It is the first day of winter, here in New Zealand, June 1.
I am sitting in my new office, quite mesmerized by a scene I have looked at a thousand times, but has new meaning for me today.
Today also is the day, that Jo’s second book in her series, Journeys of the Heart, is released. It’s a page turner that had me quite heated up several times, and had me wiping my glasses even as I edited it!!
Today is also the day that my two published books are featured in a nationwide catalogue, that goes to all the Christian retailers around our nation. That has been quite the surprise!
But also today, I was asked something that really struck me: how is your heart?
The mere thought that anyone would ask me that, is Heaven on earth to me! I am such a passionate heart girl, that is indeed where I meet with Abba and Yeshua, and yet it’s a question that we as the body of Christ, very rarely ask each other.
So today is beautiful. Not because good things are happening, because actually, behind the scenes, things are mad – but today is a good day, because it is crowned with loving kindness and tender mercies.
So I thought I’d be really smart and privatize this site just so that you guys could have the first look at my secret project – but that didn’t work! It turned out that you had to login or register via email, and that caused some issues, by some of the language I could hear in the other room!
Well, before I go ahead and do my reveal, I just wanted to give you a background on who Mirabelle is and why this book is important to me.
Mirabelle is based on a woman who was a dear friend for many years. She underwent most of her cancer journey before I met her, and over the course of getting to know her, the story she shared really impacted me.
I didn’t know many people who have had significant body parts removed in order for them to survive, but she is one of them. A large softball size tumour was discovered inside her that encompassed her bladder, bowel and internal genitalia. She had to have all three reconstructed over the period of a few years, and still to this day she doesn’t function fully. But you would never know. You wouldn’t know that her bladder is made from pigskin. You wouldn’t know that her bowel is made from some of her large intestine. You wouldn’t know that her internal genitalia were the last thing to be constructed, and she went without those organs for eighteen months.
So yes, to me she is one of the most inspirational women I have ever had the good fortune to meet.
Unfortunately, our friendship went south not long after I got married. My dear friend is someone who has an incredibly stubborn streak and if you seemingly wrong her, she cuts you off in the most powerful way. You don’t even know, she won’t even tell you, but slowly and surely, she backs off, like she did to me. And she will hurt you on purpose. Because so far, she has been able too.
It took me nine months to process the demise of this once incredibly close relationship. I’d never had a friend where things were shared so openly and honestly, so brutally and with so much humour! We were a dynamic duo when we went anywhere, and behaving wasn’t something that either of us thought to do 🙂 Going to Israel with her and with Neil was fantastic; I did feel sorry for the Tour Guide though – I don’t think he’s ever met a duo like us!
In amongst the pain, the despair I felt and the anger that would rise in wave upon wave, the Lord came to me one morning and gave me such love for this friend. Ex friend. I never call her that, but I guess that is what I am to her now. She has this book, and my guess is that she’s darn angry with me, but as I said to her, what started out writing about her, turned into a greater story that the Father wouldn’t let me leave alone.
I know that she loves Yeshua incredibly deeply, and I know one day we will reconcile. I also know that it will be different.
The character of Alex is based on me. It was with fear and trepidation that I wrote so much of my own personal story within these pages. To bare my soul so openly, I did query the Lord on this? But sometimes in order for others to heal, they need to know that some have been through the same thing. They need to know that they can reach out and touch someone who is similar to them. I know I am just a chick from Snells Beach, New Zealand, but God sees me differently to others.
When Mirabelle was released just over two years ago, we had just come back from a disastrous trip to Israel, and I was suffering from depression. I wasn’t in the right place to own this novel, or to accept the path that the Lord was leading me down, but somehow it seems right to do so now.
So, with all that background in mind, I am so pleased to show you the new cover that my brother (a 100+ Award winning Creative Director) has designed for when we re-release Mirabelle back out into the public!
We are currently working to get me out of my old contract with the Publisher in London, so that soon I can release this on our own logo.
He sat me down, closed the door, cancelled his appointments for the next hour and asked me one huge question, ‘Sandi, do you still believe in God?’
I looked at him with tears streaming down my face, and quietly uttered the word, ‘yes’.
