The Dream Awake Series: Living in the Now with Denise of Gratefully Inspired

Dream Awake: Living in the Now
{A series about pursuing your dreams right where you are! In this very moment. Letting go of past worries, stress about the future, and seeing how you can use your gifts to follow your dreams during this stage of your life.}

I am excited to introduce you to an amazing lady, Denise from Gratefully Inspired. A woman with a heart for gratitude, passion for helping others and lover of life who is practicing living in the now. Without further ado....

Hola fellow FailteHouse readers!  I’m Denise, the chica behind Gratefully Inspired.  The FailteHouse is one of my newest discoveries and I am completely obsessed.  How the gorgeous Sheila captures life in a moment and puts it all into words amazes me.  So, needless to say, when Sheila asked if I would do a guest post on living in the now/present, I was both honored and ecstatic!  I am by no means an expert on the subject, but as life has it, I’ve had some experience with this very idea lately.

My life has been a bit crazy over the past few months.  I thought I had this great plan – where my life was headed – and then of course God, (all while chuckling) reminds me I do not know best and he gently redirects me.  And it is those times in life where you don’t have much choice but to live in the present.  And for that I am grateful.  So without further ado, Sheila’s-make-you-seriously-ponder-life questions.

What is your dream?
This question makes me laugh because goodness gracious, what ISN’T my dream?  I tend to try and do it all.  And I want to experience SO much.  So when I am asked “What is my dream?” – well, I’ve got lots.  I want to be a mom to a human (I’m already a proud mama to a pup).  I want to see my students graduate college.  I want to continue to fall in love with my husband.  I want to take care of my parents as they grow older and keep them smiling like they’ve done for me for so many years.  But if I had to some up all of my dreams in one somewhat cohesive thought, I would say my dream is to make a difference – and ultimately for God.  My faith is something I’m not shy about and something that I would be nowhere without.  So while I have so many things I want to do in this life I’ve been given, my dream is that when it’s all said and done, I’ve loved as hard as I can love and made someone’s day – someone’s life a little bit better.  I’ve made a difference.

Through your dream of making a difference when it’s all said and done, how are you still fully living in the now? 
Ah the constant struggle.  How to plan for the future while living fully in the present.  A mind-blowing concept if you ask me and it’s something that takes constant attention.  To start, I journal.  A lot.  I try to journal a few times a week just to capture my feelings and memories I’ve made throughout that week.  Journaling helps me to slow down and step off of the fast-paced train.  I also surround myself with people who love me no matter what but are also honest with me no matter what.  I loathe relationships where one cannot fully express themselves, and I am thankful that my friends and family shoot it to me straight.  I also have my husband to thank for helping me to fully live.  He is the epitome of the here and now.  He’s not a huge planner (just imagine us planning a vacation!), but he’s a huge liver.  His laid back sense-of-self is something that I strive for more and more each day.
 Do you have a favorite quote, photo, or story that reminds you to enjoy right where you are in life?

“Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?” – Matthew 6:25-27 NIV

We can hurry when we’re older.” – Pat Green

Maybe I could've been a pirateMaybe in my next life that's what I'll beFrench kissing life square in the mouthSailing out on the sea.” – Kenny Chesney

Live a little. Love a lot.” – Kenny Chesney

Any words of advice for someone who is forgetting to enjoy this season of their life?

RELAX.  Life is just too short to miss anything.  You are where you are for a reason (annoying to hear I know).  But there is so much truth in that.  There is a bigger picture that sometimes we cannot see today but will be thankful for tomorrow.  Oh and loosen up and dance a little.  Dancing is another thing that makes me enjoy the NOW.


Thank you so much Denise!
What did you think? I read her responses about 5 times because they stirred something inside and made my heart ponder. {Thanks again Denise!} Also, don't forget to stop on over to her blog and say hello. It is a lovely place to find inspiration. You are gonna like it!

As for all of Denise's lovely reader's visiting, so happy to have you here!

PS. How are you working on living in the now?  Thursday I will show you my little trick and Denise will be back too!
PPS. And don't forget to work on your Body.Mind.Soul charts for Thankful Thursday.
PPPS. I have 3 new fun shoots I am excited to share with you!  In addition to more Europe photos :)  So many fun things coming up!


Sara :

Beautiful words, Denise! Very important to remember to appreciate this season of our lives :) Great series idea!

Katie Cook :

Denise, I love this:) Thanks girl:)

Denise Lopatka :

thanks so much for having me!! xox

Meredith :

I love this post! Denise is wise beyond her years :)

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