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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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« Audrey here... 2 | Main | Emma's Visit »


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melissa irwin

I am in tears. Praying that the mercies of God through these precious miracles reaches directly into the hearts of those of us (including me) who are observing from our computer monitors. I am feeling such overwhelming joy for Joanne and for the whole family.

Sandy Chapin


This is what we get when we pray BIG. We will continue to pray BIG and praise BIG.

Thanks Toben for making my day.

Michelle Silliman

That is amazing and WONDERFUL!!! I have been reading this blog and Your story has been on my mind daily since. I can't wait to get to work to check out Toben's blog on your status!!! Keep working hard and you will be home before you know it. Praying daily for you and your family!!


Laughter through tears right here in my office. This is just the best news! God is not only answering our prayers, He is answering them in ways that show us it can only be Him that is healing and restoring Joanne. Praise God!!!


Wonderful news!! What a great answer to prayer.


God is still in the miracle business. Praise Him!!


CELEBRATING!!! This is amazing. Thank you God! :-)


Oh my goodness!! This is so incredible! What a month - what a day - what a BIG GOD!

Tami Snowden

Oh Toben,
I JUST am in AWE of our GOD!!!! Wow!! PRAISE the LORD HE is RESTORER...and Praise God for the I-PAD! I have chills just reading this!!!!! This is AMAZING!
How great that she can communicate. I have wondered in her former unability to communicate what went through her mind throughout the day about her girls....

How absolutely precious she wrote the girls a note,,,,just was Audrey wrote last night that she is missing her momma!!!

Thanks Toben, Can't wait to hear from Joanne,,,,can you take a pic of what she wrote and post it for all of us to see????


Wow...this is the BEST news.....Praise God!! I am continuing to pray BIG!! Emma and Audrey will have a note waiting for them....and how happy they will feel reading it. Thanks again for sharing your experiences with us. So thankful to know she has a better way of communicating with you....Blessings!!!



I'm trying to type this with tears of joy streaming down my face...Praise The Lord!! What a blessing for sweet Audrey who's been missing her mommy to have a little love note from her mom, what a huge blessing and a great lift for her spirit, God does provide. We will continue praying for J and your sweet family.

Amy from Norman

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!


Incredible news!!! Through my tears I'm praising God!

Julie Hoagland

Oh....I just started sobbing when I read this! It is so wonderful....and really, just what Audrey needed and at just the right time. How sweet for her to read how much her mommy loves her. I hope she had a good day at school today, we prayed specifically for that~

So excited about the progress that Joanne is making! God is so AWESOME!

Julie Hoagland - Seattle, Wa


Oh this makes my heart so happy! Praise the Lord for answered prayers!






Praise God! So excited for all of you!

Andrea Viando

Tears of joy for all of you! Joanne, you are amazing! Just so happy for you all! Great is thy faithfulness, oh God our Father! Continuing to pray! Love to each one!


Praise the Lord!! That is such awesome news!! Way to go Joanne!!! :)

vanessa brown

i dont "know" u, but i feel like i do now! actually cant even remember how i stumbled onto your blog...but im sure that God sent me at just the right time to send tons of prayer up!! this is awesome news and have been praying for your sweet girls!

from warm and sunny scottsdale AZ...

vanessa brown


I thank God for this AMAZING news!!! Yes God is good to give her the ability to communicate with her Sweetheart b4 Valentines day <3 I am passionate about communication and new media so this is exactly the kind of news that sends me soaring in praise to God!! Thanks for sharing news with us my Friend.


I'm speechless! God is so good!


That is amazing news! I know the girls are going to be so happy to get a note from their mommy! Praise God! I am so excited about all of her progress!!! Yay, Joanne! We are rooting for you, praying for you and so happy you are doing so well!


I have blown past the point of speechlessness & right on to the land of silly, happy tears and giggles as I try to form prayer and praise to God. Love you, Joanne. :-)
Praying every day for big things (and the everyday small ones).

Sara G

Praise the Lord! I am cheering on the side for Joanne! Way to go Lady! God is answering prayers and sharing His miracles! Every step! So happy for you all!


The girls will be so encouraged by the notes.

The great news is so great, the infection news is a concern, so folks while we pray for healing from the stroke let us remember to pray specifically for this infection to be gone and that Joanne will be protected from all forces (and microbes) wanting to attack her. Let all her strength be used for her rehabilitation and stroke recovery.

Praying and praising.

Dedra Herod

Still crying tears of joy Toben!!! So grateful for your post.. rubber gloves and all!! Please tell Joanne that I am SOOOO proud of her and how hard she is working. Tell her that we have not stopped praying for her and we won't. I love you guys!!! To God be ALL the GLORY forever!! Happy Dancin'!!!!

