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Emotional Health/ HEALTH/ Love/ Spiritual

Oceans of Grace When Discouraged, Depressed, Sad or Mad

Oceans of Grace

This is how God works with me.


I seek his face, my own expressionless, staring out the window

Smeared mascara, tears wiped away with a swipe of my wrist while doing dishes.


Heart sad, my spirit so discouraged.

My lack is in my face.


I go upstairs and gather my tools to enter into His presence.

Coffee, journal, blanket, fan, pen, books, phone…

A habit that carries me into the only thing that brings hope.

Continue Reading…

Emotional Health/ FAMILY/ Love

Morning Pages + My Birthday!

Morning Pages - Journal 3 pages a day, in the morning

I’m not sure where I found the idea of Morning Pages, I believe it was on Instagram somewhere, and I was instantly drawn to such a simple idea:

Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

I’ve been doing this for about a month and have enjoyed putting pen to paper and the freedom it gives to just breathe out my unedited thoughts. I have found it very freeing.

Some days it is list form and feels productive and a way to clear my head. Somedays I vent and it feels relieving and therapeutic. Sometimes it turns into words of thankfulness for this life I get to live–that is what happened today and I will share what I wrote below.

Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

When I write my Morning Pages, I simply use a Moleskine journal and my favorite Sharpie stainless steel pen and make it part of my morning routine. I usually am sitting in what I call my ‘nest’ (a cozy corner chair in my bedroom) with the lights low, soft music playing, the diffuser going, and coffee on the warmer by my side.

Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

This early morning routine has become a favorite part of my day, and I will write in full detail about it soon–it involves prayer, a couple of my favorite apps, meditation, music, essential oils, coffee, writing & yoga. Ahh…I’m eager for tomorrow morning just writing about it!

But first, today. Today is my birthday. I turned 42.

As a cancer survivor, I find myself quite surprised to be this old. Because my cancer was a later stage, I have a high chance of recurrence, but thankfully that statistic comes down with each year.

I am 7 years out, and I feel my heart could burst when I think about what a gift it is to have yet another birthday.

When I am 10 years out, my chance for recurrence will plummet. I am careful about expectations, and that is ok because it helps me stay thankful for each and every day!

Morning Pages --Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

Morning Pages Journal Entry:

November 27, 2017


Lord, you are good.

You’ve given me life…42 years.


Today is my birthday.

The blessing of years…of time with my loved ones and this good (sometimes hard) but mostly good life. 


You are a gift giver.

You wake me today with a list of gratitude on my mind first thing, you help me to see all the gifts.


I sit and inhale–the gift of scent. Frankincense diffused!

Morning Pages -- Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

And then, a feast for my eyes…the most glorious of sunrise, pinks and bright shades of oranges! You even sign your name on this gift, an electric wire pole in the shape of a cross, positioned right next to the glorious rising sun, a reminder of your Son. I go to daughters window for a better view!

Morning Pages -- Write 3 pages, in the morning, about anything you want.

I sit back down in my cozy nest chair, sounds of calm music coming from speakers and morning voices of my 3 Lovelies drifting up through the vent.




I open your Word and you give yet another gift. Familiar words spoken so loud to me over the years, your voice reminding me to delight in you. Psalm 37:4

How could I not?

psalm 37:4


I read further and tears come, even a gentle reprimand from your word is so loving and personal.

It shows you know my thoughts, such intimacy.

I am fully known and fully loved.


“Find your delight in the Lord. Then he will give you everything your heart really wants. Commit your life to the Lord. Here is what he will do if you trust in him. He will make your godly ways shine like the dawn. He will make your honest life shine like the sun at noon. Be still. Be patient. Wait for the Lord to act. Don’t be upset when other people succeed.

But those who are free of pride will be given the land. They will enjoy great peace.

Those who do what is right will be given the land. They will live in it forever. The mouths of those who do what is right speak words of wisdom. They say what is honest. God’s law is in their hearts. Their feet do not slip.

The Lord saves those who do what is right. He is their place of safety when trouble comes.”

Psalm 37:4-7, 11, 29-31, 39 NIRV


You allow my birthday to land on a Monday, you know it is my most favorite of days.

