Take Away

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Day by day, little by little, a bit here and a bit there many things are no longer a part of our lives.

Our normal has been disrupted and the new normal is not comfortable and never will be comfortable.

As we drive past parking lots now empty, especially the ones that are always packed, I find it difficult to comprehend, thinking how odd for that to be possible. My mind knowing all along what is happening but everyday seems like a Sunday, with everything closed. Everything that we have known has changed. I’m old and feeling discombobulated and I can only imagine what the younger generation feels, although some are not taking this COVID19 very serious. I know I am feeling somewhat stripped of more and more each day, as they are taken away. A19CDF5D-0D26-4222-8DF3-E12D0B1CAE2F

Just yesterday, I had two events canceled that I would attend, within thirty minutes of each other. One was in April, which did not surprise me but the other was at the end of May.  Honestly, I found myself angry with all of this happening. Now what?

Fear of one another, wondering if we will get or pass on germs. A disconnect physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

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I noticed my elderly neighbor answer the door to her best friend. Just watching to see how they handled this situation, knowing their routine is off and of loneliness no doubt. The door was not opened immediately, which surprised me in a way but then I wondered if she was afraid to open it. Finally, the door was opened and my neighbor stood on one side of the glass storm door and her friend on the other. They were protecting one another. How sad though to be that close, to miss one another’s company and glass separates the normal contact of one another. No hug was made, no physical touch of comfort to ease each other’s fear and anxiety. 

9C790675-106E-4BEE-91D7-E0BC81576DCCThe distancing between each of us, family, friends, co-workers and each one, is too far apart, although needed right now. It’s like when we put up walls to keep people out of our lives from being hurt, but we are now basically building walls between each of us to avoid contact. Perhaps feeling as though we are lost in a maze. I wonder after this month and hopefully that is enough time, will we be programmed to still limit connection, hesitant to reach out to one another. 

Today is today, tomorrow will be just another day and each one will add up. Yesterday, I had no motivation and unsure about today. I don’t feel depressed although I know it would be easy to be so, but I know anxiety still creeps up on me. How about you?

So, as we have today and each tomorrow will come, let’s make them as best as we can. It is okay to rest, as we recognize that what we are experiencing is not normal and we are not going to feel normal. Still, we will get through this, one day at a time.

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STAY WELL

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40 Beautiful Bible Verses for When Stress & Anxiety Feel Overwhelming

Different than Before

7962A244-6C49-457D-9431-6D75CB858236While each of our normal routines are disrupted with work schedules, appointments canceled one by one, nowhere to go, so on and so forth, as you know. Of course, I’d like to go out and eat but not by a drive-thru. This will be missed by many, especially as the weekends roll around.

At one point this week, I felt as though I was being punished. For instance, when children disobey and the parent takes away a toy, cell phone, privilege to drive the car. Each day something else was removed from my daily/weekly routine, and yours also probably.9726947E-D6BC-4CEE-9090-D12D395A350EMy work flow is off kilter although I am safe for when we return, the restaurants, businesses, hair and nail salons, dentist, chiropractor, counseling, even church services. Everything is off. It does not feel real but it is. The next few weeks or month(s), we will all have a new normal, although it is not normal.F1D6F7F4-E625-4C1D-842C-EAAEFD891006

The other night, as I listened to my Pastor do a live, online video to share God’s Word, as he did last night, too. Powerful! To not congregate in church and worship, puts a whole new thought process regarding this crisis, worldwide. We can always pray, worship, read God’s Word at home or anywhere and should be doing already.

As he spoke, in his messages, he said now is the time for 49D91A74-4454-4E17-A791-A706A960B4E2the head of the household to stand up in the home and pray. Pray for a hedge of protection around our families, stop being a coward and be the covering over the home, wife, children. In many homes, the head of the home, normally would be the husband/father. Nowadays, he has either taken a backseat or may not even be In the picture. If that is the case, YOU are responsible to pray putting all intimidation away to speak and pray the Word of God. Just go through your home praying and speaking the Word of God, put post-it notes up with scripture, always putting in faith, pushing out fear.

