Christian

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

These jeans are only $39.99. I could just leave that right here and stop the blog because when have you found a jean that fits, with a 37” inseam, at that price lately? But where I am at right now, I can’t just talk about the clothing because there is SO MUCH going on in my life. Jeans are great. We need to clothe our body. These are fabulous, have amazing stretch and beautiful embroidery but I can’t just stop at the denim.

I want to use the rose detail to convey a truth that has revealed itself in my life:

every rose has its thorn.

I am happier than I have been in years but there are a lot of unknowns in my life that sometimes keep me awake. I am still single, building an unseen empire, hustling like I never have before and mourning some of the changes that have happened over the last 8 months. It’s been a cornucopia of emotions. Incredible highs and odd lows that I had never felt before all wrapped up in a beautiful package of purpose. I hang on to my vision knowing that is is strong, prosperous and regardless of the current foggy view, will prevail.

When I followed God’s prompt to move and begin, I thought that meant a flawless walk in the steps He had created for me but the truth is, there is no such thing as flawless. In fact, when you follow God more often than not, all of the rough spots become intense. When you are walking in what you were made to be, opposition is at it’s strongest. You can call it a test. You can call it distraction. You can call it an attack from Satan himself. Whatever you want to call it just know that you have to push through it. It’s not an end, it’s a lesson that needs to be learned in order for you to continue down the path that was made for you.

When it comes to anything in life, expect the thorns and embrace them. Nothing you will ever experience that is real and true will be without the prick of something that is perceived as unpleasant. Don’t run from the growth, feel every part of it and use it to strengthen your design.

Currently growing. Currently feeling. Currently becoming who He needs me to be. 

You gotta love a dusty booty from the concrete wall lol. I could have photoshopped it out but it was too much work and plus, who cares that I have dust on my butt from the wall (insert shrugging emoji here).

You gotta love a dusty booty from the concrete wall lol. I could have photoshopped it out but it was too much work and plus, who cares that I have dust on my butt from the wall (insert shrugging emoji here).

Make it Plain

How in the world do you pronounce Habakkuk?  Image via BreatheConference.com

How in the world do you pronounce Habakkuk?

Image via BreatheConference.com

I was going to come on here and talk Tall style.

Yes. I am still passionate about it.

Yes. I will still share about it in every way.

But right now I am smack in the middle of a very amazing period of growth and I would be remiss if I didn’t share what was actually going on in my life.

I am in a season of building. Building my faith, my brand, my ideas, my personal life, my circle and my health (both metal and physical). You see, when you work somewhere for 13 years straight, you get comfortable in a lot of areas. As you know, nothing ever grows in prolonged comfort. Thus, a lot of the facets of my life had been stunted right under my nose. Once I took the leap, the ugly parts swam to the surface and waved at me. They are being addressed and it has been nothing short of beautiful. Painfully gorgeous.

Working through the muck is taxing but the worst thing that could ever happen to you is making a home in it. Kicking back in rubbish isn’t cute. I shutter at the thought of remaining the person that I was a little under 8 months ago. The Alicia you are listening to right now, is not the same one that you have known. She is far better, far stronger and a heck of a lot wiser. She knows who she is and what she brings to the table. She knows what she deserves and more importantly what God wants for her life. She is ready to actualize all of the purpose He has placed in her heart.

I am changing and that means that TallSWAG will be changing too. I am working behind the scenes on so many things that I can’t wait to share with you but know this…

we are going to work this out together.

I am not on this journey alone. God has built me to share my story and I will. I will reveal this portrait not at once, yet stoke by stoke of the brush.

Right now the color is named vision. We are going to be talking a lot about her. We can’t accomplish anything without it being in the forefront. God literally gives us a vision for our life in different ways. It’s our job to recognize it, write it down and move our feet so vigorously that there is no question that we will catch it at the exact right moment.

Mine is on paper in permanent ink. I recite them every morning. Speak them into existence every day. Work on them in complete faith that they will come to fruition in the exact way that they should. It’s a process that takes patience, prayer and persistence. You are not seeing what God is doing but please believe your works are seen, heard and used all up and through His plan for your life.

Sounds overwhelming right? It can be but His promises supersede any doubt that you could ever muster up to block it. Breathe. Get out a piece of paper and physically write down the vision. Make a word map of what you are going to accomplish and get ta following it.

No like I’m serious. Get out a piece of paper right now and write those bad boys out. I will wait. As a matter of fact, everyone who is depending on you to actualize the vision are currently waiting too. Don’t disappoint them.

WRITE THE VISION and make it plain, so that he who reads it may run. [Habakkuk 2:2]

Poshmark

Like many people, I’m trying to minimize everything I own (for the record, I have not watched Tidying Up yet but it’s on my list). I have way too many things and instead of giving them to some random thrift store, I decided to sell them to Tall Girls that truly need them. Enter postmark!

This is the first wave (around 33 items). in my mind I was going to go through everything and list it all at once but man is it hard to get rid of things. I think for us in particular, we think ‘when will we ever find this item again?’ So we keep everything we can and end up needing an extra closet for things that we don’t even wear. But the thing is, in order to make space for the new things in our lives, you must clear the old. I am doing that in more ways than one and I am waiting in anticipation to see how God honors it.