A day to recover from a holiday weekend and get back to routine. You know I thrive on routine especially the one you have shown me:


The routine of dawn.


The sun rises and with it my most precious moments with you. 

These favorite morning meditative moments of breathing you in and filling my mind what matters most.

Your glory.



Thank you for another year of life. 

May I have another and yet another after that?


I ask and you remind —


“better is one day in Your house than thousands elsewhere.” Psalm 84:10


And so I remember, no matter the day, whether here or in eternity, you are and will always be with me.


So…for this day,

& all my days,

I thank you.


What about you?

Do you regularly journal or want to?

Does the idea of Morning Pages appeal to you?

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Love

My Cancer World and Be The Match

My Cancer World & Be The Match | #Join4Kami

I am in the cancer world. I am a two-time survivor, take medication everyday to help keep cancer at bay, and question every ache and pain. I have an Oncologist who tells me this: “give each ache and pain a two-week window. If it lasts longer than two weeks, or you find a lump or bump, come see me.”

I have been in this world for 7 years. It has changed me. I have lived more fully, loved more deeply and know that loss can be right around the corner.

Have you loved someone with cancer? 

Being in this world means meeting others in this world. I am not alone. Oh how I wish my loved ones and I didn’t have this in common. I’m sure you can relate, for who has not been touched by this, with cancer so common?

What can we do with our commonality?

“Cancer is an epidemic.” These words were spoken last week by my very heart friend, the one who talks to me every day and who is texting me this very moment, my phone buzzing at me. She has survived recurrence and spends her days at a non-profit organization that helps women fight this beast. She knows. Her weary words ring true.

My Cancer World & Be The Match | #Join4Kami

How do we fight an epidemic?

My phone buzzes again, a text from another heart friend, so so dear to me. She asks if we can meet Friday morning before she leaves for Houston, gone for at least 3 weeks. This is the place she goes to fight the beast that has shown up for the second time in her delicate neck. How can something so ugly invade such beauty as my friend?

How do we fight the beast?

And then the children.

I remember my brave Lottie Mae, we lost hair together and were on the same schedule of growing it back, the schedule of fighting cancer. I couldn’t fathom her courage or the courage of her parents as she battled leukemia. Lottie’s beautiful red locks are now long, they grew as did she, now a beautiful young lady. Prayer along with the right medical treatment saved her life.

My Cancer World & Be The Match | #Join4Kami

Can I tell you of one more story? 

It is the story of 11-year old Kamryn, another beauty whose life could be saved with the right medical treatment. Watch the video and see courage, light, and life. Even the tears on the cheeks of her Momma are courageous tears, asking others to be the match for her sweet, sick girl. She needs the right medical treatment, but it is on hold, waiting for the right match, a marrow donor.

{Learn more about Kamryn’s story and sign up to join the registry at}

Can you imagine waiting for others to give?

I can’t imagine having a sick child where there is life-saving treatment but that treatment depends on the giving of others. There are many just like Kamryn who have no donors available.


A marrow transplant can be a life-saving treatment for more than 70 diseases including leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle-cell. 70% of patients are just like Kamryn and don’t have a fully matched donor in their family.

They depend on Be The Match. This is an answer! We can be available.

Be The Match Registry® is the world’s largest and diverse donor registry, but there are still thousands of patients who don’t have a match.

All it takes to join the registry is a simple cheek swab. It is mailed to you, you swab, then mail it back.

How amazing would it be to know that you helped cure someone’s cancer? Blood cancers can be cured with the help of bone marrow donation. Becoming a donor is something we can do to fight the beast of cancer and many other diseases.

My Cancer World & Be The Match | #Join4Kami

Can you commit to becoming a donor?

Donating is a lot less painful than one might think. Most donate through a Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donation where a machine draws blood from one arm, extracts the cells it needs and returns the remaining blood back to your body through your other arm. Donors are fully awake for this procedure. Lives are saved with this cell extraction.

For some people, the doctor will need to extract marrow directly from the back of the pelvic bone with a needle. In this case, one receives anesthesia, feels no pain during the procedure, and most donors feel completely recovered within a few weeks. This is a sacrificial act, but a small one for the chance to save a life.

