November Free Family Events (Cleveland, OH)

The cold weather has come quickly this year. Perhaps the color of the leaves will soon catch up and this brief show of beauty will begin. (A beautiful time for a walk or ride through the metroparks)

So instead of hiding out inside, let’s enjoy the change of the seasons and get out with our families!

Here are a sampling of some of the events and opportunities around the Cleveland area:

Ongoing Events

 

Weekly Recurring Events

Monthly Recurring Events

November Events

The events marked “Free RSVP” do require advance registration, which may fill up quickly. Be sure to check whether the registration is still open before you plan your trip.

Enjoy your November!

October Free Family Events (Cleveland, OH)

Well, the fall is revving up, and so are the fall activities. As the world changes color, one of the greatest events is simply to get outside and enjoy God’s artwork. The Cleveland Metroparks offer a greatly appreciated, and yet greatly underused, journey into the colorful world (with or without paved trails :o). They also offer a variety of free events all around the area, from tapping maple trees, to events in the nature centers.

So let’s enjoy the fall. Here are a sampling of some of the events and opportunities around the Cleveland area:

Weekly Recurring Events

Monthly Recurring Events

Ongoing Events

Events for October

Some of those events do get filled up pretty quickly. Be sure to check whether the registration is still open before you plan your trip. Happy Awesome October in Cleveland!

A Love Letter to My Boys

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

   his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

   great is your faithfulness.” — Lamentations 3:22-23

Dear E. & I.,

I am so delighted to call you both my sons! What a privilege to be your mom! No matter what happens in the future, I wanted to make sure you know Baba(爸爸 means “daddy”in Chinese) and I love you so very much! We do what can to prepare for the worst but have total peace to know God is trustworthy and His plans are far better and sovereign.

I am not sure whether or when you will actually read this letter, but simply pausing to think about what I most want to share with you helps me gain perspective on life. How I choose to live today matters to God’s eternal plan. Knowing God’s desire gives me great pprov1717assion and caution in my walk with the Lord. His mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). As you both can testify, I made a lot of mistakes and didn’t do everything right. If you fail or are in a difficult situation, don’t allow the enemy to trick you into believing lies. Resist the temptations by the power of the Spirit through reading and applying God’s Word! Allow His Word and the trials to exam your hearts as He has done to mine numerous times. He is ALWAYS faithful! We pray that you two are there for each other for good and bad times! It’s always fun to watch you two play together happily or reconcile peacefully.

Initially, Baba and I set up this blog out of a desire to give you a spiritual legacy when we are gone, or at least help to get our mindset fixed on the Kingdom above as we raise you. But you might even be gone before us if it is the Lord’s will. This legacy is not from us and not just for you! “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) What a perfect Father we have! Our heart and mind are so empowered by the Heavenly legacy from our Father above, to all nations, all families! We definitely pray for God’s protection over you physically and spiritually. It saddens and scares me tremendously to think about losing you, both or either, for whatever reason. However, it grieves me even more when thinking about any chance of not seeing you, or my relatives and friends in Heaven. Continue reading

Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (13)


10. Cultural blessing (a)


But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:7-8

What is culture

I am so excited today I get to start my final section of this blessing counting journey which I started last October in 2015. If I had to choose one area I am most passionate about, this is it! Cambridge English Dictionary defines “Culture” as “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time”. In other words, it is practising what we believe in our daily living. This “particular group of people” and “time” vary in our lifetime. My life has been enriched tremendously as we often adjust from one culture to the other. However, without some overachieving life principles, I often experienced anxiety, distress, fear or other negative feelings when the initial excitement from the new culture fades. That was when the 3rd Culture Living mindset occurred to us.


When cultures clash, by default we tend to resort to where our flesh feels most comfortable and natural. We redefine our terms of “culture” as life unfolds, as different cultures come our way through different groups of people. Our beliefs are questioned or shaken during those clashes. A lot of times, we choose to walk away from those differences to avoid conflicts. People naturally connect with others who are like them. Then a “culture” forms. This explains why even in an immigrant country like America, we can easily locate areas for different ethnic groups, China town, Ukrainian village, German street, Little Italy, etc.. This also explains why, as inclusive or open as social media claims to be, people still flock into their own particular groups. We are made to have connections with each other.  Life is to be shared. Sharing is good!

