Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 2011

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

As some of you may already know, my posting on this blog is now limited to one post per month. For that reason, I've simply put the month and year as the title. These posts may be rather long at times, because I will try to fit in a variety of topics and updates. Inshaa'Allah, it will give you all plenty to think about and work on. Considering that I have close to 200 posts already on this blog, I'm sure if you get tired of reading the monthly post you can find something else to dig up and read, if you're in need of an "extreme" fix, LOL!

Ramadhan Preparation and Plan:

Last year we spent the majority of Ramadhan in Madinah, mashaa'Allah. The beauty of that lay in us having absolutely nowhere to go during the day and sitting at home. It set the scene for a program that benefited every one of our family members. The children read the daily juz from The Noble Qur'an, Khan and Hilali translation.They also read the Daily Sittings in Ramadan by Shk. Uthaymeen. As we only have translations of the Daily Sittings up to day 26, we selected certain pertinent major sins from Adh-Dhahabi's Major Sins book, and have them read and answer questions about them for the last 4 days. My 4 year old didn't read those things, but her 7 year old sister (mashaa'Allah) read to her or told her what she had learned each day. In this way, every one of us came away with the fiqh of fasting, in depth details about Jennah and Jehennem, and read the complete Quran over the month.

After the first 10 days, the system changed a little. We started out informally asking the children during the iftar meal what they had read about and learned that day. It became obvious that some were really reading and understanding and others were not. To remedy that, I read ahead and wrote out questions for them each day. They were given the questions and had to write the answers and hand them in each day. This not only pushed them to read for understanding, but I could focus the questions on key points and areas I wanted to instill in them and teach them.

This year, we have planned to do the questions for the Quran reading and Daily Sittings from the beginning of Ramadhan. They will be different from last year's and less in number.  This should remind, solidify, and build on what they learned last year, inshaa'Allah. We will also be doing three lessons/questions and answers from Shk Yahya al Hajooree's book on Aqeedah and Fiqh that was written for his children. These are the types of questions that are essential for all Muslims, but are presented in a way that is simple and the proof for each answer is something short enough to be learned and memorized. I'm hoping to learn some valuable proofs myself while teaching this to the children, inshaa'Allah.

The children, from the beginning of Rajab, are steered away from reading fiction and towards reading non-fiction and books to increase their Islamic knowledge and understanding. The bedtime stories for my girls are the Goodnight Stories from the Quran, Goodnight Stories about the Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam), and now that we have finished those, the stories for children on World of Islam Portal that are all either telling hadith or learning events in Islamic history. They are wonderful, mashaa'Allah. The children have a library of books about the Prophets (alayhum as salaam), stories from the Quran, Islam and the environment, and loads of non-fiction books such as children's encyclopedias, science books, etc. They have time on the computer, time to play, and time for games and fun...but they operate within the premise that it must be beneficial, happily mashaa'Allah.

We are all expected to continue with our Quran memorization and The Daily Account will be amended to include cards for fasting, memorization, and completing the daily questions in good time, etc. There will be a gift at the end of the month for those with an excellent Daily Account....because just as Allah rewards his obedient servants, so will we reward them inshaa'Allah, as an incentive.

Yesterday, I baked batches of ginger snaps, hazelnut shortbread crescents, and different flavored biscotti as part of my Ramadan preparation. As much as possible, I will do ahead of time what I can so my time is as free as possible for worship. 

Islamic Inspiration:

If you have time, refocus and reground yourself. Read something to put you in a higher state of emaan and clear focus for the month of ibadah. The Ideal Muslimah and The Ideal Muslim are excellent all-round books that address every aspect of your being.  Remind yourself of what and where you should be.

Sabr:

I'm currently learning Surah Nuh, and when I got to ayah 5 and pondered on it for a moment, I realized what it was saying...in context. Nuh cried to Allah that he had called his nation to Islam night and day. He told Allah that it did nothing but increase them in arrogance and that they covered up their ears and covered their heads with their clothing. He faced such ignorance, such extreme rejection, for so many years. And what did Allah tell him? Build an ark in the middle of the desert where there is no body of water and limited supplies of wood. Nuh's mission lasted over 900 years...and nobody gave him the time of day.

So what can we say about ourselves, when we lose heart and get impatient after just a day, a week, a month, or a year without results or success. We have no idea what true sabr is. We need to give thanks every day for Allah's incredible mercy, that He doesn't lay tests upon us that are greater than the little ones we have, and that the tests He presents us with are so short and so simple in comparison.