Can you help spread the word?

I know I am not alone in watching loved ones fight cancer. I know the whole world has seen and felt the sting of this beast.

We can help others who are waiting. We can reach out our hands, hearts and arms to others who need a life line.

Visit Be The Match. Make a commitment and get on the registry. Spread the word. Every person who joins the registry gives patients like Kamryn more hope of finding the match they need.

Help beat the beast. Be The Match.

A Way to help loved ones with cancer

{Help spread the word by pinning above image}

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.



To Be a Part Of Love Winning


Love wins.

I tell myself this as I am distressed and stressed, tears stream down while I try to type words and a pit in my stomach all of this day long.

The day after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S history.

I think of those who died, many who were so young, scared, texting their Mama’s knowing they were going to die, just to say I love you one more time.

It could have been my loved one, texting me one last time, hostage in a bathroom, knowing they were going to die.

I don’t know much, but I do know this one thing and I grasp hard onto it, clinging even as my stomach tightens.  I know this.

Love wins.

In the end, love wins.  Evil loses.

I type that and I have to stop, eyes clinch shut tight and lump in my throat comes up and erupts and I wipe the overflow and my heart feels like it is breaking and I wonder again about those Mama’s whose hearts are in pieces over last texts.

I remember.

I remember when another massacre happened, the Von Maur shooting, the day my little sister once again became my hero. She was working there that day. She knows what it is to hear shots that make your heart stop and race simultaneously. She knows how everything stops but it doesn’t and you have to act and you just do, you just act and react. She gathered customers into a storage closet and hid and acted heroic. I think of the many who acted heroic in Orlando yesterday that did or didn’t have the same outcome as my sister. She ended that day thinking of a precious man whose smile & greeting met her that morning and most workday mornings, who even at that hour was lying at the bottom of the escalator, a smile and greeting snuffed out by evil. She mourns and then heals. She believes that evil does not win.

Love wins.

I remember that day, being ushered to a room where families wait. Some had news, some didn’t. Some were in the middle of receiving the worst news possible. I remember a woman eyes wild, clinging to my arm, begging me to tell her if her own sister was ok. Had I heard? I had no answers for her, just eye contact & a connection. We were two wondering about our sisters, mine lived hers didn’t. The next time I saw this dear woman was on the news, walking behind a casket, her sister’s funeral televised. I think about how without deep love there is not deep mourning. I think about how very, very deep her love was as her shoulders shook while walking behind a casket.

Last night I needed to write articles but my thoughts were low and words would not come so I turn on Netflix to pick up where I left off. I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy, old seasons that I had stopped watching back in the day when hospitals & trauma became a very real part of my life. I am six years out and blessed enough to be able to watch once again. I press play and it is an episode about a mass shooting and I watch actors dressed as nurses and doctors playing a horror that nurses and doctors in Orlando just lived out in early morning hours. I thought how they continue to live it even now as day 2 and day 3 are often critical after surgery. My mind can’t wrap around what I’m watching– that it is real in Orlando and I think about pushing pause, but I keep watching, because I want to feel, I want to be a part of love winning.

Love Wins.

I wake up today and read the names & look at faces. I go about my day with names and faces in my mind & carry them in my heart as I grocery shop & do the mundane. I slight smile at mangos that are just ripe enough at a great price & marvel at the sweet scent of a pineapple not yet broken into. I try to find joy in the mundane despite a heavy heart, for this is another way for love to win. Evil will not steal our joy, hope, smiles or sweet scented moments of life. Even if those moments are memories.

Mid-day I look for more faces to go with the names, because love remembers. Love mourns with those who mourn.

I watch to let others’ pain sink in, to join in their pain and know how to pray, to let it in deep and I think…would I be faithful in prayer without pain?  I want to feel others pain. I want to have ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart that cares enough to stop for a moment and just listen and absorb, to mourn with and feel with. I want to enter into pain with others because this is what love does.

Evil creates pain.

Love enters into the pain.

Love wins.

FAMILY/ Kids/Family/ Love/ Marriage

24 Ways To Be A Helper To Your Husband


Helper: One who gives assistance or support to another, making life more pleasant or bearable.

