Gidget

Gidget

by Kelly Robinson August 07, 2019 1 Comment

As I pushed forward and backward the seemingly heavy vacuum and saw the white pup hair that was being taken away little by little, I lost it. Literally had a breakdown right there in the living room. The room was quiet except for the hum of the vacuum. It did not matter that no one was around, I could not help but bawl uncontrollably thinking of our beloved Gidget and the fact that we had to put yet another dog down...

What do you do when you lose a beloved pet? Kelly Sue shares her and her husband's journey through their grieving process of losing their beloved dog, Gidget, and how Barkin Dogs Rescue found them not one, but two new pups to adopt and love!

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Theology of a Hoodie

Theology of a Hoodie

by Kelly Robinson March 07, 2019 4 Comments

I will never forget the excitement I had going into a meeting with one of my professors, Dr. J back in grad school. I had the idea of launching a Christian clothing business from way back when and he had a side business that helped start-ups. I came prepared with all my notes, my hand-drawn ideas scribbled into a notebook from years ago and a prototype of a zip-up hoodie that had embroidered crosses and verses stitched all over it. I was so excited! See, Dr. J, now this is what I’m talking about! See this cool hoodie??!! It’s a nicer, higher-end product that I really think people would buy! He, of course, has far more knowledge than I and he is asking questions and pondering it all…thankfully not anything like “Shark Tank”; I would never have survived that type of questioning. He was genuinely being a kind fella and hearing me out. At the end of our meeting (as I am walking out) he asked me to write a “Theology of a Hoodie.” K…. hmmm….ok. That’s it? What on earth does he mean, I thought? I also thought, are you kidding me dude, you know full well how many books and papers we must write in graduate school and now you are asking me to (for fun) write a theology of a hoodie?!

Well, here it is almost 8 years later. (BTW I still do not know exactly what he was asking for, however, I have a far better understanding of hoodies after creating and selling them for almost 3 years now). “Theology” means a theological theory or system” I am going with just the theory or system; my guess is that was what he was asking for?

So, here is my brief explanation of how the system works, at least in my case.

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Heading Towards 50

Heading Towards 50

by Kelly Robinson January 06, 2019 4 Comments

Don’t ya love it when someone visibly looks shocked (not fake-shocked for like a tip or something), but, really stunned when you casually mention that you are about to turn 50?! ME TOO!! Hey, I’ll take fake-shocked sometimes. As I ponder this new year, the running thread at the forefront in my mind is about turning 50 in October. Can I lose 20-30 lbs. in that time frame?  Is that even possible? Does that mean completely giving up sweets and bread? Will my legs ever look like they did in my 30’s? What can I do to my face/neck/hands to get ahead of this aging thing?

Then I swing to other side and think, really, why does it even matter? Why does it matter if some stranger thinks you are younger than you are? Like you are cheating the system somehow, like you got better genes (jeans?) than someone else? I mean, does it truly matter?! 

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YOUR PURCHASE MATTERS!

YOUR PURCHASE MATTERS!

by Kelly Robinson January 06, 2019

Did you know that Grace Thru Faith donates 10% of its sales? We have chosen Inclusion Connections/PawsAbilities as our nonprofit focus during the first quarter of 2019 and your purchase makes a difference!

We would love for you to learn more about this amazing organization! Inclusion Connections serves teens and young adults with developmental disabilities by creating inclusive opportunities for community involvement, access to meaningful employment and better options for independent living. They offer amazing year-round programs which help to build self-confidence and skills.  Check their programs out on their website!

Through PawsAbilities, a dog treat bakery, participants with developmental disabilities can train for a job and then be placed in a job that they can be confident in. PawsAbilities create artisanal dog treats, hand-tailored doggie bandanas and handcrafted pet toys.

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Puppy Love

Puppy Love

by Kelly Robinson November 08, 2018 1 Comment

I can vividly remember (often) pleading with my mom to get a puppy. That was all I truly wanted from toddlerhood and beyond.  Just a puppy. Why was that such a difficult ask?  Well, my mother explained time and time again that she was allergic to pet dander and that she would suffer with a dog around.  Now, she had a beloved pup when I was an infant. A toy-poodle named “Tiger.” And, as I was learning to crawl, one day I ate out of the Tiger’s food bowl and he nipped me. So, say goodbye to Tiger.  Now that I am reminiscing about this, I am thinking to myself, “Hmm, she was able to have a hypo-allergenic pup at one point, yet she remained steadfast in her decision to not allow me to have a dog?”  I was able to have a rabbit outside and a fish, however, they were clearly not dogs and did not fill the gaping hole in my heart for a puppy. I am guessing that because she was sickly and having a difficult time as it were, she perhaps felt as if she would not be able to care for a dog as well as an active child. Given all that, she gifted me at some point with a white fluffy stuffed animal. A puppy, of course. I cherished this stuffed animal to the point that it disintegrated in a shoe box in its later years. The only proof is in the lovely large framed photo that you see me holding above.

