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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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Toben, as I read this I thought what a picture of servanthood. You are serving Joanne, but also Jesus. AND you are setting an example to Audrey and Emma. They will look for a husband that will love them in sickness and in health. They are so blessed to have you and Joanne live that out for them.

Praying that God will thrill Joanne this afternoon.

Much love and prayers from GA,


I remember too, Jesus taking the cloth and water and washing the disciples feet at the last supper.
Joanne, I know you are frustrated and afraid. But darlin', Jesus is with you. Do not give up. Keep telling yourself that he loves you and is there.

Mary Lou

What a beautiful post...what a lovely picture of are living out the words "in sickness and health"...Love is not love just when everything is hunky dory but love is love when one of you is sick and needs help. What a great picture you are showing your girls....their husbands are having the bar set high for them. Way to go. Praying for all of you and for Joanne to have at least one bright spot a day and IF He so chooses to give her more than one bright spot.

Marena Sheffield

I am especially praying for Joanne as she deals with who she has become. I, too, had a stroke and just last night (18 yrs after mine) I was mourning what I cannot now do that I once could. I no longer mourn all the time, but there are those moments. Be patient. Know you are in my prayers


Many times in every marriage, there is something about our spouse, that in order to do what we are called to do, we have to think of how God sees them - or serve them as we would serve Christ. Many times in my own marriage, when I have been tempted to feel frustrated, I prayed God would show me my husband through His eyes, and give me a love that He has for Him, and He has every time! Frustrations melt away - and the ability to endure with love ushers in.
Praying for both of you....

Kathy Rivera

Sometimes we miss the big picture in all of the details. To glorify God every day is the goal and you understand that brother. Joanne's healing is in His powerful hand and He is the One who told us that His ways are higher than ours.
Thanks for taking the time to keep us posted. We feel like a huge team of friends who have never met holding hands all around your precious family. We are learning so much from this inside look and we are grateful for that.

Lean on the Everlasting Arms!
Kathy in Idaho

Mrs. Claus

Thanks so much for sharing all these stories, of ups and downs, it encourages me every time I read another baby step Joanne has made, and I don't even know you guys. Blessings to you and your entire family.

Merry Christmas!!


Hi Toben praying for you all as you get adjusted I am glad I came here to read this because I also take care of an elderly parent I have been so fustrated lately because of certain situations so I need to look at serving her thru God eyes not mine thank you Toben for posting this you just don't know how much this help me today. Wil;l be praying for Joanne tha God would continue to give her Joy in her days.

Janet (JayCee) Cline

Great way to look at things! Hang in there! We are praying for you guys.

Kristi Walker

Praying for you guys every day and even though we don't know one another at all, I think of your family often. I can only imagine how difficult this is for each of different ways. But, I know that there is fresh grace and mercy each morning. May His peace, kindness and love overwhelm each of you!

Michal Ann

Colossians 1: 11-14 Living Bible

"And we are praying,too, that you will be filled with His mighty glorious strength so that you can keep going no matter what happens, always full of the joy of the Lord and always thankful to the Father Who has made us fit to share all the wonderful things that belong to those who live in the Kingdom of light. For He has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of satan's kingdom and brought us in to the kingdom of His dear Son who bought our freedom with His blood and forgave us all our sins."

You bring the Light of the Lord to so many, Joanne, Toben and all your dear family.

More and more blessings to you as you walk this new road step by step.


I was just reading this afternoon about how Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet, and how He modeled that for them--and for us. It inspired me to look for ways to serve my family and others more. And you inspire me too. Continuing to lift up prayers for all of you--thank you for telling us what you need. May God richly bless you.


I'm continuing to pray for you and Joanne. May God grant you His strength for each day. May you know and see that His mercies are new every morning!


Someone is already praying this over you, but I will say it again--Colossians 1:9-14 is a prayer that is very dear to my heart. May it be a blessing to you and your family.

Prayers and blessings,

Child of God

Thanks for the update! :)

This is a rough, tough road but you are doing it and Joanne is getting better and will continue to heal.

I too am going through a stripping away of self, and this sounds like you are experiencing this as well. I love how you picture serving Jesus' feet when you are at the feet of Joanne. I see growth here and this is really good. Heidi Baker has a saying which I will pass on here...God's floor is our ceiling.
When I think of this I think that we can only see Jesus' feet and they are glorious.

