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

« 48 Hours | Main | Where We Are »


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


So good to see you're all entering a new kind of normal at home and with family. Appreciated reading the update. Still praying. . . Blessings!

Julie (Johnson) Powell

Thanks for the glimpse into your world. It IS lovely to have family around - you are blessed. You're all in my prayers often. It's such a fight to keep our minds 'stayed' on the Lord, but at least we know where Peace is to be found :-)


Remind Joanne that her stroke has caused an awful lot of the world to slow down and pray and watch her miracle unfold. Mention God is using her as a bright light and we are all paying attention. Also tell her thank you for going though this.
Thank you too Toben.

julie Hoagland

Thank you for the update. We are still praying for Joanne, you and the girls. So happy that she is finally home.

Julie, Isaiah and Noah Hoagland - Seattle, WA

Kim Feth

Covering your prayer requests. Normal is a continuum and you are somewhere on that continuum - just be aware that your position can, and will change.
Kim Feth
Apex, NC


Precious Joanne! I am so happy that you are home. You have created such a special place in so many of our hearts. I am praying for you tonight - for deep, deep peace.


I'm so glad you are finding your way toward your new normal.

Karen Booker Schelhaas

Praying for all of you. I read the blog every day. You all are a beacon on a hill, that's for sure.

Mary Ann from Alabama

Thanks so much for the update, Toben. I know we all appreciate, so much, the time you take to keep us updated on Joanne's progress. I know you guys have a ways to go, but it's still great to hear all the wonderful things Joanne is experiencing now that she's home - things all of us take for granted.


Dear Toben and Joanne,
It is hard to adjust. No, life will never really be what it once was. However, God has brought you this far, and I know he will not forsake you. Each day is a new day, a chance to learn and relearn and go forward.
I pray that Joanne will use the anger to spur her on in her recovery. With my husband that is what happened.
Prayers, blessing and love sent to you all today!
in New Hampshire

Child of God

This sounds like a great start to a new normal.

Toben you are doing a fantastic job holding up and getting everything organized. It sure is a blessing to have parents around to help you out. I see blessing after blessings that you have put here since the beginning of this whole ordeal.

Joanne I believe it is very normal to feel angry you have been through a lot over the last few months but you really are doing amazing. With this wonderful fighting spirit you have I see you healing quickly. Jesus is right there with you helping you along with these new growing pains. Try not to stay angry to long but to take that anger, place it on Jesus and look into His beautiful smiling eyes. Oh how He loves you and how proud He is of you.

Praying and praying,

Gina Shanahan

Really, I just wanted you to know that I followed from Audrey Caroline/Angie Smith's blog months ago and I have been checking on and obeying prayer requests daily. I am amazed at the strength and resilience your family and especially Joanne display. Praying for TOTAL healing still and all the little things that come along with that! If I did not live in Illinois I would offer to pick up the girls for Girl Scout outings or drop off a meal. Perhaps I will help financially as I can not even imagine the medical bills.
Love and prayers to you all!


Glad your finding a new normal. I will pray that Joanne finds less anger, more peace and patience, and an understanding that this too will get time! She has come a long way, a journey that at one point you didn't believe she would survive to travel - but she did! And she will continue to improve! She is WonderWoman!

Still Praying in Hurst, TX.


Hi Toben,Joanne and family my name is Julie and i have followed this journey you have all been on every part challenging every day. Toben you have been a strength and God has kept you and taken you to a new place in your own walk to show you more about you,i truly know in this God will be glorified i am praying continually and am excited to see the blessings and increase in Joanne. Toben make sure you keep yourself rested and make sure you have Toben time as well as this is just the beginning, Bless you guys Julie Tasmania Australia


Ahhh, it brought me such joy to read this post! Such a great day....for everyone! ;-) ALL things are possible in TIME...we just have to be patient.

I've been meaning to mention that I LOVED the gorgeous pictures of {Wonder Woman Joanne} on Kristen's blog! Thank you so much for sharing them.

Anonymous Prayer

Hi Joanna! I would encourage you to share your emotions about what's happening in your life on your blog. Who knows, maybe one of the MILLION people following this blog can help!

Anonymous Prayer

Oops I meant Joanne, not Joanna, sorry!


Well, having dealt with my husbands pancreatic cancer, followed by my daughter's lukemia and following bonemarrow transplant with a bazillion life changing complication, including brain damage, my husbands job loss...I know a little about crises and as they said at the bonemarrow transplant clinic " a new normal" :0) . But you know what? I am still at a loss for what to say. The journey you are on is, in many ways, unique and very personal -- while public and very encouraging (even when there are "downs") to others -- to you. It feels as if whatever I say, it will come out sounding "pat". All I know is, that while I don't know you personally Joanne, I just want to hug you and tell you to hang on and hang tight to the one who is holding oh so tight to you. He really does have a plan and it is a good one couched in His love and excerised with wisdom (even though it may not look like it right now). All that being said, He also knows and understand perfectly where you're at and how you feel and He loves you to pieces. I am holding you before The Throne!

Toben, hang in there. It's exhausting being the one who is well sometimes, isn't it. Be assured this is a true ministry of gigantic proportions and you need to know if to were only to Joanne and the kids, that would be enough. But it goes way beyond that. Your service through this touches many more lives than you can imagine and brings glory to God. And by-the-way, you don't have to do it perfectly for the Perfect One to use it perfectly!


