The in-between

I distinctly remember, in second grade, thinking that my life would be perfect once I was a fifth grader. Then in junior high, I couldn’t wait to be in high school. In high school? I was dying to graduate and move on to college. Then college to graduation, then real world singleness to marriage… and so my thinking went until I was about 32.

I haven’t always been so good at the whole enjoying where you are right now business. Most of my growing up years, I felt like I was continually waiting for the next big thing. As an 11-year-old, I remember watching my friend’s older 14-year-old sister and thinking she was All That, that life would officially arrive once I reached that Age of Awesomeness.

Funny, really, because as a parent, I now watch my eight-year-old do the exact. same. thing. She’s eager-beaver to be older, or in the next grade, or living in the next place. Heck, she starts talking about Christmas in June.


We’re not always great at finding contentment during the waiting period, taking the time to appreciate the ordinary valleys in between the mountain-top experiences. But really? That’s where most of life happens, if you think about it. There’s a reason you can pinpoint your life’s big moments—graduations, marriages, births. Because those moments are few and far between. The majority of the time, we’re called to embrace the extraordinary nature of the ordinary and the daily mundane.

Needless to say, Jeff Goins’ new book The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing resounds clear to me, as a clarion call to live in the moment and make the most of life’s waiting room moments.

The In-Between_KD

His storytelling is captivating and full of warmth and humor, inviting you to walk alongside his journey from Spain to central Texas (hook ’em!) to the midwest to Tennessee. He describes beautifully the journey from young adulthood to singleness to marriage to parenting. Many of us can relate to his own story well, which makes this book a fun read—it’s a personal redemption story that echoes universal truths.

The In-Between is for anyone who loves to read stories about travel, wisdom, and courage to do the hard stuff. I am thankful Jeff put into words the issue so many of us struggle with—how to be content when we live in-between.


The In-BetweenJeff is giving ten Simple Mom readers a copy of The In-Between! Simply leave any comment on this post, and you’ll be entered to win. If you’re reading this via email, please click over to the post and leave a comment on the blog.

This giveaway will end tomorrow night, Friday, August 16, and we’ll announce the winners soon after. I hope you win!

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. love to win!


  2. Sounds like a great book!

  3. LizzyMarvelous says:

    looks like a fantastic read.

  4. Lisa McIntyre says:

    I’d Love to read it!

  5. This sounds great. Thanks!

  6. Sounds like a great read! I hope I win!

  7. Jeff Goins!! That guy is popping up everywhere I go! I would love to win a copy of his book! I read his Writer’s Manifesto just yesterday and it has seriously changed my perspective. He’s great.

    Congrats to the lucky ducks who win! Hope I’m among you!

  8. Oh, I am SO in the In-Betweens right now…and am having to learn the lessons of living in the here and now. Would love to win and read this book!

  9. I would LOVE to read this–I saw his post over at Chatting at the Sky the other day….really liked it. Thanks for the review.
    Sarah M

  10. lisa anne says:

    after 49 years, I have given myself permission to enjoy today, It is beautiful.

  11. Heather Marie says:

    Oh, this sounds awesome! I’m a newlywed trying to enjoy the “wed” and not rush into the next big thing… Parenting.

  12. Sounds like a lovely story. I’m a sucker for travel & parenting books.

  13. I love a good read.

  14. Sounds great!

  15. Would love to win a copy!

  16. I need to read this book!

  17. Oh, I’ve been dying to read this book!

  18. Sounds like a great read

  19. Looks like a great book – thanks for sharing!

  20. it’s been a hard in-between these days with too many friends hurting too much. it makes me want to escape to those highs. but i know that this is where life is, and this is where i need to be. big breath.

  21. Sounds like a great read for me right now!

  22. Didn’t realize he had been to Spain! Sounds like a great read!

  23. I’d love to win!

  24. This looks like an excellent book! I’m always pushing myself to the next thing, and I SO want to slow down and figure out how to live in the in-between.

  25. This sounds so fantastic. Just moved from CA to OR and have been blogging about this very thing—-liminality. The space between the past and the future. Would love to read his thoughts!!!!

  26. Sounds like a great book that I need to read at this point in my life. I was just thinking that my husband and I are too focused on retirement and what ifs for that time period ( about 15-20 years away) instead of focusing on the here and now with our boys lately.

  27. Sounds like a book I need to read. I hope I win because I often struggle with this.

  28. story of my life!!!! I’d love to read this!

  29. I would love to win this book. We live in Spain now and have experienced a lot of in-between. There’s probably lots more to come too 🙂

  30. Sounds like a fun read!

  31. Jeff is a great writer, would be thrilled to win a copy of his book. Thanks for hosting an awesome giveaway! 🙂

  32. Katy Rotman says:

    would love to win the book!

  33. Would be so grateful to read that book!

  34. Very true indeed. Will love to have a good read of this book.

  35. Sounds like a great book.

  36. Sounds like something I need to read!!! Thanks.

  37. I would love to win this book. We’ve been living in the “In-Between” for almost 2 years now – in deputation to be missionaries. I understand this tension! And would love more advice on how to handle it.

  38. As a planner by nature, I struggle with this! Would love to read the book.

  39. This sounds great! Yesterday we were in a museum and my 8 yo didn’t bother to actually soak in anything, he was only goncerned with “next!”

