Leading from Your Strengths Certified
Leading from Your Strength Certified

Back to School Days – 17 Ways to Keep Your Sanity

It’s that Back-To-School time of year.

Back to scheduled days. Scheduled bed times. Scheduled meals. Back to busy days. To car pooling the kids to sports and fun events.

What is a Mom to do in order to keep her sanity?

What can you do to keep the home a safe place for everyone? A place where they want to bring their friends. I can still remember when September came around, the whole world of lazy hazy days of summer came to an abrupt end. So, whether you are a single parent, a homeschool parent, or if your kids are in public or private school, I’ve been pondering today what might be helpful for you right now.

Start each day smart.

With the Lord, no matter what else is going on. Each morning, turn your face toward Heaven and start confessing who the Lord is. Name His qualities. (Shepherd. Healer. Protector. Provider.) Name His titles. (Lord. Savior. King. Creator. Father. Friend.) Praise Him for His attributes. Behold Him and Believe. Believe He will meet your every NEED. EVERY DAY! Share what you are learning with the kids! And don’t forget: Get in the Word as soon as you can each day.

Now, for the day-to-day back-to-school stuff. Here are a few ideas…

  1. Figure out what is working.
  2. Do more of it. Stop doing what’s not working.
  3. Start with 5 minute wake-up snuggles in bed. Prayer. Bible verse. Then, a good nutritious breakfast. No less than 10 grams of protein for each of you.
  4. Send them off with kisses on the palm of their hands. If they miss you during the day, they can put their hand against their face to be reminded of your love.
  5. Send them off with fun little sayings like: I love you. You love me. Have a great day and I’ll see you at three.
  6. Send a family picture along in their lunch pail. Laminate it after you glue it to a red construction paper heart.
  7. Keep adjusting the model. Stay focused on the vision of your individual family plan. That plan will be different than any other family you know!
  8. Don’t take anything or anyone for granted.
  9. A calm household has regular routine bedtimes. For kids and for Mom. Well rested people get along with each other better than tired people.
  10. Never get “comfortable” with what you do.
  11. Keep learning. Keep fresh. Be teachable.
  12. Find your own “voice”. Be willing to be unique. Don’t “follow the crowd”. Follow your Lord and ask Him for His plan.
  13. Trust the process.
  14. Don’t get impatient with the process. An oak tree started as a tiny acorn.
  15. Ask for help when you need it.
  16. HAVE YOUR OWN COACH THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PROCESS. Everybody needs their own “cheerleader” (coach).
  17. Discover your strengths. May I suggest Leading From Your Strengths assessments? I promise that it will give you fresh heart. You will discover a new understanding of yourself and each family member. Recognizing, understanding, and embracing each others’ strengths is a VERY GOOD plan! Contact me for more information. (It is so much better than trying to change each other, which NEVER works anyway. ).

And over all these things, spread a covering of prayer to the One who believes in you. Choose to trust that He truly wants to help you be successful this school year. Just ask. He has the “gift” of “helps”, btw

God bless you bunches!
Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Kick Back from Routine

Two girls walking along a pathClear Lake Iowa…
is a beautiful and a busy place all year. Special events all summer draw huge crowds. These visitors stay with relatives and friends, or in motels, and many delight in camping out in our beautiful camp grounds. We have biking trails and hiking trails. And wonderful parks and of course the LAKE.

The summer season
While kicking back from routine a little, remember that July is a good time to re-evaluate and adjust plans for the year. At 1/2 way through the year, stop and think:

  • Have you accomplished what you intended?
  • Are you more than 1/2 way toward the reaching your yearly goals?
  • What do you need to tweak to see your dreams come true?
  • Have you discovered your personality type with its strengths and quirks?
  • Have you considered much about how other people see you as a person?
  • Would you like to be able to bring out the best in other people?
  • Speaking of summer: Are you different when you are working than when you are relaxing?

Your laugh for the day:
(Don’t be one of those people)
(Actual comments people wrote on registration forms & comment cards.) (From a staff article. The Bridger Wilderness Area in Wyoming).

  • Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.
  • Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.
  • Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow during the winter.
  • The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.
  • A deer stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can be reimbursed.
  • Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with flashlights.
  • A McDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead.
  • The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.
  • Too many rocks in the mountains.

I’m actually surprised they didn’t complain about the weather. These comments were written seriously by real people. You can’t help wondering what they expected? They were in the WILDERNESS!!!

What about you?
When you visit another state and experience their great outdoors, are you ever THAT person? In our “consumer” society, it doesn’t take much to cause us to lose our perspective, to throw us into demanding our own desires, and become poor reflections of the Savior we profess to follow. What would Jesus do? What did Jesus do? Let’s do THAT! When was the last time you asked Jesus: What would YOU have me do, LORD?

Why do we do what we do?
Have you ever wondered why you might react one way and another person reacts differently to the same circumstances? I love that we can actually know the answer to that question! The answer is “By God’s design.” God decides each of our personalities. And then He plops us down exactly where He wants us to be to learn what He wants to teach us. And then it is our job to figure out how to live our one life the best we know how…

Life is like a big huge puzzle.
And we are each only one single piece. It is critical you KNOW where you fit and why you do what you do. None of us wants to be a curmudgeon like the people who filled out the park comment forms. Let’s talk about how you can KNOW who GOD created you to be and how to be better at it. Ministry Insights has developed an amazing tool that we use at www.LoavesandFishesCoaching.com. Get your questions answered! Don’t delay!

Let’s talk about scheduling a *Free* Inquiry call.

Thanks for all you do…

Until next time…

God bless you bunches!
Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

The MomCourager™


Important Announcement – A New Beginning

July 4th - New Beginnings

Loaves and Fishes Coaching is coming back!
I’m back to my original business: Loaves and Fishes Coaching, because it better explains and expresses what God has called me to do.

My calling from God
He has equipped and called me to find people feeling a bit dissatisfied with their life; maybe feeling stuck—like there’s “more to life” than what they are doing. Perhaps they feel they are merely existing and not really living. The exciting thing is that God has something better for each of us. And, he has equipped us to live out His plan and call.

At Loaves and Fishes Coaching,
We know that God desires you to take the LITTLE you have, give it to Him to use for His Glory; and He then multiplies it—like the times recorded in the Bible where Jesus took the FEW Loaves and Fishes, praised God for them, and then BROKE them, so they could become food and blessing for others. You will be blessed as a result of giving what you have been given; but not from taking what you think you deserve. Gratitude is the key.

Through much personal sorrow and struggle, I’ve learned:
We’re not here on this earth, at this time in history, to BE BLESSED, but rather to BE A BLESSING! God’s ALWAYS got a plan. In discovering your strengths and talents, through coaching, you will begin to live in that knowledge, make decisions based on that knowledge. And wonder of wonders, you will actually end up BEING BLESSED because you have been a blessing.

God wants us to discover our strengths and live them out for others. NO ONE is beyond finding God’s forgiveness AND their place in God’s plan. Maybe today God is calling you to YOUR new beginning/second chance/fresh start. Let’s talk.

Contact me for a FREE inquiry call to see if coaching is for you…

Thanks for all you do…

Until next time…

God bless you bunches!
Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

The MomCourager™


God Will Use the Loaves and Fishes You Bring to Him

Whether you discover your strengths through the Leading From Your Strengths assessment/consultation so you can move forward in new business start-up or a new blog start-up … or wherever you need a “cheerleader” to believe with you even when you forget your vision or hope or dream, let’s talk about how it can happen for you. God will use the “loaves and fishes” you bring to Him. I’m excited for all that God has in mind for you. God loves to show Himself strong in the lives of His children.  He likes to take the little we think we have and turn it into so much more than we could dream or imagine.

That’s the reason for Loaves and Fishes Life Coaching. The name came from the verses in the Bible where Jesus has been teaching the multitudes all day and they are hungry, so the disciples come to Jesus and ask Him what to do. They reason that it would cost a small fortune and a lot of precious time if they have to go into town and buy the huge amount of food that would be needed for such a great multitude.

