Our Life’s Motto

Updated July 15, 2016

This is our life’s motto: live nimbly.

Our life's motto and 8 practical ways we make it work

According to Merriam-Webster, “nimble” means “able to move quickly, easily, and lightly.”

What does this mean to us?

We are ready to change course at any time.

Put another way, if God says go—to the city next door or the country on the other side of the globe—we just go.

Here are 8 things we’re doing to live nimbly.

1. Live a year at a time

We reevaluate most of our big decisions on a yearly basis. These include our living situation, our children’s education, our jobs and our long-term plans. We routinely ask ourselves questions like, “Are these jobs helping us make an impact? Should we sell the house? Is this school setup still working for us?”

2. Pay off all debt

We paid off all our debt. It’s amazing how much freedom comes with not owing people money.

3. Don’t accumulate stuff

The more stuff we have, the more stuff we have to get rid of if we go, and the more stuff we have to maintain if we stay. It’s amazing how much time and money are sucked up by the keeping of things. I am the queen of getting rid of stuff.

4. Only acquire stuff we’d be willing to give away

With the exception of our home, we don’t have anything non-give-away-able. Our cars, furniture, toys, household goods…none of it is so valuable we’d have to sell it in order to leave. If we were in a hurry, we’d just give it away. In the case of our house, we keep an informal list of people we’d offer to rent to if we didn’t sell.

5. Exercise out-of-the-box thinking

Humans are largely creatures of habit and familiarity, but rarely are great things accomplished by doing what’s always been done. André Gide said, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Without the willingness to think differently, we get stuck.

6. It’s more than just living simply

Living simply is awesome and to live nimbly one must living simply, but living nimbly means adding a sense of anticipation and expectation to simplicity. We’re always on the lookout for the next thing.

7. Be travel ready

We all have passports. We track flight prices to parts of the world we might like to visit or live. (Google Flights makes it easy.) We keep our ears open for opportunities to serve around the world. We have a designated budget envelope for future trips.

8. Adopt a “you never know” mindset

We look into opportunities no matter how crazy they seem. It never hurts to investigate. After all, until we sign on the dotted line, nothing is set in stone and anything is possible. Instead of “Oh, that would never work for us!” we think, “Is there any way that could work for us?” Most of the time they don’t pan out, but before we write something off, we exhaust all the potential.

Conclusion

It’s entirely possible we’ll live the rest of our lives right where we are and that would be fine. We can make plans and plans are good, but we don’t want to be so focused on our goals and plans that we miss out on unexpected whispers of God. We want to live on our toes, ready to change course at any time.

Life’s more fun that way.

5 thoughts on “Our Life’s Motto”

  1. I love the idea of owning only what you’d be willing to give away! We’ve inherited stuff from both sides of the ancestral line, and as we clear that away, we’re also digging into our own stuff. I can’t wait to be free and clear of the excess. And I definitely don’t want anyone to have to clean up after me when I’m gone.

  2. This is good, Amy! I love to live simply but, living nimbly is something I need to work on more.

    I, too, and the Queen of getting rid of stuff around here. Usually, no one ever knows it is missing (which is why I get rid of it!) haha!

  3. I love this mindset of nimble living! We should all think more in that direction because we tend to let life get so complicated…my sister’s family is getting ready to GO serve and as I watch them prepare to GO, it makes me realize how lightly we should hold on to things!
    I have learned so much from your site and am in the process of building my own, thanks to you!!! I feel like we would be friends if we lived close…thanks for the inspiration! You have a beautiful family!

  4. Love this…especially that “nimbly” adds an element of anticipation to living simply. Fun post, we aim to live more like this too.

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