First Grade Proposal

The following is a real conversation between myself & my Daughter

 

J: “Mom, you know Daniel that’s in my class?”

Me: “Yes, what about him?”

J: “Today at lunch he asked me to be his girlfriend and he gave me a ring.”


 

We were driving home from dance class the other day when my 7 year old daughter dropped this bombshell on me.

 

Inner me: WHAT?! No! Absolutely not! You are in first grade. No boyfriends… EVER!

Me: “Oh he did? What did you tell him?” (As I pushed the instant FREAK OUT mode down a little bit)

J: “Well, I told him I would have to ask my mom.”

Inner me: Thank You Lord! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Me: “Well that was a very smart thing to say. What do you think I am going to say?”

J: “Ummm… probably no.”

Inner Me: “You bet I’m going to say no…”

Me: “Yup. You’re right. Why do you think Daddy & I will say that?”

J: “Ummm… because I’m not old enough.”

Me: “Yup. What do you think about it?”

Inner Me: “Please agree! Please remember the things we’ve talked about even if it was only in a brief conversation!”

J: “Yeah, I don’t think I’m old enough. Maybe when I’m like 16.”

Inner me: Dancing a celebratory victory dance

Me: “Do you know why you’re probably not old enough?”

J: Shrugs

Me: “Well, why do you think people have boyfriends?”

J: Shrugs

Inner Me: “Lord PLEASE help me out with this one. Seriously, I could bungle this without your help!”

Me: “Well, when you like a boy as more than just a friend you may want a boyfriend. Like if you’re thinking about him a lot and you want to hold hands and things. But really God made the boyfriend/girlfriend/dating thing to help us figure out who we are supposed to marry. Do you think you’ll be ready to get married in the next 5 years?”

J: Laughs “No! I’ll only be in 6th grade!”

Me: “You’re right. You won’t be ready to think about getting married anytime soon. Boyfriends are a pretty serious thing. I think it would be best if we waited a while until you think about having a boyfriend. You should probably just tell Daniel that you’re not old enough to have a boyfriend but that you two can just be friends. How does that sound?”

J: “Yeah. That’s what I’m going to do.”


 

I have to tell you that during this short conversation I felt like I should smile, cry, stop the car, laugh, & call my husband all at the same time. I mean REALLY? She’s 7.

Jimmy and I haven’t really sat down and planned out our specific rules about boyfriends and dating yet. (Did I mention she’s only 7…) We’ve been more concerned with spelling lists & making sure we remember to get snacks for the class on our assigned snack day. Boyfriends? Rings? Ha! That seemed laughable. Until now.

The more I’ve thought about it over the past week the more I’ve realized how unprepared I was for that conversation. I know that as parents we agree that there will be no boyfriends until our girls are older, but what age? What about dates? Group dates? Movie dates?

If I created rules going off of my personal dating experiences in High School I would lock them in their rooms until they were 18 and tell them stories about boys only wanting one thing. (Ok, we WILL be having those talks… Jimmy says it’s mandatory)

My 7 year old is a lot more like Jimmy than me though. Their personalities are so alike and Jimmy didn’t date. I was his first real girlfriend and we started dating our freshman year of college. (Now this is not counting the girl from church that was his girlfriend for like 2 weeks and they only saw each other at church… He says that doesn’t count)

After some discussion Jimmy and I have decided to wait to set specific rules. We are just going to continue having clear, biblically intentional conversations about boyfriends & dating and we’ll take each event as they come. In the mean time I’ll be reading, praying & asking God to prepare me for what lies ahead.

I just never thought I’d be dealing with boyfriends and rings in first grade. Wow! I guess God’s just trying to keep me on my toes!


 

10 minutes later I found myself thinking about that ring.

Me: “Hey, what did you do with that ring?”

J: “Oh! At recess the girl that sits next to me saw it and said that it looked just like the one that she brought to school and put in her box on her desk but it disappeared. So I gave it to her. We think Daniel took it from her box.”

Inner Me: “Little hoodlum…”

Me: Laughs “Well it sounds like it all turned out ok then.”