“It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. I will make him a helper.”– God Genesis 2:18 (emphasis added)

So, how do you feel about being a helper?  I’ve always been okay with the term, as on of my gifts is acts of service, so helping people is something I love to do, but I know many women who struggle with feeling like this title is ‘less than’ or inferior.  My struggle is different.  My struggle is remembering who I am called to be and putting the energy into it.

If you do struggle with this word, it might help to remember that the word Helper, is actually a precious word that God uses to describe himself!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you. Isaiah 41:10

In this verse God is assuring His people, telling them not to worry, because He will be their helper.  He considers it a worthy calling, so I do to.

I’ve recently had a reawakening when it comes to wanting to be the wife God has called me to be.  This has come along my heart for a couple of reasons.

I am just coming out of a season where I was quite sick for a long period of time.  It has taken months to get back to myself, of which I really will write about soon, (let me reassure you that I am still in remission, much of the sickness has come from ongoing hormone treatment and side effects from that treatment) but I was so sick that I went inward, and really could only focus on getting through everyday.  It was quite a selfish period…not really… but kind of.  I did my best to give as much as I could each day, but physical and emotional illness caused me to not be able to give like I was used to.

The second reason is an amazing couple I know and who I wrote about, that recently went to Heaven.  They had the marriage I think we all long to have.  They were best friends and just did marriage so well!  Here is a quote from Terri…I must share as it just hit me so hard how beautiful her thinking and way of living was.

“‘You become what the most important person in your life thinks that you are. “At the end of Ty’s life, I want him to be able to say, ‘Terri was the greatest earthly blessing in my life – the best thing that ever happened to me – and that I’m a better man because of how she loved me. And that’s the goal that I live with every day. That’s how I want to love this man.‘”

Now that I am able to focus more on others, and I have a very tangible example of what a great marriage looks like, I am very excited to start by focusing on my own and the one that is most important to me…my Todd.

In doing that, I have been reading a book and the beginning chapter talks about being a helper.

It is not really doing something, but being someone.  An identity that I want to keep in the forefront of my mind. It is a worthy calling.

I ask myself: Do I make my husband’s life more pleasant and bearable? Does he depend on me? Can he now that I am feeling better? Have I communicated this to him?  Does he feel my support? How do I react when he asks me to do things for him? What are things I do or can do to accomplish this?

Lately I have been able to practice the answers to these questions as it is my Todd’s most busy time of year.  He works for a non-profit organization as a programs director and also as an after school reading center director.  This week and next he is just swamped and has needed me to step up and take care of things he normally would take care of.  This plays out practically in lots more time in the car for me…rides for our 3 girls in the evenings that he would usually give.  It also looks like me going to teachers meetings alone and being quite proactive in being the main parenting figure right now, at least during the week. I hope he is starting to feel the unconditional support as my attitude in doing this purposefully and cheerfully is still pretty new. It’s not that I was unwilling before, it is just that now I want to do it in a way that makes him feel confident that the house can be run well even when he is working extra hours; and that he has a wife who is capable of picking up where he needs to let go.

Honestly, the past 2 months this would have been really, really hard to do as my health was so precarious, but thank our sweet Lord I am stronger now and able to really be proactive in my new convictions.  I am so thankful for better health!

I must admit, not only did it take a change of health, but also a change of heart. It is so easy to become apathetic and not want to change.  My motivation came from seeing the beauty of a marriage done God’s way, and I will forever be grateful for such a beautiful example.

My new attitude will not always come easy.  I know there is an enemy of our souls that wants to bring fear, disobedience, scorekeeping, contentiousness and cause me stumble over pride. I will not let him win.

So what does being a supportive, pleasant, bearable, dependable helpmate look like for me?  How am I going to live this out practically?

Well, I plan on asking Todd specifically what is most helpful for him.  But in the meantime, I know him well enough to know where to start.



A few steps I’m taking in being a supportive, pleasant, & dependable “Helper”:

I will soften my face when I look at my husband.

I will smile at him, even if only with my eyes.

I will be attentive, acknowledging when he walks in the room.

