OKAY so this is something I wrote for my writers group, when I hadn't written anything...

So.....it was 3pm and I had my writers group at 7pm.  Clench time, panic in the disco time, perfectionism goes bye bye time, mind games ramp up full speed and my approaching excuse for why I haven't written anything is completely escaping my mind.   YIKES....So I sit at the computer and stare at the first line, the prompt.  Tick, tock says the clock in my mind.  Loser, yells the little girl in my head that used to taunt me in thrid grade.  I shake my legs as I sit staring full of nervous energy.  I put on worship music and decide to write with no thought of where it is going and no editing until completion.  And this is what I got....a download that feels straight from heaven.  

CAUTION:  This is not a reflection of my story....though some of it is from my life experience.  This could be anyone of us.  Any woman struggling with the disappointment of life not going quite as you expected.  The brutality of living in a fallen world can rip our faith to pieces, shred our hope and cause us to waver in our faith. This is written for all the brave women that want to pick up the pieces of this broken world and lovingly stitch it back together, stronger than ever.  This is for all the questions that won't have answers this side of heaven, this is for all of us that are brave enough to dream of overcoming this messy, crisis riddled, beautiful world. This is for those who when the rubber hit's the road....when God doesn't answer the way we think He should, can still say...God you are good, it may just be a whisper in the midst of our storm but together we collectively become a roar.  We won't give in, we won't cave to the fear. 

You, my brave friends give me strength.  

 I hesitate to say it is fiction because it didn't just come from my imagination....I really believe it was inspired by God.  I am sure He is a much better writer, but what can I say?  He used a broken vessel that isnt' that great at grammer.  

In that moment, she realized, everything had changed..

She stretched, rolled over and flipped her pillow.  Just a few blissful moments more, she thought to herself.  Breathing deeply beside her she could feel her husband’s presence almost more than hear it.  She scooted over closer to him, curled her body up behind him.  She laid her head up against his back and could hear the gentle thumping of his heart.  This sound made her happy.  She sighed quietly to herself. 

Dreams, where was I she thought…..she drifted off again…to a peaceful place.  Here she was closest to heaven, here in these disconnected thoughts that played through her mind she felt heaven as she drifted off to sleep.  Here was Jesus, spreading His arms out in front of her much like He had in a view finder all those years ago.  Her memories crowded around Him, pain and sorrow, laughter and joy it was all there her entire life.  As she looked from the outside she could see Jesus in the midst of it all.  It wasn’t arranged in time sequences, it was somehow just all there and He was somehow there in it all. 

Her on her bike,  and her in the dirt beaten and bruised.  It was all somehow visible with no time constraints and as she looked she saw the face of Jesus.  Joy filled his face as He made himself visible to the little girl on the pink bike….he laughed at her shock of seeing him and whispered to no one in particular, she needed a visitation from me it will sustain her.  Suddenly she saw Him looking on another scene, this one she recognized.  This one she hated. 
Wake up, wake up.  NOOOO, nooo,  nooo, She locks eyes with Jesus and He has tears streaming down His face with a look of compassion that makes her feel weak in the knees.  I was there daughter; I hated it as much as you hated it.  Sin given dominion, broken humanity hurting one another.  He(the enemy) thought he could punish me through you.  Fallen humanity, my creation became weapons one against the other.  This was never my plan. You were just a victim of a battle that has already been won. 

You see, look here, daughter.  He was pointing and the scenes began spinning like a roulette wheel with the swipe of his finger and suddenly the view was different, so very different.  Here she was comforting another with her story of abuse, Jesus laid his hand on her arm and she felt the release of comfort go through her body and as she watched she saw in a physical way, a release of comfort go through the girl.  The girls face framed with red curls, awash with tears looked up into her face and as she watched the scene as that of an outsider, she saw Jesus face illuminate on her own face and she saw the girl come into knowledge of the love of the creator. 

Instantaneously she felt joy, she felt the joy of all of heaven and she fell to her knees, so overcome by the glory of one coming into the fullness of Jesus.  Jesus himself was weeping beside her with joy and he whispered quietly….I turn all things to the good. 
He pushed the scene just a bit further, it went blurry for just a moment and then suddenly it was a hospital scene, the girl with the red curly hair was now dying.  Some type of an accident, people surrounded her bed, as she looked at the scene she instinctively knew these were the young girls last moments.  A Mother draped across the bed weeping told the story of great loss.  

