Sarah

We first met in the bathroom at church when I was washing my hands. She was standing by the paper towels. She modeled simplicity and beauty, and spoke kindness. 
Still a teenager. She was just seventeen……if you know what I mean…..and I saw her standing there. 
She asked if I was the one singing that night with her brother, Sean. I had been looking forward to this time, as Sean was and still is an incredible musician. 
I was. 
Sarah was on “stand by” to take my place, as there was a possibility I wouldn’t make it back in town from Birmingham, where I had been taking care of my mother. She has a voice of an angel. Still does! Still love singing with her. 
That same night she met my son Paul, who was an usher at this wedding. Jesus, church choir, the single’s fellowship group and finger lickin’ Southern Baptist Fried Chicken helped to grow their relationship. 
Some thought it to be scandalous, as their age difference was far apart. I thought it to be an answer to prayer. 
Sarah is a runner. She moves fast and furious at times, kind of like she dances. She had some incredible tragedies and trials growing up. It was hard after her father died. 
 I have always admired and been amazed with her courage, strength and perseverance as she has turned her tragedies into triumphs and her trials into testimonies. There isn’t a mountain too high for Sarah to climb.
When that son of mine finally asked “Would you marry me”, I could barely catch up fast enough before her family and ours all made it to the court house steps.  
I have loved Sarah from the moment I first met her. She is fun, crazy, loud, laughs a lot and fights for what she believes in damn it! She is also tender, nervous and afraid at times.  
She is my daughter-in-law. She is going to take care of me one day. She is the wife of my oldest son, Paul and the mother to my granddaughter, Lily Faith. The best part is that she is my friend.  
I have loved journeying through life together with Sarah. We have shared our experience of singing in England on a mission trip together. We have shared our first time of seeing the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. together. We have shared seeing and hearing the load roar of the Atlantic Ocean together. We have and still share the love for Jesus. We have shared many family stories together around the dinner table. Now we share one of the most important men in both our lives together. Paul.
There is nothing better than being able to know you have a loving and faithful women for your son to take up where you left off. That is Sarah.  
The first time Sarah came to our home to eat she just didn’t have the heart or nerve to tell me she didn’t eat meat, so she ate every last bit of that delicious pork chop.  
We have loved one another. We have forgiven one another. We have done “real” which was hard at times. We have persevered in not giving up or giving in. We have held one another. We have learned one another’s love languages and boundaries. We have sung together, laughed together and cried together. We share the fight against rejection and fear. We war together for our families and guard our camp.  
I have heard that a man sometimes marries a woman that is like his mom.   
Happy Birthday Sarah. Bob and I love you very much. 
Don’t forget to feed the birds.

Mainsail In Destin, Florida

In the late 80’s and early 90’s my parents owned a comdominium at Mainsail.  Bob, the boys and I enjoyed visiting my  mom and dad when they traveled to Destin from Birmingham for a time of rest and relaxation.  Abbey wasn’t born until 1996 so she never experienced these special visits with her grandparents and unfortunately never got to meet my father.

I loved my parents coming to Destin, although I do regret not spending more time with them when they came, but I am probably being too hard on myself. I remember mom and dad  enjoying their time on the beach and I am sure they enjoyed a little space before we brought our three sons for a visit.

Yesterday,  after a doctor’s appt I pulled into Tops’l to take a morning walk.  While enjoying my walk on the beautiful beach, I didn’t realize I had gone quite a ways. Actually, I was about a mile down the beach before I saw Mainsail where my parents used to own a condo and visit quite frequently in the early 90’s. All of a sudden when my eyes locked on the Mailsail building my emotions and mood began to change. Tears streamed down my face. I began to weep and sob as I walked towards the buildings. I longed so bad for those days long gone.  Just to see my parents, brothers and sisters all happy together with our families on the beach. I felt such overwhelmed sadness. Then,  I just had to see the pool my boys and I used to swim in with their grandparents.  I wanted  to walk on the boardwalk we walked on and the beach we all played on.  I looked out in the gulf where my momma bobbed up and down saying how healing the salt water was.  I looked up at the 6th floor and remembered the night Bob, the boys, my parents and brothers and I all played games together in the condo. I remembered the baseball we played on the beach with my mom, dad and our young sons. One particular game my mother kept telling David and trying to show him how to play and some rules.  Keep in mind this was wiffle ball.  She just wanted him to understand.  Honestly ,David was born understanding how to play sports.  Anyway, we all laugh about it to this day how she was telling David the “how to’s” and David just wanted to swing that bat!   David look at my mom and said, “Gigi, you aren’t the B. O. S. T. of baseball.   He meant boss!   We laughed and laughed.

