I Was The Strong Friend. I Am Now The Weak Friend.

Ok, here we go…

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One of my weakest attributes is being vulnerable. The thought of displaying my feelings and emotions is one of the most scariest things for me to do. But I’m also realizing that being the “strong and tough friend” is always not fun. It’s actually extremely exhausting and I’m tired of feeling like I have to be this way.

Over the weekend a couple of my girlfriends from college, who have now turned into real-life sisters, got together for a much needed impromptu girls night. Pajamas on, makeup off, cuddled up on one sofa had us all feeling like we were back in college again. Except there were car seats, diaper bags and kids running around this time, which brought us back to reality. Quickly!

During our conversation one of my girlfriends began to open up about some of the things she’s been going through. She spoke of the rough times of her current season of life and the good. The uncertainty of her thoughts and the virtue of her future. Tears began to fall down her cheeks as she allowed us into her heart. We sat there and listened quietly, but eager to pick up every hurt that she spoke of with our words of encouragement.

What my friend was doing was something that i’ve been needing to do desperately. Learn the art of letting go. But in so many instances I would stop myself because…

  1. Pride - let’s just be completely honest.

  2. I was the “strong and tough friend”. What does the “strong and tough friend” look like breaking down in front of others?!

  3. I was terrified of what people would think of me which all stems back to… PRIDE!

God showed me that displaying weakness in a moment of need doesn’t mean you’re not strong. Actually, it’s the very opposite. It takes a very strong person to share their weakness and allow someone in. If you look at it, it’s very easy to bottle up emotions and to go on with your day as if nothing is wrong. However, It takes courage to stop, acknowledge what you are feeling and to tell someone “Hey, I’m feeling sad or upset” or “I need help. Do you mind if I share my emotions with you”?

As I sat there and watch my friend open up to us, all I could see was how strong she was/is and knew if she could do it then so could I.

Therefore, I want to share 3 ways I am helping myself to become more vulnerable with others and if you’re anything like me, then this is for you too.

  1. First Thing Is First: Accept That We Are Worthy

    If this is your first time reading my blog then you must know that I believe in Jesus. Now if you’ve been here before then you already know that I absolutely adore Him and one of the many reasons why I love Him so much is because He loves us so much. More than we can ever imagine. When He created us He created us with purpose. As a result we must recognize our WORTH. Regardless of how weak it may look for us to lean on someone else’s shoulder, we are filled with great worth.

  2. Accountability

    When I am going through a rough patch, most times I don’t like talking about it right then and there. However, deep down inside I know I really need to talk to someone because I know I will feel much better afterward. So, now I will text a friend while I am down, upset, or sad and say “Hey, I need to talk to you about something that I am going through but can you give me about a hour?” By reaching out to a friend, I am able to gather my thoughts and really resonate with why I am feeling a certain emotion. Sometimes I want to run away from my emotions but my accountability-partner friends always remind me that hey, there’s something on your mind that you need to discuss. So, if your friends are anything like my friends they won’t let you get off the hook until you tell them whats going on with you.

  3. Use Your Friends

    My Bestfriend always screams at me when I don’t come to her when i’m dealing with something tough. She tells me that it’s not fair for her to always come to me when she’s dealing with something but I don’t come to her when I am in need and she’s absolutely right. If I call you my friend then I should be able to come to you with whatever. So for all us “strong and tough” people it’s time for us to start pulling on the people that we trust and love. They’re here for us and waiting and wanting for us to use them.

Being vulnerable isn’t weak. Bottling up your emotions is.

What happens when people open their hearts?
They get better.
— Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Hot Yoga Ain't No.... (Girl, You Betta Shut Your Mouth!)

All photographs are taken by Space, Place & Southern Grace Photo |  Instagram  |  Facebook

All photographs are taken by Space, Place & Southern Grace Photo | Instagram | Facebook

Hey Babe! So, I am a weight lifting, burpee jumping, squat squatin’, mile running type of girl. So any type of exercise where I am having to stay calm and endorse slow movements is a little out of my league. But 2019 is all about getting out of our comfort zones and trying new adventures. That is why I am so happy that I decided to try Hot Yoga for the very first time with of bunch of my favorite Bluegrass Bloggers and Influencers.

Now that that part is over… let me just tell you. Hot Yoga, let alone Yoga, is no HOE! * insert Nene Leakes infamous GIF here…”I said what I said!” By time the class was over I was sweating major bullets & even though I was out of my comfort zone, Cara Meade who owns Creative Yoga and who was our instructor for the afternoon did an amazing job of making beginners like me super comfortable. Therefore, I’m ready for another Hot Yoga class!!

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After class The Simple Greek and The Weekly Juicery provided a yummy lunch for us to refuel on!

