Book Review: The In-Between

The In-Between
What is the next “Big Thing” in your life? Graduation? Marriage? First job? New job? Job promotion? Vacation? Retirement?

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in the middle, spinning your wheels, just “biding your time” until that next big moment?

What if the really important stuff in life wasn’t the big moments, but the waiting, the “biding your time”, the filler … the In-Between?

And what if you missed the really important stuff because you were looking right past it, not even seeing it, because you didn’t even think it was the important stuff?

Book: The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing
Author: Jeff Goins

Disclosure: I have no material connection to Jeff Goins or Jeff’s book The In-Between. I purchased the copy of the book that I used for this review, and have not been compensated in any way for this review.

The In-Between
Jeff Goins, in his new book The In-Between, encourages us to re-think our priorities about what’s really important.

The big moments in life are great, sure. But how much time do we spend in ordinary, everyday, mundane living compared to those few big moments?

What if we focused on the beauty of the everyday and cherished the little things in life as much as the Big Things?

  • The tickle fights with the kids.
  • Dropping them off at school in the mornings.
  • Sitting with your wife at the burger joint eating a #1 with cheese and drinking a Coke.
  • Walking around the block in the evening.
  • Sitting in the back yard listening to the birds.
  • Visiting with co-workers during break.
  • Time alone on the morning commute.
  • Hugs every morning and butterfly kisses at night.

That is the stuff of life! That is the stuff to celebrate!

Go ahead and enjoy the Big Things, the Wow Moments, the mountaintop experiences. That’s fine. But don’t be so star-struck by those few moments that you miss the beauty of the In-Between times.

Cardboard Boxes

Thinking about the In-Between times brings to mind a common scene at birthday parties and on Christmas morning.

You put a lot of thought into getting the perfect gift for your child.

You are excited as you purchase the item, anticipating the joy in your child’s eyes as he opens this perfect gift.

You feel like a kid yourself as you sneak it into the house and find the perfect hiding spot for it.

You look long and hard to find just the right-sized box in which to place the gift for wrapping. And actually, the “right-sized box” is a box two or three sizes too big, just to keep him guessing, because you’re clever like that!

A smile crosses your face as your wrap the box and top it off with the perfect bow.

You place the perfectly-wrapped perfect gift under the Christmas tree … and you wait. It seems like Christmas morning will never get here. The waiting is almost unbearable.

But Christmas morning finally arrives and you are as excited as your child is. Finally, the perfect gift will be unwrapped and your child will be in awe of what an amazing parent you are!

With eager anticipation the wrapping paper is hurriedly ripped from the box. You can hardly contain your excitement.

Caution is thrown to the wind as the box flaps are torn open. You are almost giddy.

Finally, the perfect gift is pulled from the box to shrieks of utter delight … from your child, too.

Hugs are given, “Thank you, Daddy” is expressed at least five times.

You are indeed the most awesome parent on the entire planet. No, in the entire universe. You rock, Dad!

Ten minutes later, still basking in your glory, you return to the living room with a fresh cup of hot coffee to enjoy the beauty of this magical morning. And what do you find? Your child has set the perfect gift to the side … and is playing inside the box in which the gift was wrapped!

Sometimes, the things we place the least importance on are the things which end up being the most significant and bringing the most joy. But in order to see that, we may need to look at life through a child’s eyes.

Sometimes, the moments of our lives are just like that perfect gift and that cardboard box. Sometimes we spend so much time focusing our attention on the Big Moments that we overlook the significance and the joy of the In-Between.

I encourage you to read Jeff’s book. I think you will be inspired.

Buy the book (Affiliate link: If you purchase Jeff’s book by clicking the link, I will receive an affiliate commission)
Special book launch web page
Visit The In-Between web page
Read Jeff’s blog

Paul O'Rear Signature


What are some of the In-Between moments in your life that have been especially meaningful? Share in the comments below.



  • What is the next “Big Thing” in your life? (Tweet that!)
  • Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in the middle, spinning your wheels? (Tweet that!)
  • What if the important stuff in life wasn’t the big moments but the In-Between? (Tweet that!)
  • What if you missed the important stuff because you were looking right past it? (Tweet that!)
  • @JeffGoins encourages us to re-think our priorities about what’s important. (Tweet that!)
  • How much time do we spend in everyday living compared to the few big moments? (Tweet that!)
  • What if we focused on the beauty of the everyday, cherished the little things? (Tweet that!)
  • Hugs every morning and butterfly kisses at night. That is the stuff of life! (Tweet that!)
  • Don’t be too star-struck by big moments to miss the beauty of the In-Between. (Tweet that!)

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: The In-Between

  1. Great stuff Paul…and great illustration with the cardboard box! Brianne and I are totally at that age right now with our kids. Perfect (sometimes expensive) gifts are set to the side while an imagination fueled box gets the attention. In fact right now in the office behind me, Avery has made herself a Home Depot out of paper and a box to go with her truck that we made today at the HD kids workshop. I think my favorite in between moments come from working at the house and having flexible hours. How many people can say they have a pretend Home Depot and an owl in their office???

    • Thank you, Jon! The cool thing about Avery having her own Home Depot is that she (and you) can buy anything at a discount. I kind of miss those days, but have lots of wonderful memories to hold onto from when our kids were “cardboard box age”. (Can’t remember ever having an owl in my office, though. You’ve got me beat on that one!)