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If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? After stumbling on Week 4, I finished last challenge strong so I'm just going to keep on rolling through the holidays and into 2024.

 

What's new for Level 3:

Combat I am switching to Stronger by Science's General Beginner workout, which is 3x a week.

Exploration After a good 5k last week, I'm high on that cardio life. Probably won't get a lot of running in due to weather and darkness, but I'm actually enjoying my bike trainer more than I had been previously, so looking to keep that going, aiming for 2 sessions/week.

Social Holiday festivities plus usual socializing

Cantrips I thought this was the level I got a 4th cantrip, but it's not, so no change here

Spells I now have 4 1st level spell slots and 2 2nd level spell slots. As in the game, I can cast 1st level spells with 2nd level slots, but I only get 1st level points unless I do something extra to level it up.

Channel Divinity - I'm going to tweak Turn Undead to getting rid of things, not just cleaning out the fridge. Roll 1d8 and pitch or donate that number of items.

 

New Spells: My second level spells are as follows -

Aid - go to an appointment

Borrowed Knowledge - Trinity classes

Calm Emotions - meditation

Continual Flame - campfire

Gentle Repose - no screens after 9

Lesser Restoration - baking

Locate Object - cleaning

Prayer of Healing - attend monthly healing service

 

I start the challenge at 932 points out of 2,700. I don't expect to level up this challenge, but if I have a successful challenge, I get a sticker for my workout binder! I'm up to 25 hit points when fully healthy, and have 3 hit dice. 

 

I will be fighting Shadows:

image.png.cf3e68d168eaeaba0400a7ba732ed113.png

 

In addition to taking attacks if I miss a workout, I'll also be targeting phone use. Last holiday challenge, I had a lot of success limiting wasted phone time. So this challenge, I'm making a rule that I cannot play games on my phone at home. When I'm out and about and need a distraction, fine, but at home I can find plenty of other things to do. Every time I break this rule, I take 1d6 lightning damage.

 

I kind of feel like I'm forgetting something, but that's enough to be getting started. Happy Holidays, nerds!

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"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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Week Zero Day One Report

 

Took an extra half hour snooze, so no Light or Word of Radiance. I did get new tires today, though, so there's a Mending point. Mondays will usually be workout days for me, but between pushing hard over the weekend and messing with my horse's hoof (he was limping pretty bad today, think he just bruised it on a stone or something, should be fine in a few days) I was beat today, so took a rest day. Was thinking I might get some cleaning done for Locate Object, but ended up helping my mom with some Cyber Monday deals. A slow start, but a respectable day.

 

Spells prepared for the week:

Bless and Cure Wounds, as always. Purify Food and Drink because I'd like to get back in the habit of prepping my lunches ahead of time. Ceremony because my seminary application is due this week. Lesser Restoration because I'm planning to make soup this weekend, and you gotta have homemade bread to go with soup. And finally Locate Object because I've fallen behind in my cleaning and need to catch up.

 

Dinner with friends on Thursday, a Christmas party Saturday afternoon, and symphony tickets Saturday evening, so lots of social points this week. For zero week, I'm only going to aim for 2 workouts, and planning to do the first one tomorrow.

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"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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Didn't get my new tires too soon! Snowy this morning and cold, but I cruised in to work with no problems. Up on time this morning for a Light point, but got distracted before Morning Prayer, so no Word of Radiance. But a step in the right direction.

 

My horse was moving much better this morning, which makes me happy, and I'm still planning to do a workout. I think I'll also switch over to my flannel sheets tonight.

 

A couple of clarifications/tweaks on the challenge:

11 hours ago, Artemis Prime said:

Channel Divinity - I'm going to tweak Turn Undead to getting rid of things, not just cleaning out the fridge. Roll 1d8 and pitch or donate that number of items.

I'm going to change this to 2d4 instead of 1d8 which, if I'm understanding dice math correctly, should make me more likely to roll 4-6, and makes it impossible for me to just roll a 1.

 

11 hours ago, Artemis Prime said:

So this challenge, I'm making a rule that I cannot play games on my phone at home.

