Who Encourages Your Heart? {+ a giveaway}

The plane touches down in Houston and as soon as I step outside I’m surrounded by the warmth of humidity and memories. I grew up here and I’m back to see two families–the one God gave me when I was born and another he surprised me with online.

Place in Your Heart by Holley Gerth

When I created a team of 99 dreamers over a year ago to launch my You’re Made for a God-sized Dream book, I couldn’t have imagined all God had in store. I’ve laughed, cried, prayed, rejoiced, and shared fears with these women. Out of that 99, a dozen of them launched a new God-sized Dreams web site a few months ago. The ladies leading that site are the ones who have gathered in Houston.

God-sized Dream Girls in Houston

The more years that go by the more I realize this: We need sisters connected not by the bloodline of a family {although sometimes they are} but by the blood of Jesus. We need places to be brave and afraid and messy and broken and beautiful and successful and sad and joyful and wild and quiet and embraced and given freedom and loved for who we are.

And here’s what I’ve learned: Most often you don’t find places like that…you make them. You ask your friends to get together for coffee, you start a group online, you open the door of your home. Scary? Oh, girl. Yes. But I’ve become even more frightened of the alternative–doing life without the support of my sisters. It’s a myth that everyone else has magically found a place to belong. Look far enough behind any of those spaces and you’ll find a woman who has built that spot with blood, sweat, tears, fear and faith. 

Who encourages you? Perhaps even more importantly, who do you encourage? Someone needs you to say, “I’ll be brave. I’ll reach out. I’ll start building a safe place for the hearts of women.” It might be for just one other person. Or it might be for thousands. Only God knows.

When I get back on the plane to go home, I stare out the window and watch the distance grow between earth and sky. All of the women who were together this weekend will scatter back home again. But it’s okay because I’ve learned “close” is more about heart intimacy than geography. Wherever we are, we’re still together in the ways that matter most. And the God who connected us is with us too.


Holley Gerth

p.s. My friend Melody Ross from Brave Girls Club encourages me {and lots of other women too!}. She just launched a new line of products that she calls a “sisterhood movement” that will help women around the world. You can find all the fabulous details on the Brave Girls Club web site. And look for the products at your local Wal-mart! They’re perfect for Mother’s Day–or anytime.

Melody has generously donated five prize packages and I’m giving them away today. To enter, share a comment about a woman who encourages you by midnight CST tonight. If you link up a Coffee for Your Heart post that’s an extra entry too!

Brave Girls Club Products


Welcome to Coffee for Your Heart! You’re an encourager so I’m asking you to pour out a little love with your words every Wednesday {link-up goes live at 9am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here with us.

If you’d like a writing prompt to get you going, here’s a list I created just for you: 30 Writing Prompts.

Pretty please use this button in your post so others can easily join in with us {link the image back to http://holleygerth.com/coffee-for-your-heart-love/}…

Coffee for Your Heart 150

And when you link up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked up just before yours. Thanks, friends!


  1. says

    I have so many beautiful encouragers in my life, but the one who has made the most impact on me is Diana. She’s nearly 30 years older than me, and her life is way more crazy than mine, but she takes time to be there for me & lift me up, consistently. She supports me in whatever dream I pursue, prays me through every struggle, and always makes time for a long text conversation about our Lord. She’s my mentor, best friend, role model, and sister-in-Christ, and I don’t want to think about where I’d be without her.

  2. says

    I am going to have coffee with one of my encouragers right now! It is a brand-new, shiny, budding friendship, and I am so grateful she asked to get to know me. I pray I can be the same for her. Love this post, Holley! And glad you got some girl time. :)

  3. says

    I have a friend who I don’t get to see very often, but when I see her, it’s like no time has gone by. She was the first friend to come to my side when I was in the hospital to give birth, and she generously made bacon wrapped scallops to give my wedding guests as snacks while we were finishing our photos at our wedding so that no one would be hungry before the bigger meal. Her generosity touches me every time I think about it. She never thinks about what she will get in return; she just shows Christ’s love.

  4. says

    I LOVE these words: “I’ve learned “close” is more about heart intimacy than geography.” I have found that to be so incredibly true in my life. One of my best friends has only spent less than a year in the same geographical proximity to me–but we encourage each other greatly when we get together. Another dear friend has NEVER lived in the same place, but we have used our writing and blogging (she blogs with me) to recover from our caregiving journeys.

  5. says

    Thank you for this sweet post! A group of ladies who have formed a Make A Difference Mondays movement with me encourage me greatly right now – I am praising the Lord for like-minded sisters! : )

  6. says

    Holley, I have a dear friend, Linda, whom I met 14 years ago in a “Breaking Free” Beth Moore Bible Study, we both went to Israel with 850 other ladies for the filming of Beth Moore’s “Jesus, the One and Only” in March 2000. We have lunch together every Monday and Wednesday, we have a quick salad and then return to a shady tree in the parking lot where I work, and we pour out our hearts to each other and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and He pours into and out of each of us streams of encouragement every week…what a blessing! We thank Him everyday :)

  7. says

    I have a friend who’s seen all my sides, shes been with me in sorrow and joy and because she knows me so well she is the best encourager ever.

  8. says

    I have a dear friend whom I’ve known since third grade. She is a godly, sweet and wonderful friend. She has stuck with me through every up and down imaginable. She lives 2,000 miles away, but we connect consistently and always pick up right where we left off. She’s my “run to” gal!

  9. says

    Other than my wonderful mom, the woman who encourages me most is a dear friend and mentor who is a few years ahead of me in life’s journey and who I have every reason to look up to as far as her setting her face toward God through all kinds of circumstances and trusting him with relationships, responses, gifts and callings. She pours out love, encouragement and gentle exhortations into my life via email, texts, occasional phone calls and coffee dates. We pray for each other and our families daily. I know God has blessed me with someone to help me as I walk through the stormiest season of my life and I am thankful for what I know he has put in place for me and for us!

  10. Kristi says

    My kids encourage me, as I see them reflect so much of God’s love and mercy and compassion towards others. God once in a while speaks through other women in significant ways. The friend who was the one person who did reach out when I was told no one would, the friend who showed up in my office because she thought I probably needed a hug….

