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The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing: A Spiritual Memoir

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We’re an “instant gratification” generation—but most change happens gradually. Many of us spend our lives searching and longing for something more than what is in front of us. Whether it’s traveling abroad or chasing cheap (or expensive) thrills, we’re all looking for the medicine to satisfy our restlessness. And so often we're looking in the wrong place. The In-Between is a We’re an “instant gratification” generation—but most change happens gradually. Many of us spend our lives searching and longing for something more than what is in front of us. Whether it’s traveling abroad or chasing cheap (or expensive) thrills, we’re all looking for the medicine to satisfy our restlessness. And so often we're looking in the wrong place. The In-Between is a call to accept the importance that waiting plays in our lives. Can we embrace the extraordinary nature of the ordinary and enjoy the daily mundane—what lies in between the “major” moments? Learning to live in this tension, to be content in these moments of waiting, may be our greatest struggle—and our greatest opportunity to grow.


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We’re an “instant gratification” generation—but most change happens gradually. Many of us spend our lives searching and longing for something more than what is in front of us. Whether it’s traveling abroad or chasing cheap (or expensive) thrills, we’re all looking for the medicine to satisfy our restlessness. And so often we're looking in the wrong place. The In-Between is a We’re an “instant gratification” generation—but most change happens gradually. Many of us spend our lives searching and longing for something more than what is in front of us. Whether it’s traveling abroad or chasing cheap (or expensive) thrills, we’re all looking for the medicine to satisfy our restlessness. And so often we're looking in the wrong place. The In-Between is a call to accept the importance that waiting plays in our lives. Can we embrace the extraordinary nature of the ordinary and enjoy the daily mundane—what lies in between the “major” moments? Learning to live in this tension, to be content in these moments of waiting, may be our greatest struggle—and our greatest opportunity to grow.

30 review for The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing: A Spiritual Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    Jeff Goins begins The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing with clarity on how I, how we, squander the present focused on what we long for rather than what we have and are in the moment. We abhor waiting, but it is in the waiting that we have opportunity to grow, to mature, to discover our calling or to simply be in the moment. As Jeff says, “Many of us fail to recognize that the best moments are the ones happening right now”. The in-between times, our waiting for Jeff Goins begins The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing with clarity on how I, how we, squander the present focused on what we long for rather than what we have and are in the moment. We abhor waiting, but it is in the waiting that we have opportunity to grow, to mature, to discover our calling or to simply be in the moment. As Jeff says, “Many of us fail to recognize that the best moments are the ones happening right now”. The in-between times, our waiting for what might be as we reminisce about what has been, is the core of our journey. Significance is had in those moments, and we recognize it best in retrospect as our impatience fades and we realize waiting’s meaningful role in the preparation for now. Jeff points out “The irony is that when we think we are standing still, we are actually growing the most. What gets us to our destinations are the pauses, the breaks, the in-between.” Jeff’s book is a potent reminder that each moment we have matters, and significance is found in the highs, the lows and the in-betweens. All of it makes us who we are, what we mean to those closest to us, and how we impact the world around us. My favorite quote from the book is found in chapter four: “That’s what it means to find a calling. You don’t actually find it, you become it.” If we allow the in-betweens to shape us, balanced with the highs and lows, our call becomes evident. Our challenge is to not ignore but to embrace it. Jeffs writing style is warm and familiar, and it is easy to imagine sitting with him on park bench discussing the importance of the in-between as the world rushes by us, oblivious to the now. Take time to reflect with this book, you will be better for it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    By Rose H. I received this book courtesy of Christian Audio for the purpose of writing a review. Narrator Thoughts - I always have preferred books that are read by the author. They can read their own works like no one else can. This books was no exception. I enjoyed his style and his voice. I felt like I was sitting in his living room and he was sharing his life with me. Book Thoughts - This book came at the perfect time for me. For the past few months I have been struggling with what God wanted By Rose H. I received this book courtesy of Christian Audio for the purpose of writing a review. Narrator Thoughts - I always have preferred books that are read by the author. They can read their own works like no one else can. This books was no exception. I enjoyed his style and his voice. I felt like I was sitting in his living room and he was sharing his life with me. Book Thoughts - This book came at the perfect time for me. For the past few months I have been struggling with what God wanted me to do next. I was trying to force things to happen and make some of my dreams a reality. Through this book and the help of some friends, I realized that I could just rest in where God had me for now. I didn't have to try and make things happen. I could just rest in what God had already given me. In this short and well written book, Jeff invites you to embrace the "in-between" time. Enjoy the simple days and moments of our lives. Because it's in them that we are really growing. We are learning who we are and where we should be. It's in living and enjoying these seemingly boring lives that we really find fulfillment and peace. If you are struggling with what God wants you to do next or feeling stuck, this is a perfect book for you. You can find this title on Amazon or Christian Audio.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Phil Wade

    Here we have a light-weight book on living in the present. No exegesis of the origin of the word wait (Middle English from Anglo-French). No history of waiting or relevant thoughts recorded by ancient thinkers. Goins gives us his own thoughts teased out of stories from his life. His point: “What we were hoping for, what we dreamed would be a larger-than-life experience, ends up looking a lot like morning breath and spreadsheets.” With stories about Christmas and Epiphany in Spain, on falling in l Here we have a light-weight book on living in the present. No exegesis of the origin of the word wait (Middle English from Anglo-French). No history of waiting or relevant thoughts recorded by ancient thinkers. Goins gives us his own thoughts teased out of stories from his life. His point: “What we were hoping for, what we dreamed would be a larger-than-life experience, ends up looking a lot like morning breath and spreadsheets.” With stories about Christmas and Epiphany in Spain, on falling in love and becoming a parent, and on leading worship services for prisoners in Washington, he tells us that the in-between times are dull but good. “The good life comes like most good things,” he says, “unexpectedly—in moments that are fading away faster than we realize.” Toward the end, Goins says he has always been reluctant to push religion on anyone, but that’s what this book needs. Despite the background of church and faith in almost every story, the book points to personal contentment rather than to Christ. A Buddhist could do this. What we need during the in-between times is not a reminder to bless those around us or that we can learn from the slow places in our lives. We need to remember the work and glory of Christ Jesus, whose spiritual wealth is far greater than anything we can achieve with our hard work. I can understand this reluctance, if it comes from that contemporary desire to askew religion in favor of our relationship with our Lord Jesus, but when we hide from the truth because we can’t stomach religious terminology, we harm ourselves and our readers. The gospel of Christ trips people. They take offense at it, and so do we. We need to understand that such squeamishness comes from our sinful pride, our desire to manage our own lives without submission to the King of Kings. When we understand that we live under the authority of Christ, our Lord, then we can handle the in-between times with greater patience. Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    K.M. Weiland

