Mention "the call" around a group of foster families, and there's no doubt what you're talking about.
It's the moment when that worker calls, There's an 8 and 10 year old siblings. Don't know their race. Don't really know what they're coming from. We do know they don't have a place to sleep tonight. Could you take them in, in about 45 minutes?
And you have a whole three minutes to think it through.
Since the Beans went home with a relative, and another probable placement also went to a relative, it's been quiet in the Lumpkin bunker. A refreshing quiet, but quiet all the same.
We term it "addicted to the chaos" - in a healthy way.
We've embraced the rest and chance to revive ourselves as a family, with Cinderella in tow, but there's still a tug in the back of your heart that there are four empty beds in our home, and hundreds of thousands of kids in crisis situations with no places to sleep tonight.
And honestly, we're in love with having a big family, and this seems to be the way God is growing us.
And so, you know that if that call were to come, you would jump in a second to see if God was leading you to make it work.
The chance to love a new family, gift of studying and discovering a new child, the treasure of a new adventure of healing - including your own in fresh ways.
Even coming off of seven days of vomit, the boys are beginning to say it's just too quiet and boring around here. One asked if the craziness could come back soon.
Jamie and I once went through John Piper's study on the design of femininity and masculinity; how from the beginning of time even our gender was designed to shape our purpose in bringing the Father glory on this earth.
We believe that for families too. From the creation of time, each family was designed for a way that only that family can bring heaven to earth.
By God's grace, for this season, this is our space, and we can't get enough of it.
It's beautiful to see how each child responds to our new children's different needs and points of grieving, how they jump in at various critical moments, moments when grown ups can't seem to get through.
The three men of God who are growing before my eyes, blow me away.
So, we're kind of at that stage where we check our phones a little too much, to see if a new challenge of love is before us, but striving to be fully present in where we are at the same time.
Today, with piles of laundry victimized from days of throw up, I uttered a prayer for God to bring the call for the child in need already because we know they're out there.
Instead, he brought me four calls in 30 minutes.
~ The first was from a precious foster momma friend expressing her commitment to see her ministry partner with The Forgotten Initiative on the DHR renovations, and then a minute of prayer, that refocused my soul.
~ The second was from the Beans with their momma, telling us how much they adored their birthday and Valentine's surprises and subsequent pictures for my heart.
~ The third was from J. It was my little guy's giggling into the phone and his grandma asking if she could bring us soup while we're wrapping up this sickness. Oh my heart.
~ The fourth was our girls' momma, just wanting me to pray with her aloud over the phone because she doesn't know how to do what she's doing. I told her I don't know how to do what I'm doing either, but there's Someone who's gone before us.
It wasn't the call I expected or really had hoped for, but it was four calls that the Father used to quiet me and remind me how large He is growing our family with each day as we are faithful in hope and perseverance. It was four calls He used to remind me that foster care isn't the project of one child, but a lifestyle of messy ministry, letting my mess be seen, and identifying with the mess of others, so that together we all end at the Cross.
For me, it was the perfect calls I needed today, but we're still open to "the call." :)
Because of Jesus,