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Only Love.

Only Love.

by Kelly Robinson August 07, 2018 2 Comments

Ten years ago, today on 8/8/08, I became Mrs. Robinson. Yes, cue the quips from the movie and you can thank me later for planting the song seed in your noggin just now. This is significant to my husband and I, this 10-year mark, because it has not been a bed of roses, there were many thorns along the way.

The thorn of infertility is perhaps the most hurtful one. As I write this, I wonder why does this still trigger me now? Maybe I suppress or ignore this thorn day-to-day and as I sit down to stop and reflect on our first decade together, this deep hurt comes to the surface. 

The thorn of quickly realizing that marriage is not the idyllic life I remembered seeing on TV shows growing up, such as “Leave it to Beaver” or “The Brady Bunch.”  Moving to a big city, living with a man for the first time and starting grad school all within the week after getting married was daunting to say the least. 

I once heard the saying, “Marriage is not meant to make us happy, but to make us holy.”  I mentioned that to a friend once and she said, “Well, that’s not very romantic.” No, it’s not. However, I think there is much truth to the statement. 

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Be Like Bob. Or Rod. Or Doc.

Be Like Bob. Or Rod. Or Doc.

by Kelly Robinson June 28, 2018 2 Comments

Ultimately though, be like Jesus Christ.  These amazing men (Bob Goff/Bob Affeldt/Rod Janzen/Doc Fuder) mentioned in the title are strong examples of living in a such a way to give God the glory, to share the love of Christ to whomever the Lord places in their path in an authentic, organic, and winsome way. I am pretty sure their attitudes and lifestyles did not happen overnight, they are human after all.  I am guessing that as they got older and deeper into their walk with Christ, things slowly began to change for them.  Hearts softened. Desires changed.  They learned as they went how to love others in a more Christ-like way as the years went by.  I, too, am learning this. I hope. By God’s grace I am learning to ask more questions, be curious, not engage in arguments for arguments sake; that does no one any good! Listen more than speak. Be present; this I am learning from my dad.  His dementia has progressed to the point of not being able to converse about current events or anything of substance. So, I have learned that just sitting outside with him watching the birds and the people come and go from the nearby parking lot is fulfilling for him. And, it is for me too. I cherish these times.  Presence…patience…. silence…. just being there for someone shows them love. Time is our most precious commodity these days isn’t it?!  I have also learned of late that my “agenda” for the day might not be God’s agenda.  He may have other plans, and I need to be ok with that! We are in the process of moving and my list is loooong! Much to do, very little time in which to do it.  However, just last week I was delayed twice in one day by two instances that were (annoying at first, lets be honest here) and then once I realized my purpose/God’s plan, I was completely at peace and truly filled with joy! The interactions with the people in those instances ended up being much more fulfilling than checking line items #8 and #9 off my “to-do” list.

What prompted this blog was a recent Ann Voskamp blog (highly recommend reading the guest post by Bob Goff) that I read which prompted me to begin reading Bob Goff’s two books: Love Does, and Everybody Always.  Both inspiring books filled with stories of how we can love others well. We are commanded to do this by the way, to love God wholeheartedly and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39) Bob Goff explains how we do this in a simple, engaging, sometimes humorous way.  Simple, yet, difficult.  Simple, yet sometimes messy. Simple, yet, life-changing for both you and whomever you are showing love to.

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Open Arms

Open Arms

by Kelly Robinson April 03, 2018

As you are going about your day, running errands, carpooling kiddos, etc...what happens in your heart and mind when you see a homeless person (loaded down with perhaps a backpack maybe using a shopping cart) crossing the street? Or, someone holding up a sign asking for food or money on a street corner? Do you pretend you don’t see them and look away? Do you think to yourself, “Well, they could get work if they really wanted to?” Do you long to give them something but you stop yourself thinking things like, “They will just use the money to buy drugs or alcohol” Or, “I would stop, but I am super busy and don’t have time right now?” I am guessing that all of us have had these thoughts (and many more) that run through our minds at times like these, for we all have our own lens and theologies regarding people in need. May I plant one little seed the next time you come across a person in need? I pray that you remember that we are all created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). I pray that you would look upon these folks as human beings that are worthy of your time, your eye contact, your resources (clothing/food), your love. When we come to the end of this fleeting dash of life and we are in the presence of the Creator of this world and everything in it, when all the nations are gathered before Him (Matt. 25:32) and He says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of  mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:35-36; 40) 

Learn more about our new partnership with Open Arms Ministry during our second quarter by reading on!

