Rain, rain, go away. Come again some other day, preferably during naptime.

What is your favorite sound?

I wonder what the most common answer to this question is. Perhaps laughter, or the sound of loved voices. I’d imagine some would list a favorite band or music genre. I’m sure there would even be a “right” answer for some, something spiritual. Maybe, “a voice in the wind.” (A sardonic voice, preferably.)

I wish I could say my answer wouldn’t be included in a list of the most common answers. But that would be lying.

I could dishonestly tell you my favorite sound is a duck quacking. I could say it’s the sound of the microwave. Or a fly buzzing. But my duck love doesn’t really extend to how obnoxious they sound, and our microwave beeps until you open it, which might end up being reason enough to replace it ASAP. Flies buzzing? Don’t talk to me about that.

I could honestly list some smaller sounds I really like. The hard snap when I flick open my stiletto pocket knife. The subtle intensity of high heels clicking on pavement and tile. The sound of when my sewing machine actually works – or rather, when I use it properly for once. Clicking of aluminum knitting needles, as opposed to the silence of hateful plastic ones. Chicago sounds, of course. (I claim that’s why we moved to a city-side room in Houghton. In reality, it was the only room left on 3 when we finally signed up for rooming!)

And I’m sure that if I get married and have a family someday, I’ll probably have to be ultra cheesy and add each of their voices to a list like that.

But the number one sound in my life right now?

Rain. Not on the playground, or when the kids at camp have been in all day and desperately need to run around outside. Not when I’m halfway through a run and carrying my phone and half-dead iPod (although, it might end up as a good reason to replace the latter.) Not when it’s a near-freezing cold Chicago day and I’m obligated to be somewhere I can’t reach by tunnel. Not when beach plans were well anticipated.

And I like YOU.

No, not at those times. At those times, I don’t even notice the sound. If anything, it’s a reminder of the cold, the dark, the antsy bickering of five year old boys, the sunlit sand postponed.

But a rainstorm is still my most beloved sound. One of my most content moments is when the world decides it’s time for a rainstorm just when I decide it’s time for a nap. Waking up to rain? Equally enchanting, provided I set my alarm early enough that I still have a few snooze-length naps left.

Studying to pounding drops, reading to a light drizzling, heart-to-hearts to steady tapping. Walks under sobbing clouds. Newspaper meetings held to the tumbling of thunder.

I think that rain must be a girl, the most stereotypical girl of all. Fully accessorized, she is, what with perfect puddles in all sizes and shapes. She’s a hairdresser, queen of the happyhearted drenched style. She’s overly dramatic, and ridiculously high maintenance. But that voice. What a voice. A soprano and an alto, and even a bass and a tenor. That voice makes up for any inconvenience.

And I love it. It’s hardly a unique favorite sound, but it’s mine.

http://rainymood.com

Pray.

Dear Friends and Family,                                                                                                                                                   May 2011

For the past two years at Moody Bible Institute, as well as for most of my life, I have been surrounded by wonderful stories of missions work and tales of people serving God overseas. A few years ago, I was able to travel to Santiago, Chile with a team from my youth group to serve the people there through labor and love. I am excited to tell you that late this summer, I will again experience the mission field firsthand and implement much of what I have learned at Moody.

Let me pause to share some exciting news with you that will explain why I have been given this opportunity. Several months ago, my lovely sister married a man with a God-centered passion for the Czech Republic. Because of this, in late July I will be joining them for a three-week trip to Czech to work with Josiah Venture teaching at an English camp. Our team consists of my sister, her husband, and two other college students, all dedicated to the Lord’s work. My brother-in-law Jerry, also our team leader, has previously been on four short-term trips to the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic is a spiritually dark place with less than one percent of its population identifying as Christians. We will be drawing from the Czech students’ desires to understand English as our entry point to build relationships with them, expose them to the gospel, and connect them with a local church youth group.

I am excited and blessed to personally share in the work that God is doing through Josiah Venture. I am eager to learn all that God has in store for me, through the trip itself, but also in preparing for it and in how it will affect my heart and life.