665DB3FF-279B-4934-AC83-3842A3A6FEBAI am one of those in church or in a group that always remained quiet, a bystander letting others do the praying, as they were or are the more spiritual ones. Although I know, He has equipped me just as much as them. I know He has heard my own, private prayers, whether in my thoughts or verbally, through the years.

In church, I have also been hesitant to raise my hands in worship and step out of my comfort zone. I have at times in years past but through many years and trials, I allowed the enemy to remind me of just how bad of a person I am, not worthy, etc., which is exactly where the enemy wanted me, to be invisible. 32259977-AD41-4FA7-9A50-5E8DC86A98C3

While I am doing much better, knowing my worth, trusting the Lord and knowing He has a plan and a purpose for me, as He does for you. There is no amount of lies that we believe about ourselves that will keep God’s plan away from what He has in store for us. We are to lift Him up in our praise, worship and not to forget our daily walk and talk.

My Pastor’s message hit home. There is prayer within each one of us and we are to pray! With everything happening right now within our own four walls but worldwide, prayer will be what gets us through. After this crisis, no doubt many will have more faith or sadly, more anger. We each have a choice.

F7D7F8F2-2AF7-438C-9B4F-E902485EF954The next time we walk through the church doors, we will not be the same as the last time we walked out. Our prayers will be different. Our worship will be different. Our lives will be different.

Many newcomers will be walking 3D5B6131-A12F-489F-A281-C494EBE432F6through the church doors. This is a time that many will call upon the Lord in desperation and hopelessness, we all will possibly, but knowing we ALL must call upon the Lord, be saved and know deep in our heart that He loves us, He holds our hand, He will never leave or forsake you.

It is time to pray! People need hope, more today than ever. Encourage one another.

We have many days ahead of us through this crisis and to cry out to God, He will be there. Many uncertainties are before us but one thing for certain, we can depend upon God.  Trust Him!

Stay Well45298D66-907E-453C-B73D-62F38A90DF40

15 Comforting Bible Verses for Troubled Times

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.

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How to Pray For Your Family: Prayer Points for Family

 

Do You Trust Me?

We are instructed and reminded either by sermons heard or in a crisis and people reminding us to trust the Lord A74A2627-6647-4D3A-96FF-FF5552C617C9with all our heart. Many times this is written in the Bible of Trust Me. The hope knowing He is there for us and always will be with us, brings peace.  Bottom line, we are to trust Him. No if, ands, or buts about it. Trust Him!

In the past, I have trusted Him, I had to. In situations in my life, marriage that was dying, several family members desiring me to suffer and to die, health issues and just barely crawling or even breathing, I knew to hold onto Him.536B0147-9D8F-48B3-A988-1CCD5BDE0122

Of course, many don’t trust Him, which is evident all around us. To be honest, I had my doubts at time. In periods of desperation and loneliness, screaming out audibly at times and most times were under my breathe in anger. Where are You, Lord? Why am I in this situation and You allowed it? Why? WHY? Even to the point of saying, I am angry with You!

BCA0F826-75CB-459A-9503-BD6800399A02Just with that last statement, I am sure some eyes will widen in shock and gasps of the ‘oh my’ with judgement and shameful that I don’t love the Lord. It felt wrong to do that but it was the truth. Well, guess what? He knows I was angry anyway about my situations and even with Him. He knows me, He knows my coming and my going, He knows the number of hairs on my head so it was no surprise to Him that I was and confessed that I was angry with Him. Believe it or not, I felt a deeper connection with Him after that outburst.

FC7471B9-F55F-481F-A51A-5FCA910CB6EFSeveral that knew what I was facing in my marriage said to leave, even a counselor. No, I can’t. I would suffer and hold on for my boys, it was best financially and even though I felt stuck and had no hope or joy, I always felt that it was not in God’s Timing to leave. I will know when it is time. Perhaps a codependency on my part, but I know to wait upon the Lord.

