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Keep the Door Closed

Photo by the one and only  Alina Mamlyuk

Photo by the one and only Alina Mamlyuk

I have learned many lessons in my life, especially in the last year. They were all completely necessary and vital to the success of my purpose. Perhaps the most powerful fact that I gained this season is to be thankful for the closed doors.

After I resigned from my job, I mourned the closed door for 3 solid months. I stood there looking at it hoping that in some way the door would crack open, the uncomfortable comfort would seep out and I would be who I thought I was supposed to be again. There came a moment when the grief was exhausting and I took a baby step away, then another and another. The door slowly but surely faded into the background of the beautiful hallway that I was traveling down. I failed to see it because I was too busy looking at a rickety, old, dilapidated door that was doing nothing for me and hadn’t served me for years even when I was inside of it.

That closed door introduced me to a gorgeous life. Without it, I would never have seen the beauty of the current day. I am so incredibly thankful for it. As a matter of fact when a door is closing, I slam that bad boy shut, seal it with nails and block myself from ever walking into that exit again. Some would call it cut throat. I call it clear direction. Closed doors create intentional forward movement because the only option you should make, is to walk away from them.

But of course as humans, not only do we stand there and look at the door, we also do everything in our power to pry it open. We will literally harm ourselves to get a glimpse of what God no longer wants us to see. About an hour ago, God closed a door for me. In the past I would have lunged at the knob and used all of my might to keep it open but instead I thanked God for His decision and wished the door well. I bid it adieu and kept it moving.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that I am walking towards the doors God wants me to walk through instead of entertaining the ones that are departed.

There are literally people (I was one of them) that reside in dead doorways. We fear whats on the other side of them so much, that we stay stagnant. We incarcerate our purpose in a memory.

I say all that to say this: don’t be that person.

There is no time to delay. Start following the map that God has literally laid out for you with every single closed door. While they don’t always make sense, they are concluded to create movement. Thank them for the experience and move onward my friend.

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).

Audience of One

Photo -  Nikki Notarte   Entire outfit -  Long Tall Sally

Photo - Nikki Notarte

Entire outfit - Long Tall Sally

To say that this time of my life has been formative is an understatement. It’s been almost 7 months of discovering things about myself that I never would have if I didn’t follow the step of obedience of resigning from the job that I had for 13 years.

It’s been beautiful. It’s been terrifying. It’s been a ball of every emotion that you could ever have. There are so many unknowns in my path but the one thing that I do know is; I am on the right one.

I have been grinding behind the scenes on some pretty amazing things. As an entrepreneur you always have multiple irons in the fire. Some of them come to fruition, some aren’t meant to be and most you have to relentlessly pursue and simply make them happen. As they say, often the ones that succeed aren’t the first to do it, they are just the people that never gave up. 

And I am one of those people. I won’t give up on the things that God told me to do but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel every emotion while I am doing it. I have felt the warmth of joy and the sting of tears running down my cheeks on a regular basis. I don’t care how much faith you have, nobody is immune to feeling feelings.

With that breakdown in tow, fear is the main culprit right now. Not a fear of God not coming through but more a sheer fear of what people are thinking of my path.

Is she crazy? What is she even doing? Is she just sitting at home? She made a mistake. She isn’t a success.

All of these statements flow through my mind and at times have literally kept me captive. Not since I found my confidence have I cared what people thought, until now. 

So I sat with those feels for awhile. I interviewed them, broke bread with them and stared intently into their eyes so that I could figure out a way to handle them. You see. Feelings will always be there. You must pinpoint a way to get them on the side of right.

Every analysis boiled down to this fact: God is the only audience we should care about.

If God tells you to do it, no matter what it may look like to the world, do it for His applause and his applause only. No worldly opinion should matter. Do not let yourself, social media, haters or even friends and family supersede the ovation of God. No matter the size of the stage you find yourself on, let His claps guide the way to His purpose for your life.

So moving forward, let’s mute the approval of the world and look to God for everything that we need. Stand tall in the certainty that there is only one stamp of approval you need and that is from Him.

Moving forward I will be adding an audio version of my blogs for the visually impaired (or any else that wants to listen instead of read:). Thank you for the suggestion Patricia! I am sorry I didn’t think of it before!

Too Tall to Model

Me at 16:-)

Me at 16:-)

This contest is now closed. Thank you for all of your amazing entries. Stay tuned for more from Alloy Apparel.

