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wife. mom. adjunct professor. we homeschool. i'm a little bit OCD. i love math. bright colors and geometric designs make me drool. we live with a medical rarity, and Jesus saved his life. through that, Jesus is changing us. The american dream and status quo is overrated...and sometimes just plain wrong. our lives, our family, our careers, our faith are all now filtered through a new lens-- thank you Jesus. welcome to our crazy. feel free to take some of it with you, we have plenty to go around.
It's not the load that breaks you down; it's the way you carry it.
-- Lena Horne


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.-- Jesus Christ

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

recovery

I betcha didn't know the reason I've been gone for the past 2+weeks is because I hurt my knee. Running. We assume....

Yes. It happened.  Me...in all of my athletic glory.  I was hardcore, people.  Run.ning.   6AM-ish, 2 days a week, and only a bit later than that the third day of the week. Yoga/Pilates 2-3 other days a week. And nothing 1-2 days a week (I like those days best).  Then it happened. I went for my 6 AM run, and made it about 1/4 of the distance....and my stupid knee just wouldn't stop throbbing. I couldn't sufficiently walk, much less run.  So I called it quits, came home, was annoyed.  Emailed my friends, one of whom is a doctor...she prescribed a visit to my actual doctor.  So...the next day there I was.  I still couldn't walk well at all. I'd been icing the knee. I'd been resting it. I'd been taking Advil. Nada.  So the doctor pushed and prodded the knee, and was pretty certain nothing was too amiss (no tears, no sprain, etc).  Bursitis. An inflammation of the bursa, if you will.  That junk doesn't play, people.  It. HURTS.  Like, makes you wanna cry when you put your underwear on-- not because you are getting old and have two children and have ugly granny panties kind of crying, but cry because you can't even move to clothe yourself.  And after that, there are pants....and socks...and shoes.  For the love!  Disastrous.  So anyway, yes, the little fluid filled sac that is supposed to help my joints move smoothly  (we have many of these in our body) was inflamed.  An RX for some NSAIDS, as well as icing and resting and doing some strengthening exercises was the remedy.  After a week of that, and severe limping....and missing activities...and crying....I went back to the doctor.  She was more than accommodating to give me a shot right in the knee.  Within 2-3 days, I was able to cut back to only taking half of my medicine....and today I haven't needed any.  Much less limping.  Much less crying.  Much less drama from the mama (at least with regards to my athletic injury.  since i'm an athlete.)

So anyway, I feel much better now.

So my knee is almost recovered. I will be working up my nerve to run again....

Onto another type of recovery.  So I've been reading-- lots of things...The Hunger Games Trilogy (oooooh looooove thooooose), the Bible (a few days behind in my 90 day reading plan...but going strong-- some of those books of the Law....well I had to be put on a slow track plan, self-imposed, for those.  But we're almost to 2nd Samuel now, so things are moving a bit more quickly), "7" by Jen Hatmaker (READ.IT.), Interrupted, also by Jen Hatmaker....Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend...and a few others I can't think of off the top of my head.  So, anyway, through several of these books, as well as several instances in my life lately, I can not shake this.....this thing I can't even put into the correct wordage.

  I spoke with someone the other day who was talking about someone praying with them; in and of itself, that is a wonderful gesture.  If someone's praying for me, I love that!  If someone feels compelled to pray with me, I love that, too!  What I don't love is what I heard next-- in that praying with this person, the prayer that was uttered was more of a lecture and preaching at that person than a communication with the Lord.  What is prayer?  Is it our opportunity to interact with one another?  Perhaps on a level of community, it is.  But prayer itself is an open opportunity for us to speak to the living God.  If I see a fault in someone's life, first of all, I may not even know the truth there or the entire story, and second of all, if I want to pray for that person's eyes to be opened or whatever, there's no reason I can't ask God for that, but to do so in a way that is so off putting and so blatant and so in front of that exact individual who may be in a delicate situation that I really know very little about?  really?  I just don't get it.  I don't.  Prayer is an opportunity for us to fall before the throne of the Lord and to praise Him for who He is in the midst of the ugly that we often are.  To ask Him to clean up the ugly parts of who WE are and turn them into the very thing He desires us to become.  It isn't my opportunity to preach at someone.  If I need to confront someone about something, prayer isn't a hedge to do it so that they will maybe hear me say this about them in my prayer to God and thus get the idea that I think they need to change their ways.  WHAT?  no.  If I think I need to tell someone something like that, that's what I should do. Tell them.  Not send a subliminal prayer message.  Because that's gonna go over well.  If I'm praying, even if it is in unison with a body of believers around me, even if thousands of us are crying out for the same thing from the Lord, prayer is us.talking.to.God.  He hears us.  It doesn't matter if anyone else does. That isn't what it's for.  Nope. That kind of livin' isn't going to 'learn' anybody anything.  Love, people. Love.  That isn't to say we shouldn't pray FOR people...but...um....we shouldn't preach AT them if we are praying WITH them.  nope. I don't think so, anyway.  I'm guessing that indirectly that kind of leaves the person on the receiving end of that not really wanting to come back for more of that kind of love.

