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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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« Late to the Game | Main | Best Thing About Sunday »


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Marla Taviano

Oh, wow, Toben. Praying for you, friend.

Angie Platten

Oh Toben, I feel like I need to sleep all weekend just reading about your day! I can only imagine the exhaustion! Praying you get to bed early and get good, solid sleep and that Joanne gets rest and allows the hospital staff to meet any needs she might have in the middle of the night.


Jesus is calling you: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 12:28

I don't know the right words of comfort when you and your family are sacrificing so much, and when Joanne is suffering so much. But I know Jesus is right there, in the middle of all of it, and there for you. Praying for you and for!

Kimberly S.

If you were the one laying in that bed, Joanne would be doing all just the same for you. Your doing the best you can, accept it. That's all you can do. Take one day at a time and keep breathing. :)

Praying for you & Joanne to both get a good night's sleep.

becky m

I know you have other things in life to deal with but can't they set up a bed for you there, for a night like this where you are worn down and just want to sleep the night away? maybe it would help.

Child of God

Praying Toben!!!
This is not a selfish prayer at all. You have been so strong and a real backbone here. You you do need sleep.

Praying bro,

Julie (Johnson) Powell

Sleep deprivation is wicked! Maybe someone could be 'on call' for a couple of nights? When I run a packed schedule on too little sleep, I get so much done for a few weeks, and then I crash. UGLY. Praying for you all, that our Father will provide for ALL your needs. Blessings!


Praying you BOTH get a restful nights sleep.


Not selfish at all, Toben. Our two year old is in a hip spica cast with a femur fracture and we're not sleeping well, either. Praying for a good night's sleep for both you and Joanne!

Susan H.

You don't know me personally. I found this blog the week Joanne had her stroke (from another blog). I pray daily for you all. If I lived closer I would love to sit with Joanne every night to help you out. I spent 4 weeks in a hospital(2 wks. for 2 different surgeries in a 6 mo. time span.) a few years ago. It is very hard to sleep in there I know. Also some of the meds seemed to make me stay awake. The Ambien gave me horrible dreams that would wake me up. Plus anxiety does a number too..I ended up having to have something for that. Not sure if that is some of Joanne's problem. Just a suggestion to see if she can have something for anxiety if she isn't on anything yet so she may can rest easier. Plus if she sleeps much during the day I know she probably won't sleep well at night. I'm sorry you are all going through this. It's sometimes so hard to remember the Lord says he'll never give us more than we can handle.
Just remember we are all praying for you all.
A cyber friend in GA.

Nanci Moy

Toben,I will prayer for a good night sleep for Joanne which means a good night sleep for you. Please take good care of yourself we don't want to see you get sick.

Hugs from Central Texas


Praying in the name of Jesus for you and Joanne to have good, solid sleep and a peace that passes all of our understanding. May you feel the arms of Jesus around you as you go through this intense schedule. You really are doing a wonderful job and need some comforting too!

Holly Smith

Praying steadily...asking Jesus to refresh you ALL this weekend. Asking Him, too, to do the unexpected in Joanne. Nothing like a miracle to bring holy laughter and lighten one's heavy hearted weariness.

Dina kiser

I am lifting you and Joanne up in prayer tonight, that you both get some much needed rest. Having little to no sleep is just the hardest thing. Hang in there you are doing great! But I will be for sure praying for your family tonight!


Wow, that is one busy day. And I know that's probably a description of every day for you lately. I'm praying that you will be able to find time to sleep. You don't want your health to be compromised at this critical time.

Helen at A Work of Heart

We can't pray specifically if we don't know the thank you for sharing them.
The pace that you all are continuing is amazing. Truly having worked in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities among other places, families tend to taper off especially on the weekend when less is going on and the loved one is exhausted from the week. I know you wouldn't be any other place but the toll I know has to be great.
When you have so many things to juggle amongst caring and loving Joanne well it is pretty daunting.