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Check out the other bloggers who attended Self Care Saturday we me!  Cecilia -  Forgotten Magic   Jeanne -  Unbottled Jeanne   Kayla -  Polished Piggy   Nicole -  Share Lex KY  Kim -  Kimtucky

Check out the other bloggers who attended Self Care Saturday we me!

Cecilia - Forgotten Magic

Jeanne - Unbottled Jeanne

Kayla - Polished Piggy

Nicole - Share Lex KY
Kim - Kimtucky

Special thanks to all of the wonderful SPONSORS that

made this Self Care Saturday a huge success!!!

Creative Yoga | Instagram | Facebook

The Simple Greek | Instagram | Facebook

The Weekly Juicery | Instagram | Facebook

Fabletics | Instagram | Facebook

Space, Place & Southern Grace Photo | Instagram | Facebook

Have you ever tried Hot Yoga? If so, what did you think about it? Did you like it?

My 2018 Book List

Hey Babe!

In 2017 I didn’t read not one book. Yes, you read that correctly. Once 2017 ended I was completely embarrassed and knew that I couldn’t end 2018 the same way. So I set a goal to read 12 books in 12 months last year. Good news is, I fell in love with reading. Bad news is, I didn’t quite meet my goal. Can you believe that I got all the way to number 11 but with holidays and life I couldn’t squeeze another one out?! However, I was able to read some amazing books and then not so amazing. So I’m sharing the 11 books that I read last year and recommending the ones that I love and also sharing the ones that don’t think you should read. Your girl just wants to help you out.

The books are in order of how I read them…

The books are in order of how I read them…

  1. Soar by TD Jakes

    It took me a couple of times to complete Soar but once I started it at the beginning of 2018 I knew I had to finish it. I wasn’t quite connected to it at the beginning but as the chapters continued I became very intrigued. I love TD Jakes’ multiple analogies that he gave especially with flying a airplane. Once I completed the book I was motivated and eager to go after my dreams and more. RECOMMENDED

  2. Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio

    If you’re needing to face any fears this book is for you. RECOMMEND

  3. The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

    It’s always nice to hear someone who has star power discuss their downfalls and insecurities. Many reasons why I loved this book because Ms. Rhimes becomes so relatable. She becomes a “regular” person. As a result it has encouraged me/ pushed me to just “Yes”. RECOMMEND

  4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

    The Alchemist is a book that everyone has read or will read in their lifetime. Therefore, since I was on this journey of reading more I thought I would go ahead and get this out of the way. There were many times I felt lost reading it but eventually caught on. RECOMMEND

  5. I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi

    Funny. But not my favorite. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it was I just wasn’t able to connect. DO NOT RECOMMEND

  6. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones 

    Out of the 11 books I read in 2018 this was my FAVORITE book. I remember picking this book up and not leaving my sofa until I was done with it. I think it took me less than 24 hours to read. This electrifying novel will have you feel every emotion that was ever created. From beginning to the end I couldn’t get enough. I really hope that Ms. Tayari writes a sequel. The people need more!! RECOMMEND

  7. Alter Ego by Craig Groeschel 

    If you’re needing a reminder in your Christian walk Alter Ego is great book to read. RECOMMEND

  8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

    My thoughts for The Hate U Give are very similar to An American Marriage. Emotions will be all over the place with this one. The ending is predictable but still very good. Special thanks to my cousin who met the author, Angie Thomas and got a signed copy for me!! RECOMMEND

  9. Don’t Settle For Safe by Sarah Jakes Roberts 

    Ok, who doesn’t love Sarah?! She is so down to earth. Funny. Real. Beautiful and much more. But I can’t believe I am about to say this but… I strongly disliked this book. It took me nearly 2 months to finish. Not because it was a long read but because I kept putting it down. Picking it up. Putting it down and picking it up. It couldn’t keep my attention. I honestly think it was just too cliche. DO NOT RECOMMEND

  10. The Power of Who by Bob Beaudine

    Two years ago I read this book and it changed the way that I thought about my circle of friends and how I went about tackling life. As a result I thought it would be great to re-read it. I honestly think this will be a book that I read every year. RECOMMEND

  11. Becoming by Michelle Obama 

    Becoming was a very loooooooong book. Very loooong. But once you complete it you’ll understand that every word and chapter was needed. The way that Former First Lady Michelle Obama writes makes you feel like you are right there with her and makes you love her even more. My Husband always jokes with me because the way that I speak about her now is as if we’re besties. RECOMMEND

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I’m currently reading “Rising Strong: How The Ability To Reset Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brene’ Brown. Thought I start the year off with a self help book. Now, because I didn’t meet my goal last year I’m tackling it again this year. 12 books in 12 months. Who’s with me?! Comment down below and share some books that you’ve read/ recommend. I can’t wait to hear!!

Why In The World Did I Change My Name??

