I took the month of September to draw aside and seek wisdom as to where we are going and what we are doing next. I felt discontent in my heart over many things, especially the publishing business. Somewhere along the way, it ceased being a joy, and became a drudge. There are a few reasons for this, but mainly one that is glaringly obvious – I am NOT cut out to be a publisher for other people. I am NOT a business savy person, or someone who likes networking. I did all I set out to do, and I am proud of what I’ve achieved, but I must lay that hat down and move on to the next adventure.
As I am writing this, we in the Auckland area, are still in level three lockdown. We can go outside and exercise, we can go to the petrol station and supermarket, but that is our lot. Having homeschooled Sammy for over a month now, and having no time to myself, I am spent.
The night that we went into lockdown, was Mum’s 80th birthday. We had a lovely dinner cooking, decorations up and were excited to help her ring her this new decade – until. I had been warned by the Lord two weeks prior that it was coming – but not tonight, not on Mum’s birthday!! I went outside and shouted as loud as I could, then came inside and poured us another wine. Hmmm.
The next day, Mum and I came down with the worst cold that either us have had in probably a decade. I was in bed for five days, and Neil took over running the house. Interestingly, I tried speaking to people during that five days on the phone, but all my words were garbled and non-sensical. However, the Lord got my attention. As is his way, he’d given me a dream a couple of months prior, which I had shared with a handful of people; but they’d all interpreted it incorrectly. I knew instinctively what was required of me, but I hesitated. Whilst laying in bed and enquiring of the Lord, I knew it was time to surrender.
Someone asked me, ‘what next?’ In truth, I am enjoying being a homemaker, sowing my summer garden, doing alot of baking and cooking for the family, and taking care of my own. I don’t need a name out there, I don’t desire fame or fortune. I desire to be obedient to my Lord and do his will – it’s really that simple. How that takes shape, is his business and he will let me know!
So in the meantime, thanks to all of you who have encouraged me in this publishing journey, and have supported the work I have done.
I was sitting thinking about many things that have transpired lately, and then suddenly I remembered the beginnings of this journey, and why I started this blog. Today is the seventh anniversary of this little journey….!
I never had the intention of writing for anyone, or to anyone. That the Lord sees my words and knows my heart, is a no-brainer. I wrote originally, to allow myself the space to process, grieve and make peace with some harrowing events that happened upon myself and my family.
That was back in late (our Spring) 2014. I wrote about my daughters, Stephanie and Julianna both leaving home within the space of ten days. I wrote about Julianna’s pyschotic breakdown. I wrote about Dad’s entry into the world of Dementia and the journey I took with him. I wrote poetry, and about my relationship with the Yeshua, and of course, I wrote about my beloved Israel. All of this I did openly, without apology and without shame.
Now, what a terribly different story. Because I am an author, there is an expectation. Now, I am supposedly writing as I apparently have an audience. I write because I am supposed to. I write because I feel obligated too. I am apparently meant to keep people up to date with the goings on surrounding our publishing business and the like. Why? Even typing those words in italics, makes me cringe. Who cares if I’m an author, who cares if we have a publishing business? I am in reality, just Sandi – isn’t that enough?
The pressure I feel to release something – anything actually, is palpable. Yes, I have followers, and yes I do have some kind of small influence (mainly on Instagram), but I never asked for or wanted that. I wanted the freedom of expression. A place where I could share the joys and sorrows of this human existence, wrapped in the tendrils of faith, hope and love.
What I want, is to be able to freely share my heart on here, and release it into the ether, if I so choose.
So today, I choose. Today, I just want to express some of what I am facing and sensing, and to do that without judgement or fear.
I have so many threads running through my mind – which one do I pull upon?
So many dreams that hurtle to the ground at a resounding force of violence and ferocity. How do I proceed?
A heart pounding, beating for the ONE and yet so entrenched in the myre and clay that surrounds me. Of whom do I seek? Flesh and bone; spirit and life?
Insults, injuries, sickness devours my mortal soul. Wounds gaping and screaming to be heard, but nonetheless no voice to voice the pain or roar as the lioness I am.