  11. says

    (You know you need a post like this when you can’t get through it without a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes!) Thank you, Holley. As we face possibly moving states and leaving all that we know, I needed this reminder to be brave. And I needed the encouragement to look forward to whatever God has for us on the other side of the unknown. Maps are just maps… friendships and heart connections are much more than that. xo

  12. Karen Arciszewski says

    I have a couple friends that encourage me, but sadly because of their work schedules and our family lifestyles we don’t hear from each other too often. It really means the world when I hear from them and we have a great conversation. My Spirit lifts up.

  13. Marilyn says

    A dear friend of mine that I met after college encourages me and is always there for me. She is truly the older sister that I never had and I am so happy to share our lives together.

  14. Leslie M says

    My encourager (besides my husband!) is a dear friend who goes to our church. She is a faithful prayer pal, and so faithful in telling me the truth – good or bad. I absolutely love her and what she gives to me. i try my best to give it back to her but I’m sure I don’t match up nearly as well 😉

  15. Susan Stitch says

    My friend Colleen Jumper is a major encouragement to me. She always has sound advice and listens well. And she can always find a way to make me laugh, no matter how tough things are!

  16. Nancy R says

    My oldest sister encourages my Heart. She has a big beautiful heart, always looks to encourage not just me but other people with God’s truth, not her own. She is always there, with open arms to everyone, showing love like Jesus loved us. She’s my inspiration and I am beyond blessed to have her as my sister.

  17. Amy K says

    My sister, Julie, is my person that encourages me to no end. We both have lived through tough times in our marriages, hers surviving, mine not. She has always been there for me, without judgement..with an ear to listen and a kind voice to lead me down the right path. I am forever grateful for her…being 5 years younger than me and so much smarter!

  18. Marita says

    I have a girl friend I met at a Bible School 10 years ago and over the years our friendship has grown and grown and grown. She is the best listener and quiet, solid supporter a girl could ever ask for. She knows all the good + messy about me and loves me unconditionally. We never lived in the same area and we don’t get to talk a lot but when we do get together it is as if no time has passed. She is the definition of a True Friend to me.

  19. PAULA LLOYD says

    I am blessed with a few people who encourages me. I have recently changed jobs and I prayed over it and I went to a new job that I felt that the Lord was leading me to. It was lower pay than what I was making and being a single mother you realize how much that extra .25 cents makes. Anyway, I digress, I have known the branch manger for years and I have always admired her from afar. She has always been the epitome of grace and what I have perceived as a Christian wife and mother. She has not disappointed me one bit. She encourages me daily and I am so glad that I followed the Lord and took that leap of faith. I have been blessed with her as a boss and she encourages everyone.

  20. says

    My greatest friend and mentor was my sister in law that has been deceased for many years now. She was more like a mom. She led me to Christ as a teenager. I miss her so much. I miss her love and encouragement more than ever.

  21. sandi says

    My dear friend from college is my great encourager. whether we are reading a book together, praying for each others families, making a very treasured cross country visit to see each other or just thinking of one another we are never far from each others hearts.

  22. Lori Miller Woods says

    I am in a season where everything seems to encourage me. Surprised by that stuff that used to drag me down, now feels like it is all purposeful. That is so God! Patiently using everything to coax me to believe and trust Him more… just let go of insecurities that have hindered me throughout my life. It’s about time 56 year old lady! Yea God!

  23. Michelle says

    I am so thankful that I have at least 2 encouragers in my life.
    One lady is 10 years older than me, the other 10 years younger.
    They are both more Spiritually mature than I am. They both encourage me to love my family despite the circumstances.
    I live close to Karen (younger) and every morning we get together and walk (indoor track), pray for our families and talk about what God is teaching us.
    Marilyn (older) lives in a different state. She is such a blessing to me. She has lost both her 1st husband and her only child, a son, and praises God through it all.

  24. San says

    My mom she is no longer with me but I still receive her encouragement in my heart. And of course you Holley the encouragement I get from your post everyday. Sometime I don’t know how I would get through the day without your wonderful words to lift me up and it’s always the right ones at the right time. Thank you so much.

  25. Dawn says

    My girlfriends from college! We don’t have to see each other very often or even talk too often with our busy lives and with distance between us. But knowing they are a phone call/email away is fantastic. It’s recalling all the positive and encouraging and insightful things they have done and continue today that are priceless.

  26. Lesli Arrington says

    Hey Holley,

    I know it sounds crazy but I’m an honest person & everyone who knows me knows it is true; don’t ask me if you don’t want the truth :-) (big grin!)

    So here is who encourages me: YOU! I’m serious. I’ve always enjoyed encouraging others. It builds them up & gives hope in dark times. But just as you well know, the encourager also needs encouraging words, love & affirmation.

    That’s why I love your posts. I really do feel like they are so perfect & on time for me & my “season” of life.

    Your words are kind, they are real and they build us up. Not puff us up; we still have to stay grounded; but sometimes the one who is always pouring out needs a little refreshing time where we just sit & get refilled.

    I often find myself being encouraged & feeling refreshed after reading your posts. Your heart truly loves encouraging & empowering women and we so desperately need it. I don’t sit & wait on your posts because that wouldn’t be fair to you but I do have a huge grin on my face & in my heart when I see an email from you. I know it is going to be good & wholesome; always what I need.

    Thank you for all you do for so many people. I would love to win one of the gifts being given away but knowing you is a gift! Thank you for sharing your heart and your time with us, Holley. You are truly appreciated & loved.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Lesli Arrington XO

  27. Lisa says

    The two people who encourage me most do not live in the same state as I do. My sister, who has always been my role model and dear friend, lives about 3000 miles away. My close friend of seven years moved away two years ago and we have remained champions to each other. I don’t know what I would do without the wise and steady counsel of the wonderful women in my life, in particular these two.

  28. says

    I have two women that are very real and present in my life right now. They supply me with the inspiration and encouragement I need. Both have very different personalities and likes but both are so needed in my life. I couldn’t imagine doing life without them and know that they are gift from God just for me and this stage in my life. I believe that I prayed them both in and begged God (yes, begged Him) for these women.

  29. says

    The post that’s linked up directly before mine is yours, Holley! :) I don’t always do the best job of commenting on blogs, but I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to say how much my life is enriched by your words, shared generously each week with all of us. I’m so grateful for you!

    My mom is my #1 fan and biggest source of support and encouragement. Outside of family, I would have to give a big shout out to my friend Cindy, a friend of 10 years who has walked with me through so many seasons of life. I’ve cried more tears at her kitchen table over a cup of tea. But it’s also the place I’ve laughed the hardest and learned the most.

