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December 2019

January 2020

Pruning for Purpose

Have you ever felt Holy Spirit nudge you to take a different direction than the way you’ve been heading?

I have two vocational callings: a nurse and a writer. Nursing is meaningful to me because I get to be Jesus’s brand of love to patients. But, working 40 hours a week in this role, plus driving an hour to and an hour from work each day, leaves a small amount of time to do anything else. Unless, I forego sleep, and my buddies out there know that’s non-negotiable.

The fact is there aren’t enough hours in my week to do what I love: writing, studying God’s Word, meeting with Him, being a wife, a friend, a dog mom, and so on. I’ve been asking God how I can accomplish the tasks associated with those roles. In other words, “How can I do it all, God?”.

My question brought the Spirit’s nudge and response, “You have to set something aside—for a while.”.

Okay. Hmm, I need the job and gonna keep being the wife. I can’t give up studying the Bible or growing my relationship with Him. Then, what has to go? A realization grew in my heart, and I felt sad. My writing? I must set aside the writing for a time?

As I began to negotiate with the Spirit on this matter, I was reminded of my crepe myrtle tree. (This might seem random, but hang with me.)

Take a look at this lush 12 foot, incredibly beautiful and bountiful myrtle tree. 

Myrtle TreeIt’s beautiful, isn’t it?

What would you think if, arriving home from work, you found the tree to look like this?

Myrtle Tree 2I was aghast! I bolted from the car and ran into the house looking for answers.

“Who destroyed my tree?”, I roared.

“The landscapers”, my husband replied.

I glared at him needing much more information.


“The guys said the tree is supposed to grow upwards rather than out and down. They said the tree will come back bigger with more foliage and blooms.”

My husband’s answer gave me zero satisfaction. All I felt was a sense of loss. It’s just so hard to believe the tree will be better for it.

Jesus said as much in John 15:2, “…he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”.

We know pruning creates bounty and this applies to the Hearts Encouraged blog. If I dedicate the time I normally spend writing and invest that time with God and his Word, the writing will be better for it. I have to remember its not about what I want to write. It's about the message God desires me to write and the medium he wants me to use. 

Being a surrendered servant means letting go of the reins.

When I felt God prompting me in the direction of letting the blog rest for a time, I felt angst because I know some of you very recently subscribed and it feels like I’m letting down our community. But I have good news.

I’ve spent the last six months preparing the Hearts Encouraged Face Book Group content so our blog community would have continued encouragement in a different format. By completing the Facebook content in advance, I can remain committed to God’s call for 2020 to go deeply into the Bible, learning and growing in my relationship with him over the next year.

The Hearts Encouraged Group is private so our comments, conversations, and prayer requests will remain closed to the main Facebook Community. As a Group Member, you’ll receive once weekly encouragement posts with Bible verses, quotes, a challenge or action step or Word for the week. It’s a 1 to 2 minute time commitment that acts as a faith-lift for the week.

As a gift for becoming a new member, you’ll receive a list of the Bible verses for 2020 and a list of the books referenced in the 2020 posts. You'll receive other free resources throughout the year.

New members will be asked to agree to a few rules regarding respect for our community. Your friends are welcome to join. Here’s the Hearts Encouraged Group link so you can Request to Join and to share with those who might be interested: Hearts Encouraged Private Group on Facebook

I’m very excited about meeting you there. You can also reach me at if you have questions, comments, or desire prayer. It’s a privilege to be your prayer partner.

Fondly, Terri