Eighteen years ago, I made the decision to be a stay at home mom. At times, that has been a lonely choice and not an especially popular one. It wasn't always easy to follow through on that decision but I have not regretted it for one single minute of those two decades. The rewards have been worth far more than monetary compensation could ever have been. I haven't missed a minute with my children and for that, I am thankful in ways there are no words for. It's such a gift and one I continue to treasure to this day. I recognize and appreciate that it is not possible for every woman to make that choice. We all do the best we can with what we have been given, and hopefully have an impact wherever our journey takes us.
I have found myself saying this quite a few times this holiday season. It's such a gift. Even if there were nothing for me under the tree this year, I have already received so many blessings, my heart cannot contain them. As I sit here writing to you, the overflow spills out as tears ... but they are beautiful ones, filled with joy, not sorrow. This journey I have been on for the last two years has certainly had its ups and downs. There were times I very nearly gave it up. There have been feasts and there have been famines of the soul, the likes of which I'm not sure I have ever experienced in my lifetime to date. All have been part of a process of growth that was necessary for me, and therefore welcome. I didn't always see it as such, during all 700+ days of my trek but as a friend recently said to me, sometimes it is difficult to see the forest for the trees. That is profoundly true for so many of us, isn't it?
My intentions, when I started this blog were small. I wanted to create something to share with my dad, who lives in California, 3000 miles away from me and has been my biggest supporter, from day one. He does that quietly from the shadows most of the time but he has always believed in me and I've known that in the deepest parts of me for a long time. It has given me strength when I have felt very small and weak. Over time, my intentions have expanded to include so many others, as I found my voice and chose to use it in the best way I knew how. Little did I know that this one effort, would turn into my greatest passion, and one that has brought friends to me from all walks of life, and from all over the globe. I marvel at that ... I really and truly do. It is humbling and something that gives great meaning and purpose to my life.
Last week, I met a woman who introduced me to an organization called Eat-art.org. I spent an afternoon, reading about this organization and afterward, contacted its founder Todd Clark, whose vision to affect change in this world in a very tangible way, is something I found admirable and incredibly inspiring. As a photographer who has long believed herself an artist, I have spent many long nights questioning why I am doing this ... needing and wanting a purpose that would make a difference beyond putting something of myself on a wall or on the web somewhere. Something of a far more lasting value. So it is with great pleasure, that I find myself partnering with this organization, in an effort of my own, to help feed the hungry. Currently, 12 of my digital photo paintings can be found here: Roni's Eat Art Gallery. Every purchase puts food into the hands of those children who need it most. There are many other talented artists taking part in this effort as well. Eat Art's mission is to help "artfully end hunger." It is without a doubt a big problem, and there are many attempting to tackle that in their own way. It is humbling to have the opportunity to be a part of this particular effort - and it is a gift of highest value to me. I stand behind it completely and it is my hope, that many of you will too. Their cornerstone partner is the well respected Children's Hunger Fund, who, in my opinion and that of many others, is doing this right, one child at a time.