A day at a time

By Jacinta and Grant Gelderbloem

Eleven years ago Grant and Jacinta Gelderbloem met in Darwin, NT. They later married and became the proud parents of three beautiful children - Beth, Lucy and Jimmy. Jacinta coordinates a warm home for family and friends. Grant works with the Department of Defence as a aircraft type technician at the RAAF base in Williamtown, NSW.  Jacinta was raised in Darwin, NT, and Grant, born in South Africa, was raised in Melbourne, VIC. They and their children are parishioners of Holy Trinity Parish, Blackbutt North, New South Wales.

Our relationship with Christ is very important to both of us. But while that is so, there are times we don't always know why we go to Mass - even though we never miss a week. We have been blessed in knowing many couples with young families in our parish of Holy Trinity. These are people we see often and with whom we socialize on a regular basis. This is important to us as neither of us has extended family living close by. Even then we sometimes find it difficult raising a family, managing work and social life, and attending to many other commitments.

Aren’t relationships at the centre of our being?

Jacinta says of Easter: I think it is beautiful that the majority of the Christian world will today actually celebrate Easter! Admittedly, for some people it might be more about Easter eggs, chocolate, and the Easter Bunny than about Jesus' Resurrection. But the fact that people want to share this precious time in the Christian year with family, and with others whom they love, is just marvelous. When they are doing that they are nurturing their relationships. After all, aren't relationships at the center of our being and what Christ ultimately lived and died for?

Grant puts it this way: For me Christ’s life, death and resurrection mainly point to "hope". I   hope that, as we follow Christ's teachings in our lives, we may also share his peace and happiness. I hope too that my family and I, in sharing Christ’s resurrection, will live deeply in this life and forever in the next. As for what Easter might mean for the rest of the world?  Who knows...? I am still exploring what it means in my own world. I suspect the meaning of Easter will become more obvious to me as I journey through life.  Let’s just hope …
 
We spoke earlier about going to Mass. Though it sometimes means dragging the kids along kicking and screaming, we believe that by committing ourselves to our faith, and our faith community, we are honoring God and one another. That too is why we allot time to family prayer. These are among the many life-long commitments that we want to share with our kids, and in doing so teach them the importance of commitment. This was something our parents passed onto us, and we remain grateful for it.

By spending time in family prayer, we remember God’s love

We also love the at-home feeling that we experience when we enter a church, because it has always been a part of our lives as far back as we can remember. That feeling of belonging, the familiarity of the Mass, its predictable routine in our lives – all of these are special too. It is true, as we mentioned earlier, Mass may not be the most prayerful or relaxing time when the kids are running amok. But the reality is, neither is it relaxing when we go to the supermarket with the children - especially if one of us takes them on our own!

Through Christ's resurrection we share in Christ's love. By spending time in family prayer, we remember that love. At prayer together we feel Christ has given our children and ourselves the invaluable opportunity to ask for his help in whatever we are going through.

Our hope is a day at a time

When we do things together it reminds us that we are never alone, never helpless in this fast-moving, ever-changing, and sometimes crazy world in which we live. The strange thing is that it remains a totally beautiful world too!  So, our hope is a day at a time
Here are some of our children's prayers. We think they beautifully illustrate what we have been sharing with you:

  • “Please, Jesus, help me find my shoes”
  •  “Jesus, please bring daddy home safely from work”
  •  “Jesus, help the rainbow lorikeet get better”  (an injured native bird we found)
  •  “ Thank you, Jesus, for this food, but next time....... can it be spaghetti and meatballs”
This dance calls out …
It calls out
                                                                                  - Bill T. Jones