Hey Babes,

If you haven't seen the latest news I have decided to get rid of my pride and joy, Mommy & Ministry and rebrand myself as PORSCHA LYNETTE. I know, I can't believe it either. I never thought this day would come. I always thought that I would be known as Mommy & Ministry but the simple truth is...

1. My Kids HATE Taking Pictures

Dragging them to every shoot, bribing them with trips to the dollar store, and then trying to get them to cooperate when we actually get in front of a camera just wore me all the way out. Now, don't get me wrong, my children can create some fire content but at what expense do I continue to make them do something that they hate doing. So I had a serious talk with myself and decided that the only time I will photograph them is if they're wanting to be photographed. Does this mean you won't ever see them again? Absolutely not. They'll still be around but on their own time.

2. I Want People to Know My Name

When someone comes up to Dave Ramsey, do they say, "Hi Financial Freedom!" or do they say, "Hi Dave Ramsey"? When someone comes up to Beyonce' do they say "Hey Beyonce Girl" or do the say "Hey "Who Run The World"? Ok, comparing myself to Beyonce may be a far fetch but hopefully you get my point. I want people to know me as my given name, and not "Hey, Mommy & Ministry!!" Listen Baby, I don't plan on failing. So when I make it, best believe it's going to be my actual name that you know!

**insert two snaps here and possibly a hair flip

3. I'm More Than Just Those Two Boxes

To all of my hard core Holy Rollers, don't shoot me when I say this... but the name Mommy & Ministry put me inside of two boxes. Mommy box number one and Christian box number two. Now of course those are two amazing boxes that I am proud to be inside of but I'm more than just a Mommy and a Woman of Faith. I'm a entrepreneur, a person who loves to dress, a girl who loves to sip wine from time to time and possibly may want to learn how to twerk. I love listening to Beyonce and I can't wait until Rihanna comes out with something this year and there's a biggg chance that I listen to trap music only when working out so don't ask me for my playlist. Also, I don't always have a word for you. I'm just saying!  

4. It's A Business Move

It's simple... It is my desire to make money off of all of the hard work that I put into creating content for my Blog, Instagram, Facebook, and now Youtube. Therefore, I want to appeal to a bigger audience and to more brands. 

Babes, you're still going to get inspirational post and daily scriptures. So please hear me when I say I'm not subtracting God from anything that I am doing. If anything He's expanding my platform to reach more. Therefore I hope you all will ride with/ for me like you did with Mommy & Ministry. 


Thank you, Mommy & Ministry. So long my love...  

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Christmas Pictures 2018

Once upon a time when a camera phone was enough, editing didn’t really exist and having straight photos kind of wasn’t a big deal. Life was truly simple just a few years ago. But now it’s 2018 and Instagram keeps you on your toes while Pinterest continues to make you believe that you can do the impossible. As a result, we had to step our Family Christmas pictures game up and not so surprisingly… we got better and better as the years went by.

So let’s dig into these Family Christmas pictures because we haven’t always “slayed”. I remember taking these first set of pictures like it was yesterday. I literally told my Husband the colors and allowed him to wear whatever he wanted. Believe me, that has changed. Everything is inspected before these moments now. On this particular day we commissioned our great Aunt to take our picture. She’s not tech savvy. At all and if you look closely you can see her reflection through the glass fireplace (insert palm to face emoji). What you don’t need to look closely at is how crooked this photo is. Did we really send these out to friends and family?! I think we did.

I… Really… Think… We… Did…

Ohio State Union Columbus, OH 2014

Ohio State Union Columbus, OH 2014

Ohio State Union Columbus, OH 2014

Ohio State Union Columbus, OH 2014

2016 came around and we some what got our act together. The day was still super cold. The boys including my Husband and Daddy still wasn’t feeling taking Family Pictures and continue to ask if this is the last one after each picture. The only thing that changed which was a major change is that we got our younger cousin who is into photography to take our picture. She knew what we were looking for so she was able to assist with placement and much more! This was the beginning of something special…

Columbus Public Library Columbus, OH 2016

Columbus Public Library Columbus, OH 2016

Ok, Ok, Ok, Ok, Ok! So we started feeling ourselves just a little tad bit. Ok, a lot… as a result we decided to go BIG or go home with 13 people wearing ALL WHITE! Who did we think we were?! Well everyone loved it! We even got our picture shared on @TheShadeRoom. The Shade Room is a very popular gossip page on Instagram. If you’re anything important then more than likely your face is on one of their squares either for bad reasons or for very good reasons. In this case, our post was very good!! My Husband, kids and I recently moved to Lexington, KY so we decided to shoot in Cincinnati, OH which was right in the middle for my Columbus family to meet us up at. This location was perfect for our attire!

