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. Sounds like a great book! I’d love to win!

  2. Pick me…pick me… I so need to read this book!

  3. Sounds like the book for me! I can totally relate.

  4. Christina Y. says:

    This is something I struggle with… Always looking for the next big thing in life. I’d love to read this book!

  5. I was the exact. same. way. growing up. My mom always told me to just enjoy my current age/grade/season, but I didn’t listen! Now that I’m very quickly nearing 30, I’m not really wishing for that next age to get here 🙂 I’d love to read this book!

  6. This sounds just about right. I can’t wait for September– because all of my problems will be gone, right? I think I need to read this ASAP.

  7. Looks like a good back to school read.

  8. Sounds like a great book!

  9. I’ve amways been like this, not so good at being patient.. 🙂 and then when is over you realize it was not that bad..

  10. Exactly what I need to read….as I sit here nursing my 5th baby!

  11. Sounds like a fun book. Yes, sometimes I struggle to find contentment in the here and now. I’m working on it. 😛

  12. Thanks for telling us about the book. Looks great!

  13. Love to add it to my bookshelf!

  14. Learning to embrace the in-between – great post and look forward to reading Jeff’s book!

  15. Oh, I need to read Jeff’s book. Here’s to learning how to live in the now!

  16. Sounds like a useful book! I definitely remember becoming a senior in high school and realizing – I don’t feel like I have it as “together” as I thought the seniors did when I was a freshman.

  17. Peggy Mazzone says:

    Ha … I’m retired and still waiting for ‘the next big thing’ I need this book

  18. It’s so hard, isn’t it, to “stay in the moment?” I’ve always been the kind of person who can’t wait to get to the next step, but I’ve found that my daughter, who’s 15 months, really forces me to be present when I’m with her. (It’s also a huge help that I have amazing childcare, so my burnout rate is lower and my level of patience is higher than it might otherwise be.) This is especially true of when I’m putting her to bed at night, which I’m pretty sure has become my newest form of meditation!

    (That said, I just did my holiday card and cookie list a few days ago, so clearly I haven’t changed all that much!)

  19. Yep! Sounds like my life.

  20. Would love to read this, it sounds like my daily struggle. I try to remember to stop and just live in the moment but it doesn’t usually last.

  21. I love this idea. It’s something I managed to stumble upon after I had my daughter. If I spent my days waiting for her to be potty-trained, weaned, walking, etc. then I realized I would miss all the good stuff in between. 🙂

  22. I feel like this post is speaking directly to me. And I’m 32 in a few months and I’m still doing this. But living in the present is something I work on daily. Sounds like a great read!

  23. I have been looking at this book to purchase for a little while. It would be great to win it!!!

  24. Sounds like a great book – thanks for sharing!

  25. A topic we can all relate to – sounds like a great read!

  26. I can completely relate to your struggle with enjoying “where you are now.” And, like you, it was not until I was in my early 30s, I think with the arrival of my second child, that I really started to get it. And now, I too, watch my oldest son, almost 6, struggle with it. I can’t help but assume he’s still picking up on certain things from me. For example – his birthday is 4 days away, we had his party with friends last Saturday and a family party coming up this weekend. Nevertheless, on Monday, he was explaining to me that he was ready to start making his Christmas wish list!!! I’d love to read this book.

  27. Lori Wilbur says:

    Sounds like a great story!

  28. As someone about to enter a year long waiting period this post REALLY resonated with me!

  29. Christine C says:

    Who doesn’t need this book?? 🙂 Always good reminders.

  30. That is funny because those two words SO describe my life right now. I have one that just got married this summer, one that graduated this summer and one that I have two more years to homeschool. I am trying to figure out what I am going to do once they all leave the nest. I had 20+ years to plan and it seemed like 5 minutes! I have been a homeschool stay at home for so long, not sure what I want to be “when I grow up!”

  31. Always love to discover new books to read… thanks for hosting!
    xo Heidi

  32. April Mitchell says:

    Your description of yourself sounds like me, too. I think this would be an interesting and informative read. Thanks for the opportunity! 🙂

  33. It sounds like a great book.

  34. Um excuse me but you really should have asked before reading my journal. 😉 This is literally the story of my life.

  35. I’d live to win! I’m totally “that girl”. Thanks!

  36. PLEASE pick me to win this fitting book!

  37. Oh, I SO need some wisdom on the in-between right now! Would love to win. Thanks for the giveaway. 🙂

  38. Sounds like a great book for me, someone who frequently looks to the next step in life instead of enjoying the here and now

  39. Christine says:

    Sounds like a great book for me. Thanks!

  40. I am sooo there right now; it sounds like a really good read.

  41. Wow, that could have been MY words in those opening paragraphs Tsh!! You described EXACTLY how I have been feeling, for most of my life, and very much so in the past few years. While I happily watch by as my closest friends move forward and reach milestone after milestone – many I am crying out for myself – I often wonder that since-the-beginning-of-time-question “why not me?” … I have trouble in the waiting … in the staying-in-the-same-season-for-longer-than-I-envisioned-or-even-hoped. I have loved all of Jeff’s previous books, and this one sounds like it will be a well-read-highlighted-and-underlined book in my bookshelf. Thankyou for sharing your review of this book – I have now added it to my wish list 🙂 … oh, and Thankyou for the opportunity to win a copy – those lucky enough will definitely be blessed by his writing!!

  42. I would love to read this book!

  43. I would really enjoy this book!

  44. Jessica H says:

    Sounds like an awesome book that I could really relate to! I’d love to win it.