Jesus response is the same thing He says to us: A sort of “What’s that you have in your hand?” He tells them the same thing he said to Moses when Moses thought the task was too big for him to do. Jesus calls us to tasks that are too big for us, but not too big for Jesus and us working together.

So, He tells the disciples to go and figure out what is already available. They come back to Him to say all they found is “five loaves and two fish”  (Mark 6:34) and so He has everyone sit down (maybe so they can all witness the miracle about to happen).

“And when He had taken the five loaves and two fish, He looked up to Heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.” (Mark 6:41)

Here’s the cool part: “So they all ate and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.” (Mark 6:42-44)  Do you see that? 5,000 men ate and were filled…on five loaves and two fish!

That’s the cool part because that’s how God is with us, too. We think what we have is not enough; and then when we bring it to Him, He blesses it and multiplies it.  And many benefit from what we bring to Him for blessing.

God will use the loaves and fishes we bring to Him. Trust Him! But, the big catch is:  we have to BRING it to HIM. That means we have to choose to trust even if it is scary. Even if it seems dumb by the world’s standards. God’s ways are not the world’s ways. What is it you want to do? Start your own business? Start a blog? Learn what your strengths are and then how to implement them into your daily life? Simplify your life? Learn a new skill?

Bring what you have and watch what He can do!

 


The Power of Kindness

Encouragement. The atta boy/atta girl comments. Looking for things that people do well. Looking for their strengths rather than their weaknesses. Just what is the power of kindness?

We’ve all seen the stories on the news of the power of the opposite of kindness. And many of us have actually experienced it or caused it ourselves. The verbal abuse. The “shame” people heap on each other with their words. The “I love (?) you, but …” The anger. The rage. The bitterness. The unforgiveness. The abuse. Neglect. The tear-filled eyes of those who have been treated as though they don’t matter.

In David Jeremiah’s Turning Point Devotional, there’s a story about the father of legendary basketball coach John Wooden. The story is about the power of kindness. In Indiana, where Wooden grew up…“Gravel pits were scattered around the area, and farmers would often take their mules to the pits to haul out loads of gravel to use in building roads. Some pits were deeper than others, and it was sometimes tough for a team to pull out a wagon filled with gravel.”

The story goes on to explain that a young 20-something man was unable to force the team of horses to pull that load out of the pit, in spite of his whipping and yelling at them. It was an extremely hot summer day and the horses were worn out. They were frothing at the mouth and they were pulling BACK from the young man. They feared his wrath.

John Wooden’s dad said to the young man, “Let me take ‘em for you.”

“The farmer seemed relieved to hand over the reins. John watched as his dad started talking to the horses and stroking their noses with a soft touch. He slipped between them and started walking alongside them, holding their bridles and bits while talking calmly and gently to them.

“As the horses settled down, he stepped in front of them and gave a little whistle to start them moving forward as he held the reins. Within a few minutes, those two massive horses had pulled the wagon out of the gravel pit as easy as the sun coming up. John Wooden said he never forgot the lesson.”

The power of kindness. It works with horses and it works with people.

The devotional goes on to say “Nothing good comes from being difficult or demanding. A little love and encouragement can often lift others out of the pits.”

You know the Bible verse, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22 NIV) Have you met anyone that seems to make it their mission in life to actually BE those “hardships” to help you to enter the Kingdom of God? Do you have anyone in your life that has a mission to love you with “tough love” by nearly continually pointing out what is WRONG with you? It doesn’t seem to occur to them to mention what might be RIGHT with you. Our own personal “hardship” ambassador…thinking they are ambassadors for God to get us “straightened out”.

We must guard against harming one another. We are none exempt for falling into unkindness…especially when we are under any kind of stress or overtired. Any of us can so easily fall into that sin of being a discouragement to others. Abuse. Neglect. Harsh words…or worse…those things that cause tear-filled eyes of despair and discouragement…or worse.

