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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, that and this | Main | Dear Stroke »


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Thanks for the update! I love seeing you grow. I will be praying for you and your girls!


Oh these are awesome! For years we have been praying for you and I am so glad to see you posting here again! Your testimony and sweet spirit kept us praying as we knew you were still the same in heart and spirit...there's nothing you can't do with your friends and most especially your family...
Merry Christmas sweet Joanne...we love you sister!

Kimberly Severson

Wow, when you put it all down in one spot, you've been awfully busy. It's great to see you blogging again, even if its here and there. Your independence will come in time. You've been doing great and I'm super proud of you. I'm actually a bit envious of the fun you get to have in that retirement community. I still have a ways to go before I can even think about living in one. (I know you do too, shhh) I still pray that Toben will open his eyes and stop being so mean and ugly. The girls in time, will make their own decisions and come around. I'm sure that there are things we all don't know here, but I'm praying that one day you and the girls will be together again. On a more happy note; I see Santa is getting you a puppy! 🐶🐶 Hooray!! I cant wait to meet him/her when she gets here. Keep us posted! I wish you and your FANTABULOUS parents a VERY Merry Christmas! Much love and hugs!!

Holly Smith

I love you. So proud of how you walk with grace my friend. You are so beloved to my heart and especially to God's. Praying for your dear girls. Not giving an inch in my prayers for all things. Love Holly


I'm so glad to get the update although sad to hear you don't see the girls. I remember the early days and Toben's devotion to you. Don't understand but obviously something changed. So sorry.
On a more positive note you have made so much progress!! I love what is going on!!!!


Love the update. Love that things are turning around. Always praying for and thinking of you!

Phyllis Gurley

wishing you a very Merry Christmas,

Erin wright

Thanks for being grateful and teaching us about thankfulness. I'll look for you on Christmas Eve!


It is great to read your update and to have you share so transparently and honestly. I can't even fathom how life has changed for you - and I don't know what transpired between you, your spouse, and children - but I know on some level - they must miss their mama. Keep praying and may God bring them into your arms soon. Hugs.

Marla Taviano

I love you so much, friend! Be watching the mail for an after-Christmas surprise. (and I love the New Year's Eve party on eastern time--so fun!)


I followed you blog before your stroke. I am so happy you have your spunk back! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family.

Courtney McDermed

Your post was the ecstasy and the agony. I was so happy to hear that the fog is lifting and that you're doing so much better! And my heart feels so heavy about the separation from your daughters. I'm really happy to hear that you're doing well over all but my throat just aches about your girls. Thank you for sharing so much Joanne. I'm really thankful to have so many of my questions answered. Hearing about your life always, always gives me a reason to pray. I can feel like maybe I have some things in my life under control (I don't, but I kid myself) but I love to pray for you and I'm thankful that you share your journey.
Merry Christmas,


I missed whatever happened between you the girls and Toben...praying that's resolved. I know you must miss your girls terribly.I always love an update and to hear you are doing well. I wish you a great Christmas.

Laura Drury

thanks for the update. So thankful for your sweet mom and dad. You have come so far, so glad to hear all the progress! Praying for a miracle with your girls and husband. God is a God of miracles! When it seems impossible, He can make a way! We will all keep praying. We all love you!


I love you, Joanne. Truly. I think you're busier than I am!!! I'm coming to visit soon. It's a promise! <3


Merry Christmas Joanne. You are brave and courageous and God has brought you so far. I'm not sure what happened between you, your husband and your girls, but I pray that God would restore the relationships. Blessings!

Darlene Rush

Merry Christmas Joanne! I followed your blog before your stroke and have enjoyed your books. You have such strength and resolve to live life and find the enjoyment where God has planted you. I don't know what happened between you and your husband and the girls, but I pray that someday you are reunited with your girls. I don't really care about him....oh sorry. That wasn't nice...have a wonderful New Year and may only joy greet you in 2015!


Always love an update. Praying for you and specifically for your girls!!! You are such an inspiration!!


Joanne, I think of you and pray for you often. As others have written, thanks for catching us up with your life. I now have things to pray for specifically. Merry Christmas!

Kris Flanders

Thank you for the update. It sounds like life is stabilizing and you are making great progress. I continue to lift you in prayer. So very sorry that things between you, Toben, and the girls are not in a good place but I will continue to pray...God is a God of miracles! Your parents are wonderful and you are so blessed to have them there for you. Keep moving forward and enjoying life. God has a purpose in all he allows....Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Charlotte Moore

It seems you have been a very busy person and making much progress. I know that is very encouraging to you.

