I was born French, in Germany. My father was an engineer and an army officer. One of my earliest childhood memories is of playing with American, British, and French kids. Interaction was limited since I was among the youngest and I couldn't understand what most of the other children were saying. I did not mind too much because I was very close to my parents and also because I was never bored, especially after my mother, who was very patient -a quality I unfortunately do not possess-- taught me to read on my own, shortly after I turned four.
My father having voiced his disapproval of General de Gaulle, who was then president of France, saw his military career come to an end, retiring with the rank of colonel, and took on a civilian job as an engineer, which forced our family to move to Paris. I soon discovered that I felt like a stranger in my own country. The fact that this was during the Vietnam War, that my family was fiercely pro-American, that we lived in a communist suburb of Paris, and that I truly accepted Christ did not help matters! Well before I met my husband, I remember telling my mother, when I was thirteen, that I could not imagine myself spending the rest of my life in France; I would have to emigrate to an English-speaking country, where one could express conservative views and one's Christian faith without having to face bullying by students or teachers.
When my father retired, we moved to an old farm house at the edge of a forest, in Charente, southwest of France. This is a region with a rich Huguenot (French Protestant) past, going back all the way to the birth of Protestantism in France, in the 16th century. This strengthened my Evangelical faith all the more. For the first time, I enjoyed school as high school opened new doors of knowledge for me and I was blessed to have several extraordinary professors. It was at that time that I began to pray for a husband, because, even though I had friends, the young men I met fell quite short of my high standards for a soul mate. I went to the university to major in Literature, which I did, hoping I would find more motivating professors. Instead, most of the ones I had reminded me of the waning aristocracy of pre-Revolutionary France: they looked down their noses at students, as to lowly, uneducated peasants. The more arcane the topic taught (I tried Ancient Greek), the more disdainful the instructor, despite the modest number of students! Campus life was very "cliquey" and strongly polarized by left-wing politics. Not my cup of tea, so I spent most of my free time studying at the library and drove home, two hours away, every weekend.
While literature was my passion, I also loved history and selected all my electives in that field... and this is how I met Preston, my amazing husband, who was an American history student spending a year at the same university. The course we shared was rather unimpressive, but we always look back at it with fond memories! We were married less than two years later and moved to California, where our loving American family lived. It was not long before America felt like home, much more than France ever had. However, Preston and I felt called to serve as missionaries in France. In the little church where we had been married, we were put in charge of the youth group and were blessed to see it grow. After five years, we knew it was time to return home, but this time, not to heavily-populated California with its fast-paced life and its astronomical prices on everything. Instead we decided to take care of the Nebraska family farm, perched upon gentle hills in the quiet and friendly southeast corner of the state. We never regretted that decision. It was ideal to establish our little family (four children) on solid spiritual grounds, but also to open new venues of action through farming, teaching, and writing. Occasionally we travel to France, where our second son and his family are missionaries, and Great Britain.
Although we started writing when our children were growing up and in large part for them, it was not until later that we really became passionate in sharing our writing outside our family. We are infinitely grateful for God's blessings, for a close-knit family which now includes lovely daughters- and son-in-law and a lively passel of grandchildren, for good friends, and a life seasoned with love, laughter, and purpose. Being somewhat removed from the whims and emotionality of the big city, we can, with the Lord's guidance, hope to grow in wisdom and grace and, when God calls us Home, to bequeath our children and grandchildren an inspiring and joyful legacy.