God delights when we use our words to build others up rather than tear them down. People need encouragement. We all do. We flourish in the midst of it. Words of encouragement are life giving. They have the power to heal broken hearts. They empower people to think outside the box where they sometimes get “stuck”…unable/unwilling to move “forward”. Words have power. For good or for evil.

The power of encouragement. The power of kindness. Everyone needs someone to believe in them and to tell them so!


Are You Flourishing?

Are you flourishing? I’ve been pondering that question the last few days after reading a quote in my Encounter With God devotional (published by Scripture Union). I encourage you to also take some time to ponder it.

“Flourishing is God’s gift and plan. When you flourish you are in harmony with God, other people, creation and yourself. Flourishing is becoming the person He had in mind in creating you.”
— John Ortberg.

Are you becoming the person God had in mind for you to be when He created you? You are not an accident or a mistake. He purposefully created you. And through your creation–in conjunction with your life experiences– He has been preparing you for what He has prepared for you to do.

One of my favorite things to do is to help people discover who they are and then move forward in their path toward flourishing “in harmony with God, other people, creation and yourself.”

Leading From Your Strengths assessments and consultations = one way God has used to accomplish that.

The Loaves and Fishes Coaching website will answer some of your questions. Then contact me for a FREE inquiry call. When you are ready, you’ll be amazed what freedom you will have from discovering how to answer “Yes!” to the question, “Are you flourishing?”

Also, you might want to go to LinkedIn to read some of the comments from people that know me.

Until then…

When you are ready…


Job Security? Or Are You In Chains?

How is being “wise and safe” in your job choice affecting you?

I had a job that simply was not a right fit for me. It taxed my very soul, and sucked the life out of me. Yet, I fooled myself into thinking it was “wise and safe” to stay there (e.g. regular salary & good benefits), even though people were often fired because of new management or reorganization or…whatever. In other words, it was not necessarily really “wise and safe”. It was not as secure as I pretended to myself.

Hours were added or dropped or schedules changed so frequently that it was a good idea to only “pencil in” your latest schedule in your calendar, so it could easily be erased. We had to punch in and punch out…docked if a few minutes late, but not paid for a few minutes overtime.

Don’t get me wrong. I was very grateful for a job, and I got along fine with my bosses, but it was not a good fit for me. It truly, literally sucked the life out of me. And I was often ill from the stress and lack of sleep because of the scheduling. Often working ’til 9 p.m. one night and having to be back and “punched in” and ready to work at 7 a.m. the next day. We never knew when the schedule would include weekends. That was ever changing as well. I was careful to work hard and to follow the rules, so I didn’t get fired, but I couldn’t SHINE there. Ever been there? Ever experienced any of those things yourself?

Why are we afraid to make the leap? To change? To do what we were created for? To do what we have dreamed of doing? Many times the people around us encourage us to be “wise and safe”, so we just stay put…miserable and weary. Sometimes we even give up and stop dreaming altogether.

Maybe there is another way. There was for me. There can be for you, too. Ever wanted to start your own business? Start up your own blog? But not knowing where to start, or maybe you have already started something you’ve always dreamed of doing, but you are lacking the support system to encourage you to keep going?

My coach helped me to prepare myself and to plan wisely…walking alongside me to help me keep my focus on my goal and not lose site of my dream.

Now…I am living my dream…in my own business, doing for others what my coach did for me.

Add to that, the Leading From Your Strengths profile consultation that helped me to be more settled in my spirit about my God-given Strengths, which made me even more confident that I am now right where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I was created to do. Being now in that confidence is a very restful/peaceful place to be. You, too, can realize that in your life. But it takes the courage of taking that first step. In this case it is the inquiry call for more information.

So, are you ready? Just slide over to the left side of this page and look for “Topics”…and read some of the articles about coaching…and read more about the Leading From Your Strengths (LFYS) assessment process.

John Trent (co-creator with Rodney Cox) was recently on Focus on the Family, discussing Ministry Insights Leading From Your Strengths assessments. Prison Fellowship also uses the assessments.

