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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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Your family is in my prayers. Thank you for your generosity in sharing this very difficult season...what a blessing to know that Joanne is immersing herself in God's Word! He will use this time to prepare her for the next good work He has planned for her. He's also preparing you, Toben. Sending much love to your family from California.

Angie Platten

Such a hard, hard season. Recently, I was reminded of something that I've been mulling around in my brain. "God is more concerned with our character than our comfort." Well, I for one, always vote for the escape plan. None of us like pain and suffering yet we pray and ask God to make us more like Jesus. Hello! If ya' looked up pain and suffering in a dictionary, Jesus would have his picture posted there! The man knew pain and suffering like no other! And for that reason alone, He knows EXACTLY what we are going through, wholly and completely. A John Lynch quote on my bathroom mirror is:"Take courage! Jesus is here! You don't have to be afraid." I know you are all in that place with me, of learning to calmly sit in the midst of suffering and trust His goodness and love knowing He DOES have a plan! Praying for you guys! Much love.


Thank you for sharing. I have been wondering how things were going but even without that knowledge I have been praying for your family. I am sure there are many, many others who are also continuing to do the same. If God does not restore her former abilities that made up her identity, I am positive he will give her new ones and draw her even closer to his presence. It is wonderful that she has all the family support.

Holly Smith

Continuing to pray, dear brother! You know, I think you are Jesus to my friend. I am thankful for your servant's heart. And I am thankful that Joanne is here with us and recovering, regaining, restoring daily. I LOVE the tent that Gran and Papa got! They are the best!!


Thank you for the update. I've been thinking of your family and continue to pray. May God give you all strength as you walk through this season. I am praying that God will restore back Joanne's hearts desires, those things that she delights in doing.


Still praying! Thank you for sharing so much with us. I will be praying over this list each day.


Kristi Walker

Thanks so much for the update. We pray so often for your family that we feel like we know you!...grin... Quite often I think of Joanne's New Year's post where this was her year of "love". I believe that she was right. What love she has seen and had the opportunity to show so many others! People like me...that she's never even met. All the lives you have touched and had the opportunity to share Christ's love with. What love your girls have seen...the real kind that really is for better or worse, in sickness and in health. The kind of love that can only come when a marriage is bound together by Christ.

No one who's heard of the Heim's will ever forget this year of total, complete love that's been shown by your entire family. Our family is standing with you that so many blessings will follow and rich, beautiful healing for Joanne straight from the throne of the Most High God! May it come quickly, and completely! Amen.

Corinna H

Thank you SO much, Toben, for such a wonderful update and sharing of how you all are coping day-by-day. We haven't stopped praying for you, Joanne, the girls, your parents and Joanne's sister. We are so thankful also that friends stop by too when they can; we ALL wish we could...
I continue to pray that each of you will actually feel GOD's comfort and love always, even in this time of sadness and adjustment. You seem more like a son to me and you are precious in GOD's sight! ((HUG))

lisa schubert

Guys, I think of you everyday!!! My children and husband ask about you all very often. This has been a hard year for you all so far, and my heart reaches out to you on regular occasion.
Love always, Lisa and family


You all continue to be in my prayers here in Connecticut. Amazed at your progress, hopeful there will be much more ahead :-)


I am going to a special healing service on Sunday. I will hold the entire family, but most of all Joanne up in prayer.
Blessings to you all!


Thank you for the update. Like many others, I think of Joanne and your family often, and am glad that progress is happening, albeit more slowly than anyone would like. You have been through so much and the struggles continue. I pray for continued healing and strength for all of you and appreciate the updates.

Joanne LaBuda

Thanks for the update, Toben.

I am still praying and will continue to do so. Thanks for letting us know how to pray.



I don't know if Joanne realizes how much she is still teaching. I learn about God's love every time I read one of her Tweets. He may be molding her into a new Joanne and that is painful for all of you but for me it is miraculous and holds such hope for me. Thank you for sharing this process.

Child of God

Thanks for the update!
I am glad to hear you are settling in to a routine. I am always praying for Joanne and will continue to do so.

This is hard work but with God all things are possible.

Praying and praying,

Pam Houston

I am amazed at your resolve and still managing to get on the blog with all that is on your plate. Thank you Toben for all the effort it takes in the midst of Joanne's recovery to keep us all posted. Not a day goes by that I don't lift you all to our LORD in prayer. Believing with you all for the impossibles, in in faith, in hope and in love. We know prayer makes all the difference.
A "Siesta" from So. Cal.
Pam Houston

Margie Smallman


SO good to hear from you. It's fine that you've taken some time off of blogging, although I do check every several days. If I had to write out my daily life, it'd be pretty mundane too!!

You and Joanne and your girls are still kept in prayer ALL the time, nearly every day. The long road ahead and the sadness/depression are well understood here.
By the mysterious grace of God, peace and tears can co-exist.

God bless you both and keep you and make His sweet face shine upon you and give you peace.

Real Housewife of Naperville

Thank you very much for posting, Toben. It is good to know where you guys are at and what we can be praying for. You have all come so far in such a short time, prayers for continued progress and an abundance of peace.


"Ditto" to the comments of your wonderful blog friends. I pray daily, especially when I see a charm bracelet that I set out as a reminder. I check on your blog every day. Thank you so much for the update. May you have a special sense of God's sustaining power for the marathon(s).

"He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak." Isaiah 40:29


Thank you for the update on your family. I will continue to pray from Texas for your precious family. I know in a lot of ways it must feel like you are in the desert but know that God is preparing you all for such a great season to come. Will continue to pray for all of your needs and desires.


ditto all the above~ I find myself clicking on Joanne's photo on my blog daily to see how things are going. i agree with the first comment: thank you for your generosity of spirit to share in your most personal journey. laura


Soooooo glad you blogged! I've wondered how things were going & what to pray for. So happy to have a specific list of needs.