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Am I Fertile Ground?

My daughter and I have been talking a lot about bulbs the past few days. Bulbs… as in flower bulbs.

I don’t know if you know this or not but I absolutely LOVE flowers. Like REALLY love flowers. I would cover my entire front yard in flowers of different colors if I could.

The thing is… we actually have very few flowers in our yard. We have lived here for 2 years and we really haven’t paid much attention to working on any landscaping. In fact, just keeping our lawn mowed has been an issue. (I’ll have to tell you about our lawn mower experiences another time)

So THIS year I’ve been determined to plant some flowers & work on the front beds. I spent an entire afternoon just cleaning out the front beds & killing weeds. It was tough & tiring, but it felt so good to step back and look at what a difference it made!

So my 7 year old & I went to pick out some spring bulbs to plant & some seeds to plant in pots for the porch. There were so many options it was a little overwhelming. Full sun, Part sun, Part shade, Drought Resistant, Deer Resistant, Annual, Perennial… My poor head was swimming! My daughter, of course, was just going by what her favorite colors were & dropping them in the cart. Needless to say, we had to have a discussion that even though we like what it looks like it may not work in our yard.

We finally figured out what bulbs & seeds we wanted, checked out, & headed home. In the car she asked me what we would need to do to plant them & take care of them. I explained that we would follow the planting directions on the packages & we would probably also look up some more information online so we made sure that we could do our best to take care of them.

Then I got to thinking.

Although planting & growing plants isn’t easy, it’s something that I am willing to spend my time & money on. I’m not a fan of the planting & waiting part, but when the flowers bloom it’s all worth it.

Isn’t our spiritual life similar?

God calls us to do many things that are difficult, time consuming, & even tiring but He asks us to do these things because in the end it will bring glory to Him. All of the hard work is worth it in the end, even if the end result doesn’t occur during our lifetime.

So much of this time consuming work is preparation. So, just as we would prepare the ground for the planting so that it will be able to grow, we should be preparing ourselves for the work that God has for us to do.

How can I prepare myself? I’m not soil?

1. We can prepare our hearts with prayer.

God has really been convicting me lately of what I pray to Him about. Lately instead of asking for more tangible things I’ve been asking him to prepare my heart & mind for whatever it is that He has for me. Whether that means something this week, next month, next year, or years from now.

2. We can prepare our minds with God’s Truth.

How often do you delve into God’s Word? I’ll be honest, depending upon the season, I tend to slack off when it comes to my personal bible study. When I’m not preparing my mind & studying God’s Word I tend to fall flat when life gets difficult. Just 15 minutes a day reading & studying helps tremendously. It’s like getting ready for a big test. If you haven’t studied, & aren’t prepared… You’ll fail.

So as we prepare our yard for spring plantings I’m going to continue to think about how I need to prepare myself. As I water & weed over the next few months I’m going to use that as a reminder.

I’ll share lots of pictures of our flowers when they bloom! Be sure to let me know what is blooming in your life!

Until Next Time,

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This post was shared on the Simply Inspired Linkup!

Confession of a Busy Mom

Well I’ve let it happen to myself again. There has been so much going on in the past month! Its the end of the school year and we’ve just been GOING, GOING, GOING… DOING, DOING, DOING… We’re so Busy. I’ve gotten to a point where I think I need to re-evaluate everything we are “doing”. What are we “busy” with? Does God call us to these things? Is it time to let go of some things? I have always struggled with being busy. In High School I played tennis, was on the cheer squad, was in the High School Musical each year, sang in the choir, was involved in church, (of course there was ALWAYS a boyfriend to spend time with) and somehow I managed to be an average student at a College Prep School. None of these things were “bad”, but I think I was so busy that I didn’t give the necessary attention to the things that should have been priorities. Sometimes I wish I could go back and shake my teen self and tell her to focus on what really matters!

  • “Cheerleading is great but don’t make it a priority because you’re going to end up hurting yourself so many times that you can’t even Cheer on the College level.”
  • “Don’t worry about that silly boy because he’s just going to break your heart in a few months after he meets another girl while he’s away for a few weeks over the summer.”

