I am a week into my study of joy. Each morning begins by reading a Bible selection that references joy. This is followed by prayer and a notation in my journal about how the passage spoke to me. I still end each day with a gratitude list. Already I am finding references to joy popping up in unexpected places throughout the week. It fascinates me how such things happen. I am also noticing that my gratitude list is easier to write most evenings and that several times I have taken a moment to stop and savor a small moment of joy in the everyday. I can’t wait to see where this study takes me next.

I am particularly grateful for the infusion of happiness and peace while dealing with family colds and whiny children. The extra patience it creates is much-needed lately.

I am also heavily relying on traditional remedies to get everyone healthy as soon as possible:

  • soup with homemade bone broth
  • herbal tea
  • elderberry syrup
  • essential oil baths
  • extra rest

I have a cup of turmeric and ginger tea in front of me as I type, trying to ward of the illness that has my youngest home for the day. I have promised her vegetable soup and biscuits for lunch and will get to that shortly. Nutrient-density and proper hydration and rest are the keys to a quick recovery. Illnesses have drastically shortened in our house since I have started keeping these things in mind.

If your family is not fond of vegetable soup, here is another healthy and warming option that they may enjoy. It is full of nutrition and comfort on cold winter days.


Navy Bean Soup IMG_3530

  • Soak 2 lb navy beans in filtered water overnight
  • The next morning, rinse beans well and place in a large pot
  • Add: 4 cups of chicken broth and one cooked ham bone (preferably from an organic, pastured pig)
  • Simmer 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Add the following:
    • 1 ½ c chopped celery
    • 2 c chopped carrot
    • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 2 c (1 large) onion, chopped
    • 1 c cooked ham, chopped
    • 2 bay leaves
  • Simmer an additional 40 minutes or until vegetables and beans are tender
  • Add I bunch of chopped kale and stir to wilt
  • Add salt and pepper to taste

This makes a large batch of soup and freezes perfectly.

Cold Care and Navy Bean Soup
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