Suddenly the room went still and the machines went off and just as suddenly the girl with the red curly hair was there, wrapped in the arms of Jesus.  They were laughing and spinning and the girl was clothed in a beautiful robe that glistened in many colors, suddenly over Jesus shoulder the girls with the red curly hair locked eyes with her.  The laughing eyes, the beautiful eyes that met hers were exquisite not the way she remembered them at all, full of the most glorious light.  The girl simply mouthed the words, “thank you” with such genuine gratitude that her heart began to swell.  

She laid down there, in that place of nowhere, outside of time and space as she knew it.  A happiness she had never known washed over me her and she continued to weep with this new understanding, this revelation of pain used for God’s purposes.  She felt a warm hand on her shoulder and looked up into the face of Jesus.  He spoke gently, You see daughter, I can take what the enemy meant to destroy you and instead multiply the Kingdom.  You have become my instrument and in you the pain is redeemed into something beautiful. 
I could see that she would be lost through her suffering…. but you, you revealed my love, you became the balm of Gilead and she became my daughter.  You could not see from the earthly realm the potential in the heavenly realm.  It is my heart, that none should perish, I’m not speaking of this earthly home, for all shall die; that is the curse of mankind.   But it is my desire that none shall be stolen from their heavenly home.  

The enemy has taken enough; this is a season of redemption and revival.

He continued, what you call home is not your home, you are an alien there.  An unwelcome enemy to the forces of darkness, but I can turn what was meant as a curse into a force against darkness if you let me.  I can redeem what is meant to destroy, and you can become a destroyer.  Destroyer of hopelessness, of helplessness, of doubt, of fear, you can bring light and destroy the darkness that seeks to isolate and permeate those in this world. 

He lifted her up and the scene changed again and it was her children, laid out on a blanket under the mimosa tree in the backyard.  She is lying with them looking up into the leaves, watching the pink flowers blow in the breeze.  The smell of the flowers float across time and space and the scene becomes so very real to her she gasp.  The oldest sits cross legged, one on his knee and the youngest is lying flat on his back with his little toes straight up in the air.  Her boys.  She can hear her voice, she is talking about heaven.  The oldest ask about dogs in heaven.  That’s a good question she tells him.  But she doesn’t know the answer.   She tells him, whatever it is, it is going to be good.  She rolls over and they start pushing cars around on the blanket with the middle boy.  So engrossed in the scene she can feel the cool breeze, feel the contentment and love in that moment.  She looks at Jesus standing there beside her, I don’t remember this, she says.   He grabs her hand and says,  I remember. 

He pulls her clockwise and the scene blurs away and suddenly she is looking at a new scene.  It’s their pond and there lying beside it is her son with two small children.  They are in the grass looking up at the sky and he is telling them about heaven.  That they have an uncle in heaven, treasure in heaven he says.  He tickles them and says that one day we will all be there together.  The little girl grabs his face between her hands and says, “I see Jesus in the clouds Daddy, do you see him?”.  Her son looks up at the sky and squints his eyes, shrugs his shoulders.   No, he reply’s, but I know He is there….and he tickles her some more. 

She looks up into the sky in the direction the little girl was looking and see’s Jesus too.  The same Jesus she saw in the viewfinder when she was a six year old little girl on a pink bike.  He is there in the vision and he is here holding her hand, how is that possible? 
He squeezes her hand and chuckles.  I AM everywhere and those that look will always find me in some form or another.  I was there with the old woman that told you, you would write books and I was there when you screamed and cried in your car and suddenly saw heaven breakthrough in the clouds.   I was the stranger that passed by and gave you a word, I was the friend that held you up when you couldn’t stand on your own.  I was the voice in the mind of another that told them to send a book.  I AM everywhere and have always been with you.

Suddenly she is staring straight into her grandma’s living room.  There sits her grandpa in his rocking chair with his TV tray in front of him and beside him is her grandma and she is young and lovely and she can’t even remember her looking this young.  She is holding a swaddled baby and rocking the baby.  She hears her say, hello sweet thing.  Hello Debbie my darlin, you shall move mountains.  Jesus says you can do all things.
Her grandma is holding her ….she feels for a split second how safe this place is, how warm this feels.  Her Mother comes in the room and asks her grandma how church was and the Grandma replies, it was just fine and this little one never made a peep.  Slept through the whole thing like an angel.  She is awed by the scene, she goes to step closer, to touch her grandparents….