Or maybe I should look in the mirror right now and say it to my adult self…

  • “Don’t join another committee that will take up more of your time. Your daughters are starved for your attention.”
  • “Think and pray more before you agree to go as a chaperone on that next Youth trip. Your husband is tired and you need to spend some one on one time together. He needs you.”
  • “It’s time to step away from that commitment. Your season there is over. It’s time to open yourself up to whatever God is calling you to next.”

It’s tough stuff to think about, let alone pray about. “God, show me what you want me to be doing… and what you DON’T want me to be doing.”, because the thing is I need to follow through & obey. Yikes! I may actually have to STOP doing something! I may have to say “No”! I might have to disappoint someone because God is calling me to something else. So for now, I will pray for strength in this season of busyness. I will pray for God’s discernment, that He will show me what He wants me to be doing. I will pray that He will guide me as I weed out those things that I am not supposed to be spending my time on. I will ask Him to set my priorities straight.

Psalm 25:4-5 “Show me the right path, O Lord;     point out the road for me to follow.  Lead me by your truth and teach me,     for you are the God who saves me.     All day long I put my hope in you.”

Have you ever found yourself in a season of busyness like me? Has God called you to let go of some activities? I would love to hear what God has done & is doing in your life! Until Next Time, signature.fw

I shared this on the Grace & Truth Linkup, Christian Mommy Blogger, Faith & Fellowship Blog HopFaith Filled Fridays. If you’re a Faith Blogger check them out!

Free Scripture Printable Round-Up!

I have been so busy the past month, but it’s been a good busy. I have LOTS of blog posts in the works, but it’s been hard to find the time to finish them! So in the meantime I’ve decided to do a fun Free Scripture Printable Round-Up! I don’t know about you but I LOVE free art printables! I love to print them off and place them in cute frames around the house. Lately I’ve really loved scripture printables. They are beautiful to look at and are a great encouragement each day. I’ve included some of my new favorite printables below from some awesome sites. Please click the links below each image to go to each site, download & print the images.

josh24blueJoshua 24 Printable by The Flourishing Abode

Ps119 home life magazine scripture word art

Psalm 119 by Lifeway’s Home Life Magazine

everlasting love 20 20 001

Jeremiah 13 by Art by Erin Leigh

floralquote

Isaiah 40 by Laurie at Fresh Picked

April-Memory-Verse

Matthew 28 by Jeran at Oleander and Palm

I hope you enjoy & are encouraged by these printables as much as I have been! Check back soon because I have a series of my own printables that I’m working on as well.

Until Next Time!

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Encouragement Received, Encouragement Given!

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but there’s been a lot going on over here!

Last Friday my post “Let’s Be Friends” was a weekly featured blog post on the Grace & Truth Linkup! I woke up Friday morning with a notification on my phone… Let me tell you, that was the BEST way to wake up on Friday!

The beginning of last week I found myself having lots of doubts. I was doubting whether I should continue with this blog & with the book I’ve been working on. I was feeling a little discouraged & tired. Working full time, trying to take care of our home, my kids, & my husband, let a lone going to & serving at church… I was beginning to question whether God wanted me to do it all.

I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself in that position, questioning. Doubting. “What am I doing?” “Is this what God truly wants of me?” “Did I make a mistake?”

That’s where I was last week. I didn’t feel like writing any more. I was doubtful that what I was doing was any good for anyone. I wondered if I was being selfish by even having a blog. Was I doing it to further myself in some way?

So I told God that I was going to hold off until I heard from Him what I was supposed to do. I was to afraid that by continuing to write or pursue this blog I could do a disservice to His word.

Then Friday came. First, I woke up to the notification on my phone about my featured post on Grace & Truth. I was so excited! I reached over, hit my husband (a little too hard… lol!), and told him that I’d been featured. I was in a slight state of shock throughout the morning.