I hadn’t been to Mailsail since my parents sold their condo before daddy died on August 8, 1995.  Then momma died July 19, 2011.  It can be such a lonely feeling at times when both your mom and dad have died. It was especially hard yesterday because it’s 20 years ago today, August 8th that daddy passed.

A good cry and a time of reflection is ok.  Sadness is ok,  but don’t want to camp out there too long. It’s too hard.   My prayer today is that we honor, cherish and remember those that we love and have lost.  I will never forgot my folks, but they are gone now.  I still have siblings still alive though.

After momma died, some family relationships suffered and still are. My hope and prayer is for those that are left behind after a loved one dies, please don’t shut down, bury your emotions and pain and forgot about the family in your life that are still alive and well. Life is so short and soon will be just a memory.

  

When Your Child Reaches for Candy and Gets the Cosmo Magazine Instead

Cosmopolitan

Isn’t it a shame that when your child reaches for candy in most stores check out lines they get an eye full!

Many people want to be world changers. Some have different views of what that means.  To me…it means starting right in my own home, planting good seeds.   Next, it means seeing who God has put me around to be an influence to, whether it be my children’s schools, band organization, soccer team, work, church, etc.

A few days ago I had an another opportunity to try and make a difference and plant a seed at our local grocery store.  It has been about four years since I first began expressing my concerns and opinions to the Managers at our Winn Dixie Store here in Destin, Florida about having the Cosmopolitan and other inappropriate magazines at the check out counter.   I went through about four different changes of Managers finally before they made a change and shields were put on the Cosmopolitans, as well as they were moved away from the counter.  Yoo hoo!!!  I had a little victory.   I do remember one day during that time frame my brother walking out of the store with me snickering about what I was doing as if my voice would never be heard.  So, yes, I was snickered about and probably talked about, even amongst my own family and probably amongst the managers, but knowing what my passions are and staying focused on that keeps me on track.   One thing about using our voice is that if God has something in your heart he wants us to share and be heard, I have the faith that it will be.

Because the traffic was too long to head to Fresh Market the other day,  I ran up to Winn Dixie.   I was wanting to grab some pork chops for our dinner as we had friends coming over that night.  After shopping I proceeded to check out and I purposely took a quick look and there it was!  The Cosmopolitans were back at the check out counter.      YEP!!!  Eye level where little kids check out with their moms or dads while looking for candy and other little things….. Grrrr!!!!  I have to admit that in recent visits, I have not taken the time to see if what the manager’s agreed upon in the past was still being implemented, as I do get in a hurry.  But this day I did take the time.   Especially I felt it necessary and the right time to address this with the manager as directly behind me were three beautiful girls.  As I looked at them I thought of how sweet and pure they appeared,  and I began to bubble inside with a little righteous anger and urgency to get the manager.   No, I didn’t turn over any tables in the marketplace. Yes I did pause.  I just don’t want things to go back the way they were years ago.   Besides, my grandchildren, although toddlers, go through those same lines when they shop with their parents.

