December Tending List

The last tending list of 2020 – wow. Normally this post would have gotten to you at the beginning of December, and I could say I’ve had a lot going on – which is true – but ultimately I have been putting off this post. It’s not because I don’t want to share, y’all know I process privately off screen and share when I ready, but I didn’t want to make this post because then the reality I have to face becomes more real.

Last month my tending list was full of intentional blank lines and not a single daily goal; I am so glad I gave myself room for so much grace, because man did I need it. I had some further diagnostic imaging to help us determine if I was a good candidate for surgery. Like many EDSer’s, I came out of sedation with multiple dislocations and subluxations (which we expected) nevertheless it still made for a really hard recovery. After all of that testing we found that at this point in time surgery will only make things worse, so that means that – for now – this is how life will stay. I will continue to be mainly bed or couch bound, needing extra medications, unable to transfer easily on my own, and at my body’s mercy. I am still processing all of this, and it comes in waves, but I am working hard to embrace the hope of Christmas and end this year grateful.

So far this December we have enjoyed, moving back into our office where the tree collapsed and smashed our bay window in early October. We were fortunate that our insurance covered all that was broken and damaged – including my windowsill garden that was almost entirely smashed! Because of COVID there were many delays, but at the beginning of December the carpet was replaced. Since we’ve moved the furniture back in, all of plants came in and were planted, and hopefully the window will be replaced early 2021 (yup, you read that correctly, 2021… with COVID there’s a glass shortage apparently.) To see a in-depth look of this windowsill garden head to my instagram highlight called “windowsill.”

Alright, now that we have gotten those life updates out of the way here is what my December Tending List look like! (Don’t know what Powersheets are? Start Here!) It is really packed, but I broke down my monthly goals to help me keep track of this crazy season. My top priority is to cheerfully celebrate despite our circumstances.

My Encouraging Words: I will worship while I wait. I don’t know what to do while we are in this season of waiting and focusing on comfort-based care, but I want to worship Him while I wait for Him to show us what to do next.

Wildcard Pages:

I will be using the advent wildcard (one of my custom wildcards) this season! It has space for you to check off your advent reading for that day, and then I am noting a reflection from each reading. If you want to download it, you can use that space to write a way you adored Him, rejoiced in His goodness, write down a memory from that day, or you can customize your own use for that space!

Did you know that I have an entire library of all my free custom printable wildcards! Take a Look Here!

Monthly Goals:

  • Reimagine Season 2 of Chronically Cultivating: so you may remember that we started promoting Season 2 a couple months ago but we decided to hold off and start after the 50th episode. We also made some changes so we are reimagining the whole season! I cannot WAIT to share this season with you!
  • Mail Christmas Cards: This is one of my FAVORITE Christmas traditions and every year Jared and I joyfully update our families and friends with a card.
  • Merrily Give Gifts: I love to give gifts and enjoy taking the time to thoughtfully brainstorm gift ideas for friends and family
  • Love My People Well: Caitie and Stephen quarantined for a couple weeks and got tested to be able to see us this Christmas, and doing all of that just to see us makes me just want to love on them extra hard! Along with making our extended family that we can’t see feel loved as well.
  • Joyfully Complete the 2021 Powersheets Prep Work + my January Tending List: I am excited to jump into that on the 19th!
  • Move Back into the Office: We are so happy to be back in the office even if the window can’t be replaced until early 2021! We are also moving things back in slowly so that no piles form to make sure everything we have in the office has a “home”; in effort to keep this space clutter-free, we are: repurposing, storing away, giving away, or throwing away items that do not have a place.
  • Delight in the Windowsill Garden: This has been the greatest joy – being in the office when the tree collapsed was really traumatizing and I got decently hurt trying to get out of the room. Once the shock wore off and my joints were reduced, I was so upset seeing my 90% of my windowsill garden (that I had kept alive for years and were some rarer succulents I collected) be smashed to pieces. Our insurance covered all the plants and pots, so I decided to look on the bright side and reimagine and create the perfect windowsill garden. You can see it in my instagram highlight titled, “windowsill.”
  • Savor the Passion Conference: Jared and I have always wanted to attend the Passion conference along with the rest of my family, but medically it would be too much for me. This year because of COVID it is online and we are so excited to “attend.”
  • Gleefully Host the 2021 Powersheet Prep Party for the PSP Gals: Last year we threw quite a party, and this year we got creative with my medical team and came up with a safe way for us to enjoy this very small gathering. We, the PSP Gals, (meet us here) are beyond excited and have some very fun surprises up our sleeves… and a whole lot of confetti!!!!)
  • Establish a PC Team: I am going to be moving to more comfort focused care and we are getting that set up this month.

Weekly Goals:

  • Love Jared Well: spend intentional time together without our phones.
  • Be Merry: I want to enjoy this season! So I want to do something each week to embrace the holiday spirit for example: set up the tree, watch the Boston Ballet nutcracker (can’t go to the theatre, but we can watch it as it was broadcasted this year), make Christmas cookies, build a gingerbread house, etc.
  • Water Windowsill Garden: gotta keep the plants healthy and happy!
  • Church: Our church broadcast’s both their services online through live streaming (and all of the services are also kept on youtube so you can watch them at anytime), to check out Grace Chapel’s online ministry click here We are so grateful for this ministry as I am not always well enough to physically go to church. We prefer the 11:00 contemporary worship service.
  • All the Things: med cart inventory, organizing pills, joint corrections, port access, self care, etc.

Daily Goals:

  • Victory Log: everyday I write down one victory a day because each day holds a victory- even if that victory is that you survived the day. Examples: listened to my body, laughed with friends, allowed myself to grieve, wrote a letter, etc. I have a quarterly wildcard on the back of my 90 day refresh page. I started doing this last year and it has been so insightful especially in months where I feel like because of my body, “I didn’t accomplish anything.” Because no matter how challenging a season is – by logging a victory everyday – I can look back and physically see that I had 90 victories; no day is wasted my friends. Download this wildcard here!
  • Adore Him: I am joyfully going through the free Good News, Great Joy advent devotional and it is SO good! I want to make sure that I am remembering the reason for the season.

Thanks for understanding this blog post coming out so much later than my normal tending list blog posts do, and be on the lookout for The PSP Gals: 2021 PSP Party Blog and the Year in Review Blog!

In case you didn’t know, here on Living the Chronic Illness Life you now have access to the Grace + Goals Resource Library which helps you tailor your goal setting and powersheets to seasons of uncertainty. You can find all the info here!

Don’t have a set of Powersheets yet? Don’t worry you can get yours now; if you have some specific items you want get, I encourage you to order soon because most of the items (including the powersheets) in the shop, once sold out, will not be restocked. The Clear Skies and Pink Sunrise cover choices are already gone so get the Citrus Garden or twin with me with the Sea Glass Cover!

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 while goal setting, and is in ministry part time serving the online community through Grace + Goals and 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 in 2019 she launched her podcast, Chronically Cultivating, where 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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