When I got to work & opened up my email, I was blown away again! I had received an email from Heather Caudill over at “Mess to Beautiful” about a Guest Devotion Post I had submitted a few weeks before. She liked it! Not only that but it was going to be posted on her Monday Minute Devotional series on Monday! (Today FYI!)

I wanted to dance around my office! God had CLEARLY shown me that I wasn’t doing His word a disservice. In fact over this past weekend God has kept encouraging me through my friends, family, and even online followers.

So I want to take a minute not only to thank The Lord for reaffirming me this weekend, but also to all of you for reading, sharing, commenting, & encouraging me. I treasure every visitor that comes across this page.

As a thank you, I’ve made some encouragement downloads for you! Feel free to print or save them & use for your own personal use. Click the link underneath each picture to download each image.

1 peter 5 7 printable

1 peter 5:7 Printable

romans 5 8 printable

Romans 5:8 Printable

Today I’ve Linked Up with Titus 2 Tuesdays over at Cornerstone Confessions & #RaRaLinkup over at Purposeful Faith!

“The Best Laid Plans…” Five Minute Friday

I’m joining up with the #FMFPARTY Five Minute Friday group again this week! If you haven’t heard of Five Minute Friday go check out Kate Motaung’s page about it over at katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday. Blogging for Five Minutes on Friday about a specified “Prompt Topic” I have to say that only typing about a topic for 5 minutes is a HUGE stretch for me, but I’m really enjoying it.

This week the prompt is “Plan”. I’m excited to get started! So here we go…


If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “The best laid plans of mice & men often go awry.” You know the basis of my life.

I am a planner. I love lists & preparing for upcoming events. I used to be a wedding planner (that’s another post entirely in and of itself!) & I loved the entire planning process from beginning to end.

The thing is, my plans for my life & the lives of my family DO often go awry. I’m not a foolish person. I don’t just jump at every opportunity that comes up. I’m a detailed planner. When I graduated High School I “planned” to get a business degree then own my own bakery, definitely NOT what ended up happening. So why do some of my “plans” come up short?

They don’t work out when they are MY plans & not God’s.

James 4:12-15

” Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.”  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”

When I get an idea or start to make a plan of action I need to step back and really evaluate WHOSE plan it is. Am I coming up with this all on my own or have I truly been guided by The Lord?

This blog is a great example of that. I felt God calling me to write. Now, he originally called me to write a book (and I am), but when I got stuck in the process and was about to give up on it He pointed me toward blogging. I questioned & doubted whether it was me or God that came up with that, but after lots of prayer & searching for His answer, He has begun to open my eyes to His plan for it all.

Well, my five minutes are up! This five minute thing is CRAZY! I could probably go on forever… Hmmm… I think I’m already coming up with my next post! I’ve been inspired!

How have the “plans” you’ve made on your own changed? I would love to hear how God has moved in your life!

Let’s Be Friends.

I’ve never been good at friendships.

I’m not saying that I’m not a good friend. I’m kind, I try to listen, when I’m out with friends I have fun. I’m just not good at starting or continuing a friendship. Sometimes I don’t neglect to contact a friend and say “Hey! Let’s get together!”. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, there’s just something that stops me.

So what hinders me? I worry about what others will think about me. A real friendship means that you have to open yourself up. “Surface” friendships, where you don’t get very deep and can just exchange pleasantries, are easy. Deep, meaningful friendships happen when you open yourself up to one another. You have to let that person in. That scares me.

I worry about people judging me. I worry that they will find out things about me that will turn them off. I worry that they will find out that my entire bedroom floor is currently covered with clothes. I worry that they will find out that sometimes I am rude. Sometimes when others are talking I’m not listening very well because I am distracted.

I worry that people will find out these things and will no longer think highly of me.

I would say my best friend is definitely my husband. Obviously, it is a good thing for him to be a best friend. Other than Jesus Christ, my relationship with my husband should be the next closest relationship that I have on this earth. It’s good for our marriage and good for our family. My husband sees me in my best and worst moments and still loves me in spite of it all. I think that is one of the reasons that he is my best friend. If I snap at him in a moment of frustration or bawl my head off because I’ve had a hard day, I know he’ll still be there and love me just the same.