I have had conversations recently, some with myself, some with other more sane human beings....about "church".  I love our church family-- love the friendly people there, love the honesty that pours out of our pastors, love the sense of family, even though we have not been near as involved as I would like (due to Ridge/health stuff).  I love THE church family in general (globally, universally, internationally)-- the body of believers, the absence of definition by denomination, but the relationship amongst us being knit together by our common thread in Christ-- by the salvation He has brought us, and by the change we long to continue experiencing and the change we long to bring and the eternity we hold to.  But I don't always love "church" in the sense many Americans think of it...the buildings, the "have to check this off my list for the week" mentality.  And it doesn't matter what "church" you go to, there are people in every denomination (some more than others! :) ) who just "do" church.  That's what they've always done.  Maybe they've said some prayer or walked down some aisle, and far be it from me to determine anyone's sincerity in salvation-- I sure hope people don't try to determine mine, because there are days I'd be better off to just hide under the bed all day-- but really they just "do" church. Sunday morning, maybe a class, maybe Sunday night, maybe even Wednesday night. Heck, I was at the church every time the doors were open from childhood till I was about 18 years old.  But for some, that's all it is, a "to do"....a sit-in-the-same-seat-every-week-ritual-and-if-you're-in-my-seat-ima-gonna-tell-ya-that's-fosho redundance.  Bless.You.  BLESS. YOU.  I will pray for you.  Not at you. For you.  Because when that stuff happens and other people come hungry to meet Jesus but encounter you first, they decide maybe they just won't come back.  oooooh that we would BE the church!  That we would love the new faces that we see in the BUILDING, in the parking lot, across the street, at work, at the grocery store....that joy would fill our hearts and pour out of our mouths....that tears would fall for the hurting....that prayers of restoration and healing would be prayed....that hungry and homeless would be fed (LITERALLY, PHYSICALLY!) and housed and helped by us, so that Jesus would shine so brightly that our stupid humanity could not cloud His glory!  AAAAAAAAAAH!  We need to rise up!  We need to need to neeeeeeeeeeeed to!  If we can not have joy in our hardships, and can not love those who hurt us, and can not give up our flippin seat to someone who obviously had no idea you had to buy season tickets to the show, then what does that say about our love for God?!?!  Wreck us, O Lord...for your Glory, and your renown!  May our arms be open wide to the hurting, may the scales fall from our eyes and you allow us to see the needs right before our very faces.  Humble us!  Change all those 'us'es to 'me's so that I don't sound like I'm preaching my prayer :).  Lord, give us hearts and hands to love the hurting, feed the hungry, clothe the needy, help the helpless, hold the orphans, care for the widows....not in word, not in prayer alone, but in DEED.  Give legs to our words.  Change everything so many of us have been comfortable with for far too long.  There is recovery that needs to happen, and this movement is stirring in the hearts of many people of God. 

If you need a seat at church this Sunday, I can totally promise that the row we're usually on is full of crazy because our two kids sit with us (one is known to laugh or cry out loud often...the other one is fairly consistent at silently stinking up the area (and this is the one NOT in diapers anymore))...and for those reasons, I will gladly give you my chair. :) 

MICAH 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Numbers...even this math brain over here can become bored....