Miscarriage Number 10:

Over the past three years I have had a series of miscarriages...and I am currently recovering from my tenth, al hamdul'Illah. Why so many? Qadr Allah, mashaa fa'al. The only medical testing left to do is for chromosomal abnormalities; otherwise all the other tests show that there is nothing wrong with me, mashaa'Allah,

I think that Allah is ensuring I still qualify as a woman worth marrying, LOL, as He is proving at this middle stage of my life that I am perfectly fertile, mashaa'Allah. Of course, He is also giving  us tests that we must respond to, react to, and formulate an attitude towards. We have been incredibly blessed with our two daughters and fully accept Allah's Decree.

The difficult part is becoming pregnant so frequently and then being in limbo between expecting the best from Allah and thinking positively, and noticing every twinge and cramp, dreading the sight of blood or not detecting a heartbeat. It is a far bigger mental and emotional test, than physical...even though it is physically painful.
The Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wasalam) said, upon him peace, "The miscarried child will pester its glorious and mighty Lord for His entering its two parents into the Fire until it is told, 'O miscarried child that pesters its Lord! Enter your father and mother into Paradise.' Then it will drag them with its umbilical cord until it makes them enter Paradise." Ibn Majah and Abu Ya`la from `Ali.

And again, "By the One in Whose hand is my soul, truly the miscarried child will certainly drag its mother with its umbilical cord to Paradise, provided one expects recompense [for sabr (patience)]." Ibn Majah and Ahmad from Mu`adh.

And he said, upon him peace: "Your little ones are the larvas (da`aamees) of Paradise. They will meet their parents and grab them by their garments or their hands to no end other than that Allah will enter them Paradise." Sahih Muslim.

Isn't that a divine reward for your heartache?

Also, the Prophet (SAW) said: "I swear that a miscarried child of mine I send forth before me is more beloved to me than [raising] a mounted knight that survives me." Ibn Majah from Abu Hurayra.

Fortitude with faith and surrender with ridaa - absolute acceptance - through losing a child, require inordinate strength of character because SABR carries huge reward and its difficulty means even more reward. "And whoever yatasabbaru (=is racked trying to endure in patience), Allah will grant them SABR, and none was ever given a greater gift than SABR." (narrated in the Five Books). Hence the magnificent, tremendous aya states {Verily the sabirun will receive a reward without measure} (39:10).

Hence Umm al-Darda' would say: "Those that gladly accept the Divine decree have a level in Paradise that the Shuhada' will envy them the Day of Resurrection."

May we be the envy of the Shuhada' - ameen!
"When Allah tests you it is never to destroy you. When He takes something out of your possession it is (only) in order to empty your hands for an even greater gift." (Ibn Al Qayyim)

Al Barakah:

After 5 years of working towards the goal of living in the Middle East with our children, we are here in Madinah al Munawarrah. After 8 years of dreaming and planning to buy land so we could have our own homestead, as of 20 July 2011, we now own 51 acres of land near Roy, New Mexico, wa al hamdul'Illah! We have somewhere to take our sheep in times of fitna, somewhere to realize our dream of Sunnah living, somewhere to plant seeds, build cob houses, raise animals, and truly know the simplicity of tawakkal (reliance on Allah)  and ibadah (worship), bi ithn Illah, taala. 
The objective of zuhd (asceticism) is to leave all that harms the servant's hereafter, and the objective of 'Ibâdah (worship) is to perform all that will benefit his hereafter. (Majmû 'ul-Fatâwâ, 14/458)
It is nothing less than a favor from our Lord, an amanah (trust) with us to honor and use for His worship, the implementation and propagation of the Quran and the Sunnah.. It is a huge blessing - and so it's name will be Al Barakah, inshaa'Allah.

It's all Good:

We are approaching the month of Mercy, the month of Forgiveness. Don't let it pass you by...as we don't know if we will see another Ramadhan after this one. Please don't linger on the negative, focus on the positive. See the "al hamdu l'Illah" in everything and say it for everything

"It's all about Jennah; everything else is insignificant."

29 comments:

  1. Yayyy, you're back :) I'll read your post tomorrow inshaAllah. Looking forward to it very much :)))

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  2. Just read it :)) Barak Allahu feek sister, your words were as beneficial as always.

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  3. @GIRL, I used those same hadiths you posted on my parenting site years ago with my first miscarriage this past february. it was brutal and prolonged. Alhamdulillah for your note it helped a lot.