It occurred to me this morning, as I sat down with my morning coffee and pulled up Wordle, that this is technically breaking the rule, but not actually because this isn't what I'm trying to stop. One round of wordle is fine. It's those unending games that just keep sucking me in and killing time that I'm trying to get away from.

  • Like 2

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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Cool D&D themed challenge I am definitely here for it!

 

As far as limiting use on something like games I wish you the best of luck! I know how hard that can be.

  • Like 1

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." - J.R.R Tolkien

"Progress, not perfection."

"Persist, Pivot, or Concede." - Matthew McConaughey

"Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't."

Rants, Thoughts, and Workouts-->Battle Log | The Improvening (Current Challenge)

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1 hour ago, cn3wton said:

As far as limiting use on something like games I wish you the best of luck! I know how hard that can be.

From past experience, I've learned that eliminating it is pretty doable for me. Attempting to moderate it is when I run into problems. It's one of the reasons I keep putting off getting a switch.

 

7 minutes ago, sylph said:

Here to follow, as per usual :)

A pleasure to have you along, as always!

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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Following! 

 

Magic Dnd GIF by Dungeons & Dragons

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“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy” -Nightbirde

 “Dreams do not come true all by themselves. They are nourished by the bounty of hard work”  -Unknown Disney Imagineer

 

2024 Word

Svastha: Standing in One’s Own Power

Current Challenge:

Sepherina Roams Among the Trees

Prior Challenges

Spoiler

Sepherina:

#1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 , #6 , #7 , #8 , #9#10

 

Avery The Patient:

#1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 

 

 

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Good morning! 'Tis awfully cold here this morning, but it's supposed to warm up and I can see sunshine out my window.

 

I did my workout last night. Really excited about this new program, which might just be because it's new (I mean, it's not, but it's new for me) but I really think it's going to be work very well for my current goals. 3x3 chin ups aren't part of the program, but I added them in because if I stop doing chin ups for a block, I'll lose them. Really had to grit out the last set, but I made it! So that's 10 combat points, and an attack, which hit, but I rolled a 1 on damage. Still, every bit counts!

 

Didn't get much else done last night. I'd like to decrease my evening screen time, but I haven't been playing games, so that's a step in the right direction and I'll take it for now. Woke up with my back very sore. I'm apparently at the age where the #1 cause of injury is "sleeping wrong." And I'm actually going to blame my cat for this, even though I try to go to bed in a good position, I always end up contorting myself around her at some point in the night. Going to have to think a little harder about how to teach her she cannot hog the middle of the mattress. It still hurts a bit, but once I'm up and moving it does start to feel better. I'll give it a couple days to sort itself out, maybe do some stretching, and perhaps think a little harder about going to a chiropractor.

 

Last night's screen time was mostly spent going down a landmine rabbit hole. I would love to put a rack in my basement gym, but 1- the ceiling is low down there and 2- it's shared space and I've already kind of used up my allotment. For now I'm doing dumbbell squats, but now that I'm following a program that is challenging me, I don't know how much longer that's going to work. So yesterday it occurred me to that landmine squats might be the solution to my problem. I think an anchor is going to become a future loot item. I know I could get away with a tennis ball, but I think I'd feel more secure with something a bit more solid, and I'm willing to buy a small and relatively inexpensive piece of equipment in order to get some peace of mind. That is not level 3's loot, though, because for now the dumbbells are fine, and my first priority is to upgrade my flooring. Not sure yet what it will be (since I'm not planning to level up this challenge, I've got plenty of time to figure it out.) A stall mat would work great, except those suckers are heavy and I'm not particularly looking forward to wrestling one down my steps. Although I'm sure my brother and I could handle it, so that's likely what I'll go with. But I'm doing a bit of poking around and seeing what else I can find.

 

This is probably a good time to talk about what my goals for this challenge are. I'm really liking the point system's flexibility in not having to necessarily hit daily or weekly goals, but there are a couple guidelines I want to hit.

Combat: The program I'm using is scheduled in 4 week blocks. So I want to get through it by the end of the year.

Administrative Note: I'm planning to keep this challenge running past the 23rd to the end of the month.

