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Dear Joanne, This brought tears to my eyes. First, because I'm so happy to see your post after a long silence. And second, because I'm so sorry for the difficult road you have been on for so long. Thank you so much for sharing your pain--it helps how to know how to pray for you. It doesn't sound like you are complaining at all. You are being real and authentic. Life sometimes takes a severe detour, and it truly is hard to understand God's plan at those times. I'm at a similar place myself. So many of us only know you through your blog, but we love you and will continue to pray for you and your family. Love from California, Karene
Joanne, I just got this in my email, so I'm a day late in wishing you Happy Birthday. I hope you are celebrated all weekend and for the rest of the month! I believe in birthday months :) I discovered you and your blog through Beth Moore's blog just two weeks before your stroke. (In fact I was going to email you the exact day of your stroke about some experiences we have shared.) You and your family have been my prayers continually, even though we don't know each other. (Of course, I feel like I know you due to Toben's wonderful updates. And maybe someday I will get to meet you; if not now, in heaven for sure!) Your life and story has ministered so much to me these past two years. May you feel abundantly loved today, and always. With love from another SoCal "siesta"
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2013 on Happy Birthday! (Toben) at Joanne Heim
So happy for her!
Toggle Commented Jan 31, 2013 on Art Class! (Toben) at Joanne Heim
My heart goes out to all your girls. They, and you, are in my prayers!
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2013 on Back to School (Toben) at Joanne Heim
Thank you for being real. Sending a hug for all of you.
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2012 on A Post You Will Not Like (Toben) at Joanne Heim
I agree with all the above comments! This is a beautiful tribute to your girls--I hope they get to read this. You remind me to really take notice of the specific things I love about each member of my family.
Toggle Commented Nov 20, 2012 on In Praise of My Girls (Toben) at Joanne Heim
I'm not sure if this comment will be duplicated since I just tried to post it, but it wouldn't post. I will try again. While I have always told my kids that school is their job, and they need to make it their priority, I have learned with my daughter that a mental health day is necessary, if only to keep stress from turning into a physical illness. When I worked full-time, I occasionally took a mh day when the stress was overwhelming. I wish I had remembered this when my son was in school. With my daughter, we have never used it to go anywhere. I guess I would have a problem with that. We have used it to rest, talk together, do homework, simply de-stress. It is a gift to her, and it is used rarely. We haven't used one this year, but the key as parents is to keep communication open, to know when the stress is building up and teach them ways to care for themselves. School is very important, but not at the expense of their health. I don't feel I'm lying when I call the school. Stress and exhaustion can easily turn into more serious sicknesses, both physical and mental. Too bad mental health is not seen as important as physical health. Toben, you are doing great--Audrey has been under a lot of stress with all the changes your family has undergone. You have gotten her the help she needs, and I believe the Holy Spirit is guiding you as you parent these girls. I hope you feel encouraged by everyone. Sometimes you have had to function as both dad and mom these days. Trust your maternal intuition (which, of course, for a believer is the Holy Spirit). I will continue to pray for you and Joanne as you navigate these uncharted waters together. Karene in So. Calif.
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2012 on Mental Health Days II (Toben) at Joanne Heim
I echo all the above sentiments about being grateful that you are carrying on with the blog. It is a tribute to Joanne and to God's amazing work in your family, and I feel honored that you share your ups and downs with all of us. I'm sure it must be hard to be vulnerable, especially when you receive negative comments. Thank you for taking the time to share with Joanne's blog readers how she and all of you are doing! You are continually in my prayers, and it does help to know how to pray specifically.
Toggle Commented Jul 25, 2012 on A Refresher Course (Toben) at Joanne Heim
Hi Toben, I'm trying to post on facebook as my computer now won't let me post otherwise. I've posted over the last couple of years, although you don't know me. Continuing to pray for all of you. Thank you for keeping everyone informed on how to pray for and encourage you. You are a wonderful writer, and I'm so excited to hear about this new project. I will pray for Joanne's spirits especially right now. And I also have a teenage girl, so I can relate to the emotional roller-coaster that goes along with that stage, even without the major upheaval your family has gone through. You are loved by so many people throughout the world! Thank you again for the updates!
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2012 on This and That (Toben) at Joanne Heim
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Jun 23, 2012