Well, here we are still in some kind of lockdown – in my case, Level three. I think it’s day 63, but don’t quote me!!
We’ve been keeping in touch with Dad via phone and Skype. He is so delightful!! He’s been wearing a cap that isn’t his, but he’s just so darn proud of it 🤣😄 Funny thinking my Dad goes ‘shopping’ in his own ward!
We sing Frank Sinatra songs, I reintroduce him to my husband and children, and he tells me what he’s currently eating. When I tell him he is my father and I am his daughter, that means nothing to him. He smiles. It’s ok, we’re used to that. He thought being a Poppa was a hoot – albeit he has no frame of reference for that either…
Having spoken with his doctor, I was surprised to hear that Dad has been the happiest he’s been in years. He’s joining in with activities, he’s put on weight, and he’s just had his vaccination. A far cry from the man who was rushed to hospital just three months ago. It’s all a bit odd really 🤔
In navigating the highs and lows of yet another lockdown, I for one am so darn thankful that Dad is safe and healthy – and I look forward to my next Skype with him.
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 had the most intensive, remarkable, gorgeous, stunningly beautiful weeks, here in this new office space. I knew I was about to enter a new season, and I knew I needed to be surrounded by a lighter atmosphere that would help inspire a deeper sense of creativity, but I never envisioned THIS.
“What is THIS,” I hear you asking? Quietly and ever so shyly, I can only say, “Him.“
The One. Yeshua. Lover of my soul. Keeper of my heart. Him. Divine truth. Divine creativity. Playfulness. Beauty. All that is Good. All that is Holy. Abba Father. Holy Spirit – Ruach HaKodesh. Him. The I AM. Him.
The One my soul has longed for and not experienced, in the longest of times. And yet, He chose this time to meet me and adorn me in His loving Grace. Yes, Him…..
Those of you who knew me pre 2011, would have remember how different life was back then, for me. You would remember someone who lived in two very different worlds, and who had two very different lives.
One world was where I existed with Yeshua. In divine intimacy. A student of love, of the Word, of mysteries and wonder. Someone whom had been romanced, courted and taken into a world that was so extravagant and other-wordly; one can’t describe in terms magnificent enough, all that Yeshua shared with me.
The other world, was this one. Tough, mean and brutal. Always struggling to make ends meet. Failing dismally at being the woman of God I thought I was supposed to be. Pressure; never ending cycles of poverty, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Alongside uprooting me from the place I thought I would be forever, and away from my spiritual parents and home church; this world was hard. Living up here in Snells Beach (in the beginning) was like mourning every day. The wonder, the exuberance, the love of life and the peace I encountered, were all gone. It was just me and my three kids. Until. Until a man came along and swept me into a world of dreams that were foreign to me. It was all so wonderful, but where was Yeshua now?
My deepest desires had come true. My hearts cry and been heard by my Abba, and here was the man I was destined to be with – although our path has been fraught with trials and tribulations that many wouldn’t cope with, we found our way, together and with the Lord.
I sit here now, elated and yet wounded. Deep sobs have wracked my body for weeks now. A repentance that is so soul shattering, and yet in the shards and fractals of light, I am experiencing Yeshua again, outside of time and space, and in the arms of an ever loving Abba.
How did I get it all so wrong? How did I go from the deepest of intimacy, from hours spent in His word, to dealing with mental illness, dementia, autism, dyspraxia, anxiety, marriage, separation, illness, fatigue and simple exhaustion?
Where was HE in all of this?
That’s the joy in this great tale – HE was always here, beckoning me, calling me. Giving me dreams in the deep of night, giving me hope in the early morning shards of light that would fall upon my face. He was here speaking through His word still, calling me through creation. The kereru that would fly over and sit upon the palm tree, so I could watch in wonder. The miracle of seeing a butterfly EVERY DAY for two years. The tui that come to our tree, and sing with their two voice boxes. The love of three beautiful children who have filled this house with untold hours of joy, raucous laughter, magic and delight. The husband who delights in me, who speaks so much love into my soul, who cares for me so tenderly. Yes, I am blessed and I know He has been speaking.
But until recently, it had been through others, and not face to face like it used to be.
And now? Now when I sit in my yellow chair, His presence comes and I am undone with wonder. I joy in Him. I delight in Him. I minister to Him, as I was created to do, and I worship Him in spirit and in truth. I meet with Abba and ask Him what very few do, “How is YOUR heart Abba? How can I minister to you today?”
“Take me past the outer courts Into the Holy place Past the brazen altar Lord I want to see your face Pass me by the crowds of people The priests who sing your praise I hunger and thirst for your righteousness And it’s only found one place
Take me in to the Holy of Holies Take me in by the blood of the Lamb Take me in to the Holy of Holies Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am.”
I know a tiny snippet of where this journey is taking me, however I also realise that it is different to times in the past. Imprinted on my heart and mind are the magnificent verses from Isaiah, that I am now starting to live. Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it spring up; do you not perceive it?”
He is SO good. So very, very good.
Him. My everlasting love. Ishi. My beloved kinsmen redeemer. Him.
I was just sitting in the back of the car while Neil drove, Dad sat in the front, singing his heart out to Frank Sinatra. I was remembering. Times spent with Dad, in the home and the trips that we frequently take him on.
