We had a mini-Musser reunion this past weekend in Cincinnati. Andrew and Lacy drove up with their five little ones and joined Andrew’s two older cousins with their wives, each with their own five little ones. Yes, fifteen great-grandkids were all together for the day, the oldest being our grandson Jesse at 9 and the youngest being our granddaughter, Cori, at three months.
It was a time of happy bedlam, with much laughter and very few tears, as these little cousins played together. I love Psalm 127: 3-5 that says
“Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.”
There are quite a few full quivers in the Musser family and for me, it was such a delight to be part of the fun. These three young couples are all raising their kids to love the Lord, and it is an inspiration. We were so inspired that Paul and I offered for the couples to escape together for a little while, and we watched the fifteen little ones.
It may sound heroic (or crazy) on our part, but the truth is, Toy Story did a wonderful job of babysitting and we just patrolled the troops, pausing the movie every once in a while to do a count-off from oldest to youngest, just to make sure none of the toddlers had toddled away.
We also got to spend time with Paul’s older brother, H.A. (and the father of the two older cousins) and his wife, Rhonda, although we could only meet outside because H.A. had tested positive for Covid.
Yes, Covid continues to remind us that our best plans are only that: plans. Every morning I wake up with the thought that “each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6: 34) I’m thankful that way back almost 40 years ago during training for the mission field, one of the most important lessons I learned was to be flexible. Life is very unpredictable.
Traveling from Cincinnati to Louisville, we had planned to spend a few days with Paul’s mother, Mamaw, the beloved matriarch of the Musser clan, and great-grandmother to those 15 little ones (and ten others who weren’t present!). But again, Covid struck. Sunday morning, we learned we’d been exposed to Covid from another source. Mamaw is scheduled for heart surgery in two weeks and we didn’t want to take any chances of exposing her to Covid. So we only were able to have lunch with her and sit outside in her garden with Andrew and tribe.
Still, there was great joy in being together even for a few hours. I marvel at the way the Musser family is a microcosm of God’s family, each member, from youngest to oldest, sharing love, the older ones mentoring the younger ones so that we can all grow up to maturity in Christ.
One of my favorite parts of ministry is watching the younger generations catch on to the wonder of the Lord. Paul and I have always loved mentoring younger believers. It doesn’t happen overnight, does it? Occasionally we get the view of the body of Christ all together, in harmony, praising the Lord. More often, we are just an eclectic group, each with our own personalities, trying to get along with each other and glorify the Lord, in spite of all the things life throws our way.
It can feel a little like happy bedlam. And a lot like a blessing from the Lord.
ELIZABETH MUSSER writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her blog, Letters to the Lord.