    The subject of Jeff's latest book immediately caught my attention. Life *is* about waiting. The big moments happen and are over before we even realize they've happened. And then we're back to waiting. And unless we're cool with that - and most of us aren't - that's frustrating, depressing, and just plain hard. Jeff's heartfelt memoir isn't so much about supplying the answers as it is about assuring us that none of us are alone in this dilemma. Like him, we're all working through it and figuring The subject of Jeff's latest book immediately caught my attention. Life *is* about waiting. The big moments happen and are over before we even realize they've happened. And then we're back to waiting. And unless we're cool with that - and most of us aren't - that's frustrating, depressing, and just plain hard. Jeff's heartfelt memoir isn't so much about supplying the answers as it is about assuring us that none of us are alone in this dilemma. Like him, we're all working through it and figuring things out. Basically a series of essays, the book walks us through both some of those "big moments" and the valleys of waiting in between. Throughout, Jeff offers encouragement and thoughtful opinions about finding contentment, happiness, and, most of all, enjoying every moment of the "in-between" - because that in-between, as it turns out, is what life's all about anyway.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emmie

    I thought the book was beautiful and well written as a whole. The stories of life are a great reminder that not every will live the same life and that our lives may not turn out the way we expect, but that may be better for us. "So perhaps the fact that life doesn't always turn out the way we'd hoped is a blessing, not a curse - if we have eyes to see it." This was my favorite quote and conclusion of the book. I will say I feel the title was a little deceptive for me. The beginning held to the ti I thought the book was beautiful and well written as a whole. The stories of life are a great reminder that not every will live the same life and that our lives may not turn out the way we expect, but that may be better for us. "So perhaps the fact that life doesn't always turn out the way we'd hoped is a blessing, not a curse - if we have eyes to see it." This was my favorite quote and conclusion of the book. I will say I feel the title was a little deceptive for me. The beginning held to the title, but honestly this is a memoir of what he sees as important events in his life. The end sort of wrapped it up, but still did not really conclude what I would have expected. Also, as a follower of Christ, I found his lack of conviction personally frustrating. I would rather have him say exactly what he believes than to tip-toe around "delicate" subjects because he might offend someone. None of my dislikes would keep me from recommending this book as it has some great points and wonderful stories in it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I received an audio book of “In-Between” through Christian Audio, a courtesy of Cross Focused Media. This was my first experience of listening to a book and to my own surprise I greatly enjoyed it. Jeff Goins narrates his own book. His voice is quite pleasant and I found the pace to be well balanced in rhythm. However, I was disappointed that I was not eligible to receive a book as well, given that I’m a Canadian resident. Jeff Goins has definitely many important things to bring to our awarenes I received an audio book of “In-Between” through Christian Audio, a courtesy of Cross Focused Media. This was my first experience of listening to a book and to my own surprise I greatly enjoyed it. Jeff Goins narrates his own book. His voice is quite pleasant and I found the pace to be well balanced in rhythm. However, I was disappointed that I was not eligible to receive a book as well, given that I’m a Canadian resident. Jeff Goins has definitely many important things to bring to our awareness and he does so in his new book, The In-Between. Important things such as appreciating the moments that shape our lives while we are in those in-between times. We all have these moments. They form us, make us who we are. Those “in-between” times help us in learning to appreciate those moments as part of life lessons. I especially loved chapter 2 which was about the family and learning to enjoy them. As Goins explains through stories of his personal life, he himself learned the importance of family and the sentiment of knowing that there’s nothing like going back home. Somehow home will always be “home”, a place where most of us were loved. In this book, you will read stories about how Jeff Goins lived some of his In-between moments. Which lead him to appreciate more deeply the reality and the intensity of those times that shaped his life. One thing I can say is that Goins is a good story teller! He takes great care of giving us all the details, descriptions and explanations as to the events he describes. We can virtually imagine the scenes. Yet after listening to his whole book I was left with a sense of emptiness. It took me a while to put the finger on it but I finally understood. I felt like I wasn’t completely satisfied, like I had not eaten enough you know! I wanted more… this wasn’t satisfying my soul spiritually. Maybe I was expecting more profound theology, maybe I had preconceived ideas or expectations, I don’t quite know. This was a book written by an author under a Christian label. Now, Jeff Goins does mention God and many times I might add. Still, I had this sentiment of being unfulfilled as if much more could have been written biblically on many subjects that the author addressed. This is the kind of book that anyone could read and no one would take offense to it because quite frankly, its just friendly. Is that bad? No! I guess that when I finish reading a book from a Christian author and I’m left with this spiritual emptiness, I’m thinking that it could have been written by someone in the secular world just as well. I’m just wondering why it’s under a Christian label? Shouldn’t it be different? I mean, really different. Shouldn’t it stand out more than those in the secular world, or at least be bold and spiritually based on a couple of verses of the Bible? An example is chapter 5 where he talks about his marriage. This for me would have been the perfect illustration to talk about Christ and how we as Christians can glorify God through our marriages. But not a word, no where to be seen or heard of. The main focus was on not having a perfect story but on having one that endures. Which is perfectly okay. Once again, I’m thinking, how about adding that it’s only through Christ that God is glorified in marriage? That it is only possible because he is the one who sustains us and keeps us together through our love for one another because he loved us first. Personally, I believe that this could of been added with biblical verses to sustain his point and would of added much more foundation theologically to his book. Despite that, I did enjoy listening to it because in a sense it was encouraging and refreshing to see the In-between moments of our lives in this perspective, as Goins delivers. According to Goins, life is waiting and in the waiting we become! I do believe it’s worth reading but if your looking for solid theology, this is definitely not the book your looking for. This would be the book to read and enjoy on the beach or on hot summer leisure days when you might just want to read something light. *I have received a free copy of the Audio book from Cross Focused Media. However I am under no obligation to write a positive review. These are entirely my own personal opinions and thoughts expressed according to my own discernment.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jalynn Patterson