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My Irish Mom

My Irish Mom

by Kelly Robinson March 02, 2018 2 Comments

Going through piles of paperwork from my dad’s house recently I came across a gem. An article about my mom and how she used promotions to gain a customer base for a new shop, Kelly Blueprint, they had opened back in 1977. It opened a few weeks before St. Patrick’s Day. I tear up as I re-read the article. Oh, how I wish my mom was still here to talk with, to ask for her guidance about my own business; I am certain she would have had some creative ideas and wisdom to impart. I know she would have been my biggest cheerleader. How I also wish I had known back then how smart, creative and ethical she was. In the article she mentions how she tried advertising, coupons and other gimmicks to no avail. “We literally got no response” she said. Then she thought to purchase green carnations from the florist next door and send one out with each order. People loved this! And, thus began a string of promotions such as, candy canes around Christmas, “Heart Fund” lollipops on Valentines Day etc.…She says, “Customers began to think of the newcomer in town as an old friend and looked forward to dealing with Kelly Blueprint.” Word-of-mouth soon took over and the rest is history. She also placed a candy jar on the sales counter as well as a vase full of flowers. Brilliant! People in general, I think, love to get a little extra something, a “freebie”, a gift with purchase.

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HOW OUR NEW DESIGNS CAME TO BE

HOW OUR NEW DESIGNS CAME TO BE

by Kelly Robinson February 03, 2018

Every design in our Grace Thru Faith store has a story! We find inspiration every day in the people we meet, places we've lived and teams we love. When we can share the love of Jesus with our shirts, we feel like we've hit gold!  We hope you'll enjoy reading a bit more about how these shirts come to be.

"The zeal is real!" A direct quote by the vivacious, intense and zealous woman, Elizabeth Tatham, who exclaimed this in our office last year while she was explaining how intentional her, and her family, are about sharing the gospel with others. I wrote about Liz last month and will continue to share her connections to the missionaries we support when you make a purchase with us!  

We chose a true red color (Red because Liz is also a National Spokeswoman/Survivor at Go Red for Women), super comfy, soft and longer length t-shirt for our Zeal is Real shirt.  Romans 12:11 (NIV) says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord”.  What a great reminder to us all that we need to be mindful of our countenance (demeanor) in life so that we can point others to Jesus Christ in a winsome and salty way!

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New Year Resolutions? Nah, Not For Me This Year.

New Year Resolutions? Nah, Not For Me This Year.

by Kelly Robinson January 04, 2018 1 Comment

Ahhh…a new year. A fresh start. A clean slate. A blank slate.

Have you chosen a word for the year yet? Nope? Same here. I am finding that choosing a word even if it seems as if the Lord has guided me to it just does not seem to work with me. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the rebellious side of me as well as not being able to focus in on one word for a whole stinkin’ year!

Starting a new workout or eating program? Nope? Me either. Never seems to work in the long run. I am still living in the tension of wanting to physically look younger (in my face/hair/hands) and dealing with a belly that appears as if I am preggers. Oddly enough, however, I recently have taken the attitude that I really don’t care. As long as my stretchy pants from Chico’s and Eddie Bauer fit, who really cares?! Drink the wine (not to excess Eph 5:18), eat the dessert, whatever you want to do as long as you do it unto the Lord (1 Cor 10:31) People will remember not how you physically looked (if you had an extra 20 lbs. etc.) but how you treated them. Did you treat them with kindness and respect? Did you actively listen to them without interrupting? (Still working on this one, the first one also!) Did you build them up or put them down? (1 Thess. 5:11)

Now, I do not find it wrong to want to improve yourself in any way. I just find that mere resolutions do not work for very long. 

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Are You Weary? Jesus is Calling.

Are You Weary? Jesus is Calling.

by Kelly Robinson December 02, 2017

I love awards shows, particularly country music ones.  My husband hates them. (Please don’t hold that against him, he says ‘there is no substance to them’.) I like them not so much for who is winning the award per se, but for the music in-between the awards. The recent CMA’s were amazing as always, however, the “In Memoriam” song that was performed by Carrie Underwood was beyond amazing. It was moving, heartfelt and true. It was the hymn, “Softly and Tenderly.”