I will be attentive, without putting pressure or expectation on him to be attentive back.

I will hug/kiss him hello and goodbye.

I will give him time to decompress and do ‘Todd’ things when he gets home.

I will do my best to make him feel special to me, like I’m his biggest fan.

I will exude warmth.

I will not share with him all that has gone wrong with my day the minute he walks in the door.

I will pray “Lord, please help me be willing to be willing.”

I will have my closest friends ask me about how I am doing in being “helper”

I will continue give my heart only to him and no other, with protective barriers up against all others.

I will not compare him unfavorably with others

I will work on making our marriage bed the warmest place known to the both of us.

I will use words like “good morning” “have a good day” “I love you” “how are you?” “need anything?”

I will look for ways to make him feel special in my presence

I will find ways to let him know he is of great worth to me

I will figure out how to best communicate how much I respect what he does and who he is

I will be committed to all of this even when I don’t feel like he might deserve it at times.

I will love and treat him as the man I know he can be even if he is having an off day.

I will choose to see the good.

I will make “deposits” into our marriage, more than “withdraws.”

I will pick myself up and try again, even if I ‘drop the ball’ in these goals.

I will do all of this through Christ, who is the only one who can fully and perfectly love me in the way I long to be loved.  As I grasp how very head over heals in love God is with me, I can then love others in the same way.


What about you?  Does this list resonate with you?  Does it make you fearful or nervous? Are you already doing most of these things? What are your experiences? What are your thoughts?

FAMILY/ Kids/Family/ Love/ Marriage

How To Solve Disagreements Without Arguing

how to solve

A great resource that I back is the book, “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman. I wrote a previous post, Marrying Him = Marrying Into a Family, regarding one of the chapters. I also have this book listed on our Resources Page. I said that all to say I like the book and believe it is a great resource!

Today, we are going to take a look at another chapter of the book. Chapter 4: “How to Solve Disagreements without Arguing”. Sounds like a great skill set to have! Let’s delve in and see what Chapman has to say about this topic!

“No one had ever told us that conflicts are a normal part of every marriage. There are no married couples who do not encounter conflicts, for one simple reason- we are individuals.”

Chapman says first things first. We must accept that we will have conflicts. Some will be small and some will be larger. This is NOT a sign you married the wrong person, but rather a sign that we are human. Once we have accepted the fact that there will be conflict in marriage we then must find a healthy way to deal with conflicts. Showing genuine respect while we do so is important!

Chapman explains three ways that we can solve disagreements without arguing:

Each of these three solutions start by respectfully discussing both sides of the situation. One person talks while the other listens. The listener asks follow up questions and restates what they have heard. Then, they play the opposite roles. This way each side of the situation is heard and understood.

Meeting in the Middle After discussing both sides of the situation you find a meeting place in the middle. That means you have agreed to do a part of what each person desires while also each person sacrifices a little as well.

“There is always a solution to conflicts. Two individuals who choose to be friends will find that solution.”

Meeting on Your Side After discussing both sides one of you decides it is best to do what the other had in mind. This is total sacrifice of your total original thoughts and doing so with a positive attitude.

“Sometimes the decision to agree with the other person’s idea will involve great sacrifice. However, love always involves some sacrifice.”

Meeting Later After discussing both sides you feel you are not able to agree with the other side nor are you able to meet in the middle. Then a time is set to discuss the situation further at a later date. The situation may look different at a later time. The most important thing here is that you do not let it allow tension into the marriage in the meantime.

The most important part of this all is listening to each other and understanding each other’s perspectives rather than accusing each other of illogical thinking. Ryan and I personally have only had minor conflicts in our marriage which I am so thankful for. But I know it is because we have open communication where we truly try to understand where the other one is coming from. That is the same thing Chapman is saying we should do here!

“When we learn to affirm each other’s ideas and look for solutions, we can process the normal conflicts in a marriage relationship and learn to work together as a team.”

What is a way you solve disagreements without arguing?


Huge congrats to Ryan & Cassie on the birth of their first baby.  They have a beautiful, eventful & blessed birth story which you can read here. 


