Happy (belated) Easter! Did you have an enjoyable celebration? Or was it disappointing? I think for most people it was quite a different holiday than most years. As I was trying to think of what we would do Easter Sunday, I tried to think about what our traditions were, and I kept coming up blank! What were our traditions? Did we have any??

We live overseas, and so we haven’t celebrated with family for 10 years now, but we always celebrate in some way with friends wherever we are. And we attend, or have, some sort of a church service wherever we are as well. So those are the two major traditions. But what they look like every year are quite different! In the past four years, we have lived in three different countries, and have celebrated with different people, in different ways, each year. No wonder I had trouble thinking of what our traditions are! They keep changing!

This year, I think everyone’s traditions were challenged. Online church service celebrations, no big family gatherings…not even chocolate for some! :) We watched our church service online in the morning, and then just kind of laid low for most of the rest of the day. We ended up ordering in pizza for supper, which was really yummy! I did make some dessert squares that I have made for many annual Easter picnics with friends over the years. They are called “Hip-Builders” (how’s that for a name?!) and they taste amazing…ooey, gooey and chocolatey. Yum!

He is Risen! This light making my curtains glow as I lay in bed just after waking up reminded me of why we celebrate Easter. The Light of the World has come!

Pizza for supper! It was the first time we had ordered from this restaurant. It is wood-fired pizza, and tasted amazing!

Hip-Builders. An ooey-gooey, yummy chocolatey dessert. A tradition for many Easter picnics over the years.

My piece, waiting to be eaten!

Our Next Challenge (#7 for those of you keeping track!)

I have been having a lot of fun experimenting with my photography during this time of quarantine. I love taking portraits, especially of my daughters, and trying new techniques and ideas. I have been experimenting a lot with slow shutter speeds and moving my camera around while my shutter is open (which is called Intentional Camera Movement or ICM), as well as adding textures to my photos in Photoshop. I have been having so much fun creating new things! 

Well, this past week, I took some photos of my eldest daughter, and I got some very interesting results! (That’s the thing with ICM…you never know what you’re going to end up with!) And it made me think of an idea for our next challenge. (I’ll show you the photos in my next post…so stay tuned! :))

Identity. Who am I?

This pandemic and quarantine/lockdown/self-isolation, for many people, has stripped away a lot of people’s sense of who they are. People have lost their jobs, or at the very least, are having to figure out new ways of doing their jobs from home. Many are now home-schooling their children. Some have had to put aside roles and jobs they love in order to take on new responsibilities. Or people are sitting at home. Alone. Bored. Scared.

All of this can cause us to question who we are. Is who we are based on our profession? Or our role(s)? If your role or job has changed, has it caused you to question whether you are (or are not) who you thought you were? Or has it maybe re-affirmed a calling or shown you how much you love something? Have you maybe discovered a NEW calling or role? Are you feeling stripped down? Or are you coming alive in new ways? 

We are all reacting differently to what is happening in our world, and that’s okay! But let’s talk about this through our photographs. Who are you in the midst of this challenging time? Who are you becoming? Are you having your self stripped away or rebuilt? Or maybe reshaped, remade? You can interpret this however you want. I have asked a lot of questions here, so feel free to take this in whatever direction resonates with you. 

As for the photography part of this, be creative! You don’t have to be literal. Be abstract. Or use an object to represent a feeling. Or use ICM, or use someone else as your model (if you have someone within your home who is willing, obviously!) Or do a self-portrait. You can take this in whatever direction you desire, or however you feel inspired to interpret this! Have fun with it!

You can post your photos on Facebook or Instagram. #deepsoulphotochallenge.

Wherever you are or whatever you are going through, know that good can come from this. Let yourself be stripped, or reshaped or rebuilt. And see who you become on the other side of this…