Monday, July 5, 2021

Let Our Words Fall Like Rain

By Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

My husband James and I live on a lake, so every time storm clouds darken the sky, we have a front row seat to the rain event. The lake water reveals the faintest sprinkles as well as the force of pelting rain.

Most of the time, though, the droplets are somewhere in the middle: not hesitant or angry, but constant. One night after dinner, as I stared through our glass French doors toward the water, the thought struck me: Our words should be like rain.

What does rain have in common with writing? 
These parallel qualities are something each of us needs.

During the summer, our grass grows so quickly that James jokes I fertilize the yard while he’s asleep. The real culprit is the summer weather pattern in Florida that involves rainy mornings or afternoons ad nauseum.

A byproduct is that our grass has never been greener or grown faster! As a result, James needs to mow it once a week.

Shouldn’t our words be like that—providing refreshment to the soil of souls where they fall? When our readers sit down with our books, blogs, or podcasts, do they leave feeling refreshed? If they do, our words have been like rain, bringing new life and hope.

Before we can provide refreshment through our words, we must first be refreshed. We writers need to set aside our own pens to read and grow from other people’s writing—and more importantly, from time in God’s Word. There, we gain fresh inspiration and encouragement so that we have something to pour out for others.

Sprinkles and summer storms aside, the rain here is mostly consistent. It’s borderline hypnotic if I stare out the window too long, because the rain’s rhythm repeats with few breaks in between.

As writers, discipline is sometimes a struggle. We have bursts of inspiration and then bouts of writer’s block. We feel suddenly inspired and then get bogged down with the messy work of writing.

Yet that consistency—that discipline—is something each of us needs if we are to get anywhere with our works-in-progress.

Perhaps you’re on a deadline, and that date is providing your drive. Maybe you’re in between deadlines, and finding the motivation to write consistently is a bit harder. Either way, you are in good company. As writers, we experience seasons, and whether it’s a deadline-driven time or somewhere in-between, being faithful to our calling is an important responsibility we shouldn’t neglect.

Have you ever felt just one rain drop? Not likely. One is followed by another, then another, until you’re scrambling for shelter.

As writers, we need good company to be effective, and critique groups and conferences are some places we find it. Just as raindrops combine to form a powerful shower, we writers are stronger together. We need community, other writers who are right there with us on this journey. Together, we:
  • Feel the highs, lows, and sudden drops of the writing rollercoaster ride.
  • Cheer each other on and cry with one another on the road to publication.
  • Provide constructive feedback to help each other improve and praise when we finally get it right.
  • Become friends, mentors, and confidants.
More than ever, our world needs God’s truth to fall like rain on parched soil. But we can’t make that difference if we haven’t first been refreshed ourselves, been consistent in our calling, and grown stronger through community.

Which of these qualities do you need most in your writing life right now?


Kristen Hogrefe Parnell writes novels, learns something new every day, and runs for pizza. An educator and mentor, she teaches English online and is an inspirational speaker for schools, churches, and podcasts. Her young adult dystopian novels, The Revisionary and The Reactionary, both won the Selah for speculative fiction, and she signed with Mountain Brook Ink for a new romantic suspense series, coming December 2022. Kristen and her husband live in Florida and enjoy sharing their lake home with family and friends. She blogs at where she challenges readers to find faith in life’s everyday adventures.


  1. Kristen, this is a lovely article and a wonderful analogy. Thank you! Also, the picture caught my attention immediately. It all works together...

    1. Thank you, Kay! I'm glad this analogy resonated with you too. Blessings!