Demons come and choke at my throat causing my breath to skip a beat, and words to be gurgled in the darkness. Breathing becomes shallow as rasps shudder my body and heave from my exhausted mouth.
I see you. You accusing spirit, I hear your words, but will not allow them to take hold. I blame no one. Words are spoken, opinions given, but it is not my desire to take offense – you cannot make me, accuser, even though they tantalize generously.
I rest. I pray. I give my burdens up and onto the Hands of Grace. I sleep.
Fitting dreams of lands I do not know. But we are there. Helping those in need, offering solace and practicalities to those pilgrims running for their lives. I see a great city fall. A nation besieged. A terror group overtakes another nation and causes great war.
My dreams exhaust me…
Opinions, opinions, opinions everywhere. Clawing at me, beseeching me to listen to yet another great fear wrapped up in another person’s lie. I shall not succumb. Truth is weighed up against the collective opinion, and is left wanting. I need only THE truth.
We pit one against another. We no longer walk in love and grace. Us against them. Me against you. The world has gone made. Good is now evil, evil reigns supreme in the hearts and minds in the citizens of this world.
Wonder – where have you gone? Wonder of all that is good, beautiful, true and lovely. I hear the distant sound of Louis singing about this ‘wonderful world’ but somehow it seems a bittersweet memory?
The threads are interwoven, they speak all so loudly, clamouring for my attention immediately. But I will not give over to the balls of messy threads, the odd lengths, the knots and ties, the unevenness of the mat, nor the colours bleeding into one.
I choose to look instead, at the Tapestry being woven throughout this life, and marvel at the beauty that comes from pain, devastation, love and truth.
The marvel that is Yeshua living in and through me.
Galatians 2:20 TLV. “And it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me. And the life I now live in the body, I live by trusting in Ben-Elohim—who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
One little known fact about me, is my passion for dance. I grew up doing what was termed ‘creative dance’. I loved movement, challenging my body, trying to do new things, albeit slightly difficult due to being born with my hips twisted. Dance was something that enabled me to express myself. Watching shows like ‘Solid Gold’ or ‘Ready to Roll’ and seeing the latest dance moves, was a quiet passion of mine. I loved it when Mum and Dad would go and milk the cows, and I would turn up my favourite music loud, and dance my brain out!
Then I met a friend who equally, loved to dance! Ah the magic of sharing that passion with someone!! She was far more flexible than me, but she had a way of both challenging and helping me to bust out, as much as my body would take. We often would dance all around high school, and when there was dances, it was nothing for us to be the high kicking sisters of soul!
But then dancing in general, changed. It was less about moving and expressing yourself, and it became more seductive and sexual. I didn’t like that much. The images I saw on tv were less and less desirable for me to mimic, and yet still….still I wanted to dance. Going to nightclubs was my favourite thing, not for the alcohol – which helped with me shyness – but more for the ability to just lose all sense of control on the dance floor and leave it there.
And then something happened. I’m not entirely sure what, but somewhere along the way, through different things I experienced, and traumas that I had to deal with, the dancing stopped.
Becoming a Christian, then moving back home for a while, was wonderful. I would dance and sing on the lawn, and all through the paddocks, until the sun went down. I was dancing and singing for my King. No one else. I was so alive, so fully present, so complete. But then that too stopped. I got married, and then became a Mum, then full time ministry happened. Dancing stopped, and seemed to be frowned upon back in the early 90s. Along with it of course, all secular music left the building, and I became one of ‘those’ Christians who only listened to Christian music, read Christian books, watched Christian tv and movies – I became very dull indeed.
So much of the passion and fire that lighted my soul, remained simmering away, and occasionally a Christian artist would put out a funky song, so that at least the old hips could swing for a few minutes! But then, it would all be put away again until…..Riverdance!