We will try to be the Hur and Aaron and lift your arms through prayer when they get too heavy and fatigued.


Toben, I'll be praying for your rest tonight!! And for Joanne's!


Praying for all of you that you all get some much needed rest. The fact that you are willing to give up everything (even your much needed sleep) whenever Joanne needs you really says a lot about you and your love for Joanne, and I am sure she really appreciates it!

Anne Weber-Falk

Toben you are a good husband, a good father and a good man. I understand that you want and feel you need to be there for your darling Joanne. The new concern will be that you will wear yourself down too much. Sleep deprivation, physical exhaustion, will lead to illness. You must take care of yourself too. Another concern is falling asleep while driving home from your time with Joanne at the hospital. You will be no good to Joanne and your daughters should you become ill or hurt. Joanne loves you, I know she would understand a day of rest for you. You must take care of yourself to be there and be better for all of you. Many prayers for you and your family. Peace...


Wow! Crazy day for you! Praying that Joanne will sleep through the night and that you will get the rest you need. You need to sleep and be refreshed you have ALOT on your plate right now.

Mary Witt

Ask the OT if the shoulder issue could be "shoulder subluxation." Very common in stroke. Similar to a dislocation but not quite.

Treatments include positioning, bracing, and electrical stimulation.

a woman in awe of y'all

One thing I hate about writing, is that's it's hard to express please, read this with compassion and sympathy, for both of you.
I'm wondering if it would be good for Joanne to be gently reminded that she is still a part of your family, and she needs to think of the welfare of all. I can't imagine what it must be like to be held hostage by her situation- but I imagine it could lead to a lot of self-centric thinking. Right now she must be feeling overwhelmed, frightened and extremely lonely but I can't help but think it might be time (in her recovery) to remind her about your needs, and the needs of her beloved daughters, too. You must sleep, and they need a father who is well rested. That is an undisputable fact. While the late nights and early hours of the morning are stressful for her, it is imperative that you get your rest so that you can keep your stamina up (for all of you to pull through this). There are so many ways in which she is feeling helpless, but maybe if she toughs it out (and let's the nurses tend to her late night needs) she will have the comfort of knowing she is "doing right" by her family, and in turn, "giving back" to you. While it may seem heartless to let her know how important it is for her to stop these calls/texts, it might also give her a sense of sacrafice for her family- which could be powerful in it's own right.
(I pray that this is read with my intended, loving tone.)

Theresa Roach

OH my goodness, You were one busy man and it is ok to feel overwhelmed with it all! You all have been thru so much! Hang in there and I'll be praying for a restful night FOR ALL OF YOU:)

Hugs from Georgia!


Take care of the caretaker - it sounds unkind but honestly, you've got to hold up, and the only way that will happen is if you take care of yourself. Could Joanne's dad take the call one night, to comfort her? And let you get one full night's sleep? Just suggesting, but having been a caregiver for 7 years to my parents, in our home, until they passed elderly, I know that if the caretaker doesn't take care of her/himself, the whole thing falls apart. Please get some sleep - primary. We'll pray for Joanne to sleep through the night.

Heather Clement

Praying that you ALL sleep well tonight, and have a wonderful weekend together. Love from NH...

Kathy Rivera

Hey, we are here to hold up your arms, like Aaron and Hur. It is a reality check for us to know the logistics of all that needs to be done for your girl. (and your little girls, and the cat, and the radio.....)

His Strength is perfect! Am praying for REST in every sense of the word for you and Joanne and the little ones.

You are running a race with so great a cloud of witnesses. Wish we could all take shifts for you. Your blogs have made us love her too.

Kathy in Idaho


Do remember to take care of yourself! I know the feeling of weariness. With my husband it was such a long haul. I didn't sleep, ate badly and barely kept myself going. Be sure you get your rest.
You are a blessing you know!

Teresa Lien

Praying for you and Joanne.