    I miscarried twins. :( alhamdulillah. I think you may be getting some of my reward for sabr because that note is what kept me going. Alhamdulillah.

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  4. @Selma, jazaaki Allahu khayr for the warm welcome back! The new system makes for a lot of reading, but inshaa'Allah it will better focus us all. Feeki Barak Allah wa fee hayaatiki - ameen!

    Tuttie: Subhaan Allah, twins! That explains a lot; it was very confusing as to why it was taking so long. May it have wiped out your account of sins and made you stronger - ameen. Don't worry, even if I get some reward for your sabr, it doesn't lessen your reward at all. Al hamdul'Illah, we are both fine and we both have two beautiful children to love and raise! Barak Allahu feeki, Tutster!

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  5. I recently discovered your blog and devoured the whole thing! It wasn't what I expected- the black and orange something different or dark. I found so many of your posts to be written with grace, humility, truth and wisdom. I've even carried a few of tour words with me through my work week. It's funny how Allah SWT reaches us sometimes. It's uplifting to read or learn something that's been examined by do many others before, with a fresh perspective.

    I'm so sorry for your pregnancy losses. Inna lillahi wa inna illayi rajoon. May He
    fill you with peace and light patience, Ameen.

    Here's to a blessed Ramadan inshaAllah,

    MM

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  6. PS sorry for the typos- mobile phone typing stinks!

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  7. As salaamu alaykum Midnight Mama and welcome!

    Do you have any idea what a big, dazzling, shiny gift it is to have you tell me that you ate up all my healthy, organic food (LOL) and that my words have reached you, brought you to somewhere good? It's priceless. Jazaaki Allahu khayr.

    I have always felt that one of the things Allah sends to me and through me is a way for people to look at things, a way to get through the difficulties of life, a voice to say that with all these things going on we can think of it rightly and draw benefit and blessing from everything.

    Don't be sorry for my losses; they are nothing but gain: inshaa'Allah an elevation of my rank in Jennah, an erasing of my sins, and an increase in the all-important sabr and ridaa. Al hamdul'Illah and ameen to your beautiful dua'.

    Yes, yes, yes! Inshaa'Allah a blessed Ramadan for us all. I pray your emaan just goes up, up, up and you and your family are greatly blessed during this coming month and throughout your whole lives - ameen!

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  8. Mai- I was definitely ready for an "extreme fix" thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful post! Sorry to hear about your loss, but happy to hear about your reward inshallah!
    Congratulations on the purchase of your land, I am excited for the future for you. I cant wait until I read your posts about farm living from Farmer Mai.

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  9. Ahhh, Umm Salwaa! I am so excited about the land, I'm thinking of calling my adventures there, "Little Mai on the Prairie" LOL!

    Jazaaki Allahu khayr and barak Allahu feeki!

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  10. Assalaamu alaikum dear sister,Masha Allah you have once again given us much food for thought and such a wonderfully clear perspective of some of Allah's hardest trials.
    "Don't be sorry for my losses; they are nothing but gain: inshaa'Allah..." That is so true!
    May Allah make it a means of expiation for you. You were missed :)I pray Allah return you to good health soon.

    Masha Allah, I am so happy for you that you got your dream of owning land! May Allah make it a place of protection from fitna :)

    Hope you and your family enjoy your Ramadhaan :)
    Fee Amaanillah

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  11. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Umm Imaan.

    Jazaaki Allahu khayr for your congratulations and most precious duas. Ameen, thumma ameen to them all and may Allah reward you with far better than what you have wished for me.

    Inshaa'Allah, this will be the best Ramadan ever for us all! :D

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  12. While I hope inshaallah you recover soon from your loss, I'm more than a little taken aback at something you said. "Allah is ensuring I still qualify as a woman worth marrying..." So, those who Allah has made infertile are NOT worth marrying? That's an attitude unbecoming a Muslim. Let's think about how many of the Prophet's wives bore him no children before we start equating a woman's worth with her ability to bear limitless number of offspring.

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  13. As salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Amatullah76.

    Every now and then I get a comment that can be construed as an attack, perhaps rude, sarcastic, or even combative. I always have a choice as to how I interpret and how I react. I already talked about interpreting others:

    http://maitotheextreme.blogspot.com/2011/02/interpreting-others-price-and-debt.html

    Now I want to talk about reacting to others.

