January Free Family Events (Cleveland, OH)

Happy New Year!!!

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4

As we celebrate the new year, we celebrate what God has done and what God is doing. “In the beginning God created…” and God is still working in His creation and in our lives. In fact, “the heavens declare the glory of God”!

To start the new year, we would like to highlight an amazing, meaningful, free activity that is great for the whole family at different levels. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has a temporary exhibit (9/29/2018-4/28/2019) called “BUILT TO SURVIVE: BIOMECHANICS”. We were there today and it is amazing!!! It’s as if it were created to show the amazing wisdom, power, creativity, etc. of our amazing Creator. Our 4 year old, 8 year old, Elyse and myself (It’s hard to speak for the baby), all thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and it had the right mix of hands on, and deeper information to keep us all engaged and amazed. (See below for the “free” part, since the museum is not usually free. :o)

For those who are homeschooling their children, we have another exciting event to highlight. Bible Study Fellowship offers a great way to go deeper into God’s Word with a view to know him more. The day women’s class in Middleburg Heights has had the pre-school program for years, but that was difficult for families who are homeschooling. Starting this year, they will be adding the school age program for K-12!!! If you, or your children, would like to go deeper into God’s Word. This may be worth your checking out! BSF continues to be a huge blessing for our family and we are excited to pass this along.

With those highlights, here are other activities to celebrate God and his creation in the the month of January.

January 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.

Events marked “($$$)” have a fee.

So, How do I go to the Natural History Museum for FREE!?!

We encourage supporting the museums, etc. However, if finances are going to keep you from going and you’re willing to have a little extra hassle, there is a way to go for free through the public library.

Here is how:

  1. Get a Cleveland Public Library card. (Bring your Cuyahoga County card and they can use the same card) – FREE
  2. Ask to check out a “Family Pass” for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. This is good for six people to enjoy the museum AND the planetarium for FREE!
    1. The branches sometimes run out. If they don’t have one try again later, or try another branch.
    2. These do not need to be returned. You turn them in at the museum in exchange for tickets.
  3. Tell a friend… share the good news! (Especially while the “BUILT TO SURVIVE: BIOMECHANICS” is still at the museum!)

Enjoy your New Year as you focus on the Beginner and Sustainer of all things!

Other events that are not specific to this month

Ongoing Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

Weekly Recurring Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

Monthly Recurring Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

December Free Family Events (Cleveland, OH)

Merry Christmas!!!

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

As we enjoy the spirit of Christmas, the lights, the family, the gifts and the music, I pray that we will once again remember the true Spirit of Christmas, Jesus the eternal Creator and Sustainer of all things, entering into His creation, not in power in might, but as a baby. He is the light of the world, bringing the light of life. He is the one who provides the way for us, sinful people, to be part of the family of our holy God! He is the ultimate gift, come not just as a baby (that didn’t last long, as all babies grow quickly), but as the Lamb of God, come to be the final sacrifice, to pay for our sins! And the one of whom every song should be sung, to the praise of his glory!

CHRISTmas… the Lord has come!

As you celebrate Christmas, remember to be still and appreciate what he has done. As you attend events, may this child, who would become our Savior and King, be at the front of you mind, words and actions.

Here are a sampling of some of the events and opportunities around the Cleveland area, may they point you to the King born in a manger.

Ongoing Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

 

Weekly Recurring Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

Monthly Recurring Events (Some may have different schedules this month)

December 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 December as you celebrate the coming of the King, our risen Lord Jesus!

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. 🙂

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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!

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Called to Go, Willing to Stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (8)

7.  Practical blessing

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

My four-year old son was not the only one with many questions throughout various house-fixing jobs. He actually learned house-building related vocabulary faster than I did. I was struck when he corrected me by saying, “mama, it is ‘caulking’ not ‘painting’”.  I was surprised how much a little boy can learn from real life. It was a wake up call for me in viewing homeschooling as a lifestyle for the whole family. The best part was that we were all learning together through real life. It was a shared experience which we will refer to for years to come.

To give you a little background: I grew up in an apartment as a city girl in China. House projects, due to cheaper labor, were almost always hired out where I grew up. Before we came to the States, we spent four years of our married life in an one-bedroom student dorm. We didn’t have a yard, a car, American sized washer/dryer/refrigerator/oven or pretty much anything an average American home has. Now God has blessed us with all those possessions, He is also equipping us with skills and responsibilities to manage them.  We (namely, my husband. I get the blessing of being one with him!) not only had fun learning many house repair/building/maintenance skills, but also other building skills in general as we found creative ways to save money.

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Upstairs bathroom (before)

I am so proud of my husband, when he made our DIY home-decor idea into reality, when he figured out ways to fix our second-hand refrigerator, when he installed wires or switches, or many items I don’t even know the names. I am so grateful God blessed my husband with useful skills, a curious mind, adventurous spirit, and lots of friends and family to help as we needed. It was a slow but rewarding process. We don’t know how long we are to stay at this house, but now that we are blessed to own it, we are making full use of it, including all the learning and serving opportunities.


Five years ago when we first came to the States, we never thought we would own a house here. God had a different plan for us for this season of life in calling us to being willing to stay, to raise a family rooted in His Truth, to serve within the Body of Christ from our local church and community. What a blessing to gain wisdom in the Lord in a time like this when so many different voices have saturated the media! On top of all the skills and knowledge we have gained in the house-building process, we are eternally more grateful for a deeper understanding of Who God is and what our eternal Home is like through His Word.   Continue reading