Hi Toben & family. I may have already seen this posted here but... remember, there's a reason they tell u to put ure oxygen mask on first when traveling w/ a dependent person on the plane. U HAVE to take care of u. If u don't u can't take care of anyone else. Find a way to turn that phone off @ least a few nights a week. Sleep deprivation takes a terrible toll on ure health.


Praying Psalm 4:8
"I will lie down and sleep in Peace,
for you alone, O Lord,
Make me dwell in safety."
I pray you ALL will get MANY restful nights of sleep!
And I'm still praying for Joanne's Miracle to be completed very quickly!!
Thanking the Lord for all He has done so far!!


Praying that both you and Joanne get a long and restful nights sleep.

Becky K.


If you can't turn the phone off I totally understand that....but perhaps another family member could take it a night or two per week?

Maybe friends from church would want to volunteer to take shifts during those early morning hours?

You really need to rest. Joanne would not want you to "crash and burn"!

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you, so much, for the progress that Joanne is making. Thank you for her ability to communicate and laugh. Thank you that Joanne can write out her thoughts and praises.

I pray that you will give Joanne relief from her pain and discomfort. Please help her to sleep through the night. I ask for wisdom and strength for her family who loves her so very much. May you grant them your strength and the ability to be the best kind of help to Joanne.
In Jesus Name...


Don't think you shouldn't feel sorry for yourself once in awhile. God is listening to that though hopefully answering the prayer that Joanne sleeps all night long and doesn't need you. You are a great husband, father, and friend to all your family. You have done all you can Toben to make Joanne's life right now more comfortable than anyone I have ever known. Some men would have just walked away, some would still be there but never go to the nursing home (just look around!) but you are God's chosen and you are doing what is right...Praying that she will get better at sleeping all night long.


Toben, How about the staff giving Joanne her sleep meds later in the evening...say around 10pm? And give pain meds at same time as sleep med.

Also, what about asking for a pain management doctor consult? Sounds like something besides Tylenol or Advil are in order for this girl! There are lots of options that won't make her sleepy!

Nurse on hiatus - Michelle


Dear Toben,
Praying for you guys daily. Like others have already said, you will be of no good use to your family if you burn out. If you must keep your phone on @ night and someone else can't share call, maybe you can gently remind Joanne why you can't come in the middle of the night. Maybe implore the nurses to give her extra care during the night when she is awake...deep heat rub, massage, prayer...
You must rest. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Patti in Craig

Is is possible for some family members/friends to take one night a week to stay with Joanne? I know we all have your best interest at heart. Keeping you in prayer.

Paige Szajnuk

Toben - I'm praying that both you and Joanne will sleep through the night and awake refreshed tomorrow morning. I'm also praying for relief for Joanne's pain, for her left side to "wake up," for comfort, guidance, healing, restoration and for peace. Also praising God for Joanne's progress so far, your love for Christ and one another and the example you are setting for so many. I pray your effective witness will plants seeds of salvation. In Christ - Paige.


You don't know me but I found you, like so many others on here, through another blog. I have been checking in from time to time to see how everything is progressing and saying a prayer for yall as well. I can only imagine how tired you must be and how difficult it is on your family and frustrating to Joanne. My husband was in a wreck 15 years ago. He was on his way home from work when someone ran out of gas in the left lane and didn't pull of the road. He didn't see it as he pulled from the right lane to the left and he crashed into the back of the parked vehicle. So I would rush to see him at the hospital every 4 hours and rush home to check on our 3 sons (3, 2, and 5 months). I was a walking zombie. And emotionally drained. I missed him so much. I will be praying for your family and you and check in on you to see how yall are doing. May God bless you all! Love and prayers from Texas

yanna westmoreland

Lord You neither slumber nor sleep keep watch tonight and hum Joanne a lullaby so she will rest and Toben can have a good nights rest as well.