Ault Park Cincinnati, OH 2017

Ault Park Cincinnati, OH 2017

I’ll share the location early next year (he he he) Columbus, OH 2018

I’ll share the location early next year (he he he) Columbus, OH 2018

Does this years Christmas Pictures really need any explanation?? I think we outdid ourselves and I’m eagerly ready for next years shoot. Below are a few of group shots. Enjoy!!

Photo 1- The Coneys

Photo 2- The Siblings

Photo 3- The Girls

Photo 4- The Boys

Photo 5- The Parental’s

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.
— Desmond Tutu
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From Our Very BIG Family to Yours,

Have A Very Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!!

Summer, Please Don't Go!

There's something magical about summer, whether it's the long nights spent outside or the way the sun streams through the window in the early morning. From impromptu rode trips to lunch dates Downtown Lexington, KY my family and I did it all. Here is just a little snippet of how our summer went.... 

We traveled to VA, Beach for summer vacation

I quit my job 

Took the kids on the city bus for the first time

Had tons of fun at The Ohio State Fair

Ate a fried snickers bar

Gained weight

Countless pool dates

Countless park dates

Let Braxton run around the back yard with just his undies 

Put tons of mileage on my 2012 Honda Accord  

Spent 1/3rd of our summer in Columbus, OH (My Home)

London became a teenager and caught multiple attitudes with me

Published a few blogs

Rocked Box Braids for 3 weeks

Ohio Thrift Store published our blog on their Facebook page

Participated on my 1st speaking panel: "Women in Fashion and Profession"

Participated in a campaign to stop child hunger in Lexington, KY

Read 4 books

Got stopped by the police while canvassing with my Brothers and Sisters... Twice. 

Took the kids to the Dollar Movie Theater that ended up costing more than the regular theaters

London rode on a camel 

Braxton rode a pony

Celebrated Hubby's 40th Birthday

Worked out

Didn't workout 

Got a super nice tan

Shot my professional headshots for my Interior Design business 

London and Braxton went fishing with Papa

Mimi which is another name for Grandma taught the kids how to do "The Shiggy" aka "Keke, Do you love me?!" by Drake  

A portrait was painted of me

Wore red lipstick everyday- Ruby Woo from Mac Cosmetic to be exact 

Walked the Purple Bridge (Cincinnati, OH)

Open up a gym membership at LA Fitness

Started working out again

Convinced my Husband to send me to Houston, TX to see Beyonce and her husband in concert... It worked.

London goes to Second Grade 

Summer 2018 was probably one of the best summers ever. I hope and pray that your summer was just as amazing!! Feel free to tell us what you did this summer down in the comment section.

My 2018 Goals

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Happy New Year! Yeah... I'm super late…four weeks to be exact! At the start of each New Year many people set goals for themselves (because that is the thing to do) but do not actually take the time to give thoughtful consideration and set goals that are attainable! Often times, people make rash decisions in regards to their goals and unfortunately never see the desired outcome. With that said, I was not going to let a number on a calendar rush me into setting and creating goals! Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for setting goals, making plans, and creating vision. But what I'm not here for is setting goals that have no real value to my life or my family's life… just because it's the thing to do. I wanted to be sure that my goals were aligned with God's Will but I also wanted to be sure that my Husband was informed and on board. I'm a huge believer that his visions are my visions and my visions are his. His support means the world to me and I couldn't imagine pursuing my goals without him. We are a team and I wanted to make sure we were on the same page to ensure that any goals that were set, we could achieve..TOGETHER! So here they are...

 

FAMILY

Top priority for 2018 is creating more memories with my heartbeats!  It is without question that I would love for my family to travel and visit more places this year BUT I am learning that some of the greatest memories ever can be results of things that we do each and every day! It is my goal to turn our routine things into memorable things that will keep my family laughing and talking! Moving forward, small things like helping London with her homework, teaching Braxton to read or our Friday Night Pizza Nights will become monumental moments that will have us looking back with a great story to tell. I recently read a quote that said, "You can always make money. You can't always make memories" and instantly thought to myself... "Yaaaassssssss! That's exactly what I mean!" I'm tired of always thinking that you need tons of money to have fun, because honestly, you don't! So cheers to having fun without breaking the bank. @MyMotherhoodMagic does an amazing job at creating memories with her family…if you're in need of some ideas please go follow her!

 

BLOGGER LIFE

See, what had happened was…I launched my blog and started working at Ethan Allen all in the same month and it just became too much for me to juggle. So I kinda dropped the blog ball a little last year... ok, a lot. However, in 2018, Mommy&Ministry will be back in full effect! My goal this year is to publish two blogs each month (this would be #2 for the month of January. Check out blog #1 at www.mommyandministry.com/lifestyle/). So definitely expect to see much more from Mommy&Ministry and y'all betta read it (LOL) But for real... pretty, pretty pleaseeeee!!!