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In regard to my family members, let them talk, tell lies and whatever they do, as I was to remain in peace and forgive. Did it hurt? It just about put me under in all areas of my life, and that was their goal. It does not mean I am to be buddy-buddy with them but at a distance I still care and know they are family, even though they disowned me. I am to pray for them. Yikes! The praying part was a hard one but I can now and do. God knows their heart, as He knows mine and yours, too. There are some that no matter what you do, it would never be enough. The Lord will fight my battles, I need to do nothing. I am not to convince anyone of those that heard the lies and comments that I am a good person.

My health has taken hits over and over again, knowing my situation and what I have dealt with did not help, but I knew the Lord would take care of me and He has. I am not in denial, but I do know to stay put and I know when to move. Moving day is coming.

9B4F9A02-0DC7-4F41-9ECA-7090EB512BEFSo I am to trust God. A couple of months ago or longer, I felt down inside that He was questioning me. The question was, Do you trust me? I heard that over and over and from experience in years past, I know He speaks to me usually repeating three times. Do you trust me? Do you trust me? Do you trust me? Well, I guess I need to trust, don’t I?

I knew what I was to do and to trust Him in this area and I did but questioning for weeks if that was really Him or just me. Again, no surprise to Him that I think I know better than 2E931FA2-D2A8-4BFB-BFA4-5FBB98D62C67Him, doubting and delaying. Lord, was that really you?  I kept hearing and to remind me, ‘Do you trust Me?’ Still, I hear those words in that question. Have I had any great miracles happen? No, but I know to be patient and wait upon the Lord. Do I trust Him? Yes! I know something is about to happen, the anticipation within, but I have no clue of when, where or what so I wait. I know how to wait and be patient, most of the time. His Timing. Always on time!

Perhaps you or someone you know is in a place of wandering around hopeless, unsure what to do, feeling alone, just existing and going from day to day, in a bad situation, etc., Trust Him. Easier said than done, I understand but for complete peace, joy and happiness that is what it comes down to. Ask yourself today as you go about your life and in the days ahead, Do You Trust Him?

God asks the question: Do you trust me?

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The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears  open to their cry. Psalm 45:15

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/do-you-trust-me-david-dewitt-sermon-on-faith-general-42175

http://www.tellthelordthankyou.com/blog/2016/5/16/psalm-1185-6-god-says-trust-me

 

 

 

My Achy Breaky Heart

EE333D73-EDCD-4FE8-82B0-DCA046E78CC9We have all heard the song, Achy Breaky Heart, at some point in our life. Honestly, I did not like that song then and the title is only being used as it fits my story.

The other night as I watched Grey’s Anatomy, they said that this man had a broken heart syndrome, which caught my attention. With that I remembered back way many years ago when I was in the hospital for some reason. That is how long ago it was, as I cannot remember what was medically happening then.

Odds are though, it was between 2000 and 2008. I was dealing with too much on my plate and my marriage was 4B04D047-69D5-4F75-954F-1B024D4278F1lost and suffering in the midst. Many health and psychology articles mention if stress, anger and emotional turmoil within is not dealt with, physical ailments result. Bingo! I had been experiencing a pain in my heart for awhile but could never express to the nurses or doctors of the nagging pain that was continuous, tests were negative which of course brought fear, even more into my life because the pain remained. B5BE4975-3774-4DFE-B789-B0ED1FD2EB74

As I was in the hospital bed, the nurse was checking my vitals and asking me questions about the pain and sadly I said to her that I think I just have a broken heart. In my mind, that was truth, it was that bad in my life. Being a patient in the hospital was never a problem for me, even though sleep is interrupted often but to me it was a respite for me from my own home. How sad is that?

I knew as a patient, they would care for me.  I did not need to care for anyone. The medical field was always an interest anyway but time away, an excused absence from my life, was welcomed when it did happen.

Here it has been so many years of me feeling and saying of my broken heart that it is actually a real thing. I was not wrong to tell that nurse my heart was broken, because it was. Whether it was broken heart syndrome or not, I do have proof that I had a stroke in 2007. No doubt that was stress related and odds are an end result of it all combined.