  40. Sounds like a great read! Will have to check it out!

  41. Would love to win the book!

  42. Sounds great!

  43. I grew up waiting for the next big thing. Would love to win!

  44. Leslie Moore says:

    Isn’t it funny that we spend our “younger” years trying to get to our “older” ones and visa versa?! This book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

  45. …and the in-between is where life really happens… so it pays to pay attention…

  46. What an awesome topic to write about! I can totally relate!

  47. Isn’t this one of the most difficult part of life to embrace?

  48. beth lehman says:

    oh, i’ve always been just that way. now that my kids are 10 and 12, i’m learning how to savor each moment. it’s taken a long time and i hope that my children will live this way. sounds like a great book.

  49. I can totally relate to your feelings, and would love to win a copy of the book!

  50. Would love to read this!

  51. Erin Lynn says:

    Sounds like an awesome book. Thank you!

  52. Would love to read this!

  53. I remember feeling the same way as a kid. Time always seemed to go so slowly! In college on an overseas trip, I realized I needed to enjoy the present. In my nervousness, I was planning the days until I would be home. Thankfully, the trip turned out to be one of my favorite college memories.

  54. Sounds like a great read!

  55. Looks interesting!

  56. This sounds amazing! Would love to win!

  57. Sounds like the perfect read for me!

  58. Darnetta Bolton says:

    This sounds just like me. I think it would be a great read.

  59. I would love to read this book. Very on-topic for what my husband and I are going through right now in life.

  60. Have been dying to read this book since I first heard about it. Thanks for this opportunity! 🙂

  61. I would like to win the book sounds like a good book to read

  62. Looks like a book i would like to read!!!

  63. My boys are 2 and 1. I’d love to learn Jeff’s insights to help them enjoy the in-between before they’re 32!

  64. So funny–I was just saying this to my boys this morning–who are 5 and “can’t wait for Halloween”. I am often torn between the waiting for the “next thing” and the intense feeling of wanting everything to stay just as it is. Thank you for the chance to win!

  65. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  66. It’s in my amazon cart, but not in my budget this week! I’d love to win!!

  67. Thanks for the opportunity to win. Definitely struggling with the in-between right now.

  68. Sounds like an awesome read. Would love to win a copy of his book!

  69. Elizabeth smillie says:

    What a great sounding read! It’s something that I struggle with, and I’d love a copy 🙂

  70. Thanks so much for the chance to win this book. 🙂 Sounds like a great read!

  71. We All need reminders of How to live well. I sure hope i win!

  72. Is it alright to enter in the hope of getting a copy of this book even if I’m out in Slovakia? (If not, just take my entry out, no worries). Thanks!

  73. This book is on my must-read list and without even reading it yet (just based on reviews and subject matter) is likely to become THE gift I give to friends and family.

  74. Christina says:

    this is how I’ve always been as well, I still am but I’m trying harder to be happy just where I am. sounds like a great book!

  75. Wow! This sounds great!

  76. My kind of read. I never win anything so when I DON’T get notified that……I WON!….I’ll be buying it.

  77. Just had my daughter’s wedding a couple of weeks ago and now the next big thing is my son’s wedding in October. I’d love to read the book while “waiting” for grandchildren! :o)

  78. I am very much in the in-between right now. I’m about to have baby #3, and have started homeschooling, both choices I made knowing they would affect my “career”. I just don’t have time anymore to promote my novel, which released in February. I’m still having trouble letting go of what could have been sometimes–or putting it off for later. Even though I know THIS is real life and it’s more important than any book. I’m sure Jeff’s book would help me, if I could actually find time to read it. 😉

  79. Sounds like something I would love!

  80. Jennifer S says:

    Would love to win this book! I have never been good at the waiting. I have always looked forward to the next phase. Sadly, I am sure I have missed out on a lot of the here and now.

  81. Sounds like a book I need to read right now! Living in a huge in between…

  82. This book is on my t0-read list so I’d love to win a copy.

  83. Love his other books and would love to read this one.

  84. This really resonates with me right now. I feel like I’m in an In-Between place. Would love to read the musings on that topic.

  85. I’ve always been like that too– the book sounds really interesting.

  86. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance

  87. Sounds like a great book!

  88. Funny…my 13 yod was just talking (again!) about this yesterday. She wants to bypass her high school years and head right to young adulthood. It is an ongoing conversation. I would love to read Mr. Goin’s insights. Thanks for offering the giveaway.

  89. This is my life… Would love to read this

  90. What a great read! Having a 2 and 4 year old I feel like I am always looking and waiting; while still trying to sit in each present moment. I’d love to win!

  91. Ordinary valleys and mountain top experiences…love the analogy.
    You arevso right…would love to read the book!

  92. circleabby says:

    PREACH! Appreciating the daily mundane is where I’m living right now!

  93. Need this! 🙂

  94. Pick me!

  95. Would love to read this!

  96. I still do that. I have a hard time being content in the moment. I would love to read this book.

  97. Would love to read this! Sounds like the story of my life…

  98. What a great give away! I too at 33 are just learning how to be happy and content in the present.

  99. Oh that is a constant struggle and one I am now trying consciously to tackle. This book sounds great!

  100. L0ve Jeff Goins! Can’t wait to read this book!