Biker Babe and a Mighty God

Sometimes I get scared.

I’ve always wanted to get a motorcycle. I had one at 18 and loved it. Granted I starved it of oil and blew up the engine within two months, but oh wow, while I had it – I was a very cool biker babe.

I’d still like to be a biker babe, but these days I get scared. What if someone cuts in front of me? What if I slide out of control?

Maybe I should buy a station wagon instead…

I get scared for my girl. The dangers at 19 are greater than the ones when she was 2… burning her little finger on a hot stove or bumping her head on a table don’t hold a candle to what’s out there in a city at night or what can happen in today’s dating relationships.

This whole launching thing gets my tummy in knots sometimes.

I get worried when my man climbs big mountains – like today he’s climbing one that requires a helmet for all the stray rocks that come flying down. “Oh really?” I said, gulping down my nag, “Rocks fly down just like that, huh? How fun!”

Oh God, please keep him safe.

Sometimes I’m afraid of going after a goal. Like this whole triathlon dream I have. I don’t like the idea of being the last chick in the pack, huffing and puffing as people look on. “Look at that lady,” I imagine they’ll whisper, “I think she took a wrong turn on her way to the ice cream shop. Doesn’t she know we’re in a race here?”

I didn’t used to be scared about stuff. I didn’t care about what other people thought. I didn’t care about danger. I had my motorcycle, I dove off cliffs, bunji-jumped, went skydiving and tried new things just for the fun of it.

I was all that and a bag of barbecue pork rinds.

But then life came. I lost people I loved in sudden tragedies. I totaled my car. I embarrassed myself trying something new. Suddenly the world didn’t seem as kind or friendly or accepting of wild risk-takers like me.

So today I’m tempted to temper my life – to keep danger at bay.

I could take up knitting.

I could force my girl into a convent and give her a tricycle to ride.

I could give my hubby a honey-do list so long that he won’t have time to don his rock helmet to go out in the wild.

But in the end, what would that say about my God?

Yes, sometimes people laugh at you.

Yes, things get messy.

Yes, motorcycles crash and bad stuff happens.

But if I shrink back, something even worse will happen – I’ll turn into a wimpy old woman.  Even more tragic, I’ll turn into a wimpy old woman with no life, no stories to tell, no adventures to share. I’ll miss the chance to tell people how God is God even when tragedy strikes, even when things don’t go right, even when you’re the last chick in the pack huffing and puffing away.

This world is tough, but our God is tougher.

The world is risky, but our God doesn’t shy away from risk.

He proved that one on the cross.

So I will not shrink back. I will not be a wimpy old woman. I will buy that Harley Davidson one day. I will be the wild godly chick with a red leather jacket riding down the road on a purple Harley Davidson. I will encourage my daughter to pursue every last crazy dream and I will cheer my hubby on to climb dangerous mountains.

I will not shrink back because my God parted a sea, healed broken people and raised my Jesus from the dead.

Which means He’ll take care of me.

And He’ll take care of you, my friends.

No matter what comes.

So we might as well live…









Just call me “Paddler”

I need to dream big.

Really big.

My husband is off to climb a mountain this weekend. Its one of the tougher climbs and he’s been training like a madman. Jogging seven miles at high altitude, working out at our gym, gearing up for the big day.

I need a big day of my own, a goal to shoot for, a prize to pursue. Jagged mountain peaks are more for my man. I need something different to stir my soul.

So I’ve been doing some research. A triathlon sounds like a blast. I love to swim, love to bike and could tolerate the jogging. I could be one of those over-40 super-woman feel-good stories you sometimes hear about on the news. “Can you believe it? Elsa started out as a slightly frumpy desk chick and burst on to the triathlon scene with astounding strength and an uncanny knack for the doggy paddle! She’s amazing!”

They’d nickname me “The Colorado Paddler.”

I imagine myself, standing on the platform and ducking down to receive my gold medal, the applause ringing in my ears.

But then I did some more research and most triathlons are really long and unreasonably difficult. Crazy thing? They don’t even let you take breaks between legs. No latte before the swim, no nap before the biking.

That doesn’t seem very healthy at all.

So I tried to see if there is some kind of duo-athlon or even a pick-ur-own-athlon I could participate in. You know, where I could set my own pace, do my own thing. Swim if I want, jog if I feel like it or swing dance if I’m feeling really feisty.


So I guess I’m back to the triathlon, cruel as it seems to be. I’ll try and keep you updated as I torture myself into this new pursuit. And if you have a big thing you’re shooting for, let me know. Let’s be in it together.

All right, here we go. I’m off for my first jog…

(Or maybe tomorrow, after my morning non-fat caramel latte.)


God’s Graffiti

I used to be a graffiti artist.

It’s true.

I’m praying that the statute of limitations on high school bathroom infractions has long past, but even if it hasn’t, I’m confessing it here and now.

It was me.

I was the one who wrote “Lori loves Billy.”  “June-Bug was here,” and “Down with physics.”

It was my first business. I charged $5.00 to each willing criminal, and then wrote their name, love interest and any other pertinent information on the bathroom wall.

I thought it was quite the creative idea for a high school kid.

But after the last two days, my whole take on creativity has expanded.

I was at a leadership conference called “Global Leadership Summit.” While I was there, I was exposed to God’s creativity displayed in people of every type.

I listened to Mama Maggie, who about sprouted wings on the stage as she humbly shared about her love for the children of Cairo. She spoke in a quiet voice but her words were bright and bold and beautiful in the heart of every audience member.

Then there was Steven Furtick, a young, passionate lover of God wearing skinny jeans and a lopsided smile. He was insatiable, contagious, totally delighted in our God. He spoke of God’s power and ability to do anything and everything. His passion geared us all up to run right out the door and change the world.

Erwin McManus is a California dude. Brilliant and passionate, he challenged us to remember the beauty of story, the uniqueness of each human life and the power of creativity.

There were lots more—loud and quiet; organized and scattered; funny and serious.

God’s graffiti—written for a far larger venue than what my high school bathroom had to offer. Each human word written with a brilliant stroke of genius. Some written in script, some with box letters and dancing lines, some in lowercase, others in all caps.

Each one an outpouring of God’s creativity.

I LOVED it… it made me square my shoulders and dimple out my smile and remember that I may not look like everyone else or think like anyone else or act like that person over there, but God made me Elsa. And I will revel in the way he has written me.

And you, my friends, just have to be you—the living word God created—unique, vibrant, beautiful you. We need you to keep things alive and interesting and good.

Lord, help us to live that today!

And Lord, sorry about the whole high school thing. That was really naughty.