    Thank you for giving us a chance to really pause and think about the women who’ve held us up and prayed us through the rough patches. Who’ve loved us for who we really are. Now, I’m off to send my sweet friend a note to tell her all the things I’ve just shared with you. Hugs from my part of the map. :)

  30. shawn bensley says

    A lady many years ago saw potential in me and asked me to say “Yes” to something and it has been an awesome road I’ve been on ever since. I look forward to the day I see her in heaven and say thanks.

  31. Cindy P says

    My oldest daughter Angela and my sister Linda are my biggest supporters. They both believe in me when I don’t. They have big hearts and live in Christ with honesty and courage.

  32. says

    “And here’s what I’ve learned: Most often you don’t find places like that…you make them. You ask your friends to get together for coffee, you start a group online, you open the door of your home. Scary? Oh, girl. Yes. But I’ve become even more frightened of the alternative–doing life without the support of my sisters.”

    Oh girl. This is so so so true. If I’ve learned anything in the last year, it’s that I don’t want to do life by myself. It’s so wonderful to be in community and to open the doors of that community to others.

    • says

      Totally forgot to say too, that I’m encouraged by the brave women who came to our (in)RL session this weekend. None of them came with a girlfriend. So they stepped out, on their own, to join the rest of us. That’s encouraging and inspiring!!

  33. cheryl says

    My encourager is my mom. I could call her at any time under any circumstance and she would find a way to make me feel better. If it was beyond her, she’d let me know she’d be praying about tge situation, and she’d follow up by checking on me. Mom’s akways in my corner.

  34. elizabeth says

    I am blessed by an older, wiser friend–nothing is too scary to tell her, I am not judged, or critiqued. She speaks truth into my life and always points me back to Him.

  35. says

    My friend Judy encourages me. She’s my mother’s age, but I can tell her more than my own mother. She has shared her struggles of raising four kids — the situation that I am in right now.

  36. Laura says

    My Mom! An amazing selfless woman who gives and gives and gives out love, support and encouragement! A faithful Christian who taught me to trust in the Lord under all circumstances.

  37. Abby says

    My mom, through all the ups & downs of her life she has stayed faithful to God. My friend Julie, her heart for helping refugees is big & has encouraged me to find ways I can help others in an area I’m passionate about.

    • Myrtle Pfister says

      Abby, these people were placed in your life to bless you. How wonderful your Mom has stayed faithful through all her ups and downs. It is not easy, but we were not promised it would be easy, only that He would help us and He is only a prayer away. Julie is an inspiration isn’t she ? It sounds like God has placed them in your life to encourage you through what trials or difficulties may happen, because God has helped them to get through and even made their hearts sensitive to His spirit God is Love….and both of these people are sent to you from God…they love you….and care about you so much or you could not have said these two people. God loves you…and I am certain He will direct you to the ways He has for you to help others in the area you are passionate about, because He gave you that passion in the first place and you let Him…Keep on moving toward the calling God has on your life….I know you can do it…Keep your eyes on the Lord and He will lead you…Keep trusting God, He is for you ! ((hug))

  38. Myrtle Pfister says

    I immediately think of Deb. I have been going through a lot of struggles recently and I met Deb last year at a meeting at church. Recently my Mom fell and broke her hip and I have been back and forth to the hospital or rehab every day since Jan 23rd. I missed 3 days, she is 88 years old. Deb came to visit her and so did some from the pastoral care team at church, but what stands out with Deb is she is shoulder to cry on and right now I am going through a serious health crisis or situation…and Deb was sending me encouraging texts ..you can do this…. Press Forward, Praying….Jesus is with you…these sort of things…and it has given me the oopph to keep going.My strength is from the Lord….I have none left….the scripture that says His strength is proved perfect in our weakness right now it is proving to be so very true and alive in my heart. Mom had many many complications and she almost died, 4 times, but all I had to do is text and someone was praying……my heart is broken from so much in my life, yet God still sends me encouragement…and it comes from a hug, or from someone like Deb and so very often Holly through your blog. . ((hugs)) and love, Myrtle hollygerth.com I typed that because I do not know what to do…it said that had to be in the post to get shared…but I am a little confused so just in case I typed that in….

  39. Magda says

    I am blessed to work with a friend who encourages me- her name is Debbie. She is a sister in Christ and she always has something loving or encouraging to say. I write a blog about my son who was in an accident and she is always the first one to let me know that she ws encouraged or how it toucher her or some other encouraging words. She supports me when I am having a bad day or a good day!

  40. Jessica C says

    Let’s see, hey Holley it’s me, Jessica. Well, I have to say that you’re one of the women who encourage me. It seems you always seem to have a biblical, timely word to dispel lies that the devil likes to dish out. Also unknown to me at the time, (until recently) a friend of mine demonstrated empathy and loyalty to me by standing up for me. It was actually kind of shocking to me really because the same actions she was defending on behalf of me, other people who’d claimed to be my friends hadn’t defended me for those same actions. I guess when the chips are down, the truest friends are the ones who can still see thru the mess and help build a wall with the rocks others have thrown. :)

  41. says

    I love your words here. I don’t have handfuls of women who encourage me, but I have a few and I am so grateful for them. My mom is at the top of that list.

  42. Kristin says

    I just had a knitting weekend that brought together precious sisters in Christ from the last three decades of my life. They came together from different states- both geographical and passes

  43. says

    Thanks for introducing me to these products, Holley!

    So many wonderful encouragers in my life–I wouldn’t want to name names and leave one out. I’m going with my husband, though. :)

  44. Kathy Erickson says

    My good friend, Trudy, is my encourager. She has been through many of life’s ups and downs over the years and understands when I need to talk! She is my friend and I know that God put us together to help each other!!

  45. Kristin says

    This month I was blessed with a knitting weekend that brought together precious sisters in the Lord from the last three decades of my life. They came from different states- both geographically and life stage- and different crucial turning points for me. God humbled me by allowing me to see how He has extravagantly poured out His goodness in my life through these women. My heart even now sings with praises to Him that in a culture where so many people are smothered by loneliness, I have younger and older friends who faithfully love and encourage me. He truly has knitted my heart together with these treasures beyond price.

