Off the radar

Aug 10 2017
Change of Plans

Change of Plans

Categories: Faith“Full”, Off the radar | Posted by: LifewithBri

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord. “Plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

It’s been a while. I could sit here and tell you I needed some time to myself, but if you know me by now, I am someone who often “needs some time to herself.” In fact, I call it BriTime. Being a true introvert (with some extroverted ways), despite what many may think — and by definition, I am one “who gains energy from being alone and loses energy in stimulating environments.” In other words, when a lot is going on in life, I find comfort in disconnecting — this time through my writing.

See, life was going along as it should (so I thought), and then there was a change of plans. Can you relate?

Was it bad? No. Good? Perhaps.

I used to be someone who hated change. In fact, I dreaded the thought of it. Why? Well to be frank, it scared me. Change meant something would be different. Something would happen that I many times had no control over.

What do you do when there is a change of plans? How do you react? Do you get worried and anxious? Or do you simply trust the situation?

If you are like me, you like to have a plan. I can be up for a little spontaneity at times, but for the most part, I like to make my lists and knock each task out one by one. I find comfort in knowing what I need to do to get to where I am going and what I am going to be doing when I get there. This goes for the simplest things in life such as a trip to the grocery store to making life-changing decisions like when I purchased my first home.

God tells us we should make plans – but as we all know, things do not always go as planned. I can tell you right now, if things went as planned, I was supposed to be married with 3 children by now. Did that happen? Not even close.

Do I still want those plans that I made so young? Yes and no. Yes, I want to be married. Am I ready? I believe I will know when I am. Do I wish I had 3 kids in this moment? Forgive me, but heck to the no! I can barely take care of myself right now – and that is just being real.

See, there was a change in plans. God knows what’s best for me, so that’s where me trusting in him is vital.

I have a million journals with a million to do lists – with a million “plans” – many of which have changed over time. In fact, over the last few months, the way my life looks has drastically changed in many ways. How did I react? To be honest, and to my surprise (not really) — it was a much needed breath of fresh air. In many ways, it showed me what and who was most important to me. I needed this change of plans.

Are you like me? Once a person who was afraid of change of any kind? Worried if things didn’t happen “my way?” Trying to do any and everything myself— including trying to make things work that just were not supposed to work? Trying to be someone you were just not meant to be?

A change in plans is in actuality what many of us need. Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting to “control” every situation, instead of being open to love, new opportunities, and really the “unknown.” It shows us a different way of living; That there is more to life than what we can often get caught up in with our daily routines; That God has MORE for us than what we have in mind.

See the plans that have come to pass in my life, well they have been exceedingly and abundantly more than I could have imagined (just as promised). And well, the others – there was just simply a change of plans.

I encourage you to embrace yours, too.

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Flexi-Rod Curls with Flawless by Gabrielle Union

Categories: Off the radar | Posted by: LifewithBri

Hi Guys!

I’ve received so many questions about my Flexi-Rod curls look and finally made a YouTube tutorial! Check out the video below to see how I ONLY used the new Flawless by Gabrielle Union product line to create this look and what I felt about the results. Forgive my lengthy video — I had A LOT to say! Thanks so much Flawless for sending these for me to try out with my go-to protective, curly style! Make sure to subscribe, comment, like, etc. <3

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Travel with Bri: My Essentials!

Categories: Off the radar | Posted by: LifewithBri

 

Let the countdown begin! Somebody pinch me. In just three days, I will embark on my very first trip to Europe. Spain to be exact! Can we say, God is good?! A L L THE TIME!

How ironic is it that just today, my pastor spoke on surrounding yourself with good friends, God-fearing friends, friends that will stand in the fire with you when times get rough—just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3). Do you have friends like that?  Ones you stand beside no matter what, can call on with your craziest ideas, share your fears with, pray with and for at the same time?

Not only am I going to visit one of my best friends, Ramona, who has always been an encouraging support to me throughout my life, but I am also going to take you with me! I am eager to get the show on the road and explore this new culture, take pictures, try new food, meet new people, and just immerse in myself as much as possible during my time there.