My God! And I really mean My God! When I saw that show on VIDEO, I thought I was going to combust!! I knew I had Irish heritage; and boy I just couldn’t get enough. My girls were kindergarten and school age, so any moment I could, I would put on that video and dance my brain out again 🙂 But the magic appeared, when the segment of Flamenco Dancing started up, courtesy of Maria Pages, a beautiful Spanish dancer. I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven. She twisted, turned, stomped, smiled, looked pained and impassioned, all at the same time – and I had finally seen something that resonated so deep within me, it never left. When I was taken to see the show live, my knees wouldn’t stop shaking. Several of us went to the back of the theatre and busted out!
A number of years later, and more trauma to add to the mix, I found myself wanting to seek out proper Flamenco lessons, here in New Zealand. It was nigh on impossible to find, so I allowed a friend to convince me to join her for Belly Dancing lessons. Turns out I wasn’t so good at rolling that belly, but I sure did try. I so appreciate the form and passion for which they dance, but in the end, it just wasn’t me.
More time passed, and I realised through life and experiences, that I had started to distrust my body. I couldn’t dance, even if I wanted too. I longed to move, I longed to feel that fire, passion, creativity and freedom again, but I just couldn’t express it anymore. I live in suburbia, and I just can’t express myself the way I want or need too. I need open air and space, and that eludes me.
I’ve also come to realise that through different traumas that I have walked through, I have completely lost confidence in my body, and indeed feel like trauma is trapped within me. In my imagination, I am stomping my way through a magic dance routine, but my body just can’t seem to do it right now. I’m not sore or in pain, and age shouldn’t be a factor, but in my mind, I just feel so boxed in and caught in a fishbowl existence, I just can’t seem to conjure anything up regarding movement, now.
Interesting that back in 2019 at the Dead Sea, I was dancing down the hallways, dancing down at the Shabbat celebration, and we even got Neil up dancing away, shaking his hips!
I’m praying that as I identify the traumas and the toll they have taken on me, that Abba Father will allow me to dance before Him again.
The goat track seemed incredibly narrow and full of hoof marks. It didn’t offer the sturdiness of a footpath with any kind of secure railing or steps. No, this track was hewn from many a goat and ensuing animals that had walked carefully up the path towards the peak of the mountain.
Claudine looked at the peak. It beckoned her, called to her in the deepest part of her heart. She pulled her cloak closer, pulled on the hood and took a sip of her water bottle. Her nerves were frayed, tripping and falling all over this track, but in her mind, she focused on the love of The One.
His eyes were flaming fire, his skin as cut diamonds. His face radiated a warmth that could flood the whole universe, and yet He gleaned all that love on her. So broken, so wounded and yet, so whole in His presence.
He looked at her and motioned for Claudine to come closer.
She fell down in front of him, not able to withstand the glory that radiated from him.
His hand touched her and slowly moved down her arm to her hand. He gently lifted her, and she smiled at The One. She glanced at his very eyes, which just a moment before had been like a flaming fire, but this time they were human. They were moist, and a single teardrop fell from His eye. She reached over, and ever so tenderly, without fear, wiped the tear from his face.
‘Claudine,’ said The One, His voice breaking, ‘will you sing for me?’
She looked at him, and without thinking, her voice rose to a note she’d never been able to sing on the planet earth. She took both her hands and tried to cup this giant face within them, and looked straight into his eyes. Her heart was bursting and love was emanating from such a deep place within her that she wondered if this did come from her, or elsewhere?
He wept. He wept more and more. Then silence.
‘Many are called, few are chosen. Even few still want to come and be with me. They want my presence, to a degree. They want to hear my heart, hear my secrets, to a degree. But I have been here since time eternal, and not many have wanted to come and BE with me. Many are so terrified of coming through the dark clouds and seeing me for who I am. And yet, I am always here to welcome my children, every single one of them – if only they would come.’
Claudine looked at The One, and with a heart of deep compassion, she looked intently at him. ‘You are terrifying to me. And yet you are my true comfort. You are lost in the world of religion, fighting, factions, denominations, debate and terror. So many don’t come because they have believed the lies of the enemy of our souls, and they seem to believe that there is a formula that must be heeded to enter into your presence.