    About the Book: Most of us spend our lives searching and longing for something more than what is in front of us. Whether it's traveling abroad or chasing cheap (or expensive) thrills, we're all looking for medicine to satisfy our restlessness. And, so often, we're looking in the wrong place. The In-Between is a call for all of us to accept the importance that waiting plays in our lives. In this spiritual memoir, Jeff Goins reveals the unexpected good that came from his times of waiting. And he enc About the Book: Most of us spend our lives searching and longing for something more than what is in front of us. Whether it's traveling abroad or chasing cheap (or expensive) thrills, we're all looking for medicine to satisfy our restlessness. And, so often, we're looking in the wrong place. The In-Between is a call for all of us to accept the importance that waiting plays in our lives. In this spiritual memoir, Jeff Goins reveals the unexpected good that came from his times of waiting. And he encourages us to embrace the extraordinary nature of the ordinary and enjoy the daily mundane, what lies in between the "major" moments. Moments of breakthrough are not where life's greatest transformation happens; the stuff that God uses to shape us often lies in the in-between. It's the bus stops and layovers and DMV lines and moments of unintentional pause that force us to become better people. That's not to say there aren't moments of epiphany. There are. It's just that most of us find ourselves living somewhere in the in-between. Learning to live in this tension, to be content in these moments of waiting, may be our greatest struggle...and our greatest opportunity to grow. About the Author: Originally from Chicago, Jeff moved to Nashville after graduating from college and spending a year traveling with CTI Music Ministries. In college, he studied Spanish and Religion. He spent part of his Junior year in Spain, which unlocked a passion for missions, travel, and other cultures. After a long year of letter-writing and long-distance phone calls, Jeff moved to Tennessee to “see about a girl.” In 2008, he married her.Jeff lives with his wife Ashley and their dog Lyric and has been working from home for a nonprofit called Adventures in Missions since 2006. He has written and guest-blogged for a number of publications and blogs. Jeff also helps organizations with their marketing, communications, and creativity. My Review: We spend our whole life waiting. Waiting for our turn in the bathroom. Waiting for the big, yellow school bus. Waiting in traffic. But slowing down and enjoying all those moments in between is really what life is all about. The author of The In-Between, Jeff Goins challenges you and I to savor those in between moments and just "be". Our real life is what happens in between those major events in our lives. We all have done it, sit there waiting for certain momentous happenings to transcend and give us joy. But they never seem to come or if they do, they aren't as joy filled as we had earlier anticipated. Mr. Goins asks us to start staying in the moment and not grow impatient with it but see it through and derive memories from it to enrich our lives. In the book, the author shared memories and snippets of his own "In-Between" times and gives you glimpses into others that have learned from those times to grow as individuals. **Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mathew

    Jeff Goins encourages us to stop living in the past and future and start living in the right now. He points out most of life happens in the ordinary moments of life, and often we are too focused on the past and future to live fully in the present. He encourages us, Between raising a child and learning to be a better spouse, all while managing the challenges of working from home and starting a business with less time than before, I’m feeling the tension between how I used to live and what’s realit Jeff Goins encourages us to stop living in the past and future and start living in the right now. He points out most of life happens in the ordinary moments of life, and often we are too focused on the past and future to live fully in the present. He encourages us, Between raising a child and learning to be a better spouse, all while managing the challenges of working from home and starting a business with less time than before, I’m feeling the tension between how I used to live and what’s reality. My schedule is full of obligations and opportunities that tempt me to push through the now, moving on to the next thing. I’m tempted with distractions, to linger in the glory of the past or hold out hope for a better future. These are all ways I distance myself from the moment. And I wonder why the abundant life I’ve been searching for seems so evasive, even taunting at times. (14) This admonition is relevant for me. That’s what drew me to the book. I’m working a regular job and have normal responsibilities. I have two children and one on the way this December. My daily life is the adventure and that’s easy to forget. It’s easier to look at what my wife and I see ourselves in five years or ten years. It’s hard to enjoy the right now when we’re in the middle of the nitty gritty of our every day life. But without eyes wide in the now, it’s easy to miss the simple joys of life. The afternoon in the park with my two little girls. The leisurely stroll downtown with my wife. Or the relaxing even on the porch smoking a cigar. Soo my little girls will be women married. My house will be empty. My wife and I will have more time than we know what to do with, but we shouldn’t overlook the beauty of an ordinary life. A life lived with purpose for God. The book brought to mind a country song, I remember hearing a few years back by Trace Adkins, Five years later there's a plumber workin' on the water heater Dog's barkin', phone's ringin' One kid's cryin', one kid's screamin' She keeps apologizin' He says they don't bother me I've got 2 babies of my own One's 36, one's 23 Huh, it's hard to believe But you're gonna miss this You're gonna want this back You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast These are some good times So take a good look around You may not know it now But you're gonna miss this You're gonna miss this Yeah, you're gonna miss this If you’re not careful, you may not only miss this, you may regret the wasted moments. Jeff will remind you though to live now by telling you story after story about how life happened to him in the in-betweens.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Lamping

    I wish I would have paid attention to this book being listed a "Christian Living". While the beginning didn't dive too much in to the author's religion, after a few chapters it became overwhelming for someone who doesn't share the same Christian beliefs. I wasn't able to finish the book, not only because it was so heavily Christian themed, but also because I felt the majority of what had to be said was explained in the first chapter. Yes, waiting can suck, but waiting can also be a valuable time I wish I would have paid attention to this book being listed a "Christian Living". While the beginning didn't dive too much in to the author's religion, after a few chapters it became overwhelming for someone who doesn't share the same Christian beliefs. I wasn't able to finish the book, not only because it was so heavily Christian themed, but also because I felt the majority of what had to be said was explained in the first chapter. Yes, waiting can suck, but waiting can also be a valuable time to grow. It's important to remember not to spend all your time waiting for the next big thing. I wish the book would have talked about how to remember that... Maybe I would have enjoyed the book more if I were an extrovert. It felt like the author was telling me what a revelation it was to spend time alone with one's thoughts. Maybe this is a novel experience for an extrovert, but any introvert already knows the power of solitude. My last rant: All of his "waiting" (from the few chapters I read) had to do with an incredibly obligation-free life. His first experience was spending a semester abroad in Spain where he had learned that going out on the town every night wore him out after a while. He also had to learn that getting served homemade bread every morning was kind of nice, and worth the few moments it took to spend time with the person who made it. Then there was the insight that he enjoyed riding in trains because they're comfy and carefree. In a later story, while he travelled across the country playing christian rock concerts, he realized that the best part of it wasn't the actual gig but the experience of travelling the country. I'm sorry, but that's not really a big revelation to me. Yes, getting a free ticket to travel around the US without obligations can be very enjoyable, even if you have to do a little bit of work playing music during it. To sum up, I feel like the entire substance of the book could have been explained in a blog post. Or maybe I just wasn't the right audience for the book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vito

