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« Home again, home again and may we PLEASE add 30 degrees to the temperature! | Main | Mother's Day update »


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Love you. Prayer continues.

Great plan for tomorrow. Will be thinking of you.

Holly Smith

That IS BIG and WONDERFUL news, my friend! Oh, I am so giddy thinking about your adventures ahead. For you are right, He IS the same, AMAZING God. And you, my Lazarus? You are being unwrapped from those grave clothes...and walking anew.

I love you, Joanne. And you are a bright happy sunbeam to me. Praying tomorrow is super special...and that your girls supernaturally feel the Presence of God in their midst. My they come back to you. with Love and prayers aplenty, Holly


Thank you for sharing Joanne. I'm so thankful for you sharing your journey.


DRIVING??!!! My heart just skipped a beat for you. I'm thrilled. I will keep praying that it will come smoothly and naturally and easily. And I hope tomorrow is a precious day for you.

Dean Skaret

Thanks Joanne- I enjoyed the whole post but really liked the part about "heavy lifting"!!

Lynn kelly

I didn't know you before the stroke but have followed you almost every post since Beth Moore solicited all our prayers on that awful day!!
I read with appreciation for months the posts by your hubby and his total devotion. Then the months of silence during deterioration of the marriage and your loss of your girls. I've never understood how/why you lost the girls in that whole mess but I trust your faithfulness to God and your enormous effort to get what you can of your life back!!!! I hope someday, without hurting the girls, you will be able to share. ❤️


My heart is full of joy for you!!! Albeit, a little sad about not seeing your babies tomorrow. But so grateful for how God is unwrapping your life as He delicately unleashes the new you!! The driving you!! The you that is teaching us all a few things about leaving it all out for God and allowing Him to orchestrate your days.

Much love to you!! Prayers and blessings!


Lisa walker

Joanne it sounds like you have a great plan for Mother's Day. What could be better than spending it with a Holy Father who loves us through everything. It's good to change your plans for the hard days. It means growth and not just sheer struggle and survival. I get it. I lost my 22 year old son unexpectedly 3 1/2 years ago. I have a surviving daughter, but I still miss Brandon on all the special days. You are sounding more and more alive with every Facebook post and blog. You are making progress and sometimes that means shedding tears. I will be praying for you on Mother's Day. Love from Georgia... Lisa Walker

 Genie Cowden

You are a mirscle in progress! Thanks for blessing us with your post! Ancioys to hear all God is doing with you and through you! Big blessings to you!


I continue praying for you. <3 Thank you for the being an encouragement in keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus.


You continue to amaze me. Love that Lazarus comment and love you my blogging/fb friend.


I am in awe of your approach to spend Mother' Day!! May God guide, comfort, inspire and hold you oh so tight, only like the Father can!!
Tomorrow I will be spending my day alone the first in 33 years and I am sad, I hope and pray I can do what God is leading you to do!!
Hugs and God's love


You are such an inspiration to me! I'll be praying for you.


She BELIEVED that She could....and she will!!! God has given you this wonderful new plan and He BELIEVES in YOU!!! I will join you tomorrow praying ... and praying for my children as well...I believe if we join together, God will move these mountains! Sending all my love to you sweet girl!

Jennifer Saake (StrokeOfGrace)

Mother's Day has been touchy for me most of my adult life. There was a decade of infertility with several losses. Now I have kids but hurt for those who do not. The last few years God has awakened my heart to more and more people for who this is a hard day. I pray for you near-daily already, but I'm slow to connect-the-dots, so hadn't been specifically praying for you about MD, but will add that. Your action plan sounds wise!
You are the first strokie I've heard talk about inability to shed many tears. I too have just (about 2-3 weeks) cut down to 1/4 of my many-years antidepressant dose! I'm praying more healthy emotional responses follow.
I'm so excited for you in the driving evaluation (I'm not quite there yet) and return to teaching!

Erin koss

Moving, thoughtful update Joanne. Thank you. I appreciate your comments particularly regarding the AD meds as I am working on the same thing. It's interesting to always be "in the middle" emotionally. My children would've benefitted from seeng a bigger range from me rough the years. It's now late high school and I'm hoping to just come in under the wire! Prayers for you this Mother's Day. Your approach makes so much sense.

Sue Tell

Sounds like a plan birthed in the heart of God that He wants to overflow on you tomorrow. May it be a very special day.