I did and I do. But I was terrified. Terrified I’d never feel God’s presence again, or hear His voice. What kind of world was I signing up to, taking anti-depressants and walking into a world of counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists? How did this fit in with my faith, God’s word and everything else I held dear?
The Doctor looked at me as I responded, and said, ‘good, now I know you will be ok.’
He was a Muslim doctor and I was a Christian patient. He was amazing, very humble, very capable, and yet he and his wife were my clients too! I was a Domestic Cleaner and I cleaned their home every week. It was nothing for me to watch the Doctor walk inside, take off his shoes, position his mat and do his prayers.
I didn’t care. I just wanted to know that I wasn’t going mad. Apparently I was having a Emotional Breakdown….
Those words resonated with me, simply because Mental issues were a big deal in my Maternal Grandmother. Mum witnessed Nana have at least one emotional breakdown, and declared that she would never allow herself to become that way – she often would say I was cursed with my own emotions and Nana’s. Funny how it all came to a head when she watched her own Granddaughter have a full psychotic breakdown. Actually it’s not funny at all, but if issues aren’t dealt with in one generation, they will come back in another – and another until they are sorted.
I’ve witnessed a disturbing trend or recent years. People who seem to have it all, or seemingly have a great life etc, suddenly up and commit suicide.
My Doctor asked if I had suicidal thoughts – hell no! I had too much terror to reign on people and too much life to live yet!
But I needed to sort out my mind, and apparently going on Aropax was going to help me do that.
I got a burst of energy for the first twenty four hours, so I went out and dug a vegetable garden at 9pm that night! The rest of the time, it did nothing for me, so after six weeks, I flushed it all down the toilet. People are amazed, simply because here in New Zealand, there had been many cases reported of the withdrawal symptoms from Aropax actually being so bad, and some leading to suicide – but somehow I knew God was with me and that I was gaining inner strength.
The point to all of this is not self pity, or even about me. This is about not being alone. This is about reaching out and sharing your troubles. If that person is unable to help you, there are lots of places to reach out too.
I made one phone call. That lead to an amazing charity called Strengthening Families. These people were brilliant at helping me get sorted through the myriad of mess and emotions that I was dealing with. They helped my children. They helped my friends. And by some amazing stroke of serendipity, I opened the door for this charity to help many others within my community.
So, the long and the short of it is, we are never alone. Every single person on this planet matters to God – despite race, gender, religion or ethnicity – and every single person has the God ordained right to be seen, heard, appreciated and loved.
If you are having Mental issues or need to chat with someone, I encourage you to reach out – and please stop believing the lie that you are alone – it’s simply not true!
One week before we as New Zealanders went into total Lockdown, the Rest Homes and Aged Care facilities made the decision to go into full Lockdown for the sake of their ailing Residents. At the time, we were lead to believe that the Coronavirus, Covid-19 or Sars-Covid-2, was most lethal towards the elderly and infirmed. Unfortunately for our country, this proved to be true. Most of our small cases of deaths, were indeed in the Rest Homes.
Dealing with not seeing Dad was something that I was consciously aware of when our Prime Minister started to make daily addresses to the public regarding Lockdown. Then the day hit when I realised there would be no visiting him at all, and I didn’t get the chance to warn him! However, all was not lost, as I was able to speak to him on the phone, and the home was able to arrange a couple of Skype calls.
Dad was actually quite funny on those Skype calls – he recognised us, but couldn’t understand why our faces were appearing on a computer! The whole conversation lasted three minutes and fifty one seconds.
Yes folks, that enabled me to stop worrying indeed.
When I was able to visit Dad eventually after ten weeks, I had to go through a whole routine of sanitisation, form filling and mask wearing. Dad didn’t even realise it was me until I quickly lifted the mask up so he could see my entire face!
He understood that I wasn’t able to take him out, he actually was more concerned that there were other patients coming up and staring at me, and he was trying to shoo them away J
I have to say, in this instance there was so much unprecedented things happening in our world, but I learnt not to worry about Dad. The staff again, were utterly brilliant and would keep us informed with emails, texts and the occasional photographs of Dad. He was being entertained and kept busy, so that relieved a whole lot of pressure off of me. Phew!
