The sun finally came out today. It has been cloudy and raining for the past two days at least. It felt longer. Maybe it was. I have started to lose track of the days…

Our theme for this challenge was photographing things that bring us joy, and I have to admit, this was a hard one for me, and not just because of the rain. The past few days have been hard, and I haven’t been feeling very joyful, for numerous reasons. I wondered why I had chosen this particular theme…I sure didn’t feel like photographing joy. Whose idea was this anyways?? (Oh yeah…mine!)

But then I remembered the words I wrote in my last post…that sometimes we have to intentionally look for joy, to intentionally seek it out, and I realized that I had written those words to my future self without realizing it! I needed to hear those words these past couple of days. I needed to not wallow in my sadness, to not let it consume me, but to fight for joy…to pursue it, to be intentional in choosing my emotions.

And so, I sat down and brainstormed. What brings me joy? I thought about it for a couple of days, and had trouble coming up with anything…because I really wasn’t feeling joyful! But when I sat down, with paper and pen, and pretty much forced myself to come up with some things, I realized there are actually lots of things bringing me joy these days.

My list included:

Books and reading



My husband (he has a great ability to make us all laugh!)

My girls

My cat :)


Having my hair brushed (my youngest daughter will often brush my hair while we watch a movie, and I just love it! It’s so relaxing! :))

Beauty…pretty objects around my house

The green-ness of things outside. It may be raining, but it’s bringing everything to life!

Learning new things - lately through taking classes on the website “Creative Live”

Then today, I got my camera out to start photographing the things on my list, and as I went around, taking photos, I felt joy arriving! And I found even more things that brought me joy…things that weren’t even on my list! Seeking out those things that bring me joy, brought me joy! It really works…this pursuing joy thing! 

I think it was partly thinking things through first…making a list of the things that bring me joy was kind of like writing a gratitude journal. It helped me to really consciously realize the things that bring me joy. I think often we experience moments of joy, but we don’t really pay attention. And then we forget. But making a list can be helpful for the future…to know what brings you joy so that when you are feeling the need to fight for joy, you can go back to that list and actively pursue some of those things. 

So, sit down and make your “Fighting for Joy” list!

Here are my photos of some of the things that are currently bringing me joy…

From top to bottom, left to right...

Top row: #1 Books and photography, #2 Having my hair brushed by my daughter, #3 chocolate!!

Middle row: #1 Pretty things in my house, including this cute little plant I got at a women's retreat just before "lockdown", #2 the "green-ness" outside, and #3, learning new things on the website

Bottom row: #1 My husband, being goofy :), #2 this was just a cool moment I noticed as I was going to bed one night. My bedside lamp was lighting up dust motes, and so I jumped out of bed, grabbed my camera, and took a few shots. This simple little thing brought me joy. :), and, #3, my kitty. :)

Challenge #4

So what is our next challenge? Well, a friend of mine posted online that maybe our next challenge should be about hope, and I think that is a great idea! So…what is making you feel hopeful right now? What brings you hope? This is related to joy, I think, but it’s also different. So how can you photograph what makes you feel hopeful? 

As usual, use #deepsoulphotochallenge on Instagram or Facebook.

I can’t wait to see your photos! I love seeing what you have all been coming up with for each challenge so far, and reading your thoughts and feelings that go along with your photos. Thank you for joining in with me on this challenge, and for sharing! 

If you have friends who you think may be interested in this challenge, pass the info along to them! There is no cutoff time for joining. Anyone can join in at any time.