That grit-your-teeth-watch-the-clock doesn't sound like grace. Your plan sounds like it's from the gracious hand of God.

And what is more wonderful is that you shared and we can "come with you" and support you on your day tomorrow. Bless you my friend.


I've read your blog for years. I have anguished over your loss of your marriage and children. I just don't understand.

. I'm thankful the Lord has brought you to a place of prayer and fasting. You have over come so much. I trust that the Lord will continue to carry you. Excited that you are getting back to teaching. Hope you are able to blog about the study.

Hugs and continued prayers for you and yours.

Susie T

I cannot imagine the pain you've experienced since being separated from your girls. Praying for you, dear Joanne.

Cinthia Milner

My goodness, what your precious girls are missing. To see their mother go through this journey and be strong and resilient. To see the strength, optinism and God working to bring you from such a place. The best gift we can give our kids is to show the way out of the darkness and weakness of our souls. They could be learning so much from you now. It's not our failures but our victories that speak to them. For their own journeys one day. I am humbled by how you will parent them tomorrow.

Michelle Bentham



my heart hurts for your mama heart. I could go on but it won't help so instead, a hug. and an invisible tissue.

Kelly Gandy

You are an inspiration Joanne! Thank you also for pointing to Jesus and fighting for your children on your knees!! God is good!

Bev Brandon

Hey girl, loved your post from your heart. This has been the hardest year of my life thus far. I say that every year. Not knowing when things will ever turn around for me. I have to let go Mothers Day and birthdays... But this I know. God is for me and you. He longs to be gracious to us. Isaiah 30:18. I'm looking to the Unseen with you. 2 Cor 4:18. And my tropical hibiscus on my teeny patio are blooming full force. I love you. You are the real thing!

Lisa Craddock

I love your idea about how to spend Mother's Day. I think I need to start doing something similar. I really hate the day--it's a fake holiday that just sets up moms for expectation, disappointment, guilt, and kids emotionally all over the map. I think Satan just rubs his hands in glee on Mother's Day, thinking of all the mischief he can make in otherwise loving and stable families. And for families that are in a struggle place already--bleah. So I am going to think about how I can apply this idea the rest of today, and make it a day that places my motherhood before the cross and surrenders it (and all those expectations and desires to be loved by our families) completely to God. : )

If you ever head down the California coast please be sure to let me know so I can come visit the camper! And maybe bring you dinner.
: )


I have followed you since people asked for prayers after your stroke. I am praying and will continue to pray, that our mighty God will heal your relationship with your girls. I think a day of praying and fasting for your kids sounds perfect. Hope you experienced His presence and love in new and amazing ways.

Charlotte Moore

GOD BLESS you during this time of PRAYING, crying, and reading the BIBLE. We never know what HE has in store for us.

Beverly Atkins

Thought of you today stopped to take time to pray. You are amazing! Much love to you.


I am wondering how your day of fasting and prayer went. Please let us know.

I so hope that one day you will see your daughters again.

Sonja smith

Psalm 121:2
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
That's the only explanation for this... The spirit within you!


I'm so struck by this post for a myriad of reasons. You're a teacher, dear girl. Such a remarkable, brilliant, living-it-out, grit-filled Rock Star kind of gal. You teach me. You really do.


I have a hard time reading this and not feeling bitter, for you. I don't understand how Toben would walk away from you during a crisis and even worse, take the girls too. This is so awful!

I have a similar marriage story, my husband left me shortly after my 31 year old brother died from cancer. But, he left me in charge of my four, wonderful kids. I feel so blessed to be their mom and to be alive and well, there is no room for bitterness in my heart.

But, if I were in your shoes, I'd struggle for sure! I am very impressed by your strength and dependence on God. Prayers for you and your girls.


You are an incredible mother... celebrate that for sure. I have followed your blog since prayers were requested shortly after your stroke. As you know from comments, many have cheered, prayed, hoped, and even though it may have been silent on the other end of this comment box, have celebrated along with you as you have fought to get your life back and succeed again and again. You are such an inspiration. I have often wondered why you lost any relationship with your girls, but marriages splinter more often than not under severe circumstances, sad truth. I hope you will be reunited in whatever way that works for you and for your daughters .. when you all feel the time is right. I wish that for you more than anything else. Congrats on all the progress, and thank you for sharing your story, reminding us what it means to be courageous, what it sometimes takes to find peace of mind.

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