2E273A6E-EA5B-488C-9577-C6CD8DBC438FThrough the years of dealing with such, I have learned to deal with and take care of myself and to heal the ache. While some of those times were building walls so that it would never happen again, from anyone, that is not good either. Life happens and we will be hurt and I have been. I recognize that sometimes these overwhelming times of distraught made me stronger. I made it through the last time, I can make it through this time, being resilient. I had to be.4C56003D-ACEB-4FAE-A4DD-95B1332ED944

Having my former counselor in 2014 for four years, I learned to acknowledge the hurt, notice where I felt the symptoms in my body, feel the feelings, name it, etc. while that helped and helps now, I believe most importantly pray for forgiveness of the one hurting you, which will release and bring the wall down that was readily to go up instantly. Not necessarily for them but for yourself.3BA54066-7984-4EE7-95F9-B7B466CBE294

We will all be hurt at some point and in different areas and also we must acknowledge that we will hurt others, too. It is life and how the world goes around.  Perhaps not meaning to be hurt or cause hurt but it happens.

Thankfully we have a Heavenly Father that knows all about us. He sees us as in pain from the hurt. He knew we built walls around us determined never to be done that way again. He sees and collects all of our tears, many times 7B5662BA-B0A6-4FF3-93AD-B3C3E7156E88thinking He has gallon jugs of my tears. He knows that we had or have unforgiveness in our heart. Still, He loves us. He patiently allows us to wallow in our despair and agony, kick and scream and act like brats at times. We are His children and He loves us. In time though, for complete joy, peace and happiness in life, we must turn to Him. God, I need you! He is right there waiting on us to call upon Him.

F62E596F-67B5-4A8D-A08D-28FE1B22AB14Only God can heal my broken heart and He has many times. The pain eases and I can trust Him that through it ALL, He knows me, He loves me. Same with you. We all will have times where it seems hopeless. Whatever or whomever has hurt you, causing pain in your life, turn it over and allow Him to heal your broken heart or pieces within. Trust Him!

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/two-takes-depression/201102/broken-heart-syndrome

https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/your-daily-prayer/a-prayer-for-when-your-overwhelmed-heart-aches-for-his-overwhelming-peace-your-daily-prayer-december-27-2016.html

Millennial Counseling

Sometimes I just do not understand things in life. Surely I am not the only one.

DB086997-9FE1-4DE9-8257-69EE4E0773E6In regard to counseling, years ago and even today, others think you might be crazy to go for counseling or perhaps have a lack of faith in God. Trust me, I have experienced both of those situations. I know with myself, it is nice to have someone trusted and knowledgeable to talk to and gain advice by looking at them in the eye and knowing they are there with you, there’s a connection.

Back in 2002-2004, I went at first and finally insisted that my husband attend counseling so that we could get help 3F17B921-C853-4F57-8608-E331CA7B84D7for our marriage. Mind you, we were both active at our church and this did not look good if they knew we were seeing a counselor, the lack of faith part. We drove one hour to and from in order to avoid anyone knowing that our marriage was crumbling. I was too embarrassed and actually numb as to what was happening so this seemed to be the answer. It was great for awhile, things were improving between us. It was the fall of 2004 when it all went downhill.D2A19302-87E0-4F0E-BD9F-11542A8221E3

I was just done. Done with him, our marriage and done with that counselor.  Being betrayed by him, now the counselor. What do you do with that? I was slowly inching my way into a deep, dark hole of despair and depression only surviving by tending to my children and struggling to do that. While I was there for them physically, the rest of me lacked and, therefore, they lacked having a mother truly happy and whole. All of which I regret as I dealt with anger toward their father of what was lost in our family realm due to his choices, basically grief in the midst of it all. 

Years have passed and I thank the Lord that the boys have done very well but damage is there, as they also suffered, silently.  In many articles, discussions, etc., many argue whether is best to leave a bad marriage than stay and in my case, it was best that I stayed, so I did. Easy? No!