Donna J

Praise the Lord! We are very thankful for the Lords work and healing in her life!


Toben - try not to blow her mind TOO much.


Wow, what a blessing. Your wife is coming back. She is a writer...still writing. How wonderful. Praise God.

Jennifer Griffin

I am just so in awe so God! Amazing!!!!


The ultimate healer is at work and there is nothing but great things ahead. Praise God and blessings to your family.

Kelly Gandy

Amazed!!!...But why am I amazed? God is good! Thanks for sharing Toben!


God is SOOOO good - AMAZING! Can't stop crying tears of joy! So happy for you all. This is so great. Thank you, Jesus!! I don't know any of you personally, but wish I could just give you all a great big hug. Still praying in NJ! Keep it up Joanne! You go girl. Your Bic Crystals are waiting for you! ;)


Toben I have been following since the stroke & I have never commented, just stalking & praying...... BUT what a praise!!! We all have been praying BIG this week & man is God answering! Thank you for sharing & encouraging through all that your family is going through. God is so good!


Go Joanne!! What a blessing to read this post today! Can't wait to hear your thoughts and the things God puts on your heart.

I think we will have a Frosty for dessert to celebrate!

Much Love!


I'm in tears about what she wrote to Audrey and Emma.

God is amazing! We will keep praying for all of you. :)

Jen Abbas de Jong

So so happy to read this post! I love the idea of keeping here iPad notes. My therapist had me journal while I was in therapy. (I journaled for years and years before). I had (and still have) trouble articulating my thoughts, and it's amazing to go back and read those early jottings. Some of them are pure gibberish, but over time I could see the improvement. J is going to love having that record.


Oh, I'm just so happy for all of you! You remain in my prayers. Tricia


You've got a mighty tough wife, Toben... and a great and mighty God! Just a few weeks ago we were all just praying for her only to open her eyes again, hoping against hope for a miracle. Now she's writing complete, thoughtful sentences... holy moly!!!!! Can't wait to hear her story in her words, and to see what He's going to do in her tomorrow! :)

(As an aside: When I first heard about Joanne's stroke -- on 1/12, I believe -- I dreamed that night that she was speaking in front of an audience of thousands about her total restoration, about the God of miracles. Now I'm thinking not only that it might happen, but that it WILL! Here's hoping I'll be in that audience to cheer her on!)


Praise God! This news made my day. Audrey will be so happy to receive her note. I'm sure on her next visit to see mom she will get the hug she wants also. Prayers are being answered and I know this one will be too! I can not wait for tomorrows update :)

Amy Ensign

Praising the Lord in a MIGHTY way today!!!! SO happy to hear this long-awaited good news and happy your family experienced this gift today!! Keep up the good work Joanne...your story is going to be AMAZING!!!!! XOXO Amy

Awesome news about the use of the ipad and your dear wife's ability to write. If typing is an option on the ipad proloquo to go has the ability to do this. Not sure that proloquo 2 messages can be saved as easily though as what you are doing.
Also, the ipad has some accessibility features. You might check those out also.
It is a great idea to save her messages. Can tweeting to family be too far away?

Gail @ Pandemonium in the Parsonage

She has words. Lots and lots of words. And I have none. I am weeping with joy here today. Oh, Praise You, Father. Praise You! Praise You!

Veronica Jarvis

I missed the iPad fund thing. I get notifications by email, so I don't come to the site often, since I am updated daily. I'm really, really happy to hear that prayers are working all around the world and God is answering!


Woo Hoo!!! You Go Girl!!! Praising God here in Virginia!

Mary Lou

What an awesome God. Will keep praying Big. This has inspired me to pray Big for a young woman I've known all of her life, Expecting her first child, due in June. Found in her third month that she had aggressive breast cancer. Has had 3 chemo treatments...I am asking our Big God for some Big answers for this godly young couple. How He is moving on behalf of your sweet family. Having to wipe away the tears of joy for you all, in order to write...Praise the Lord...Looking for another Big day tomorrow.


Wow. Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!


I'm crying happy tears here in Flagstaff, AZ. Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow.


I am jumping up and down celebrating and cheering with you. :)


I hope she eats alot of orange pops! HE sure is wonderful! Happy for you all!


in tears.. and so excited about this uplifting update. Joanne is the miracle I was very much hoping she'd be!

Jessica @beforethedawn

Wow!! Praising Jesus for this! I'm so glad she is able to communicate in this way!!

Beth Petty

PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!! Tears, chills, overwhelming thankfulness!


This is wonderful!