So, check out the store and tell me what you think. There are jeans, shoes, maxi dresses, floor length bridesmaids dresses and a couple of things that haven’t even been worn yet.

Here are some things that are posted. I can’t wait for you to rock them!

The Leap

My friend Shay took this photo in Ibiza on a 3 week trip through Europe that I took with a group of friends a week after my leap. It was such an incredible trip. Freeing. Affirmative. Enveloped in God's love. I am so thankful for the time He has given me to recharge and repair. I know that both are necessary in preparation for the path He is about to lead me down.  

My friend Shay took this photo in Ibiza on a 3 week trip through Europe that I took with a group of friends a week after my leap. It was such an incredible trip. Freeing. Affirmative. Enveloped in God's love. I am so thankful for the time He has given me to recharge and repair. I know that both are necessary in preparation for the path He is about to lead me down.  

Well...I made the leap.

As many of you saw on Instagram, I stepped away from the comfort of a position that I had for 13 years, to let God paint the picture. I literally stopped letting the fear of what could go wrong stop me from living to my fullest potential and pursuing the things that God has placed in my heart. 

I wouldn't be telling the whole story if I didn't share the moments of terror that I have. What did you do Alicia? What will you be Alicia? What does God have planned for you Alicia? But then Faith comes through like a wave to wash them out because I know that it was a God-led decision that was 6 years in the making.

No. This decision was not made in a split second. I have felt restless for years, knowing that I was made for more and deserve respect for the hard work that I bring to the table but I didn't want it be my decision, I wanted it to be God's.

So I prayed, continued to work hard, navigated through it in the most gracious way I could and waited on God. Along the way I was prompted to do things that I didn't understand (that I now know prepared me to walk away from my comfortable captivity), until the day came that it was time to trust Him more than I trust myself.

Now, 3 months into it, I am emphatically moving my feet and knocking on all of the doors that spark passion. I am revamping some things (both internally and externally) and going after my purpose. However the thing I am doing differently, is giving God the control and the room to do His work. It's a hard thing to relinquish, but I must get out of His way to find my way. The picture undoubtedly will look far different than what I think but will give me the peace of knowing that I am walking His path of purpose for my life. I am here for it Lord!

I can't wait to share this path with you. Knowing you are there to grow and learn with me, means the world to me! What better way to start this journey than to talk about some of the things he did to prepare me for the leap.

Alicia, you just leap right!?! Yes, that has been what some were called to do but God knew that I needed to ease into this thang. I think we forget the He created us. He knows us better than we know ourselves and so when He wants us to make a decision like this, he gives us some type of nudge that makes sense to us. Something that gives us the courage to take it.

One thing my Pastor always says is do the last thing that God told you to do. With that said, I wanted to share 5 steps of obedience that helped me see God's timing for my leap:

1) Steward my money. 6 years ago, the Holy Spirit was like girl you need to get your finances right (me and the Holy Spirit go way back so He can talk to me like that). So I did. I tithed (wasn't perfect every month but I grew in leaps in bounds), saved and God gave me the resources to pay off all of my debt. This gave me a cushion. It doesn't mean I don't have to hustle, but instead of jumping off the cliff without a parachute, I have a thin one that made the leap far less scary. God knew this child had to have a little rope to hang on to.

2) Car Shopping. I got into a fender bender with my old faithful 4Runner that I picked out with my Dad. When I took it to the shop to get it fixed, even though it looked perfectly fine, they said there was internal damage that you couldn't see and they totaled it. I cried because it was sentimental, made me feel close to my Dad and I just knew I would have a car payment that would set me back financially. God sent a car that had great mileage and I could pay for it in cash from the payout of my totaled car. I didn't want it. I fought it for a hot minute until I heard chill, this is the one. I begrudgingly did what I was told to do and now this car completely makes sense and is a total blessing. The gas mileage is on point, it runs really well and is exactly what I need right now. No matter what, listen. It's all part of the plan.

3) Find Community. I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember but there was always something missing. Sitting in church alone was something I had become accustomed to but after a taping of my show, I met The Movement Church and it has changed my life. Among other things, it has shown me the importance of having a strong group of believers around you to lift you up, talk it out, hold you accountable and bring you back to God's word when you want to run from it. By no means did they tell me to do this. This leap was prompted by God but my community is certainly helping me navigate through it. My wise council game is strong.

4)  Amplified Prayer. Years ago, my prayer life was weak at best. I really believe it's a lifelong practice that you must constantly work on. So I stepped it up and continue to do my best to enhance and increase my prayer life. Praying about this decision was a daily essential. I wanted to make sure the move was from Him so I stayed prayed up. I didn't get the answer for many years, so don't think that your answer will come overnight, nor that it will be the answer that you want. Prayer changes things, fosters power and gives direction. In everything that you do, integrate prayer as a main ingredient.