    There's something about Jeff's writing that keeps me engaged from start to finish. I'm not sure if it's his honesty, or the feeling we're sitting down together for a cup of coffee when I read his words. Whatever the case may be, his first book, Wrecked, was fantastic and I was very excited to read his latest work on the importance waiting plays in our life. The message was clear: life isn't about the big moments, but rather the points in-between. As a teacher of religion and theology, I see the sam There's something about Jeff's writing that keeps me engaged from start to finish. I'm not sure if it's his honesty, or the feeling we're sitting down together for a cup of coffee when I read his words. Whatever the case may be, his first book, Wrecked, was fantastic and I was very excited to read his latest work on the importance waiting plays in our life. The message was clear: life isn't about the big moments, but rather the points in-between. As a teacher of religion and theology, I see the same words written over and over again from people and it can get quite boring. I had inkling fears this book would fall into that category. Within two chapters I knew Jeff had written something that resonates with people. While I can't speak for others, reading through Jeff's experiences opened me up to my own and led me to my own realizations and points of enlightenment. Jeff outlines his life experiences from living in Spain and touring across North American with his band, all the way to the birth of his first child and death of his grandfather and members of his church community. Throughout all of it, he carefully outlines how the greatest moments of those experiences were the lull periods. The stuff happening in-between other events happening was where the memories and character building really happened. During the moments of self-reflection Jeff took of his experiences, there were some great insights: "The irony is that in our anxiety toward not missing out, we are losing the most meaningful moments of life." "That's what it means to find a calling. You don't actually find it; you become it." "So what does it mean if we are disappointed with life? Did life make a promise to us that it didn't keep?" If you're struggling to deal with the "boring" times in your life, the endless waiting for something else, Jeff's book may be what you need to appreciate what's in front of you.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jason Lilly

    First of all, I wish there were a 4.5 star option, but alas... Jeff has become one of my favorite writers. He is talented and uplifting and his love of the craft of writing is obvious on every page. Best of all, Jeff is a welcome mentor, offering encouraging and friendly advice on writing and life. While this book did not stir me in the same way as his first bestseller Wrecked: When A Broken World Slams Into your Comfortable Life, Jeff shares some excellent stories that illustrate the power of pat First of all, I wish there were a 4.5 star option, but alas... Jeff has become one of my favorite writers. He is talented and uplifting and his love of the craft of writing is obvious on every page. Best of all, Jeff is a welcome mentor, offering encouraging and friendly advice on writing and life. While this book did not stir me in the same way as his first bestseller Wrecked: When A Broken World Slams Into your Comfortable Life, Jeff shares some excellent stories that illustrate the power of patience and embracing the little moments that lie "in-between" the big moments. Jeff proves that these moments are often more important and more profound than whatever it is we are waiting for. The anticipation of a moment is sometimes more powerful and more important than the moment itself. Jeff is a wordsmith, a master of the craft, and his writing holds tones of his contemporary master storytellers like Anne Lamott, Donald Miller, and Bob Goff. I look forward to Jeff's next release because I'm certain it will be superb. For some great tips on writing and life, check out Jeff's blog: goinswriter.com

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ray Edwards

    It seems that the hardest place to live is in the present. We live lives, not of quiet desperation, but rather quiet frustration. Frustration that life is not a series of peak experiences after all, but is rather more like a series of waiting rooms. Jeff Goins suggests maybe the waiting is the point. Maybe the "in-between" is the true sweet spot in life, and not merely something to be endured. A splendid, challenging, and sometimes astonishing work of significance and tender emotion. It seems that the hardest place to live is in the present. We live lives, not of quiet desperation, but rather quiet frustration. Frustration that life is not a series of peak experiences after all, but is rather more like a series of waiting rooms. Jeff Goins suggests maybe the waiting is the point. Maybe the "in-between" is the true sweet spot in life, and not merely something to be endured. A splendid, challenging, and sometimes astonishing work of significance and tender emotion.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kt Goar

    It's worth the read - it makes you ask yourself some tough questions - about life, your calling, sense of purpose, the pace of your present. It's worth the read - it makes you ask yourself some tough questions - about life, your calling, sense of purpose, the pace of your present.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book was good. Very quick and easy to read. He sprinkles in some great principles and life lessons throughout his entertaining stories. I loved the format of how he shared his life through stories, and then wove in what he learned through them on this journey to being okay with waiting. Easy read, but impactful.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Caiti Lopez

    This book felt preachy to me. Some of the stories felt a little out of place, or that there was a lot of reaching that had to be done to make his point. The introduction and the conclusion were great. Just read those and you will have read the book

