we love you, joanne!

If you’re here today from the amazing, fabulous Rachelle’s blog in hopes of winning a set of sweetly scandalous books, welcome! I had a charming and witty post planned in hopes of convincing you all of my writing prowess, but my heart’s just not in it today.

My dear friend, Joanne, suffered a major stroke Tuesday morning, and after much brain swelling and surgery where they removed part of her skull, she’s in a fight for her very life. Today was a hard day with lots of tears. We love you so much, girl, and we’re praying without ceasing for you!!

The latest update from her hubby Toben via our friend Holly Smith (9:00pm Wed.): Praying for Joanne’s brain to rest and heal over next 48-72 hours. Praying for low stimulation, waking on her own. She’s under sedation and pain meds, unlikely she’ll wake up tomorrow. That is good–allows for healing to occur. Pray for no damage to the brain stem, for her to wake up, for her to be able to communicate and read, to physically regain mobility.

Joanne (a published author) and I first met because of a mutual love for books and writing. My hope and prayer is that the story of her stroke–and full, God-glorifying recovery–will be a best-selling book (or at least a heck of a lot of blog posts) someday. Please keep Joanne and her sweet family in your prayers!

Speaking of BOOKS, to win a copy of Is That All He Thinks About? AND The Husband Project by the fabulous Kathi Lipp (upon whose head I wished a pox), just leave a comment below answering ONE of the following questions:

1. What do you love most about your spouse?


2. What’s your favorite color?

I’ll choose one winner at random Friday at noon (EST). U.S. addresses only please! Have a great day, and please pray for Joanne!

97 thoughts on “we love you, joanne!

  1. Patti Hess

    I love that my husband can make me feel like the most important person in the room just by looking at me…

    pattifritz2000 at yahoo dot com
    thanks for the chance

  2. LittleWomen

    Praying for Joanne! Good news about Gabby Giffords showing positive signs of recovery from her brian injury, so hoping for the same for Joanne too.

    My husband is willing to learn how to say romantic things in Spanish for me because I thought Spanish Buzz in Toy Story 3 was so cute and romantic.

    But the best thing I love about my husband is how he makes me laugh.

  3. Addie

    1. What do you love most about your spouse?
    – he is a great man of God that does most of the housework, takes care of the kids, encourages my dreams…. and most importantly, puts up with my craziness… oh, and he’s hot too!


    2. What’s your favorite color?


  4. Heidi

    One thing I love about my husband: the way his butt peeks out of his new Darth Vader underwear briefs that he got for Christmas… from my parents! Gets me every time.

  5. Melissa

    Today FB has given me reminders through out the day to pray for several people fighting for their lives. For Joanne, for a friends mom who had a tumor removed along with 1/2 of a lung today, for a 4 year old with cancer who had fever, for a childhood friend who is fighting cancer. Today the world of autism that I face everyday with my 5 year old seemed very easy.

    What I like most about my spouse is that he is my biggest supporter, cheerleader and that he always shows that he believes in me. He gives his everything so that I can stay home with our 3 boys ages, 1, 3 & 5. He is the best friend I have ever had and better than anyone I would have ‘chosen’ on my own. He is better than I deserve and an absolute gift from God.

  6. Debby

    I have kept Joanne in prayer Marla, I also am praying for her whole family.

    1.He’s still the one who gives me chills when we touch. I can look at him and he still makes me smile and he doesn’t know why I’m smiling. I am so blessed to have him in my life. We met on a blind date and got married 5 months later. When he asked me to marry him. I said ‘yes’ Then I asked him if he thought it would be to soon to marry since it was only 4 months since we met.
    He said : Baby it will be an adventure for us every day! getting to know each other, it won’t be easy but it will be a ride!” Marla after 27 years of marriage..It’s been an awsome ride! Some good, some bad but I can still look at that man and smile!

  7. Robin O'Bryant

    Thanks for all the updates on your sweet friend. I am praying for her.

    Thank you ALSO for your fabulous post over on Rachelle’s blog. I love reading over there and today’s post was so on target! I have to remind myself that when I read books on any subject I go ALL IN and read multiple authors. If I like a book, I’ll follow up on authors who blurbed it and read their books. As my agent posted on her blog a few months ago, there is plenty of good out there for all of us!

    My favorite thing about my spouse is that he is steady as a rock. Totally dependable, and consistent. Oh and he can fix anything. Literally. I’ve yet to break something he couldn’t fix, and THAT is saying something!

