My Two Favorite Questions: What are We Doing? And Why are We Doing It?


What are we doing? And why are we doing it? Lately, these two questions have been a regular topic of conversation between my husband and I. It’s not like we’re doing anything out of the ordinary to make us ask these things. On the contrary, it’s the ordinary that is propelling the discussion forward. 

Exactly what are we doing? And why are we doing it? What is motivation for signing the kids up for these events? Why do we feel compelled to eat what we do? How are we spending our money? What should we do with our free time? What are our family priorities? From the outside looking in – can you tell those are our priorities? 

When we imagine our lives 10 years from now, what do we see? What do we want to see? 

What are we doing? And why are we doing it? 

These are good questions, right? I would go as far to say they are even necessary questions. 

My husband and I decided we want to live our lives with intentionality, and in order for that to happen we need to consider the motivation behind the things we do. It’s easy to do something just because everyone around us is doing it. We are constantly succumbing to peer pressure, without even realizing we’ve been pressured in the first place. 

It’s not like in high school when someone is thrusting a cigarette in your face trying to convince you to just take one puff. “Come on, man. You don’t have to really inhale. Just try it. Just this once.” Nope. This isn’t an overt pressure. It’s a silent, subtle pressure that builds and builds and forces us into action – without us even realizing what it is we are succumbing to. 

Take this scenario for instance: My child is really good at soccer and seems to thoroughly enjoy it. My husband and I have had numerous conversations about how we really don’t want all of our weekdays and weekends taken up. We don’t have the time or the money to travel, but if we want our child to be any good and to be competitive – then we have no choice but to sign up for travel ball. Right? If we don’t do this, our child will lose all hope of earning a scholarship. Heck, he or she may not even make the high school team. That’s settled. We have no choice. Travel ball it is. I can pick up a second job if I have to. 

Suddenly all of your time and money is being funneled into something you don’t really want to do. And then, if your child comes to you in a state of burn out five years from now, it’s going to be really hard to fight being ticked off – because what in the world did you spend all of that time and money for anyway? 

Let me stop here and say this post is in no way shape or form meant to be an attack on travel sports. It’s more of a commentary about how we may find ourselves in situations we never really wanted to be in. It’s about how we may say “yes” to things without fully understanding the implications of what we are saying yes to – just because it seems like it’s what we are “supposed” to do. 

This is where my husband and I have found ourselves. All of those “yes” replies to the things we felt like we were supposed to do are starting to catch up with us – making us ask the two important questions I started with. 

What are we doing? And why are we doing it? 

We’ve realized these aren’t occasional questions, they are constant questions and if we want to be intentional about asking them, then we need to set aside time for these discussions to take place. And that is how the Thompson Family Spousal Meeting was born. 

Now, my husband and I sit down once a week with my very favorite little yellow notebook with an old-timey typewriter on the front that says “Remember, ideas become things” and have an intentional conversation about what we are doing and (you guessed it) – why we are doing it. 

During our meetings we discuss long-term goals and dreams, short-term goals and specific goals for the upcoming week. We talk about what steps we need to take to reach out long-term goals and how we can support one another. We also look at the week’s schedule and share any prayer requests we may have. Sometimes we throw a little budget discussion into the mix. The meeting isn’t long and I’m sure there are plenty other things we could throw in there, but it works for us. 

Our next step is to turn our Spousal Meeting into a Thompson Family Meeting, but we haven’t quite gotten there yet. Baby steps. 

We have realized we both have dreams – some big and some small. We are trying to discover our passions and our God-given talents. We are trying to do life with intention and purpose. We want this not only for ourselves, but also for our children. We realized we have been mindlessly following some script for our lives that is incredibly safe and reliable. One step in front of the other, without ever considering why we are really taking those steps. Or if we really want to be taking them for that matter. Are we doing what we want to do? Or what we feel like we should do? Are we paying attention to what is best for our family? For our children? Are we treating them as unique individuals? Are we making time for what matters? 

What are we doing? And why are we doing it? 

The answers will always be changing, but at least the dialogue is there. In our weekly meeting we have carved out space for much needed discussion that will hopefully propel us toward intentional living, where our dreams can leave our hearts and minds and begin to fill the pages of my favorite little yellow notebook – and ultimately, our lives. 



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Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four spunky, sweet (and sometimes a bit wild) children. Like most parents, her life is spent managing the chaos to the best of her ability – some days are more successful than others. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, she and her family are on the hunt for the best hot chicken and Bar-B-Que joints in town. Life is full of ups and downs and she hopes the words she writes will be a source of encouragement to others, wherever they may find themselves in their parenting journey. Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience and life observations as a freelance writer and keeps a personal blog at, where she has fun writing when time permits. You can find her on Twitter and follow her on Facebook at Truly Yours Jen, Jennifer Thompson - writer.


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