As I started packing this weekend (ugh, so not my favorite thing to do :/), I began thinking of what I would consider my top 5 essentials for the trip (other than the obvious i.e. clothes, shoes, etc.) This is what I came up with and why:

  1. Phone — Communication with family/friends back home, posting, Bible App, music, etc.
  2. Passport! – Identification. How else am I going to get here and there? (Always carry a copy, too!)
  3. Journal and Pen – You know I am a writer and blogger. This is a must! Who knows when I will get inspired?
  4. Camera – Capturing moments and creating memories is another must!
  5. Dre Beats – Airport and travel essential to listen to good podcasts and music.

 

My main goal is not to over-pack, but to take only what I need.  This trip is truly a blessing and I can’t wait to share with you my experience. Make sure to follow my Instagram account @thelifewithbri where I will be using #BriTravels #SpainwithBri #LifewithBri to document this amazing adventure!

All I ask is that you say this small prayer with me:

“Lord, I know that you said you would be with me when I come and when I go. You said that you would direct my footsteps and encompass your angels around me as protection.  As I travel to see this wonderful part of the world, in which you created, I pray that you cover me as you always have. Help me to see what you have my eyes to see, hear what you might have my ears to hear, and live in the way you would have me to live. Amen!”

First stop? M A D R I D! Are you ready? 🙂

 

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May 20 2016
I Almost Died.

I Almost Died.

Categories: Faith“Full”, Off the radar | Posted by: LifewithBri

I almost died. And in many ways, I did.

Truth is — this is the first time I have actually sat down to write about this particular incident. It’s a little known fact that many don’t even know took place. In fact, only a small selection of family and friends know what really happened to me while riding ATVs on a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico in August 2015.

From the pictures, the average person would have assumed the trip was flawless and full of action-packed fun (and yes, most of it was). I didn’t want to make the accident a big deal because “I was alright.” Physically “I was alright…” I only ended up with a few scrapes, bruises, and a dislocated thumb, thank you God; but truth is that mentally, emotionally and spiritually, the entire situation took a toll on me. No one was around me when it happened. I was very much so alone (physically) before, during, and the few moments after until everyone realized what had actually taken place. In fact, no one saw my ATV flip and land on top of me wedged in between two very large mountainside rocks. If it was not for the helmet and the shape of the rocks allowing my body to perfectly fit into a small valley avoiding direct impact of the ATV, I could have very well died or been seriously injured. You see? “I was very much so alone physically and my body seemed to fit perfectly so that I was shielded from the impact.” That was GodNo one saw my head hit the rock. It did not tap it. It did not graze it. It had full on direct impact with a very20150831_105516edit sharp edge of a protruding mountain rock. No head injury or broken neck? That was GodBefore I realized what had happened, I just laid there on the ground in shock, but a still small voice told me to “get up.” So I did. I climbed out from the small, cool valley as the ATV hung upside down from above leaking gasoline.

One might say I was a little dramatic with my story, but just to clarify — me telling this story now is not to evoke pity or attention by any means. Trust me, I could have done that a looonng time ago. It’s to show that things happen in life that for lack of better terms, “knock some sense into us…” and it’s often how we react to those times in our lives that matters most. It’s really about what happened after the accident that I truly want to share with you.

From that very moment in my life, I viewed everything differently. From relationships, to my job, to my everyday decisions; everything shifted. Over the last year, I have totally let go of the reigns and trusted in the Lord to guide my footsteps completely. I no longer wanted control. I couldn’t control the ATV that day, so I didn’t want to try and control who liked or loved me or let alone how I was going to pay my bills. I wanted to be free of all worry, angst and concern for what may lay ahead. I decided to live, and live by faith. And where did that land me you may be wondering?

I realized I had been spreading myself so tIMG_20150831_112249hin trying to figure out what my next steps were, instead of enjoying the life that was right in front of my own eyes. I had still been trying to be what others wanted, say what others wanted me to say, and living a life that I believed others would like me to live. In many ways, I was the one holding myself back.

