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. This book sounds like the story of my life. =)

  2. This looks like a great book for ANYBODY!!

  3. This would be the perfect book for me right now.

  4. This is such a big issue for me. I bought a bracelet his past year that I wear nearly everyday. It says “be here now”. I wear it ti remind me to be present in my own life! This book sounds like a good one for me!

  5. Jolie Marie says:

    Oh how many seasons I can relate to this. Sounds like a groundbreaking read!

  6. I’ve already added this book to the top of my list of books I’d like to read, and I’d love to win a copy.

  7. This totally resonates with me….

  8. Thanks for the giveaway — the book looks like a great reminder for parents everywhere, hoping for that “easier” stage of parenting sometime down the road.

  9. I love reading about how others have learned to live in the moment.

  10. Huge Jeff Goins fan. Would LOVE to read this book! Need to embrace the in between…

  11. Jannell Kelley says:

    I’d dare to give say that’s probably right where I find myself these days. I anticipate it being a great book!

  12. Oh I know EXACTLY what you mean! I have always been that type of person too- always thinking there’s going to be something better coming ahead. I feel like I did that so much through the “baby years” of the three kids I have that I kind of missed out on enjoying the moment. After four losses, I face the possibility of not having any more babies- and it makes me sad that I didn’t try harder to savor those short baby days. I would love to read this book to understand better how to live for “today”, instead of always looking forward to the next thing.

  13. Melissa B says:

    Your post spoke to me, as I am in a one-year position and just started looking for next year, my husband is staying at home for a year and the kids are starting at a new school and we just moved to a new town, only to probably move again in a year. The tension is exhausting and it is hard to just be in the present. I would love a copy of his book.

  14. Juli vrotney says:

    I would love this book….

  15. I well remember those years as well, waiting to be bigger and older. I remembers seeing a saying…that the 15 year old yearns to be 21 and so does the 60 yr old.

  16. I would love to win this book.

  17. Sounds like a great book to introduce to my students (who are getting ready to head off to college)…and myself.

  18. This book sounds so inspiring! I would love to win! Thank you for the opportunity. Best Wishes, Kenda

  19. “Be here now!” Important words to remember and live! I would really like to read this book. 🙂

  20. It’s so true that “we’re not always great at finding contentment during the waiting period.” That’s exactly how I am. Always waiting for something better not realizing what I already have NOW.

  21. Beth Rudolf says:

    It sounds like a great read. I always benefit from gentle reminders to remain present.

  22. I’m right with you, this book sounds like it would be a good one for me to read as well!

  23. Sounds like a great read!

  24. Leslie MP says:

    Sounds like something I need to read! Thanks for giveaway.

  25. I’d love to win! I’ve felt that we’re in that “in-between” place for several years. My husband just finished his second round of schooling, and now I’m impatient for that next step. It feels like we’ve been waiting forever!

  26. Sounds like a great book! Will add it to my reading list.

  27. This book sounds amazing! excited to read it 🙂

  28. Pick me! Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

    lindseyjunk (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  29. I’d love to win, this sounds perfect for my life right now 🙂

  30. This book sounds perfect for where I am and where I am wanting to be, emotionally. I would love to read it!

  31. This is clearly a book I need to own. Winning or purchasing, it will be mine.

  32. Monica Garrison Reusch says:

    Definitely putting this on my to read list. 🙂

  33. This is just where we are…would love to win…and maybe will read it even if I don’t!

  34. Would love a copy, thanks for the opportunity!

  35. This absolutely sounds like the sort of book I would love to read!

  36. So I’m not the only one always waiting for the next big thing? 🙂 Sounds like a book I need to read!

  37. This sounds like an interesting read. I find myself at 60 and am wondering why the heck I wanted to get older do fast because it has come upon me like a flash without me realizing it.

  38. Would love to read this!!

  39. I can totally relate, Tsh. Would love to win this book!

  40. Elizabeth says:

    This is perfect timing. Just as I’m trying hard to focus on the present, live in the moment, and remember that I’ll never get another chance to relive today. I’d love to win a copy.

  41. Looks like a great book that will inspire!

  42. I am curious what happened when you were 32. Did the habit of looking ahead just fall away? What made the difference for me, I think, was finally quitting a job I was never all that happy with.

  43. I really want this book! I bet it would be a great read. I remember being young I just wanted to be 13 sooooo badly. Then I turned 13 and thought it was the lamest age ever. lol

  44. Just clicked on the link and read a bit of the book. Love – ‘we are in between the panels’ resonates a great deal for me. Thanks for introducing me to the book!

  45. Sounds like this is the type of book I need to read.

  46. Sounds very timely for me right now. Thanks for the chance!

  47. I working hard at that enjoying this moment thing. Would love to read this book!

  48. This book is a MUST for me! I need to break the cycle for my kids. I want them to stop and smell the roses. I never even noticed the color of the roses I was jamming through life so fast!