Those call buttons can be sneaky and fall off the bed. I'm guessing that her bed has sides on it? When my mom was in the hospital we would wrap the call button cord around the bed rail once or twice so it couldn't fall to the floor in the middle of the night.

Also, taking care of yourself (whatever form that needs to take) is possibly one of the best things you can do for Joanne. Ya'll are on a very long roller coaster ride, and while she needs you now, she'll really need you later.

Sara G

When I had my stroke I had times that I urged my husband to come to the hospital. I text-ed and called him at odd hours, wanting him right there. Most of the time he could come be with me however there was a time when I had to realize he can't be with me and I had to rely on others mostly nurses to help me. In the beginning there was one week he could not come but he called the nurses if I couldn't get the call button to work. I had to accept this was the only way. He needed to take care of himself just as you need to take care of yourself. We did not have our daughter with us during the time I was at the hospital but our kids are very important also. Reminders are helpful and I pray that you find a way, loving but reminding the tasks needed at home and for yourself. Reminding that she is not alone. Jesus' Comforter is with her. It's hard I know but He is needed and wants to be needed. Love you all. My heart breaks. Praying!
Sara G


Praying for you tonight, Toben. Did this morning as well. I was up early & saw your tweet.

Praying the Lord would shower His rest on Joanne tonight and every night from here on out...and in turn, giving you the sleep you need. <3


Can't even imagine how weary you and the rest of the family are. Praying for a quiet, uneventful night's sleep for both you and Joanne.


I hear your weariness. Praying that God will show you how to balance your new normal for this period of time in her recovery.

julie Hoagland

Dear Jesus,

Please allow Toben to have sweet, peaceful rest tonight. Please provide comfort and sweet dreams for Joanne. Thank you Lord!

Julie in Seattle....but you already knew that! :)


Wow! Praying for continued strength and grace for you, and restful sleep for Joanne tonight!



You are extremely important to Joanne. If you are not OK then she will not be OK. It is OK to say I am tired, I need to sleep, I need to take care of myself. Refresh but do it guilt free - that is Joanne would want and she and your girls will be better for it.


Jennifer Hanley


My name is Jennifer. I've been the caretaker. My daughter who was only 11 had a stroke. I have 2 other daughters.

I have a clue how difficult your life is. I thought I could give you some good advice but I read thru these posts and see that everything has already been said.

My husband and I pray for you and your family every morning.

Do take care of yourself. If you get sick, or get in a car accident cause you are soo tired what happens to everybody else?

You have to be a priority cause many are depending on you.

You might be getting too tired to think straight. Follow the advice of those you trust and love you. You are not alone...nor can do it alone.

Christ is the savior. Trust Him to take care of your loved ones when you can't.

Take care and God Bless.

carla Sorensen

Hi Toben,

Just make sure you are taking care of yourself, too! You are not being selfish by doing that.

I am praying!

In Christ,
Carla in Maryland


Praying for you, Toben. I can't even imagine the emotional and physical stress you have been under. All I do know as your sister in Christ is that somehow in His divine way, God will provide you all you need for each day... hoping you got the rest your body needed last night! You and Joanne both! God bless!

northern girl

You need some down time yourself to get much needed sleep and rest. A marathon can not be run by sprinting the entire race.
Try and get various people on rotation to be with Joanne so that you can get some rest over the weekend. Sleep deprivation is not good. And please do try to remember Joanne is being looked after by staff at the hospital right now. Stay home and rest!

Trish S. from PA

Your prayer request is not selfish.

I'm the primary caretaker for my husband, who has brain cancer; my mom is awaiting an angiogram/surgery to repair a brain aneurysm; and, this morning I took our 3-year-old son to the pediatrician for pink eye and a sinus infection. You wouldn't think the pink eye/sinus infection would be the things to send me over the edge, right?! But, today I can relate to that feeling of being "at the end of yourself."

