God

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!

You Never Know

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of beautiful young women at Westlake Middle School in Oakland, CA. It was an amazing afternoon of positivity that Principal Maya Taylor spearheaded. I was honored to share my story and life lessons at the first Women’s Empowerment Day at Westlake. Check this Oakland Post article out for more details on the beautiful event.

It was a complete blessing to speak to this room of young women that will change our world in so many different ways.

It was a complete blessing to speak to this room of young women that will change our world in so many different ways.

While I pray that I impacted everyone who needed it, by far, the person who was impacted most on this day was me.

While leaving my job of 13 years has been imperative and amazing, I have struggled with direction. There are so many things that I feel God wants me to do, it has been hard to trust myself to select where He wants me to go next. However while speaking at Westlake, He affirmed something in me that cannot be denied…no matter what I must continue to speak about confidence, bullying and standing tall in every way.

I literally went through (and go through) everything in my life to help build others up. It is my life’s purpose. I can see Him working through me in amazing ways. I do not know how I am going to get there but what I do know for certain is that He will make it happen in His timing. The work He has for me is great and I will trust Him through all of it. I will emphatically move my feet and let Him beautifully connect the work together for His purpose for my life.

Currently, I am in the process of revamping TallSWAG to not only be a space to stand tall in style but in all things. I aspire to inspire in all areas of life through the lens of my own. I want to do this through speaking, writing, lifestyle, events, design, travel and every other constructive way I can.

If you feel compelled to connect in any of these spaces, please do. If you have a lead, open position or idea for me that aligns with my purpose, I dang sure want to hear it. God doesn’t waste anything and maybe you are reading this right now to link me to the next step in His plan for me. You never know and I sure don’t see any harm in putting it on the table.

I want to be the light that He needs me to be and will work tirelessly to make it happen. I’m not above giving God a conduit to connect. He uses all of us and I will continue to walk down the avenues He presents to me.

info@TallSWAG.com

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       

A Good Fall

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If you have ever read my blog or followed me on social media, I have made no secret over the years that depression is a part of my life. It’s real, it happens, it sucks but I eventually overcome.

Currently, I am blessed to only be effected by depression in certain ways. Mainly, I just get sad and can’t shake it for a sporadic amount of time. It could be a day, a couple of days, a week or as long as a season. When it sets in, for the first couple of days I am like what is this? It’s strange. As an occurrence that I am acquainted with, you would think that I could easily detect it but it’s almost like I am in full denial that it is happening again.

When I finally realize that it’s not just a bad day, I have acquired knowledge over the years to attack it and outwardly function in it. Bible reading, sermons, a lot of calls to my Mom and a strong series of workouts all act as antidotes for me. Personally, I don’t take medication. While there is nothing wrong with it, it doesn’t sit well with me. I took it once when I was a teenager. It not only intensified the feelings, it made me feel completely out of control. I flushed those pills down the toilet and vowed to never take them again.

This current match has been nearly 5 months long. While it’s no coincidence that the last 5 months has been an unfair period of time for me, I have to look at the entire picture and pinpoint my part in it.  While medically, there are some things that are out of my control, at the end of the day, you are responsible for your overall happiness. Nobody can dictate it or put it back together for you. If you rely on someone or something to complete it, it will never be whole or real.

With this in tow, I’m taking an inventory of the ways in which I fail to take control of my happiness.

Yes. I said FAIL.

Embrace that bad boy. All of us fail in some way every. single. day. The more you run away from failure, the further away you are from making the change that will transform you into the exact person that God wants and needs you to be. We learn far more from failure than we ever will from success. Sometimes it takes a good fall to learn exactly what makes you stand the tallest.

I contribute to my unhappiness in the following ways;

FOCUS. Instead of focusing on the amazing things that are going on in my life, I tend to fixate on what I have lost. The lost things hurt my soul and I just stand there looking at them while completely ignoring the beautiful people, places and things around me. It not only sucks the happiness out of my life, it’s disrespectful to the beauty that God has placed in my life. Place all of your focus on the light and it will spread throughout your life.

DISTRACTION. When I am down, I power down. Instead of attacking with the word, fellowship, prayer and physical activity, I run to the house of Netflix. Basically, anything that deters me from working through it, I embrace. This isn’t happiness. This is denial. Anything that keeps you from overcoming is a step in the wrong direction.

PROCRASTINATION. I often prolong my sadness by delaying decisions that I know are standing in the way of the path that I am supposed to be on. Are they hard decisions? Yes. Are they essential in living my best life? Absolutely. Stop delaying the life that God promised you because you are afraid to make a decision. Seasons are to be greaduted from, not stayed in. Are you listening Alicia?

LANE SPLITTING. Are you in someone else’s lane? Completely guilty. If you are comparing yourself to others, trying to follow in anyone’s footsteps that aren’t God’s or fighting for someone to see you in the way that God does, you have inevitably taken yourself out of the game. You are no longer walking down your path yet occupying another that you will never see success in. Find respite in your lane, strive and seek God to direct all of your steps. His orchestration brings peace, light and love.

PERSPECTIVE. Alicia, your current situation isn’t the only situation. Stop making your world small by painting yourself in only one picture. God’s landscape is vast. His promises always win. Live in a lavish point of view. God isn’t small and neither are His plans for you.

Selfishly, I wrote this because I really needed to read it today but I hope that you gathered some power from the lessons that are occurring in my life.

Bring it on failure. Bring it on Depression. Little do you know, I will use both of you for my strength.