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Meditations from Marie's Heart

Meditations from Marie's Heart

by Kelly Robinson November 01, 2017

This past Sunday, Chaplain Diane, (at my dad’s care facility) said something profound. She said, “Do you ever think about that moment when you will be face to face with Jesus? Do you ever wonder what He might ask you, or what you might talk with Him about?" She continued, “I think that the question He will ask us is this, 'Have we learned to love?' Because, really, that is what it all boils down to, right?” Yes! Gold. I had never thought of that before. She is so right. As followers of Christ, we should be known by our love. Above all we are to love our neighbor. They will know us by our love. Wow. This ties in perfectly with our guest blog post below. For whatever reason, when I read this post last month, it struck me. I saved it, asked permission from the family, and think it fits perfectly with the holiday season that is upon us.

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October

October

by Kelly Robinson October 04, 2017 1 Comment

O.K…here we go, one pant leg on…got it… now the other… then a prayer (a sincere one!) “Please Lord, allow my pants to button.”Deep breath…because deep belly breathing is supposedly good for you, even though it sometimes makes me more anxious! Doing it properly means inhaling, holding your breath for however many seconds you can while your belly is expanding out, and then exhaling for however many seconds. Too. Much. To. Think. About. But this day...it works and my jeans button! PTL!! Can anyone relate to this scenario?!  It’s literally like I woke up one day and glanced at my mid-section and thought, “O.K... have I been eating like crap these past several months?

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Child of God?

Child of God?

by Kelly Robinson August 30, 2017

As I think back to the sweet season when I gave my life to Christ and was on fire to share, grow, and learn the Bible, I recall a vivid memory of being lovingly corrected by our oh-so-wise Bible study leader, Terry. Please allow me to brag a bit on this amazing woman who so graciously gave much of her time to leading women’s discipleship courses (each one 36 weeks!), back-to-back.  When there were no more “formal” studies at the church to teach, she graciously opened her lovely home weekly to continue to teach us the truths of God’s Word. 

Terry is steadfast, warm, quick-witted, intelligent, hilarious and fun, I could go on and on. Anyway, I was young in the faith and had immersed myself so deeply in the Bible, I thought I had a pretty good handle on at least the basics of the faith. I can only imagine how many times I may had jubilantly exclaimed, “Everyone is a child of God!” I don’t know, maybe it did only happen once, even though I recall deeply believing this to be true. Maybe I heard a pastor preach it along the way, or learned it from another well-meaning Christ-follower, I cannot recall.

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If God Sings Over Me, Then Why Am I So Down?

If God Sings Over Me, Then Why Am I So Down?

by Kelly Robinson August 02, 2017 3 Comments

When the Lord repeats words or phrases in the scriptures, we should take heed and listen. He clearly wants us to pay attention to whatever He is trying to impart. When the Lord so graciously and remarkably repeats certain verses, or a verse to you personally via different means, then our ears perk up, do they not?! This happened to me recently.  I read a handful of devotionals each morning and one of them had this verse that I looked up and starred.  “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

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A Little Christian T-Shirt Business...

A Little Christian T-Shirt Business...

by Kelly Robinson June 06, 2017

“So, what do you do?” is such a common part of small talk in our day. Even though what we “do” isn’t necessarily what we “are” or strive to be.  My answer this past year has been, “I have or own a little Christian t-shirt business/start-up” I say it with pride knowing how difficult it is to start any business, yes, even a little t-shirt business.  I had no idea the amount of blood, sweat, hours and tears that would transpire during our first year.  Hmmm, I do recall using those exact words (blood/sweat/tears) in my very first blog one year ago! However, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This little business has been such a God-send and at a seemingly perfect time in my life.  It has been a welcome distraction from other family issues and struggles this past year. A channel for my creativity, a way to honor the Lord through words in a blog, on a website, and artwork on a garment.

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A Tale of Two Fathers

A Tale of Two Fathers

by Kelly Robinson April 21, 2017 2 Comments

It has occurred to me lately that eventually either our bodies will fail us or our minds will. At least, this has been my recent experience.

My earthly biological father has been dealt the dementia card. My earthly “second” father’s body failed him, yet he retained his remarkable brain up to the end of his earthly existence. We laid my second father to rest a few days ago.

The greatest gift he ever gave me was the recognition (that as I was slowly losing my biological father and anticipating a future as an only child without any living parents), of the gift of belonging.