  46. Angela Lyles says

    My best friend Amy is a great encourager in my life. We live in the same state about an hour away but don’t get to see each other very often, just due to life and schedules. She is married with children and I am married with two children and things with of family lives just don’t always aline. However, we make sure to text each other cute morning messages and talk on the phone as much as possible. We are sisters in christ and no matter the distance, or long periods of time we have seen each other. WE ARE SO CLOSE. A LOVE EACH OTHER :) She is my forever and loyal friend. We both feel so blessed for the relationship we have together. She is a person I know I can always call and she would have time to listen. The spirit that she has is Amazing. So glad and happy that God gave me Amy as a friend.

  47. says

    I have certainly found encouragement in women I don’t know or know very little, like founders of charity organizations who volunteer endlessly for their causes and even homeless people I’ve encountered who have told me how they ache for the people in poverty-ridden countries who are worse off than they are. But I would have to say the more personal inspirations are the best inspirations.

    The personal inspiration that sparks me constantly is the memory of my grandma, Irene. She kept herself busy in enormous gardens, shared her wisdom of plants, story-told, led a Girl Scout troop, founded a botanical society, and constantly indulged in nature and her faith. She grew up in poverty and, even when she had more, she still maintained the value of everything in her life. Irene also kept others in her best interest, whether it was sharing her wisdom or homemade iced tea on her porch, nagging at my grandpa to get outside (she kept him healthily active), or writing letters to her friends to encourage them to follow God and love the world He put us in.

    Irene was the person to come to when you needed to talk, but also the dampener of gossip. She believed in the goodness hidden in people whether they knew it themselves or not. An example of this would be “God’s little helpers”, the plants that grew up in her garden paths that volunteered themselves to be sold in little pots in front of her house for a couple of quarters. Grandma would leave a coffee can outside with change in it and come home at the end of the day to find some plants missing and a sizeable amount of money in her can. It was never stolen.

    I grew up amazed how many people knew and loved my grandma, and to this day they seek me out to tell me what a wonderful, honest, beautiful person she was and how much they miss her. I wish I would have known her longer. I have since grown so much (inside) that I am finally starting to appreciate the beauty everyone had told me about all along. I am encouraged by her patience and love and wisdom, and I want to dedicate myself to the causes I believe in to make the same kind of impact she did and more. It doesn’t always feel like there’s a purpose in life, but my grandma knew how to make one regardless and live it out happily.

    Her nickname was Ladybug. A ladybug landed on my arm at her funeral. To this day, I cry at the site of the little guys but I always remember her even better and press on.

    • Marni says

      Thank-you for sharing this, it’s so beautiful. My grandma passed away over 10 years ago, and she was an inspiration for me, too. I needed this reminder because I just get, well, lost sometimes.

  48. LaVonne says

    Holley – I love this post. I was recently asked to join the women’s ministry leadership team at church and we are planning our next event for this coming Monday. This post speaks to what we are doing. We will have a panel discussion on sharing and serving and I am going to be on the panel. This is a huge step for me and one way out of my comfort zone (I am a behind the scenes type of person). But I a stepping out IN FAITH!

    I recently read Melody’s post about showing up, to keep showing up. That has been me. I had a tumor in the left side of my face and because of the surgery to have it removed, I have a large facial scar and am also without my left jaw bone. So I have had to make myself to keep showing up. And I will continue to do so.

    As far as my encouragers – where do I start. There have been so many who have cheered me on during my cancer fight and continue to do so. But two that were my biggest supporters are my sister, Dee and my friend, Becky. Could not have made it through a scary time without them.

  49. says

    My friend Sherry is a great encourager to me. She takes me out for coffee often and listens to me as I share my heart. There are not many people that I feel free to share with. We share, laugh, listen and encourage each other. God has blessed me greatly by this friendship. Sherry has loved me when I couldn’t even love myself. I am thankful for her and to God for bringing her into my life.

  50. says

    One woman who inspires me is my friend Charron. She is a talented woman who loves the Lord. I love the fact that her dreams are big and she is believing God to bring her dreams to fruition. She is passionate and excited about what God is going to do. What inspires me most is that she deeply loves to see others going after their dreams as well. She prays for others, encourages others, mentors others and speaks life into fellow God-sized dreamers. I’m blessed to call her sister and friend. Her website is a testament to her talent and God’s giftings in her life. Support her please. http://ccreationz.com/

  51. Marni says

    I’m still trying to find a my niche in this city I call home. I’ve found a new church that I really like so far, and I’m hoping to find exactly what you talk about. I don’t have it yet.

  52. Julie says

    My good friend Elly has inspired me and encouraged me when I have needed her. I am able to talk about my past which includes childhood physical abuse, sexual abuse and infertility problems. Elly knows who I am and loves me. I know that Jesus loves me and has loved me through everything. I am here today because of the love of the Lord. I am the proud mother of a 27 year old miracle baby. Thank you for your inspiration Holley. You are a true gift from God for so many!

  53. Tracy says

    Why is it that we sometimes don’t realize the impact a person has on us until they’re gone? Why do we think “they will always be here”? Looking back on my beautiful mother’s life encourages me everyday. She passed away suddenly a year and a half ago…she was a part of my every day…she was my best friend. She went through so much in her life and never did I know her to be depressed. When I look back now and think of how hard it had to be for her at times…it’s just amazing the strength she had. She still encourages me everyday and will till my last breath on this earth. I also have a group of friends who are my “people.” We try to get together for lunch once a month…it is wonderful to have women to share this mess we call life with…they are a blessing to me.

  54. says

    My mum’s a woman who encourages me. I remember one Easter I felt like I’d really messed up and she said: “Why not make this Easter Day your time to make a new commitment to God?” It was just what I needed to hear.

  55. Jenn says

    My girlfriend Kim is such an encouragement to me! Even though we live three miles apart, out typical conversation is on hangouts. But, she always seems to say the right thing at the right time…I pray I am that to her as well! We are currently studying “You’re Already Amazing” together and discovering much about ourselves individually and together. Thank you Holley for your God inspired words!

  56. Ashley M. says

    I am so thankful to have had many beautiful women speak into my life and encourage me through the years! Truly a blessing from the Lord. My mom immediately comes to mind as someone who has encouraged me and challenged me to keep moving forward in my walk with God. She is one strong lady with a powerful testimony of the healing touch of our Lord! I am grateful for her presence in my life; along with my three sisters, who are not only my sisters by blood~but amazing women I am blessed to call my friends. To God be the glory! <3

  57. says

    My 13-year old daughter encourages me…in my writing, blogging, and in life. We’ve been going through some health issues, and although she’s the one who feels sick, she shows me where she sees God at work in our family. I try to encourage her, but when I reach my low, she encourages me.