I have been modeling since I was very young. As I grew, modeling agencies started telling me that I was too tall to model. They told me that they loved my look but that nothing could fit me off the rack and thus I couldn’t be a model. This continues to happen to this day.

There are many problems with this false reasoning. Not only should there be clothing for all body types represented in the fashion industry, telling someone that height is holding them back is ridiculous. Any woman at any time should be able to thumb through a magazine or runway and see clothes that fit her and someone that looks like her. While there have been many strides made, there are still so many women and body types that remain unrepresented.

Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to model for Alloy Apparel. Not only did everything fit like a glove, I felt completely seen and heard. Alloy gets it. They understand that there is a void in fashion and they are doing their part to fill it. It’s an opportunity that I will always be thankful for and you have the chance to do it too!

Alloy Apparel just launched their model search. They are looking for new faces. It’s a great opportunity for us and I hope that you enter. Check out the logistics below. I straight up copied and pasted them so you get all of the accurate details:-)

Alloy Apparel's first model search! Show us your best pose and tag us @alloyapparel on Instagram with the hashtag #myalloy

Winner Receives:

  • Flight and accommodations  

  • Professional hair and make up

  • Photoshoot to be the face of our next collection

Rules:

  • Ages 18+ 

  • Sizes 4-24 and 5'9" or taller

  • Must be able to fly to California 

  • Must be from the Continental US 

  • THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR MORE FROM ALLOY APPAREL.

Here is another fun BTS photo from the shoot. It was so much fun! Can we talk about how beautiful  Jamie Lea  is though!  Check out my story about the shoot in my instagram highlights .

Here is another fun BTS photo from the shoot. It was so much fun! Can we talk about how beautiful Jamie Lea is though! Check out my story about the shoot in my instagram highlights.

I can’t wait to see your entries! Opportunities like this may seem small but every movement towards change for the inclusion of all women in the fashion industry is one that needs to be celebrated. A win for one of us, is a win for all of us.

Best of luck in the contest but if you don’t get picked, DO NOT GIVE UP! The people who need to see you, will. Your opportunities are coming. Continue to move your feet and your purpose will unfold in the exact way that it should. You are set apart and will achieve exactly what you were meant to conquer. Don’t let anyones perceived limitations stop you from being who God created you to be!

I Give Up

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Admittedly my love life has kind of sucked. There have been a lot of lows and some amazing moments which enabled me to completely understand what love is and why it is so important to have it in some capacity in your life. I have toiled over the reasons why it is taking me so long to find it. There have been tears, confusion and often times sheer anger that it has not come my way. I have had years of constant control along this road that have led me to one life-changing conclusion...

I don't have control over it at all.

Yes. My steering of the love ship has been fruitless because God is the one who should be steering it. While it may be His choice for me to be single, there is a reason for it and no matter what I do, His plan for my life will prevail. There isn't a worry, a moment of anger or a pit of confusion that will stop it, so why am I wasting that energy? Quite simply...

I. GIVE. UP.

That's right. I completely and totally give up the control to God. I lay it down right in front of Lord knowing that it was always yours in the first place. You have merely been waiting for the moment for me to give it to you. IT IS YOURS!

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I will not toil over it, run after it or try to figure it out. I will not plan it out in my head or orchestrate a picture in my mind of who it will be. When it comes to love, if it doesn't come from you, I don't want it. Point. Blank. Period.

I am completely open to your picture of it. I know that love will come in an unlikely package and it will be the best one that I have ever opened. God, I know that if it is in your will, it is you and you alone that will make it happen. Your will for love in my life be done.

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And really...this should translate to EVERYTHING in our lives. If God doesn't send it, return that bad boy right to the sender. He orchestrates everything in our lives for our good because we love Him. Control in everything is not yours, it is HIS.

This is undoubtedly easier said than done but try your hardest to take a breath, drop that elephant of anxiety from your chest and rest in His perfect timing.  The picture He paints is different for each and every one of us but one thing is for sure...they are ALL masterpieces. 

SHIRT -  God is Dope  | Shoes - Target (shown in size 12, sorry out of stock,  similar HERE ) | Ankle Pants - ASOS Tall (similar  HERE ) | Crossbody - Forever 21 | Earrings -  Candid Art   Photo credit -  Lakeela Smith

SHIRT - God is Dope | Shoes - Target (shown in size 12, sorry out of stock, similar HERE) | Ankle Pants - ASOS Tall (similar HERE) | Crossbody - Forever 21 | Earrings - Candid Art

Photo credit - Lakeela Smith