    One of the shortcomings we often have or experience are bad manners: unappreciative, insensitive, uncaring, harsh, sarcastic, rude, and even malicious comments. Here is a BIG incentive to have good manners and work on improving your manners and dealings with others.

    The prophet peace be upon him said, "The most beloved of you to me and the closest of you to me in the Hereafter are those of you who have the best manners; the most hated of you to me and farthest from me in the Hereafter are those of you who have the worst manners, those who speak and do not even care about what they are saying" (Sahih Al-Jami), and he also said, "The person of good manners will get the same reward as the person who prays during the night and fasts during the day" (Sahih Al-Jami).

    So, to address your comment, Amatullah76:

    The hadith is:

    "Marry women who are loving and fertile, for I will be proud of your great number before the other nations on the Day of Resurrection."

    Narrated by Abu Dawud.

    The point of my statement is about me. I am almost 46, Amatullah and my husband married another much younger woman. I may well have felt that I only qualified under one of those categories...I may have felt lacking in the eyes of my husband. Allah, Ar-Raheem, has never opened that door for me. This is, after all, about me.

    As most of us know, there is another hadith about a woman being married for four things. I haven't said anything about other women and there is plenty of space for marrying of all GOOD women, mashaa'Allah.

    You can read for yourself that it doesn't mean women who are not fertile are not worth marrying. The Prophet's choice of wives proves that, and many other things. In fact, when I am no longer fertile, I will present a full-time, uninterrupted source of pleasure for my husband, inshaa'Allah.

    May Allah, azza wa jal, wash our tongues, minds, and hearts clean that we may speak, think, and feel only the purest and best - AMEEN!

    Barak Allahu feeki wa fee hayaatiki, Amatullah76.

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  14. Assalam o alaikum dearest Mai
    good to hear from you again and LOADS OF IT mashallah :) i wish you had time to add titles or links to those books you mentioned to this already long and full of information post. i'll try to work according to the outlines you drew mashallah. plz pray for me to get the full benefit from your well thought wisdom before during and after Ramadan ameen. For your loss, may Allah grant you the sabr al jameel Ameen. i lost my first one a decade ago and still remeber the pain of losing the baby in womb, but Allah is the best care taker alhumdulillah. thanx for the glad tidings from hadeeth mubarak.and lastly congratulations on the property bought. may Allah grant you the grandest of His barakah ameen thumma ameen. cant wait for your arrival and finally meeting you in person someday inshallah taala Aziz.

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  15. Oops! sorry for asking for whats already given. i had missed the whole paragraph that you mentioned kids books in. returning back to what ever was being read from that exact same point is always hard in the mamahood. i'm pretty sure you would agree. jazakallah again for your efforts.

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  16. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Umm Bilal.

    The e-book by Shk. Yahyah al Hajoory I cannot find a link for. I have the pdf file, which I cannot upload on here. If you would like me to send you the file, send me an e-mail on madinahnaseeha@gmail.com and I'll send it to you by e-mail. I also have the pdf file for Sahih International Quran Translation if you would like it.

    Here is a link to the Daily Sittings in Ramadan by Shk. Uthaymeen

    http://forums.almaghrib.org/showthread.php?t=28768

    And here is the link to the World of Islam Portal where I read the stories. They are below all those videos in a box on the right hand side. Subhaan Allah, I am learning more about the sahaba from these stories as well!

    http://special.worldofislam.info/index.php?page=children

    Ameen to your dua', wa iyaaki, and barak Allahu feeki! Inshaa'Allah, we will make this a Ramadan to be remembered.

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  17. Jazakallah kharun wa katheera

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  18. Here is link to a site with the Daily Sittings translated for all 30 days mashaa'Allah. Each one is a separate post, but all are listed under the translator's name. Alhamdul'Illah, we are in business!

    http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vbe/search.php?searchid=632865&pp=25&page=4

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  19. Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmat Allah wa barakatahu!!!!!
    Elhamdulilah for your post!! Maasha'Allah your lessons for the kids is amazing I love how you put the energy into planning for these things! Inshaallah I can't wait to do the same with Raya! Maybe she can fast between breastfeeds haha lol!. I will be checking out all of the links bi ithn Allah! may you be rewarded for guiding us to this spring of knowledge!. I felt teas when I read of your loss, because can understand the pain but also the thankfulness for the reward!. Subhanaaallah the poet rumi said something along the lines of 'the heart is like a dusty rug, in order to get it clean it must be beaten by a hard stick'. Elhamdulilah for the hardships that purify us!!!!. ELIF ELIF Mabruk on you families new land! MashaAllah wa tabarak Allah!!! Can't wait to hear about cob house building and real sunnah living in sha Allah!! OOOHH Ramadaan!!! the month when amazing things happen!! I am so excited for this month! Ameen to the best Ramadaan yet! May it be a Ramadaan with no regrets! may we beat our lazy nafs into using our time wisely!. tahhajjud, itikaf, taraweeh, witr, sunnah, ad-duha, sadaqa, thikr!!! Here we come!!! xo
    So glad your back.
    Umm Raya

