Showing posts from September, 2011

Finding Peace

By Belinda It was during Sunday's worship practice that I turned to Frances, who had moved last Friday to the house of her dreams in the country, and said, "I don't know where you are any more!" She understood immediately what I meant; my sense of disconnection; not knowing where to place her in my thoughts. I had seen the photos of the house on Face Book, but it wasn't like seeing the house in context of its surroundings. "Come and see it after church," said Frances and included Susan in the invitation and on the spur of the moment we took her up on her invitation. Frances and Brian had moved from a home that they had made beautiful, in a subdivision in Alliston, but both of them longed for the country and wide open spaces. A next door neighbour with a penchant for noisy hot tub parties that went into the wee small hours added to the sense of urgency. When they found the house in Mansfield, 20 minutes from their home in Alliston they fell

You Can Never Tell

By Belinda I left for the worship practice on Sunday morning thinking to myself that I wouldn't  be an asset to the team at all. I had been in denial all week with a cold. "Take a decongestant," said Paul. "I swear by vitamin D," said Susan. And Terry said, "Cold fx," does it for me." I thanked them all politely but said that I expected my immune system to do its thing. I believed that it would through streaming nose and tickle in throat. It let me down a bit. I have to admit my expectations were not met! All this to say that by Sunday, my voice; never anything more than "nice" and not strong at its best; was squeaky. But I am nothing if not as steadfast as the Tin Soldier in the old fairy tale, so I went to the practice ready to bow out if not needed. Frances, who leads our team, was there already. I was amazed really because she had just moved house on Friday and had also been unwell with a kidney stone. Added to

Go to the Instrument

By Belinda We've been trying to get together since late August--Luisa and I; two busy friends, juggling appointments and schedules. We hadn't seen one another for some time and there was so much catching up to be done! After a false start or two, I planted a figurative flag on September 27. Nothing, I promised, would encroach on this day; it was sacred to this particular friendship! We arranged to meet  at 9.30 for breakfast at the  Cora’s  at Dufferin and Steeles and I began to look forward to it more and more as the day approached. I had not been to that particular Cora's before and so I printed off the directions. The travel time was supposed to be 40 minutes, so I planned to leave at 8.30, leaving time for a leisurely drive to the restaurant. I had the day off from work and felt so peaceful driving down towards the city with no agenda but God's for our time together. I didn't even turn on my car radio as I drove, or listen to my latest audio book f
By Belinda Having been to the beautiful, historic land of Israel this year, I felt I needed to share this article, posted by a friend to her Facebook page. There is so much unbalanced and biased reporting on Israel that I didn't want to miss an opportunity to share the truth. Scottish Professor Speaks Out Against Boycott of Israel 4931 Share Here’s an incredible letter written by a non-Jewish Scottish professor to his students who voted to boycott Israel. This is a MUST READ article that needs to be disseminated in every university.  If you have children or grandchildren in university please make sure they publish this important letter in the students’ rag or post it on the university bulletin board. A Scottish professor responds to campus boycott. The Edinburgh Student’s Association made a motion to boycott all things Israeli since they claim Israel is under an apartheid regime. Dr. Denis Maceoin (a non-Jew) is an expert in Middle Eastern affairs. Here is his l

Oceans of Emotion

By Belinda We rented   Soul Surfer  for 7 days and Paul and I watched it last night. So good on so many levels! When it ended I applauded. Couldn't help it! Brenda walked by the room and said, "You have Soul Surfer!?" She immediately planned a movie night tonight with the girls. The Blue Ray DVD wouldn't play on their machine so they came upstairs to watch it in our TV room and when I  finished having supper in the kitchen with Paul I made popcorn for all of us and sat between Brenda and Tippy on the couch to watch the rest of it with them. Based on the true story of 13 year old Bethany Hamilton, a young surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack; the movie is a true inspiration in terms of courage, character and values. I admit I shed some tears last night when I watched it for the first time. It touches the heart and is very moving, but sitting between Tippy and Brenda I felt as though I should have worn a rain coat. Both of them sniffled loudly through th

Rolling Around In My Head: What I Learned From Susan

Our friend Dave wrote a lovely post today about our mutual friend and sometimes writer here: Susan. I know you will enjoy it as much as I did. Rolling Around In My Head: What I Learned From Susan : Though people often refuse to believe me, and I've never understood why, I am a very nervous and uncomfortable public speaker. I know I do i...