“Marriage is Not a Destination, But Rather a Life Long Journey”

FAMILY/ Love/ Sponsored

On Father’s Day My Heart Broke For The Children

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of IKEA Foundation for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

 photo 6d3cbda4-939b-42c2-8ce7-892f0480422c_zpscb964d0b.jpg

Today is Father’s Day, and although I sit here feeling so very blessed with the amazing men in my life whom I get to call Dad, Dad-in-Law, & Husband, my mind is also somewhere else.

I’m thinking of a story of a boy named Tejas that I recently read about.  Tejas is a 10 year old boy who was forced to leave school and work in the cotton fields in India alongside his parents to supplement the family’s US $1.67 a day earnings.

With today being Father’s Day,  wonder what it is like to be Tejas Dad.  I wonder how it would feel to watch your own child labor all day, to sacrifice your son’s childhood to put food on the table, food that is barely sustaining the family, and to feel like you have no choice.  I wonder what kind of relationship this precious 10 year old boy could possibly have had with his Father, when his days were spent laboring in the sweltering heat, enduring the unending chore in the cotton fields.

Tejas is not alone. India has largest number of child laborers in the world, with 13 million boys and girls, ages 5 – 14, relegated to fields, farms and factories.

This morning I just put my 11 year old daughter on a big bus headed to camp I saw her in the bus window, wiping her face, knowing her tears were streaming as she was about to head hours away from home to an amazing week of camp fun!  She is super excited, but the tears were nervous tears, as she is attending camp this year without the company of her older sister.  My husband and I stood waving until the bus drove away, both of us feeling like a little piece of our heart drove away with it.  No parent wants to see their kid sad.  We naturally all want to do whatever we can to make them feel safe, protected and find their smiles again.

My girl was wiping tears that I know will very soon disappear as she has lots of fun, smiles and laughter.  I think of Tajas, and can imagine the little one wiping his face, too, wiping sweat from his brow as he worked along side his Father, and I wonder if tears mix with that sweat, or if he just accepted the work as a way of life.  Either way, my heart breaks for him, and not just for him, but for over 13 million boys and girls, ages 5-14, relegated to fields, farms and factories. 

My 3 girls are in that age range, and I can’t even bring myself to imagine them in the place of those sweet kids. Right this minute, while I sit here drinking my coffee in my air conditioned home, in this very day and age, so many, many children are laboring.

Something must be done.

June 12 was World Day Against Child Labor, and I am honored to use this space to get the word out about the IKEA Foundation and its partner Save the Children. They unveiled a $7 million program to protect 790,000 children living in cotton communities in India.

The effort is the second phase of a long-term program which aims to keep children out of cotton fields, and in classrooms where they can learn, play, grow and develop and be children. Phase I of the program reached more than 600,000 children in India!  That is amazing.

 photo HighResImage_zps37c5c49d.jpg

The above picture of Tajas family is exactly why I wanted to help spread the word.  Today, thanks to a Child Protection Committee established in his village through Save the Children and the IKEA Foundation Child Labor initiative, Tejas goes to school regularly and he aspires to become a police officer. Even Tejas’s mother joined a program-instituted self-help group in the village, where she learned why it’s important for children to go to school and how to save money for Tejas’s schoolbooks.

Why specifically the IKEA Foundation?

~ their approach is holistic. They aim to improve opportunities for children and youth in the world’s poorest communities but funding long-term programs that can creates long-lasting change.

~they work strategically with strong IKEA Foundation Partners, and use an innovative approach for huge results in 4 key areas of a child’s life:

     *a place to call home

     *a healthy start in life

     *a quality education

     *a sustainable family income

~currently funded programs are benefiting an estimated 100 million children.

~more than 10,000 migrant children moved back into their home communities thanks to the IKEA Foundation

~nearly 2,000 teachers trained & improved school enrollment rates in participating villages

~1,866 Anganwadi (health, education) workers trained in teaching practices, giving each village in the program a skilled community worker

IKEA Foundation video

Will you help me spread the word?  You can like the IKEA Foundation Facebook to keep in touch with all that they are doing and easily spread awareness to your friends and family. Social channels is a GREAT way to quickly spread the word, but we need your help to do that. Join me!

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