The manager and his assistant were gracious to listen as I talked about how Publix must value their families as they shield their inappropriate magazines at the check out counter.  As I had done in years past and with other managers at this same store, I explained to this manager that I have been a resident of Destin for over 25 years, and love my town.  I love shopping locally. My husband and I have been married for 38 years and have loved raising four children in Destin.  Also, I mentioned that I am a blessed grandmother of four.   I continued as I did other times in the past explaining that I have nothing against sex and that sex is great when it’s how God intended it to be. Also I threw in there that my husband and I enjoy sex but God created sex for a purpose….and I don’t believe it’s for my children, your children and other people’s children to read and see about at the check out counter, and that magazines like Cosmopolitan, should have a shield on it or be moved to another place to help protect our children of all ages’ eyes.  Amen and Hallelujah!  (I didn’t say that last part, but felt like it)

It’s just another of many avenues I have been down in fighting for sexual integrity, as I remember the days many years ago when I realized that the seeds that were being planted into my three sons would not be good ones if I continued to allow Victoria Secret Magazine to come in the mail.  Next was the American Eagle catalogue I had to call and ask them to please stop sending me.  Most of this comes from things you never asked for but get when you let the store have your email or sign up for discounts, etc.     I also stopped shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch when Abbey was in middle school for many reasons. First an foremost, I was not going to support fluffed up pornography and half naked young children and teenagers posing in AF outfits.   You get my point.  For me and my house, planting good seeds and weeding out the weeds that will choke my family was and still is very important.

I can only hope I planted a good seed at our local store the other day. I am sure I will have to keep praying, keep watching and keep watering it.    I truly believe if we all plant just one little seed at a time and continue to water it, that we can definitely make a world of a different and begin bringing back our homes, neighborhoods and America to good morals and values.  Never hurts to try.

The Rich Young Man and Zacchaeus

This is a must share written by David Schmidt from “Financial Storehouse”
How hard is it for a camel to go through the eye of a needle?

I know I am to love my neighbor. And I understand that was said in the red words multiple times.

But you know what type of neighbor makes it hard for me to love?

That neighbor/person that says, “You know it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. So you should think long and hard about encouraging people to be rich.”

Yea that person.

But lets dive into the good book together.

Luke 18:24-25 is the famous verse.

Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

These two verses have been used to influence our culture. In a toxic way. In a way that for generations there’s folks who believe rich folks don’t go to heaven! I just wish they would have kept reading the next two verses.

But lets keep reading.

Verse 26 & 27. Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied, “WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH MEN IS POSSIBLE WITH GOD.”

Without Him we aren’t saved. And it’s impossible to be saved through man and things of this world. But with Him our salvation is possible.

Then I find humor when I turn the page. I also find grace too but I found humor because roughly 15 verses later folks were confused why Jesus had gone to be a guest of a sinner at Zacchaeus’s home.

Oh and Zacchaeus was rich.

And in Luke 19:9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to SAVE what was lost!”

See He came to SAVE the rich like Zacchaeus!

So be encouraged that you have the opportunity to manage the wealth you’ve been blessed with.

Because I was wondering if the folks in America that thought the rich wouldn’t make it to heaven, then are the folks in Guatemala living off a dollar a day poor enough to make it into heaven? See because the Guatemalan thinks that the “poor” Christian in America is extremely rich.

Next time a co-worker, neighbor or friend leads to the misconception about rich Christians, encourage them to enjoy being rich in hopes they can best use God’s money to bless God’s people.

As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor–this is the gift of God. – Ecclesiastes 5:19

The hand of the diligent makes rich. – Proverbs 10:4

Be motivated by the opportunity to impact others.

Because it’s Him who gives us the opportunity to work to become rich. It’s Him who aligns us with the right opportunities through our hard work.

While you gain riches a reminder that there will be more distractions. And there is still idols that we normalize.

But continue to give thanks to him DAILY for the riches in ALL areas of your life. Not just in your finances.

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly ALL things to enjoy. – 1 Timothy 6:17

Live intentional,

David Schmidt
Step 1: $1K IN CASH
Step 2: ELIMINATE DEBT
Step 3: STOREHOUSE FUND: 3 MONTHS EXPENSES IN CASH
Step 4: RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS
Step 5: KID’S COLLEGE
Step 6: ELIMINATE MORTGAGE
Step 7: GIVE, SAVE, LIVE!!!
Financial Storehouse is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Proverbs 22:6-7

Copyright © 2015 Financial Storehouse, All rights reserved.

Are You Fearing Lyme or Ebola?

