I am accustomed to drywall. In fact, if you ask my favorite smell, freshly hung wallboard would be at the top of the list. We believe that we design with our eyes but there is so much more to it than what we see.

Creation of any kind is a fully immersive experience. 

The truth of this statement was tested three weeks ago when stepping down off the staircase into our first-floor space and watching my feet sink. One and then the other, my furry slippers became drenched in a soggy sea of aquamarine carpet spanning 1400 square feet of dated space waiting patiently to be remodeled.

Sometimes life’s transformation seasons wash over us like a tidal wave. If we are wise, we receive what is, not as a drowning, but a baptism.

Baptism. No matter where you are in your spiritual walk, the sight of someone, in full vulnerability, allowing another to cradle their body while simultaneously shoving them under water is extraordinary. There are those who relax in full surrender, but more often noses are pinched shut, legs stiffen, and copious amounts of air are sucked in as if preparing to take their last breath.

For those who “believe,” that symbolic last breath is not the makings of some arcane ritual but the marking of a literal transformation…a leaving behind of what was, and the birth of something altogether new that expands and redefines the boundaries. 

There are unexpected consequences to our transformation seasons. We take great comfort in the familiar, what we think we know, but there are always secrets buried behind the walls that catch us off guard and reorganize our thinking. 

Our flood triggered a ceiling-to-floor renovation of our new lake bungalow that we were wholly unprepared for— What is not lost on me is the paradox that while we are gutting and transforming our spaces, there is a gutting and transforming going on in me. Just down the spiral staircase is this vivid reflection of what is going on in the tucked away corners of my own interiors. Even after all these years of habitation, there are mysterious and neglected details in need of attention.

Decades of gutting spaces teaches that the unexpected is not the exception but the rule.  

While we design our lives with great intention [an exceedingly over-revered and misused term] we miss the more profound message which reads like an antonym to the orchestrated life—

The secret to unleashing the power of Creation [in our faith and in ourselves] is in embracing the surprises, not as some irritating interruption to our productivity but the foundation of creativity itself. 

With each layer peeled back and hauled away, comes confirmation that there is always room for improvement. The revelation that things are not quite as expected or as they should be, brings with opportunity to awaken the artist, problem-solver, maker, even cancer-slayer in you. 

We were designed to create, to embed our world with the thumbprint of a uniquely independent and complex human. The “surprises” are meant as the playground of that reality—to work it out and through, to dream, to grapple, to reimagine, to rebuild.

Through the years, tearing down walls [both human and home] has become my sandbox. I have grown fascinated with the hidden world—not the one “out there,” waiting to be discovered but the uncovered vast and endless territory right in front [and inside] of me.

While we labor, while we strive to conquer the relentless calendar of our every-days, there are timeless things going on quietly in our eternal agendas, behind our walls, waiting there to be attended to, uncovered, explored, and redeemed. 

1. View surprises not as setbacks but the opportunity to cultivate the problem-solver in you.
2. Embrace the unexpected as life’s way of awakening the Creator in you.
3. Join in conversation with the original Creator rather than insisting on engaging in a language of your own.  
4. Follow the momentum of the moment instead of getting stuck in solutions of the past.
5. Revere learning something new more than appearing as an expert.
6. Be willing to look behind your own walls and ready to break them down if necessary.
7. Be open to what your body/mind/spirit are trying to tell you even if it’s something you may not want to hear.
8. Reframe the tidal waves as baptisms-a rebirth of the unending, undeniable manifestation of the Creator in you.  
9. Never be afraid to take a sledgehammer to those things that don’t belong. 
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