Life and death situations always have a way of putting your life into perspective. To be honest, I can probably remember countless times I knowingly could have almost died or could have been critically injured throughout my life. I believe we all have a time in our lives where something happened and it could have gone terribly wrong, but it didn’t. See, we serve a faithful God; one who never leaves nor forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31.6).

If I could tell you how I have seen him work and open doors that I didn’t even realize were there for me, this blog would turn into a book. I am truly blessed. To see how much has unfolded in just the past year or so alone, I can testify that God truly does work for the good of those who love him…(Romans 8:28). It’s amazing how he will bless you exceedingly and abundantly beyond your every expectation – if you trust him to do just that.

He has guided my thoughts and footsteps, bringing the right people in my life, while at the same time he has taken many of the wrong away. He is so merciful that he has even made a way to bring back others that he knew needed to be in my life. I know he can do the same for you.

The fear of dying can almost be crippling, but instead let’s dwell in the joy of living. The fear that keeps you from making the right decision because everything does not seem like it’s lined up enough or wondering will it work out because things just seem “too complicated” can hold you back from living a life that is meant for you.

I don’t know what’s stopping you, but don’t make it have to be something so drastic that it knocks some sense into you before you decide to make some changes. Over and over again, he thought I was worth saving. Sometimes we get thrown into the air unexpectedly, but God still cushions our fall and tells us to “get up.” Yes, we may have a few scrapes and bruises to remind us of what happened, but in due time, they heal and go away. Remember that.

I almost died. And in many ways, I did. I had to keep my faith and let many things die (i.e. an extremely unhealthy relationship that I thought I was supposed to make work, the fear that I’d be stuck in a job that was not fulfilling, and so on.), so that I could start living. In what ways is it time for you to start living, too?

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Don’t Worry. Be Happy.

Categories: Faith“Full”, Off the radar | Posted by: LifewithBri

The feeling of worry alone can be crippling and catastrophic to one’s spirit.  Being anxious can cause many to act out of character, make irrational decisions, and even keep people from doing what they know they need to do at the time.

What usually happens with you become worried or anxious?  You can’t focus.  You either make poor food/health decisions or don’t even want to eat at all. You become stressed and irritable and often take it out on others.  You begin to feel lost and forget what you know to be true.  Yes, all of these things can happen. Can you relate?  We’ve all been there.

Worrying about things we cannot control is in our human nature; But what if you let go of that control? What? Let go of control? Yep, that’s what I said.

 

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalms 55:22

 

If there is anything that I have learned, it’s that there is no sense in worrying.  There is no sense in trying to figure out what’s going to happen tomorrow or the day after. What you have and know is right now. There have been so many times where I didn’t take action in the moment because I thought “What if I am making a mistake? What if it does not work out?  What will people have to say about me?”  This mentality kept me from reaching my full potential and maybe receiving sooner than later what God was trying to give me.

Instead we have to put our trust in the Lord, remain faithful, and take action in the areas needed.

If it is your health, don’t worry about 6 months from now not meeting your ideal weight goal, but instead take one day at a time and maybe think about where you’d like to be 2 weeks from now instead.

If it’s your job, don’t worry about all of the transition taking place and let fear of the unknown consume you, but instead know that in due time, an opportunity will present itself to you to progress.

If you need to have a “talk” with a loved one about something important, but you are worried about how they will react, just trust that the Lord will be in control –whatever the outcome.

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

 

I don’t know about you, but I am so grateful in this moment and I don’t want to waste my time, talent, and gifts worrying about what others think and how situations will play out.  I find comfort in knowing that he said, “if I ask, then I shall receive, if I seek, then I shall find, and if I knock, the door will be opened to me.”

So what’s the point in worrying?  Don’t worry, be happy. 🙂

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I Want Your Feedback

Categories: Off the radar | Posted by: LifewithBri

It’s been 3 years. Can you believe it? So much has changed over the years with the blog and me personally.

Now I am at a point where I keep asking myself, “Decisions, decisions, what to do next?” I am looking to possibly make some changes to LifewithBri. If you are a follower of my blog site, I would love to hear your feedback by filling out this super easy 3 minute survey.  I appreciate all feedback and honesty!