I know very little of you. I just know I deeply love you and nothing satisfies my heart more than singing your praises and being your daughter. Papa and daughter. Claudine and Yahweh. Is there anything greater? I don’t think so….’
He looked at her. He smiled, and fractals of light shone through into other dimensions. She startled a little at the bouncing of this light show, and then she and The One laughed and laughed.
‘Will you come again?’ The vulnerability and innocence of Him seemed so out of place, and yet she knew, He of ALL creation was deeply emotive and true.
‘It would be both my honour and my pleasure to come and spend more time with you in this way.’ Claudine stroked his cheek again. How she loved Him so. Not in the ways of earthly love and pleasure, but in the way that her whole being was surrendered to her Creator. There was nothing, not even in her brokenness that she wanted more than to lavish her entire soul upon The One who gave her life, and INDEED saved her life.
It was a paradox. The One who created all of life, gave his only son, and has made a way available to all, he longed for her? His vulnerability, his depth, his kindness – and yet this is the one who judges the earth and directs the stars? How could this be? And yet how could it not be?
Claudine opened her eyes. She was back on the single rocky goat track, but this time her heart was elated! She had met with her Redeemer in the most profound way – what in the stratosphere would happen next?
This is a sneak peek of my upcoming sequel to Mirabelle, called Claudine.
She picks up the golden quill, a mighty theme upon her lips. As she writes the words upon the parchment, she is surprised at the letters forming and flowing so fast. As she utters the sounds of Heaven, all Creation listens: what Decree has the Lord spoken unto His willing Servant and Handmaiden? What mysteries will He expound through her mouth and the quill of her writing instrument?
She stops and waits as she hears the Lover of her Soul, whispering words of passion and grace into her heart. Will she dare write them down, only to be scorned and ridiculed, yet again?
Yes! For her Love has spoken His word into her, and through her this word will become flesh! He has come and dwelt among mere mankind – can you not hear, nor perceive it? Can you not taste and see for indeed, the Lord our God, He is good!
Come to the river and drink of water that you may never thirst again. Come and eat of the bread of life, and behold you will never hunger for mere food again! Come to the waters, replenish your soul. Come to the tree of life and eat – for then your healing shall break forth and your soul shall exalt in the Lord your God!
Come, dance and sing! Lift up your voice! Come magnify the Lord with me! Come, bring your timbres, your harps and your instruments! Come and make a melody, for the Lord is here in our midst!
I have quietly sat back and watched happening around me, things that don’t shock me anymore. They don’t worry me like they used to. They don’t make me upset now. Why? Because I am USED to it.
When you live in this little village of a few thousand, which is rapidly growing, you get to understand and DISCERN things at a deeper level. You understand that it’s not personality conflicts or clashes; there are principalities and powers at play, here in this little paradise.
A number of years ago, the Lord told me that I would encounter a particular ‘spirit’. He assured me it wasn’t IN me or operating THROUGH me, but that it would manifest all around me. He would use all of this to firstly; teach me, and then secondly; write about it in an allegorical style. I am currently doing that.
What makes me stop and pause, is the Body of Christ, in this area. I’ve never witnessed such lies, division, deception and dishonour. I watch others build their own little Kingdoms, and I watch further yet, the Hand of the Lord intervene. I see different ones around, wearing instead of armour, a breastplate that is wonky, full of holes and slipping off. I see helmets hanging down people’s backs and blasted with what looks like dynamite. Such mental anguish within these ones. I see many walking around with their swords, dull and unused. I see shoes that are worn out and hanging together by a thread. I see belts of lies instead of truth, and paganism and other gods, tightening their grip around these Saints.
My heart doesn’t break for these – it wars! Like the Warrior Princess, there are times that my Saviour leads me into warring in prayer and declaration; destroying the works of the enemy. Then there are times, when I step back and listen. Times when I stand and watch – oh how I have watched for over a decade and seen beautiful people turning proud and ugly. Beautiful on the outside and glaringly ugly on the inside.