Leslie Paladino

Toben, this is such great news! Thank you for the update. The crew at Kregel is all rejoicing with you guys. Praise God for this wonderful development. We're continuing to pray.

Shannon Primicerio

Oh my goodness! I have tears in my eyes as I read this. What marvelous news. Praise Jesus! I have been faithfully praying for Joanne multiple times each day. It's so exciting to follow along to all of the answers to prayer along this journey. Thanks for taking time to share your joy with us today. Praising God with you from California!

Kathy Rivera

I feel so blessed to be a part of this prayer team and to see our Mighty God at work!
There would be much crying and hugging and dancing if we could all fit in Joanne's room together!
Praise God from Whom all Blessing Flow!


I've had a very stressful day and this news just softened my hard heart. Praise be to GOD for the miracle he is performing!!!!


Thank you for sharing...we're still praying BIG!


This brought me to tears. We serve an awesome God.

Teri Butcher

I woke up this morning with the bridge to Days of Elijah in my head. Funny since I haven't heard that song in a very long time. I kept singing "There's no God like Jehovah" all morning. I even wrote it on twitter, with no explanation, just "There's no God like Jehovah." As soon as I saw Holly Smith's tweet about Joanne using her ipad to communicate, I literally shouted, "There's NO GOD LIKE JEHOVAH!" God be the glory! This is such a beautiful display of His power! It makes me love God MORE! Toben, you don't need to be told how wonderful your wife is, that's something you're surely aware of...but I need you to know, I treasure her. I am truly rejoicing with you, and will continue to pray for all of you as you run this marathon.
Much love and joy,


Well, that brought tears. What a blessing. I love watching God's hand in your lives.

lisa walker

Tears and smiles! Both big! How fantastic that for the first time We ( your praying fans!) are speechless and Joanne's doing the talking!! Amazing God...thanks for sharing just how big HE is Toben. Blessings from Atlanta..Lisa Walker


Oh my gosh, that's amazing!!!!!
I tear up every time I read this blog, and today is no exception. That's so wonderful! Praise the Lord!

Sue Katona

I don't know if you have selected a hospital for Rehab, but we took our 17 yr old son from Michigan all the way to Craig Hospital in Englewood,CO for 3 months of Rehab for a spinal cord injury. It was well worth it even though we were far from home and he had 2 younger brothers back in Michigan. Craig Hospital specializes in spinal cord and brain injuries and they are beyond fantastic!I don't know if thats an option, but I can personally recommend it.


Hey Toben, that's great news! Get her the app "Penultimate", it's 99 cents and it is by far the best easiest handwriting app out there. You can email and save the notebooks as PDFs as well! A BIG step up from doodle buddy! Thank God for breakthrought!


I am once again amazed at what God can do! I'm so happy for you and hope that Emma takes her up on the frosty date.

Wendy Berenson

What a mighty savior we serve! Our God is HUGE! Continuing to pray!

Mechanicsville, VA


Jumping up and down, laughing and crying at the same time! SOOO happy that Joanne is communicating!! Praise God and His answers to BIG PRAYERS! I will continue to pray for her and those who love her and are in this marathon with her! Thanks for sharing such awesome news!
Barb in CNY

to know him

Awesome... I feel like jumping up and down for you all... Praise be to God :)

Rachel Pate

Praising the LORD...can't wait to see more....


Just been reading along and praying for your family...this post made me cry. God is good, even in the midst of our pain. Reading another blog about a very sick little girl whose news is not good. Same God...same glory.

Thank you for sharing...Prayers offered...blessings upon all of you.

julie barnhill

I am speechless and thankful she is not. Praise God!

Pam Houston

Tears here too! Hallelujah! What a breakthrough for you Toben...I know Audrey and Emma are so excited. Yay GOD! Amazing...just amazing! Thank you so much for keeping us up to exciting to be a part of this miracle even from afar.

A So. Cal. "Siesta"


Smiles and Tears and Joy . . . reading this post took my heart back to learning the Doxology as a child. I found myself mentally singing, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow!"

Carla Sorensen

I just have one word this evening . . . PRAISE! Your post made my entire day!

Praying in Columbia, Maryland


I will tell I was on the edge of my seat reading this and trying to control the tears of happiness I am beyond happy I am giddy happy when I saw it on twitter Just thanked Our Awesome God He is still in the miracles and He has everything planned out and He has since day one. Joanne is a warrior keep fighting the good fight my friend you rock and you are awesome. When I read Audrey post this morning all daay I have been sending up prayers for her that she would feel her mom's love and God heard that and answered our prayers and for little Emma that was to sweet. God has just blown my socks off today and I cannot imagne how you all feel being there and seeing the miracles before your eyes that is awesome God is restoring Joanne and we are praying BIG for her.


tears of joy! praising God for all blessings!