Finally, in 2008, I met with a male counselor for a year before he moved his practice out of state. Enough to get my mind calmed from the chaos of family estate issues on top of everything else. Also I learned that I had a stroke, probably due to the stress of it all. At least this counselor was only fifteen minutes from my home.

A new job for me, my son graduating, another son nearing graduation and mixed in with some friends that I could see trouble ensue and also a husband losing his job of twenty-two years, due to an offshore situation. Still dealing with a few family members and the hatred of me, being the Administratrix of now my brother’s estate, carried over from my parent’s estate, due to greed. How much more? Actually, I was afraid to ask how much more could I go through.0327EB99-60D1-4BFF-9F82-763285A949FC

Fast forward, life got busy as the boys graduated, college, moving to and from dorms to apartments, work, etc. Enough to keep me busy and my mind occupied of the issues and feelings stored within. The empty nest syndrome was alive and well causing now an emptiness along with a loneliness in my home. Each day was like the next while existing and lost in knowing who I was.

7F945197-238E-4E04-9046-7C1219A7A939As in my writings, I share that I saw my former counselor for four years and she was only two miles from church, if that, back in 2014. It did and does not matter any longer to be concerned in what others think, wondering if I was crazy or if I had a lack of faith. I was taking care of me. I had to. I still see counselors, as I find it helps me and I know I have come a long way.

AFC8DA0F-A4D9-4C90-A649-8F5447CEFE5ENow, I am dealing with a son, in the millennial age group, that could use counseling. I mentioned to him and have sent him leads of many in his area that would be good for him to go talk to. He knows I see a counselor, he never asks why but I have no doubt that he can see that he has a happier mother, and I am. Taking care of me so I can them, when and as needed.

Why is it that these millennials nowadays feel that going to counseling is not needed by going and sitting across from one another. It was when he said he would get counseling online. I just cannot grasp that. Perhaps if in an area that is remote but not where he lives. How can there be a connection? I would miss this closeness of meeting and talking, feeling safe to talk about whatever under the sun. I have loved my counselors, even the first one, even though we had an issue that was not handled properly.647E8292-1776-46F8-A84F-0552A21654D0I discussed this with my present counselor recently while trying to ‘get it’ in my head how this would help him or anyone. Trying to imagine myself in that online counseling, there’s no way. Those four years, my former counselor could pick up of me closing in due to depression, lack of self-worth, many physical signs and help me understand myself that a monitor would not do, I feel. I realize technology is the way of life nowadays and while I love it also, face to face counseling is important.

In all that and my thoughts and opinions, it is just that. Whether it be my son or others considering online counseling, that’s their decision. My son is an adult and he makes his own decisions in life. Still, I am his mom. I just have to pray for him, love him and trust the Lord to cover him in his daily life. I must have faith, as He knows all about my son.

 

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Little by Little

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Little by little the thoughts of you are slipping away unsure if it really matters, as I sometimes wipe my tears away.

You were there but now you are gone, while I do understand life goes on.B20AFD0D-E8E6-43A2-9967-844EDFEFCEB4

The journey of life takes many turns, and I am happy to say that I have learned.

Each day holds something new but my remembrance brings me back to you.

2354E5BF-54E8-4404-BF59-CE7A246ED04EHow can I forget what you have done, as it was you that made me to believe in who I am.

So many thoughts and words to say but the way it ended there was no way.

I think you would be proud of me of what I have done, I sometimes wish I could share.

Am I ever a thought in the mind of yours, perhaps wondering if I am doing okay?

I am trying so hard to move on, but I still get hung up with the lack of closure we had.F0A28DBD-4DB9-42DE-9D82-B36A5C3632C9

Thoughts of gratitude most often I have, but still I have bouts of anger that appear.

No matter whether I am a thought or not, I am so thankful from the bottom my heart.

I would not be where I am today had it not been for you, and I know that was all in the Lord’s plan.

So little by little I will go about my days, knowing my questions of why and my hurt will go away.39EAE351-D11A-4164-B39F-623D41901EF3

I wish you well as I try to let go but knowing you will always be a part of my testimony.