Okay, so on my 90 day journey of reading through the Bible, I have reached day 11.  I  haven't missed a day, and you do realize this means I am 12% of the way there.  I know, it's only 12%.  But dude, that's a pretty decent dent for 11 days!  So I'm just getting towards the end of Numbers.  Not gonna lie....the last part of Exodus, ALL of Leviticus, and the first half of Numbers...= brutal.  I'm glad we have all the details, but...bru.tal.  In fact, Leviticus convinced me, on Sunday, that it was definitely nap time.  Definitely. So Sunday got a 2 part plan for reading...half before nap, involuntary nap, half after nap. 

But. Numbers ain't all bad.  There's some funny stuff in there  (not supposed to be funny I'm sure, but I'm a dork, so some of it's funny to me.)
  * not funny, but totally eye-roll worthy EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. they do this-- the Israelites. They gripe about EVERY flippin' thing.  they want more food. God gives them manna from heaven, miraculously.  They get so tired of it they want some meat.  God gives them quail- literally tons of it (no one gathered less than about 17 tons of it! seriously! ri.dic.u.lousssss)- tells them they will eat it till it comes out their nostrils.  Only they've griped so much up to that point, He decides to just wipe a bunch of them out with a plague.  Do the rest of them learn? Nope.  The entire book of Numbers is filled with the same complaint, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt???" (um...you were slaves in Egypt.  You were totally mistreated.  I think you're forgetting how bad it was there.)
  *After much griping by the Israelites, Moses asks God (forgive me, I am paraphrasing somewhat) "How am I supposed to deal with these people?  Seriously, I'd rather you just kill me."  Thankfully, the Lord gives him some other people to help with the difficult ones (which was like...all of them).
 


And there's some really good stuff in there.  Here's what I gleaned the most from today.  The Lord tells Moses that the reason He brought them out of Egypt was to be their God (Numbers 15:41).  THE.REASON=TO.BE.THEIR.GOD.  Countless times the Israelites ask/say things like, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates.  And there is no water to drink!" (Numbers 20:5).   He allowed Moses to bring you out of Egypt so that He (the Lord) would be your God.  That's why.  He rescued you from something terrible, and yes, you are living in something not so great either, but just because junk is happening all around you doesn't mean He's forsaken you.  Get your heads in the game people (Israelites...oh, and me, too.  You?  I'll let you decide that for yourself).  It isn't just about you (Israelites/me...you?) and your wants.  Stuff happens.  Did God MAKE the Israelites slaves?  Did He MAKE them have no water, no figs, no...pomegranates (the horror!)???  Did He MAKE Ridge have MLT?  Did He MAKE my father in law die way too soon and leave us with a hole in our lives??? Did He MAKE my dear sweet friend lose her twin babies before she ever got to hold them?  Did He MAKE several friends of another dear friend suffer and fight cancer SIMULTANEOUSLY (as in, all be stricken with it at about the same time?? and two of them are CHILDREN??)  No.  none of that stuff is fun. none of it is fair.  and the Lord can stop it, or He can allow it.  Of course He is capable of creating it, because He is the Lord.  But did He create that stuff in those people?  Well, I just don't know that I believe that.  I'm not the end all be all here, but I just don't buy that.  But what I do buy is the fact that THROUGH IT ALL, He will take those people affected by those situations and use those situations that are terribly unkind to BE OUR GOD.  He is our God.  So, whatever you are going through-- WHY?? WHY has God brought you to that, through that???  He wants to be your Lord.  He wants to carry you past it and better you from it and love you through the hurt.  I know, because he's done it for me.  And I am so thankful for that.  Even if I did have to read a bunch of laws and ceremonial stuff and genealogies to get to the heart of the message.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

dismemberment {ooook, not really}

Today was my first "long" run in our half marathon training.  4 miles.  The training schedule operates on a run/walk rotation....so I didn't have to run the WHOLE 4 miles...good thing because at about 3.25 miles my legs literally felt like there were going to kick themselves off my body and just lay down on the sidewalk in exhaustion.  So I walked more than I ran the last .75 miles, but I ran as much as my long legs would cooperate.  I didn't finish in the time I wanted, but I was still pretty close for having to walk at least half of the last .75 miles.