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Thank YOU!

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Aug 24 2015
In This Moment

In This Moment

Categories: Faith“Full”, Off the radar | Posted by: LifewithBri

Today mark’s the halfway point through my Health Coach Training Program. How am I feeling right now? A bit overwhelmed, yet inspired to continue towards my goal.  I am enjoying this moment (something I’ve been trying to do for a while now)

It’s not as easy to live in the moment as one would think. Our minds (my mind) constantly drifts away to some past occurrence or memory and stays there for what may seem like a minute or two, but in reality becomes hours.  Then it switches back to focus for a second before it again drifts off into the space of the unknown, in other words the future.  It can be scary, yet exciting — but the fact is…this future may or may not ever occur.

This is when I realize that I have a hard time living in the moment.  I am often missing my “right nows.”  I see other people living in their moment and enjoying their “right nows.”  Are you living in your right now?

I get it– To you, your right now may not be so great to you, but it’s most likely better than before and is what’s going to make your future seem so amazing when it gets here.

So my next question to you is…What is happening with you right now? In this moment.  Maybe even close your eyes and feel exactly how you are feeling in this moment.  Are you tired? Anxious? Sad? Happy? Calm and focused? And what has you feeling this way?

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

 

 

It’s important that we take note of the moments in our lives’ embracing them not with fear, but knowing that we have a big say in how it plays out.  Do you need to make some life changes that will ultimately affect your right now moments? I know that after this epiphany that ultimately led to me writing this blog post, I came up with a list for myself.

As we all know, it’s so easy to look at others and want what they have or want to live a life like them…but how about we start wanting what WE HAVE and try to live a LIFE LIKE OUR OWN?

I’ll leave you with that thought for this moment.

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100 Days Fit for LIFE Challenge

Categories: BriGrams, Off the radar, Work Out | Posted by: LifewithBri

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If you know me, you know that I love a challenge.  More so recently I set out on the path with a group of friends to complete the 100 happy days challenge found here: www.100happydays.com

Unfortunately, I did not fully complete the challenge, but instead stopped on Day 30.  I honestly felt like I had accomplished what I needed to do—which was to find something in each day that made me happy.  I soon came to realize that I did not need such a challenge to find joy in everyday of my life.  With that said I give kudos to those who have completed all 100 days (including my friend Nichelle) because frankly I wish I had crossed that finish line.

After not completing those 100 days, I soon realized I wanted (more like needed) to challenge myself again. But this time, in a way that would mean a lot more to me and would ultimately help me reach my personal goals at the same time.

So here goes nothing! I have devised a 100 Days Fit for LIFE challenge!

The terms of the challenge include the following guidelines:

  • 100 days of at least 20 mins of physical activity/exercise each day
  • No physical activity/exercise on Sundays
  • Eat clean at least 75 % of time
  • Drink plenty of water (check out my H20 Battle: Drink Up post to see how much you should be drinking)
  • Keep personal journal and use hashtag #100toLIFE if want to track and share journey via social media

*Disclaimer: Do not over exert your body.  If you are concerned that you only have one day to rest each week..remember that the minimum is 20 minutes and that your physical activity can be a light or less strenuous exercise like yoga, pilates, or simple stretching. –just make sure that it is purpose driven and intentional! Also, if necessary, consult your doctor before beginning the challenge.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.- Genesis 2:2

FYI – I have actually just completed DAY 6 of the challenge and of course Day 7 is my rest day (Sunday) – I needed to see if I could do it before I started challenging others. Also, I was supposed to have recorded my first vlog today and posted it below to show how things are going, BUT due to technical difficulties, I will have to wait to post it! Stay tuned!

For all of my subscribers, I apologize that this might seem last minute. Feel free to join in on this challenge anytime.  We could even be on DAY 30! Know that this challenge is not only for me, but for anyone who would really like to make daily physical activity a lifestyle change for them.

