It happened in a tight thirty-minute window between two appointments.
The first appointment arrived at my house at 11:15 a.m. The second appointment would begin at 11:45, over Skype.
That’s when the pipe burst. A tiny, half-inch tube transporting water from a hot water reservoir up through the dispenser on our kitchen sink. First, a loud hissing sound. Then, steam filling the air and a pool of water covering our hardwood floors.
It took less than twenty minutes to empty the cabinet beneath the sink, turn off the water valve, grab a pile of towels and start cleaning. But the damage was done. Hardwood floors and indoor lakes don’t go well together.
Then, I was off to my office to do a Skype interview. With author Jeff Goins. About his book, The In-between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing.
Oh, the irony.
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.
A life isn’t so much built in the important appointments and flashy productions. It’s crafted in the tight in-between when a flood takes over your kitchen.
Welcome, Jeff Goins.
FREE STUFF ALERT! Today, Jeff and Moody Publishers are giving away a FREE copy of The In-between to one blog reader. If you’d like to be entered for the giveaway, leave a comment answering the below question AND tweet a link to this blog post.
What in-between place are you in right now?
No need to put me in the contest for Jeff’s book…I own it, read it, loved it, reviewed it on Amazon. Jeff hit me right between the eyes. I teach mindfulness…as part of my teen and adult groups in my work, and I wasn’t living my own life that way. Oh sure, I have my moments. I’ll walk outside and “really” listen to the birds or stop to become really aware of my “right now,” but I have been sneaky about stepping outside the bounds of the “in-between” for awhile now. I’m always thinking about when I launch my big thing or when I retire and get to travel more or when I get to see my family. Thinking about these things too much leads to discontent with “now.” Jeff’s book was a clear call to action. Great interview, and sorry about your floor…not fun.
Yes. Yes. Yes. I believe my biggest challenge most days is simply the discipline of being aware of each moment. Thank you for your insight, Linda.
I have an immense appreciation for the above video and the following quote from Jeff Goin’s book, The In-Between.
“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.”
Over the last few years since I have lost my job in the security field due to a disability, I have not only learned to adjust to the circumstances around me, but also to fall into totally surrender in the the plans God has for my life. More often than not, I often get the impression that God uses those in-between moments in our lives to experience spiritual, personal, and professional transformation in our lives for His glory, to our personal benefit, and to the blessings of those around us.
I want to thank you and Jeff Goins for sharing that video with us as I know the book and this video will make an impact in the lives of so many people. God bless you all!…:-)
My friend, I was just talking to my husband about you this morning, how your positive attitude and unwavering confidence in God SHINES. Keep trusting and surrendering, Micky. God is doing an amazing work in your life.
We’ve been living in between full time employment for about 5 years now, and in that time I’ve had to really learn how to let go of the reigns.
Letting go has helped me be able to hear Him over my own desires and even though most of the time I’m freaking out it is wonderful to see the progress I’ve made.
To move from “totally freaking out” to “partly freaking out” is progress! I feel your pain, Esther. And I’m impressed with your attitude. When my husband quit his 20-year job to start his own business, I lived in a constant state of panic for a few years. Slowly I learned to let go. But there was no way to get to that place without the difficult in-between place.
You know, as I read the story, I think how typically Michele that is. You have a major crisis that needs immediate attention, but you still manage to hang in there and sail through to the next moment beautifully. Sorry about the floors, though. Good thing you know a good contractor. 🙂
My in between place right now is just trying to get my kids back to school. Our summer has been crazy and I am longing for a regular schedule and some sanity.
Haha. 🙂 Enjoy the back-to-school quiet!
I’m completely in the in-between! Finally after years of thinking about it, I have finally embarked on a book project. I am loving the work but fear, doubt and the enormity of this project sometimes overwhelm me. I am trying very hard to focus on the small victories, the wonderful people I am getting to interview and the a blessing it is to be working on such a fun project. In other words, I’m trying to appreciate the process, or the in-between as Jeff so aptly calls it.
Writing is all about the process. As Anne Lamott said, “the writing itself turns out to be its own reward.” Keep going, Tracy!
I definitely think most of my life (our lives) has been spent in the in-between – in that uncomfortable seque from one season of life to another, and yet it’s hard to deny that THIS is where the growth occurs! My little ones are both off to school this Fall, which leaves me with a freedom I haven’t tasted in 6 years…and a growing sense that God is calling me to start writing a book. Excitement…terror…anticipation…overwhelment (is that a word?)…the distinct flavor of the in-between!
You described it well. Enjoy the adventure, Joy!
Michelle and Jeff,
Oh my goodness, I’ve felt exactly the way you said at the very beginning – I’ve been “in-between” for such a long time. I’ve felt the pull of transitioning in the last few years from working full time out of the home to working full time as an author, all the while sending grown kids off into their new marriages just as our home-schooled bonus baby is becoming a teenager. Looming over it all is the knowledge that my husband won’t be able to continue his extremely challenging manual labor job for too many more years, and some big decisions need to be made in the next few years.
This book sounds like something I NEED to read, if for no other reason than that this is a biblical truth that I’m learning to embrace every day.
Enjoyed the interview so much,
You’ve had more than a little transition, Becky … with more to come. Not easy, but I love your wisdom in embracing it now, rather than putting it off until later.
Life is SO much of the in-between right now. Waiting contentedly, seeing the growth in myself as I don’t just do SOMETHING to avoid the tension of waiting. I can be taught, it turns out. So, I wait for God to move, not for me to move out of desperation in the silence. Silence prepares me to listen harder, to be still. At least there is coffee and chocolate in the waiting room….
The temptation to move is tricky during the waiting … we love to fill gaps with the sounds of our own voices, don’t we? Or maybe that’s just me. 😉 With you in your in-between, M.
I couldn’t be more In-Between right now! 8 months ago we sold our house, moved in with my in-laws, pulled my kids out of private school to homeschool, quit our jobs from 15 years of full time ministry, and we are trying to buy a ranch! For me, I keep myself more than busy with home-school, writing, & a couple speaking things- but it’s SO hard for my husband as the provider. He’s having trouble doing the in-between stuff while waiting for the unknown. And really, it’s hard for both of us. Our lives are in storage and we are so ready for this season to end so we can move on to the next! We need to read Jeff’s book! 😀 okay… That is all! Love you, blessings!
That’s a lot of limbo your camping out in, Celeste. Pack some marshmallows. 😉 Loved reading an update from your world … miss you.
I feel like there are two places where I am in-between right now:
1) I’m a few years away from the next step in my career as I wait for the next in line to retire.
2) I just came back from Guatemala for the second time in just over a year ago. This country has touched my life. I’m waiting to figure out the next step in this journey. Will our family go back? And when? How will we use this experience in our lives moving forward?
It sounds like one of your in-between places might make the other obsolete. Perhaps. Who knows?! A good time to pray while you wait, I’m thinking.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Aaaaaaaaaand, the winner of the FREE copy of Jeff Goins’ new book, The In-between, is …… Amicar Diaz. Send me an email with your mailing address and I’ll get this gift right out to you. Congratulations, Amicar!