Praying and praying for you all,

cara gabrielse

Hi toben and joanne. you don't know me but i am a friend of a couple of your neighbors, nikki and sandy. i have been following your story since amanda moore blogged about it the day after joanne's fall. i was reading your post today and just wanted to let you know about a healing service that is on monday, june 6th at jubilee fellowship church in highlands ranch (link below).

i don't know how you feel about that sort of thing. i am not sure how i feel about that sort of thing. i waiver between believing in suffering through our trails with joy because it produces perseverance (james 1) and believing that the prayer of the righteous can heal (james 5).

i went to one of their healing services out of curiosity last month and because someone i know was seeking healing for her asthma. i thought the service was really God-honoring, and not weird at all - no slaying of people or anything crazy - very worshipful. my friend received prayer but has not been healed. just keeping it real.

anyway, i just felt a prompting to share that with you. may God continue to use your family to give him glory. is the church website - go to the calendar. the service is at 7:00 on monday at the highlands ranch campus.

Melissa Garland

I absolutely loved this post. You are a wonderful husband and father and I will continue to pray for Joanne and your family.

Becky K.

Prayers continue for your family. This is such a hard time....but this is a perfect example of service and true love.
Praying that God allows all of you to feel His tender arms around you and giving you peace and joy in the midst of these very tiring and sometimes fearful times.


Praying for sweet Jo. Thanking God for your service to Him and your beautiful wife. Praying for your girls. Praying for all of you! You are all mighty warriors, but there is none like Joanne right now!!

So much respect, love, and admiration....

Beth Jones

What a great, touching post. I'm sure it isn't easy for anyone, but I am praying for all of you - grace, wisdomm and strength for you & girls & Joanne's family - and believing that one day Joanne will RUN. Right now it's slow and steady, adjusting to everything again, but I am praising God for all the miracles He has done with you, Joanne, and all that I believe He can do! For nothing is impossible with God. Hang in there!


I know what your talking about my husband trys hard to be helpful to me after my car accident and I have a injury to my brain I'm as good as I'm ever going to be but I'm not ever going to be my old self its hard for everyone because We changed the out come of our lives you men had no say. Thanks for finding the new joy in your lives. Rena


For Joanne - today I was looking around at some various blogs on decorating, etc. and one of them was a little slow to load. The first image that showed up was the picture of you with praying for Joanne underneath. I jumped because it wasn't what I was expecting on that blog. I've really loved your blog and I've prayed for you ever since the stroke. Here was another opportunity for you to come to my mind for prayer. Don't give up! So many people around the world who don't even know each other are connected and praying for you. Thank you for all of the days you inspired me when I was down and felt like it was all just too hard. I continue to remember you in thought and prayer.


Dear Joanne and Toben,

This is one of the hardest, yet sweetest posts I have ever seen in blogdom. It must be incredibly hard on both of you. Toben with all that needs to be done and more so watching Joanne go through this. And Joanne, you are living through this. I cannot imagine. You never signed up to be poster children for what a christian marriage should look like. But through what you do for each other and showing us with honesty, the ups and downs of your journey you model more than anything else things like Christ's love, servant's heart, praising through tough times, faith, family, strength, grace in the midst of trials and so many things that no book, movie or sermon can ever come close. You have made me draw closer to God. Thank you for giving me a glimpse into your lives. Please know you are covered in prayer by people you do not know and will never meet this side of heaven.


Toben you are indeed serving Joanne and with her serving Jesus. To serve is one of the greatest gifts and yet so often over looked for its more showy cousins. Serving your wife in love is truly wonderful. Keep strong, take the chance for rest when you get it and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You won't be able to serve Joanne if you are running on empty.

Joanne, keep strong. I am sure you are afraid but keep going. Find the strength in the love and support around you and in yourself. You have that strength within you to face all your trials. And when you are overwhelmed, cry or otherwise relieve the pressure and then on with it. It is not wrong to be feeling weak or afraid.

Much love to you all.



Toben you are amazing. Your posts keep us grounded in prayer for you and yours.