  8. MaDonna

    Hi, I found you today from Rachelle’s blog. I’m sorry to hear about your friend. I just prayed for healing for her now.

    As for my husband, I love that he loves life and loves making me laugh.

  9. Jessie at Blog Schmog

    I found you via your “a pox on Lipp” πŸ™‚ post at Rachelle Garner’s blog. I love your honesty and–like it or not–your humility in sharing. I like your wit, your ferver for life and I will definitely be back.

    I too am a creature who must learn the hard way.

    Okay, here goes. My husband is my greatest advocate and my most gentle (most the time) critic. I would not have learned half the lessons I’ve learned–the hard way–without his support. Not to mention, you gotta love a guy who adds an incredible dynamic and personality to my writing and does so even though I’m a total newbie and we’ll probably never be published! πŸ™‚

    Oh and my favorite color is green too but hopefully not “green with envy”.

    So sorry about your friend. πŸ™ Praying you are right and full recovery will be the talk of the nation!

  10. Marla

    Been reading your blog for a while…got caught by your name (my name!), and love what you have to say. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Joanna’s story has grabbed me also…we’ll be praying.

    My favorite thing about my husband (there’s a million, but we’ll go with the one I’m thinking about most today!) is his willingness to be the one who gets up in the middle of the night to deal with puke, because he knows I can’t handle it! πŸ™‚

  11. Nina

    I don’t know Joanne and only learned about her yesterday through your blog, but she and her family have been on my mind and heart all day.

    My favorite color is purple. One thing I love about my spouse is his willingness to help with traditional “mommy jobs,” like changing poopy diapers and making dinner when needed.

    I’m entering this contest to see if your random winner generator is biased toward people named Nina. If I win, then we’ll know it is! πŸ™‚

  12. Cathy West

    I loved your post but then I read the comment about Joanne, so sorry to hear this and I am praying too,
    it’s tragic.
    I was going to say my fave color is green, which it is, but then I thought, surely I can come up with something nice to say about my husband. So here goes.
    My husband is someone others look to, respect and admire. I love the way he is always available, even when he doesn’t want to be. He will admit his faults and work to change them. Best of all, he’s put up with me for twenty-five years. You don’t know me, but let me just say, the man has got to be a saint!!

  13. Teresa

    Oh I have done that….I mean something bigger….My heart just breaks for them….
    Amy Ables will tell you I have so recently been through this with my husband. You can read about it on my blog starting
    Oct 2 on http://teresa-grammygirlfriend.blogspot.com/

    I am just coming out of the blur and wondering if I have PTSS

    Stroke is something I never knew anything about….I did send Tobin our story…

  14. Ann Best

    I found you through Rachelle’s blog.

    Favorite color: purple. (I had two husbands; both are dead.)

    My middle daughter Jen’s in a wheelchair from a closed head/brain stem injury, 25 years ago. I’m her full-time caregiver. She couldn’t move anything on her body voluntarily for five months. I can empathize for what you’re going through! Pray and pray. I believe in the power of prayer. I also know that healing doesn’t always occur the way we hope/want it to. We do all we can, then it’s up to God. There’s much to be learned.

  15. gini

    praying for Joanne right now!

    One of my favorite things about my husband (there are a lot) is the way he makes me laugh when I try not to… he can be so silly (and so serious). Laughing with him is the best!

  16. Alison

    Hi Marla, I will pray for Joanne. So sad and scary. πŸ™

    My favorite color is green, or orange, or pink. It depends on the day. My favorite thing about my husband? His quiet strength and support. He is patient and kind and helpful. And almost never loses his temper. That was more than one. Sorry. It’s hard to choose. πŸ™‚

  17. Denise

    I have been praying for JoAnne as well…heartbreaking…

    I am going to answer both questions – favorite color = blue

    As for my husband, he is probably one of the best listeners I know, and one of the best advice givers, I love venting to him, because he understands my need to do so!

  18. Kelsie

    Purple is my fave. My favorite thing about my husband, my best friend, is that he is willing to do what he needs to do. He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t hesitate. His response when thanked is, “I’m glad I could help.” I praise God for this amazing man – life would be so different without him. He makes many things possible…what a gift from the Lord!! Praying for Joanne…

  19. Halli

    My favorite color is rusty orange. My favorite trait of my spouse is his willingness to help with the kids and the dishes. And he let’s me blog!