This verse offers me much comfort and I hope it will encourage you as well:
"He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak." Isaiah 40:29, NLT

May God give you the strength to face each day. Blessings to your family.

Perfecting Pru

And I thought my day had been busy! You and your family and of course Joanne are in my thoughts. Hopefully peaceful sleep will arrive for you all soon! In the meantime, triple shot Americanos are going to be the only answer!


Your not feeling sorry for yourself at all Bless your LOVELY Heart.

PRAYING for You....That you will get the REST you need....


You're one good man, Toben! (my husband would do the same for me) However, I agree with some others here, that you must find a way to take care of yourself--as well as Joanne. May you soon get that much needed rest!

Ann Robison

IDEA to help Joanne sleep until a decent hour: Move her sleep meds to 10 pm. If she is going to bed and getting meds at 8:00 it makes sense that she is up at 4 am. Maybe if you asked to push bedtime back it would resolve the early waking. If you need to leave the hospital at 8, it would be easier to text before bedtime rather than so early in the morning. Just a thought from a person who is praying for your family and has to have sleep to function as a human. Hugs from Ann in Texas


Toben, if the trunk of the tree fails, the branches will too. You need your rest. Please turn off your phone for a good eight hours tonight. She has an ARMY taking care of her at the hospital. You can take these eight hours for yourself. You are the only one taking care of YOU right now. Do it.

Brian Elder


My heart ached for you as read your blog. I just want to let you know you have been such an inspiration and encouragement to me. You have "man uped" more than you will ever know. I have seen the reflections of Christ in your life over the past couple of months. I will pray that the peace of God will rest upon you.

Brian E.
Columbus, Ohio

Amelia in NC

Big prayers for rest and strength for you, Toben. Big prayers for rest and peace for Joanne.


Toben, your love for your wife is amazing, beautiful, and touching. We are praying for all of you. But Dude, 15 years ago your wife couldn't have texted you all night. Maybe she needs to cry out to God more than to you all night. It is not wrong for you to let the hospital nurses, other family members, friends and more take the night shift a good chunk of the time. I say amen to those who've said this is a marathon, not a sprint and "You have to put your oxygen mask on before you put it on the smaller and weaker ones on a plane." You need to give yourself permission to be human, not superhuman. God never slumbers nor sleeps, but Toben, you are not God. Wearing yourself out is going to backfire badly. It's time for the family to get together and make a new night shift plan.


Hi Toben, you are anything but selfish. You also need your sleep. You need it for you, to keep strong and healthy, and you need it for Joanne and your kids to be there when they really need you. I know somehow you will work out a way to be able to be there for Joanne and keep yourself well and properly rested.

I pray you all manage to find the solution.

Kim Feth

Prayer for peace, rest, restorative sleep, faith, trust, and a sense of humor. You'll need all of those things. Continuing to pray that Joanne has such a complete and thorough recovery that all of the medical staff are amazed and give God the credit!
Kim Feth
Apex, NC

Lee Ann

Seems like I remember early on in this process you writing about marathon runners....... People who run 24 hour marathons and how they are just a tad bit crazy to do so...... (if I have the blog all wrong - oh's a good story). You (if it was you) mentioned you were in for the long haul and along the way there would be times it would be so exhausting and seem impossible. The really cool thing that helps those runners keep going are the people at the refreshment stations. The encouragers. Well.... your call out for prayer as you are worn out is like a call for a refreshment station. This is me handing you a cold glass of water and some words of encouragement. Keep going. You can do it. Don't quit. You are doing soooooo great. Look how far you have come. Yes, have a long way to go, but YOU CAN DO IT! You have the strength of the Almighty Jesus Christ and with Him you can do this. Keep going. Take a break from time to time, refresh yourself, take a deep breath and then dig in and start running again. Super proud of you! THank you for sharing with us on your journey.