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Trent

    Jeff Goins does a good job of presenting an often overlooked issue in our society – living in the moment. So often people in general, and Americans especially, are concerned about what they are going to do once they finish college, after the kids leave home, or when they retire: Seldom are they concern about what God is doing in their lives right now as they sit at their computer reading a book review. One of the strengths of Gions’s book is its clear, logical structure. At the beginning of each Jeff Goins does a good job of presenting an often overlooked issue in our society – living in the moment. So often people in general, and Americans especially, are concerned about what they are going to do once they finish college, after the kids leave home, or when they retire: Seldom are they concern about what God is doing in their lives right now as they sit at their computer reading a book review. One of the strengths of Gions’s book is its clear, logical structure. At the beginning of each section, Goins makes a point that he wants address as most readers do. Then he gives a detailed analogy that ties this point together in several different ways. This adds to both the ability of the book to relate to the audience and the scope of the audience the book reaches. He then ends with a summation of his point followed by what I liked best- a brief testimony of someone detailing with the exact point Goins was just discussing. This last element proved a saving grace for the book. Not only did this use of testimony break up the narrative and didactic writing of the book, but it also added credibility to what Goins was saying. Goins was 26-years-old at the end of writing this book (likely he still is since it was released 2 weeks prior to this review) and therefore many of his personal analogies were connected to his childhood and college experiences. While these are great, they limit the scope, depth, and reflection that are necessary for a book of this magnitude. Cleverly, he makes up for some of this by including testimony of people who have dealt with issues that only come along later in life. At the end of the book Goins tries to further close this gap talking about his experiences with death, but again it is a teenager (and then later young man) dealing with death causing it to lack real perspective. Probably my greatest criticism of this book is that there should have been not only more testimony but also that it should have gone into more depth. While Goins chapter structure was excellent, his overall structure was a little shaky. This is a normal transition that one might expect from someone who goes from blog writing (Gions’s specialty) to full-fledged, non-fiction, book writing. This is most apparent in the middle of the book when Goins talks about his experiences as a writer, what it takes to be a writer, and what that meant in his life. Again, this was not surprising to find in his book since it is a topic he often talks about, but it was only vaguely on point to the crux of the book. It ultimately came off as either something he had pulled in from another writing project to beef this book up to 179 pages or his book didn’t have a good through-point: Either way it’s a weakness, but one that is later overcome. Goins saves his book, and brings his points altogether, with his images of his newborn son. This allows him to explode out of the minimalistic issues of angst-ridden teen years and finding-myself college years. Here his book stops being for teens and starts being for a far wider audience. What makes this part of the book so compelling is that it captures how the hard, everyday challenges grow us into the person God wants us to be. While Goins doesn’t out-and-out state this, I think he touches on the idea that by embracing the little moments of growth throughout our lives we endear not only ourselves but also Christ to the unbeliever. The unbeliever definitely sees how we, as Christians, deal with death, the loss of a job, and persecution, but these instances are few and far between. What they truly see is the little moments – the moments when God breaks us and remakes us, one act at a time, into the person He wants us to be. They see the struggle and they see the growth and in the end (with a little luck) they see the Lord. This is a good book and if you have a hard time in the middle, hang in there, there are some big payoffs at the end. It is my firm hope that Goins comes back and re-releases this book in 20 years. If he does, I bet this book will shift from good to astounding. Trent Nicholson, Ph.D., D.Min. Desert Bible Institute, President Dr. Nicholson is a member of the christianaudio review program. To learn more, visit their website at: http://www.christianaudio.com.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    "Life was meant to be more than the daily humdrum. It was supposed to be enjoyable, full of purpose, not just stress and worry. So where has all our satisfaction gone? Where is our pleasure, our joy? We search on road trips and vacations for the life we've always wanted. We seek out meaning in our jobs. We even reserve those feelings of joy and satisfaction for major events like marriage or the birth of a child. But often we're disappointed with what we find. Sure, we may be happy; but we are "Life was meant to be more than the daily humdrum. It was supposed to be enjoyable, full of purpose, not just stress and worry. So where has all our satisfaction gone? Where is our pleasure, our joy? We search on road trips and vacations for the life we've always wanted. We seek out meaning in our jobs. We even reserve those feelings of joy and satisfaction for major events like marriage or the birth of a child. But often we're disappointed with what we find. Sure, we may be happy; but we are far from complete. Even the best job, best husband, and best vacation have their flaws." The word wait can be seen as Western culture's most disliked "dirty" word. It seems most of us hate to displace gratification for very long. We wonder what we can do while we're waiting. We don't feel productive. Depending on the type of wait, some of us will pull out our mobile communication devices to access their social media, play games, or talk to friends. Others will try a wide variety of distractions. But what if the wait involves more time? Suppose it is a wait of days, weeks, months or even years? What should our attitude be toward times like this? Author Jeff Goins has some interesting thoughts about them. I have read and reviewed a couple of this author's works, and really enjoy his easygoing writing style. He is a young person who writes well for young people. His narrative storytelling witticisms are a pleasure to read. His ability to see beyond his years is refreshing. In this book, he recounts past experiences that drive home his point that there is much to learn in the in-between moments. Just maybe the western world has an entirely wrong take on these holding periods in our lives. Perhaps they aren't a waste of our time. "What we were hoping for, what we dreamed would be a larger-than-life experience, ends up looking a lot like morning breath and spreadsheets. So we keep searching, and we wonder why it's becoming harder to sit still and just be. All the while, what we're searching for sits in front of us, hidden in normal, everyday inconveniences. If we reserve our joy only for the experiences of a lifetime, we may miss the life in the experience. Such opportunities are everywhere, waiting for us to see them. But first we must learn to open our eyes, to recognize the gift of waiting." One snapshot Jeff Goins shares with his readers was one that resonated with me because of similar experiences. He and his friends were vacationing in Florence where they viewed Michelangelo's sculpture of David. Instead of joining the queue to see the sculpture, they left the line and seated themselves in the room. For the next few hours they contemplated the intricacies of what they saw before them. When they left their collective response was, "Wow!" Nothing else needed to be uttered. Being a "sit and soak" type of person, I have had a few of those moments, usually when choosing to stand still and really look and wonder...often to the annoyance of those with me who wanted to move on. Do you take the time to drink in special moments? In addition to sending me this book for review, I was also provided an audio mp3 of the author Jeff Goins reading this book. There is nothing like listening to a book being read by the person who wrote the piece. The nuances of expression during the reading add another layer of understanding to the experience. I really enjoyed the book so much more with the audio addition. In fact, the entire experience was a lot of fun. It was if I were sitting down on the front porch and sharing a moment with the author. I loved following along in the book while listening to the audio, but I also enjoyed the audiobook by itself. I highly recommend this book with the audio version. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of the print book from Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC) and Moody Publishers and the audio book from Christianaudio.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael Andrzejewski

    I don't know exactly when I first discovered Jeff Goins's writing, but since that day I've thoroughly enjoyed everything that I've read. Writing with both conviction and familiarity, reading Goins is like having a conversation with an old high school buddy. You instantly know that he cares not only about what he's writing, but that he also cares about you too, the reader. You find yourself nodding in agreement and smiling because you feel like you've known him for a long time, even though you've I don't know exactly when I first discovered Jeff Goins's writing, but since that day I've thoroughly enjoyed everything that I've read. Writing with both conviction and familiarity, reading Goins is like having a conversation with an old high school buddy. You instantly know that he cares not only about what he's writing, but that he also cares about you too, the reader. You find yourself nodding in agreement and smiling because you feel like you've known him for a long time, even though you've never met. That's why I was thrilled when I got my hands on an advance copy of his latest book, The In-Between, which is set to release on August 1. Published by Moody Publishers, The In-Between takes you through the seemingly most mundane and typical seasons of the author's life, with a twist. He chronicles studying abroad, a train ride home, courtship, his wife's pregnancy and a ton more by seeing the day-by-day as the true engine of growth. By the middle of the book, let alone the end, The In-Between had me wanting to slow down and take in all the sights and smells that I've been too busy to notice before. It makes me want to linger, to cherish. Perfectly subtitled, "Embracing the tension between now and the next big thing", Goins's latest work spins his tales with the art of a Twain and philosophizes with the pointedness of a CS Lewis. He wins by making you want to slow down and live. To treasure the moment and memorialize it in your mind instead of capturing it with your iPhone. He makes you think by writing, "God is less concerned with exactly what I'm doing and more concerned with who I'm becoming." He echoes the biblical truth that it's better to give than to receive by reminding us, "...when we pour out our gifts and talents, we receive abundantly more than we ever provide." But for me, the quintessential Goins-ism was this one: Our journey is full of rest stops - park benches and airport terminals - that signal the arrival of things we anticipate. Sometimes they're worth the wait; other times, the glory doesn't shine quite like we'd hoped. Regardless, we need to learn to live in this tension, to appreciate what we have and still hope for. This process isn't easy; we all know that. But it's part of being human and it's what connects us to each other. If it were a hard copy that I read, I'd tell you that I couldn't put the book down, but since I had the Kindle version, it's more like, I couldn't turn it off. My only complaint? I would have preferred a little more "how" and "why" in exchange for a little less "what". I'm not fussing, but I could've had a few more classic lines like this one: In the waiting, we become. And, just a little bit less narration. So, if you're the kind of person that's moving from one thing to the next with neck breaking speed...if you are that guy who can't relax on vacation because of the strict time schedule that you've imposed upon your entirely family...if you're at all like me and what I'm trying hard not to be, then walk, don't run to the book store on August 1st or 2nd or 3rd and pick up a copy of The In-Between. Take your time, but do it. You won't be sorry. A special thanks goes out to Moody Publishers for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for this review. Really, thank you.