  49. I am totally guilty of this, especially as a recent college graduate. Would love to read this book!

  50. Brianna Ponio says:

    This is such an important concept to try to live out, as anyone but I’m finding especially as a parent it is necessary for enjoying the days! I could use a little guidance and a reminder. Sounds like a great read!

  51. I do find living in the in between difficult at times. As much as I love downtimes and weekends that’s when I struggle most… With depression, worry, etc. I think this book would be very helpful and interesting to read.

  52. KDboymama says:

    The “in between” sounds like a great read… exactly right on for how I’m feeling.

    Am I lucky enough to be a winner?? We’ll see!!

    Thank you for your blog 🙂 Always entertaining, always insightful, always leaves me coming back for more 🙂

    xoxo Jen

  53. What a wonderful idea for a book!

  54. Sounds like an awesome book!

  55. I’d love a copy!

  56. Sounds interesting.

  57. Coming home from India and re-acclimating to life in the US is no joke! This book sounds like it’s what I need right now.

  58. I’ve heard one too many good reviews for this book – I’d love to win!

  59. Perfectly describes me & I see it in my kids! Yikes!

  60. Sounds like a winner. I always need that reminder to live in the moment.

  61. Christina Y. says:

    I tend to struggle with this, as well. Always looking for what’s next and not enjoying the in-between moments… This book would be great for me to read!

  62. I’m struggling with the “In between” time right now in my life. Maybe this is just what I needed to get me going!

  63. I am struggling with the “in Between” right now in my life. This sounds like a good read for me.

  64. Heather k. M says:

    Sounds like a great book!!

  65. Sounds awesome 🙂

  66. Catherine Burke says:

    Would def benefit from this! That’s for sure! : )

  67. I could definitely use this book right about now.

  68. My husband and I are in the “in-between” of life stage, of deciding about entering retirement. It is a challenging place because it holds so many changes, fears, and questions. I see him navigating feeling about age, usefulness, and even waiting too long, yet I know the Lord knows our times…

  69. Gosh, I have GOT to read this book! Definitely can relate to always pining away for the next year/circumstance/season. More and more I’m learning to embrace the imperfections of the right now.

  70. Glad it’s not just me! Looking forward to reading this sometime.

  71. Husband and I talked the other day about how life is passing us by while we wait for all the stresses and problems to get sorted. Would love to read this.

  72. I can so relate. I remember at 10 thinking that I would be all grown up at 17 (because I thought my 17yo aunt who lived with us was so grown up because she bought her own socks – not realizing it was because her father had just died). When I turned 17 and nothing spectacular happened to make me feel grown up, I was sincerely disappointed and a little depressed.

  73. Katherine says:

    I’ve spent most of my life focusing on the next big thing. Perhaps I need to read this book.

  74. I woul love to read this book.

  75. This book sounds tailor-made. I would love to win.

  76. Pick me! Pick me!

  77. Elizabeth says:

    I understand this entirely. Knowing that success is a journey, not a destination, is a fine and dandy, but sometimes I just want to reach the next milestone of my journey a -little- faster.

  78. Oh man, this sounds like the book for me!

  79. I struggle between finding contentment and making sure I keep my dreams alive. Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  80. This! I need this!

  81. You’re the second blogger I’ve seen recommend this book. And I do feel like I’m at an in-between spot myself. I’d love to win.

  82. Can’t wait to read it whether I win or not. 🙂

  83. I have been thinking a lot about this very thing…I would love to win this book!

  84. Kelly Carty says:

    There is a reason I saw this. I need to win this book!

  85. I remember desperately wanting to be DONE with the whole High School, College, Courtship thing and wanting to have a family and a career, BAM, all taken care of and enjoyable. 😛 I SOOOO desperately wish I knew then how to enjoy the now, even the uncomfortable nows. I enjoyed the vast majority of my childhood, but the transition periods when the next thing is visible and tantalizing, its really hard not to get absorbed by that possible future.

  86. Elmina Tilley says:

    I so need this bpok right now. I am a empty nester having a hard time.

  87. I would love to read this!

  88. Sounds like a great book!

  89. Sounds like a much needed read to me!

  90. This sounds like a great read – I see the very same thing happening with my 9 year old daughter.

  91. Memories and blips, that’s how I see my life. The trick is to have more memories than blips.
    Mr. Goins’ insights would really help me with that. I can always buy the book but winning it is more fun and a great memory, too!

  92. We all need to be reminded to live in the NOW!

  93. This sounds exactly like a book I need to read at the moment! Thanks for the chance!

  94. I would love to read this. Thank you!

  95. I can’t wait to read it!

  96. Sounds like a great “bloom where you’re planted” book to help us all embrace where we are, savoring moments instead of ignoring them because they aren’t what WE want. Enjoying the “in-between” – LOVE IT!

  97. Sounds like a great book!

  98. Looks like a good read – I look forward to checking it out.

  99. I’d love to win!

  100. Looks like a great read!