Like others on here, you don't know me, but I have followed your blog since Joanne's stroke and pray for all of you often - - and feel compelled, like many others, to encourage you to STAY HOME AND SLEEP! It scares me to think of how easily you could be in a horrible car accident due to sleep deprivation - AND your sweet girls desperately need one parent around as much as possible. It's in these circumstances we need to turn to God and ALLOW Him to take over. We can't see Him work if we're trying to do all the work ourselves. Believe me, I know. Take a step back and allow Joanne's heavenly Father to do His thing!! Praying for you!

Karen in Hammond

I saw in a previous post about the Icy Hot. There is a product sold by some chiropractors called BioFreeze. The stuff is wonderful, spray on and while it smells menthol-y at first, the smell dissipates and you are left with a great feeling just like Icy Hot. It's been a huge help with my rheumatoid arthritis pains.


Oh Toben, what a struggle you face. You so desperately need your sleep, but you want to be there to comfort Joanne too! I will pray that you can find a balance that works for you all...but I think recruiting other family members to take the phone a few nights a week might help. You have to take care of yourself too! Many prayers for a good night sleep for you all.


Toben - i know that you are exhausted, but i also can see just how much you love your girl! Praying for you both as you continue this journey. May God continue to minister healing to Joanne and strengthen you both mightily!


Thank you for this honest post! My prayer is that you are every bit as honest in crying out to God. Plead His promises and have faith (and ask for more faith) with a high expectation that you are an heir to them. His promises for rest, peace, comfort and strength are His to give for His glory and they will come.
You bless us all- your heart for your wife is a gift for women to see. Joanne is a blessed woman!
Keep the word in your pocket, don't let a thought come to mind that you don't speak to God. He dwells in the heavens and also with the lowly and contrite.
His promises are yes because of Christ. His name is attached to promising to guide and strengthen and give wisdom to His children. I pray you will ask with expectancy and trust when He says to rest or do.

We are all lifting up prayers for you. "he who goes to and fro weeping, carrying seed to sow (gods word) will indeed come again with shouts of joy, carrying sheaves with Him." psalm 126:6

Sleep tonight and tell the nurses to assure her you're sleeping to stay strong for her and your girls.
You are loved! You inspire us all.

Kathy C.

I so much want Joanne to get a good night's sleep, and then another one, the rest she so desperately needs - I pray it comes soon.

Does she like piano music? I don't know if it would put her to sleep, but it's beauty always brings rest and refreshment to my spirit, and my favorite is David Nevue.

I pray for large doses of rest for all of you, and refreshment, and strength.

Debbie J

Lord I just lift Joanne, Toben and their beautiful girls up to you. Lord you know what each of them need. I just stand in agreement with my many brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray for complete healing of Joanne's body. Give Toben and the girls strength and peace to carry on with day to day life under such heavy circumstances. We praise you and give you all the honor and glory. You are the great restorer and we thank you for the healing Joanne is receiving. We know that you will never leave or forsake us and you will never give us more than we can deal with. We don't understand your ways Lord but we trust You that what has happened is bringing you glory in someway. Thank you Lord for all of these wonderful people to support this family. We just ask that you continue to place your angels around them in Jesus precious name Amen.

JIll Bjurlin

Although we have never met, I have been following your story and praying for you and your family!
Yesterday, my family participated in the Stride for Stroke 5K in Houston, TX. As we walked, with many survivors and families, I prayed for God's healing on your body, and for His peace and love to surround you.
In Him,

Amy T

What a great husband you are! Hang in there!

Beth Jones

I found out about Joanne through Twitter and have been praying and checking her progress. Praying God gives you the strength and sleep you need - as well as times of rest and quiet time with Him. May God pour out His Spirit on you, Joanne, the children, and be your help and continual hope. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with eagles wings; they shall run and not be weary,they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Miz Carla

Bless your heart! I will "amp up" my prayers for you!

Hang in there team leader--you're doing GREAT!

Waving Hello to your sweet Joanne!!

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