Take A Breath


Take a deep breath.

If you can do that you have the loveliest of gifts….life!

At this moment each one of us probably knows of someone fighting for that breath or feel the loss of someone that has breathed their last.

About a year and a half ago I was standing in line at the Joann fabric counter and a woman getting her fabric cut commented on my Maddy's dress.

It was one of the first little girl dresses that I had sold in my shop.

She was gorgeous and kind…so kind.

We exchanged cards.

When I got to the car I flipped her card over and it had scripture on it.

When I got home I looked up her blog and found that she was a Christian author, creator extraordinaire and amazing mom and wife.

You couldn't help but love her right away.

We exchanged emails, read blog posts and then they moved away for a bit.

They had recently moved back and she had let me know on my blog and she was now even attending a church in our town.

I was so excited to talk to her because I had an idea I wanted to run by her and kept meaning to call and meet for coffee.

Late last night when I climbed into bed I went to catch up on Twitter.

Panic and fear gripped me as I tried to make sense of what I was reading.

Tears…oh, the tears as I read her sweet husband's words.

She had a massive stroke.  Her daughter had found her unresponsive.  She has tubes coming out all over her. Her brain is swelling and part of her skull has been removed to help.  She has not woken up.  

Her name is Joanne Heim


If you don't know her I hope you get the chance to because she truly is a reflection of Christ.

I have not heard anything since last night.  

Her husband posted to her blog last night and his words just break my heart. As his wife is quietly lying in bed with tubes and machines all around her…these are his sweet words….


"Here's my thought: not that much has changed in our relationship. She is still here, she is still the love of my life, she is still the one I want to grow old with.  Her inability to talk or respond yet doesn't really change any of that.  

Enough of this writing.  Time to hold hands with my girl."

True love.

If you believe in the power of prayer I humbly ask you to get on your knees for Joanne, Toben, their two daughters and family.

Take a breath….what a gift!


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  1. kolleen

    i WILL absolutely get on my knees and lift Joanne and her family up in my prayers.
    i am in tears Jeanne…she sounds likes a gem. a truly amazing, wonderous woman.
    what her husband wrote is so precious, so tender. yes, true love.
    this is such a reminder of how quickly life can change…in an instant… and how we shouldn’t take each breath we breathe for granted.
    YOU, my friend, are a treasure. a testament. a beautiful, beautiful soul.

  2. Jackie

    I am praying for her and her family. This is so heartbreaking and a wake up call to never, ever take anything for granted. Thank you for sharing her story and letting us send her our thoughts and prayers.

  3. paige

    i saw that you retweeted toben’s tweet & i wondered if you know each other, as i thought she was from colorado.
    i have had her on my mind & in my thoughts too.
    continuing to lift this amazing woman up!

  4. cathy

    wow. thank you for the reminder about life…each breath is a GIFT… how can i forget so often? sigh. i will continue praying for joanne and her family. looking at that picture, the glow and beauty from knowing jesus just jumps off the screen. i am so glad she knows and loves him as i am sure they are conversing and holding each other behind those closed eyes.

  5. stephanie

    oh dear..I am amazed that God has allowed you to find each other again after all this time and here you are interceeding on her behalf..may God be her family’s strength during this difficult time..praying!!!!!!please keep us updated! Thanks! Stephanie

  6. Alli

    I’ll be praying for Joanne and her family – it’s wonderful to hear a love story like that :-).
    Love ya!

  7. Sami Jo

    Oh sweets. I sure will pray for her and her family. Thank you for giving me the oppotunity to know her in my own way and pray for her healing so that she may continue to be used for the Glory of His precious plan.
    Sincerely, Sami Jo

  8. AshleyR

    Just saw this on another blog. I am heartbroken for her husband and young daughters as I can’t imagine how those girls feel seeing there mother like this. Praying that no further damage is done and her body and mind are restored.

  9. {connie}

    done jeanne!!
    my thoughts and prayers are with her and her family to have comfort and strength.
    the first two line in your blog i really did.
    i need to do this all day.
    i had just finished my blog about my aunt and started blog hopping.
    found yours and thought to myself…yay!!
    i need jeanne to uplift me and she did.
    she reminded me to breathe.
    what i wasn’t ready for was more tears.
    i am humbled.
    i am honored to pray for you and your friend.
    i am blessed to know that prayers do get heard.
    i am thankful for MY life!!
    i am planning on living it more fully in 2011.
    thank you for the reminder!!
    my LIFE is a GIFT!!
    {{HUGS}} to you my sweet, brave friend.

  10. Courtney Walsh

    oh my goodness,Jeanne. It’s so scary how that happens so quickly…in an instant, everything changes. I will be praying for her. God is a God of miracles. I believe that with all my heart!

  11. Cindy Swanson

    Just wanted you to know, I read her husband’s blog entries and my heart broke for them both. I had to stop and lift up a heartfelt prayer for them. I pray the Lord will touch her body and raise her up…and in the meantime that He will make Himself especially real to all of them.

  12. Sheila

    I said a prayer for her. This is so sad and unexpected. We need to lift her and her family up to the Lord for his mercy and his will for that family.

  13. chrissy

    just yesterday i was bemoaning my whoahs to kolleen who listened with all of her heart to me as she always does. today she sent me a little note to read your blog post. how grateful i am to her AND to you for sharing this story. immediately ALL my worries are washed away. my heart is full of gratitude for my life. for my health.
    thank you for sharing joanne.s story.
    she AND her precious family are in my prayers and i will have my sweet children pray for them as well.
    you are a beautiful person, sister and friend. you always uplift and inspire me.
    blessings to you and to the heim family.

  14. nathalie

    I sit here in tears for a family I do not even know cause it brings you to reality that life is truly to short to not take pleasure in every moment. It will be my honor to say my prayers this evening for your friend Joanne and her famlily….espcecially for her children.

  15. kimberly at mimicharmante

    I had just read about her today – what an incredibly sad story. I really hope that she makes a full recovery – I can’t imagine what her family is going through right now.
    Thanks for posting and sharing her story~

  16. Pam

    I write this w/ tears in my eyes. Sometimes I feel like there are no good people left in this world. Then I read your words and it gives me hope that a handfull are out there. You have the bravery to write what most people would be scared to say, thank you for that. Prayers are with Joanne and her family. What amazing thoughts from her husband – we know miracles can happen.
    Thanks Jeanne.

  17. Linda Segerson

    My heart and prayers go out to this family. I don’t know them but God does and all things are possible with him. I will add them to my prayer list.

  18. Oh Jeanne ~ what a tragic thing to happen to such a loving caring woman. I will keep her and her family in my thoughts and prayers. xo

  19. LuLu

    Such sadness, i will pray for her and her family… gosh life is so fragile, each day is a gift.

  20. Jenn

    I have not visited your blog in quite a while… lost in the blog sphere… my heart is breaking for your friends family …I just finished reading her husbands updates… I am praying for her and her sweet family now… and will continue to…

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