I have also followed your journey from the start (I became a reader when your situation was lifted up on the blog that Beth Moore writes) - include me with all the others who thank you for writing all these posts. Knowing how to pray, and reading about how the Lord has been at work has been very helpful and encouraging.

I will continue to read, and pray -- lifting you all up to the Father -- over here in Zurich, Switzerland.


please know you are covered in prayer!


Dear Joanne,
I have followed your story from day 1. Your tweets are so sad and I am delurking now to say, please do not be ashamed of your feelings or push it down. You are 38, strokes are supposed to happen to older people, overweight people. Not someone who ran 5 miles and ate well. I cannot imagine how I would function emotionally, spiritually and mentally if I were in your place. It must be heart breaking, frustrating and make you want to throw things as your entire world has changed.
I do not have an explanation for why God allowed this to happen. But then I remember praying for your survival. I remember praying that she is only 38, a mother of young girls. Give her back to her family so she can see her daughters grow up. It is true you cannot do what you once did, what made you happy, you need help. But you are here Joanne, even in a wheel chair and in a weakened state, you are here. With your family. You have been given a chance to see your daughters grow on earth instead of from Heaven. You remember them. It will only get better. Look at your daughters. And please remember, you are loved by strangers. And please do not be ashamed of your feelings. You have handled it with more grace in public than any of us can possibly hope.

You are an inspiration, simply because you exist. God bless you.


Dear Joanne, I discovered your blog a week before your stroke. I've faithfully followed it, and have been praying for you daily, sometimes hourly, ever since. This transition to home must be so hard, but I am in awe of how far you have progressed. I believe God has great things ahead of you! I will pray for endurance, perseverance, and hope. Don't give up! You are an inspiration to so many!
With love from So. Cal.


Continuing to pray and thanking our Father for His miraculous touch; believing that He is not wasting one single experience. He is special that way.

Perfecting Pru

I am so pleased that everything is going well since Joanne came home. It sounds like the routine will be in place very quickly.

Thinking of you all.


Joanne be well and be Happy please your family needs you.

Gina Shanahan

I, for one, can not wait to hear how this week has gone! I am missing your presence and hoping that things are progressing well and the 'new normal' is being adjusted to. I am sure the girls being out of school is a great pleasure and a source of stress at the same time. Prayers to you as always!!

Susan in Zurich

I can only imagine how busy your lives are these days - know that you remain in the prayers of your readers. Looking forward to reading an update, when time permits, as to how things are progressing. Bless you all - may the Lord give you peace and grace as you adjust to your new normal. God bless,


Miss the blog updates! I am praying you all are doing well!

yanna westmoreland

Sending you love Joanne and prayers for your family. The Lord bless and keep you and make His face shine upon you this day.


Figuring you're in the thick of adjustments galore...PRAYING FOR YOU...I linked you up to my Friday randomness...and reminded people to not forget about you and keep on bringing you before the throne. Love ya! ~ Bobbi

Here's the link...


I miss You and who am I just a Maine Friend.


I'm just checking in to let you know I am still praying for all of you!! :-)


Sounds like you are adjusting well to being home, though it brings challenges as well. So good that Gran can be with Joann daily; as I cared for a friend through the last months of her life, with help, continuity of caregivers was so beneficial to all. And I cannot say enough about a good calendar! As calender keeper I emailed it to my friend's husband's assistant weekly so he knew who was where when, who was bringing dinner, etc. Remember to ask for and accept help. I know how hard that can be. And keep God in the center of it.
So glad your girls are getting a break, I am guessin you are right they are ready for a break.


Glad your finding a new normal. The Lord bless and keep you and make His face shine upon you this day.
so gald to hear this dell inspiron 1545 adapter


About the anger...I don't know if this story would help at all, but when I've gone through the darkest of times, it helped me to know that there could be a silver lining, God's grace shining through, when all I could see was the gray.

My nursing classmates and I stumbled upon your blog shortly after the stroke. Ironically, we were just covering strokes and ICP and nursing care in rehab at that exact time. A few of us have followed your story since. Not only have you given us a motivation to keep studying, to graduate with our nursing degrees, but you have also motivated me to be the most compassionate nurse I could possibly be. I now have a glimpse into what the patient and the family is going through, little ways I could help someone else in this same situation. I had the opportunity to put into action some of what you've taught me in your posts, during one of my clinical rotations.

So, while I wish and pray that you all were NOT going through this loss of your previous normal, please know that even in your time of gray, God's grace is shining in the positive influence you are having in people you don't even know.


Thank You!!! I needed that analogy to keep me going. I am a caregiver for my husband who has Early Onset Alzheimer's. We are at the stage where he needs to be prompted for most tasked and processes. It gets tiring, I get envious of my friends who have a spouse who is truly a partner, I think for two and do the work of two people. I get annoyed. But today I am serving Jesus, I try to look at my husband and see Jesus. Today I will focus on serving and what he can do, not what he cannot do.

Blessing to you, this isn't easy but this is holy ground.

casino guide

I get envious of my friends who have a affiliate who is truly a affiliate. I could perhaps be. I now have a look into what the person and the family is going through, little techniques I could help someone else in this same situation.

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