Then I came home and stretched for a good long time because I'm pretty sure if I hadn't, my legs would have started a revolution against me.

And now I'm going to blog about Jesus.

So...then I read today's portion of the 90 day Bible reading plan.   Seriously, y'all...seeeeriously-- sometimes I read stuff and I wonder why some stuff had to be written out twice.  I finished Exodus today, and yesterday I read all about all the requirements for the building of the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle, the priest's clothing, etc....some serious details, people.  So today I get to the part where the Tabernacle, etc are actually being built.  And instead of just saying, "and the people built the tabernacle exactly as God had commanded"...it goes ALL through the details. again.  I mean, I'm thinking, "did I read this already?  did i? I think I did??? What? OH. They are building it now, so we must need to reiterate exactly what they did."  That's fine, no big deal, now I get to start Leviticus!!! :)  But anyway, back to Exodus.  So of course the first part of Exodus is cool with Moses telling God about 10 times that he can't speak to the people and seeming kind of winey and then God says "ok. aaron can talk for you"-- props to God on that one, because I think I'd have lost it with the "I can't. send someone else" stuff.  Then there's some more coolness with all the plague, redemption from slavery, the sea swallowing Pharaoh's army, the Ten Commandments, the Israelites having the golden calf made (and Moses grinding it into dust and making them DRINK it.  rock on, Moses)...plus when God is going over all the laws...and this probably isn't supposed to be funny, but I was grateful it was in there because it gave me a good chuckle...God says, "do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed."  well, I'd for sure not go up to the altar on steps then, because, really...who wants their private parts exposed???? aaaaa!  but then all the details about the tabernacle...gollllllly it's tough to read.  Some serious directions, there, God.  And totally understandable--- God is holy, his house of worship is to be holy, so there were specifications...and it's pretty legit that He himself spoke the details as to what was to be constructed.  But the whole time I read that, I'm thinking, "HOW the heck are they gonna accomplish this? How are they even going to remember?  Is it okay if it's just "sorta" right?  What if they mess up?  It's just too much to remember!!!"  I mean, I'm just thankful God wrote the 10 commandments on the tablets for Moses, because those alone would've been tough to remember after only hearing once!  So...then God makes it clear that he has already appointed those who are to help with the construction of the tabernacle, and he has already prepared them to build it to his specifications, as well as to teach others how to help do so.  WHEW~!  I mean, what was I thinking? Of COURSE He's gonna take care of that.  I'm way to OCD to have been Moses.

Anyway, I think it's cool that through all of those....rules....God knew what he was doing, and made preparations for it.  And his people didn't just depend on someone else to get the job done-- when it came time to build the tabernacle, those he'd appointed, helped to build it, and all of the people who were able gave offerings of supplies-- all the things the tabernacle was to be made of, the people donated if they had it, and the women even wove some of the linen and yarn.  They banded together, so much so that Moses had to tell the people to stop offering supplies because they had MORE than enough to build the temple. And when it was all said and done, it was all exactly as God had commanded.  They worked together, according to the Lord's calling on their lives, they gave of themselves, and it was hard work, and there were specifications...but they did it....and I'm betting it wasn't always fun (and the Israelites did their fair share of grumbling after being saved from slavery, so I'm guessing that probably some of them were tired and grouchy from working, but maybe not).  But anyway, it was a community affair- they didn't depend on someone else to do their work for them, God readied them to do it, so they did it.