Cantrips: I'm kind of taking zero week off here, but starting in Week 1 I'm going to focus more on getting back in the habit of getting up without snoozing and doing Morning Prayer before I go feed my animals.

Ceremony: I need to get my seminary application in this week (just need to send in vestry signatures, which I should be able to do today, but tomorrow at the latest) and on 12/21 I have a meeting with the bishop which is when I hopefully get officially approved for Aspirancy.

Guiding Bolt: My monthly Spiritual Direction meeting is scheduled for 12/20.

Healing Word: on hold until after the holidays because Sunday school time is being used for pageant practice.

Bless: I am helping with the pageant, however, so that's some volunteer work there.

Sanctuary: I am still going to pick away at getting sealant on the wood as weather allows, but my top priority at the moment is to get the north door built and hung. I also need to build hay feeders.

Lesser Restoration: No specific goal here, just want to make sure I make time for holiday baking with my mom and sister.

Locate Object: The house is still in a bit of disarray from Thanksgiving guests. Need to get it knocked back into shape.

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"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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A rack at home has always been on my list. But I learned from a fellow lifter years ago that you want to make sure you don't skimp on the rack or the bar. So I have always said I'll save up but never do.

  • Like 1

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." - J.R.R Tolkien

"Progress, not perfection."

"Persist, Pivot, or Concede." - Matthew McConaughey

"Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't."

Rants, Thoughts, and Workouts-->Battle Log | The Improvening (Current Challenge)

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I love me some Stronger By Science. I think their programs are very well written and really enjoyed my time with them. Glad you're enjoying it so far!

 

For landmines, I've seen folks use a tennis ball over the end of the bar to protect the floor, and then shove that end under a DB to keep it from sliding around too much. Could be something try, depending on the size of your DBs 

 

Edit: also, I love our stall mats in our garage gym. Tractor Supply for the win. However, we did NOT have to wrestle them up or down any stairs.

In our previous house, we used the 'puzzle piece' type floor mats for a LONG time and they worked well. Much lighter than stall mats, too. Like these: https://www.amazon.com/BalanceFrom-Puzzle-Exercise-Interlocking-Tiles/dp/B013A4ATCQ/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=puzzle%2Bpiece%2Bmats%2Bfor%2Bfloor&qid=1701272076&sr=8-2&th=1

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23 hours ago, cn3wton said:

A rack at home has always been on my list. But I learned from a fellow lifter years ago that you want to make sure you don't skimp on the rack or the bar. So I have always said I'll save up but never do.

Yeah, for me the space limitation is the biggest obstacle to getting one, but even though I technically have the money for it, it would probably be wiser to hold onto that until I have finished my apartment.

 

22 hours ago, sylph said:

For landmines, I've seen folks use a tennis ball over the end of the bar to protect the floor, and then shove that end under a DB to keep it from sliding around too much. Could be something try, depending on the size of your DBs 

My dumbbells are round, so that's probably not the best setup for me. Since I'm not planning to get this soon, I'll put it on the backburner for now, but I might be able to rearrange some stuff to give me easier access to a corner. I'm thinking a post anchor might be my best bet, though.

 

22 hours ago, sylph said:

In our previous house, we used the 'puzzle piece' type floor mats for a LONG time and they worked well. Much lighter than stall mats, too. Like these: https://www.amazon.com/BalanceFrom-Puzzle-Exercise-Interlocking-Tiles/dp/B013A4ATCQ/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=puzzle%2Bpiece%2Bmats%2Bfor%2Bfloor&qid=1701272076&sr=8-2&th=1

That looks pretty similar to what I have now. It's starting to show some wear and tear, but I'm not sure how old it is, because I scavenged it from another part of the basement when I got my weights. So I probably could get those and be good for a while, but part of what appeals to me about the stall mat is that it will almost certainly never need replaced.

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"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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I was looking into the folding racks by Rogue. They look pretty decent and save some space. But The rack is jsut a small part of the space.

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." - J.R.R Tolkien

"Progress, not perfection."

"Persist, Pivot, or Concede." - Matthew McConaughey

"Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't."