I am so sorry you haven't seen your girls in so long. I really can't imagine. PRAY that will be solved very soon. GOD is able to do above and beyond anything we could say or ask. MIRACLES happen daily. It may not be what we expect, but HE can do anything.


JESUS is the reason for ALL seasons.

Helen Washington

I realized I started reading your post the day it posted and remembered I hadn't finished it for some reason. I am so glad I came back. Joanne, you have made such incredible progress. As a physical therapist...I know we have a terrible reputation as being most parts torture (although I was always super gentle), I am so impressed by the gains this long after your stroke. It simply fills my heart with joy. I echo everyone's sentiments of being so sorry that the girls are not presently in your life. I will continue to pray that this is redeemed fully. It is always such a treat to have you post. Selfishly I have missed you in here and have been so happy to see posted more frequently. We miss your voice, your heart and your words. Have a blessed Christmas and may the new year be filled with moments that continue to bring you hope and joy.



LOVE these updates and reading your words my friend - such a writer!! My on my what a journey you continue to be on. Praising God for you Joanne, His great love for you and most specifically how He has used every step to draw us all closer to Him. Merry Christmas and HaPpY New Year! squishiest (((hugs)))


Merry Christmas! I am so sorry you don't get to see your girls. Praying this will change in 2015.So glad to hear the update on your recovery.

renee altson

sweet joanne- much love, respect and joy for you - i am glad my friend survived and can be in my life (albeit over Facebook). you are loved. tidings of comfort and joy. <3

Jen Medeiros

Merry Christmas, Joanne!
I love reading about what you have been up to and how much joy is surrounding you at this time. I will be praying for you and your girls to be reunited.
Heavenly Father,
thank you for sweet Joanne and all the lives she has touched in one way or another. I thank you that she is doing so well and is surrounded by a loving community. I lift up her two daughters Audrey and Emma and ask Lord, that you heal their relationship with their Mama. I pray for your peace that surpasses all understanding for the Heim family. I pray that even today they could talk and share stories. I lay this at your feet and thank you for your love.




Thrilled to see a post from you. You were heavy on my heart/mind just yesterday. Continuing to pray for you and yours. I sooo wanted to attend the Messiah concert. I wanted to take my young girls to the shortened version for kids, but wasn't able to. Must put it on the calendar for 2016.

So glad to hear of the progress you have made. I trust you will continue to make more.

Have a wonderful Christmas!


Your blogs are wonderful to read so I can keep up with your progress. Praise God for your renewed strength and I am praying it continues. God has you in His loving hands, that is very clear.

Merry Christmas and all the blessings that come with His presence.


Merry Christmas dear Joanne ---- have prayed for you all these years since your stroke occurred. Your steadfastness is amazing - you have persevered and you are overcoming. Well done sister in Christ. Well done.

Pam Houston

Dearest Joanne,
I have learned as much reading between the lines as reading the lines you have shared. Praise GOD you are choosing the high road..."Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life!" Psalms 143:8 You and your amazing (first) family have chosen the high road, and the high road will take you places you never dreamed. My heart aches over the separation between your beloved girls, and the split with your mate. I have worked years on unlocking co-dependency and the journey of discovery is worth every effort taken. I am believing GOD with you for the restoration with your girls and your discovery of things that you thought you already knew. When you have the keen serenity to change the things you can and accept the things you cannot change and receive the wisdom to know the difference, you are in a place to embrace the life you have and shine as a child of the day! I am proud of you in the LORD precious "Siesta" Joanne and I am cheering you on with a host of others. I want to say the same cheer as "Diginee": "WEll Done sister in Christ! Well done!" We shall see with opened eyes what 2015 has in faith, in hope and in love.


You are such an inspiration, Joanne! I love that you have been lifted out of the dark days and have gained so much independence. What a BLESSING!

I was hoping that you had seen your girls, but I guess that blessing will have to wait just a bit. God will restore and redeem the time lost with your husband and girls, but the journey there can be very hard. I don't know if you are doing this already or not, but maybe you can write them letters while you are separated. That might help bridge the gap until you meet again.

You are a beautiful light in this world, Joanne. I only know you through your blog and now Facebook, but I do know this. You are an incredible woman and you inspire me.

Much love to you as you walk into 2015! May you be abundantly blessed and walk in the favor of our Lord!