  58. says

    You are right…we really do need to make those places…I am thankful for three women that I can call and they know they can call me…Grateful for the gift of their friendship…funny I mention friends in my post today :)

  59. Jennifer Cortez says

    My mom encourages me in so many ways. She has always been their for me, and pushes me further when I think I can’t or want to give up. She has sacrificed a lot for me, and continues to put me(her child) first than herself. She is lovely, loving, caring, humble, God-fearing, and kind. Everyone who meets her wants to be her friend.lol. To me she is an angel that God has blessed me with. Because after all of the things I have dealt with and have had to accept she is always there to encourage me. Shes the best

  60. says

    I met my friend Angela when my life was messy and overwhelming, and she’s always given me the freedom to be myself. She’s also encouraged me to speak in my full voice. I’m so grateful for the safety she’s created in our friendship.

  61. Marinalva Sickler says

    Today is my special day! Some many years ago, my mom heard the soft cry of her third girl. It was a time of great expectancy to receive, perhaps, the smallest of mom and dad’s sixth child. God had collected to heaven three of
    their under one year old babies, and I was their joy after so much pain.

    My mom vowed to give to God all coins she would collect in a piggy bank as a banner of gratitude for my life. She feared to lose again her tiny little girl that almost fit inside of a shoebox.

    God made me through the infancy, early childhood, teen years, and adulthood. He also cheered me on through many geographic locations. He has been with me through valley of death and fear, through paths of peace and harmony, through the range of mountains during divorce, children farewell, parents and family distance. He has been faithful.

    I’m waiting on Him this morning when probating, holographic will, financial disruption, joblessness, and mishandled friendships are hitting on the wall. He tells me that He’ll arise for me in a minute.

    I’ll be waiting for you, Lord!

  62. Cindy says

    My precious sister in Christ, Louisa Clare. We have known each other for at least 10 years, and stay in touch with prayer and share phone calls. She has moved several times since we met. I miss her dearly. We have a great deal in common, which is neat to me. God knew we needed each other and how we’d hit it off so nicely. Praise Him!

  63. brooke says

    My Mom is my biggest cheerleader and encourager. I am so blessed to have her in my life. :) So glad that you had some “girl” time. :)

  64. says

    My friend Jenny. We’re relatively “new” friends – but the amount of encouragement she offers is amazing. She’s the mom of 3 boys, so I hope I am able to return some of the encouragement to her as well. Neither one of us have lived in this area for very long; God has caused our lives to become intertwined to be a support for one another. So grateful for the gift that she is.

  65. says

    I have a few women who encourage me. But one just recently {this week}. She encouraged me with God’s Word, spoke life, love and blessings into my heart and soul. So extremely blessed by her. <3

  66. Debbie says

    My prayer group, an crazy quilt assortment of women that all have their own trial and troubles, but share faith and tears and laughter with all. I can’t imagine the past few years without know they were on the other end of the seesaw. I will be sending them HolleyGerth.com website address. We can all use another source for good.

  67. Jennifer says

    I do love to listen and encourage…those things are truly a passion of mine…and when I have an opprotunity to do those things, I come alive in a special way. When I saw this post, my heart literally felt like it moved, because I know I need that…I really don’t have a place or a group of sisters like this, but I am realizing that I need it. I would love to create it, as you say, and I have worked on that from time to time, and I need to get back to it. RIght now, I am in a season that is hard and painful, and I feel very alone most of the time, and since I am a quiet person (unless you get me talking about something I am passionate about, haha) I do have moments that I truly need to be able to reach out and know someone is there…and it is so hard to find. Thank you for reminding me of the depth of this need…I hope and pray that I can be part of cultivating something so special. <3

  68. Emily says

    I have a few encouragers in my life who take time to have lunch with me and fill me up with joy. I’m so blessed by their friendship & support. Don’t know what I’d do without the blessings they have brought to my life.

  69. says

    I coordinate a moms group and my Bible Study leader is a great encourager, she has such a giving heart and has prayed with me many times.

  70. Kristen says

    My mother has always been a wonderful encourager for me. I am so thankful to have her right down the road to call on! She always has a hymn (which she sings off key and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Love it!) or a bible verse that relates perfectly to the conversation! I am truly blessed.

  71. Courtney Lindsey says

    My sweet friend Brandi is such an encouragement to me. Not only is she my friend, she is my sister in Christ, and I am so blessed by her friendship!

  72. says

    I am blessed to have many encouragers in my life. My friend, Rene, is my greatest encourager. She is the kind of person who writes a thank you for a thank you note you’ve given her. She has the best words! Such a joy.

  73. says

    A woman who encourages me is my beautician. She cuts hair in her home and she is the best listener ever. She helps me maintain perspective and keep my chin up. She’s the best!!

  74. Maria says

    My true life sister is the woman that mostly encourages me and I know she truly cares about me, as I care about her. She inspires me to care for others too, and I have been wanting to show that kind of love to whoever I meet – isn’t that what we are instructed to do? It feels so good to care about others too!!

  75. Jan says

    My husband is my biggest encourager. He is always expressing his confidence in me, even when I don’t have confidence in myself. I call him my “Miracle” — he came into my life at a very difficult time and then just a couple years later was my rock during a full year of cancer treatment. I am healthy now and cancer-free and he is always there to remind me that God has a plan for me, for us and we just need to stay close to HIm and He will show us the way!

  76. says

    Recently, a lot of people I deemed friends fled when times got tough. BUT one who really shone through and ended up being there for me is someone I missed out on growing up with…my sweet little sister Lorraine. She may also be miles away, in fact she’s in Cyprus, yet we have grown closer and have become great friends, encouraging each other.

  77. Eleonora says

    I have an very personal conversation with a woman of my church this past Friday. We spent two hours in her car, until 2 am. I needed to pour my heart out with somebody and she has been visiting me for a year now, almost every Thursday.
    Being a pastor’s wife it’s not easy neither to have closest friends without judgement nor to open your heart and some times it’s so hard just to be yourself.
    I found that I can trust her, that she is the friend I have been praying for since I came to this country 8 years ago.
    Reading your books lately have helped me IMMENSELY!!
    Thank you for your gift and your writing. May God bless you.

