This Journey

Thoughts, rants, prayers, sermons I'll never give and other stuff gathered as I make my way through this life.


A paradox wrapped in an enigma playing the accordion. I’m a sinner-saint, child of God working at the cross-roads of church and world. A Deaconess called to connect people living near the center with people on the edge and to help your life sing (literally and figuratively) while doing it. People don’t always get the deaconess part. Could be the swearing, the corporate job, or the wine.

I started this blog in November 2004, a few days after the election. I needed a place to vent because the other thing that had happened that autumn was that I separated from my husband of 20 years. I was finishing seminary at the time and was feeling isolated and not just a little crazy. Through those early years (2004-2009/10) I found the blogging community to be one where I made some real connections.

The entries of this blog chronicle my journey through that dark time, into the surreal experience of dating, finding myself married – again! and onward into whatever is next. The good times continue to roll around here. At the end of 2013 I decided I wanted to use this blog to document a crazy idea I had to join a delegation of Lutheran World Federation to Nepal. I’ve made a bunch of the posts private – not because I have anything worth hiding but just because it doesn’t relate to the new focus. I have no illusion that the content can’t be found. I just thought I’d mention it.

I am a wife again. A mom of 2 boys: Darling Son #1 a college GRADUATE and Darling Son #2 a college junior, a step-mom of two other boys 10 years older than mine, two daughters-in-law and a grandmother – twice! (courtesy of the step sons). Our combined household is ruled benevolently by Libby the Wonder Poodle.

I have had (at least) two jobs my entire adult life trying to find a balance between providing for my family and following my call. In December 2011 I quit my corporate job and struck out on my own. Sort of. 2013 found me juggling a part-time call as music director for a small church in Minneapolis with consulting and contracting at more than FT. This bifurcated life is something that I have been trying to eliminate for some time now because it is damaging my health. So, at the end of 2013 I left the part-time call and entered yet another liminal “on leave from call” period. It’s never boring around here.

I was consecrated as a Deaconess in March 2011 after serving as a church musician since 1986. Some people are slow on the uptake.

All this means I’m usually FT crazy, too.

I’m trying to learn a lot of things. One is patience. And the other is that it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. So sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery!

About my Nom de Plume

Some have asked why I write under the name “Not Fainthearted.” Like all nom de plumes there is some meaning behind the one you choose. After all, you may not get to choose the name the world calls you, but the name you choose to write under can say something about who you are, or who you wish you were.

I started writing this blog when I was in the beginning stages of my divorce. I was a mess most of the time and in conversations with friends (and my therapist) realized that to get through it, I needed to have courage. To not be faint-hearted. Not be a chicken-shit. Put on your big girl panties and do what needs to be done.

Not Fainthearted is a more poetic version of all that. One I thought was pretty rare, but like all things you think are rare, you start seeing it more often as soon as you focus on it. (Try being pregnant. Everywhere you look there will be pregnant people. Or just after a bad break-up it seems the whole world is coupled.)

I like this poem especially because it puts a bit of a spiritual or theological spin on the phrase; which if you’ve spent more than three minutes reading here, you’ll realize that that is an important part of how I make my way in the world. It’s certainly not the only poem that recommends courage as a way to be on our life journeys. Maybe I’ll collect some of the others here too.

German Sayings on Life and Death
Loenhard Lechner (c. 1553-1606)

All things on earth
struggle constantly
with the perils of the Fall,
Back and forth they waiver.

Sun, moon, stars
endure too the elements
and the seasons’

We men and women on our journey
are but poor waifs,
uncertain with cares
of where tomorrow will lead us.

Of good cheer, vigour and might,
of good health, beauty and splendour:
tomorrow consumed,
dead and deceased.

In God’s hands
come all things to their end:
let us yet be patient
and wait with our sins.

Think verily,
ever to prepare thyself
for the treacherous world,
in which nothing is constant.

When Fortune smiles upon thee
and triumph approaches,
build not thy hopes theron
nor place upon her too much trust.

When the sufferings
of misfortune overcome thee,
be not faint-hearted,
ill-humoured, nor unkind.

That which now
hinders our path
can vanish
in the next moment.

Since this vessel of the world
goes forth so unsteadily,
so let us then think
how best a course to steer.

We would turn
towards the Lord our God,
and let ourselves be guided in all
things by God’s will.

Fear and love God
constantly carry out God’s word,
God will have pity
on us poor mortals.

God’s mercy and goodness
will protect us,
comfort and deliver us
from our sins.

God’s hand will save us
from all perils:
we live and die,
thwart not God’s will.

After this suffering
God shall surely grant us
eternal happiness.
Then shall we be blessed.

Comment Moderation “policy”

Sometimes I have moderation on, sometimes I have it off. Sometimes something that makes no sense gets through the spam filter. If I think it’s spam I’ll flag it. If I’m not sure, I’ll delete it. Generally, I like the tone of the discussion to be civilized and respectful, so if you don’t see your comment, consider I may feel it was a flame. You have the right to your opinion and the right to have it published in cyber space. Put it on your own blog and link back to me if it bugs you so much.

Frankly, I always wondered why some people bothered to write “comment policies” at all, since it seems pretty commonsense to me. But after some of the freaky and down-right threatening comments I’ve gotten I now understand.

Breathe. Think.



  1. Hi Gale,
    Nice of you to stop by. Yes, sadly, I have had some very “not nice” comments recently. Mostly about a post I wrote about Edith Isabel Rodriguez. Now that you have one approved, feel free to comment any time. ;-)

  2. How nice of you to drop in on my blog. Not too long ago I dropped in on your fair city of Minneapolis and loved it. Have people really left threatening comments on your blog? I never had that happen, and I don’t use comment moderation. I’ve only had one nasty commenter and it was left from someone on from my online writing group, anonymously. Very cheesy.