Growing up in a family that valued education, people often said to me, “Holly, of course you’re going to be a teacher.” As a young girl, I imagined myself as ‘Anne of Green Gables’ teaching a room full of keen children eager to learn. I acted on this vision by molding my younger sister into my pupil!
After attending a Christian college and marrying Glenn, my college sweetheart, we settled down in the foothills of the Rockies in 2001. We engaged fully in our life-giving local church; Glenn was one of the the worship leaders, I held various positions, from working in the Human Resources office, to serving in our college ministry. After completing a Master’s in counseling and briefly putting it to use in ministry, I settled into the new role of ‘mom’ in 2005 when our first child, Sophia, arrived. Then followed three precious ones: Norah (2006), Jonas (2009), and Jane (2012).
Motherhood is joyous and stretching, but mostly it has caused me to lean into the Lord like never before. I never imagined that my days of being ‘Anne’ in the classroom would play out in my own home as I educate our children at home. I am overjoyed at the opportunity to spend time each day reading and learning with my children. I could do without the math drills, however! I tend to be more of a dreamer and often want to stop and smell the roses rather than stay on schedule. But being at home allows us the flexibility to do just that.
I enjoy drinking countless cups of coffee, eating dark chocolate, reading til the wee hours of the morning (which I probably should not do knowing my kids will wake soon after the rising sun), taking long walks through my neighborhood in the foothills, and merrily observing our outdoor pets that don’t require feeding (deer, squirrels, coyotes and an occasional bobcat or bear.) They all have names (given by our children) and visit most days. It’s our magical land of Narnia.
I appreciate various forms of music or art when the occasion or time allows. The Kings College Choir can often be heard in the background of our home. Or Matt Carney, Vivaldi, or Lecrae. I love it all. I savor eating the healthy delicious meals my mother-in-law regularly plans and prepares. It’s like fine dining and yes, we are spoiled by her. Someday I may prioritize cooking but as my family knows, I tend to think of most things before food. I love eating healthy, I just don’t want to labor at it.
I welcome an invigorating conversation and have become a much better logician and debater as result of knowing Glenn Packiam for almost half my life now. I love collecting books, so does Glenn; this may be a problem if all our children follow suit. But as Norah says, Mom you are addicted to the library. I guess that’s an acceptable addiction. And I may have to add Amazon to that confession as well since our own bookshelves are overflowing! (She’s my child with heightened senses and also often comments that I smell like sweat and coffee. I’m choosing to recognize this as a compliment as well.)
I’m grateful for thoughtful, engaging, and encouraging friends. And for a husband and children who are never allowed to tire of the question game or an invigorating discussion. I’m driven to read and think deeply, learn new things, teach and speak to children and adults, and engage in our dear church community. New Life Downtown is a congregation of New Life Church, here in the lovely Colorado Springs. My husband serves as the pastor of that congregation, a non-denominational church with ancient liturgical elements…or as he likes to say, ‘Rooted in history, with room for mystery.’ (All very fitting for a guy who was a worship leader in a ‘modern worship’ rock band and is now an ordained Anglican priest on his way to earning his doctorate in theology!)
Above all, I’m learning to see myself as the Beloved child of the Lord. I am learning to live every day asking, “Lord, what would you have me see and do today?”
So…join me on this journey, as I aim to see goodness, truth, and beauty all around as I remain in Him.