Thanks for the update. I had decided no news was good news. I continue to pray for Joanne and her family. You are so right about how great it is to be home from the hospital. There's nothing like taking a shower in your own bathroom and sleeping in your own bed. God bless all of you.


God bless you and your family.Praying for your needs and thank God for the steps forward, though small lately.Thank you for taking the tome to catch her fans up on her progress. Much love to you all!

Erin Koss

Thank you for the update. You were missed. Praise and continued prayer coming your way.


Erin Koss


Dear Joanne,

The line that stood out the most in this post was the loss of your self identity because you could not do things like running, writing, cooking and so on. I hope and pray, God will restore everything back to you in the fullness of his time. But as for the teaching, I can say with certainty you are still teaching, not just in a conventional way.

I look at you and Toben and the rest of your family and learn

1. Faith and clinging to God during the hardest times, through the doubts and the whys, not pushing your feelings away, but working through them.
2. To spend time with God. Joanne, people have walked away from God for lesser things. You cling everyday for renewed strenth. Do you know how powerful a teaching tool that is ?
3. The true meaning of 'in sickness and in health'. I have read your other marriage posts. Again, people have walked away from a marriage for less and yet, here you both are. It is one thing to read something, quite another to see it being lived out in front of you.
4. The honesty in which your family has shown in this journey. So many people portray 'perfect lives'. You share your doubts, your struggles and your faith.
5. What a family is supposed to be.

I could go on and on. But rest assured, you are teaching Joanne. Someday, when things get better, I hope you will write about your experiences. Anyone can write books on faith or marriage, but I would rather buy a book from someone who lived through the storm and got out whole.


Kim Feth

Thank you so much for sharing your limited time and giving us an update. The Feth family will definitely continue to lift you up in prayer.
Kim Feth
Apex, NC

Kathy Rivera

This blog is such a source of encouragement, a clarion call to prayer and a reminder that we are one Body in Christ. It is a new season for each of you and God continues to remold you for a high calling! We aren't allowed to chose our 'platforms' but God positions us to make the greatest impact for eternity.
Thank you for taking the time to update us. It is our calling to pray and intercede and we will. We see thru a glass darkly but one day, Face to Face!
Kathy in Idaho.


I'm so glad for this post. Not for the discouragements, but for the lights that the little joys must be for you. Keep clinging to those. You have been in my prayers for almost 7 months now (since your stroke), and I'm not stopping the praying anytime soon!! =)


I am still praying for ALL of you!
Praying Psalm 18:32
"It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect."
I am thanking God for His perfect way for you!
Keep your Faith and continue to trust Him!


My dad is going though the same thing (in fact, you talked to my mom at Littleton and Spalding). Our family is just a couple months behind you and I am constantly reading your blogs and praying for your family as well as mine. I have full, 100% confidence that Joanne and my dad will fully recover and be able to do the things they once loved. I remember only 3 months ago we were excited when the only thing my dad could do after surgery was raise his thumb for "yes" answers, and that's when we knew the doctors were wrong and he was himself. Now, we are excited that he is making complete steps. Imagine what him and Joanne will be doing in just months from now! Praying every day with love and confidence <3


Thank you for the update, Toben.

We love you, Joanne!!!!!!

(BIG HUG from CA)

lisa craddock


It is so good to hear how you are taking care of your family. Thank you. What a blessing that is for you all and for me, to hear it. Be encouraged. What is it we're told by Paul? not to give up even when the reward seems way off or not apparent. One day and one event at a time. Plus, take care of yourself too. I stopped and lifted you all in prayer to our Heavenly Father. Never give up. Jenn

Shannon Schulz

Toben -
I've wanted to email you but realize now that I don't have your address! My parents are back with Heather now in Highlands Ranch. I'd love to ask you some questions about book stuff, when you are up to it!
Shannon Schulz


You are all in my prayers. Can't believe that tomorrow it's been 6 months since Joanne's stroke. You all have become such a part of my prayer life, even though you don't know me. Sending love from So. Cal.


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Sherry Maxwell

Joanne, I could only imagine what you maybe going though. So glad you have God by your side.
You have by prayers to for a quick recovery. So many wonderful people are praying for you. I know God is all around you. I to am fighting some of the same feelings of lost. ("loss of your self identity because you could not do things like running, writing, cooking and so on.) Three years ago, I was told I couldn't work anymore due to my back problems. I die two years before that, and the CPR that saved my life, damage 4 disc. They have now become very painful. I can't even do simple things like dishes, laundry, or just some cleaning. I cant even go to the grocery store alone. It has taken almost all of my independence away. I'm trying to stay focused on God's purpose and not my own. He is in FULL control of our lives. Your and I both have to lean of the Lord. So rest and be a sure he will have you back up and doing his will. Maybe in a different way, but it will still be the way of the Lord. Be strong my sister in Christ. God bless you and your family. Sherry


First of all I want to say that you are one blessed family!
I came upon this blog tonight, while looking up sewing patterns and spent the last 3 hours reading through the bigger part of it! WOW!
There would be a lot more people recovering more quickly from illness, if all had such a loving and caring family behind them!

As for finding the new identity- my husband has been unable to run for 10 years (due to an accident). It took him two years to walk again and get out of the wheel chair and he is in pain every single day! It is hard for me some days to see him like that and not be able to do anything about it. There still are things we can't do due to his injuries....

So, we put our trust in the LORD always and take it one day at a time and rejoice in the little things and do what we can do!

And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love GOD. Romans 8:28

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