With every message that goes unanswered, every email that no one seems to respond to, excuses made and heartache booming in my soul – there you are. For the longest of times, you have stood by me, loved me, helped me, cherished me, made me laugh until I cried and been with me. You believed in me when everyone gave up, you cheered me on when I made the smallest of steps, and now here we are. I cannot remove the pain of the past or the wounds of such terror, but I can be a safe place as you are to me. I can love you, as you have loved me. In the darkest of souls and the deepest of nightmares, I will stand with you as you have stood with me. I adore you. I love you. My sister and trusted confidante. And so I dedicate this poem to you, My Dearest Friend.
Ancient Ruins, 2002
I walked through the ancient ruins today
And saw some ghosts of yesteryear
I looked through the brokenness and found
You were still sitting amongst the mess
Won’t you come my way sweet child?
And walk into the fresh air,
Breathe and let the sun’s rays warm your body
Let the light fill your cold soul.
I wandered around and saw many things
Images I recognised from years gone by
I felt the pain, but it was no longer mine
I let it go, many moons ago
I saw things that could have haunted me
And walked all through the mess
But nothing can touch a heart that is now
Wrapped with grace and armed with forgiveness.
I left the Ancient Ruins today
My heart completely in one piece
I took back my inner child and now – she’s safe again in me.
I wrote a blog once about de-masking and becoming real. Foolishly, I deleted it. I then went on and deleted all of my blogs. I did print out some of them, but The Mask was not among them! There had been much ado about something or rather, and I felt unsafe blogging. Oh the foolish actions of someone who was too scared to stand and face the very truth that she longed to convey. However, after letting go of some people and opinions, I realised it was time to reflect back and write from the heart, once again.
You know, it’s never too late to take a stand and show the world the true you, the one that has all the sags, bags and wrinkles but knows enough to be sure, and enough to remain humble.
I got confused by someone who used to tell me, that to the public, they would wear a mask. It just didn’t sit right with me. There was always conflict with them, it was never plain sailing. Speaking one thing to one person, yet saying something entirely different to someone else. Keeping their cards very close to their chest, and yet demanding an audience and trying to have a perception of authority and wisdom. It never worked for me.
I learnt through some very troubling times, that if you indeed are going to wear a mask, then you had better be prepared for the eventuality that it will be ripped off someday. And you had better pray that the Lord does it gently and privately, so as not to seem like a public spectacle or debarcle.
You see, if one is truly authentic and living in the light of God’s love, there is absolutely no reason at all to wear a mask anymore. Who are you trying to hide from and who are you trying to fool? Those with a sense of discernment and any sense of true perception, are going to see right through it, and if they have enough mettle, they will call you on it too.
There’s something about turning fifty, or even just a few weeks beforehand, that made me question alot about my life and come out from behind my self-imposed mask.
I decided to stop dying my hair. I realised there are just some foods I can no longer eat, even though I like them. I have come to love my stretchmarks, they are my badges of pregnancy and carrying such great blessings. After years of of trying to gain my pre-Sammy body, I’ve come to realise that rounded and larger is good too. I love my wrinkles, they show I have lived. I really adore my laughter lines, because my goodness there is still so much joy to share in! I have come to appreciate my boobs are saggy, but they have fed and nurtured my kiddos. I’ve also come to appreciate that I am going through major hormonal changes (menopause) and the greatest gift I can give (apart from nutrition) is love and kindness towards myself. I have found walking my beloved beach to be such a tonic of healing and health, and I have found my love of dancing again!
There are those who want to label me a worshipper, a prophet, an author, a publisher, a this or a that. But what I know for sure is that I am a Watchman and I call out what I see. I am not popular, I never have been and don’t aspire to be. I am not a great Beauty to the world, but I am to my husband and children. I am not a Rockstar, but I love my singing voice – because these days I have come to appreciate I sing for an audience of One. I don’t have anything to prove with my writing or my blogs, I just write what I sense the Lord telling me too. I feel such great sadness and joy within the same moment, and realise that is how the Lord made me, and I know how to manage those emotions now. I see the world and life very differently to a few years ago, and I’m not afraid to live it.
