I Need a Nudge

The scissors are in my hand. I’m on our deck, looking at my schefflera houseplant.

I need to make a pruning decision. But it feels so final to make an actual cut.


I’ve been waiting for consistently warmer weather at night before I moved the schefflera houseplant outside. It thrived outside last summer, especially after I pruned it to a better shape. It looked better than it ever had.

The forecast this week is finally staying far above the 40s. It’s safe.

My husband Jeff brings the plant outside Sunday morning for me. He’s done his part. Now I need to do mine. Make the cut.

But I can’t do it.

I can get near the end, but I can’t make the cut.

I call for Jeff to come back. I need a nudge.

I need a closer.

A closer is someone who can finish the deal, lock up the shop at night, pitch the final inning to win the game.

Jeff is my closer.

Tell me it’s a good thing to cut the plant.

It’s a good thing.

Tell me this will make it even prettier.

It will.

Tell me this branch needs to go.

It needs it.

I take my scissors and make the cut. First one, then another. And another.

That’s enough for today.


I thank Jeff and send him back to whatever he was doing.

That was all I needed. Someone to gently push me to do what I already knew I needed to do. To help me finish the job.

I’m grateful for the closers in my life. For those who either step in and take over when I’m too tired to finish, or else who can encourage me to wrap things up myself.

We’re not meant to go this alone.

Thank God we don’t have to.

Do you have a closer in your life? Share in the comments.

41 thoughts on “I Need a Nudge

  1. Martha J Orlando

    Danny is often my go-to closer, Lisa. We all need someone in our lives to encourage us in moving forward with what we know needs to be done.
    Your plant is gorgeous, by the way. πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It’s nice when we can count on our spouses to be our closer. I guess I am Jeff’s closer in other ways; he sometimes is reluctant to buy things for himself but if I’m with him I encourage him to spend the money. πŸ™‚ Praying for Danny this week!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I probably need more closers in my life than people I am closers for (if that makes sense!). lol. I’m grateful for those who push this timid woman out into the world a little more.

  2. Pam Ecrement

    Oh, so true, Lisa! I am the skittish one any time my hubby tells me he is going to prune a bush or he gets our neighbor (a retired landscaper over) to really cut back something to make it thrive. Last year it was some boxwoods in front of our porch that have been there a long time and looking pretty worn. Our neighbor (expert) came over and said they could be salvaged but I wouldn’t like what he needed to do. He cut them back to the point I was sure he had killed them, but by later in the summer it looked like I might have been wrong. This spring they look better than ever!!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, my heart couldn’t have watched your bushes get pruned, Pam. Jeff pruned back our rose bushes last year, to the point that I was almost mad at him for it. lol. He kept assuring me they’d come back. And he was right! Lucky for him! πŸ™‚ They have produced more roses this year and the shape of the bush is so much better. Thankful for these folks in our lives who aren’t scared to do the right things. πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m thankful for those like you who can be the closers, Susan. When I look at my rose bushes this year, I’m thankful that my husband was a “reckless pruner” last year. πŸ™‚ John 15 is true!

  3. Karen

    Nope. No closers. A nudger or two, whose nudges are more like “You need to fix this thing about yourself.” Thanks, I knew that already.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m not sure I would appreciate that kind of nudger either, Karen. You strike me as a closer yourself so maybe you don’t need that role in your life as much as you play that role for others. Hope you’re doing well, friend.

      1. Karen

        I am discovering I pretty much need to play all the parts in my life. Not sure I’m playing any of them well, but I’m doing what I can.

  4. Joanne Viola

    We so need others in our lives. “I’m grateful for the closers in my life. For those who either step in and take over when I’m too tired to finish, or else who can encourage me to wrap things up myself.” I’m grateful for those closers in my life!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It’s interesting to see the roles we play in each other’s lives. I’m grateful too for the closers in my life. They propel me to step out of myself when I’m scared to do so alone. Thank you, God, for our circles of friends!