Jesus stops her forward motion with his hand on her arm, you cannot go back. 
With me you can see all things but only from a distance and you can never step into that time and space again.  He spins the scene again, colors whirl by, faces come in and out of view, smells that remind her of something…fire she smells fire.

It’s smoky and cloudy and she is frantically praying around her yard, the sky is covered in ash and she is proclaiming that the fire will not take the house.  Now clearly, she sees the host of angels surrounding the house, everywhere she had prayed they were stationed.  The smoke is burning her eyes, and she can see the fire coming over the hill, there is panic written all over her face and Jesus releases something towards her, the her that is  in the vision, suddenly supernaturally calms. 

Just as quickly the scene rotates again and this time…..

It is just Jesus and her, standing face to face, hand in hand. 
You are my bride, my love, for you I gave my life.  Not for you to live on an earth broken and tarnished by sin, not so you could endure the pain of humanity, not some cruel twist of fate, but so that you will be able to enjoy the fruit of a life well lived.  Eternity is your home, your place is beside me and every pain and heartache was an experience with the fall of man, but every glimmer of joy, every laugh, every smile, every accomplishment, every hopeful breath, every dream, was a moment of collision with heaven.  I have been with you, and will always be with you. 

You will not understand some of what you will walk through, but I stand and see past, present and future all at one time. I have 360 degree vision.  I see the eternal value in life’s lessons.   Trust me daughter; to do what is best for you and your generations to come. 
We will win the earth back, heaven will come to earth and you will understand that what you did for the least of these you did for me.  Your pain has not been wasted, you can’t see its value but I have parlayed it into something that makes you stronger and more equipped not just for you, but for your family, for your legacy.  No soldiers fights a battle without training and no soldier goes to battle without experiencing the gut wrenching reality of casualties, but I have taken the sting of death away and what seems to be the worst possible outcome is now the best possible outcome. 

You will plunder the spoils of hell and your experiences will populate heaven.  You think it is not noteworthy, but you miss the vision of your bridegroom.  I celebrate the one as much as I celebrate the thousands. You have an assignment; your calling can’t compare to anyone else or be judged based on what the human eye can see.  Your assignment will be played out for generations and you yourself will watch from heaven to see the fulfillment of the dreams and visions you had. 

Daughter, don’t be short sighted.  Every action, every wound, every bullet taken, every smile shared, it all is part of my eternal plan.  You cannot understand completely, but today I have taken your hand and given you a glimpse…. You continue to cower from the thought of pain but those that are most effective in my Kingdom work are those who are willing to lay down their comfort and run toward the pain surrendered to me and my purposes. 
Now the question is daughter, would you say yes to the pain in order to have the gain in heaven?  I did, will you?  And with that she was enveloped in a ripping pain that felt as though her skin was being peeled off, a crushing blow to her side and she was screaming and kicking and tangled up and gasping for air.

Her husband was shaking her…wake up, wake up…and as everything came into focus for what felt like the first time….In that moment everything had changed, that moment between waking and sleeping had changed everything and yes, yes she was willing. 

WE are blessed, I refuse to believe anything less.

We are blessed, I refuse to believe anything less.
It's a process you see....
Where adversity creates opportunity, and my vision is changed.
God's 360 vision is compared to my tiny pinhole vision.
My vision expanded, my sight increased, my outlook changed.
No one get's through life without death.
I choose to be stronger, to celebrate longer. To live life fully.
To have my capacity to love increased through my adversity.
I will not ask to get out of grief, but what can I get out of grief?
There is a guarnateed uncertainty of life and a choice of joyful expectation over fear.
I choose to believe for the mosiac of the broken pieces,
to be far more lovely than my current life view.
I hold unto the law of love because love cast out fear.
Fear realized breaks the enemies back,
and love crushes the schemes of the enemy.
Broken yes, broken into a new beautiful.
Blessed yes, even in the brokeness.
There is beauty in this place and I choose to look at that.
WE are blessed, I refuse to believe anything less.

