Monday, April 20, 2009

now to live

I love the song, "O Great God" especially the last part that says,
Help me now to live a life that's dependent on your grace."
It reminds me of how easy it is to forget grace and live a life based on works and accomplishments.
The first verse is good as well.
Some recent quotes that I like along these lines of love and grace are....
"We love those who know the worst of us and don't turn their faces away." Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins
"We had our parallel society. And in that parallel society, we wrote our plays and sang out songs and read our poems, until we knew the truth so well that we could go into the streets of Prague and say, "We don't believe your lies anymore!" and communism had to fall." Vacalav Havel, playwright and former president of the Czech Republic, when asked how the revolution to overthrow communism in the Czech Republic was bloodless and yet experienced real staying power.
That's all. Just wanted to share some things that had impacted me.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Engagment Story

The Engagement Story:
Cast of Characters....
Groom to be: Michael S Wang Bride to be and Oblivious of What's About to Take Place at this Point of the Picture:
Joanna Kay Schupbach

Roommate Conspirator #1: Miss Katie Lovas

Roommate Conspirator #2 and Fashion Expert: Miss Kristine Maschhoff

Here's the long version of our story with as many details as I (Joanna) can remember....
Friday, April 10th, 2009 started off rough. I had a staff bible study (ETAWG or Extended Time Alone with God) at 11 and didn't wake up until 10:40. I had no time to get ready, gather my thoughts or do anything but get out of bed.
Despite the lack of a shower, the nasty t-shirt and jeans I was wearing (pretty sure i wrote a to-do list with do laundry asap on it that day. ew, it had been awhile) I had a good quiet time with the Lord. I read in Esther about repentence and I wrote this in my journal,
Repentance is not your punishment. It's your glorious right of daughtership. Your invitation to restoration. (from Beth Moore's Esther study)

Overall, it was an average day.
My two roommates, Katie, Kristine and I had made plans to do a "roommate lunch" that day. And so I was planning on just leaving my lowly state as it was except Kristine said, "I think you need to dress up because Literati Cafe is kind of nice."
Sometimes I wonder if my lack of fashion sense gets to Kristine but this was the first time she had vocalized her opinion... I was however a wreck and so i thought nothing of it. But since I was lazy, I told her, "You pick out my outfit cause you seem to know would be good." I was being a little stubborn about this. But I got dressed up and out the door. :)
The two roomies and I enjoyed a fabulous lunch and afterwards we decided to have some coffee. It was at that moment that Kristine started pulling a thick manilla envelope out of her package saying, "What is this? What is this? Who put this here?"
Now, I have to interrupt and tell you that getting engaged was a hope/thought I was trying desperately not to "go there". On Wednesday I thought I saw Kristine sneaking around our neighborhood and I had gotten my hopes up that Mikey was going to propose on Wednesday but nothing came of it. So I was a little weary of getting my hopes up so I was trying to remain as neutral as possible about all of this.
Kristine kept trying to give the package to me to open but I refused cause I felt weird about the whole thing.
Then I thought, "Okay, one of us has to and she seems adament that I do it."
So I took the package and started crying.
I said, "What's going on? What's happening? Is this Mikey? Is he here?"
"No, he's not here. Just read it." Kristine said.
Inside the manilla envelope was two cards and two journals.
The first card said, "You're always wondering what I'm thinking, so here's your chance."
So I started reading the journals which were paper clipped to specific pages.
The journals were the journey of Mikey's feelings and thoughts of meeting me, dating me, and trying to work through "what is love?" and "do I love Joanna?"
After those two journals I read the 2nd card which said, "Now go home because there is a package waiting for you."
Also, during this time my Dad called and asked if I read an email of his about a book he had sold. I was so surprised that he called me and a fear came into my heart that "ohmygosh? Did Mikey ask my Dad?" but I quieted that thought with, "No, if this is really happening, then Mikey called my Dad."
On the way home Kristine and Katie made me guess what I thought the package was... but I didn't want to say what I was really hoping/thinking. So I just said something silly. It was nerve-wrecking to wonder what Mikey was up to. I was also feeling silly for how ugly I looked and how I really wanted to shower!
When I opened up the apartment door, I saw rose petals leading into my room. On the bed there was two more journals and another card. There was also a RED ROSE which was the first time Mikey had given me a RED rose (the sign of love). The 1st card said to sit on my comfy couch and read while listening to music. Mikey had set up his ipod with speakers so that I could listen to my favorite music while reading his journey of our relationship.
I cried at one point specifically while reading... it was the part where Mikey realized that he loved me. Just seeing those words on the page were like the best feeling ever. I was freaking out. :)
After those two journals, the 2nd card said, "There is another package in your favorite color waiting for you but you have to climb some flights of stairs to get to it."
So I headed up to my roof.
In the corner of the roof was a little blue ring box.
I opened up the box and....
inside was $10 and a note explaining that I had won a snowboarding bet Mikey and I had. The note continued, "But we'll have plenty of time to go snowboarding in the future. What I want you to do now is look down towards the street cause there is someone you will see.... right... now."
While I was looking down, he came up behind me and said, "Well, I'm not down there. I'm right here."
Then he expressed his feelings for me and told me how much I meant to him. He said, "I have three questions for you.
1. Do you want what's supposed to be in the blue ring box?"
and I said, "uh, yes!!"
Then Mikey said, "I want to tell you for the first time that I love you."
And I just smiled (cause I was so nervous)
And he continued, "My second question is...."
gets down on one knee
and i start crying
"will you marry me?"
and I said, "ohmygosh! ohmygosh! ohmygosh! yes! yes! yes!"
And I started laughing (cause I'm nervous) and crying (cause I'm so happy) simulatenously.
Mikey said, "Now I haven't forgotten my third question. And that is... may i replace your promise ring with this ring!"
and with that, he pulled out the ring box and the real ring!!
And then we kissed for the first time ever in our relationship!!
So that's it. That's the story. :)
We're thinking a September 2009 wedding in Illinois.
Check back here for more details as plans get formalized. We'd appreciate any prayers you have for this time and for our marriage. :) We're thrilled to be engaged and to be living life together as husband and wife. I can't wait to be Mrs. Michael Wang. woo hoo!!