 

INTERIOR DESIGN

Currently, I am an Interior Designer for Ethan Allen and have been for over a year now. Total transparency... I'm totally over it!  Not the interior design part but the 9 to 5 part. I'm in love with Interior Design, I absolutely love my co-workers and I have been blessed with an amazing manager who understands that my family comes first. So no complaints there. However, I miss waking up with my family on Saturday mornings and spending quality time. I am usually rushing out the house to get to work by 9:00am and oh, don't get me talking about working on Sundays…I have to leave church early to be at work by 11:30am…a total pain in the butt!. So Goal #3…plan, pray and prepare to be a full time Independent Interior Designer and Blogger within the next 6-12 months.

 

HEALTH/ FITNESS

This is a never-ending goal for me. I'm happy to report that I lost 15lbs last year and this year I plan on shedding 20 more! Chick-Fil-A keeps calling my name, which is interfering with my focus but I plan on getting serious and back on track after THIS week. I will be picking up my protein shake sometime soon and then I will be off and running…literally! If you follow me on Instagram (@mommyandministry), then you know I'm at the gym 4 to 5 days a week. I run 2 1/2 miles every workout and lift weights the remainder of my time there. Once I get focused, there's no turning back for me. My current workout inspiration is @30stepsfor30. She's super informative and REAL! Go follow her if you need some encouragement.

 

Additional Goals

Established a stronger relationship with Christ (Have to get back to reading His word EVERYday

Read a book each month (Currently reading "Soar" By TDJakes)

Support my husband in all of his new endeavors (Can't wait for you all to see what he's been working on!)

 

 

 

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I would love to hear some of your personal goals! Please share a few of them down below in the comment section & let's hold each other accountable.

"London Turns 6 & This Momma Is Over Etravagant Birthday Parties"

When I was a Stay-At-Home Momma I loved throwing extravagant birthday parties for my children, from black tie affairs to overnight soirees, planning and executing down to the very tiniest detail was indeed MY guilty pleasure.  But what a difference having a job in corporate America makes! Now that I am working outside of the home my energy level has severely decreased and the extravagant parties are no longer at the top of my mommy-to-do list. This past weekend we celebrated London’s 6th birthday and I will admit, for about 6 seconds, I considered going all out! Yep, MY guilty pleasure tried to overtake me.  I mean, I was ready to build cardboard cars and create “London’s Drive-In” right in my backyard.  Then reality stopped me in my tracks and I decided to shift the focus a bit.  All London wanted was a pool party so we did just that!  We found a gorgeous hotel here in Lexington, KY and we had a pool party!  As much as my inner party planner wanted to take over and deck out the party room I just didn’t have it in me. The goal was to keep things as simple as possible and making sure London was as happy as possible! Instead of ordering a hundred dollar cake this year, I marched to the nearest Walmart and with the help of my buddy Pillsbury (2 Golden Batter and 1 Strawberry to be exact), 4 tubes of cream cheese icing, and a bunch of assorted sprinkles; I was able to create a wonderful cake for around $13! I spent an extra $25 on invitations, plates, napkins, and confetti for table and Voila!...BEST POOL PARTY EVER!

Often times, us mommies, being the Super Mommy Party Planning Extraordinaires that we are, have a tendency to go over the top for our kid’s birthday parties.  We stress about décor, party favors, cakes, food, guest lists and all the while, our little ones are oblivious to our stress! We allow OUR guilty pleasure to consume us as we contemplate minor details that our kids don’t even notice! Well, Party Planning Mommy move over, Reasonable Stress-Free Mommy has arrived! I have come to the realization that children only need/ want these 4 items at their party:

1. Gifts

Children love receiving gifts – especially on their birthdays. So instead of spending hundreds of dollars on an expensive party invest those hundreds into your child. You really want to see your child’s face light up, take that money and drive them to the nearest Toys R’ Us and let them do some damage! You will be a true superhero in their eyes! Or you can open up a bank account for them, or teach them about giving and let them choose a charity to donate to. The options are endless!

2. Pizza

Cheese or Pepperoni? For a child it doesn’t matter! It’s Pizza!  Forgo serving the mini croissants and fancy dip and let your child indulge in one of their favs.  Certain to be a crowd pleaser and easy on the pocketbook!

3. Birthday Cake

The highlight of the day! A sweet treat covered in delicious icing.  Who can resist!  As long as there is a delectable cake on display, your child will be smiling ear to ear.  And after a piece or 3 of their cake, they may even be bouncing off the walls.  But it’s their party, they can cry jump, if they want too! Right? 

4. & the song “Watch Me (Whip/ Nae Nae)” by Silento

The government should actually think about making this song into our National Anthem. Kids love it and parents love pulling out their phones to record their child giving it their all. Regardless of your background or race “The Nae Nae” is internationally known.

