My Spec Sheet

0 comments Posted on January 28, 2014

Dianne Matthewsby Dianne Neal Matthews

When our house went on the market last summer, I became obsessed with keeping it immaculate and ready for the realtor to show at a moment’s notice. The house sold three months later and my husband and I moved to another state. After several Saturdays of looking at prospective homes, we decided to buy a concrete slab—and what the builder planned to put on top of it. This isn’t a custom-built home; the builder had already planned the layout, floor coverings, paint colors, light fixtures, and appliances. But since we purchased it at such an early stage, we do have the option of making some changes.

Now I’m once again an obsessed woman. I carry around an overstuffed folder of blueprints, lists of colors and finishes, and descriptions of the features. I pore over the “spec sheet” and make trips to various stores to evaluate the carpet, wood, and hardware choices. My purse has paint strips sticking out. I’m also wondering how I’m going to fill this bigger house with furniture.

Today I glanced at the wall calendar and was astonished to discover that January is almost over. I have an uneasy feeling that I need to put away the house plans long enough to make plans for the new year ahead. Instead of studying the spec sheet for our new home, I should take time to evaluate the spec sheet of my life. What foundation am I building on? Am I filling my days with the essentials of prayer, Bible study, and serving others? Is my lifestyle “decorated” with godly traits like kindness, gentleness, patience, and self-control? I need to concentrate less on the appearance of my house of brick and wood, and focus more on building a beautiful life.


Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.


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