My husband and I both work full-time and also work on my blog, Wonder & Awe. We work on the blog whenever we have a free minute.
I first saw Matt while he was leading worship at church, we made eye contact and it was love at first. We dated for six months, were engaged for five months and have been married for almost a year. When you know- you just know.
When it comes to Wonder & Awe, Matt is equally as involved as I am, and Wonder & Awe would truly be nothing without him. Matt is the half of the story that you do not see- the man behind the camera. He spent countless hours on a beautiful redesign of my website and helped me upgrade all my different web features. He researched the best camera lens to purchase for the types of shots we do and takes the most beautiful pictures. Our skill sets really complement one another, and it honestly is just way more fun working with him than it would be to do this on my own. We both love the creative process and enjoy creating beautiful new content for Wonder & Awe.
I grew up always working at newspapers. Before deciding to go to law school, I had plans to work in broadcast journalism. Matt is a computer genius and runs his own company, Loop Community. We both are very busy.
I started Wonder & Awe because I needed a creative outlet. During the day I work fulltime as a lawyer and at night Matt and I work on Wonder & Awe. Balancing working fulltime and also trying to get a blog off and running is not easy but I love it so much I just cannot stop. I really have the best of both worlds.
However, there are many days when the whole process becomes way overwhelming. Between finding time to work out after a full day of work, grocery shop, make dinner for my husband and sneak in the occasional shower sometimes I start to crack under all the to-do-lists I create for myself.
I always wish I had more time to devote to building the blog. There is a huge business behind blogging and one that requires much more time than I currently have to devote to it. I wish I had time to network with all the different Chicago bloggers but in this season of my life I just can’t. Right now time is precious. I am so thankful that I get to work with my husband and spend time with him throughout the whole process.
To learn more about Wonder & Awe, please visit http://wonderandawe.com/!
The #halfthestory you do not see in front of the camera is the most important part of the story for me.
First of all I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my first piece with the wish dish. You never know how ones story can affect you and the Wish Dish has a ton of great stories that are inspiring and insightful.
Will Smith stars in a movie called Seven Pounds as the character Ben Thomas trying to save seven deserving strangers. If you haven’t seen this film be ready to get the tissues out because it’s very emotional. Woody Harrelson who some may know (or just me) from the classic movie White Men Can’t Jump as Billy Doyle plays the character Ezra Turner in the film. Ezra is a telemarketer who sells meat but is also blind. Ben calls Ezra at his job harassing him to see if he would break.
Check it out:
This scene was so moving to me because he demonstrated what patience truly is. Although his body language shows he was hurt from the harsh words, he still had a smile on his face and remained polite and calm.
This past year was a challenge for me, as my patience would really be tested. As I mentioned in my first piece with the Wish Dish, I had a dream of playing professional basketball. I had it all planned out, sign a contract, average this amount of points and hopefully sign a better deal the next year. However, that plan was not what God had for me but it took me awhile to realize that. Every time my agent would call my heart would stop just hoping something would come up. I questioned whether I’d play the game that has done so much for me. There were days I didn’t even want to watch basketball let alone go to the gym and workout.
Although I was going through this tough time, I knew I was prepared for it. In my basketball career I’ve endured many obstacles that have shaped me into the person I am today. For example, my freshman year of high school I had the idea that I would play Junior Varsity because I felt I was too good for the freshman team. I was humbled that year where I didn’t make the J.V. team and would end up playing freshman. Frustrated wasn’t even the word, especially since one my best friends would make the team over me. That experience was probably the best thing that could have happened to my career. After a year of playing with some of my closest friends to this day, I would improve my game and leadership qualities. The next summer I worked my butt off and ended up becoming a starter on the Varsity team and from there my high school career would take off.
With my basketball aspirations on hold, I had to figure out what my next move would be. I immediately turned to one a person who has been a big influence in my life on and off the court. My High School coach Chris Whelan is the Co-Owner of a company called Overtime Athletics. Overtime Athletics specializes in after school sport enrichment programs working with over 500 schools all over the country and summer camps as well. From starting this job full time, I knew it would limit my time from basketball but I needed a way to stay involved in the game.
Ever since high school I’ve done personal training with kids who would like to improve their game on a personal level. I’ve been fortunate to play at a high level so it is only right for me to pass along the knowledge I learned from the game. I trained about 6 kids throughout the year and it was a joy to see them work hard and get better. This summer I had the opportunity to run a basketball camp with OTA along with my older brother Walter and some old teammates of mine. We had so much fun working with a great group of kids that were eager to learn.
I think we often forget what’s important when we have our minds set on something we want. Looking back on my situation I thank God I didn’t play professionally my first year out because I would have missed out on so many great people I met and impacted this year.
Matthew 17:20 reads, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” This bible verse has been instilled in me since I could remember and I’ve always stuck to it. Like Ezra I still had a smile on my face no matter the circumstance and trusted God and his plan for me. I was passed along an opportunity of continuing my basketball career as well as getting my masters at a university overseas. I immediately jumped on it thinking this would be a great opportunity not only to play again but also to further my education. Thanks to TeamGleas and owner Lindsey Gleason I would find my new home at the University of Essex in Colchester England. I am pursuing my masters in Marketing and Management in addition to continuing my playing career.
There are so many people I want to say thank you to but I know you guys don’t want to read that but all my family and friends know who you are. My purpose in sharing my story is to show people that you may not know at the time what will unfold but be aware because there are blessings to be found in every situation.
Wish Dish is awesome, thank you again for the opportunity to share. Stay Blessed people! #LetsGoChamp
To read Austin’s first story, Sky’s the Limit, click the link!