Four Mistakes That I Made In 2016

I firmly believe that self-evaluation plays an important role in the overall development of an individual. Every now and then we should take a time-out to evaluate and reflect on our lives; this is a very necessary step in the process to measure your life’s progression. I guarantee you that you will make some interesting self-discoveries; some good and some bad. So after doing some self-reflecting, here are FOUR Mistakes that I made in 2016 that I plan on NOT making in 2017.

 

 1. Self-Help

The problem with being strong is nobody ever bothers to ask if you are okay.
— unknown

If I had to sum up the start of 2016 in 1 word…TOUGH! If I am completely transparent it had to be one of the toughest times that I have ever had to endure. My husband and I had just shut the doors of our church and my emotions were everywhere. But in typical Porscha fashion, I continued on with life like everything was completely normal. My smile…never left.  Encouraging posts on Facebook…never stopped.  Attendance at social events…never ended. But deep down, I needed encouragement, my heart was in shambles and I needed help more than ever! We have conditioned ourselves to believe that pushing through the pain means we are strong, but I totally disagree. I was struggling to keep everything together to be “strong” for everyone else, while internally, everything else, more importantly, I, was falling apart.  When you deny your true feelings and emotions you’re really harming yourself and as a result many of us fall into depression. The emotions can sometimes be so overwhelming that you no longer have control of your heart and now your mental state is affected.  

If I could have a “do-over” for the start of 2016, I would do one major thing differently- acknowledge that I needed to care for myself!  You are absolutely no good when you are constantly pouring yourself out to others and never taking the time to have someone or something pour into you. Recognize your emotions and deal with them. No longer will I bury my emotions because someone wants me to be “strong’. Go & get help!

 Which takes me to my second mistake in 2016.

 

2. “We Wear The Mask”

If we truly want the character of Christ, we must expose our weaknesses, shed our hypocrisy and stop pretending. God called us to BE TRANSPARENT.
— Paul Tan

I eventually took it off - thank God! But why did it take so long?! The freeing of The Mask was so beneficial. Not only for me but for my children and husband. Wearing “The Mask” takes so much unnecessary work but most importantly it hinders you from experiencing true intimacy with God. God is not like man, we don’t need to impress Him. In 2016 as well as in previous years I lost the shift of my focus and I put on this Mask.  The Mask of death, as it was slowly killing me!  I served as co-pastor of our church and because I was a Pastor’s wife people expected me to act, dress, pray, and just be a certain way. Some Sunday mornings before entering the church I would sit in the car longer than usual.  On these days, I was dealing with some of my own problems and I wasn’t quite ready to put a smile on my face. But as soon as I opened my car door and the heel of my shoe hit the pavement, I would instantly put on my Mask. Now, I am placing the blame where it belongs- on myself!  But I’m here to say that the only Mask that I will be wearing in 2017 is Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Radiance Mud Mask.

When you talk with other people- be willing to tell them the full story of how God has worked in your life. Realize that the story of your brokenness could truly free someone else. Do not be afraid to remove your Mask and tell others what God has and is going to do for you!

 

3. Loosing Myself

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.
— Jean Shinoda Bolen

Ughhhh! Why do I keep doing this to myself?! Anyone who knows me knows I love to workout. But when we moved to Lexington in September my workout regime became non-existent and now I've gain all of my weight back plus a FEW EXTRA. When living in Cincinnati, OH I had a good routine going on when it came to my workouts. I even formed  gym family at the current workout facility that my membership was set up at. Everyone knew me and I knew them. They even knew Braxton aka The Braxx Man and would always give him balloons paired with multiple high fives. Even though Lexington, KY wasn't a far move from Cincinnati. It was still a HUGE transition for my family and I and its been four months and I’m just now getting back in the swing of things and finally feeling like my old self. As a result, I'm extremely upset with myself because the way my metabolism is set up…it takes MONTHS to lose just a pound or two. Ok, maybe not MONTHS but months. Losing 10lbs in a month is not my testimony- it really takes closer to three months. I’m pretty good at anything that I put my heart into but this fitness journey is something that I have not been able to master. Why can’t fries and bread be healthy??!?! Like the great William McDowell said “I’m never going back” and in 2017 I have to be committed to not just losing weight but becoming healthier all around.

 

Who’s with me?!

 

4. Gotta Give Him Some Mo Lovin' 

Giving him something, he can feel
— En Vogue

I'm just one of those people who believes that there is always room to improve. Another mistake I made in 2016- not loving my husband the way that he needed or wanted. He works so hard to provide for our family and unfortunately he’s always the last one to buy a new outfit, or do something nice for himself. I honestly don’t think he bought anything for himself last year. I never want him to feel that we don’t appreciate him because we absolutely adore him!! I want to take him out on dates, allow himself to buy nice things...I want him to feel the love that we feel for him.  Often times we get caught up in the ins and outs of day that we innocently neglect those closest and most important to us. So in 2017, it’s all about him and what I can do for him to make his life more enjoyable.