Abba Father has shown me the rotten foundations, the chasing out of the Prophets, from this very village. He has shown me the Religious ones, who harken to a strict set of rules and know nothing about His abundant grace. He has shown me the gems, which society overlooks. He has shown me His heart, and how He grieves over the factions, divisiveness, disunity and pain with the Ekklesia; but oh how He roars!
Will we awaken to His roar, or will we keep on the path of the familiar?
I have sat here these past few days just scratching my head and marveling at what seems a miracle to me 🙏 Since the announcement of our first SparkleMoon Publishing book coming out over on that blog (www.sparklemoonpublishing.net), we have been viewed over 500 times!! That is something a small time Blogger dreams about, and yet here we are. Thank you Lord!
I have spent more hours than I can count, editing and proofreading, working out a new system online, making sure all the vocabulary is in American, as that is how the Author has written it. Dealing with creative types (myself included) has had me in tears, praying for abundant grace and answering dozens of texts! Internet crashes, school holidays, uninstalling and reinstalling the right apps, computer crashes, marketing, advertising, collaboration with my Authors, correcting overseen errors. Where is the time going?
I know. I have absolutely no right to complain, and I am not, not at all. But I am sharing what this crazy life has become of recent weeks.
Saturday night just past, saw me submit all the approved files and covers, to the printing press. Phew! That has been a journey and a half, and it’s not over yet. This I guess is the calm before the storm – but I am enjoying this moment of respite.
These past few weeks have had me learning new ways and pushing myself in ways I didn’t know I could. I’ve learnt so much and realised I am far more capable than I give myself credit for! I’ve also come to realise that I am incredibly hard on myself, and have a high expectation, regarding myself as a Publisher. But that’s not the point. The point is at 50, I finally feel like I am in my element. I love being a wife and mum – nothing compares to that – but there’s something incredibly gratifying about stepping into your calling and stepping up to the plate. It’s either sink or swim, and I am learning to go beyond doggy paddling!!!
In other news: the New Zealand elections are fast approaching us here. Saturday 17 October, will be the deciding factor between life and death. We have two referendums along with out national election: legalizing marijuana; and euthanasia. Personally my views have been God, life, Israel. I’ll stand on that mountain and there I shall stay. But I fear what is coming. Many of my elderly relatives believe in the right to choose when they die – I believe that is God’s choice alone. And I say so. Respectfully of course.
Currently, we are finally back down to Level One here in the open border compound of New Zealand! Yes I’m being sarcastic 🙂 Our borders remain ‘shut’ but they never have been really. We have ‘crushed covid’ a second time, but of course it’s at the borders, just not in the community. Or maybe it is; I’ve had other priorities these past few weeks.
I was able to go and see my Dad two weeks ago, but now they have an outbreak of Gastroenteritis in the home. Thankfully Dad is ok, but the whole compound is on full lockdown/quarantine until things get back under control.
People say that 2020 has been a nightmare of a year; I disagree! I turned 50 back in January, and I was told this was my Jubilee Year, and whilst bad things have happened, the Lord has been so good and magnificent to me. I will write a bit more about that shortly, but in the meantime, as Believers in Yeshua, let’s stop looking to government to fix us, and keep our eyes upward – He IS coming soon. Of this I am most certain.
Well after the utter deluge of crazy that ensued after posting the cover for SparkleMoon Publishing’s newest release, I thought I’d put it up here for you to have a looksy!
As you are aware, we’ve been collaborating with my brother Tony. We love what he has accomplished, and look forward to further collaborations in the future. To check out more about Tony, go to http://www.clewey.com to see his work and read his many accomplishments.
A MASSIVE thanks to those of you who have been thinking and praying for us all. It’s been amazing the messages etc that have come through and meant the world to us as we faced the loss of our family members. Heartfelt thanks from Steph, Juju, Sammy, Neil and myself <3
We have started a new business! Our third in less than a year…..wonders never cease!! I will blog about that soon.
It seems to be time to get moving and keep going on – ‘occupy until He comes.’