One such time, we went to Waiwera, and found ourselves in an area that was not too familiar with me. It was along a single road, on the beachfront, but in an area that was quite private. We parked the car, and I helped Dad out. It was a lovely sunny day, so we ventured onto the beach, however, Dad seemed a bit unstable, so I held his hand to steady him.
It was odd. I hadn’t held Dad’s hand like that, since I was sixteen years old. One remembers these things. The moments when subtle little changes become the norm, and holding hands with your father was no longer the ‘done’ thing.
But on this particular day, he needed me. And I was there. I guess the little girl in me, needed him in that moment too. It didn’t last long, but it was just us, just a special moment in our collective history, that will always remain with me.
Walking through the home, alongside Neil, I held Dad’s hand again today. He was a little nervous, as we had to walk a different way than usual, but he gripped my hand as I led him through the maze of hallways.
He can’t think of much to say at the moment, but he does remark time and again, how much he enjoys Neil and I! It’s lovely. His shock of hair standing on end, his teeth seemed to have moved and he’s developed a lisp now. His hands, like my Nana’s, are bony and slender. His appetite seems to have returned, which is a big relief!
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
This place has fascinated me for years. It’s something of a mystery that was still covered up in the 1920’s with only a few excavations done around then and in the 1930’s. It is currently in the Arab village of Beisan, at the junction of the Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley.
In the Biblical account of the battle of the Israelites against the Philistines in 1 Samuel 31:8-12, the bodies of King Saul and three of his sons were hung on the walls of Beit She’an. In the Roman times this was the leading city of the Decapolis, a league of pagan cities.*
It remained buried for so many centuries, and yet when you see the vastness of it, you are quite shocked! Those Roman columns are extraordinarily tall, and it blows my mind to think that only a few stuck out of the ground, and yet the Arab nomads just farmed their herds here, with no digging or wanting to know what these things were sticking out of the ground! My archaeological mind would have going into overdrive 🙂
When you first enter the Regional Park of Beit She’an, you’re first shown a very large model of how it would have been set out.
If you are lucky enough to have the place to yourself, as we were, then you can all spread out and go where you like. Interestingly, it was the only time that it rained for us: we didn’t mind, even though it was October, it was still mighty warm! After allowing us to take off, our tour guide Hilik, reigned us all back in and started to guide us through this ginormous complex. The vanity sets, the large red columns which seemed almost white until the rain bought out their beauty, the rooms where there would have been steam like saunas, even alcoves carved out so you could go and do your business! This is such a phenominal place.
There also is a very large Roman ampitheatre on which I did burst out in song at the behest of my girlfriend! I just didn’t get good enough shots of the entirety of the theatre, but there are plenty online.
My advice is to not rush through here. The beautiful craftmanship is still abundant here, the detail, the tiles and mosiacs. There is plenty to wonder at here, and I cannot wait to go back and show my children!
Can you believe it’s been nearly a year since we were all in Israel 🇮🇱?
When we arrived in Israel last year, I was so unprepared for the massive amount of blessings that would unfold and be bestowed upon us. From being greeted by Avi and Rachel Lipkin at the airport and chatting with them, to being introduced as the ‘Crazy Kiwis’ on the bus by the Gilberts. Meeting Zev Porat and hearing his unique teaching on what he thinks is the ‘real’ place of the Cross. Sitting and having a meal with Carl Gallups just prior to leaving and being able to share that it was watching him and the Skywatch folk on the Jim Bakker Show that lead to our return. Being able to meet Jim Barfield briefly of the Copper Scroll. And of course having a few moments here and there with Derek and Sharon, being able to share some good stories with them. Yes we are blessed indeed.
However, it was the attendees that really blew our minds 😉🙃! People that we formed bonds with and have stayed in touch with for nigh on a year. People, seemingly just like us, who wanted to see this extraordinary land, meet like minded people and experience for themselves, the wonder that is the Holy Land.
Many of you may know that I was deeply impacted by the Dead Sea Region, for more reasons than one. I often spoke about how Masada, Qumran and being at the Dead Sea, I felt so incredibly different. I had thought that it was because of learning that we descend from the tribe of Benjamin, of which some of these areas are a part of, but there was something else. I had felt so full of vitality, so full of joy and verve and I couldn’t really understand why? Upon reading about the Dead Sea, we have since found out that there is a very specific reason. Given the higher atmospheric pressure and being at the lowest point of the earth, it turns out you’re getting more oxygen and therefore are feeling alot better, your brain functions at a higher capacity and exercise is easier! Who knew 🙂
Neil and I have been reading alot lately on the Jewish roots of our faith, and have even joined 250,000 other people worldwide with Rabbi Jonathan Cahn doing our first Passover Seder. It was a wonderfully rich experience, learning what each utensil, cup, bowl of food and piece of bread meant. The symbolism and understanding point to our Messiah, Yeshua. Unbelievable to think that all those years ago Abba Father instigated all of this!
In conclusion, I will be starting some new blogs about our time in Israel prior to the Skywatch Tour 2019, as there are some amazing sites that we have been to that the Skywatch people missed out on.
So come with me, and take this journey back in time and back to the land that is so Beloved by so many!