Lynley Smith has been a trained primary school teacher, ESOL teacher, journalist and author.
Lynley grew up in New Zealand, one of four children, developing a great love for the English language, as her father, a primary school principal demonstrated great affinity and ability in the field. At an early age, she came to understand there was more to life than just what we see around us – and started to seek the God that her Sunday School teachers and Bible in Schools teachers spoke of. She loved animals, babies and really any little helpless creatures.
Very adept at sport, she went on in her teen years to achieve success in athletics and netball, her too favourite sports, but a knee injury changed the course of her life. She had to find new goals and a new identity. This led to about 10 years of searching and mostly failing to find what life was really about. She achieved a high level of academic success with a BA degree and other academic qualifications.
“I finally remembered, through the gentle prompting of my young children, that there was a God I had almost totally forgotten about. (“Out of the mouths of babes” is a very true expression.)”
Settled in Belgium
During this period, she was prepared to take on many challenges, one of which was to travel overseas on a one way ticket to Europe. She married and settled in Belgium where she had four beautiful daughters. Surely this was what life was about!
However things sometimes don’t work out as we would like them to. The family moved from Belgium and finally back to New Zealand, where she devoted herself to bringing up her four daughters, setting up a free community gymnastics facility in the local school, teaching Bible in Schools, taking over a Girl Guide Brownie Pack as ‘Brown Owl’ and teaching children who had Specific Learning Disabilities (SPELD) She became one of two regional directors of SPELD Auckland, responsible for training new tutors.
Another change in course as a result of moving to another city, and she trained in journalism – a new career. She held editor’s roles in several community newspapers during this period.
Then the call to move on again. This time a dramatic change, as she felt directed to write her first novel. Travelling around the world to research the book, From Matron to Martyr, led her into many adventures worthy of another book!
As an interesting interlude, Lynley took 2.5 years off from writing to teach English in Mainland China, an experience that greatly increased her appreciation of other cultures and her faith in the God who faithfully leads us through the adventures of life.
Lynley then concentrated on her writing and speaking career, doing presentations internationally in schools, libraries and to churches and Jewish groups about her book and the issues of anti-Semitism and discrimination. She enjoyed seeing the “fruits of her labour” – 13 small grandchildren growing fast daily which reminded her that we must never forget how to look at the world through the faithful and uncomplicated eyes of a child, because there we will find a special wisdom that can only come from God.