  20. Julie Holmquist

    Just read Joanne’s blog! So sorry for your friend and her family’s pain and suffering. I hope and pray she pulls through. I will be lifting her up before the throne. My heart hurts for her and her family.

  21. Julie Holmquist

    What do I love most about my husband?

    I love him for many reasons. I can name four right off the top of my head. Their names are: Zachary and Matthew (12), Andrew (8) and Logan (2) — all boys!

    Our marriage has endured multiple job losses, having premature twins, another premature baby who required a life-saving surgery at two weeks old, a mentally handicapped son and all the behavioral and cognitive challenges that entails, his parents divorcing and his father living the gay lifestyle, a miscarriage, etc.

    These are the stones we could have stumbled over and which could have caused our marriage to be tripped up by the enemy. Instead, they are the very stones we carry across our Jordan as a memorial of how faithful God is in our everyday lives.

    We look forward to watching God continue to move in our lives and in the lives of our four sons. We wanted to walk on water, so we got out of the boat! Jesus, help us keep our eyes on You!

  22. erin

    Awww… praying for your friend. And I feel kinda guilty saying “ME! Me! Me!” on a book giveaway when you’re going through such a tough time… but I’m doing it anyway! I’d LOVE to win those books!

    What I love most about my husband? I love that he’s such a great daddy… he’s so great with my kids and they adore him.

  23. Julie Reynolds

    still praying for Joanne and in answer to question#1:

    I love that my husband can make me laught at myself and not take things so seriously when I get overwhelmed and go into Rambo Mom mode. I love that he loves me.

  24. lisa

    praying for joanne for sure … i don’t even know her but i can’t get her out of my mind and heart.

    i’m thankful for and love my husband because he knows me … even better than i know myself sometimes.

    and my favorite color is blue πŸ™‚

  25. Katie

    I found your blog through Kathi’s site. She spoke at my MOPS group earlier this year. I did the hubby project with a few friends, and it was great! I should probably do it again!! I would be interested in reading your book too!!

    My favorite thing about my husband is what a fantastic daddy he is to our 3 year old and 7 month old. When he gets home from a long day at work, he immediately starts playing with the kids–chasing the three year old around, while holding the baby. I know he is tired and would love to relax, but he misses his kids and know that they miss him too.

  26. Kathi Lipp

    Just went over to Joanne’s blog to get the update and pray for her. Love you friend. Be encouraged Marla, on a very hard day you touched hundreds of people with your words.

  27. Anna Silva

    I love that my husband is a man of integrity. Even in the little things, he does the right thing. I am so proud of him and so thankful for him! I am really blessed because he has so many amazing qualities!

  28. Patti

    First off, a wonderful friend of ours had a stroke a few years ago. I know how hard the wait can be; my heart is with you, yours, hers & hers.

    My husband is my favorite human bean on the planet. He makes me aspire to be a better person every day. Because, when your favorite person is amazing & wonderful, so the inside of his wedding band says, you have to rise to his level. And, I am grateful to have someone who pushes my boundaries every second of every day. And then, he tells me I’m a better person than him. See what I mean?? ; )


  29. Michelle DeRusha

    I was all ready to come over and leave a witty comment on your blog…but the news about your dear friend Joanne sobered me up. I’m so sorry to hear about that very difficult situation. I will pray for her and her family.

    As for my husband…I love the fact that he’s the most selfless person I know.

  30. Carla Lupkey Gain

    What I love most about my husband is his unconditional love and acceptance of who I am even after 37 years together. God has richly blessed us and we are enjoying each (well, almost!!!!!) moment we have together, choosing to spend most of our time doing things we both love and becoming closer instead of drifting apart as many long-married couples tend to do.

  31. Roxy

    I love that my husband is so funny. He can make the kids & I laugh at a drop of a hat. Whenever I am down he’s always able to get me to smile.
    I’d have to say my fav color is Red.

  32. Shannon Wheeler

    I love that my husband is so worthy of respect. At one point, while overrun with post-pregnancy hormones, I was sulking that he didn’t understand my feelings. That very evening in church, my pastor said something that pierced my heart: “So many women complain that their husbands don’t understand all their ‘feelings,’ but that isn’t how you need to look at a man. A real man isn’t defined by understanding your feelings but by being willing to deny his own. If you have a man who dailly denies his ‘feelings’ when faced with a world of temptation or a job he may not always feel like going, etc, THAT is a real man, and you should be thankful.” My husband puts me and our kids ahead of himself daily. He is so honorable and worthy of respect. I am so well cared for. And God uses Selden’s differences from me as a way to refine me and give me a greater understanding of how the Lord wants marriage to work. I am thankful to have a man whose leadership I can follow confidently. (And he’s super-sexy, too!!!!!)

