currently ministering to a precious family who is going through a very challenging time prayed for them and for Joanne and your family and friends as I've been reading and claiming truths from God's word. Numerous scriptures have flooded through my mind . Some from 2nd Corinthians 1 that we are experiencing together in our races, battles, storms, journeys, adventures, etc here on earth..as we share in our sufferings, we also share in our comforts and we like Paul learn to rely on God and not ourselves. We do learn that "he delivered us from so deadly a peril, and he will deliver us; on Him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer" (praise & thanksgiving for the gift & privilege & power of believing prayers), "so that many will give thanks on our (and in this situation your) behalf for the blessings granted us in answer to many prayers." 2 Corinthians 1:10-11. Will be remembering you in believing, powerful and effective prayers of praise, thanksgiving, and requests. (James 1 and 5 & Philippians 4 & many more)

Laura P

After I read your ultra-thon post, the words of "Steady On" by Point of Grace kept running through my mind so I thought I'd share:
"Steady me when the road of faith gets rocky,
Oh ready me for fears I cannot see,
Lord won't you let me be a witness to your promise,
Won't you steady me...
Will you walk with us
Steady on."
I know He's there walking with you all.

Jamie Foreman

I happened to come across a facebook post by Mid Day Connection about Joanne. I went to the site and have been coming back daily. I pray for you, the girls and all of Joanne's loved ones. God is there, He is always there even when we don't feel or see Him. He teaches us patience and builds our faith.
May God bless you and hold you close.
In prayer,
Jamie

yanna westmoreland

Toben your post touched my heart as well. The analogy you gave will remain in my thougts I am sure for a very long time. Until I have fought the fight and finished the race...the thoughts you shared gave so much more meaning to the race analogy. Thank you. Praying from Bryan, TX

Wendy

As one who has been praying for your family since the start, and is a regular volunteer at ultras while training for my first ultra... keep in mind these points, too:

*An ultrarunner's crew MUST take care of themselves in order to get the runner to finish.

*Ultras provide the opportunity to dig deep into who we are- they test the boundaries, provide questions, and provide the support.

*Ultras allow for the best moments of beauty and human kindness! (Just yesterday I was greeted with an eagle soaring over the bay on a run!)

*Each ultrarunner knows that he/she has the ability to complete the task at hand. It's just a matter of doing it.

*It's all about perceptions and how we choose to adapt to a situation (40 degrees and freezing rain and no gloves- no prob. Zip lock bags and duct tape make GREAT gloves!)

May each step be filled with what you need for you, your surrounding crew, and your runner with God's Love!

Wendy (VA)

Heather C

Having been through some really tough stuff in my life (daughter suffered 3rd degree burns over 90% of her body when she was four, among other things), I once asked my mother... why me? why our family? Can't God spread this out and give some of the crises to someone else? Her response was that He knew He would be glorified in me through the circumstances. I don't know about me, but I can certainly see that in you, Toben, and in the rest of your family as well. This could have happened to someone else, and they could have been bitter, angry and turned their backs on the God they claimed to love... but you handle it with so much grace and faith -- and you're an amazing testimony to our Lord. I know that He is pleased with you... keep hanging on. You're right... there is great reward for you at the end of this journey. Praying always...

JC

Aren't humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and then call for Peace on Earth.

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald's Factory Farm by C. David Coates~

_____________


Anyone can break this cycle of violence! Everyone has the power to choose compassion! Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: http://veganvideo.org & http://tryveg.com


"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right."
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Krista

Thank you so much for the updates...I understand your time and energy are so very precious during this time. I am praying for all of you!
Keep taking care of yourselves and each other. You are an amazing family!
Krista

Jessica

Amen. Praying in Maryland.

mzzterry

Still praying in Texas. My dear hubby has ran ultras, while I sat there in the rain, holding his gear, for hours on end, for love. I relate to this analogy, I send my love, prayers and *empathy* today. Hold on, the finish line is glorious!

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