  19. 5 out of 5

    James

    I hadn’t read any of Goins’s books before. I do occasionally read his blog. Online Goins posts about writing and growing your social media presence (surprisingly, I don’t find this annoying). In The In-Between he turns his attention to the time we spend waiting for the next big thing in our lives. Most of our life is spent waiting, which is frustrating for a culture and generation which is raised on instant-gratification. But the in-between times are a gift to us. This book is a memoir, exploring I hadn’t read any of Goins’s books before. I do occasionally read his blog. Online Goins posts about writing and growing your social media presence (surprisingly, I don’t find this annoying). In The In-Between he turns his attention to the time we spend waiting for the next big thing in our lives. Most of our life is spent waiting, which is frustrating for a culture and generation which is raised on instant-gratification. But the in-between times are a gift to us. This book is a memoir, exploring the terrain of Goins’s life. There are stories here from his childhood,his junior year of college when he studied abroad in Spain, from his time leading a worship band on tour, his early professional life, his discovery of his writing vocation, his courtship of his wife, the birth of their first child, and the experience of parenthood. Goins also talks about his friendship with senior citizens at his church (who have now passed on). Goins knew them late in life, but still experienced their life as gift. The message of this book is to get us to enjoy our wait. When we are rushing to the next big thing we fail to appreciate what is in front of us now. Furthermore waiting is not a static place. It is a place where we are changed: our faith deepens, our vision is clarified, and we discover who we are and who we are becoming. Though Goins doesn’t make the explicit connection in his book, the now-but-not-yet tension of the Kingdom of God is a liminal space we inhabit as Christians. We are in a space of constant waiting but in the waiting we are changed. This is not a book about theology, but Goins does a great job of describing this as lived reality. The past couple of years of my life I’ve felt frustrated in my vocational goals. I am a supervisor at a hardware store instead of a pastor in a church. I’ve spent half my time waiting frustrated at God at why my life isn’t where I want it to be. But I have discovered the gifts of inhabiting liminal spaces. Surrounded by supportive community, good friends, and living in one of the world’s most beautiful places (Birch Bay, Washington) I am learning to enjoy the moment and receive what God has for me here. Through the waiting I am changed. Goins names this tension well and I found this an encouraging read. While there is not much in the way of liturgical reflection in this book (other than a reflection on the season of Epiphany), I think this would be an interesting read for the season of Advent. I give this book four stars! Thank you to Moody Publishers, Christian Audio and Cross Focused Reviews for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my review. At the time that I am writing this review, the Kindle version of The In-Between is free on Amazon.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bob Hayton

    In an age of fast food, instant downloads and on-the-go internet, we are an impatient people. Whether it is the check-out line or the next stage of life, we can’t wait until the next bit thing. Christians have the itch as much as the next guy or girl. And American evangelicalism’s emphasis on spiritual crises and “decisions for Christ” keeps us looking for the next break through or longing for the day when we’ll finally have arrived. Jeff Goins points out that our perspective is flawed. Instead In an age of fast food, instant downloads and on-the-go internet, we are an impatient people. Whether it is the check-out line or the next stage of life, we can’t wait until the next bit thing. Christians have the itch as much as the next guy or girl. And American evangelicalism’s emphasis on spiritual crises and “decisions for Christ” keeps us looking for the next break through or longing for the day when we’ll finally have arrived. Jeff Goins points out that our perspective is flawed. Instead of looking ahead with anticipation or behind with regret, we need to be sure and live our life appreciating all of the moments "in-between". His latest book, "The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing" fleshes out what it means to wait, and how in every season of life, behind our disappointments and joys, living for Christ involves trusting Him for the small moments where most of our life actually happens. The book is as much Goins’ life story (so far) as it is a detailed study on the subject of waiting. The story is well-written, at times intimate, and always thought-provoking. Ultimately the author succeeds in making much of the in-between. Listening to the Christian Audio version of the book, I appreciated that it was the author himself, who read the book. As the story surrounded the author’s own escapades, you felt like you got to know him by the end of it. His reading was as smooth and polished as his writing style. Approachable and inviting, humorous at times and above all, real. This is an inspirational read that might just spark a life-transformation — of the smaller, more enduring “in-between” kind. The book’s biggest fault is by some people’s measure a strength. He appeals to a wide audience through his sparing use of Scripture. This isn’t a Bible study or devotional read, yet it is spiritual and moving all the same. His lesson rings true to Scripture and is worth a hearing. If you’re looking for a quick yet inspirational read, and if you’re trying to find hope in the midst of disappointment or confusion, this book is for you. Life doesn’t always turn out like we wished or thought it would. But that is what makes it worth living, and what causes us to trust our Lord all the more. Pick up "The In-Between," you’ll be glad you did. Disclaimer: This book was provided by christianaudio.com as part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a positive review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mandy J. Hoffman

    The Overview In The In-Between Jeff has created a book that is part Auto-Biography, part Inspirational, and part Christian Living. This eight-chapter read will make you laugh, provoke your thoughts, cause you to reflect on your own life, and challenge your future. The main thrust of this book is to aid you and I in embracing the moments of life when we are "in-between" what we deem as important times. It is a dose of encouragement to not endure the phases of waiting, but to enjoy them. The Readabi The Overview In The In-Between Jeff has created a book that is part Auto-Biography, part Inspirational, and part Christian Living. This eight-chapter read will make you laugh, provoke your thoughts, cause you to reflect on your own life, and challenge your future. The main thrust of this book is to aid you and I in embracing the moments of life when we are "in-between" what we deem as important times. It is a dose of encouragement to not endure the phases of waiting, but to enjoy them. The Readability Jeff Goins is a master of words and has an amazing ability to make ordinary events come to life on the page of a book. The 159 pages of this book are easy to read and each chapter can stand alone, yet builds on the overall theme of the book. It is the perfect work to read when you only have a few moments because it is easy to start and stop and still truly follow the flow of the book. The Highlights I was really challenged by this book over and over to stop and take a good look at my own life. I'm sure this is because I feel that my life is in one of those "in-between" moments, but I do think that even if you feel like you are in a "big" moment you will still have your thinking challenged by reading the insight that Jeff shares. I personally loved how he took the ordinary events of his life and made them deep and thoughtful. The Downside While I really enjoyed this read, and though it is billed as "Christian Living", it really is no more than just another person's opinions. Goins does provide some great advice and points to ponder, but I urge the reader to pick-up this book with the idea you are about to have a warm conversation with a friend, not sit down for some quiet time with God. The Recommendation I encourage those who are feeling frustrated by being "stuck" in a waiting phase of life to read this book because it did help me adjust my perspective on how these moments are just as important as "the next big thing" in life. The In-Between is a good read for the person looking for some encouragement from someone who knows what it's like to wait and is learning from those times in life.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charles Ray

