Summer Refresh

Happy Summer Friends!

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

John 15:2 NIV

As I approached another #powersheet goal refresh, I felt like I really discouraged. Right now I am in the process of grieving over a huge loss in my life. Grief comes in waves when you have a progressive chronic illness. I have learned that I am allowed to grieve the person I had planned on becoming. This grief surely had an impact on my goals, but in some ways it actually really helped me positively define where I want to spend my energy over the next 3 months. In dealing with all of this grief, I realized that this season needed to be a time of pruning.

What is so neat is that I had predetermined that my word for the summer would be prune, and here is what the encouragement on the first page of the summer refresh said:

Maybe this is your season of summer, watering more often and being watered. A time to prune and pull weeds, work hard in the heat, or tend to what matters most to you. A fruitful season of deepening your connections to community

Casey, Lara. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life (p. 47). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

This quote made me feel like Lara (powersheets creator) had read my mind. All of my goals were focused on everything mentioned in her message of encouragement:

  • watering more often aka pouring into and encouraging others
  • being watered aka seeking intentional ways to replenish my soul, mind, heart, and spirit so I can serve strongly in ministry
  • a time to prune aka letting go of something that was beautiful, but knowing that by cutting it off it will give you room to grow something new
  • pull weeds aka get specific with your goals and don’t let distractions take over your ability to bloom
  • work hard in the heat aka persevere and keep going despite the challenges you face
  • tend to what matters to you aka only work on the goals that are life-giving!
  • a fruitful season of deepening your relationships with you community aka love your people well and put effort and time into their lives

So as you can see from all these examples- her quote truly aligned with my heart this season- God is so cool!

The first part of the summer refresh is the “have a fruitful summer” page, where it gives you room to make three summer traditions:

Next I evaluated all the areas of myself (exactly like I did during the 2019 prep work and last refresh), and I chose to keep this all private but wanted to share the Yes and No decisions I made for the next three months:

  • Health:
    • I’m saying YES to: my phone being off by 10:30 pm
    • What I’m saying NO to: being lazy about meds
  • Friends:
    • I’m saying YES to: taking more pictures
    • What I’m saying NO to: thinking about quantity over quality
  • Spouse:
    • I’m saying YES to: evening quiet time
    • What I’m saying NO to: thinking he is immortal
  • Family:
    • I’m saying YES to: encouraging others often
    • What I’m saying NO to: waiting to call until I need something
  • Finances:
    • I’m saying YES to: waiting a week before making a purchase
    • What I’m saying NO to: being discontent
  • Spiritual Growth:
    • I’m saying YES to: more Bible reading
    • What I’m saying NO to: sleeping in on Sundays
  • Work:
    • I’m saying YES to: honoring God with my grief
    • What I’m saying NO to: blaming my loss on God
  • Self care + hobbies:
    • I’m saying YES to: being more creative
    • What I’m saying NO to: dismissing my self-worth

My main word of the year is bloom, but what I love about cultivate what matters is that they know that your goals can change and sometimes you need another word to explain the current season you are in. To go along with my gardening theme, I chose PRUNE as my word for the next 3 months. What is so important to mention about pruning is that we prune to get rid of the old, dead, and excess to make room for new blooms to become even MORE fruitful. I want to let go of certain dreams, make room for new opportunities, prioritize what truly matters to me, evaluate my habits, and take time to process where I am at in life.

Now the most exciting part…. the goals!

Goal 1: Love Jared with the JOY of the Lord- I want to be a joyful wife!

Goal 2: Prune- this is my prayer in this season, “Lord I don’t understand Your plans and feel like You have taken away the dreams You planted in my heart. Help me grieve while honoring You through it. Allow this grief to be an act of worship, and every moment I feel like I can’t continue give me the strength to say, ‘I can do hard things for You, Lord, even this.'”

Goal 3: Maintain my Body- keep up with meds, infusions, joint corrections, and all the other things.

Goal 4: Embrace Each Day- For all we know, how I am now might be the healthiest I will be and I don’t want to wait for things to get better; I want to enjoy life right now where I am at with this broken body.

Goal 5: Speak life through the Chronically Cultivating Podcast!

Goal 6: Study God’s Faithful Promises- I will continue my daily time with God, going through the 100 days of Bible promises, and dig deeper into His Word.

Goal 7: Get Creative- I really want to learn how to paint with watercolors, continue to learn new hand lettering fonts, and make floral arrangements!

Goal 8: Tend to Fruitful Friendships- I want to really give my time to friends who I am very close with and want to continue to draw closer to them.

and finally…

Goal 9: Celebrate Every Tiny Victory- Victories when you have a chronic illness can be a variety of things from waking up to going out to getting through more testing. I want to take time to write down and celebrate each of these little things to help me cultivate gratitude in daily life and cultivate contentment with that I already have.

Well there you have it! What are your goals this season?

Cassie Nolin is a married spoonie who lives the chronic illness life with EDS + Co. (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and it’s comorbid conditions.) She challenges others to choose grace over guilt in goal setting, and is in ministry part time serving the online community through The Spoonie Study. She loves planting, hand lettering, and sharing the hope she has found in Jesus. Her blog, Living the Chronic Illness Life, is in the top 100 chronic illness blogs and her podcast, Chronically Cultivating, is produced by Speaking to the Heart Network. Cassie encourages women to live authentic and intentional lives through their diagnosis’ not in spite of them. You can learn more about her at

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4 thoughts on “Summer Refresh

  1. Natalie says:

    I love reading your blogs, your desire to improve in every area possible, and your positive attitude, even in the trials that your body takes you through. Love and admiration always, praying for you & Jared.

    Liked by 1 person

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