Rants, Thoughts, and Workouts-->Battle Log | The Improvening (Current Challenge)

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Look what showed up in my email!

tempsnip.png.e15a145d0e57444cd25e11cdcbfec664.png

Woot! So that's 10 big, fat Ceremony points! 

 

Other than getting that squared away, did not do much yesterday. Went to my sister's for dinner. Picked up a pair of mittens for chores that actually seem to be keeping my hand warm out in the barn. I think I'm going to get my mother a pair for Christmas, and while I'm at it I might pick another pair up for myself so I can have one barn pair and one nice pair. Also spent some time looking at dog coats. My big mutt has enough fur, I don't think she actually needs one, but I've always kind of wanted to buy her one because I think it would be adorable for her and my dad to have matching Carharts when they go out for chores. But she has an orange vest she has to wear for hunting season, and she hates it, so I don't know that she'd tolerate wearing a coat very well.

 

Today, no Light or Word of Radiance points. I did sleep really well, though, and my back feels much better. I'll get 10 more Ceremony points today for a noon Eucharist (another administrative note: since I have more spell slots now, I'm removing the Pathfinder restriction on casting a prepared spell multiple times) and dinner with my small group tonight for social points. 

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"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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3 minutes ago, cn3wton said:

I was looking into the folding racks by Rogue. They look pretty decent and save some space. But The rack is jsut a small part of the space.

Yeah, the folding racks do look good. But I need to be careful with height too because my basement has a low ceiling. And it's not so much that there isn't space in the basement, as much as my dad doesn't love me dragging in more fitness equipment. So even if a rack's footprint isn't actually that large, it looks like a big piece of equipment, and that's going to make him unhappy. Not sure how he'd feel about me bolting something to the wall, either. So for now, I think I just have to accept that a rack isn't in the cards for me.

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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Oh yeah forgot to mention - getting new mittens reminded me that our glove/hat cupboard has gotten a bit out of control. Channel Divinity for this week will be going through that and getting rid of all the old gear that I never wear because it doesn't keep me warm anymore but I keep because...I might have a use for a worn-out pair of work gloves some day? I might keep one pair in case a job comes up that is going to ruin whatever I'm wearing, but that clearly doesn't happen very often given how quickly my collection of old gloves is outstripping my need for them.

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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38 minutes ago, Artemis Prime said:

Look what showed up in my email!

tempsnip.png.e15a145d0e57444cd25e11cdcbfec664.png

Woot! So that's 10 big, fat Ceremony points! 

 

WOOHOO!  Congrats on the acceptance.

  • Thanks 1

“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy” -Nightbirde

 “Dreams do not come true all by themselves. They are nourished by the bounty of hard work”  -Unknown Disney Imagineer

 

2024 Word

Svastha: Standing in One’s Own Power

Current Challenge:

Sepherina Roams Among the Trees

Prior Challenges

Spoiler

Sepherina:

#1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 , #6 , #7 , #8 , #9#10

 

Avery The Patient:

#1 , #2 , #3 , #4 , #5 

 

 

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Happy Friday!

 

Got my Ceremony points for noon Eucharist yesterday, and my social points for my small group. Also did Evening Prayer with them, so that's a Word of Radiance point. And the shadow failed its save, so some damage as well. Rolled a 1 again (really?) but shadows are vulnerable to radiant damage, so that's a whopping 2 points of damage.

 

Think I'm going to clean out the glove cupboard for Channel Divinity tonight and call that good. I could do a workout, but I'll more likely save that for tomorrow. And hopping on the bike trainer is also an option, but I started my period so we'll see how I feel. Actually kind of relieved, because I was afraid I was feeling achy because I was getting sick, but nope, just normal stuff.  So anyways, if the mood strikes I might do some cleaning for Locate Object, but it's a chilly, wet day and the first day of Advent, so I kind of just want to curl up with some tea and watch a movie or read.