 

 

Now it is your turn to conduct a self-evaluation. Be sure to answer each question/ statement as honestly as possible.

  • List your strengths and areas needing improvement.
  • What are your biggest priorities right now?
  • Are there any changes that could be made to improve your effectiveness?     
  • Where do you think you need to devote more time and energy?
  • Where do you see yourself in a year, 5 years, and 10 years?

 

Christmas Traditions

Here is my side of the family aka The Peeks Crew. As you can, were big in numbers!

Here is my side of the family aka The Peeks Crew. As you can, were big in numbers!

When my husband and I got married we thought that the most difficult parts of marriage would be communication and money; learning that both parties now own what's in the bank account and figuring out when one could spend money without permission wasn't a huge challenge for us... surprisingly. But the most difficult part of marriage was figuring out which holiday to spend with which family. I am one of seven. My side of the family is gigantic and lives in Columbus, OH. People jokingly call us the black "Seven Heaven" because my Father is a Pastor. Now, on my husbands side of the family it's just him, his younger sister, and mom. Much smaller than my side of the family but they are extremely closely knitted together.

Our first couple of years of marriage we tried visiting everyone on every holiday. But with small children and our families not living in the same city it totally became too over whelming. So now we travel up to Columbus for Thanksgiving - mainly because I could never go without my Grandmother's good cooking and for Christmas, we now travel up to Cincinnati, OH to spend with his family who I absolutely love dearly. 

My favorite part of my husband's family's Christmas celebration is when the matriarch of the family aka Granny reads the yearly newsletter. It's a tradition that everyone looks forwards to and wouldn't miss for the world.  She writes about everyone's accomplishments, mistakes, funny moments, people we haven't seen, deaths, and new additions to the family. We gather around her like little children and anticipate hearing our name and hearing what she has to say. The best part of it all is that it's all through her eyes.

At first it was very hard for me to be away from my family. Especially on Christmas. But I've grown to love my second family as if they were my very own.

Family is like music, some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song.

M&M's Blog Launch Party

This past Sunday (December 4th) was our BLOG LAUNCH DAY as well as my 31st birthday. So I hosted a intimate blog launch party in Cincinnati, OH with eleven of my favorite girlfriends who have turned into sisters, and sisters who have turned into girlfriends. The night was filled with the perfect set of energy and the magic, oh, the magic was so pure. From endless laughs over a glass of Pinot Grigio, to shedding a lot of tears with the people who have deservingly earn the key to my heart. The night was perfect. The venue's ambiance was to die for. & our waiter Brad was the perfect fit for my group of girls.  

Mommy & Ministry’s Intimate Blog Launch Party was held at the very gorgeous Taft’s Ale House, a three-level brewery, bar and restaurant in Over-the-Rhine of Cincinnati, OH. It's a dramatic space in the old St. Paul's German Evangelical Protestant Church located at 1429 Race St., the 220-seat space features 46-foot ceilings and a large chandelier that draws the eye up to them. High, arch windows, lots of dark wood and Rookwood tiles. This place is absolutely gorgeous. The only thing that I was a little sadden by was the choice of food on the menu. Not really a huge selection, but it was doable.

 

My favorite part of the night was reading my first blog post entitled "When I Lost My Fourth Child..." to my amazing friends before officially launching Mommy & Ministry. Guys, I boo- hooed like a baby while reading it and it meant so much to me to look up and see them crying right along with me.

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What's a night without a little (non- alcoholic) bubbly?? Special thanks to my dear friend Tishonna for giving such a sweet toast and speaking those amazing profound words into Mommy & Ministry. You my dear friend are God sent.

You Guys Have To Meet My Amazing Girlfriends!!

Everyone say HI to my little cousin Brianna, who has turned into my little sister. She's also M ommy & Ministry'  s official photographer. Every picture on this site has been taken by her!! Based in Columbus, OH. Let me know if you need her information!

Everyone say HI to my little cousin Brianna, who has turned into my little sister. She's also Mommy & Ministry' s official photographer. Every picture on this site has been taken by her!! Based in Columbus, OH. Let me know if you need her information!

Because we go hard for each other's dreams. Meet my sands and dear sister, Danielle Sharee! Do me a favor and remember that name. 

Because we go hard for each other's dreams. Meet my sands and dear sister, Danielle Sharee! Do me a favor and remember that name. 

Lasik Plus Vision Center brought us together as co-workers during my college days but our friendship has stayed solid throughout the years. Meet my home girl Genia aka Gene!

Lasik Plus Vision Center brought us together as co-workers during my college days but our friendship has stayed solid throughout the years. Meet my home girl Genia aka Gene!

My Best of 12 yrs and counting. Meet my other half, Shawnte. The only person other than my husband who I can take correction from. She means the world to me.