So. along those lines, or totally not, I have felt, and have felt from others, a sense of unrest in the hearts of many believers.  Not that Christ isn't enough,but that we aren't.  Meaning, what's different about us?  Did you know that if your income is $35K, you are in the top 4% for wealth in the world...$50K, you're in the top 1%?  Seriously!   Over half of the world survives on $2 a day.  (thank you to Jen Hatmaker's book "7" for those stats....it's totally worth the read, and I'm not even halfway finished with it yet.  you can find it on amazon.com-- paperback or e-reader version).  We have houses and cars and oodles of clothes and food and whatevers, and we all want more.  Or maybe we don't want more, but we feel like we don't have enough...or we buy more anyway...or we "need" this...or this is 'old' or out of style or whatever.  I'm not pointing a finger at you-- dude, I've seen my closet. And my pantry.  So you can point a finger at me, if you want-- it'd be justified.  But even living in what we see as middle class, we are wealthy in the world's eyes. Maybe not in gluttonous American eyes, but in the world's, we are!   But what are we doing about it!?!?!  Can we live on less?  Yes. Will we?  I hope so.  What are some small things we can do to change the world? Big things?  What can we do?  Because most assuredly, we should do something.  There are people dying every day due to starvation. Children going to bed hungry, with no parents to love them.  Dirty water that is spreading disease amongst communities in many many other countries.  LITERALLY dying.  Of course, it is our job to also bring Jesus to these people--  but along with living water, how about actual water?  I just don't think it would be okay with Jesus for us to say, "Hey. Jesus saves.  I'm praying for you." and then walk away and hope those people get some clean water, or vaccines, or PARENTS.  WE HAVE THE POWER TO DO SOMETHING.  It is time for us-- ME-- to step up and make a difference.  Because living the "American Dream" has to be so overrated.  Because you can feed someone for a whole day for less than the cost of a drink at Starbucks.  Because for what some people spend on car payments and mortgages in one month could provide clean water to a community FOREVER.  Because Jesus loved the orphans, the widows, the diseased, the poor-- not in word, but in DEED.  And I want to be like Jesus.  BE like him, not just "do stuff" that makes me look like I love him- going to church, saying the right things, avoiding certain things, etc etc...because I think anyone who grew up in church and has felt this unrest can shout with me that THAT is not IT.  It isn't.  praying a prayer or saying a phrase or whatever isn't IT.  Jesus came to CHANGE us, and if we are only changed in what we say and in legalistic ways, what the heck is that?  Jesus changed us, Jesus redeemed us, and he loved the unlovable.  He WENT.  He DID. He LOVED. He DIED for the least of these (and that's US, too, people! We aren't good enough!  His GRACE is.)  It is time to start sacrificing what we might not see as luxuries, but what really are...and using that time or money or whatever to put legs on the faith we say we have.  Because I want to be like Jesus.  And the WORLD needs to see that in us-- the lost, the dying, the starving, they need to see Jesus with skin on, and it's time we step up and become that.  

I love it.  love love love it.  I'm so excited I'd run another 4 miles if I had any legs other than these jello ones to stand on for the rest of the day.

Peace to you on this beautiful, beautiful day!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

well hey....this keyboard is dirty. and other {more sentimental} sentiments.

Seriously, I've gotta be one of the worst bloggers EVER! But, in all honesty, I've said all I need to say over the last several weeks, and it is just now that I have anything else I'm wanting to get written down.



First some updates and what we're up to, etc. (forgive me if any of this is repeat information, I don't always remember what I share where, socially speaking).

Christmas:  We had a good Christmas; we spent some time at home, some time with family, and some time doing things as a  family-- volunteering at the City Rescue Mission (we will be doing this 2-4 times each month from here on out, as we are able), visiting the OKC Museum of Art, eating downtown at Coney Island, watching movies together at home....we had a good break.  We were all surprised (well, maybe not BDawg...okay, definitely not him, but the other 3 of us were) when this was in our living room Christmas morning:




Sawyer deemed his name "Thunder," so that is what we're calling him.  Isn't he the cutest???

Here we are on Christmas morning:

  





Okay. so there's that. 

BDawg just started back to work today, so that means S and I started up some new Kindergarten learnin'.  Today was slow-goin, because of a couple of things-- well, actually 3.  1) It was the first day back...so naturally, it took 12 times longer to do everything. 2) we have a dog that needs tending to, now...because we want him to think he's a person, not a dog, so we try to include him in a lot of things....so today, he mastered writing his name, complete with correct pencil position.  I know, you're impressed.  3)  Ridge is just getting over some sickies. 