As I prepare for this trip, I first request your prayers. My most important preparation for this summer is spiritual, and I know that each of your prayers will be a blessing to me as I work out what it means for me to go to the Czech Republic and serve the Lord. Will you please pray that my heart will be moldable and teachable to God’s voice and plan for me?  Equally important, please pray for our team and those that we will be reaching – that the seeds we will plant in students’ hearts will be fruitful for God’s glory! In addition, I ask for your prayers in regards to my financial support. …

I greatly appreciate your support through prayers. I would love to hear from you if you have any questions about our trip. Thank you so much for your love and friendship!

Because they haven’t heard,

Jenna Kristine Pirrie

I had oatmeal and raisins for breakfast today.

I am not a huge fan of baring my soul to the vast reaches of the internet. My scoffing towards those who use facebook to air their dirty socks and sweaters is probably something I will be judged for at the end of time. It’s too bad I just can’t help myself. Certain things should stay among your closest circles, not the cousin of your best friend from last year who you might have thought was cute at the time. Or, to target the older set, your third cousins and nieces thrice removed. Certain things are not their business to know, and never were until the world joined Facebook. And certain thing are really just not interesting enough to share to that many people (or anyone at all).

Such is why my father thinks Facebook is, to paraphrase his own words from a few hours ago, quite the stupidest thing he’s ever tried to use. (Although, he also complained when we put texting on his phone. And when he had to get a cellphone in the first place.) But he has a point. To quote some unknown awesome person, “Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few.” We tell everyone everything, but why?

Where has mystery gone? Even though I don’t use the internet to inform you how I feel about my parents right this very moment, I’m just as guilty as the whole lot of us. My about me on this blog lists some of what I believe to be my failings and passions. Granted, rereading the words, I know that they hardly scratch the surface of who I am, and was, and will be tomorrow.

But still, wasn’t there a once upon a time when people had to hold intelligent conversations to learn these things? (Sure, it might only take an hour to learn I’m sarcastic and a bit argumentative, but that’s not the point here, thank you very much.) Do I want to arrive somewhere to meet someone who already knows what my music of choice is and what brand is stamped on my humor? Do I want a future love interest to already think he has me figured out because he skimmed my blog? In theory, of course not.

And every so often I get the itch to remove as much of my personal information from the internet as possible.

Why haven’t I gone through with it? I have one theory. It was once implied by a close friend that I am a bit of a cliched open book. I think I would be this way with or without the Internet. That person I’m about to meet, that interest? “In theory” doesn’t really apply. I’m an open person. I don’t have many secrets. That’s just who I am. I have, for as long as I can remember, felt quite inclined to tell everyone I met anything that came to mind. WordPress just lets me do it quicker.

However, one of the reasons I created WordPress was to start fresh with an internet presence where I could have fun with writing without baring my soul. Because quite frankly, this blog is intended to be appropriate for anyone with any connection to my life, and just like you, my soul isn’t always that pretty.

But I struggle with the balance. Often times, I’m not in the mood to be funny, or philosophical. Often, I can’t quite find my voice, and I typically recognize it when it visits me. (I’m very fond of it, but perhaps it finds me too clingy and thus stays far away?) And I have no intention of being like that girl from your highschool or your nutsy great aunt who thinks you want to know what her brother did wrong or what she ate for breakfast.

I have no intention of revealing my entire heart here. The part of me that hates being such an open books craves for me to learn mystery. But unfortunately, the part of me that wants to tell you, unknown reader you, everything I felt today, is much more closely linked to the writerly part.

I intended to end this schpeal by saying that there were certain things I wouldn’t talk about on this weblog. Personal hurts and grievances, lessons learned close to my heart, things that scare me. But somewhere in the past paragraphs, I realized I hated promising that. I’ll still say that I strongly believe that my bared soul is not meant for the web. It’s meant for the selected few I trust. But, I write. Someday I’d like to be able to confidently call myself a writer of sorts (I haven’t figured out the sorts yet.) So I’m stuck sharing my thoughts and my words with the people around me. I’m realizing I ought to thank God that’s right in line with my open book personality!

So instead, here are some other things you won’t find here: whining, angry ranting, complaining without reason. Slander. Words intended to hurt. But you will find lots of parentheses, sentences beginning with “and,” meandering thoughts, and just about anything else.

And, of course, posts that end three hundred miles away from where they began.