We live in such unprecedented and tumultuous times, we don’t know where or when the next disaster will be. But we know the One who calms the seas, brings Shalom (peace) to the raging heart; gives us joy for sadness; a song instead of a dirge; provision from Heaven; parts the sea of troubles for us to walk right through; hope for the nations and love for all mankind. His name is Yeshua (Jesus) – He alone is our Salvation, our Rock and the strong tower of our Defense, AND the name above ALL names – including Covid-19! We serve a Mighty God who knows the end from the beginning, who writes OUR names upon His hand, who loves us so completely and delights in us abundantly.
I love this time of life, and have continued to embrace all the changes. There is so much to be thankful for, so much to be excited about and so much yet to do.
But the one thing I know for sure, unequivocably and indeliably – you can’t do any of this from living behind a mask!
I’m not here to bash our Prime Minister, I believe that she is doing what she can with the knowledge and resources available to her. Nor will I bash our Health Minister, because he again, is being guided by all the statistics, the resources and the information that is given to him at all times during the day. I won’t bash the workers who have relentlessly put themselves out there in the public, dealing with all the confusion of masks, handwashing, sanitisation, social distancing, and taking large pay cuts. I think of those who have lost their jobs and who now are facing an even more uncertain future. I am so mindful of the children, here at home, being homeschooled and trying to be taught by parents and care givers who may not have the experience, expertise or the patience to delve into academia.
But I will address, the New Zealand public.
By and large, I know that most people have tried their best to follow the ads on tv, the things to read on the internet, the messages from the Prime Minister and the Health Minister. I know that a large majority of us have tried to follow the rules, do what’s best and keep safe.
But there are those of us who have been horrible. Those who have blatantly flailed the rules, have gone out of your way to do whatever it is they wanted, when they wanted, and to hell with the rest of us. Those who have walked into the places where my daughters have worked, and have gotten up in their faces, have verbally abused them, have terrified them and have left them shaken. Those who have yelled and abused myself, my husband and my son when we were deemed Essential workers, and had no necessity to do so. We had the paperwork, we followed the protocols set out for us and yet, some felt that from their homes, from behind their fences and just from their front yards, they could just yell whatever they wanted at us. Well they can’t!!
We as parents, made the decision that even though we could have carried on, we won’t work under those pressures, nor allow our son to carry on in those conditions. Now that the level has dropped and the run has resumed, we have still said no.
I can’t count the amount of times that my strong daughters have walked through the door straight into my arms, bawling their eyes out after a shift of non stop abuse. But yet the self entitled ignoramouses think it’s ok to speak to others on the frontline, like they are a piece of dirt. I was more than mortified when it was named that OUR supermarket made the front page of the news for a woman my age punching one of the shop’s Managers. How is this ok? The other supermarket carpark had fights breaking out and brawling, over things that I can’t even remember.
In all my years walking the roads of Aotearoa, New Zealand, I have never been more ashamed and baffled with my fellow brethren. I can’t even begin to look at people the same anymore, because the fact is, we have changed – as a people and as a nation. We have a wonderful aspect to us, being Kiwis; we are renowned worldwide for our kind, caring and laid back nature, our welcoming attitude, but I dare say that has by and large changed now. It’s interesting that if you scratch the surface, what’s been festering underneath sure does come out, and this Lockdown has proved that to us, here at home. The insistance of over the top narcissitic monstrosities who think they are better than the rest of us, and do deserve the right to speak to others like they are dumb animals, well I do declare, that isn’t right!
I wish that this Lockdown had brought about a greater sense of community and unity amongst us, but to alot of us who’ve borne the behaviour of the walking dead, we’ve seen society’s nastiness in full bloom.
There is so much for us to fear, so much misinformation. None of us know who to trust, where to get information that is correct and true, rather than fitting the accepted narrative. There is also much for us to look forward to. But we as a people, we as a nation, we have to do better. We can’t expect to abuse each other and then when the final level of Lockdown ends, think we can just carry on with normal life – normal life has gone now. None of us know who and what, where and how things will be, laws that have quietly been implemented, technologies that have been invented and new rules that have been put forward.
I’m sorry that my honesty may have offended some individuals, but I can no longer sit back and allow people to treat my family and those wonderful Essential Workers nationwide, like utter crap.
Will we do better when the next thing hits?
I pray we do.