Let's just segue from 3 to here, stating the already stated obvious.  Ridge.got.sick.   Now, I'm still going to be the best defensive player ever in that arena, because I don't want him to ever get sick.  BUT, ladies and germs, you need to hear this-- The boy got sick. Sawyer had some sort of sore throat with low grade fever the other day. Fearing strep like I fear alien invasion (or not), he was promptly taken to the after hours clinic, where strep was DENIED, but abx were prescribed anyway, just to be safe, because his ears were red.  So he was better, like, within less than a day--in fact, he told me he got better because he ate some TGIFridays loaded potato skins chips or something.  Good job, kid.  So that was last Thursday.  I didn't think we had anything to worry about when no one else had the sore throat demon Friday...or Saturday....or Sunday....or Monday.  But lo and behold, on Tuesday, Ridge had fever.  Like...102.  Which meant, a year ago, we had to pack our junk and hit the road to Children's Hospital, "just in case" his line was infected.  No line=no rush trips to the hossy (hospital).  Sooooo...we had to decide what to do. He probably didn't need abx, since they didn't really apply to Sawyer's sore throat anyway.  So we decided-- tylenol, and wait.  So we did.  And today?  My normal ridge was back! no fever or anything (good thing we went and spent $50 on new thermometers last night).  Best news: he didn't bleed AT ALL from being sick/the fever/etc!  Seriously!  If we make it through January with no more hospital, then we've made it a YEAR without being there for anything other than checkups/removal of his line!  We have gone with no transfusions for six months.  Really...let's do a cartwheel.  I'll sit here and wait for you, because I don't know how to do one.

Okay. so there are some updates.  Here's what Christmas and the New Year are bringing to me...
1) Reading. Lots of it.  I've read Heaven is For Real, The Hunger Games (book 1 only, so far), and most of The Glass Castle in the past 2 weeks.  Part of that is due to the cool Kindle Touch my parents gifted me for Christmas.  My largest reading feat is a Bible Reading plan-- read the Bible in 90 days (interested? Check out Youversion.com).  I'm totally stoked about this, and I'm only 4 days in, but I haven't missed a day yet.  I know when I get to all the law and genealogies, it's gonna be brutal...but that isn't THAT much of the Bible.  I just finished Genesis...and it was neat to read such big chunks at a time to really feel for the stories  more than previously-- to be honest, I've never intentionally read the entire Bible-- I may have read most of it in passing over the past 30 years (oh yeah, I turned 30 a couple of weeks ago.  yep. here i am, all wrinkly and old).  So anyway, check it:
Joseph takes his sons to Jacob's bedside at Jacob's deathbed....and Jacob, their grandfather, who hasn't really ever even met them because Joseph's been in Egypt ruling stuff...places his hands on the foreheads of the young men (Joseph's sons) and says: "May the God before whom my fathers  Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd  all my life to this day,
 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm    —may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name  and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.”

Love.It.  Super old man Jacob and young men Ephraim and Manasseh...and that blessing-- that God, who has been Jacob's shepherd all of his life....may that God bless those boys.

That's a good blessing from a grandpa. 

2)Running.  no, I'm not kidding-- so those of you who KNOW me, can pick your jaw up off the floor, or stifle your laughter, which is totally warranted, bc I look like a fool, I promise.  I'm hitting the pavement 3x a week training (along with some other friends in other states! get it, girls!) for a half marathon due in Dallas in October.  While it'd be expected for me to say it's because I want to get fit or lose weight or whatever, that wasn't my motivation- if it were, I'd have done this well before 2012, people.  Here's what's extra awesome about this race-- it benefits World Vision (you know, the organization we bought the goats and ducks through at Christmas time)-- the money raised for the marathon benefits building clean water wells in Africa.  Now, that's totally something worth running for!  I'm horrible so far, but I've managed almost 5 miles this week, which is a big ol deal for this lazy bones.  More to come about this in the future. 

3) cleaner floors. partly because we have a puppy.  partly because dirty floors drive me insane. but mostly because for my birthday, my momma gave me this sucker-- which disinfects your floors using only steam.  I bet I use it at least 4 times a week.  It.Is.Awesome.


And...that's about all we have to update over here.  Here's to hoping I'm sitting at this filthy keyboard (which I'm about to clean) more this year-- at least in the bloggy sense!
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