Maybe it is time to realize being “wise and safe” is not necessarily wise and safe, but rather being stuck outside the realm of God’s best for you. Job security? Or are you in chains? Why not jump on board to discover what God had in mind when He created you, so you can move forward more confidently into all you were meant to be.

Scroll back up to the top of the page for more information and to get more of your questions answered. Contact me for the FREE inquiry call. Simply fill in the email contact form available by clicking on any of the pages of Loaves and Fishes Coaching website.


I Have A Dream…

I was just thinking that I haven’t reminded you lately on the blog that I am a Christian Life Coach, with a God-given passion to help others discover their God-given strengths and invest them fully for His glory. I have a dream..and it involves you!

Have you had a dream but not yet acted on it? What’s holding you back? Maybe you have always wanted to start your own business… or start your own blog? Maybe you long to change something in your life, but nothing you’ve tried so far has worked. Maybe you wonder why you do the things you do in the way you do them…or wonder what makes you “tick”/why you actually see things so differently than those that you live with, work with, worship & serve with?

A Christian Life Coach helps you hear more clearly what your heart is longing for you to understand and move forward on. A coach wants to walk with you through the journey of discovery and implementation.

And…a Christian Life Coach trained in Leading From Your Strengths assessment consultations, is a good place to start in your journey toward a more satisfying life. The assessment only takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, but the wealth of information obtained from the results of the profile is invaluable for anyone wanting to be all God intended. Then we set up a time for consultation. That takes it from merely information (head knowledge) to life change awareness (heart knowledge). It is an amazing resource to help you not only understand yourself more fully, but to understand others’ personalities as well. I have a dream…that you will experience the great value it will add to your life in better communication and more meaningful relationships. A freedom comes in the acceptance of God’s will in His choice for personality selection.

Everyone needs a “cheerleader” as you take the ball and run toward that goal line. We’ll look for mindsets that need a fresh look. Mindsets that could be keeping you from moving into your destiny…your God-given strengths, gifts, and talents. And…I have a dream that you will realize that God’s “design” for you was meant to bring you joy as you function fully in the personality and gifting that your Creator God personally chose for you. Because He loves you and He knows best!

So, let’s get started.


For the Answers to: Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part IV of IV

We’ve been on a journey together these last weeks, discussing Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? We have finally arrived at the destination of discussing a resource that has been personally life changing. This resource has been instrumental as one more step to take me from where I am to where I want to be.  It is one more step to bridge the gap between the two. That’s why I want to tell you about it! It works well with the coaching model of helping people to reach their goals. And, for the Christian, this resource is a breath of fresh air because it uses Biblical principles to help each of us to discover our unique God-given design, so we can be the best “me” we were meant to be.

This resource is not a talent assessment, nor a spiritual gifts assessment, nor an assessment to help you discover your passion. We use other resources to help in those areas. This resource is to help you discover your Natural Strengths (what you are naturally) as well as your Adapted Strengths (what you present to your world). The Leading From Your Strengths assessment only requires a few minutes to take it online. And yet, from your responses, we discover wonderful things about your personality. It is helpful for understanding how you interact with others and why they may perceive you differently than you perceive yourself. It is valuable in helping you to accept who God made you to be so you more effectively move forward in your strengths.  But…the BEST part about this assessment is that it also helps you accept how God designed other people in your world. It is a tool you can use in order to learn how to work together more effectively with your world…and with less stress.

What a gift Rodney Cox and John Trent gave the world when they collaborated on the development of these assessments! Amazing! Freeing! Encouraging! Body(of Christ)-building. Team building. Marriage building. Family building. It is not “my” strength. It is not “your” strength. It is “His” strength…given for the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit of God empowers us to work within our strengths, in order for His light to shine through us, so that above all things, He will be glorified. But, we have to KNOW those strengths. And we have to embrace them. And we have to embrace the strengths of others.

In their book, Leading From Your Strengths, Building Close-Knit Ministry Teams, John Trent & Rodney Cox say: “In I Corinthians 12:18 the apostle Paul concludes his discussion of how God’s people are like members of a body by stating, ‘But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted.’ We believe that is also absolutely true today. The group of people you are working with isn’t the result of a random coincidence. Those people you’re working with are part of God’s story for your life. That is an amazing thing to think about in itself. It ‘s also why investing time in building a healthy, functional, effective, empowering team is essential, not optional.”