5) Trust the Process.  That word trust comes up all of the time. Either the word itself, or an amazing example like this one I shared on Instagram, God constantly brings me back to trusting Him. It's not always easy, but it is a constant step of obedience that I have to foster daily. He knows I need those reassurances and He continues to unfold them through the most confusing and beautiful moments of this whole life thing.

These most certainly are not the only things that He did to launch my leap. You see, God already knew when I would do this before I was even born. Our stories are meticulously planned by Him. He knows all of the failures, wrong turns, mistakes and successes. His plan is in constant motion. We must show up, do the last thing he told us to do and rest in the peace that it's already happening. It's going to be a wild, emotion filled ride but I am thankful that He is the one behind the steering wheel.

 The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8       

Busy Becoming Me

I'm busy yo. 

My busy has increased ten fold over the last 3 months. I'm blessed. It's what I have been praying for and please believe that I will move my feet right to the promises that God has for me. I'm listening and more importantly acting on the last thing God told me to do.

With that busy, comes a craving for a streamlined look. I need it to be easy, chic and reflect me. 

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Enter neutral pieces like this versatile skirt. Long Tall Sally killed it with this one. Love the length, the color and shape. I can wear this with anything and I do. I often wear it more than once a week and dare someone to say something. Who cares?

Now, I am sure that this hits some type of trend, but this is also something that I no longer care about. In the past I picked things to fulfill a style quota of sorts. I would comb the Internets looking for the next big thing. What a waste of time. Style is a reflection of you. I love a good fashion show just like the next person but never should a runway dictate what you put on your body. 

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I must say, shedding strongholds is hard work. From style to love letting go of things that no longer serve you is uncomfortable but it's necessary to get closer to who we are and who we need to be. God cannot give you anything new if you are constantly holding on to things He didn't give you in the first place. Society is good for telling you who you should be but God set you apart. He created you specifically and you must walk the path He tailored for you. It's the best, most beautiful place to be.

This really got deep. I was talking about a skirt and went in lol. Probably because this is where I'm at. Everything is deep. I'm changing and moving closer to God every single day. I am right smack dab in the middle of a refinement period and I'm thankful.

Where are you at? Wherever it is, know that it is making you stronger. We are all learning and growing. There is no time like the present to stand tall in your truth and let God do His best, most formative work on YOU. 

American Idols

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The definition of an idol is an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.

Wow. That explanation really hits you in your gut. The description in itself is revealing because right after you read it, something that is an idol in your life usually pops up. I know it did for me. What was it for you?

I actually have many that I’m trying to knock down one by one but for me personally the biggest culprit of them all is marriage.

Yes. The girl who is saving herself for marriage has made an idol of it. Not only did I worship the union, I literally looked at marriage as a source of joy. I just pined over the day when it would happen. I felt that I would be complete, I would be truly loved and to keep it 100 I would be able to have sex non-stop.

Girl. Stop it.

In actuality marriage will never complete you, your husband will inevitably let you down because he is human and sex isn’t the sole purpose of marriage. You are worshiping something that will never give you fulfillment.

I was giving the attainment of marriage a higher priority in my life than my relationship with God. I just knew those vows would unlock the life I had always envisioned when in actuality nothing BUT God can orchestrate the purpose of our walk in this life. He is the only true source of joy and everything we do is to bring glory to His purpose including matrimony.

I was making my future husband an idol, I was making sex an idol, I was making the actual walk down the aisle an idol…it was all wrapped up in one ugly roadblock that was hindering me from the only relationship that truly matters and that is the one that I have with God. My order was completely out of whack.

 Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

Now, should you enjoy all of the things that are encompassed in marriage? You better believe it. However it should not be the source, it should be a stunning byproduct of the relationship that you have with God. It should strengthen your purpose and give it power but in no way does it complete who you are and who He is to you.

For example, in my humble opinion, your husband should lead you towards God but shouldn’t be a god. He shouldn’t be held higher than Him. You should love your husband and cherish him, but in no way should he be your source of joy. Fostering it is one thing, being the cause is quite another. He (as will you) will fail. He is human. Disappointment is any relationship is inevitable. Making him an idol in many ways seals the deal on divorce because no matter what he does, he will never live up to that standard. Does that mean you accept anything your husband does? Absolutely not but you can’t expect god level things from him as he is not, nor will ever be God.

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24).

The craziest part about this whole marriage-idol thing is that I was really waiting on joy. It’s scary to think about that because what if marriage isn’t in God’s plan for me? Would I never experience joy? What a catastrophically devastating thought.

God’s joy surpasses your circumstances. It should be constant whether single, married, sick, healthy, poor or rich. Nothing earthly will satisfy the joy of God in your heart.

Nothing. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

He gives you joy in every facet of your life…even in the trials.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3).

At the end of the day do I still want all of these things? Ya best believe I do but now my focus is completely different. My eyes are set on Him and what He wants in my life.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

No longer do I look for earthly things to satisfy what God has already fulfilled in my heart. My picture is painted with His colors, not mine. Knowing that He works all of it for my good creates a joy that I will truly never comprehend, yet I am incredibly thankful for the sacrifice it took to make it. My direction and purpose truly are not my own and I have to trust what He permits within the path He has set for me.