Another Birthday....well, it was a month ago, but surprise I forgot to post!

Today is my husbands birthday(not really, because I forgot to post this)  Again, I just have a hard time remembering to finish things....in my defense we were on vacation in Idaho with wonderful, beautiful people that were a bit distracting....
I am reminded of the frailty of life and the beauty of the fight. 
We never give up, we press on toward the goal.
We, this earthly family awaiting our heavenly reunion continue to live and love. 
God's mercy continues to flow, His power is still evident and yet sometimes we are like fish out of water.
Confused and dazed by our circumstances. 
But this I know, we have been given a gift.
 A gift of time and love not to be wasted. 
It's not how I expected but I am thankful none the less. 
There is life still to be lived. Loss yes, but love still wins. 
My husband, the love of my life has been given another year by the maker of the stars.
 He, who has known my pain like no other and shared in the sufferings.
He is still the ONE.  
No matter the pain and heartbreak of the past year, that is to be celebrated.
Happy Birthday to my husband and best friend. 
We journey on, hand in hand, fellow strugglers committed to the call until we hit the finish line. 

It's been almost a year....trying to finish something

It's been almost a year.  A year since we lost our son.  Since the world spun out of control.  A phone call that changed everything.  Time stood still and then the whirlwind in my mind began.

Grace came and covered us.  His presence held us together.  A million shattered pieces left on the floor that a heavenly Father would slowly put back together bit by bit and then He would do it all over again every day for months.  Pick up the pieces and stitch them together creating a new me, a new us.

We stood side by side with family and friends and soldiered on.  Everyday memories searched for to hold unto. The pain that was unbearable, and that I didn't think I could survive, I have.  I am surviving.

It has been a grueling year.  I have ended up sick.  Turns out eventually something more was wrong than just the sorrow of losing my son.  There is a physical response to an emotional trauma.  I knew this yet was somehow surprised.  God's grace is still there.

I have spent a year trying to finish grief.  I am not finished.  I can't finish anything. I can't seem to finish a thought, finish a book, finish a conversation, finish the dishes, finish writing, finish anything.  I realize now I will never finish grief, it will change but there is no deadline for finishing it.  Until I am reunited with my boy, it will always be there.

I used to wake up crying every morning.  I don't anymore, maybe once in a few weeks but not every day.  I used to feel guilty for laughing, I dont' anymore.  Joy was quick to come and be my strength but it is different now. Joy is always shadowed with a sorrow that few can understand.

Everyday I battle fear, everyday I press into God because in my humanity it is impossible to move forward.  I am stronger than ever and yet broken.  I lean into the pain, refusing to cower.  Jesus always meets me there, has compassion for me....a bruised reed He shall not break(Isaiah 42:3).

I have been strong and I have been weak.  I have been brave and I have hid.  Jesus has been there the whole time, just there.  No condemnation, just love in the deepest and darkest of places.  He shines His light there and there is hope.  There is always hope.

Am I finished, not with anything.  However, I am moving even if only inch by inch.  I am in motion and sometimes just sometimes I see the finish line.  I get a glimpse of heaven and I am encouraged that this year has been strangely slow and yet exponentially fast and it is one year closer to our reunion with Justin.

I write for me and I write for others who know the pain I write about.  I would write even if no one read because one day it may redeem this pain.  Someday, someone will read it and find hope for thier circumstances.

So soldier on my friends and pray for us.  Pray for those of us who have to walk this earth with treasure in heaven, always missing a piece of our hearts.

In Christ Amazing Love,


Annoying, stink eye stuff, mothering stuff.....

Yep, that's the squinty stink eye look
He says to me…please don’t be annoying(I am secretly delighted he said please).  Like this is some type of a choice a Mother makes .  Hahahaha today I shall be super annoying.  It’s certainly not the first time I have been called annoying.

I am cloyingly(something you liked which then becomes sickening), disturbingly annoying.  It’s true; I have heard it all my life.  I am fun and fabulous and then like a roller coaster taking the colossal drop, I free fall into annoying.  There is a high and low to life and mine is from wonderful to annoying in five seconds flat.  I can spoil a room with a look or a bark of orders (I have superhuman powers to see all the things that need to be done in one glance).  I can laugh and be fun and then drop a bomb that blows up like a grenade and leaves shrapnel everywhere.  Sometimes things just find their way out of my mind, into my mouth and then BAM!  Yikes, did I just say that out loud?