  45. Colleen Garcia says:

    A number of my friends have read, or are reading, this – and I’d love to be sharing in these fun conversations! Thanks for offering this giveaway! <3

  46. Thanks for the book recommendation! I’d love to win it.

  47. Hope Connell says:

    Yes, please.

  48. This sounds like a book I need to read.

  49. Tracey Lee says:

    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity!

  50. I’m now 55 and FINALLY learning to live in the moment. It requires intentionality (if there is such a word). I encourage those of you who are younger to savor each moment as a gift to be embraced as you can never get those moments back.

  51. Ahh would be a lovely read to win! as a first time new mum ….learning to slow down and enjoy the moments! 🙂

  52. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book, I’ve heard great things about it. I would love to win a copy!

  53. I would love this book! My whole life has been inbetweens, from Arkansas to Southern Mo, to northern Mo, back to southern Mo, right now we’re in Spain & in 3 years, probably somewhere else…

  54. Sounds like an interesting book!

  55. I have this book marked to read!! I would love to win a copy!!! 🙂

  56. I heard Jeff speak at BlissDom this year. Would love to read his new book.

  57. This book sounds awesome, I hope I win a copy!

  58. I want to add my 2 cents. Jeff is amazing! I’m almost halfway through this book and he just has such an awesome way of challenging you to savor life as it is. Highly recommended!

  59. I think we can all relate! At each stage I would ask myself, “Why was I in such a hurry to get here?” Now that I have two little girls, I have to force myself to live in the here and now and not let those thoughts creep up on me. (Life will be perfect when the baby is potty trained, or when we get a bigger house, or when we get a smaller house, etc.) The grass is greener where we water it, right? So I make myself water this grass right here.

  60. Christine says:

    This book sounds like it was written for me! I would love to read it.

  61. Anna Schulte says:

    I really enjoyed this blog post. Lately, God has been communicating with me about dreams that have been on the back burner of life. I think that Jeff’s book sounds like it would be encouraging to read and helpful for our family to process. Thanks for writing this post. You and your ministry have such impact in my life.

  62. I need something to help me love my in-between.

  63. Kim Davies says:

    Sounds like an inspirational book!

  64. This obviously resonated. Would love to read it. 🙂

  65. Ahhh…the elusive NEXT BIG THING! Here’s to living in the NOW!

  66. I would love to read this!

  67. Sounds like a perfectly timed read!

  68. Would love to win, can totally relate.

  69. Having dealt with infertility for most of the past 10 years, I have lived in the in-between most of that time. I’m looking forward to reading this book!

  70. This is the big issue in my life these days; the one God is shining a spotlight on. This is now on my must-read list!

  71. I could definitely use a little help in appreciating the in-between…would love to win this book!

  72. This is one of my struggles. Looks like a great book.

  73. I just finished reading Cold Tangerines and this same theme comes up. I would love a chance to read another good book with “food for thought” inside. Thanks!

  74. I’d love to read this book!!

  75. sounds great!

  76. This is on my to-read list. Woot!

  77. Laura Tawney says:

    This book sounds like a great read! This is one of the topics I was discussing with my husband about the need to be present in the time we are in and appreciating it. Thanks for the opportunity to read this book!

  78. Courtney R says:

    I completely identify with this concept and especially after having a child I have realized how quickly the years are sailing away. I often stop and appreciate the “in-between.” I try to savor the anticipation as much as the actual “thing” I am trying to wish away the days for…

  79. I would love to read this book!

  80. This sounds like a fabulous book!

  81. Sounds like something I need to read, as well. I’ve always looked forward to what comes next, rarely savoring the in-between. Good reminder for me to do more of that!

  82. Margaret Petry says:

    That sounds great! I do the same thing, looking ahead to the “next” thing. I would love to read this!

  83. I’d love to win!

  84. Kelly Rabalais says:

    Sounds like a fabulous book. I try very hard to live in all the small moments, that I treasure so. I would love the chance to read this book.

  85. In-Between – a powerful time and word!

  86. Would love to read it!! It’s a subject close to my heart

  87. We hear that a lot these days…”I can’t wait for…”; “I can’t wait until…” We try to encourage our children to enjoy the here & now but it’s not always easy. Personally, I’ve learned to slow down quite a bit, especially since I have a mighty big birthday coming up this year & my oldest daughter is entering her senior year of high school. It feels like just yesterday I was announcing my 1st pregnancy. Time flies by quickly enough without me wishing it away, which is something I used to constantly do. You know the old adage, “If I knew then, what I know now.” There are no truer words. Enjoy today!

  88. Sounds like a great read!

  89. That looks like just the kind of message I need to hear.

  90. Saw the trailer for this book on another blog. Beautiful! Loved it! Would love to win a copy.

  91. Would love to read this one!

  92. Janie Staley says:

    I love hearing about new books! Looking forward to reading this one!!

  93. How apropos! I was just looking at a list of businesses and services this morning that give discounts to Seniors, and thinking how I will qualify for some of them soon. Being content in the now is a gook skill to learn.Thanks for the giveaway!

  94. This sounds like a helpful and intriguing read!

  95. I blogged about a similar idea today. Dreams and the in betweens, when you feel you are living your dream contentedly, but you know there is something more out there. Waiting.

  96. This looks like a great book, thanks!

  97. Sounds like a fabulous one. Thanks for such a lovely giveaway. xoxo

  98. I have been looking forward to this book since I first heard about it!

  99. Katherine Williams says:

    I’d love to read it.

  100. Alexandra Lopes says:

    I’d love to read the book!