    I received a free copy of Jeff Goins’ The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing, thinking I would be reading another of those ‘I was down and Faith picked me back up again’ books, filled with homilies and platitudes that really tell me nothing new. I wasn’t too deep into The In-Between, though, before I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, this is a book that is deeply grounded in the author’s religious faith, but you don’t have to be Christian to see the essential wisdo I received a free copy of Jeff Goins’ The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing, thinking I would be reading another of those ‘I was down and Faith picked me back up again’ books, filled with homilies and platitudes that really tell me nothing new. I wasn’t too deep into The In-Between, though, before I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, this is a book that is deeply grounded in the author’s religious faith, but you don’t have to be Christian to see the essential wisdom in it. His introduction, ‘Life Between the Panels,’ where he points out that we spend a significant, if not majority, part of our lives ‘waiting’ is worth the price of the book all by itself. His conclusion that the good stuff is neither ahead of nor behind us, but somewhere ‘in-between,’ or put another way, right where we are at the moment applies to all of us. Spending our waiting time constructively, rather than fixating on the next big thing, enables us to live more productive, fulfilled lives. Goins offers an undergraduate degree worth of lessons in how to live the kind of life that at the end enables us to say, ‘I’m satisfied that I took advantage of every opportunity,’ and that includes the opportunities available to us during those periods ‘between the panels.’ Most books like this tend to be preachy, with a heavy religious hand pressing down on every principle. While Goins, as I mentioned previously, is obviously a person of strong faith, his use of stories and anecdotes of actual events (no matter how poorly they might be remembered) makes this book universally acceptable, and understandable. These are real people and real events with which each of us can identify. A cornucopia of wisdom, with useful information on everything from learning to love to coping with loss, The In-Between is a book that you’ll want to read, and then re-read during those moments ‘between the panels’ when you’re waiting for the next thing to happen. Believe me, it won’t be a waste of time. Five stars without hesitation.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sherrey

    I have never been a patient person. Just ask my husband. He is one who is willing to shop for months before you buy a car, a major appliance, a piece of furniture. And he's never bothered by any of the things that generally irritate me -- waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting at the doctor's office, waiting to get that important return call, waiting for the water to boil. When I picked up Jeff Goins', The In-Between and read the words on the cover, "Embracing the Tension Between Now and th I have never been a patient person. Just ask my husband. He is one who is willing to shop for months before you buy a car, a major appliance, a piece of furniture. And he's never bothered by any of the things that generally irritate me -- waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting at the doctor's office, waiting to get that important return call, waiting for the water to boil. When I picked up Jeff Goins', The In-Between and read the words on the cover, "Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing," I was intrigued and hopeful. Maybe I could learn something from this soft-spoken young man living in the former world I came from -- Nashville, TN and environs -- and someone I admire for his ability to write with clarity and to teach others to do the same. I was not disappointed. Jeff's writing style holds true as the 176-page reminder of the important things in life. The book is honest; Jeff is honest. He holds back nothing about himself in sharing with us what he has learned in a lifetime shorter than mine by more than half. We spend our lives looking for the next big thing when right in front of us is likely the thing we're looking for. We run around looking in all the wrong places. Jeff puts out a call to accept the role waiting plays in our ordinary lives. Why can't we just embrace the ordinariness of our days and enjoy each and every minute and hour experiencing the waiting. We might be surprised by what comes to us in the waiting. Jeff takes waiting and enriches it a thousand fold -- he gives waiting a new and fresh look that makes his reader want to wait, if for no other reason than not missing whatever comes in the waiting. A great, gentle read that transports you with Jeff's own true experiences with waiting and opens your eyes and heart to the possibilities of learning patience and experiencing the waiting.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Earlier this year, I turned 39. Being the perpetual planner, I saw it as an opportunity to reflect upon my life and consider what changes I should make before 40 arrives. What surfaced was a general frustration that I didn't quite understand. I am not where I thought I would be at this season of my life, but on many levels, I'm at a much better place than I could have imagined. Still, I have been unhappy. It wasn't until reading Jeff Goins', the In-Between, that I have been able to put words to t Earlier this year, I turned 39. Being the perpetual planner, I saw it as an opportunity to reflect upon my life and consider what changes I should make before 40 arrives. What surfaced was a general frustration that I didn't quite understand. I am not where I thought I would be at this season of my life, but on many levels, I'm at a much better place than I could have imagined. Still, I have been unhappy. It wasn't until reading Jeff Goins', the In-Between, that I have been able to put words to the discontent that I have been feeling: "Perhaps the abundant life we've been seeking has little to do with the big events and comes in a subtler form: embracing the pauses between major beats." I have longed to live the abundant life that we are promised is available to each of us. But I began to believe that for me, it was out of reach. As Jeff explains, much of our lives is spent waiting. We can either embrace the periods of waiting, taking the time to fully experience the opportunities that may be easily overlooked in the busyness of life or we can choose to waste them in our search for some form of distraction from the seemngly mundane, everyday routine. But "waiting is the great grace" and it is in the waiting that we are shaped. "All we have our these moments. What we choose to do with them is what we choose to do with our lives." Jeff's book is not a how-to. Rather, in his straight-forward, storytelling manner, he takes the hand of his reader, gently guiding him to an understanding of the gift of waiting.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Taryn

    What can I say? I pre-ordered this book when it came out because I really enjoy Jeff Goins and his writing (and his blog!). However, it sat on my shelf untouched for almost a year. But it came off my shelf at the exact right time. In this fast-paced world that we live in where we're always going from one thing to the next, trying to strategically plan every last second of our existence, The In-Between challenges us to stop. Enjoy that sunset without snapping a photo to Instagram. To enjoy the jo What can I say? I pre-ordered this book when it came out because I really enjoy Jeff Goins and his writing (and his blog!). However, it sat on my shelf untouched for almost a year. But it came off my shelf at the exact right time. In this fast-paced world that we live in where we're always going from one thing to the next, trying to strategically plan every last second of our existence, The In-Between challenges us to stop. Enjoy that sunset without snapping a photo to Instagram. To enjoy the journey that is life instead of racing to the next thing. To stop missing the "little things" because we're so focused on hurrying to whatever's next and then impatiently tapping our feet until it actually happens. Although there were many awesome statements throughout the book, I think this is the one that will stick with me the most - "Maybe that's the point of the in between. All things we wait for are not merely roadblocks on the long journey; they are the journey. And each stop has a crucial lesson. In other words, it wasn't enough for me to become a writer; I had to become the writer who traveled and played music and learned the importance of working through the delays of life, so that I could become the person I was meant to be. And maybe that's what we all need: not to accomplish an arbitrary list of goals or pursue a plan already laid out, but to find the one that's waiting for us, that's been there all along."