These four blog posts have attempted to guide you to find the answers for: Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? To know your strengths is not boasting. The more we step into our God-given strengths, the more we will realize that He has given us what we need to do what He designed for us. Do you think you don’t have what it takes money-wise or time-wise? When Moses questioned his God-given strengths in Exodus 3 and 4, God replied, “What is that in your hand?” Discover what God has placed in YOUR hand. (Your strengths.) Take the assessment for yourself.  For more information, go to: https://loavesandfishescoaching.com/contact.php

For less than the cost of an oil-change and fill-up of gas, or the cost of dinner for two at a nice restaurant, you could have a whole new perspective on life and purpose.

What is that worth to you to be more fully you? (Your God-intended you.)

Do you think you don’t have the time? By simply skipping one of your favorite TV shows, you could free-up time to take the Leading From Your Strengths assessment and debrief consultation with an experienced life coach. It could be a new beginning for you….like it has been for so many others. What is that worth to you? For only $149, this could be the start of something new and fresh in your life.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!  https://loavesandfishescoaching.com/contact.php


Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part III of IV

Be sure to read Part I and Part II of this series. We learned that conflict comes when we don’t accept that we are all different by design, but rather we fight it and have difficulty understanding why others don’t view the world through the same “glasses” we do. So, who am I? Who are you? And why do we do the things we do?

It is easy to think that other people are “vision” impaired when they differ in the way they solve problems, process information, manage change, or face risks. This plays itself out in our closest relationship teams, whether in family, at work, or in the church. Is there any hope for something better? Yes, I believe there is. We don’t have to settle for mediocrity! Will it take work? Yes, it will. Will it take time? Yes. And patience as well. According to Ministry Insights, there are 384 distinctive personality styles. The Leading From Your Strengths Personality Assessment is a tool to help us first understand our God-given design, leading us to then accept the God-given design of others. This gives us the freedom to encourage others to embrace their own God-given design. Their strengths, in other words.

Since most of our life is spent working in a team of some sort, God has given us our strengths for the benefit of the “team”. We are needed. We are a necessary part of the team. Created by Him and for His purposes. Different, yes. With a natural set of strengths that He personally handpicked for us. We are called to love the Lord with all our heart & soul, mind & strength. If we don’t even know and accept our strengths and the strengths of those around us, how can we love Him fully? On the other hand, by accepting, loving, embracing, and using our strengths for the good of others, we delight the Lord God Almighty…the Creator. This is good, acceptable, and pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

Christ is in us—directing us to live a life worthy of our calling and giving us the power to do that. Each of us has a solution for a certain need in the world. He chose our personality and prepared works for us to do.

It is not “my” strength to do with as I please, but “His” strength…given for the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit of God empowers us to work within our strengths, so that His light will shine through us. Therefore, above all things, He will be glorified. So, the answer to: Who am I? Who are you? Why do we do the things we do? = We were created to bring glory to the Lord God Almighty. So…we have to know those strengths and actually embrace them as strengths. As a gift. Many of us “fight” who we are and wish we were different. Embracing our strengths pleases the Father God.

God created us to work in community, whether at work, at church, in our hometown, or in the family. We also need to know and embrace our differences. It is all about working well together as a team. It’s not about “me”, but it is about “us”. How can we bring out the best in each other? Our specialized differences make the Body (the Team) work the way it was meant to. The differences are then seen as a good thing.

Wouldn’t you like to know more about how to embrace this fresh approach to our God-given design? Ministry Insights, Leading From Your Strengths assessment is one of the best tools I have experienced personally. It has changed my view of myself and my view of others. I am free-er! Want to know more? Stay tuned for Part IV of this series. You will learn how to make this a reality in your own life and in the life of the teams where you live out your life story.

This has been Part III of four parts to discovering: “Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do?” Watch for Part IV coming soon! J


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