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Snapshot in China: People gathered around to watch the man practicing calligraphy.

Continue reading

Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (12)

  1. Parental blessing (b)

Let the Little Children Come! (Matthew 19:14)

Okay, back to the times of house repair. I am grateful God has allowed me to see more of His preparations from years ago for the heart work for His eternal glory. The trip to China confirmed His unchanging love and perfect timing in everything and every season in our life. Since I didn’t have a set time or place to study God’s Word during the house construction, I did my Bible study whenever I could, in front of the kids. It was not my favorite way of studying the Bible. But the Lord not only knows my season in life but orchestrates it. He always provided what I needed to hear and met me where I was. It could be just one verse, one hymn or a radio program, which was sufficient for my day.

My four year old then could see my genuine need to spend time with the Lord. Not only did he learn to have some quiet time together with me, but he also wanted to read his own children’s Bible and took notes like I did. Whenever I think about this, my heart is warmed by God’s grace. Our kids don’t need us to put them first but they do need to see Who (the Ultimate higher authority) we are under and worshipping. God used my children to challenge me to worship Him at all times and see life as an adventure with my Lord.

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It takes creativity and open mind to grow life in the midst of house repair. 🙂

Continue reading

Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (11)

  1. Parental blessing (a)

    For the Lord is good;    
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:5 

Thank you, Father!

In October, 2015, I started this blessing counting journal around the one year house-owning anniversary. The Lord put ten specific areas of blessings on my heart to record. By the time I am meditating on #9, the “parental blessing”, we are already back from our one-month trip to China over the Christmas break! Once again, I am grateful for the beautiful timing. I am reminded that no matter how much our hearts are stirred due to our current circumstances (good or bad), it all shall pass. It seems like ages ago when we were rebuilding the house, now that life has much more settled down. However, the heart lessons are still as fresh as yesterday. Interestingly, time in China in many ways resembled our time with all the construction going on around the house: lots of new things everyday, no set schedule, no set place for everything, great need for flexibility and wisdom in parenting, more time with our parents (or grandparents for the boys).


When we are pushed out of our comfort zone in parenting, we are more likely to fall back to our flesh, and idolize circumstances we used to live in. We need to be more reliant on our Heavenly Father in choice-making, attitude-setting, and following His teaching from His Word and leading in the Spirit. As a mom of two active boys, I fail so many times and feel inadequate, but I am even more blessed to grow along with them by the grace of my Father above.

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Yeah, we had the floor done before the baby started crawling!

Continue reading

Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (10)

  1. Marital blessing (b)

if you seek it like silver

   and search for it as for hidden treasures,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord

   and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:4-5

Marital blessing counting continued (Read previous post here)– Here are some more highlights from the digging :


With our totally different backgrounds and upbringings, we actually do speak different heart languages along with its own set of non-verbal communication cues, which many times actually carries more weight than the spoken ones. I am still working on the nuances of facial expressions, gestures, idioms, tones, etc.. of the English language and making it another heart language of mine. However, it takes constant effort and intentionality. We think in our own cultural mindsets naturally. Mix in the differences between manhood and womanhood, we still have a ton to learn.


The intensity of the work on the house revealed many pitfalls in our communication patterns. How I responded to the differences brought more heart issues into my attention. For example, some of the house-related decisions needed to be made quickly. Not all of our discussions ended up with a happy ending, but that’s okay. Our God is merciful and we had many opportunities to practice forgiveness and reconciliation. It took spiritual discipline to carry the glorious cross daily through our daily communication. God is always faithful in bringing us back on track, as we commit ourselves first to Him and His will by the power of the Spirit.

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Upstairs bathroom floor. Look down and you will see the kitchen. 🙂

God is love! God is beautiful! Praise God for working through my heart attitudes in embracing differences and hence celebrating God’s purpose for our marriage. This blog came to birth as we came together in our “holely” kitchen (yeah, we literally could see through the upstairs bathroom from our kitchen then), in seeking the “oneness” according to God’s blueprint (Read “why this site” here). We started the countdown to our ten-year anniversary on this site. We threw ideas back and forth for a name that could catch both of our hearts, which was a big step in forming our family mission statement. We came to know not only with our heads but with our hearts that: it is His plan, before the creation of the world, to put us two totally different individuals together as a couple, now as  parents as well, for His glorious purposes. Continue reading