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"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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Welcome to the weekend! I ended up being pretty chill yesterday. Work was a bit out of rhythm due to call offs, so I worked through lunch and then left an hour early. Got errands done on the way home, did chores, had dinner, started my Christmas reading with So This is Christmas by Jenny Holiday and watched A Christmas Carol with Kelsey Grammer as Scrooge. It's one of my favorites, and I kind of wish I had waited until the house was a bit more decorated to set the atmosphere for it, but I really wanted to watch it. Maybe I'll double on it and have a second viewing after the tree is up.

 

Today is going to be a busy one. Going to get a workout in and do some cleaning this morning, also want to clean out my chicken coop and maybe start the frame for my north door since the weather is warm. Then I'll have to shower, toss together a pepperoni dip, and it's off to my friend's house for her Christmas party. I'll only be able to drop in for a couple of hours before I leave to meet my mom because we have symphony tickets for their Christmas concert tonight. I'm excited for it; for being such a small town our local symphony is very good, and their Christmas concert is always popular. I've been to their shows before, but never made it to the Christmas one before. I think they always end it with a traditional carol sing along, which should be fun. And I'm also just as glad to have an out at the party. I don't hang out with this group as often as I used to, primarily because I do more drinking with them than I like. So I'll pop in, have some good food, one or two drinks, see everybody, and be off again.

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"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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Let this challenge officially begin!

 

The weekend went pretty well. I was a little ambitious with my Saturday plans and didn't get to everything, but still had a good and productive day.  I did a workout in the morning (did 2 points of damage to the Shadow), cleaned my chicken coop, and started to build my north door. I also went through the glove cupboard and got rid of stuff for Channel Divinity. Then I went to my friend's party and had a good time. It was a bit more chill than past years, which I appreciated. I think it was starting to ramp up, but that was the time I needed to leave for the symphony, so it worked out perfectly. The concert was very good. I saw a ton of people I know there, which was also nice.  It just had a very enjoyable community holiday feel which I soaked right up.

 

Sunday, I had planned to do the cleaning I didn't get to on Saturday, but that didn't happen. After church I met a guy to buy a couple 55 gallon drums that I'm going to turn into hay feeders. Got home, let my horse out, started to make chicken broth, ate lunch, prepped bread to rise, hung out with my brother and his kids, did my afternoon chores, finished the bread, made chicken soup, and by the time dinner was cleaned up, I was whipped. Finished So This is Christmas and went to bed early.

 

So that's 136 points for zero week.  I only did 2 workouts, no cardio, few cantrips, and only used half my spell slots. But that's fine for zero week, and gives me a good baseline for week one.

 

For this week: 3 workouts: Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. Having dinner with my sister on Wednesday. Tuesday I'm helping my neighbor for a bit. That will be a good test of my "no games at home" rule because I come back from her place a bit mentally/emotionally fried and that's when I'm most likely to reach for mindless merging.  Bike on Friday and Sunday. Having some people over Sunday for lunch. I did not get off to a good start with my cantrips this morning. Think I'm going to fall back on calculating the best time to go to sleep so that I should be at the end of a REM cycle when my alarm goes off. Also going to work on getting my chair cleared off so I can get up and go do Morning Prayer there instead of trying to do it in bed, which has not ben successful.

 

Spells prepped: Bless and Cure Wounds, obviously. Ceremony because it's my turn to be chalice bearer. Sanctuary because I want to finish hay feeders this week. Gentle Repose to try and improve sleep in order to hopefully improve morning wake ups. And Locate Object to get some cleaning done. 

 

For Gentle Repose (and other spells that involve something I'd like to become routine and not just a once/week thing) I think I will say to get the points for casting it, I have to succeed on a wisdom saving throw at the end of the week. The DC starts at 10. For each night I do not use screens after 9, the DC goes down by 1. For every night I do use screens after 9, it goes up by 1.

 

Today, I'm going to scrub out the barrels for hay feeders and do a workout. Then I'll eat dinner and decide if I want to do some cleaning or call that good for the day.

  • Like 2

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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7 minutes ago, sylph said:

Scrubbing out barrels sounds like cleaning to me...

You're not wrong...I guess I should specify that Locate Object is for house cleaning. Barrel scrubbing is a barn chore, so that falls under Sanctuary.

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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