When I wrote the above piece, I chose to leave out a very important part — I now have permission to write about it 🙂
Both our girls started to present with symptoms that were congruent with Covid-19. At the insistance of the Manager at one of their workplaces, they both spoke to a Registered Nurse and were told to immediately head for the nearest testing station, in our case, up in Wellsford.
After the initial ‘brain tickle’, the girls had to spend a few days home whilst awaiting the results. I had fortunately bought some high quality Silver Sol, which is more potent than Collodial Silver, and had administered this to them, alongside very high doses of Vitamin C. We then had to lock our gates, put a notice on said gates and quarantine ourselves until the results were in. I’ve never felt such stress in my body before. It wasn’t until the very last morning that I got a handle on it, and by that afternoon we received the results.
To date, this was the hardest part of Lockdown!
So, until next time peoples, stay well and God bless you all <3
So here we all were, waiting with baited breath to see if our Fair Leader will loosen the noose or keep the noose at this tightened grip. Along with many others, we watch as a dishevelled Jacinda Ardern walk across to her podium and give the Nations’ speech. She looks so pained within her face, she is telling us ‘good news’ and yet her face and demeanour are telling us a very different story. I wonder what she’s NOT saying, but then, I wonder alot these days.
Apparently our noose is loosening next week. Hoorah, you shout! Not so much my friends, just wait a minute. Level three will still have many of the restrictions we now ‘enjoy’ but economically we will start to reawaken. Yay! Hmmmm.
Over the weeks I thought I would make more videos, do more blogs and have more contact with ‘family’. I was wrong. But I have been fully ‘awoken’.
The Covid-19 ads that have been playing every few minutes, no matter what your mode of television is. Wash your hands, stay two metres apart, shop quickly, take a list, one person per family to shop, use PayWave not cash, don’t use your car for anything other than essential services etc. Most of that seems ok, nothing to really second guess or question. However if you are a questioning person like me, why no cash? I understand the need to limit handling items, but this is taking us into a cashless society. The ramifications for that alone are startling.
It never ceases to amaze me how completely naive and ignorant us Kiwis are concerning the introduction of ‘new technologies’ and new ‘ideologies’ into our society. Did you know that worldwide we are known as the ‘Guinea Pig Nation?’ We are Sheeple. People who act like sheep.
Can someone tell me what will happen to all the new Laws that have been passed since we have been in lockdown?
Powers for authorities to change laws
Enforce persons into quarantine
Fine or jail or quarantine those breaking laws
Enter homes without warrants
Confiscate private transport
Be arrested for giving misinformation
Enforce security in essential places eg: grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals
Citizens and foreigners are to self quarantine or isolate where they are, even people at airports
Regional borders enforced with roadblocks. No travelling between regions
Police presence and military presence as back up as needed – Martial Law.
To see these, look at the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002, Health Act 1956, Social Security Act 2018 and Immigratioin Act 2009.
Why was the Abortion bill pushed through so quickly, causing us to have the most vial and disgusting wide ranging ‘Reproductive’ laws in the world? Can anyone tell me why Abortion during these past four weeks, is considered ‘Essentials’ and yet Dentists and Opticians aren’t? The mind boggles at the evil leftist bias that has ripped ever so slowly and yet now so damn forcefully, throughout this nation.
God Defend New Zealand indeed….
Let’s talk about the saying ‘flatten the curve’. Seriously folks, when I stand in line at the supermarket waiting to get in, or when I am getting blood drawn, people tend to talk to me. They tell me things. I don’t know why? But I listen and weigh it up with what my gut tells me. So when I hear a registered Nurse who is in the forefront of this so called ‘Pandemic’ tell me that many, many people are NOT being tested and letting it run it’s course; I am telling you, we are NOT flattening or crushing any damn curve. Our deaths are up, and as the weather gets colder, and our immune systems take a hit, we will see exactly what this wretched Virus will do.
I implore you, to research. Stop relying on the maintstream media. Stop being dumb sheeple. Look at alternative websites, have conversations with people who aren’t in your bubble. I personally speak to people in other countries often, asking what crap they are being fed by their mainstream media; asking what their gut is telling them; asking how they are doing and what they are sensing, and NONE of it is good.
