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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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Ruthy :o)

I read your blog n thought you don't have to try! you do or you don't as we abide in the vine you will keep in time with His step and shine :o)

Lots of Love xx xx

You shined on me today!!
Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one who sees God in secular music.
You are constantly a blessing to me.
Love to you all....Tara


This blog has been rocking lately, Toben. You bring up some really good points and do so in a very unassuming, digestible way.

I found myself nodding in agreement about the shiny outside but dull inside concept you mentioned. I am that way often as well. While it's better than being a grump, I know I need to shine more from the inside.


lisa craddock

The Holy Spirit has been whispering similar things to me the past could of days too, Toben! Not with those same words, but a similar idea, esp. about "shining" even if you don't feel like it. The words I've been inserting are "love" even if I don't feel like it, "be gentle" (as in "let your gentleness be evident to all--the Lord is near) even if I don't feel like it, etc. So I appreciate you sharing one more way to frame this idea!

Linda H.

Wow Toben!...I loved this post. Thank you so much for sharing the thoughts and feelings of your heart!

You are a shining example of love for Joanne and your kids...and I think you have been a light to all of us as you and Joanne and the kids go through this hard journey!

I am stopping right now to pray for Joanne and for all of you. God bless you all!

Linda @ Truthful Tidbits


Trust me on this, you and Joanne shine. Not because you are pretty or perfect, but because of your raw honesty, your willingness to be real and most of all the love that you have for each other. It is not a Harlequin love story with sugary bits, but the nitty, gritty, down and out story of a real couple with challenges most will never face and how you navigate it. This is how HEA looks to me, the real version, not the Disney version. Your life together is a powerful example and teaches more than a million sermons on love and marriage ever could. You may never know how many lives you've touched, but you have. Thus you both shine.


I've been reading since Joanne had her stroke, but have never commented before. I want you to know, though, that I keep coming back and reading in part because you and your family definitively shine. Not in the most obvious ways, but just in the "they keep loving each other and keep pursuing life despite being thrown a huge curve ball and grieving the life they once had" type of way, and it is really beautiful.


I definitely need to shine during times when I have no control over the outcome of a particular situation. Someone else is calling the shots or there are guidelines to be followed. As anyone who knows me well can testify, I tend to become very frustrated. Today, I wasted a lovely if cold Sunday afternoon fretting over something that I had no control over but which could well have a negative outcome. All the what-ifs and if-onlies! This verse popped into my mind: "Be still and know that I am God." Be still. In other words, stop fretting.


I heard a sermon including this verse Saturday night. The pastor reminded us of the portion that says we are to work out our salvation with fear & trembling. He was quick to remind us it doesn't say work FOR our salvation, but work OUT our salvation. THe idea is that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will "change our wants to and then give us the power to do." Christlike behavior will work its way out of us and we will shine like the stars. What a thrill!

Stephanie Pyle

I have been focusing on shining and showing mercy to all those in my life lately. It is hard! I have been humbled by the change in atmosphere in my home that is the direct result of my change in attitude. But what I've been reminded of most recently is that shining doesn't necessarily mean to put on a happy face and tell the world that everything is good. It means that we praise God even in our struggles -- being honest with ourselves, God and the rest of the world that life is hard but that we will honor God in the midst of the storm, despite the storm. If I will remember to be honest with my emotions and struggles, I make a much better witness to those without Christ that have similar situations.

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