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  20. I meant tears!! Duhh!!
    xo Umm Raya

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  21. As Salaam Alaikum Mai... How are you? I was just stopping by to wish you and your family a blessed Ramadan!

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  22. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Umm Raya.

    We have so much to look forward to, this month, this year, this lifetime as we strive for Allah's pleasure. Ameen to your every dua' and may Allah bless us with the most productive Ramadan ever!

    We finished day 2, all the children are reading and answering their questions, I'm reading Qur'an in Arabic for an hour after fajr and another hour or so later on in the day or at night. I read the English translation in the day and come up with the day's questions. My littlest one is doing some simpler questions and a Ramadan activity book...the house is buzzing, mashaa'Allah! May Allah keep our momentum up - ameen.

    Much love to you and your precious little pearl.

    Wa salaam,

    Mai

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  23. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Daisy darling!

    Al hamdul'Illah I am well. I pray you are well too, albeit heavy, uncomfortable and anticipating a precious bundle to love and nurture soon.

    May Allah shower HUGE blessings on you and your family and keep you firmly on His Perfect Siraat. Ramadan Mubarak!

    Big hugs and salaams,
    Mai

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  24. asalamualaikum!

    congratulations to u for all u have harvested in Jannah........u have 10 little intercessors waiting by the gate of Jannah..to lead u in...
    and Also Barikillah for ur land purchase...but..dont tell me u leaving us Sooon?

    lots of love from sab to the the girls and me to you..

    faaj

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  25. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Fatima my sugar cookie!

    Barak Allahu feeki and love to you and Sabiha from us all. No, we aren't going anywhere soon, bi ithn Illah. The land will be a long term project that we will develop over the summers in the coming years inshaa'Allah. We will still be here for hugs and sweet rolls for several years to come, inshaa'Allah!

    May your Ramadhaan be especially blessed and fruitful - ameen!

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  26. Salamualaikum Mai!

    Alhumdulilah I'm glad you and your family are doing well, you are such an inspiration to me! Mashaallah! I pray this ramadan will be a means of comfort and love for you, and May Allah answer your du'a and grant you a lift in iman as much as you would love!! AMEEN . Also Congrats on your land!! I LOVE that idea Mashaallah! I hope you guys are able to fulfill your dreams through it!!

    I was on a blog and i thought of you, and thought you might like it! It's a health food blog called "Yasmeen Health Nut!" and she uses amazing healthy recipes!!

    http://yasmeen-healthnut.blogspot.com/

    Enjoy!

    -Faith

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  27. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh my dear, dear Faith!

    You know me too well! I love the recipes on that blog, mashaa Allah; they are totally my kind of food and thinking. Jazaaki Allahu khayr for thinking of me and sharing.

    Huge thanks and ameen to your dua'. I pray Allah gives you far more than you wish for me - ameen. Inshaa'Allah the land will be a benefit to many. I hope in two years' time we will see you there for our pre-Ramadan course on building with cob and building our Islamic knowledge. Sometimes believers benefit and support each other from a distance, and other times they get to meet in this life in order to strive for the aakhirah. Inshaa'Allah, we will have a chance to do both.

    Much love to you and don't hold back - give this Ramadhan your ALL!

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  28. salam. I really appreciate your post. I am now a fan of yours as you are inspiring me to increase my faith to ALLAH. Indeed, i signed up in this website just to follow you. anyway, Im in a deep Big trouble right now. please help me, i need your assistance for me to cope up with my problems right now. please pm me at xyra_eragon@yahoo.com thank you and more power. may Allah bless you and your family.

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  29. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh sister Shera.

    I added you, but the photo that came up for that IM address seemed inappropriate, so I have blocked it and deleted the contact. I am very wary of such things.

    Perhaps if you would like to discuss something personal, you could post anonymously on here or send something to our e-mail for those who want to contact me.

    I pray Allah blesses you abundantly and makes a way through for you with this problem...for truly the only help and success is from Him.

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