Kelly Campbell

I know that it is challenging but you are both facing these challenges with amazing grace! It took me several months to be able to put my own socks, shoes and AFO on myself. Not trying to discourage you but to tell you that each day does get better. My stroke was 2 years ago next month and now I can look back and see the rapid progress I made in those first few months at home but I can assure you it didn't seem rapid!! I am praying for perseverance and daily nuggets of hope. Please know that it WILL get easier with each day! Joanne, fear of falling (and falling) is normal. Just take it slow and try not to let the fear keep you from trying. I know it's scary - I still get nervous out in the community, especially on steep ramps but, the stronger you get, the less likely you will fall so keep practicing. That leg will remember how to hold you up with practice :)
Praying for you!

to know him

A very convicting post for me. I often am looking at my own selfish needs that I don't see serving others as a way to serve Jesus and to be reminded of what He did for us.

Thanks Toben and Joanne for sharing this journey you are on with all of us...we are blessed because of it. I am for sure..


God has prompted me to pray daily for Joanne and the family ever since I first read of the need on Beth Moore's blog. Thanks for the posts as I depend on them to guide my prayers. This was a very powerful post and I appreciate the time you took and transparency you portrayed. I pray for you as much as Joanne because I know personally that the quality and attitude of the caregiver is VERY important. I have been on both sides as giver and given too. Keep leaning on Christ and He will see you through.

Sounds like Joanne is going to have a workout partner in the weeks ahead! Praying from a distance and in my own little corner of Colorado.

Pam Houston

Joining you in prayer from So. Cal. with a great company of prayer warriors. A very touching post. Cheering you on from the sidelines.

Theresa Roach

God is working thru you to help Joanne and you both are fortunate to have each other! After my Mother had a stroke, she also fell... it takes a while to get ovr that! Hang in there, this too shall pass!

Hugs and prayers from Georgia!

jeannie fuller

Praying for renewed strength and rest from the Lord for you. Each and every time you take care of her, she notices. The love you share has grown more than you will ever know. You are her hero!


The feet put everything in perspective. I have been reading all the posts and praying for all of you.

Great job, what a beautiful husband you are. It sums it all up. "real love"

Sandi in MN

What a beautiful post. If we could all only remember we are serving Jesus with the things we do daily for others, how much better our attitudes would be. At least mine would be. I said a prayer for you all after reading this and continue to do so regularly. Joanne has made such amazing progress, don't loose sight of that! I prayed she'd have a "bright spot" every day and remember how far she's come!


Is Joanne getting some therapy at home similar to what she was getting in the rehab hospital?

Praying for you all to have strength and happiness. :)

Erin North Dakota

Most of my thoughts have already been expressed above. My family and I learned through some very difficult times that being able to serve is a gift, as is being able to accept service from others. A very independent friend of mine did not want to ask for the help she needed after a series of strokes. I told her it want so much that she needed my help as I needed to be able to serve her, as she had so often been there for me in earlier times.
I have been following Joanne's progress since Day two. What blessings you all are to each other and wonderful witnesses to True Love and Faith. May the Lord bestow many blessings on you all.

Cathy Davis



You sound depressed Toben are you getting any help with your feelings? You need to keep being strong and taking care of yourself for your wife and children dont get burnt out Now your needed. think of you and your family often. Love from Maine


Praying for balance. In each step, each thought, each life.

Mom and me

Wishing Joanne a speedy recovery


Hope things are getting someway better with your new lives. Miss hearing from you.
your friend from Maine Rena

Rhonda Floyd

Praying every day for your whole family. When I start complaining about something that's aggravating me, I often think of you guys and ask the Lord to forgive me for complaining. I'm an ICU nurse recovering open heart patients and have through the years taken care of quite a few stroke patients. But the really hard part isn't that critical phase, it's the part where you guys are now. I don't blame Joanne for being depressed. There is such a loss. Even though we are supposed to give thanks in everything - this is an awfully hard one to receive. And falling is terrifying. I am proud of the way you and Joanne press on. And proud of you for not being afraid to talk about many of the difficulties you are facing. (Although I suspect it is much harder than you dare to verbalize here). I pray for patience, and wisdom and for the will to keep striving against the physical and psychological obstacles you are facing. I pray for wisdom for her treatment team -that they will give her all she needs to reach a chemical balance to keep her sound in body and mind. And I pray for you guys as a family - husband and wife relationship as well as parent/child relationships. I pray for you to have joy and love that is supernatural and overwhelming. You are such a miracle for His glory.

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Je suis content de la façon dont vous et Joanne presse. Puis à nouveau heureux pour vous de ne pas être soucieux de disserter sur le sujet d'un nombre important de troubles, vous êtes confrontés.

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