The very idea may seem ridiculous, even offensive to some people. However, prophets can be cited as examples of powerful spiritual personalities who have held a temporary resentment toward GOD for the judgments HE brought down because of the sins and evils committed by HIS chosen people. The punishments often seemed worse than the crime, in their eyes. Truly, forgiving GOD is never necessary, and yet…I have occasionally held some residue, deep inside, a secret resentment, even disappointment toward GOD for the situations I found myself in throughout my life.
For example, I was so angry when I lost my Soror, lawyer to be, sister friend to AIDS. How could GOD not rescue her or prevent evil from happening to her? I was angry with GOD because in 1989 he allowed me to bare witness to a stranger’s suicide. I stood as he jumped from the bridge to his death because brain cancer destroyed his beautiful forensic mind.
I tried to stop him but couldn’t and held myself personally responsible for my inability to physically stop the jumper. I was angry with GOD for years because I thought I’ve been dealt a bad hand. I thought it unfair that I was childless and unmarried. I am after all a good daughter, sister, cousin, niece, friend, neighbor, and Godmother. I have no vices to speak of. I am not unlike those who live the fairytale and find happily ever after. I am no menace to society. I have played by the rules of a civilized society. I am educated because the principle goal of education is to create individuals who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done, people who are creative, inventive discoverers.
So why has GOD denied me? I was angry with GOD because why would HE allow me to meet and grow to love the wrong person for all the right reasons yet again. How could HE allow me to unwittingly discover the man who is undoubtedly my music from another room and not allow me to dance with him forever?
I resented GOD because HE not only took my Mother too soon but HE took her before I could apologize to her. Four years ago when I lost my Mother to lupus we were distant. Let me quantify that, being distant for us meant we spoke once a day instead of three to four times a day. My Mother & I were very close my entire life but there was distance at her time of death because the four months leading up to her death I got engaged to someone that she thought was no good for me.
We argued that October 2011 and never spoke of it. Like it never happened. I still called. We talked for three hours the night before she died but I didn’t go home as often because I was mad. Not apologizing or making amends left me with tremendous guilt when she died, it’s my worst regret, my greatest shame. I blamed myself and I was angry with GOD for robbing me of the chance to fix it.
I bet we are absolutely pissed off with God far more than we would like to admit.
While it may seem irrational and illogical to blame GOD for choosing the wrong partner, accepting an unfulfilling career, or living financially beyond your means, many of us do just that. We blame GOD. I held GOD responsible for my Mother’s death, my Soror’s suffering, my poor choices, my stubbornness, my hardspots, and my singleness. Who am I to forgive GOD for not preventing all the horrible things that have happened to me and to the world?
I’m human. But in my humanness I’ve discovered that my deeper healing will only come when I admit to myself that I am angry and accept that it’s okay to be the same. Only then can I truly appreciate that GOD allowed me to witness the stranger’s suicide so I could appreciate life and know permanent solutions are not the answer to temporary problems. HE took my Soror and Mother because he needed them more and recognized the lessons I learned in the wake of their deaths were necessary for my continued growth.
Everything I held a grudge against GOD for was just not and is not in HIS plan for me. I suspect GOD brings people to my life so that I can stand in the gap for them. When GOD has us unwittingly intercede for one another, our chief purpose is to fill in those gaps in one another’s spiritual armor and hold up that person so the enemy can’t gain an advantage over them.
Likewise, when we fail to intercede for one another, we’re virtually giving the key to that person’s spiritual house to his/her enemies for them to wreak havoc, to steal that person’s peace or joy. Just as we wouldn’t build a brick wall and intentionally leave gaping holes in the cement joints, I would go so far as to say it is malicious for me to not “go between”/ “stand in the gap” for my brother, my sister.
Jesus said, “By this all shall know that you are my disciples, if you have love toward one another.” [John 13:35] How can I say I love anyone and not pray for them? It’s impossible! It’s a contradiction and a lie! “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” [James 5:16]
Perhaps GOD disappoints me to incite empathy, it pushes me to feel the pain of others in my heart. HE makes me angry, calling me to stand. So I’m standing in the gap. It’s not easy, it’s frustrating, it’s even painful but I’m standing in the gap for others because it is on the side of righteousness and it is how I forgive myself and atone for questioning GOD.
Many will find my willingness to acknowledge my anger and disappointment with GOD blasphemous. Holding something against GOD, Kimberly? Really? I say to you GOD already knows my heart. What is it exactly that you think GOD doesn’t already know about you?
Since my Mother’s death there have been days where I literally questioned my ability to go on, i.e. get dressed, face the world, and even interact with people. Then I am reminded of her humor, her spirit and the presence of GOD. What occurs most often is that I go downstairs to find the light or ceiling fan on in my den.
Surely any electrician will say there’s a wiring issue or the remote control for the ceiling fan needs tweaking but I believe it is the presence of my Mother and therefore GOD. This morning at four o’clock GOD and my Mommy showed up again, offering their blessing for my desire to tell this tale. So with that confirmation I am reminded that what matters supremely is not the fact that I know GOD, but the larger fact which underlies it, is that HE knows me and is present.
All my knowledge of HIM depends on HIM and his never yielding interest in knowing me. I know HIM because HE first knew me, and continues to know me. HE knows me as HIS inquisitive child who constantly asks why and why not, who is stubborn, loving, kind, generous, proud, and who is also angered by what allows her to stumble and what manifests as suffering to others in the world. HE knows me as HIS and HE knows I forgive HIM and trust Him without hesitation, or reservation; because I choose to die empty for HIM, again and again.