Kim Feth

Merry Christmas (a day or two late) Joanne!!! My husband was asking about you just the other day. Somehow I missed this blog update, but he'll be as encouraged as I am about your recovery! I'm being selfish for you and still praying for a 100% complete stroke recovery. It sounds like you're making phenomenal progress. Balance is a tricky thing, isn't it! I'm so glad that the very darkest of days are behind you, and now you can use those as a reference point for yet another thing God has brought you through. I love that your family of origin and adopted family in the retirement community are keeping you so busy and in so much fun.
My heart does break that you aren't seeing the girls right now, and I am prayerful that will change in the future. Did I see somewhere, on FB maybe, that you were texting with one of the girls? It's a start!
Just an encouragement FYI - I showed someone your laundry detergent recipe just the other day and showed her our homemade detergent. She was on her way home to make a first batch.
Enjoy your New Years, Siesta Joanne!!!
In Prayer and In Love,
Kim Feth
Apex, NC


I love you. I was happy to see a new post from you. Glad to hear what you have been up to and that you are living your life. (I have tears of joy in my eyes)

Taking care of yourself (in so many different ways, one example being spiritually)

Being in community

living in the moment

I am so pleased to read this post. Pleased for you Joanne.

Here is to a 2015 like no year either of us has had before.

Wendy Selvig

Joanne, you are such an amazing woman and you have been through so much. You never asked for all of this but you have come through it and are still coming through it. I've wanted to ask for so long WHERE IS TOBEN?! But then I find myself thinking that it's none of my business. You deserve to have your family by your side. I'm so thankful that your parents are with you and I pray that everyone else in your family is able to heal and see past their own needs and for everyone involved to grow in love towards each other. I believe you can still all come out of this together. I'm praying that the biggest miracle of your story is still yet to come!

Bobbie Lutz

Thank you, Kathy for your comment. Most people don't have facts when they make mean comments, or could only have one side of a story and feel free to hurt others. Thank you for your kindness for our sweet Joanne and her family. Praying for blessings on her and all her blog followers...Happy New Year!


Dean my friend be very careful in your decision to judge others especially when I am sure you don't know details! you never know what shoes you may walk in one day. You are a mean, cruel individual.
Joanne I am sorry for the ignorance of this fool. I admire you and have followed your story every since it aired on the radio shortly after your stroke. I will admit I have wondered about your girls and Toben.... I pray for you all! I am glad you are doing so well and that you are very positive and staying busy.
Keep the faith and never give up!


May God continue to BLESS and USE you, Joanne, as only HE can. While you have handled your life with such strength and dignity over the last few years, it's only natural to feel the "human" side of life--try your best to tune out the ignorance of others who will never be in the position to "understand". While it has been over 25 years since we were friends in high school, you still have the same beautiful heart & gentle spirit, and have grown in beauty through situations that most of us will never completely understand. You will ALWAYS be the mother to two beautiful young women, whose hearts, by God's grace, will soften to understand the love you feel for them...a MOTHER'S love...a bond like no other. As your friend--know that you are loved, admired, supported and prayed for. May HIS strength carry you above and beyond the "understanding" and the ignorance of others. You are fulfilling the work that God has chosen YOU to do, and doing so with amazing grace and dignity...He will one day hold you in HIS arms and say, "Well done, good and faithful servent"...

And Dean--my prayers go out for you as well. May you never be asked to wear the shoes of this amazing lady, much less walk a mile in them. And please, for the sake of everyone, keep your tasteless and hurtful comments unwritten. Your "job" is not to judge what you know nothing about, but to be inspired and supportive of a life that holds a Godly purpose. How sad that you can't see that...seriously, my prayers go up for you.

Lois Murr

Joanne, I first learned about you through Midday Connections just days after you had the stroke. I have been following your story and praying for you ever since. You have shown reliance on God and grace that only he can give. Thanks for being so transparent with us through your blog and your tweets. Blessings to you and your loved ones.

Lisa Craddock

Joanne, I am praying for you and Toben and the girls. That eyes would be opened where they need to be, that hearts would listen to the nudges of the Holy Spirit as they need to, that God's truth, His love, His peace--all of the power that conquered the grave--would cover all of you. Dear woman, you are beloved.



Joanne, thanks so much for sharing another update! It's so encouraging to read of your gratitude--not for perfection, but for progress, merciful progress, reminders that with God's help we can always move forward (even if the steps are small, few, and not particularly well-balanced) in faith. Prayers and best wishes for you and yours as you step into 2015. Happy New Year!

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