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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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« Happy New Year Update (Joanne) | Main | Prayer Request (Toben) »


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I am always praying, Toben. When life seems to much to go on. God is still there. And remember Phil. 4:13, "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." Don't give up, He is there. Blessings :)

r.elliott year...what a journey you all have been on...I say this to the Glory of see He is faithful...never leaves or forsakes...since that day...God has given me daily prayers for your family...I have never met you and only started reading Joanne blog right before this happened...but God transcends time, space ...His body is His body and I am sure I am but one of many"strangers" that continue to pray for you all. I will continue to pray as God gives me His Spirit to do so...
Blessings to you all....

Chuck Friedenstein

Toben - God is good. It's no accident that my facebook post this morning (before I read this blog) was about fear. Papa

Child of God

Hi Toben and Joanne,
I remember when the prayer request came in. Such urgency. I have been walking with you from afar, praying and praying, interceding for your precious wife and family. How far God has brought you all is just a miracle. :) Praise His name forever and ever.

Staying in the present is a good idea for that is what God tells us to do, and He is never wrong.

I will be continuing to pray for you all and hope that you will be able to take a vacation soon.

Lifting you up often.

Holly Smith

Oh glorious turn-around of a gracious and wonderful GOD! Praise! Praise! Praise! Thank you, Jesus, for our Lazarus. She is a bright light in all of our lives. Love you, Joanne!!


Sitting on the other side of the world, reading your words and praying that Our Heavenly Father will continue to give you strength for each day, and help you to not look too far ahead down the path. Praying that you will find joy as you trust in Him.

God bless you and your whole family -- including your marvelous support team.


Have followed your journey since day #1. Still don't "know" you face to face, but know your heart and spirit, Joanne. Your courage and endurance have been a beacon of light to many of us. Your ability to carry on despite tremendous obstacles has become a witness to the power of prayer, a kind word and deed, and the necessity of brutal honesty at times when we are at our lowest. You have honored God and your family by sharing your moments of joy and your moments of despair! They are all a part of the journey, aren't they?



You all have inspired me for some 3 or 4 years now. I know your road is hard but great will be your reward in heaven. Since I doubt our paths will ever meet (Oh vs. Co), I look forward to meeting you both in heaven...a long time from now :) Never give up!

Kim Feth

Praying without ceasing for a total recovery that amazes and stumps everyone. And now praying for strength, the family, and a vacation. What about travel by train and you could get one of those sleeper cars so that Joanne could stretch out?
Kim Feth
Apex, NC


Thank you God for granting Joanne more time here with her husband and girls, and her friends.

Toben and Joanne, you know more than I right now that we serve a BIG God whom is MIGHTY and in that I believe is the freedom to dream BIG. If our dreams come about, they might not be exactly as we dreamed them to be, but when we are reunited with God in Heaven, it's gonna be amazing and that is a good dream to look forward to.

Keep on dreaming!


What a year. I am so thankful Joanne is HERE. Keep dreaming for the future, because God loves you immensely and He is Good. : )

with MUCH love,

lisa c

Michelle Lawson

I answered a prayer request last January for prayers for Joanne. And I've been praying for you all since.

God Bless all of your family. And prayers will continue to come from our family here in Australia for you all.

Michelle x

Michelle Lawson

p.s. As you live no where near a cruise port (I think? Being Australian, American geography isn't my forte!!), this might be a useless idea. But what about a cruise?

We have TWO kids with special needs. And they are both very different in their needs, abilities and what they can cope with. Cruising for us is one lot of unpacking, no food to worry about, they can be as involved or not as they want with kids club, the scenery changes daily. And I feel like I get a break.

I am a holiday-a-holic. I need my next adventure to look forward to. I can understand how Joanne feels with needing a vacation to look forward.

God Bless you all.

M x

Janet Cline

Look at how far Joanne has come in a year and how far down the road you all will be this year. A vacation sounds like a wonderful idea!

Christy Youngblood

"Accidentally" ran into your blog many months ago. God has kept you on my mind as I've prayed that He would become more real to you than you ever imaginged. Will continue to pray for a complete, miraculous healing.

Sandi in MN

You've never met me and I've never met you but I was praying my heart out for you last year when your ICP numbers were through the roof. God wouldn't let this burden rise until I had prayed and prayed. And I remember exactly where I was also when the prayers started. I know it's been a long journey. You've worked harder than you probably ever thought you could and you've made it! Today is a day to rejoice in! May God continue to strengthen and heal you today.

Marla Taviano

Love you guys so much. It hurts my heart whenever you're hurting, and I wish so badly I could take some of the pain on myself. Continuing to lift you in prayer and trusting God has a beautiful plan for your family that includes healing and rest and fabulous dreams for the future!

Karen Booker Schelhaas

Continuing to pray. Will pray specifically about a vacation. If anybody ever needed one, it's your family.

Julie Powell

That day,Angela posted on Facebook asking for prayer for a friend in surgery. When I posted back- "Praying"- she told me it was you. I read your story, old posts on your beautiful blog. God used all of it to work on some things in me that NEEDED work. Your ability to communicate heart feelings and truths, your honesty and courage have blessed me this year. It is a privilege to be able to pray with you for strength and healing. God will continue to do His work in you for His glory, and I'm so interested to see how you get a vacation :-) Thank you for all you share.

Jb2 2000

Wow. So, so thankful with you for God's goodness this year. Praying for continued healing--and just peace as you remember such hard days. -Janel Breitenstein


Continuing to pray and hope Joanne cold is better.

Pam Houston

I agree with the Australian sister, a cruise would be wonderful, and we live right near 2 cruiseports, in L.A,(San Pedro)and in Long Beach Harbor. If you ever want to cruise from here, we would love to host you in our home and help you get to the Cruiseship! Just wish we were millionaires and able to pay for a cruise for you! You and your family are all "bright lights," shining for Jesus! Look how far you have all come in a year. Amazing...just amazing grace. I am also lifting up your therapist "D" and the tragedy with her dear sister. May she be blessed to walk in the power and comfort that only God can bring in a devasting season in their lives.
A So. Cal "Siesta",
Pam Houston

Brian Elder

Toben and Joanne,

I haven't checked in for awhile but you have been on my mind lately. I continue to lift you and the girls up in my prayers and appreciate the blog updates that you have provided. I just want to let you know that you have been a source of inspiration and encouragement for me.

God Bless,

Brian Elder
Westerville, Ohio

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