  5. Lynn

    I like that definition. Closer. I’m an opener and not so good at closing. Having a ‘closer?’ I don’t think I do. I wrestle with that one a lot thinking I am suppose to learn how to be closer for myself! I’ll be mulling over this for awhile! πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      And you’re having me mull over who the openers are in my life, Lynn! I have quite a few of those too. I’m grateful for my friends who take the initiative to get things going when I’m reluctant to move.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      This past year has shown me how much I need my friends. Even if over a screen, I really craved people more than I knew possible for this introvert. I thank God for more things reopening again, even if slowly.

  6. Laurie

    I have a Schefflera that I just put outside last week. I don’t need a nudge to cut my plants back – give them their summer haircuts! I DO need nudges for other things, though. It’s wonderful to have a nudger in the house! πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Okay, so maybe I’ll take this nudge from you to cut my schefflera a little more tomorrow. πŸ˜‰ When I looked at it this week, I saw places it still could use a trim.

  7. BettieG

    Oh, this brought tears to my eyes today, Lisa. It seems that I have been in a continuous pruning stage for years here. But how precious to know that Jesus will bring it all to a close when He says it is enough. HE is my best closer! But then my husband comes in for a near second. πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know you know about pruning more than most of us, Bettie. You are an encouragement to me on how to let God prune without complaining about every cut. I am still a work in progress for God.

  8. Lois Flowers

    Lisa, I’m glad Jeff was there to help you gather the courage to start cutting. (I’m also happy you included the name of your plant … it’s the same type I gave a drastic pruning to a while back but I had forgotten what kind it was.) Just today, the closer at our house took a batch of faded and foggy plastic cups we got for our wedding 27 years ago and dumped them in the garage trash can for me. I got new plastic cups from Sam’s but was feeling sentimental about the “fish cups,” as we called them. It was time for them to go, but I’m glad Randy was around to do it!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m smiling at your getting rid of cups from 27 years ago. That would be me too holding on to them for 27 years. πŸ™‚ And Jeff would be the one wanting to let them go, although he does have a few “collectibles” that I’d like to get rid of! lol.

  9. Paula+Short

    Amen, Lisa, Yes indeed, we need to thank God, for he will never let us go at this thing called life alone. Thank goodness he puts closers in our lives. Blessings.

  10. Barbara Harper

    I hadn’t thought of it like that, but I do ask my husband for advice in that vein, too. I almost always know what he’s going to tell me (after 41 years together), but sometimes it helps to have that “nudge,” as you said. I have a good friend, too, that is a great encourager yet someone I can always count on to give it to me straight.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I have to laugh because I agree that I usually know what Jeff will tell me before I ask, too. πŸ˜‰ Which is probably why I go to him for some nudges, and avoid him for other things that I am still not completely ready to do! lol.

      1. LisaNotes Post author

        Oh, and oddly, I just realized that in replying earlier to your comment about going back to church, one of the things I said was that we can always depend on you to give it to us straight, which is the same thing you said here about Jim doing for you! You are really a good match for each other! I love this.

  11. Jean Wise

    Interesting idea to cultivate closer in our lives. I know my hubby does help me but I need to pay attention to who else serves that capacity in my life. When I hesitate who nudges me? mmmm, I need to pray about this. I may have a closure drought going on here,

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thank God for our husbands, Ashley. As I’ve continued to ponder this the past few days, I’ve decided that we actually swap roles on being a closer. There are certain things I’m better at closing, and other things that he is. And the same with beginnings. Teamwork. πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I actually took out my scissors again yesterday and took one more snip off my plant, with no prodding from anyone! lol. But that’s it; I’m done. πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad you mentioned adult kids into the conversation too, Debbie. It’s been such a fun adventure as our daughters have grown into their adult years that they can be such encouragements, friends, and closers as well. And vice versa. πŸ™‚

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