It can be scary and it can be fearful when there are breakouts of horrible viruses like the Ebola virus and Lyme Disease.  It can be especially hard because I believe like many others believe, that there is so much cover up and unanswered questions….at least with Lyme Disease.   When my daughter, Abbey and I first found out we had Chronic Lyme Disease it was definitely an overload of information to process. It was also a relief of finally knowing what were dealing with, after many years of being misdiagnosed and dealing with unknowns and illnesses.   I felt the same way the day I cried my eyes out with relief and sadness, while holding my oldest son and hearing that his diagnosis came by as positive for Chronic Lyme Disease.  But, on a positive note, like Phil Robertson says, “Now We are Cooking With Peanut Oil”!   Yes, now we all were able to move forward in our journey.   (I will share the story of our journey that lead to our discovery of Lyme on another blog.)  Abbey, Paul, nor I didn’t want to hear that we had spirochetes in our brain, organs, tissues and joints.  Good grief….it sounded like a horror movie. That was hard to take in.   Next we had to learn how to begin trying to kill them off……hopefully kill them off that is.   Then, you supposedly cannot ever be sure you are cured or over Lyme Disease completely, but trusting in your symptoms and testing throughout the years, and of course the mighty power of God’s healing and intervention.    I am speaking for Abbey and myself when I say that we had to work through the initial shock of being told we had Lyme Disease and several other co-infections  that tag along with Lyme Disease for some and most Lyme patients.  But, with a little time, we began to replace those feelings of fear with faith and hope that we knew only Jesus could give us.   HE has always been there for us and will never leave us or forsake us.  It has taken more though than just saying we trust in the Lord to overcome Lyme Disease.   It has taken a lot of work and change on our part.  It has taken more discipline and order than normal.  It takes putting up boundaries and saying no to things when we feel our body being pushed to the extreme.  It takes not comparing yourself with others or what other’s strength’s are.   All the time people ask us “How are You Doing”?  Or they comment….you and Abbey look great!!!  I thank people for the compliment and usually tell them we are doing good,  because we know that we are in good hands with our Savior. Truthfully though, not many understand all what goes into having and treating Lyme. Lyme is one of the most complicated bacterias with many unknowns.   There are a lot of answer I don’t know but I do know who truly does have all the answers and know that I need to keep it simple and trust in HIM.

Although we have all three forms of Lyme, we won’t give up.   If we would of discovered earlier we had simple Lyme we could of been treated with a short round of antibiotics more than likely and it probably wouldn’t have gotten into the cell wall or cyst form as well as the spirochetes.  Neither of us ever saw any bulls-eye rash or tick.  SO, to all who are reading this, please practice prevention from being bitten by ticks, educate yourself on the new research that is saying Lyme can be sexually transmitted as well as passed to your unborn through utero, and seek answers. Lyme Bacteria is very similar to syphilis, and we all know that can be passed on, so why wouldn’t you believe Lyme can be passed on? If you get gripped in fear you will never get out of the boat and get help or treatment.  It can be overwhelming, but our family, especially my husband, and our faith in the Lord have kept us going.

Paul & Me backstageHand in Hand on our Journey with LymeAbbey and Leslie in Orlando

So, for those of you who are asking how we are or what we are going through or have always wanted to understand and know a little more about Lyme Disease, I have put together some information for you.

WHAT IS LYME:

Lyme bacteria (called Borrelia burgdorferi – Bb) is similar to syphilis bacteria in appearance. It is corkscrew shaped and enters the body immediately after a tick bite and has been found in the CNS (central nervous system) within 24 hours of being bitten.  It can also be transmitted via mosquitos, sand fly’s and possibly by sexual contact.   There have been cases that have shown that the mother has passed it to her child in utero. I believe that I contacted my Lyme from my mother, and passed it to some of my children.  Because of its shape, it prefers to quickly move into the tissue, where it travels better and can invade organs and every bodily system. It grows in cycles, usually every 4-6 weeks and that is why long term antibiotic treatment is necessary. You cannot kill this Bb in 2 weeks of antibiotics, it will grow again in a few weeks. It is a smart bacteria and can hide from the immune system invading healthy cells, going unnoticed, therefore is not attacked by our immune system. It can form cysts when it senses a hostile environment (antibiotics) and hide from many antibiotics.