Will a friend do that? That’s the heart of my personal struggle.

Lately God has been speaking to me about my problem with connecting with people. I have a lot of surface friendships but I am very weary of opening myself up to something deeper.

Eccelsiastes 4:9-10

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

To me, this is one of the reasons we are not supposed to live life alone. We CAN do things alone, but that doesn’t mean that is the best way to do it. I mean, having two arms DOES make most tasks more manageable. There are so many things in life that we can’t physically do alone.

When I read the first part of Ecclesiastes 4:10, it says that if either fall down the other can help him up. How many times do we “fall down” in our Christian walk? Every day! Every day I make mistakes, I sin. WE are sinners, and so we are going to “fall down” at some point. Having a friend, doesn’t just keep us accountable, but it also reminds us that we are not alone when we do fall. A close friend can be there to help support you in Christian Fellowship.

The second section of verse 10 says, “But pity anyone who falls and has no one to ehlp them up.”

Why should we pity them? Because, unfortunately, they have chosen to not surround themselves with people who would help. This is where I am.

God has been working on me that I need to be in closer fellowship with other women. As women, we need to be better about creating & working on close friendships.


So what does that mean? Am i going to pick up the phone tomorrow and suddenly have a new best friend? No, but there are some things that God has placed upon my heart to focus on. God wants me to work on making some of my “surface” friendships, true friendships.

First, God is calling me to step out in faith.

Yes, I am scared to open myself up to others, but my fear is not an excuse to disobey what God has called me to do. My emotions cannot determine whether or not I follow through. I have to trust that He is guiding me toward women who will care about me in spite of my faults.

Now, just because I step out in faith & obey what God has asked me to do does not mean that He has promised it will be smooth sailing. Relationships require people. People have baggage. Baggage causes problems. Even though there may be some bumps, I need to continue following God in the direction that He wants me to go.

Secondly, God has opened my eyes to the receiving end of friendship.

Friendships require us to open up and share our struggles with one another, but when a friend is opening up and sharing we must remember to listen without judgment.

One of the reasons that I struggle with connecting is because I worry about what others are going to think of me. What do we see on tv and social media? Cat fights & gossip. We see women tearing each other down & being applauded for their actions. Why are many of us weary of opening ourselves up to other women? This is why.

Matthew 7:3

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

If we want close relationships we have to take it upon ourselves to stop silently (or for some, publicly) judging each other. Opening ourselves up is only the first step. We then have to listen & support each other without judgment or condemnation.


I am going to be working on developing closer Christian friendships, and I challenge you to do the same. I actually have someone that God has brought into my life hat I am going to call this week to get together and have lunch. I’m nervous, but excited to see what God has for this new friendship.

If you don’t have any issues with developing genuine, close Christian friendships with other women, look around you. Is there somewhat in your social circle that doesn’t seem to make connections easily? Ask God to show you someone that He wants you to connect & fellowship with.

I would love to hear what God is saying to you. Please let me know in the comments or follow me on facebook or twitter and let me know!

This was posted in the Grace & Truth Linkup & the Faith & Fellowship Blog Hop

Five Minute Friday: Why I NEED to “Gather”

So this is my first time joining up with the #fmfparty group! YAY! I’m excited!

FMF means “Five Minute Friday”. On Fridays many bloggers take the opportunity to write for five minutes on 1 specified topic. I first heard about it a few weeks ago and this week I’ve decided to join up! Check out Kate Motaung’s over at her blog “Heading Home” for more info about the #fmfparty.

This week’s word to write about is “Gather”

So I was thinking about why we gather.

This weekend I am gathering with several Children & Youth Church Workers to learn how to create better ministries. Sunday I will gather with other believers in Jesus Christ to worship God & learn more about Him. Next week my family will gather to celebrate my daughter’s 7th birthday!