If you would like to make it official and join the 100 Days Fit for LIFE challenge, email me at talkwithbri@gmail.com with your name and social media account username (for Instagram and/or Twitter).  Also, feel free to just email if you have any questions!

Will you join me? Let’s get FIT!

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I Want To Be Hungry Again

Categories: Faith“Full”, Off the radar | Posted by: LifewithBri

One might read the title of this blog and assume that I am referring to food. When in reality — food is the last thing on my mind.  In fact, I yearn for the type of nourishment that fulfills way more than mere physical satisfaction.

There are so many areas in my life where I am starving myself, rather than feeding my mind, body, and spirit what it needs to be successful and happy.  The goal list is longer than ever, yet not many things are getting accomplished. I feel as if I know exactly what I want and know exactly what I need to do to get it, BUT my appetite seems to have diminished.  Can you relate?

Here’s an example:

We often go through a phase where we are working out and going to the gym at least 3-4 times a week consistently for a month or so…and ultimately feeding our body what it needs. AND THEN…we just stop without any explanation and act like we don’t even know what the gym is anymore…starving our body. Can you relate?

Same goes for any other area in our life…whether it’s work, school, church, etc.  You may go through a situation where the hunger is more evident than ever…the drive is THERE.

AND THEN…because you lack patience (and when I say you, I mean me too), you get tired of waiting to see some kind of result and just stop being hungry to accomplish what you set out to do in the first place.

If you are like me, you know that is something way more to life than waking up each morning and doing the same old thing. We each have a God-given purpose to fulfill, BUT we must be HUNGRY.  We must desire to accomplish these things and have faith enough to make consistent actions towards them.

With much prayer and meditating on the word, I plan to do just that. Will you join me?

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.- 2 Timothy 2:15

I want to be hungry again.  What about you?

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Feb 06 2015
No Pressure

No Pressure

Categories: Guest Blogger Series, Off the radar | Posted by: LifewithBri

monaMy next guestblogger is Mona [25, VA], a dear friend of mine of over 10 years and an amazing woman with an unique soul.  Read on to get a glimpse of what beauty looks like…

Blogger Bio: I am a multitude of complexities wrapped up in one being with a purposely messy bow.


Lately, I have been feeling like a bottle of pent up uncontrollable energy. Good and bad vibrations bombarding one another just waiting to burst. Without a doubt, this has caused a lot of undue stress and anxiety. And that’s okay. I have to remind myself sometimes that I am only human. I believe that we tend to hustle and bustle about life attempting to accomplish some major goal (insert made up statistic and cite with self-belief) about 95% of the time. Forgetting to slow down, relax, and enjoy the voyage.

I live a life made up of lists and schedules. Virtual notepads filled with lists for tasks to accomplish in the next 12 hours, days and maybe even years. Now these tasks range from the mundane day to day responsibilities to major deadlines. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my lists. Some days I find it hard to get out of bed until I make a simple list (judge me not). But, I have noticed that I have started to schedule little me time. Somewhere along the lines, I started making lists of things to please bosses and loved ones before myself.

With the start of a new semester, and seasonal changes happening within those around me as well as myself, the pressure was on. With so much to tend to, I found myself riddled with guilt for taking the time to just sit quietly and meditate. Why? Because this lecture has to be posted, these emails need responses, this paperwork, that training, those bills, that promise to a friend…. I needed the time to just b r e a t h e. So, I took it. It was a moment of mental exhaustion that was ABSOLUTELY needed.

I say all of that to say this: be selfish. Take time out to care for you. Have some unscheduled, uninhibited fun. When I was younger, I had a secret field where I would go to lay down and stare at the clouds. It was a simple place during a complicated time that could make the world stand still. I have begun chasing that moment. I am building my fortress of solitude… a place where I may rest, but where loved ones are always welcome. I am abolishing the negative connotations attached to selfishness and unapologetically being myself. I am removing the norms that have been embedded throughout life, and challenging them with what I believe is my normal. I am aware that thoughts become things, and I am protecting and projecting my energy. And lastly, I am challenging all those who are like me to do the same – but no pressure.

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