Sara S

Praise God!!! Very happy to hear how Joanne is progressing.

Lisa Ramsey


Keep believing.

Thank you Lord.


Amazing! Holy cow is right! God is so good and I know is as excited if not more about His power and glory being seen through your family!

Rejoicing in Texas with you!


Wow, what awesome news!! We have been following this blog since Joanne's stroke. We are praying for you all everyday!! Our two girls are 10 and 13 and they are praying for Audry & Emma in their prayer journals every night! God is faithful!

Christy Jesse

I am soooo happy! That is absolutely amazing...tears of joy! Praise GOD!!!

Andrea S.

Can you say goosebumps! I am so moved by Joanne's progress...what a difference a day can make huh!?!?! How awesome it is that she will be able to communicate....really communicate with you. How your heart must be soaring to the heavens, as you get closer and closer to the wife you love! Amazing...I am in complete awe of God's glory shining in Joanne. I will continue to pray for that complete and total healing that I know He is going to bring to fruition in her!

Loving on all of you today,
Andrea S.

Michelle from Australia

Tears of joy and thankfulness are coming your way from our family in Australia. p.s. My daughter has multiple disabilities and we've found the iPad WONDERFUL for her therapy.


WOW! What a day for all of you! I have been following her story since the day of the stroke (heard about it from the LPM Blog) but had not known her before then. Praying for you all.

Tara Samuels


All of us here at Pinger (makers of Doodle Buddy) are reading this with tears in our eyes. We're glad we've been able to help just an itty bitty little bit.

Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery for everyone here at Pinger.

Tara (& co.)

Amelia in NC

WOW!! Tears of joy and BIG Prayers continue!!!


Wow, what an amazing day for you all! I am praying that God continues to bless you all each day!

Christine H.

Such sweet news to read!!! Who indeed is like our God? I am rejoicing with you in AZ.

Kelly Lyrene

So super excited! I just cried too when I read this. I'm so happy for Audrey who was needed reassurance from her mommy. What an answer to prayer.
Toben and Joanne, I have been following this blog since I heard about this from Bring the Rain blog. I don't know you, Joanne, but I can't tell you how my heart has been knit to your situation. My family has been praying for you daily and are rejoicing at your improvements. God is so good!

Toben, it's been so good for me to read your comments about the nursing staff. My husband is an ICU nurse and deals with hard, hard stuff like you've been through every day. It's so good to see how the kind of work he does really impacts families in such a wonderful way. He loves Jesus and cares for his patients just like your beloved John! I rejoice that God uses Christians in the medical field to help people like Joanne.

Keep up the great work, Christian brothers and sisters. I have to also say that I stand amazed at God's providence in bringing you back home to your home state. How wonderful of the Lord to allow this to happen when Joanne would be in the direct personal care of all her family. What a God! He is at work and He will be glorified. Never forget it!

With Christian love from Fort Worth, Texas.
Kelly Lyrene


AMEN and HALLELUJAH!! Fantastic news - I'm so happy for you all.
Still praying and sending love ...


This is the best news... you go, Joanne! Love the messages to Emma and Audrey. I'm praising God with you!

Jerri G...Catersavvy on Twitter

I have not cried through any of your postings so far but I think I should change my username on here to Totally Sobbing!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been so busy praying and believing, I never got the opportunity to become emotional.

It's only a matter of time now, Toben!!!!!!



Completely covered in goose bumps!!! PRAISE THE LORD - what a blessing for the girls & you too! Orange is the best flavor- totally agree with her on that one :) So-so happy for you all. Will continue to pray and offer up praise for all the LORD is doing! HE is GOOD!
In HIS love from Burlington, CT - Karol

Child of God

Our God is so good! Praises to Him!!! Continuing to pray BIG!!

I am so very, very happy for you Toben and girls.



Wow!! The Lord is so AWESOME and He continues to AMAZE us! I have been following your blog and praying for Joanne and your family ever since the day Beth posted about Joanne. I have to tell you that every day I check a couple of times a day for updates and your family is in my prayer conversation all day long with the Lord!! Exciting days are certainly ahead and we Praise the Lord with you for all His mercies!!!


My socks are blown off! :O) Thank you Jesus. All glory and honor be given to You. Our God is an Awesome God.
Joanne, I can't wait to hear from you. I can't imagine the incredible JOY your family is feeling and that You must be feeling being able to communicate with them.
Lord Jesus, please be with Joanne right now and take away this infection that she is battling. Please continue to give her strength and healing. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.

Megan Welch

Our God is Awesome!!!!

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