B. burgdorferi is genetically one of the most sophisticated bacteria ever studied. The Borrelia bacteria is able to change into three different forms to evade the immune system and antibiotics and to allow it to survive for long periods of time. (I can only laugh when I think about this in terms of a star wars battle)  Abbey and I are planning on kicking butt to these creepy things and besides.  Besides antibiotics, we are using lots of supplements, herbals and now doTerra Essential Oils, that will especially help break through the slimy biofilm, where research has shown can be hard to break through with antibiotics alone.

If you get bit by a tick or infected by another vector born insect, and can seek help soon after, you probably will eradicate all of the infection very easily by a round of antibiotics for about 28 days.  But, like Abbey and myself, as well as many others who go undiagnosed for years, it turns into Chronic Lyme Disease.  Below explains a little about Chronic Lyme Disease.

Chronic Lyme disease patients may face a long hard fight to wellness. People with chronic Lyme can have many debilitating symptoms, including severe fatigue, anxiety, headaches, and joint pain. Without proper treatment, chronic Lyme patients have a poorer quality of life than patients with diabetes or a heart condition.
The fact is Lyme is a complex disease that can be highly difficult to diagnose. Reliable diagnostic tests are not yet available which leaves many—patients and physicians alike—relying on the so called “telltale signs” of Lyme disease: discovery of a tick on the skin, a bull’s eye rash, and possibly joint pain. However, ILADS research indicates that only 50%-60% of patients recall a tick bite; the rash is reported in only 35% to 60% of patients; and joint swelling typically occurs in only 20% to 30% of patients. Given the prevalent use of over the counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, joint inflammation is often masked.
Based on these statistics, a significant number people who contract Lyme disease are misdiagnosed during the early stages, leading to a chronic form of the disease which can prove even more difficult to diagnose and treat. Lyme disease is often referred to as the “great imitator” because it mimics other conditions, often causing patients to suffer a complicated maze of doctors in search of appropriate treatment.

The Three Forms of Lyme are and that Abbey and I are Being Treated For:

Spirochete– Spiral shape allows penetration into tissue and bone. Capable of intracellular infection. It leads to most of the signs of Lyme disease. It can then convert to cell wall deficient and cyst form when threatened by the immune system or antibiotics.

Spirochete

Cell-Wall Deficient (CWD)– In this form, a lack of cell wall makes targeting by immune system and antibiotics more difficult. It is also capable of intracellular infection and can clumps together in colonies making it very resistant to any treatment. The colonies are protected by biofilms, which make them even more resistant to antibiotics and immune system.  Borrelia can shift from the spirochete form into a cell-wall-deficient (CWD) and spheroblast (cyst) L-form. Its intracellular forms infect human endothelial cells and they also infect immune system cells ( i.e, lymphocytes ) corrupting their intracellular molecular structure, disabling parts/modes of the immune system and enhancing the virulence of other co-infections.

Cell Wall form

Cyst- In this dormant form the Lyme bacteria are not mobile and do not cause symptoms. They can however survive harsh conditions (including antibiotics, temperature changes, and most other adverse conditions) and are able to convert back to spirochete form when conditions are more favorable to their survival. Changing into the cyst form allows the spirochete to hide undetected in the host for months or even years, until a weak immune system in the host paves the way for the cysts to open and the spirochetes come out & multiply in great numbers: this leads to many of the symptoms of Lyme disease.

borrelia_cyst

General Information and Facts:

It does not take long for the Borrelia bacteria to spread within a person’s body after being infected. In fact in less than a week after contracting a Borrelia infection, the Lyme spirochete is able to penetrate deep within the body, and to dig its way into tissues such as tendons, muscles, heart, liver, and even the brain.

Borrelia burgdorferi symptoms are numerous and can mimic a wide range of diseases including: multiple sclerosis, arthritis, ALS, auto-immune diseases, neurological diseases, depression, anxiety ADD, ADHD, Thyroid Issues, Bi-Polar, Alzheimers and many others.