  78. Eleonora says

    I had an very personal conversation with a woman of my church this past Friday. We spent two hours in her car, until 2 am. I needed to pour my heart out with somebody and she has been visiting me for a year now, almost every Thursday.
    Being a pastor’s wife it’s not easy neither to have closest friends without judgement nor to open your heart and some times it’s so hard just to be yourself.
    I found that I can trust her, that she is the friend I have been praying for since I came to this country 8 years ago.
    Reading your books lately have helped me IMMENSELY!!
    Thank you for your gift and your writing. May God bless you.

  79. says

    This brings happy tears to my eyes, sweet friend…I love that picture and the beautiful time we shared this weekend. Thank you for the gift you are to me. :) I’ve been so blessed by community…both online and (in)RL. When we moved here a few years ago, we didn’t know anyone, and one of my neighbors reached out and invited me to a Bible study. She has become one of my closest friends and one of my biggest encouragers. I’m so thankful for her friendship. :)

  80. says

    My good friend Jennette has always been an encourager and big support. She cheers me on with my blog, my marriage, and my mothering, but most of all she encourages me with my walk with God.

  81. Melanie Bolling says

    Her name is Lynn Robertson….she is the one who encourages me, holds me accountable and I can trust is looking to the Lord for council. All of us need a foundation in the Lord and garden of girlfriends. I am so thankful the Lord brought me, Lynn. We met through church, I taught her daughter and encouraged her to join our women’s group.

  82. Rochelle says

    I just want to tell the world that they can’t possibly have the best of friends…they just can’t. You know how I know? I have the best of friends. Some from school age, some from the last decade, but some of THE BEST. Love them and how they speak truth to me when I am stuck listening to the lies.

  83. says

    I generally seem to be the lost lamb among the Wild 99 but I never feel far from your hearts. I was no believer in online community but you wrote it so well, “The more years that go by the more I realize this: We need sisters connected not by the bloodline of a family {although sometimes they are} but by the blood of Jesus. We need places to be brave and afraid and messy and broken and beautiful and successful and sad and joyful and wild and quiet and embraced and given freedom and loved for who we are.”
    I thank God for your heart and what looked like bravery in me BUT WASN’T that I didn’t give up and run away in fear. I perservered, and found heart sisters who will be with me until the last of my days.
    Peace and good,

  84. says

    My bff who is able to point out the positive things to me. When I’m down and I can’t see past a negative situation I’m in, she points out why the situation I’m in isn’t negative at all, but positive and a blessing to the people around me.

  85. Nazila says

    My dear Holley, for me the most influential person who her encouragements just soak my heart warmly is You. I feel blessed to find you online. XOXO


  86. Theresa says

    My encourager is a very dear friend of many years. We met 42 years ago as I entered the teaching profession. She was my roommate and has over the years we have become very close. She is the most unselfish person that I know. She loves and serves God every day of her life. Her life has not been easy. She has met many challenges along the way but extends her hand in friendship and support even in the midst of her own pain. She has been a child care provider for my children. Her children were in my classroom. Our families’ lives have become intertwined. My children consider her as a second mother. Her children have become my second family. She is my mentor and role model and I can only hope that I can reciprocate
    in some way for her. She is always there whenever I need her. She listens without being judgmental and offers her advice and support. I don’t know what I would do without her. I am so blessed to have her in my life!

  87. Mary DeJ says

    A woman who comes to mind when thinking of one who encourages me is Brenda. I happened to “meet” Brenda when I came across her blog while looking for answers regarding my cancer diagnosis. I have never met Brenda in person (we live two states away from each other) nor have I ever heard her voice; but I feel close to her in heart. We have more in common than we ever imagined. I am confident God put Brenda’s blog on that Google page because He knew she was the one who’d provide the encouragement I needed. Brenda holds a special place in my heart.

  88. Tara says

    I have one encourager who acts as my mentor, friend, prayer warrior and a second mother. Her name is Jeanne and she is about 20 years older than me, and we have known each other for about a year now. She has been a God send and a huge spiritual guidance. I also have a wonderful group of 7 women ranging from my age into their 50s. We have become a close knit group who can share almost anything with. We encourage each other and keep each other accountable. We have bible study and we ask th hard questions. God has blessed me with such an array of women that I could never see how life would be without them now. Praise God for sisters in Christ!

  89. Kelly says

    I am very blessed by two ladies who have been in my life the last 18 years. We have been through so much together. We are committed to touching base with each other every day. A few years ago we would e-mail each other by saying, “Hey Girl”. Well it stuck! We now call ourselves the Hey Girls :) I could go on forever about my Hey Girls – they are the sisters I never had.

  90. Sonja Johnson says

    I have the blessing of many encouraging women in my life. However, the one I want to tell you guys about is Vickie! I calll her my second mom. She has been in my life since I was born. I was raised with her children. From the time I can remember she has always had an attitude of gratitude. She has the most pleasant demeanor and everyone that know her, loves her. She shows her love by sharing food (she makes the best 7-Up cake, cookies, and pumpkin bread), laughter, and most of all, God’s word. She shares her life experiences with younger women and let’s us know that everything will be alright and to keep trusting God. She doesn’t have all the money in the world but you would believe she does by the way she constantly gives. I could go on and on about all that she does. She is my encouraging woman of the day and I love her to life!

  91. Laurie K says

    When I saw this post come through my email today, I knew I had to take the time to acknowledge this encourager in my life. I have many sisters in Christ that I love and that are able to speak into my life, but there is one incredible gift that I’ve been given that I want to share with you. She is someone that I can be completely transparent with, that has encouraged me in so many ways, has walked with me through the very good, and the not so good, but has prayed with, and for me, through it all. Every week we meet together, we share our lives, our families lives, and we pray, we bring it all before the Lord with and for each other. I can’t even explain how I have felt God’s love, and experienced His faithfulness through her. Such an unbelievable blessing that I am SO grateful for, every… single… day, and will ALWAYS have a very special place in my heart.

  92. says

    Glad you had a wonderful time in TX! Just talked for several hours with one of my great encouragers, Charity. She cheers for me like crazy, reminding me of truth and helping me shake off the doubt. I’m so thankful for her friendship and enthusiastic support. She spurs me on just when I need it!