My Best of 12 yrs and counting. Meet my other half, Shawnte. The only person other than my husband who I can take correction from. She means the world to me.

I call her "I'm Every Woman" because she's truly remarkable in every way. Say HI to my sands and dear sister Kendra.

I call her "I'm Every Woman" because she's truly remarkable in every way. Say HI to my sands and dear sister Kendra.

Guys, my lovely friend Tishonna Hicks. The one who gets me and understands every part of me.

Guys, my lovely friend Tishonna Hicks. The one who gets me and understands every part of me.

If I had a diary she would probably be the only who I will let read it. Meet my sister Angela and the god mother of my London Victoria and Braxton Alexander.

If I had a diary she would probably be the only who I will let read it. Meet my sister Angela and the god mother of my London Victoria and Braxton Alexander.

My girl LaToya has rocked with me from the very beginning. & through it all she's never left my side. A true friend, better yet a true sister.

My girl LaToya has rocked with me from the very beginning. & through it all she's never left my side. A true friend, better yet a true sister.

I have 3 biological sisters who are really like my bestfriends. When I feel like I don't have anyone in my corner. I can always count on them to have my back, especially this one. Meet my favorite headache, Scharese Peeks. (1 out of 3)

I have 3 biological sisters who are really like my bestfriends. When I feel like I don't have anyone in my corner. I can always count on them to have my back, especially this one. Meet my favorite headache, Scharese Peeks. (1 out of 3)

(2 out of 3) Nothing can keep us apart. Not only is she the salt of the earth, but she's also the salt to my life. She's filled with greatness. Everyone say HI to my mini me- Kyra Alexandra!

(2 out of 3) Nothing can keep us apart. Not only is she the salt of the earth, but she's also the salt to my life. She's filled with greatness. Everyone say HI to my mini me- Kyra Alexandra!

(3 out of 3) The baby sister, Nichelle Mackenzie. She keeps me young and grounded all at the same time. She also designed and created  M  ommy & Ministry 's cute little logo!!

(3 out of 3) The baby sister, Nichelle Mackenzie. She keeps me young and grounded all at the same time. She also designed and created Mommy & Ministry's cute little logo!!

Good friends are like stars.
You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.
— Unknown

Road Trippin' With Little People

So my husband and I decided to take our little Coney Monsters, London & Braxton, to Disney World... again. We also decided to make it into a road trip and drive from Kentucky to Florida... again! Seriously, what were we thinking?! & this time we took my Grandmother with us. Ok, at this point we should have been checked into a mental hospital. Because we were definitely crazy. However, we made it to Disney World and back home to Lexington, KY and surprisingly no one was hurt in the making of this vacation. So if you're crazy like my husband & I and don't have tons of money to spend on flights then let me share with you three tips that really helped us get through "Road Trippin' with Little People ".

1. Plan Your Exit

Listen, the goal is to have your children sleep as log as possible during these long car rides. As a result, the best time to leave is during your children's bed time. Get all of your luggage packed into your car first and then slip your little adorable monsters right into their car seats while they are still in their comfortable pajamas and dreaming away. Now, most kids usually sleep about 8 to 9 hours when they are tucked away in their beds but because of their excitement of the vacation they probably won't sleep as long. However, you're still guaranteed to get a few hours of peace and quiet while driving.

 

2. Food on Deck

Now this is a given. Cookie Monster wouldn't be "Cookie Monster" if he didn't have cookies to eat. & our little Crumb Snatchers wouldn't be "Crumb Snatchers" if they didn't have snacks to eat. So go to the grocery store a day before your planned trip and pack a few things to hold these little adorable monsters over before they turn into not so adorable monsters. Here is what I usually grab at my local grocery store when "Road Trippin' with Little People."

1. Box of Juice Boxes & Mini Bottles of Water

2. A Bag of Cutie Oranges & Grapes

3. Small Individual Bags of Chips

4. Fruit Snacks (& not just any kind of fruit snacks but the animated type of fruit snacks. That way they become intrigued with the little characters they are about to nibble on.)

3. Go Go Gadget... Activity!

This too is also a given but you must plan accordingly to what type of activities to bring for your particular child/ children. For example, my Braxton isn't really into coloring and drawling but my London is. Additionally, be sure to visit your local library to grab a few books that comes with a CD. That way you're off of reading duty. Plus, I'm pretty sure the people who are reading the story will sound much more animated and exciting than you. LOL Now I know many of us parents don't like letting our children sit in front of a TV for a long period of time...blah blah blah. However, this rule has to get thrown out of the window when it comes to "Road Trippin' with Little People". Give them their little iPad or your phone and let them be. Seriously, you'll thank me later.

Happy Hunger Games... I mean Happy "Road Trippin' with Little People"!!

May the odds be ever in your favor.
— Effie Trinket