Living in the In-Between


Water drop


Last night we learned my nephew has a brain tumor.

This morning I stand on my porch, birdsong welcoming the day as though nothing has changed, the whisper-soft breeze carrying muted sounds of distant lives.

Such a dramatic change from last night, when booming thunder struck a match, setting off a brilliant lightning show and breaking the skies wide open.

It felt as though heaven itself was raining down.

Yet, there is such peace here, the wood boards cool and damp beneath my bare feet, the peeling paint on the railing rough under my hands.

The birds continue to tweet their cheery greetings.

The sky clears as the soft blues and fluffy whites push away the darkness of the stormy night.


Now we find ourselves in this new and tenuous place of shaky ground and aching hearts, of lives directed without notice into a new lane, a paradigm shift without a clutch.

“No, no! I don’t want to take that detour,” I cry out, as the flagman silently waves me off my well-worn and familiar path. “This isn’t the trip I planned or the road I ever wanted to take for myself or any of my loved ones!”

In his latest book, this is what writer Jeff Goins calls The In-Between, where we live in those hold-your-breath, hold-your-horses, holy-moley-I’m-so-tired-of-not-knowing, moments:

The In-Between is a call to accept the importance that waiting plays in our lives by helping you:

  • Find personal meaning in the times that make the least sense.
  • Hone the underestimated art of living in the moment.
  • Experience the joy that comes with embracing inconveniences.


Understanding In-Between reminds me about bucket lists.

Folks talk about BIG THINGS, and how exciting it is or will be to tackle these once-in-a-lifetime choices.

There are photos on Facebook and tales on the web of fears conquered, seas traveled, and places visited.

I had a revelation one day, though: It’s not about bucket lists, about waiting to do the BIG.

It’s about a Filling Your Bucket list, intentionally taking small actions every day to fill buckets to overflowing.

Let me explain.


How Full Is Your Bucket? is a great book by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton.

The premise is that everyone has an invisible dipper and bucket. We can take our dipper, draw it through the refreshing waters of faith, hope, and love, and pour it into the buckets of others.

And remember what happens when we help others: Our bucket fills to overflowing as well, washing over us with an incomparable sweetness.

Imagine the little ladlefuls of caring, of standing beside, behind, and staunchly with, that trickle in to fill the holes in our hearts so completely that droplets of joy and gratitude leak out upon our cheeks and pour down our faces.


We are all living in the In-Between in one way or another.

My oldest daughter and her hubbie are expecting their first child very soon.

We’ve been waiting for our house to sell so we can move to Tennessee.

My youngest daughter is continuing to grow her mad sewing skills and looking forward to the day she can step into that creative arena for keeps.

As the date of our move grows closer—possibly just a few weeks now—we have begun to make what I realized was a Fill Your Bucket list.

We asked ourselves what we want to do before we move 1,000 miles away from New England, the home we’ve known since birth.

The list was populated by surprisingly small things:

Having folks over to eat too much

Gathering to laugh and be loud with family

Dipping our toes into the Atlantic Ocean

Letting our inner rock ‘n rollers out for a final jam night


This begs a question about our In-Betweens:

Why are we not regularly filling them from the soul-satisfying choices on our Fill Your Bucket Lists?

Why did we wait until we were weeks from moving before making the time for these small but important acts?

Why were we not embracing the In-Between?


I don’t have a good answer to those questions.

According to the authors of How Full Is Your Bucket?we experience about 20,000 daily moments.

That’s 20,000 opportunities each day to give without measure and embrace the In-Between.

Well, I guess we’re not embracing for lack of opportunity.

I think it is a lack of awareness, intentionality, and being impatient to move onto the next big thing or beyond the heart-breaking.

So, instead of being angry, anxious, or annoyed, let’s savor the moments we spend on the stretches of In-Between, shall we?


You can buy Jeff’s book here: The In-Between


Living in the In-Between: Savoring the moments as the momentous.  <– Like this? Click here to tweet.


If you are in need of encouragement, I have gathered several posts and songs, in addition to Jeff’s book trailer. Enjoy and share!

Choose Joy

BEAGLE Theory of Life

Finding Gratitude in the Storms

Praying in the Midst of the Storm

How to Encourage Rather than Praise


Point of Grace: How you live

Barlow Girl: Never alone

Plumb: Need you now

Casting Crowns Praise you in this storm

Tim McGraw: Live like you were dying


Do not be afraid—I am with you! I am your God—let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you.  ~Isaiah 41:10 (CEB)


Question: How are you doing at living in the In-Between?


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  1. Beautiful words, Kim. Love your writing while in this in between place (there’s always something so special and insightful about a writing that comes directly from the battlefield I think). Hugs to you, friend, and I am praying.