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"Something's Gotta Give"

"Something's Gotta Give"

by Kelly Robinson March 30, 2017

GIVE noun

1. capacity to bend or alter in shape under pressure; elasticity.
"plastic pots that have enough give to accommodate the vigorous roots"
synonyms: elasticity, flexibilty, stretch, stretchiness

 

You know, we all have our own seasons when we wonder how the heck can we keep going on like this?! Where we get to that place of saying that something's just got to give!  Something. Anything. And then we realize that when we have nothing to give, we have God, the Ultimate Giver of all.

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We Don't Need Luck If We Have Jesus!

We Don't Need Luck If We Have Jesus!

by Kelly Robinson March 01, 2017 1 Comment

When someone you respect and admire corrects you, as much as it may sting a little, you take notice, don’t you?  I would hope so! I did not realize that saying “Good Luck!” Or,  “Good luck with that…” was so ingrained in my repertoire until this happened.  And, how flippant that statement might be to others. Words are powerful!  Think about it, saying good luck can connote to someone that you really do not care what happens, or what someone does, it really is all in the tone of how you say it.  I was sincere when I said “Good luck with that…” to a woman from our church upon leaving her husband’s room in a nursing home recently. He was having a bad day and was a challenge to her at that time.  That is when she promptly said to me, “I don’t need luck, I’ve got Jesus!”, and “We don’t need luck if we have Jesus!”

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When Disappointment Comes

When Disappointment Comes

by Kelly Robinson January 30, 2017 3 Comments

We will be disappointed.

By our friends. (Even best friends.)

By our family. (Spouse included.)

By friends or family who have zero interest in our endeavors. (Super hurtful because we are passionate about what we put our hands to!)

By the hand life dealt us. (God is Sovereign.)

By the size of our waistbands. (Darn those irresistible tacos!)

By an ice storm that failed to deliver. (Sounds odd unless you happened to be in certain areas of Kansas City recently.)

My point is that without a doubt people will disappoint us. In ways, we couldn’t even imagine.

It’s how  we deal with the disappointments that set us apart.

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Bagels, Donuts and Ending Well

Bagels, Donuts and Ending Well

by Kelly Robinson December 31, 2016 5 Comments

Do you all eat anything 'lucky' on New Year’s Day? My mom used to serve us black-eyed peas. Ick! I ate them every year in the hopes that it would be my 'lucky' year. I recently saw a graphic in a magazine that listed "Nine Foods for a Lucky New Year”. Of course the nasty black-eyed peas were listed first, then some other gross things (in my opinion) like a whole roasted fish, cooked greens (collards, cabbage, chard), however, the one item that caught my eye was ring-shaped foods like bagels, donuts, and bundt cakes. NOW we are talkin’! I think I’ll be going with ring-shaped foods on New Year’s Day.

In this new beginning for us all, this clean slate, this fresh start, I want to talk about our endings. About ending well. I am a hospice volunteer and within this last week I said goodbye to a woman who ended well.

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PERSPECTIVE

PERSPECTIVE

by Kelly Robinson November 08, 2016 1 Comment

Did you happen to see the recent 60 Minutes segment where the focus group reflects the nation's dark mood ahead of election day? I highly recommend that you take the time to watch it. You can find it here. It was disturbing and eye-opening, yet, unfortunately, not so shocking. The mediator who has been doing these focus groups for many years was understandably upset by the groups’ behavior towards one another. Things got heated as the questions went on, and people got more and more rude to one another…talking over each other, not listening, not wanting to learn anything on which anyone else was giving their perspective.

This reminds me of these powerful verses: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” (2 Tim. 3:1-4)

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The Flying W

The Flying W

by Kelly Robinson October 31, 2016

It has been an exciting yet most difficult week here in the Robinson household. Our beloved Cubs made it to the World Series! What joy and excitement that has brought! Then, to watch the Indians out-play them has been like a punch in the gut.  We are still trying to catch our breath.  Like a balloon slowly losing its air, that is how we feel. After a 108-year championship drought for the Cubs, without some divine intervention it looks as though it will be at least 109. Even the Jews only had to wander the desert for 40 years! Ugh!!! And now the Cubs have rallied so it looks like we will remain on this roller coaster a few more days.

Yet, we all go thru these seasons in our lives, don’t we? The valleys and even the pits, where you don’t even have the energy to begin to climb up out of them. Yet, win or lose we must keep our eyes above these earthly woes and remind ourselves that as a follower of Christ, we already have the Victory, through Jesus, He is Victorious NOW!

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