  93. Amberlee says

    My dear and best friend, Erica. We met at orientation for graduate school to study Marriage & Family Therapy. We’ve been though late night study sessions, heartbreaks, laughter, tears, and even the birth of a baby together. What an encouragement/joy she has been!

  94. says

    This past weekend was a gift…I walk away full and blessed and amazed that God has given me this community. In the past 6 months I have been so blessed by both Gindi and Christine. Women who pray over me every day…listen to my freak outs, send calming prayers and encouragement. I don’t know how I did life without them before!! Thank you for trusting God and bringing us all together. Love you friend!

  95. says

    My dear prayer partner Ann has been joined me on my mountaintop experiences and she has also walked with me in my sorrow-filled valleys! We have prayed together for almost 16 years. Last summer we traveled together for the first time to a speaker/writer conference which I invited her to attend with me. She is one of my big encouragers. She has traveled with me to my speaking engagements several times and prayed for me as I share. What would I do without a friend like that? I am thankful for Ann. We have traveled together figuratively with our children’s trials and still spur one another on to love God as we love others.

  96. Kelly Schmidt says

    I have a dear friend who calls me “Bestest Buddy” who has taught me so much and who is always there for me. Love her so much and wish we lived closer – but we will forever be “Bestest Buddies”.

  97. says

    One woman who encourages me is Jenny. Jenny is a wife, mother to three, daughter to many, sister, home-school teacher, missionary, artist, homemaker with a touch of crunchy, dedicated woman of prayer, and fabulous friend. At times she even works outside of the home, and she used to be/do much of the above from a foreign land. Now her mission is mainly in her home, but that home is wide open for family and friends. I know at times she becomes a little weary, and we enjoy the few times we can sneak away as just us two women for a bit of refreshing. Still, over 98% of her time has her surrounded by kids, husband, extended family and even the neighborhood kids that flock to the house. In the midst of all this, she always has a smile, offers a cup of tea, lends an ear to listen and shares Godly wisdom beyond her years. She not only does so much, she “IS” so much and she encourages me that the struggles I’m in the midst of and the changes I am wading through will eventually give way to allow me to step further {back} into being a woman like Jenny. Able to handle the assignments of the Lord, giving to others. Our seasons are not the same and yet, witnessing her vitality and endurance in this blossoming spring and heated summer of her life really do encourage me that when my fall and winter pass, I too will recapture that Proverbs 31 Woman spirit that I see in Jenny!

  98. says

    Oh Holley, thank you for the reminder that the brave places don’t come easy… that we have to make them!! Praying that I know when and where and how to make those places!

    I have many encouragers!! My dad (and other friends) encourages my writing, my mom encourages my crafty, artsy side. My mentor Sue encourages me in the parenting and my friend Amy kicks my pants in the day to day!! and my God-sized Dream team friends and prayer warriors remind me not to give up on dreaming!!

  99. Angie says

    My friend Marie is always there to encourage me. She has such big and caring heart. I think she was born to encourage :-)

  100. says

    My friend encourages me. I love that we can talk about everything…officially we meet to do Bible study together every other week, but mostly we end up talking about our counseling experiences…I love how though with some people we both know we’re both in counseling and might acknowledge it but never actually talk about how it is going, with this friend we talk about how it is going and what we are learning/doing (’cause she’s more in a learning stage and I’m more in a doing stage)…it’s pretty awesome to share our lives this way.

  101. Brittany says

    My encourager is my Mama. :) She has helped me in more ways than she will ever know. She has always encouraged me through my whole life. I don’t know where I would be today without her encouragement.

  102. Anita says

    My best encourager is my adult daughter – who through her youth wisdom speaks God’s love directly to my hear!

  103. Kristy says

    Sadly I don’t have any women directly around me that encourage me. I do my very best to encourage them. That feels like 1 step forward and 2 steps back most of the time, though. I read many different blogs (like this one) every single day and I draw encouragement from the women that write them. Reading these blogs have helped me and encouraged me and kept me fighting many many days!
    Thank you Holley for doing this! God Bless!!!

    • Susan says

      Kristy….I will believe with you that God will bring you someone that will encourage you. It’s important to you and that means it’s important to your Heavenly Father. He says that if we delight in Him….He will give us the desires of our heart. He loves you ….be expecting!

  104. says

    My encourager right now is a “long-lost” friend from my high school years. Annette is a home-bound mother of two living-on-earth children and one living-in-heaven-with Jesus child. She is also the mother of a nearly 29 year old son with severe cerebral palsy. You see why she is home-bound now. Annette has such joy, though, no matter how bad things get for her. She knows the meaning of joy, the kind of joy that Paul write about. I want to be like Annette in that respect. She knows how difficult life can be because of her life as care-giver (by the way, Clay is also so joy-filed; he has seen Jesus! it’s long story. the short version: Clay was critically ill and “died,” but Jesus sent him back to his parents and brother. While he longs to go back to Jesus, Clay is here for a purpose.) Anyway, Annette encourages me and inspires me. Our relationship is mostly on-line through Facebook, where we share our prayers and joys and sorrows. She has become sister-like to me over the last couple of years. And we even take old-fashioned “road trips” together about once a year (we’re planning one now!).

  105. says

    There are so many women who inspire me. About six and each inspire me in different ways. One thing I know, I need all of these six women in my life – they enrich me and make me better than I am alone.

  106. says

    My friend, Liz, encourages me by investing herself in me. Though she is one of the busiest people I know, she always manages to be there when I need encouragement or just some girl time. We share our wins and losses as well as just plain fun. I’ve known her for many years and she is still around for all the important stuff.

  107. Kim Whitaker says

    holleygerth.com Just one of many who encourage me Is Susan Mendez who has a kinship with me since we met at Church. She and her hubby have opened their home and their lives to us. She is a prayer warrior and she allows God to speak through her even in her storms, which have been many but she still laughs and loves. knows just what is needed to get us over the hump. Love her,

  108. Bonnie says

    Two of my greatest encouragers are in heaven now, but I can’t write this without mentioning them. Pauline Autry and Ruth Massey saw more in me than I saw in myself when I was growing up. They both then pushed me to achieve what they saw was possible. My friend Beverly Herrick was my prayer partner for almost ten years. She is several years older than me (I’m the age of her daughter) and she is so wise and so loving. I can’t imagine my life without the impact of these three ladies.