    • From the battlefield. . .strong words, Christine, and empowering. Thanks, friend. I so appreciate your encouragement!

  2. Kim.
    living in the in-between can be exhausting…(I quote Iyanla Vanzant calling it “in the meantime”). Your words of wisdom make it tolerable, hopeful, even.
    Bless you for your open heart and gift with words.
    Thank you.
    Peace and good to you, sister, in your in-betweens, in Jesus’ name
    Chelle recently posted…Surrendering to Sabbath (where everything is an act of worship)My Profile

    • Yes, you’ve really pegged it, Chelle. We hold our breath as we feel suspended, yet struggling to gain some traction to get out of this place. Would we be less exhausted if we just let go and trusted God to do His thing? Just saying. . . :-) Thanks for your sweetness!

  3. Beautiful, heart felt words as always! I so needed to hear this and find these resources. I am in between my current job and a second interview for a new job this week. Just trying to relax and know that it is all in God’s hands. Still praying for you and your family. Please keep us updated.
    Blessings to You!
    Melissa recently posted…Belong {Five Minute Friday}My Profile

    • Hooray for second interviews! I know we have both traveled down this path, and it can be difficult to be grateful in the midst. Praying for you as well, my friend! Thanks for coming by.

  4. I just had to tell you how beautiful this is. Prayers to you and yours.
    Tamara recently posted…Vertigo.My Profile

  5. Hugs to you and your family as you navigate this time with your nephew. This is a beautiful post…full of honesty.-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted…10 Items You Will Need To Buy For Blogging ConferencesMy Profile

  6. KIm, I struggle very much with the in-betweens. Well, I feel like I am on a teeter-totter most of the time, trying to find balance at one end and then another. And the in-between often gets missed. Thank you, friend. So blessed here. You give me much to think about.
    Jennifer recently posted…God knows the definition of HomeMy Profile

  7. I’ve seen at least one of the videos about Jeff’s new book. It looks so interesting and relevant to me, as I am feeling that “in-between” pressure. I really believe it is my outlook that needs to change, not my scenery, though. God was convicting me this morning about how I need to surrender this pining I do for more or different to Him. There’s so much much beauty and peace in the “in-between.” It’s like being in the eye of the storm when we let God be in charge–there is peace there. Thanks for this gentle but timely nudge, Kim. I really, really needed it!

    • Great analogy, Beth. Yes, it is about our perspective changing. We can move to a new place, but if we are carrying the same old luggage. . . I am really enjoying the book. I see it as a gentle mirror that invites us to change how we view our In-Betweens. I am so glad you were nudged today, Beth! <3

  8. I struggle sometimes with those in between times…honestly, I want to fill them with moments, even with the little ones because those can be significant, too. Something He’s teaching me is just to embrace each day and the gifts it holds. There’s always something to be thankful for. :) It’s not a mindset I follow perfectly every day, but it is one I try to live. Love this post, sweet friend. And continued prayers for your family!
    Mel recently posted…A Wall to a Foundation: A Guest PostMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing, Mel. Filling with moments as opposed to just plain old busyness makes a world of difference. Appreciate your prayers!

  9. Your words give strength to those struggles and “why us?” moments. Great books to refer to as well. My heart goes out to your family in a time like this.
    Tess recently posted…Balancing Blogging and LifeMy Profile

    • I appreciate your kind words, Tess. My hope is that folks will leave here encouraged and maybe even armed with new tools and ideas to help them along their journey.

  10. Dear Kim,
    I am so sorry to hear about your nephew…praying right now for comfort and guidance for his family and him. What a great reminder to be intentional about the moments in our lives..praying the rest of your move is going smoothly..packing? what happened with your parents’ property? Appreciate you :)
    Dolly recently posted…What would you do if your husband was hit by an 18 wheeler?My Profile

  11. I am so grateful for you and my other friends who are praying for my nephew and his family! It’s such a comfort.
    Re the move: we will most likely be on our way sometime in the last two weeks of August. No buyers yet for parents property, so still praying for the right match there.
    Thanks, Dolly. You are a real blessing in my life.

  12. Kim, I just came across your site and I’m completely drawn to your words. I’m so sorry to read about your nephew. While I don’t know you or your family, I will say a little prayer for you all. I look forward to following your blog to help me keep inspired too.
    Debi recently posted…Make Your Day HappyMy Profile

    • Welcome, Debi, to my happy corner of the world! Thank you for your words and prayer for my family. I’m so glad you have been refreshed here!