It’s not just a mother thing…but for the sake of time let’s just talk about that mother thing today…

I love my boys, fiercely, desperately, fully.  I’m not trying to be annoying.  If I could stop I would.  If I could change the look on my face I would.  Hehehehe it’s the look of love, it's not the stink eye.

I am not giving them, you or anyone else the stink eye.  I am just thinking, stinky thoughts.  It shows on my face, in my eyes...it is the dreaded unintentional stink eye.

I know everyone is having fun but someone has to point out the obvious….who is going to clean up this mess? Or someone is going to get hurt doing that, or that is just plain dumb, climb off the roof…. I am not being negative, just realistic. Why am I the only one that can see this???  

Yes, your friends think I am giving them the stink eye but I'm just thinking, and it may look like a mean face but really it is me....tortured in my brain....I'm trying not to scream and so well....my eyes are screaming and thus the dreaded stink eye appears.  Think of it more as a twitch or a squinty eye problem.  

In a split second I can count the cost, come up with a list of a dozen things that could go wrong, my mind can begin spinning so fast that I am desperate to release at least one thought….I don't want to, I really don't but if I don't say something my head might explode.  Honestly, annoying comes very easy, naturally to me. Parenting just seems to put my crazy on full steam ahead mode!!  

I annoyingly want the very best for my boys.  I want to spare them from mistakes that could wreck their futures.  I want them to grow up to be responsible, caring, generous, wise, honest, God loving men.  Not for me but for their future wives and children, heck I think it’s important for the sake of the World (okay and selfishly for me too).  I am convinced that these boys can change the world. 

I lay awake at night thinking about these things and it makes me annoying.  It makes me point out the obvious, it makes me want to tell them instead of let them learn. It makes squinty eyes appear and labourous annoying questions come forth. It makes them sigh and makes me frustrated with these brilliant, beautiful, charming, manboys that beg me to quit asking questions and giving instructions because it is so annoying

I know, I know...Just stop, but if it were that easy I would have done it a long time ago. Besides, I'm their mother.  

I love them so much; I wish they could just teleport into my heart and see the truth of how much I love them, of how I would do just about anything for them, of how I am trying my best to not be annoying but sometimes loving someone by default, just makes you annoying.  It just makes you ask questions and give advice even when it's not welcome.  Help me Lord. 

They are a part of me, which is really hard for them to understand I am sure.  But when I look at them I flash to all the memories of raising them, their little chubby cheeks, wet kisses, sleepy heads, hide and seek, forts, sick nights holding them, singing over them, endless loves good night, bath time, snotty noses and butterfly kisses and I just want to scream…..I LOVE YOU PLEASE LISTEN TO ME! I AM NOT ANNOYING, I JUST LOVE YOU! Then I realize to them that is annoying.  Ratz.

I know who they potentially can be and it makes me want to control and enforce my will upon them, when the truth is we are way past that.  Wisdom isn’t taught, it’s learned.  Learned over years, shoot I’m still learning.  Okay, so maybe I’m not even that wise....

This parenting teenagers and adult children, reveals my weaknesses.  My annoying weaknesses, my inability to keep my heart in check and my desperation to see them succeed and at the same time my desire to keep them close, protected and insulated from a dangerous world.   It’s hard out there, people hurt people, the world can be grossly unfair, consequences can be terrible, someone’s gonna get hurt, there is no escaping the pain of living, I don't want them to experience anymore heartache, I could go on and on….

Years of trying to protect them and keep them from getting hurt and now all the sudden, I just need to keep my mouth shut. Aaarrrgh….this is so unfair.  I’ve been training all my adult life to protect them and make decisions for them and now all of the sudden in a horrible twist of fate, they must make their own decisions.  WAIT, I’m not ready for this….

It’s such a gamble.  I know, I know trust God... but that doesn't keep them from making mistakes(free will and all that stuff).  I suppose I want to protect myself as much as I want to protect them, if I am honest.  Save the momma from the drama, please.  I don't want them to have to experience hard things.....because I can't bear to watch it. 

Oh sure one boy will count the odds and the other will live on the edge and it will all work out in the end, but I still want to give them butterfly kisses and sing over them when they are asleep.  I guess that is annoying.