The BBQ (or Molson Works the Crowd)

By Belinda I woke up on Friday morning to the drum of rain on the skylight. As I brushed my teeth and went through hurried preparations for my work day--hurried because the dark morning outside meant that I had wakened later than intended--I listened to the weather forecast. Two days of rain were forecast. Not good news. All day long it rained steadily. Our events committee at work had planned a Fall Family BBQ for Saturday and at the last count there were 70 people coming. We had no contingency plan. Rain or shine we were having a party--but it would be so much better if it shined. I wrote on Friday that I was praying that the weather forecast was wrong. On Saturday as soon as morning came I rolled out of bed, padded across the carpet to the window and peaked outside. No rain! I whispered a prayer of gratitude. As I prepared for the day I listened to the weather on CBC Radio for the second day. The forecast had improved to cloudy with sunny periods. Again I thanked the Lord fo

Friends, Finch Blocks and Happy Fridays

By Belinda On Wednesday morning my office phone rang. I excused myself from the person I was meeting with because I'd been playing a game of phone tag with some people I needed to catch. It wasn't either one of them. The breezy voice on the end of the line was Frances--my friend.  "Hello dear, are you busy?" she said, the question sounding oddly incongruous at that moment.  "Well, I'm meeting with someone right now--can I call you back later?" I asked.  "Oh, I'm so sorry," she said sounding annoyed at herself for calling, "I wrote a song, I just wanted to sing it to you." I promised to call back at lunchtime, but lunchtime ended up being 2.30 and when I called her Brian answered the phone and said she had just left to pick up a daughter from school. He promised to let her know I'd called. It was later, in the evening, when Paul and I were watching a movie that Frances called back. Paul paused the movie and I carrie

The Liver has Landed

By Belinda When I  visited Rob and Mum in July , I wanted to take a treat for my furry friend Bruce; the outwardly ferocious but inwardly sloppy Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I couldn't take the Chewmaster Chicken Strips  that Molson adores because they were too heavy, so I found a lighter Chewmaster option--Liver Bites. The whole bag only weighed 500gram--about 1 pound. When I first unpacked them and showed them to Rob, he looked very serious, virtuously pursing his lips and saying, "I don't know, Belinda, I don't want him putting on weight." And he set a limit of  four a day. I pointed out that they were only 8 calories each, but was very faithful in adhering to this instruction, even if each piece felt like a weightless piece of air as I carefully doled them out. Bruce loved them from the first wiff--and learned to catch them in mid air in his salivating alligator jaws. Rob, who loves Bruce to bits, was a pushover and forgot all about the four a da

All About Perspective

By Belinda The way we look at things is so powerful. And here is something I've been pondering lately as an attitude check. What if that difficult situation that just unfolded at the end of a work week supposed to be over already, was a question on an interview for the job I have? How would I answer the question? I do a lot of interviewing as part of my job, so I get to watch people rise to the challenge of questions all the time. I always admire quick thinkers because I am not one! The energy of some people amazes me, and the depth of character that sometimes shines out. I love it. It's normal for people to come primed and pumped. Occasionally though, I may meet someone again a few months down the road and the excitement and energy is not as high. The person seems to have lost their "zing;" petered out of passion. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to encounter a difficulty and say, "I can't do that!" or worse, "I won

Then and Now

By Belinda Rob and I have shared so much in our lives; the same womb (at different times) for starters; and then in four of the homes I lived in during my childhood, he was there. We had the same parents; large extended family, and a small but precious circle of family friends. His experience of it all though, was much harder than mine. Being a son, he bore the brunt of some of the dysfunction we lived with. He was hurt at  home, and at school too; where he was a target until he grew big and strong enough to be scary, pumping iron to put on muscle. And he lived on in our parents' home long after I left for a happier life; a home torn apart by unhappiness, and hurt fuelled by alcohol. Apart from so much in common, the reasons we turned out differently are not so hard to figure out, but we are bound together forever by a strong and deep bond of love. Today it's Saturday. I'm calling and he answers the phone. Soon we are joined on the other line by Mum and the three

Name that Flavour

By Belinda I love cooking  food and eating it. This pleasure is one of God's great gifts. I am grateful for the way he designed the tongue, with multiple taste buds:  amazing flavour receptors, all over, poised to identify salty sweet, sour, bitter and umami flavours. How cool that every morsel on it's way into the body has to pass over the tongue and that the trip can be so delicious! But lately I've been noticing something disconcerting in processed foods. I don't tend to eat many of them but I do have things like protein bars and instant oatmeal in the cupboard, to keep body and soul together on rushed days. It's interesting that they have flavour titles that are recognizable, but put on a blindfold and it would be hard to tell what they are supposed to be. Yesterday, instead of making a delicious pot of creamy Scott's Porage Oats or Cream of Wheat, I grabbed a package of instant oatmeal and although I often use the microwave, this time I boiled water

The Initiation

By Belinda I got home from work two nights ago to the appetizing smell of something delicious cooking downstairs. Tori popped up a few minutes later to borrow our Parmesan cheese. "Sure," I said, handing her my Costco sized square plastic bottle of fine cheese. Later on, Brenda returned the cheese. "Thank you for sharing your "post-best-before-date" Parmesan cheese with us," she said. "Oh, no, I didn't realize," I said, and checked, relieved to find that it was only one month past the date; a few more months to go yet! :) Kevin had asked, "It'll be all right, won't it?" And Brenda, who grew up with me feeding her, confidently assured him that it would be. :) He has survived initiation.