  33. Rachelle

    i couldn’t wait to get online today to see how Joanna is doing. So glad to hear an encouraging update-still praying.

    my favorite thing about Clyde is that he is a peacemaker. Always loves me and is on an even keel no matter my mood.

  34. sarah m

    Toben’s post on Joanne’s blog brought me to tears this morning. Still praying……

    My favorite thing about my spouse is that he’s very dedicated….to God, me, his family, work, etc.

  35. Brooke

    continued prayers for Joanne and her family as they walk through this along side her.

    just one thing about my man? he’s a great provider financially for us, he builds a mean fire, loves to snuggle as much as i do, and can grow a very sexy scruffy beard.

  36. Debi

    What I love the most about my husband is his loyalty and respect for God, our country and our family. He is military and God is first. He has served in Afghanistan, and family is always taken care of. He has the love for God and I thank God everyday for putting this wonderful Christian man in my life!

  37. Kiley

    What I love most about my husband is that he loves God with all his heart. He’s also an amazing husband and father to our three boys, too!

    We’ll keep Joanne in our prayers!

  38. Charlotte Riegel

    My favorite color is purple. It became my favorite color when I turned old. I turned old when I chose not to color my hair and my teenage son begged me to color it because he said I look sooo old. He, and his siblings, gave me the grey hair so I’m wearing it like a crown. I love the color purple.

  39. Nicky Helman

    I love the fact that my husband is so easy going and child-like. I am very uptight and have to have everything “just so” and always feel like I have to do “the adult things” (cooking, cleaning, working) and leave no time for things I enjoy. My Hubby likes the cooking idea, but could care less about all the cleaning (as long as things don’t get to the point that you can’t see the floor) and he of course goes to his job and works; but when he gets home, it’s his time (band practice, karate class, shopping, dancing around the house being silly, working out, etc.). I just can’t seem to put the needed things to the side often enough to really enjoy life. (I am however starting to crochet while he’s band or karate and I’m not working, and have found it to be really relaxing! I figure if I take his approach to life, maybe I will stress less.

  40. Lacey

    Really? I could go ON and ON about things I love about my husband…One thing, though. I’ve always been more on the serious side, and he makes me laugh. Pretty much every day. I need his humor in my life!

  41. Esther

    I love how my husband believes in me…he encourages me to pursue my dreams, even when I think it’s impractical or costs to much. He thinks I’m worth it!

  42. Beth Vogt

    I love so many things about my husband, but the thing I like the most is that he will dance in the kitchen with me . . .and then invite our daughters into the dance.

    Praying for your friend.

  43. Sarah Holbrook

    My husband is a game player and I love this. Dominoes and Gin are our favorites. Many times he will ask to play with me after the kids have gone to bed. It has come to be our special connection time where we talk about all things going on in our lives. The dominoes that we play with were his grandfather’s dominoes. My husband’s mother taught him to play, and he taught me to play.

  44. Karla Carlson

    One of the things I love best about my hubby is that he cooks! He works nights and sleeps while the girls and I are at work and school. He picks the girls up from school and then has dinner on the table by the time I walk in the door around 6PM. I could not ever ask for more love and dedication to our family and truly being my helpmate.

  45. Gaylene

    I love how my husband “sees” me and others. He may see our blemishes, but never lingers on them. He calls me beautiful and cute and he means it! After 32 years of marriage, how precious is this?!

  46. tamara

    I will definitely keep your friend Joanne in my prayers ~ and her family and friends as well.

    Let’s see… the thing I love most about my husband… I’ve been thinking long and hard about this one, and I would have to say that I love that he keeps on trying. Trying to be a better husband, friend, father. And that means the world to me.

  47. jess

    I would LOVE to win this set! πŸ™‚

    What I love most about matt….that he’s a manly man and he has a mind of his own and a backbone and he doesn’t play the wishy-washy-tell-you-what-you-want-to-hear games that so many people do. He means exactly what he says…so you always know where you stand with him. I love that. He also looks hot in camo.

