“Sailing to Paradise: Sin, Disease, and Natural Disaster” on CaPC

Fifteen years ago, my husband, Todd, and I sailed across the Pacific Ocean from Mexico to New Zealand.

Arrival in New Zealand, Breem Head
Arrival in New Zealand, Breem Head

About a month ago, Christ and Pop Culture (CaPC), in their online members’ magazine, published my article detailing some of our Pacific adventures. What we began as a sight-seeing trip, God turned into a spiritual journey.

“Ellen, come look at this,” my husband, Todd, requested.

We were five days sailing into our first ocean passage from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia in 2000. We expected the 2,800-mile journey to take close to four weeks and possibly a full month of blue water sailing. I sleepily uncurled from the off-watch bunk of our Cal 34 sailboat, Mandolin. Todd presented me with a weather fax he had downloaded via our HAM radio to our laptop. It showed that a Tropical Depression had developed to the southeast in the Gulf of Tehuantepec, the birthplace of Pacific Ocean hurricanes. This weather system had the potential to kill us. It was heading our way.

I had wanted to write an overview of our experiences for some time and I thank CaPC for being the catalyst for me to finally write it down. Today, CaPC published the article on their website.

I think I might start a #RomanceOnTheHighSeas Twitter campaign. Some choice quotes:  Continue reading “Sailing to Paradise: Sin, Disease, and Natural Disaster” on CaPC

Review: #SmallTalk, by Amy Julia Becker

[Expert from my review published in the Featured Articles at BreakPoint.org.]

Vehicles of Grace

As a parent of two children, I often Small Talkwondered during the days of nurturing infants, toddlers, and young children what was being accomplished in my own life. It is hard to fathom that one is learning anything while wrestling, yet again, a kicking, screaming, angry baby in order to change his or her poopy diaper. Yet during one of these wrestling matches, I had an epiphany. “I do this to you, Father, don’t I? I kick and scream and am angry at you while you are simply cleaning me up.”

I remembered those days while reading Amy Julia Becker’s new book, Small Talk: Learning from My Children about What Matters Most. The book caused me to remember how good things can emerge from the hard but ordinary everyday moments.

Amy Julia Becker is perhaps best known for her articles about family life and Down syndrome at Christianity Today, the New York Times, and other outlets. In “Small Talk,” she invites readers even further into her life as a parent. Rather than a how-to or an advice book, Becker has penned a memoir to encourage and support others traveling the same path. She conveys great truths with brevity and poignancy. Using words that are seemingly simple, Becker crafts a narrative that is simply elegant.

Read the rest of the review at BreakPoint. org.