A Prayer

By Belinda This is a "poem prayer" that is still a heart aspiration. Although I don't live it out as constantly as I wish I did, I want to. I believe in generosity of spirit. If I am guilty, let it be Of loving much Of trusting much Believing more than "eye" can see. Let generosity my trademark be And if perchance the world should take from me The Lord will make the balance up--you'll see! Belinda August 18, 1985

In the Click of a Mouse

By Belinda It used to be "the blink of an eye," but now all it takes is the click of a mouse and you can find yourself wishing you had not been quite so speedy with your "trigger finger." Twice lately I've thought, "Now why did I just do that?!" When I recently had an article published in an on-line publication I was excited about it and wanted to link it to my Facebook page but instead of clicking the FB button, I accidentally clicked that I "Liked" it. How silly did I feel, having proclaimed for all the world to see that "Belinda Cater-Burston Liked" her own article. My friend Susan told me tonight that it is possible to "un-like" something. This might prove to be useful information for someone else out there! I wish I had known. It must be like "un-friending" someone on Facebook! But that was mild compared to what happened early this week when I received an invitation from someone to connect with them

The "Bond of Bond Head."

By Belinda I am dog sitting Molson this weekend, which means I am temporarily Mo-Mo's Mama, rather than his doting Grandmama. He seems to know when the transfer from Brenda to me is made and makes the switch effortlessly. I can't say it's from one Alpha dog to another. We are both too smitten for that and I defy anyone not to be by this golden teddy bear of a dog. I read somewhere--I think it may have been in Prevention Magazine, that gazing into the eyes of your dog, releases Oxytocin in the brain. I just had to look up what Oxytocin actually is; it is the  love hormone  !! This explains a lot! What's not to love? I mean, it's hard not to love a creature who is adoring of you. His eyes never leave me unless he is lying next to me and making physical contact. That means he knows where I am and it's safe to go to sleep. Otherwise he is on alert, head raised at my slightest movement, ready to go where I go. Rob calls it the "bond of Bond Head." H

Get Out the Kleenex

By Belinda Talking to Rob and Mum this morning and Rob said that The X Factor is really heating up in England. Went on You Tube and discovered Samantha Brookes . A star is born. Wow!

Rolling Around In My Head: The Gathering Place - remembering those with disab...

Rolling Around In My Head: The Gathering Place - remembering those with disab... : It's just outside my door. The gathering place. The place where those of us with disabilities are to go in a crisis. Should there be a fire,...

In the Soup

By Belinda Every day my brother has a date--with a feisty woman in a long blue robe. This summer while visiting Rob and Mum  in England I noticed that no matter what, every day, he vanished upstairs to his flat when Judge Judy was about to come on t.v.. While Mum's carers were helping her get ready for bed, I would run upstairs to Rob's flat to take his dog Bruce out for his last walk of the day, and Rob would be watching the show. I got into the routine of sitting down with him when I got back with Bruce--and watching the end of the program with her frequent rapid fire dressings down of hapless plaintiffs bringing flimsy complaints, and her ability to quickly sort out fact from fiction. One day this week, Paul handed me the channel changer and while flipping through, trying to find something to watch while we ate supper and there was Judge Judy. I couldn't resist. When the program ended, I said to Paul, "You know, she reminds me a lot of Irene," (one of


Paul and I went to the prescreening of the movie Courageous last week. Go to see it when it opens, the weekend of September 30th and support this movie! You will be inspired, blessed and challenged to examine priorities.

More on the Exchanged Life

By Belinda  On Sunday morning the worship team sang the Chris Tomlin song, I Will Rise . The lyrics of the first verse resonated more deeply than ever as I thought about what I tried to begin explaining last Wednesday. There's a peace I've come to know Though my heart and flesh may fail There's an anchor for my soul I can say "It is well" Jesus has overcome And the grave is overwhelmed The victory is won He is risen from the dead And I will rise...  "The grave  is overwhelmed"...oh, how I love those words! The graveyard of "the law;" the dry bones and dust of  "the will" apart from his will. I recently began using The Valley of Vision , a collection of Puritan prayers, as a guide to meditation and devotion. It was recommended by my friend and sister in the Lord, Ann Voskamp , and from the moment I first opened its pages I loved that small, black leather bound book. So much so that it has become one of my greatest treas