I will keep moving forward and enjoy each day, knowing my days ahead will lead to joy.

You may never read this and that is okay, it is just my way of letting go, little by little, day by day.

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In my previous writings, I have mentioned my counselor, now former counselor. I had been with her for four years, weekly if not twice, and to count it all up, that is a lot of time together. Besides the Lord, she knew me quite well, more than my family and friends, actually better than I knew myself. The closing of her counseling services was like a death to me, so I still grieve. No matter, I am always thankful for her. 

 

 

Past Present Future

36859847-8A5A-4506-85AE-45C768209177Last night, as I stood at my kitchen counter cutting up vegetables for our Christmas dinner, I could not help but to think of how many others are doing just the same.  While some are celebrating Christmas already and the joy felt in these homes, with children screaming with delight DD51C1EB-378A-4FE8-A277-60E216708330or perhaps a child already crying over something while a mother and father are exhausted from putting the final touches for their Christmas celebration.

Thinking back of the excitement and anticipation of Santa from when I was a child and then with my own children, all of these thoughts helped me with the ache in my back standing there which seemed like all day, to be one step ahead in my preparation.

It was from joy and excitement in my thoughts to the sadness and the thought of many not feeling so joyous and depression knocking at their door or worse. Within this time span over my vegetable plate prepared, I went from past, present and future in my thoughts, somewhat like the Christmas movie, A Christmas Carol. 2FE8E5A0-AEE6-4AEE-AEA2-0642BDF58916

Sadly, I remember being in that state, too. No matter where each of us are in this vast array of emotions that exist, the Lord sees and knows our name and where we are. Some may doubt and question that with an undertone or outright anger of not so, how could He? Questioning His love and care. I understand that as I have been there also. While I knew different deep within, I sure did not feel anything, trust Him or anybody else for that matter. I was angry with Him, myself and with others and life itself. Definitely not a fun place to be.

E3539BCD-8F78-43EC-B951-77380D63FC33I did not understand the emotional pain endured for years and the isolation I put myself in while wearing a mask with work or public appearances. I definitely struggled, fighting through a depressive state. Thank God I had my children as they were my focus to hold on but even in that, I am sure they did not feel the true joy in my life, as their mother. Still, I managed and I am here, perhaps just for someone to read my own experiences and to give hope. Thank God, He did not give up on me.C9E4F7BB-A203-43A8-B2D8-B6A10C44C797

Sometimes life does not turn out to the expectation we had hoped for in our mind. I never thought I would go through what I did and have but I did, I went through. Is my life perfect? No. I can say that my mindset is a lot better though. I had to work on myself and trust God to get me to this point. I am with myself 24/7 as you are with yourself. If you want change, you need to change, not for anyone else.0EE32B92-F35F-43A1-B892-A24959108EDE

While I had my church and my faith in God, I pulled away  in the isolation of the depression hovering 6515C897-7ED1-4B84-B58C-82A4B6C554AAover my head. As the Bible says, the enemy is out to kill, steal and destroy. He wanted to knock me out.

After years of mental torment of unworthiness and everything else that I believed to be true, I went for counseling, this was five years ago. Best decision ever. Was it easy? No. It was worth my time, money and the emotional ups and downs of understanding myself and in healing many 8A5C9536-F5E4-41B6-A135-16B18934163Abroken areas of my life, which I am still working on and plan to continue. This was my past and is my present.

In the present, I am feeling excitement and joy as I once did in life or perhaps and honestly moreso. I am looking forward to the future to finish out my years with the same and more. It took one step forward and sometimes two backward to get here, and still, but I keep moving forward and desiring more, trusting the Lord. I wanted a change, and that’s a start from the past to be present now and my goal for the future.95C57C62-1A6C-4305-952C-7547691BC035

As we go into the new year and resolutions are made and many broken, do not let that hinder you, it happens. Still, set a goal for a healthier you because it is only YOU that can make this happen. You are worthy. Trust Him.

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