We gather together in times of joy & in times of deep sorrow. Sometimes we just gather together so we can talk or have a good time. We NEED to gather together. I know as a wife & a mom it really helps me when I can get together with other women to share & talk about what’s going on in our lives. I have a friend that I don’t get to have lots of quality conversation time with because we’re  both so busy. Let me tell you though, when we DO get together & talk we can talk for hours! I always come away from our conversation feeling so much better because I know I’m not the only one that struggles with balancing all of the areas of my life.

Hebrews 10:25 says

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

So in God’s word He’s even telling us to gather! We need friend & family time. We need to share with & encourage one another. I think that’s one of the reasons why the #FMFparty each week is such a great opportunity! We can virtually “gather” together to talk on one topic. We can share & encourage.

I definitely need it!

Ok, my five minutes are up. Thanks so much for “gathering” with me this week!

I’m also linking up with www.christianmommyblogger.com today! If you’re a mom that blogs check it out!

I would love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below what you do to get in some good Friend or Family time. I would love some new ideas to use myself!

Surprise! Free Printable!

So I’ve been stuck at home the past couple of days due to the snow storm that came through Friday Night & all day Saturday. Crazy! I was SO NOT expecting that!

I’ve organized the towel closet, published my 2nd post in the Ruth Study Series (Check out “Loss”), had a dance party with my girls in the kitchen, and done UMPTEEN loads of laundry. I decided I needed to get a little creative this afternoon. So…

Since the weather has snow bounded me… You get something FREE!

That’s right! I created an 8×10 printable from a verse I used in my latest post on Ruth and I’m making it available for you!

Psalm 9  8by10 printable

I love Psalm 9:9! Feel free to Pin, Save, Share, & Print! It’s created to fit in an 8×10 frame so enjoy!

Do you have a favorite verse that you would like to see as a free printable on Made To Bloom? Comment below & let me know! I love this kind of stuff!

“Famine” Ruth 1:1-2

Over the next few posts I’m going to go through one of my favorite books, Ruth.

I have always loved the Book of Ruth. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read it. I’ve read commentary after commentary on it. I’ve taught it to the girls in my Sunday School class more than once. In fact, every time I go through it God shows me something new that I had never considered before. 

Ruth 1:1-2 (NIV)

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.”

So, here we have Elimelek, Naomi, Mahlon & Kilion. They are living in the land that God promised to His people, when suddenly famine comes. Things were bad, it looked bleak. So what did they do? Elimelek decided to leave and move his family to the country of Moab.

So, why is this a big deal?

Well, for starters you should know that this was The Promised Land that they were leaving. When Moses freed God’s people from Egypt and they wandered the dessert for 40 years, this is the land that God said would be theirs (eventually).

Famine has come and instead of trusting that God would take care of them, just like He had with their ancestors, Elimelek decides to take matters into his own hands. He decides that he knows what is best for his family and they move to Moab.

Not only are they leaving Judah, they’re leaving Judah for Moab. Moab was a country that worshiped other gods. The Moabites didn’t worship the one true God.


When I read these first two verses I’m reminded of all of the times that I didn’t trust that God would take care of something for me.

I can think of so many times in my life that “famine” has come and I instantly react. I always want to fix it as soon as possible, so I decide on my own the best way to make everything better again and do it. I just go off of my own understanding and don’t turn to God for the solution.

Have you ever tried to fix something yourself without turning to God first? How did that turn out for you?

“Famine” in our lives can be all kinds of things. Family problems, friend problems, boyfriend/girlfriend problems, school, work, money… the list goes on and on.

The problem isn’t that we have problems, the problem is that we don’t turn to God for the solution.

We think we know best, and we put God aside for a while & we “fix” the problem.

 Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

In other words, don’t assume that you know the best way. Trust that God is God & that He knows the best way to handle it. Ask Him to help you, listen to Him, and do what he says to do. He will help to make it all ok.

Maybe you’re dealing with a “famine” situation right now in your life. Life is stressful & the bible says that we will have problems. Whatever you are dealing with God wants to guide you, you just have to turn to Him.


In my next post we’ll continue with Ruth 1:3-5

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