Lyme disease treatment is difficult due to all of the above factors. It requires a comprehensive program that is aimed towards removing all of the forms of the Borrelia bacteria from the body, not just the spirochete form.

Borreliosis, or Chronic Lyme infection, usually requires a long-term treatment approach due to the very long life cycle of borrelia.

Lyme is a “political” disease that has doctor’s butting heads regarding treatment.

CDC reports: Lyme disease infects 300,000 people a year. 10 times more Americans than previously reported. – 

ACCORDING TO THE CDC, LYME DISEASE IS THE FASTEST GROWING VECTOR-BORNE, INFECTIOUS DISEASE IN THE UNITED STATES. 

The IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) simply will not even consider that Lyme is easy to get, needs prolonged antibiotic treatment until symptom free and that the infection is hard to kill. They do not consider the co-infections (other bacteria ticks carry) that make Lyme even more virulent. Their claims of short term antibiotics “curing” Lyme Disease is highly unlikely. They believe that if you still are symptomatic after a short course of antibiotics that you have what they call, “Post Lyme Syndrome”, they will not call it Chronic Lyme Disease, nor will they treat it any further. Their theories have been proven untrue by Lyme patients themselves. Many patients have gotten well after many months and some after many years of treatment with antibiotics.  Please, if you have Lyme Disease you will want to check out the http://www.ilads.com website.

Seek help from ILADS Organization:

ILADS (International Lyme and Associate Disease Society) are a group of Lyme literate Md’s that recognize Lyme can be a long battle . They have mountains of evidence that long term antibiotic treatment works! The IDSA seems not to consider the evidence, nor consider that there are millions sick with Lyme Disease, many misdiagnosed with MS, Fibro, Parkinsons and a multitude of other diseases.   ILADS is committed to the prevention of chronic Lyme disease.

The following tips are designed to offer guidance and minimize the risk of contracting chronic Lyme disease.
1. Know that Lyme disease is a nationwide problem
2. Check your tick facts
3. Show your doctor every rash
4. Don’t assume that you can’t have Lyme disease if you don’t have a rash
5. Do not rely on test results
6. Be aware of similar conditions
7. “Wait and See” approach to treatment may be risky
8. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion
9. Know your treatment options
10. Expect success
– See more at: http://www.ilads.org/lyme/lyme-tips.php#sthash.xpw5mrsR.dpuf

As I persevere in this journey, I can only pray that my children will also.  I will never know for sure how I got Lyme.  I am not positive on how my two children got Lyme.  How I think I got Lyme, was passed down from my mother, and I think I passed it down to my children. There is research showing this has happened and is possible.   There is still more to learn and I am a sponge.  I just have to keep praying for wisdom in learning and not giving up on this journey.  The things we are learning and doing I can only trust will benefit me and my family. There are some things we want to pass down to our next generation and there are some things we don’t, if we can help it.

I remind myself that I am on a journey of healing and wholeness. That journey takes time. There are some of you that are on a journey of healing and wholeness from Lyme or another problem that seems overwhelming to you.   Don’t give up. If you feel hopeless, there is a man named Jesus Christ who died on the cross just for you and loves you so very much. His plan is a good one and as you seek HIM and his direction for your illness or any problems, you will discover His incredible love and incredible strength and incredible plan for your life. Remember…”And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose”. Romans 8:28

Being Intentional.

Hearing our Pastor tonight keep using the word “intentional”, I thought I would share this post again.

20140112-141246.jpg

Whether it is a diet or a relationship, we have to be intentional in our thoughts, steps and pursuit of doing the right things and making wise and Godly choices. Like the STOP, DROP and ROLL drill that people have learned and and to think about if their clothing catches on fire, we need to intentionally think about STOPPING, PRAYING and LISTENING to the Holy Spirit to guide us before we speak, Facebook, text or snapchat that boy or girl, or eat that wrong food. The question crossed my mind if Jesus had to be intentional in making good choices and being obedient when he was growing up. Many times when I asked my kids when they were growing up and even high school or college age, why they did what they did, or why they made that wrong choice, many times I would get the answer “I don’t know”…

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