  48. Kimberly

    I am definitely praying for Joanne. I did not know her before I started seeing all of the prayer requests for her popping up, but my heart still aches for this young mom and her family.

    My favorite thing about my husband…hmmmmm…tough one. There is so much I love about him. The first thing that popped in my mind, though, is that he still holds my hand. πŸ™‚ I love that. I want us to be one of those little old couples you see still holding hands. I am so thankful he is the one I get to grow old with, and that he seems pretty happy to be growin’ old with me, too. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the giveaway and for making me laugh out loud in your post about jealousy this morning.

  49. alh1203

    I love the fact that I know my hubby will never lie to me. Of course this means that I can only ask him questions that I actually WANT the truth to!!! πŸ™‚ OK now I need to go read about why you wished a pox on my friend Kathi!!!

  50. Sarah Thomas

    I love that he mows around flowers (weeds or not) in the yard. One year he left a whole corner unmown because it was solid with golden dandelions. Lovely! Of course it was a beast to cut once the yellow turned to extra tall puffs.

    Thanks for sharing the need for prayer for Joanne. I LOVE it when people I don’t even know pray for me.

  51. Wendy


    You cracked me up over at Rachelle’s. I think I’m already reviewing Kathi’s book, but my favorite color is plum for yours.

    I have three girls too.

    Reading about your friend, Joanne brought me to tears. I recently dealt with a loved one enduring a stroke. I will pray.

    What I love about my husband (I guess I’m ambitious and feel like answering both questions). Besides I don’t feel like leaving your blog yet, you seem a blast to hang around…I love how loyal he is.

    ~ Wendy

  52. Jill

    I’m praying for your Joanne.

    My favorite thing about my husband is that I have more than one favorite thing about him, but I guess the one I’ll mention is that he never gives up at the same time I do. We’re a great fit for each other. : )

    Really enjoyed your post at Rachelle’s blog!

  53. Michelle

    1. What do you love most about your spouse?
    –he makes me laugh, even when I’m having a bad day or if we are not necessarily getting along at any given moment, he still can make me laugh

  54. Holly

    RED is my favorite color. I love all things red.

    My favorite thing about my hubby is something I’ve told you before. His loyalty to his friends/family. He will do ANYTHING for others and it is a trait I am unbelievably attracted to! πŸ™‚

  55. Bonnie Paulson

    You are so witty! I love the post at Rachelle’s – made me laugh. And came over here and smiled at your thoughtfulness.

    My favorite thing about my husband is he tempers me. While I go about my craziness he tethers me to sanity. He’s my best friend!

    Great post!

  56. Tonya Walter

    My favorite color is orange!
    I’m here via Kathi and I read your post & am praying for complete healing for Joanne.

  57. Rosemary Gemmell

    Loved your post on Rachelle’s blog, Marla, so wanted to come over to visit your own. I’m not eligible for the books, so don’t worry about that (I’m from Scotland), but I love that my husband would do anything for me – he is so unselfish.

    So sorry to read about your friend – some more prayers heading her way.

  58. T. Anne

    What I love most about my spouse is the fact he no longer snores. It is truly a miracle and I sleep much better for it. Plus, he’s hot, kind and witty.

  59. Pingback: Win Books and Laugh at My Expense β€” Kathi Lipp's Project Blog

  60. Aimee L. Salter

    Oh dear, life always gets in the way of a good blogpost, doesn’t it?

    I will pray for your friend Joanne – and God bless you, too, for your honesty and openness on Rachelle’s blog. I look forward to seeing more of you.

    To answer your question… One thing I love about my husband is how protective he is of my safety and security. He thinks ahead for me and identifies risk, and he does the same for our son. A very wonderful – and sexy – trait.

    Now, off to explore your blog!


  61. Mrs. Hyde

    I wanted to write what I love about my husband, but I’ve been staring at this blank box for about five minutes now, so I’m just going to say ‘purple.’

    My thoughts and prayers are with your friend, her family, and you.

  62. Joanne


    I came over here and for a split second, thought your sweet message for Joanne was for me.

    What a thoughtful friend you are to her. I’ve been praying for her today too. I don’t know her personally, but when I began blogging three years ago, hers was a site I perused often.

    To answer one of your questions…what do I LOVE about my husband?

    I LOVE that each morning and every night he has left out my vitamins on my bathroom counter.

    It reminds me that he is thinking of me at least two times each day…

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