  109. Kathie Rezek says

    My encourager, one of my dearest friends and a woman who radiates peace, thankfulness and joy is Karen Janous. We met at church, co-directed VBS a few times, and shared many cups of coffee over the past 20+ years. Karen has since moved away to Tennessee, but we are still and will always be in close contact. She is that “real deal Christian woman”! Karen writes a daily devotion on Facebook that encourages tens (maybe hundreds!) of women daily. I paid her a short but sweet visit last September and was amazed to see her writing her long, beautiful, meaningful devotion on her iPhone in the wee hours of the morning. Just remembering sipping coffee with her on her porch watching the sun rise makes me smile and lightens my heart. Like Susan Mendez helps Kim over the humps in her life, Karen surely does that for me. I can be totally open and know there will no judging…just love and grace, and truth from God’s Word. I am so happy to be able to share this at holleygerth.com

  110. Mitzi O says

    My friend Holly! She is an amazing wife and mother to 4 children! She is always so cheery and positive, and CALM! She is someone I greatly admire and am honored to call my friend!

  111. Jan D says

    My sister inspires me. She is the most selfless person that I know. She’s always there for members of our family, whether financially or emotionally. She teaches kindergarten in a very poor area of California. She gives so much of herself to her students.

  112. maggi says

    The two faithful ladies who join me for Bible study on a bi-weekly basis. We laugh, cry, solve the world’s problems and encourage each other to lean more on Jesus than we trust each other and trust Jesus more than we trust ourselves. They are sharing in His re – construction of me and I am very grateful!

  113. Penny says

    Over the years I find I do most of the encouraging and initiating,but I have one friend who calls me and wants to know how I am and has “no other reason”,but to be a friend to me. Others mostly need me,but since I love giving &serving,I am energized,by their requests even though they may have no time to chat. Your posts are a HUGE daily encouragement!

  114. Christine says

    My friend is 30 years older than I and encourages me every day to pick up my cross and carry it like Jesus did. To be thankful and know that God is in charge. What a blessing she is to me.

  115. Charlotte says

    My encourager is my best friend Alison… although she’s nearly double my age, when we met in NZ we were instant friends and still are 7yrs later. I struggle with anorexia and she’s been a constant rock for me, always pointing me to God even when i don’t want to face him. She’s always praying for me and sends me an email every day as for the last 3yrs i’ve lived in the UK whilst she is still in NZ. She keeps me going and keep believing that one day, with God, i can be free from anorexia’s grip. She saved me and i thank God every day that i get the honor of being her friend and recieving her love and support!

  116. Cheryl says

    My friend Abby, whom I have known for over 20 years, always has words of wisdom. Even when she has a lot going on, she asks me if I have anything to share. She is a true encourager, and a listener. When my dad was in the hospital, dying, I called her one night. She was in the middle of writing an application for an apartment, but threw all her stuff in a tote bag and had a friend drive her over, staying until late even though she had to go to work the next morning.

  117. June McLaren says

    God has blessed me with so many encouragers, but if I must choose one, then it has to be my cousin, Patsy, who writes an uplifting message after every devotional I send out (I write for a small group of friends and family). Sometimes I wonder if anyone is even opening the post … much less reading it … and then Patsy will send some little nugget to encourage me to “Press on”… I am so grateful for her!

  118. Jody says

    My encourager…my 18 year old daughter. She is so deeply rooted in her faith. Life has not been easy for her or for us. When she’s battling disappointments, often she turns to her Bible. She is still a teen… sometimes emotional. Yet she usually ends up finding a positive way of looking at things. I am so proud of her, and I wish I was as strong as she is.

  119. Suzanne says

    The first woman who comes to mind is Bella! She is 21 and I am 53. We do not feel the age difference at all. Our hearts connected three years ago. She was desperately searching for Jesus, discovered she was in a cult, and got out quick quick quick! Then she ran to Jesus! I supported her through this entire ordeal. But for me, she helps me keep up the hope as I struggle with depression. She has words of encouragement for me that go way beyond her years. Sometimes I can also feel her prayers for me as she asks God to help me recover. God brought Bella into my life and she is a blessing and an encourager. I am deeply grateful for our friendship.

  120. says

    Holley, I gathered with ladies for one of the (in)rl meetups and I really enjoyed your part in the testimonies. You have such a sweet spirit! I enjoyed this post and related to it well I am in the process of finding my community of blood sisters. Having met the Lord and been baptized in the States where Christianity is prevalent and then coming home to Canada where it is scorned has been a struggle over the last 1.5 years. I keep reaching out and not finding that authentic fellowship with other women that I crave. God urged me to keep trying and finally I think I am getting there. Deep calls to deep when it comes to the love of Christ and we have to meet each other there and be willing to share all our fears and failures.

  121. Eugenia says

    Elisabeth Elliot (www.elisabethelliot.org) is, I think, the godliest and wisest woman I have ever had the blessing to know. She has suffered MUCH in her life and, thus, learned MUCH that she has shared in many books and on a radio show, Gateway to Joy. Those radio programs are now available by going to http://www.bbnradio.org/WCM4/RadiobrBroadcast/Programs/ProgramScheduleandLinks/tabid/459/ItemID/636/Default.aspx
    Please learn about Elisabeth and listen to her teachings. You will be blessed beyond your imagination.

    • Polly Hagedorn says

      I have always felt God had given me the gift of encouragement and empathy. I love to send cards of encouragement when I get the urging from God that one of my friends needs it. I have on friend who struggles with anxiety and depression and I also have had some issues with it and we encourage on another a lot to go to God with our concerns and to not be fearful.

  122. says

    This really spoke volumes, almost an entire set of encyclopeia’s. Distance has no meaning when you are ‘friends’ with someone; sisters, brothers, church friends, etc. I also look at the relationship I have with my ‘blood relative’ sisters, you just made me think a lot deeper about things.
    Wherever we are, we’re still together in the ways that matter most. I am taking this to heart and really working on my relationships. Thank you for your words!

  123. bev kline says

    Holly you are my encourager. You are bless with words of truth and you share them all the time thank you for this. Also,
    Congratulations on your new found daughter. That is wonderful! You have great courage and by seeking counseling and
    sharing with your readers-we are blessed. I really loved the beautiful song on your blog God Blessed the Broken Road.
    It was beautiful video and thank you for always sharing a part of yourself on every blog you right. I am blessed to read
    all your stories. Thank you for touching my heart.


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