  13. First of all, I am sending lots of prayers to your nephew. I hope he finds peace and hope in his in between. And may God be with your and your family every step of the way. Also, I love the message of this post. To savor the in between moments. To love them. That’s when we do most of our living, for sure!
    Ilene recently posted…Must Love DogsMy Profile

    • Ilene, I am always so glad to see your smiling face. Thank you for your thoughts and support of my family. It means the world to me! Glad you liked the message. You and I will certainly have a lot of those in-between moments as when we hit the road out for the new stage of our lives!

  14. So glad I checked out your blog today. Such beautiful words. Prayers and good wishes for your nephew. The “in between” is where is all happens, really. To learn to love the in between is always the challenge but so worth the effort.
    Leah Davidson recently posted…Quote of the WeekMy Profile

    • Thank you for reaching out through your words and prayers for my nephew. Those tiny spaces that are in-between really squeeze us sometimes to find the joy, but it is so worth it! Thanks for stopping by, Leah.

  15. I’m so sad to hear about your nephew, Kim. I’ll be glad to add him beside in your name in my journal. It’s crazy how your entire life can turn on a dime, but then the rest of the world goes on as though nothing has changed. Real Life is truly in those in-between moments.
    Susan Stilwell recently posted…When suffering doesn’t make sense and friends make it even worseMy Profile

    • Thank you, Susan. You, too, know first hand how quickly life circumstances can change. You just work your way through. I can tell you that there are stories we tell now about my accident that make us laugh. A little gallows humor, I guess. It’s something we use in our In-Between times: the knowing that one day, many of our trials will be funny. Hope all is going well with you!

  16. Kim – What a lovely post. Good for you for appreciating the beauty that surrounds you on the eve of such sad news. It is my hope and prayer that your nephew gets the treatment he needs for full recovery.
    My current in between is spent carving out precious moments with my parents as we hang on for dear life through the up and downward swings of dementia and diminished stamina and mobility. The ups are filled with my mom’s sharp wit and sassy comebacks, which dementia, so far, hasn’t touched. The down’s are filled with heartbreaking statements such as , “I want my life back,” or “I hope this surgery will help my memory.” What do I say when I know she’s about to have a surgery that will do nothing to improve her memory and will probably make it worse for a while. Thanks for reminding me to fill my bucket with my simply loves; sunsets, fresh cut flowers from my garden, burgers grilled over hot charcoal, and goofy fun with my adorable grandson and family.
    Connie Foster recently posted…THE ENDMy Profile

    • Thanks, Connie, for your sweet support. I am so sorry about your mom. Watching a loved one walk down that road is so very difficult. We will surely grieve, but must find a way to continue to live. Don’t we want to get to the end of our days together knowing we made the most of every day, that our memories are full to overflowing of as many rich moments as we have been able to create?
      My thoughts and prayers are with you, Connie.

  17. You never cease to amaze me. So many people who would have begun this post in a similar way would have spent the rest of the time with a woe-is-me type of attitude. But not Kim A. Hall! Oh, how I love being here on your site. So refreshing you are. I wish you were here at BlogHer with me but at least I get to read your blog posts instead :).
    Fawn Weaver recently posted…7 Simple Tips to Writing the Perfect Love NoteMy Profile

  18. {Melinda} Love this post. In some area of our lives we are always living in the “in between.” I think it is so hard to find joy in inconvenience. Impossible without God’s help. Our human nature recoils from pain or frustration. But, yes, you are so right — it is there that God meets us in such sweet ways.
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted…What does clean underwear have to do with kindness?My Profile

  19. Thank you Kim for a very insightful post. We are all in some kind of in-between. I liked your thoughts on this. I do know in my life I try to fill my bucket with prayer, scriptures and other things I enjoy doing each day. I find on the days I do that I have more to give to others.
    I feel sad to hear about your nephew. My brother just finished his last chemo and radiation for cancer and it has sent a wake up call to our family. Wow, life is a great teacher.
    Blessings and hugs!
    Living Waters by LeAnn recently posted…24th of July Celebration of The Mormon Pioneers – Read An Inspiring Story Of Our Pioneer Ancestors~My Profile

    • LeAnn, thanks for your very thoughtful comment. My prayers and thanks for your brother finishing up his treatments. Yes, it sends a huge wake up call through the family. I have seen it myself these last couple of weeks, with myself included. Filling those times with prayer and scripture is priceless, isn’t it? Thanks so much for sharing!

  20. Back at cha, Kim!
    Fawn Weaver recently posted…3 Ways to Create Your “Happily Ever After”…Once Life HappensMy Profile


  1. […] the past week I have seen true beauty in the compassion of so many friends praying for my nephew, in the faith of women leading young lady campers, in the caring of family who drop everything to […]

  2. […] Other times, however, it’s those seconds that feel like hours as we wait for a proverbial shoe to drop, that long In-Between. […]

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