And finally. For those of you who insist all I am is just a Conspiracy Theorist, partly you are correct. We have taken a hit these past few years, but generally I was told to always ‘trust my gut’ and I’ve the feeling that more and more of us are emerging now. I’m not here to tickle your ears with wonderous adventures at the moment, I am here to speak the truth, something that we as New Zealanders used to value.
NEW ZEALAND NATIONAL ANTHEM
1. God of Nations at Thy feet, In the bonds of love we meet, Hear our voices, we entreat, God defend our free land. Guard Pacific’s triple star From the shafts of strife and war, Make her praises heard afar, God defend New Zealand.
2. Men of every creed and race, Gather here before Thy face, Asking Thee to bless this place, God defend our free land. From dissension, envy, hate, And corruption guard our state, Make our country good and great, God defend New Zealand.
3. Peace, not war, shall be our boast, But, should foes assail our coast, Make us then a mighty host, God defend our free land. Lord of battles in Thy might, Put our enemies to flight, Let our cause be just and right, God defend New Zealand.
4. Let our love for Thee increase, May Thy blessings never cease, Give us plenty, give us peace, God defend our free land. From dishonour and from shame, Guard our country’s spotless name, Crown her with immortal fame, God defend New Zealand.
5. May our mountains ever be Freedom’s ramparts on the sea, Make us faithful unto Thee, God defend our free land. Guide her in the nations’ van, Preaching love and truth to man, Working out Thy glorious plan, God defend New Zealand.
It’s day three of this enforced lockdown, here in Snells Beach, New Zealand. The sun is on full display and it really is a beautiful day, beckoning the mixture of both cool and warm temperatures that are symbolic of Autumn.
What an incredibly strange time we have found ourselves in. Sure, I was warning people to be prepared, and yes I was marvelling at how people were just laughing in my face. But I didn’t expect THIS to happen quite so soon. What is THIS, you may ask? Being told that as a nation, the whole of New Zealand will be in enforced lockdown for four weeks.
My daughters and husband have their certification to prove that they are Essential Services. Much to my dismay, so was Sammy – as a paper deliverer. However, after alot of complaints and much abuse hurled our way, we have just been notified that we are no longer ‘essential’ – thank God for that!
I’m a homebody and I love being here. We are so incredibly fortunate that we have a majestic outlook over Kawau Bay and a big portion of Snells Beach. We have the good fortune (or at least I do as I’m ususally the first one up!) of seeing God paint such wonders and beauty across the sky each morning. But the thought that I can’t drive up and over the one entry/exit point from here, well that is taking a bit to get used too.
We have made the most of Zoom, WhatsApp and Marco Polo apps, and Sammy is doing online learning care of Google Classroom. The school holidays have been bought forward and now he is supposedly on a break; I’m still getting him to do a bit of work each day to catch up though 😉 I don’t usually get into all the techie stuff as that is normally Neil’s department, but I am so grateful that we can stay connected, worldwide.
I have been in touch with dear friends in the States, London and in Australia, and have been trying to maintain contact with family in Wales and well as home. I am particularly grateful for what I call our ‘Skywatch Family’ – friends we made on our last tour of Israel. They have been at the forefront of contact and have been keeping us up to date with the goings on in the America and the UK. I do believe some of them are in total lockdown now, as we are.
I guess there are some really amazing benefits and opportunities for all of this. I am not going to blast our government or lay blame anywhere, I am just going to accept this enforced lockdown as time with my family that is well needed. Time to set aside from all the busyness that crowds in and takes over, and time to reconnect on a more personal level. We’ve gotten the garden sorted, we’ve rearranged our office space and there is a HUGE cupboard that we are sorting through, gradually! The garage has had the car removed and Neil has set up another space in there for his work.
It all sounds ok, but I do wonder about our infrastructure? With so many businesses going online, and so many schools going online, will we be able to manage the overloading? I wonder about our already stretched healthcare system. We already had a problem with people not being seen on time, doctor and nurse shortages, and endless protests by healthcare professionals, looking for more pay. Do we really have what is necessary to weather this new healthcare storm? I don’t think so. But we must remain positive, and turn our worries into silent prayers of supplication to the one who knows it all – the end from the beginning.
So dear friends, whilst I sit here with a Unicorn headband on and laugh at my family wearing large green St Patricks Day hats, I trust that you have a great day and stay at home!