Annoying, they think it’s annoying to live with me?  Ha, they should have to live in my mind.  One hour inside my thoughts, my brain and they would surrender to the madness and never have children of their own.  One night spent inside the mind of this insomniac that can lay awake considering hundreds of scenarios, praying and worrying in the same twisted mind and then repenting....sheez they couldn't do it.  Here's praying they don't repeat my crazy cycles.  Which by the way, it's not all negative.  There are some beautiful amazing things this ADD brain can do and all those thoughts sometimes give birth to fantastic problem solving or strikingly creative ideas.  

My point is this job is not for the faint of heart; stand your ground, speak your mind, use wisdom, go to battle, pray without ceasing, shut your mouth, support them, don't support this, speak truth, don't isolate, give love, don't enable, just listen, no stink eye, hide how scared I am, let my true emotions show, guilt them, feed them, give money, withold money, I face a gazillion choices daily and sometimes I become annoying. Who can blame me?  

At this point everyone is lucky my head doesn't just spin around and green puke doesn't come flying out.  Annoying, well I will wear that as a badge of honor I am just glad I haven't given up.  Considered it but come on...I have way too much invested at this point. 

Don’t get me wrong, these boys are great kids.  I see them and am proud to say they are mine, which irritates them because they think they are just “them” not “mine”.   I suppose that means I am succeeding; they are independent, ready to take on the world.  They believe they can do anything, and so do I.  I just want more time, more voice, more love, more opportunities to give direction, more influence, more communication, more….oh wait I am totally being annoying again.    

As the Dr. Seuss book says ….

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” 

Yep, read that a hundred times if I read it once.  For the time being they are still here, in our home and on our property so maybe tonight I will sneak in and sing over them, breathe in their boy smells and give them butterfly kisses while they are asleep. 

Ssshhhhh don’t tell them….what they don’t know, won’t annoy them. 

Anyway, one day we will be best friends and they will hold my purse for me if I ask them, and they will call for my advice, they will trust me with their children and every once in a while they will say I am annoying but it will be with a smile and a wink.  

Someday, hopefully soon, we will all be the best of friends and until then we live in hope.  Hope that I can stop being annoying, okay that is probably too big of a goal.  Let’s just hope I can be equal parts wonderful, supportive and annoying.  That’s a realistic goal, I think.   Wait, now that I think about it….oooohhh here goes the roller coaster…..
Soldier on brave friends,


Turn your sighing into singing!

So yesterday in church, I sang out loud into the microphone.  It wasn't a pretty sound, it was a real authentic sound.  It was spontaneous( not in my notes) and it was vulnerable.  I shared a "new song" that I had found myself singing for the past year since Justin left this earth.  "I still believe, You are good!" that's the song...just a few words that I would sing to push myself to remember that God is good (sometimes we just need to remember).  I sang it more in the beginning, less in the last few months.  Although the last few months have been brutal for me, physically and emotionally(probably should have been singing it).  Sickness had worn me down and my emotions....well let's just say I was worn to a fray.

             It's the continued push and drive necessary to keep pressing forward and then              
 never hitting a finish line that gets me sometimes. 
  It's the grief that washes over me and takes me under, when I thought by now I would be all better.               Wishful thinking, it turns out we are never really all better. 
But I will not be silenced by the grief. 

I don't care what I sound like or what anybody thinks it just seems to be trite in light of all that I have walked through in the last three years.  There is a level of freedom in having walked through hell and survived.   Brave just got tested.  Who cares what anyone says anyway....I have lived through the worst things ever and so now I sing in a microphone and in a video for all the world to see.  I am a worshipper and God continually turns my sighing into singing.

It was a joyful noise.
It was the sound of break through.
It was the sound of bravery.
It was the sound of worship.
It was loud and it was off key.
It was so much more than what it even appeared.
It was approval addiction broken in a sound.
It was fear choked out with a voice.
It was more annointing and less of me.
It was a joyful noise.
It was the sound of sighing turned into singing.

It is who I am in Him, a worshipper and that makes me able to sing....not well, but sing nonetheless.  He loves it and in the end that is really all that matters.  Don't get me wrong...not looking to sing out on a microphone again, but you will find me in the front row of church singing my guts out.

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