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    The In-Between is a book about waiting, and while that might not sound interesting (I'll admit, I was skeptical), in truth, it's one of the best books I've read this year. (And I received a free digital copy of the book in exchange for a review.) Goins has an approachable style of writing where he hits on some big spiritual truths but not in an in-your-face way. It's like meeting a friend for coffee and listening to him tell stories. That's what he does here, tell of his in-between experiences, The In-Between is a book about waiting, and while that might not sound interesting (I'll admit, I was skeptical), in truth, it's one of the best books I've read this year. (And I received a free digital copy of the book in exchange for a review.) Goins has an approachable style of writing where he hits on some big spiritual truths but not in an in-your-face way. It's like meeting a friend for coffee and listening to him tell stories. That's what he does here, tell of his in-between experiences, when he was waiting for the next big thing, the next stage of life, the next step in God's plan for his life, and what he learned. I connected with it in so many ways. (And while it's subtitled "a spiritual memoir" I didn't really think of it that way. But that's not a drawback.) Throughout the book, Goins offers us the opportunity to embrace the waiting times and let them shape us. He writes that in these times, maybe God is more interested in who we're becoming than in what we're doing. As a do-er, this is a freeing and challenging concept. It's a short read, full of encouragement and honest looks at the times when Goins got it wrong. His honesty and openness about his life is one of the charms of his writing. If you find yourself in a period of waiting, you'll find The In-Between a helpful resource to endure it, and maybe even enjoy it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    I had mixed feelings about this one. It's a quick read. I read it in a few afternoon hours. It's pretty easy to get through, and it's written well. I wasn't expecting a mostly autobiography, though. The main thrust of the book is good: waiting is hard, but it produces wonderful things in our life if we will slow down and embrace it. Life isn't about running quickly to make the next big thing happen. It's about living our lives in all the in-between moments. Goonies then goes on to tell story after I had mixed feelings about this one. It's a quick read. I read it in a few afternoon hours. It's pretty easy to get through, and it's written well. I wasn't expecting a mostly autobiography, though. The main thrust of the book is good: waiting is hard, but it produces wonderful things in our life if we will slow down and embrace it. Life isn't about running quickly to make the next big thing happen. It's about living our lives in all the in-between moments. Goonies then goes on to tell story after story of all the amazing big things he's done in his short life. It can come off a tad pretentious and self-absorbed at times. Goins's spirituality also struck me as odd. I just couldn't quite put my finger on what exactly he believes. The author bio says he has a BA in religion, but on p. 142 he seems to equate faith in Jesus with believing in fairy tales. He wrote lots about church and God, but not necessarily Christianity. I guess I expected Jesus to be a bigger part of this book given the publisher and the topic of contentment. If it is there, I couldn't find it despite the many opportunities it could have easily been discussed. It left me feeling odd and empty because the main theme of the book is so good. All in all it was worth reading because there are some golden nuggets, they just requite some discerning digging.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    I read this book smiling. It is so delightful and comes with a strong message that there is wonder to be found in the moments of waiting. Too often we are focused on the next, whatever that is: job, baby, year, holiday, or even what we’ll be doing when we get home. There is nothing wrong with that except if we ignore the present. Jeff encourages us to be expectant in the wait, in the pause. In doing so we can realise the unique preciousness that only comes in that particular moment. Jeff recounts I read this book smiling. It is so delightful and comes with a strong message that there is wonder to be found in the moments of waiting. Too often we are focused on the next, whatever that is: job, baby, year, holiday, or even what we’ll be doing when we get home. There is nothing wrong with that except if we ignore the present. Jeff encourages us to be expectant in the wait, in the pause. In doing so we can realise the unique preciousness that only comes in that particular moment. Jeff recounts stories from his life where he’s been forced to slow down or wait. Whether it was the train journey home for Christmas, the nine months till his first son was born, or the wonder of time spent with the elderly, Jeff encourages us to cherish the in-between moments. I particularly enjoyed the story of his wedding proposal and the actual day. Both are magical with old-fashioned romance. Jeff writes beautifully and the power of these stories lies in their ordinariness. We all experience the run of the mill moments of life. But Jeff reminds us that everyday is precious and even when nothing much happens there’s still joy to be found. Highly recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Reading Through the Lists

    "In the waiting, we become." I picked up this book because right now I am in a season of waiting. In what seems to be my typical experience with Christian books, The In-Between did not transform my perspective on the subject but rather confirmed what God has already been teaching me about being (versus doing). It's a slender and easily readable volume that I think can offer some encouragement to people on that long road to becoming the person God made them to be. Mostly it's a memoir, which, in "In the waiting, we become." I picked up this book because right now I am in a season of waiting. In what seems to be my typical experience with Christian books, The In-Between did not transform my perspective on the subject but rather confirmed what God has already been teaching me about being (versus doing). It's a slender and easily readable volume that I think can offer some encouragement to people on that long road to becoming the person God made them to be. Mostly it's a memoir, which, in the writing world, is a safe option (no one can argue with your experience), but can also lack true spiritual impact. Goins mentions God in passing, but includes nothing from His word that would reveal His heart behind making us wait. Goins's main objective seems mostly to illustrate a basic truth that many of us brush up against, but few stop and notice (or savor): Life involves waiting, and this time should not be squandered but cherished, because this is the time that shapes into the people God is calling us to be. It's a good reminder to slow down, to savor small moments, and to choose to trust the Lord. It's an invitation to be.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Blake Atwood

    One of the most engaging aspects of Jeff Goins' The In-Between is his ability to make the boring interesting. That's not to say the stories he shares in this short memoir are boring. He recounts a number of personal moments where he struggled to wait for resolution, many of which resonated with my own hopes or actual experiences: gallivanting around the country with a band, wandering through Europe, following his calling to write, finding his wife, having their first child. These stories of waiti One of the most engaging aspects of Jeff Goins' The In-Between is his ability to make the boring interesting. That's not to say the stories he shares in this short memoir are boring. He recounts a number of personal moments where he struggled to wait for resolution, many of which resonated with my own hopes or actual experiences: gallivanting around the country with a band, wandering through Europe, following his calling to write, finding his wife, having their first child. These stories of waiting all serve to undergird his central premise: life to the full can only be lived in the moment, and longing for what's just around the corner prevents us from ever fully experiencing what's right in front of us. The In-Between helped me to remember that life isn't what I'm looking forward to--it's what I'm living right now, and I better pay attention or else I'm going to miss the small, yet life-changing stories I might be able to share with my own kids some day. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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