Monday, 24 January 2011

The Simple Wife

Jo Heim


This is an inspiring blog which I dip into from time to time. Joanne Heim is a young American wife and mother, who writes and speaks about ‘Living Simply’. She is 38 years old, and on January 11th this year, she suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, suffered a massive stroke. She has been unconscious since – till yesterday.


For the last fortnight, I have been following the updates posted by her husband Tobin, her best friend Jenna, and young daughter Audrey.

Yesterday, Tobin posted this update [Good News] about her amazing progress. I was thrilled to read this- and if you, dear reader, are a person who prays, I encourage you to remember Jo and her family and friends at this time in your thoughts and prayers.

I am going to share a piece of Joann’s writing which I personally found helpful [she asks on her blog that we do not reproduce her stuff without permission- but under the circumstances, I am trusting that the family will not mind]

Sometimes giving up things—saying no to things that we like, we think are fun, and we want—means we gain much more in the long run. We must make wise choices about the things on which we spend our time, money, energy, and emotions.

I have to be honest and tell you up front—this is a hard one for me. Sure, it’s easy to say no to things I don’t like to do, don’t want to do. It’s not too hard to say no to something when there’s already something on the calendar for that day, that time.

But saying no to things I’d really like to do? That I really want to do? When the calendar appears to be empty? That’s a lot harder for me. It’s hard to say no when I really, really want to say yes. But just because there’s space on the calendar doesn’t mean that yes is the automatic answer; if that were the case, there wouldn’t be space on that calendar for long!

I’m learning (often the hard way!) to say no. To recognize the fact that my time and energy have limits. I am not Wonder Woman and I can’t do it all. So as much as I want to say yes, sometimes I have to say no.

Like any new habit, it can take a while to learn to say no. I’ve found that giving myself time to respond (“Let me look at the calendar and call you back in the morning”) and inviting people to ask again (“Not this time, but maybe next time”) helps. It helps me to remember that learning to say no and rest today means being able to say yes in the future.

“You find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.” (From Psalm 23, The Message)


  1. Oh, this is sad! I'll keep Jo and her family in my prayers.


  2. Oh, my gosh, that is so young to suffer such a thing. I'm glad to hear she is doing better and wish her continued improvement.

  3. I like Joanne's writing and this past fortnight have been praying like mad -so I jumped for joy this morning when Toben's news was positive. I now feel as Toben's friend said I can return to my prayer in praise as well as petition.

  4. We are praying for Joanne and her family, I to read her family's updates. Thanks for re-posting a great reminder to us all!

  5. I hadnt read her blog before, but will now.


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