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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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« This and That (Toben) | Main | Back At It (Toben) »


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Thank you for writing and sharing, and taking us along on this journey. This is beautiful. Blessings to you all, and may your move be smooth. God bless from your reader in Zurich.

Michelle Lawson

I remember reading about John the nurse when Joanne was in ICU. I can remember sitting here at my computer and literally begging God, by prayer, that she would pull through so her girls wouldn't have to grow up without a Mother. As my Mum did when she lost both her parents at a young age :( I thank God for answering my prayer for your family and thank you for continuing to update the blog. May 2013 be a year of great health and much happiness for you all.

Michelle from Australia

Angela Hall

Praying for strength for you to keep that promise x


You are such an inspiration. Even if another husband felt this way, he wouldn't put it out there for others to read. You and Joanne have a story and God is using you in ways you never imagined. Praying that all the changes you are making are part of God's plan and that He will rain down favor on your family - BTW Love the pinkie promise - What a way to end the day! I have followed your "story" from day one because I was a blog reader -

Bobbie Lutz

Happy Anniversary to a very special couple, a beautiful example of how to live the gifts God gives us. You're both an inspiration to us and I'm truly blessed to have met Joanne in San Antonio and learned a lifetime of wisdom from her and still learning! Have a special day!


Beautiful. May God bless you both on this anniversary & those to come. And may He give you at least a small inkling of the incredible ripple effect your story (& how you've lived it, transparently, for all to see) has caused in the lives of others. Saying a prayer for healing & strength.

Child of God

Hi Toben and Joanne,

Toben, you are a wonderful husband and one I look up to and respect. Thank you for sharing you heart and speaking the truth. This is what it is about, Christ's love and living one day at a time waiting on Him to give us our daily bread to make it through the present day because we do not know what tomorrow holds. He is providing you with a new and fresh filling every day, there is nothing stale in this ministry you have.

Praying for you two and for the love, determination and perseverance to make it through each day in His grace.

Covering you all in prayers.


Wow. What an anniversary statement, Toben. Bless you for this precious reminder of the sanctity of our marital covenant. And may God continue to bring overwhelming beauty out of what the enemy attempts to destroy!


Happy Anniversary Joanne & Toben. May God bless you with many more blessed and happy years together.


Beautiful - Happy Anniversary!

Jenna Hoff

What beautiful and heartfelt writing. I have followed your blog and prayed for your family since the stroke. Your steadfast love and commitment to your wife is a witness in a world that believes you stay in relationships as you feel good and things are working well for you.

Toben, I strongly urge you to take this blogpost and expand it into a book. I think your story
would,,, not only encourage many but teach about commitment, love

Pam James

You are one amazing man.


Happy Anniversary! Peace. Ya'll inspire and are examples of what is right in the world. Stand firm.


Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money,
Maybe we're ragged and funny
But we'll travel along
Singing a song
Side by side.

Don't know what's comin' tomorrow
Maybe it's trouble and sorrow
But we'll travel the road
Sharing our load
Side by side.

Through all kinds of weather
What if the sky should fall?
Just as long as we're together,
It doesn't matter at all.

When they've all had their quarrels and parted,
We'll be the same as we started
Just a-traveling along
Singing a song
Side by side.

(Harry Woods) (1925) there's more to this song but you get the idea . . .

Kim smith

Thank you. I remember the depths of my vows during my husbands illness now I need to remember that I the everyday frustrations with ones spouse. Happy anniversary.

Ruthy :o)

The Song came to mind ....What a Faithful God have I (we) what a Faithful God ...What a Faithful God have I (We) Faithful in EVERY way


Bill in Ohio

Thank you, Toben, for evoking memories of our own experience when Doris suffered a massive stroke in 2002. As she lay in ICU stunned and half paralyzed, I reminded her that nearly 40 years earlier we had exchanged vows to stand by each other "in sickness and in health," and that my promise still stood. This was OUR stroke, not just hers. Both of our lives were changed that day over ten years ago. When she remarked once on her surprise at how I had risen to the occasion as a caregiver, I said I just thought of how she would have cared for me if the roles were switched, and took my lessons from her. Our Lord Jesus had died for both of us and this was a gift from Him that we never wanted. He would help.
We were both helped by the little book A PROMISE KEPT by J. Robertson McQuilken as he watched his dear wife slip into the fog of Alzheimer's. I needed to drink deeply from that well of giving out of love rather than mere duty.
So thanks again for being a model for men to emulate when a wife is down. It is normal for women to stand by their men, but men too often want to bail out and run. It takes courage to stick to your vows, and God will honor that, as do we.

Kim Feth

Happy Anniversary. More specifically, Happy Vows!!!
Grace and Peace,
Kim Feth
Apex, NC

Linda Marie Finn

Happy Belated Anniversary... Its so awesome to sit here reading what your feeling. We first read about you and joanne back when you were writing about your BP. Im Linda and my DH is Mark, he was diagnosed BP years ago but hearing others talk about it and what you have been through and sticking it out, keeping your vows for better for worse is touching. I know that were not alone and I know that our God is walking right there beside you and with us.
Love and Hugs

Pam Houston

Toben, this is the post I have been waiting for! First of all, congratuations on your 21st anniversary and the truth of your love being made manifest for all to see! I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had supernaturally called me to be an intercessor for your and Joanne's miracle...and I have walked this call out as lead by the Spirit of the Living God, believing with you for impossibles to be made possible. This post has ministered so deeply to my spirit and a divine gift has been given to me as a result of your finds a way! My husband and I have been married 42 years, and without a doubt the LORD has brought us together. One of the heartaches that has been endured is that my husband suffers from Tourettes syndrome and his pride would never receive the diagnosis or get medical or behavioral help. It was easier to be "religious" and live in denial. As a result, severe emotional wounding has scarred and deformed. Recently, I have wondered if I could continue to stay under the severity, the meanness, the hurt. Your blog, your truthfulness and sincerety and bringing me back to "this one thing" vows, has helped me today. Love and grace will help me finish the course, with God's help, walking right beside us! God bless you and Joanne, heaven will tell!


This one column is more powerful, thought provoking, convicting and encouraging than many sermons I have heard. Please write a book, both you and Joanne. Wish you many more years of togetherness. You both are truly amazing.


This is a topic woefully needing a broader audience. Commitment to our vows is a daily reaffirmation of a choice we made. Some days it is done with ease and in joy. Somtimes it requires a conscious decision to be the people God wants us to be. It takes strength, compassion, and a good deal of inner reflection to admit this and to frame it all in the perspective of love rather than obligation. While the event that enabled you to write this post is no gift, your willingness to share this with the world is certainly a God given gift for all of us blessed to read it.

Karen Booker Schelhaas

I needed to read this today, Toben. Brilliant.


Amazing words. Brought me to tears.

Happy anniversary Heims!

Donor cultivation fundraising

Amazing words. Brought me to tears. I needed to read this today, Toben. Brilliant. i enjoy this blog,

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