Spring Refresh- Cultivating in Quarantine

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:17 NLT

It’s the first refresh in the 2020 powersheets, and I feel it couldn’t have come at a better yet also a worse time. (Don’t know what powersheets are? Click here to see how I use them!) This time for us right now as humans is really confusing. Many of you are learning what it is like to work at home or just simple be home all day. Outside of not being able to have family and a few close friends over and adjusting to having everyone home 24/7 (which is a MASSIVE adjustment) nothing about my day to day life has changed. As much as I love this quality time, I feel like I can’t accomplish as much with everyone home and sharing work space we never thought we would have to share… at least not on a daily 24/7 basis. We are 10 days into full quarantine, and we are learning to adjust. For example, we have gone back to sleeping and waking up at a set time, and are learning how to all co-exist this closely with one another.

This may lead you to question how you can still accomplish your goals.

I get it. I will admit that this refresh took me much longer to go through than the past two years have. When I got to the evaluation page, I made a note at the top that I was in quarantine because when I look back I want to better understand my evaluations. Had I done this refresh before March it would have been totally different. I was crushing my goals the past two months, but March has been totally screwed up. I have had to change my goals and re-evaluate and THAT IS OKAY.

Cultivators dig deep in times of uncertainties.

I feel “fortunate” in the strangest way that I have gotten used to being home all the time, as my mom put it, I have been training for quarantine for quite some time. I also have to practice living day to day regularly and what we are living through right now is a day to day lifestyle.

Despite all of the challenges, I was excited to refresh. I wanted to change up my color code I use for my goals and ultimately my goals in general. The problem I faced was how to set them. I am used to loosely setting goals, because living the chronic illness life comes with lots of uncertainties, but these goals had to be even more vague than normal due to the circumstances. So I started with prayer and did all of the normal things I do before starting my prep work or refreshes.

Then I started thinking about whether I wanted to pick a new word for the next three months or stay with grow. Now my word of the year will always stay grow, but sometimes it nice to refresh with an aspect of that word. One of the reasons I chose grow this year is because many of the other words I toyed between were synonyms of grow. So I flipped back to page 30 in my powersheets, and looked over the synonyms I had written down and then there was one that hit me: cultivate. There are seven different areas of my life right now and all of them are affected by this pandemic.

I want to be intentional, but not committed to one way of doing things because I know that in this season I need to be flexible about my methods- and even some of my goals!

For those of us that are not on the frontlines and are either working from home, studying from home, or simply at home this is a great time to declutter! This page has always been a favorite of mine. This spring because Jared is home we are slowly tackling some different decluttering projects. For instance, we are reutilizing our sunroom after it not being in use for a couple years. We are turning it into a space for gathering and gardening. I can’t stand mosquitos and really any bug at all so being able to be “inside while outside” is a perfect medium!

Then the evaluation, this was where I struggled the most. As you can see at the top of the page, I wrote down that we are in quarantine because that is an important part of my evaluation.

I evaluated all the areas of my life (exactly like I did in the prep work and previous refreshes), per usual I chose to keep these all private but wanted to share the Yes and No decisions I made for the next three months:

PRO TIP: if you are struggling to think of a yes and no decision, head to page 29 in your powersheets to look at what you started the year wanting to do and not do!

  • Health:
    • I’m saying YES to: worshiping with it
    • What I’m saying NO to: laziness
  • Friends:
    • I’m saying YES to: checking in more
    • What I’m saying NO to: opening messages that I don’t have time to answer
  • Spouse:
    • I’m saying YES to: showing him how loved he is
    • What I’m saying NO to: assuming + not giving him my full attention when he is talking
  • Family:
    • I’m saying YES to: guarding my heart
    • What I’m saying NO to: waiting to have others reach out first
  • Finances:
    • I’m saying YES to: saving
    • What I’m saying NO to: extra
  • Spiritual Growth:
    • I’m saying YES to: bold prayers
    • What I’m saying NO to: closing my hands (head podcast episode 32 for more details on this!)
  • Work (ministry):
    • I’m saying YES to: being renewed
    • What I’m saying NO to: overcommitment
  • Self care + hobbies:
    • I’m saying YES to: reading
    • What I’m saying NO to: leaving downtime settings off

Now because I do not know what the next three months hold I kept my goals vague and literally sparkling! *shout out to the glitter gel pens I used to use in elementary school* Along with updating my color code!

These goals are open but perfect for this uncertain time.

Goal 1: Cultivate Wellness (Health + Self Care): goal examples- stay consistent with IVs, medications, medical inventory, “all the things,” joint corrections, taping, etc.

Goal 2: Cultivate Intention (Marriage + Finances): goal examples- date nights, budgeting, listening well, Bible reading + prayer before bed (aka quiet time), spending time without our phones, etc.

Goal 3: Cultivate Mindfulness (Home + Routine): goal examples- tend to the garden, check in with friends (virtually), call family members, sleep schedule + downtime limits on apps, limiting tv, etc.

Goal 4: Cultivate Growth (Personal Growth + Mentorship): goal examples- reading, mentoring sessions, soul refresh day, counting all the big + small victories, book club, staying on top of my powersheets, etc.

Goal 5: Cultivate Presence (Platform + Ministry): goal examples- lead the Spoonie Study, complete platform daily/weekly/monthly check list, get back into podcasting, collaboration, writing blogs, etc.

Goal 6: Cultivate Delight (Spiritual Growth): goal examples- reading my Bible, Write the Word devotional, time in prayer, attending church, memorizing scripture, etc.

Goal 7: Cultivate Creativity (Hobbies): goal examples- hand lettering, photography, writing letters, etc.

I told you it was vague, but I think it will be helpful in this season, and you know I will keep you updated the whole way.

If you want to learn more about powersheets visit Cultivate What Matters before the 6 month sets go out of stock!! Want to see how I use powersheets? Click here!

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 www.livingthechronicillnesslife.com

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