Bushrangers, horse duffers and heroines to love.

We’ve been on the road again, partly to visit friends, partly to research.

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The rubbish bins holders at Winton are in the shape of dinosaur feet. ๐Ÿ™‚

We called in at Augathella, and again at Mitchell, Qld and checked out the information centre there. Found out some fascinating history. One thing that caught my attention was the story of a horse duffer family. *a duffer, of course, is a thief. An old photo listed two brothers and a father as well as “the sister”. Ooh, I thought. What if….

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The two brothers.

What if my heroine was the daughter of a horse duffer family. What if she stole as well. What if her worth is in belongings, possessions, and not in how God sees her. What if, what if….

And I was off and racing with ideas. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Me in the bush at Winton, taking photos for location research.

45c/113F temps outside. Stinking hot! Can’t imagine walking for miles in that sort of heat to get from shearing shed to shearing shed like swaggies used to do. (click on the word ‘swaggies’ for a link to explain what one is…).

How hard would it be to love someone who had a light fingered approach to life? What would that relationship look like? What lessons would have to be learnt/obstacles overcome to have a Happy Ever After?

What about you? Have you ever lived, or loved someone who treated your stuff, or your heart with carelessness? Do you have any tips or advice for dealing with that? I’d love to hear from you. ๐Ÿ™‚

That new car smell :)

Hi! Today I’m both tired and excited.

I picked up my brand-spanking new car!

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Yes–the bow is for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Made me feel pretty special.

Certificate

This is my first new car ever, so I’m super excited.

Had a couple of interesting moments today in it. It’s a manual transmission and my old car is an automatic…so I did a little bit of stalling and bunny hopping through some gears. Stalled twice at the main set of traffic lights in Bendigo and I missed the green light. So embarrassing! Also, I forgot to fuel it up…made it home with 4kms to spare. Had to nurse the car the last 20kms to make sure I’d make it. Serves me right for being distracted!

My first drive!

Left town this morning at 6:30am to pick it up in Melbourne. Arrived home tonight about 7:30pm. Hence the tiredness and the headache.

A big thank you to my friends in town who minded my children so I could pick up the car. Couldn’t have done it without you!

Anybody have a 1st new car story to share? Or a funny car story? I’d love to hear it. ๐Ÿ™‚

OnStar, Navigation, and Prayer

 

I recently spent some time being driven around some beautiful countryside in Colorado. I flew there from Melbourne, Australia, via Dallas, Texas. My good friend (GREAT friend!), Mindy joined me there from Oklahoma.

After we met each other in person at the airport, we picked up a rental car, a Chevy Impala… link here if anyone is interested.

*insert sappy sigh and glazed look* …and set off on our research adventure. Seeing as it was late afternoon by this time, we drove out from Denver toward the mountains, with Golden as tentative destination in mind.

And we got lost…

Several times…

As the sun set beautifully over the mountains and we drove around in circles looking for a motel to lay our heads for the night Mindy suddenly points to the rear view mirror. “Look!” she exclaims. “This car has OnStar!”

I’m sure I just blinked at her, a vacant look on my tired and altitude giddy face. OnStar? Might as well be speaking a foreign language… “What’s that?” I say.

Her hands grip the leather covered steering wheel and she grins at me. “I’ve seen ads for it on TV.”

I blink again.

“You just press the button and it calls them and they give you directions. Should we?” Her finger hovers over the pill size blue button at the base of the rear view mirror.

I shrug. “Might as well.”

She presses the button and the sound of a phone ringing fills the car. We wait, scarcely daring to breath.

A friendly lady answers. “Thank you for calling OnStar. My name is (I’ve forgotten it, sorry!), how may I help you?”

Mindy and I stare at each other as I mute the delighted squeal that tries to escape. Mindy gets it together quicker than I and calmly asks for directions to the closest hotel from where we are. Because, of course, our car is fitted with a GPS tracking system and they can do that sort of thing… The lady asks if we would like her to call the nearby motels and find out if they have a vacancy. Would we like that?

We do a quick happy dance, somewhat hindered by our seatbelts and the fact that we are sitting down. “Yes, please,” says Mindy.

The OnStar lady puts us on hold. The second the car is again filled with the sound of our quiet breaths. I look at Mindy. “How cool is that?” I squeak, not daring to break the wonder of the OnStar mood.

“I know!” she replies.

The lady comes back on and tells us what the 2 or 3 hotels she’s spoken to have said. We pick one and thank her. She sends the directions to our car and we follow the ‘turn left here 200 feet’, ‘continue along Washington St for 3 miles’ etc directions.

And then we miss a turn. And another. Soon we’re lost again.

Mindy presses the blue button. We get the directions again, and this time we find our hotel. ๐Ÿ™‚

~~Isn’t that just like prayer?~~

Think about it… we get stuck. Don’t know where to turn. Tired. Weary, muddled. Prayer is simply talking to God. We don’t even have to press a button to talk to him. He’s waiting to reassure us. Waiting to guide us. And if we, if I, get off track then no worries, with no condemnation he again sends us in the right direction.

~~

The next day we cruise toward the mountains, intent on finding the gold and silver mine that I spoke about in last weeks post. Various road signs flash past, some helpful, others, well, not… I haven’t got a map at this point in our journey, and we didn’t think to use Mindy’s iPhone to find out where we are. She points to the OnStar button. “I’ll just ask if we’re going in the right direction.”

I nod and enjoy the passing view.

OnStar is answered by a man this time.

Mindy speaks up over the sound of rushing traffic. Our car has a sunroof and we slide it back as often as possible. “Hi! I just want to know if we’re heading west on the I-70?”

“Yes, ma’am, you are.”

“Oh, good. Thanks, that’s all I wanted to know.”

She says goodbye and we continue on our way.

~~Isn’t that like prayer?~~

Lots of times I’ve stopped and asked God: “Am I going the right way?”, or, “Do you want me to do this?”, or, “Is this your will, am I walking in it?”

And he answers.

~~

View on the way to Georgetown.

Another time we were looking for a particular place and were both getting tired, stressed and ย a lil bit anxious. We pulled over into a quiet parking lot and locked the doors. Something I’m not used to, coming from a quiet country town where I don’t lock my car, whether I’m in it or not!

The little blue button is getting a bit addictive. Mindy presses it again and a lady answers. She gives us clear directions, and just the right words we needed to hear. Seeing as Mindy and I are both tired and a fair bit relieved we both cry “We love you, OnStar!”

The lady laughs and says she loves us too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t that sweet. Like a cyber group hug. ๐Ÿ™‚

~~Isn’t that like prayer?~~

God meets us in those situations that seem a tad bit desperate. He’s always calm, comforting, reassuring. Always says exactly what we need to hear. Note I said ‘need’ not ‘want’ to hear…

And when we cry out to him and tell him we love him, he answers with: “As the Father has loved me,ย so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” John 15:9

For the LORD is good and his love enduresย forever; hisย faithfulness continues through all generations.ย Psalm 100:5

~~

I’ve learned that no matter how many flash gadgets and cool add-ons we get, nothing, not a single thing, can be as wonderful, faithful, loving or downright cool as God.

How about you? Have you encountered any electronic devices lately that drive you to prayer? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have you ever heard of OnStar, or used it yourself?

I’d love to hear from you!

God Bless. ๐Ÿ™‚