Why Seven?

 

Because it’s supposed to be a perfect number? Because it’s lucky? Actually no.

And after much thought and lots of back and forth as to the “Why This Thing,” we’ve finally got it! The seven of us have come together and decided this blog was a great idea to help all women from all walks of life. To help women feel and know they are not alone. To encourage those who are down and lend ideas to those who need just a little inspiration. To build up, to inspire, and to bear good news to all! –Keisha

Single moms, working moms, stay at home moms, all types of moms have one thing in common – we are women. We are moms but we are women first and at the end of the night we have our thoughts and insecurities even outside of motherhood. I hope this blog will shine a light to empower and uplift women to not only feel more confident and understood but to cast their fears on God and trust Him in every circumstance.  –Erica

The purpose of this blog is to have a platform to share with women all over the world our struggles and victories in a very transparent and organic way.  Our backgrounds, ethnicities, and where we reside might be different but we are all women, mommies, wives with a common core: our passion for God. This is a place where seven friends will have a voice to bring topics that are relevant to today’s society concerning women and relationships. This blog will also be a place where ladies will not only feel encouraged, but empowered by the lives of real women with real struggles and no matter what tide comes their way, they have made it through. Lastly, this blog will offer advice and tips on holistic living, parenthood, entrepreneurship, fashion, faith and much more. Get ready to be blown away by the “Seven Sisters!” –Oriella

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SHE

Sisterhood is lost…

Somewhere between gossip & a fake smile,

A “How u doing” followed by an envious glare

Judgmental minds swear,

With selfish thoughts & a stare she- WE-

It makes u wonder if anyone is even there…

Sister, I wish u would dare!

Dare to stand up & get out-

Stop walking in shame for

God didn’t call u to wallow in self despair!

 

Growth is Amazing,

Embrace it!

Chase it!

Speak life to it!

 

Encourage Her,

Empower Her,

Uplift Her!

Because you just don’t know what she carries,

You don’t know her pain.

You don’t know how many times she endured Love being ripped out of her chest with a blade!

I can tell u it took my breath away…

Because I am her. She is We. We are she.

 

I will attempt to explain:

Motherhood is pain,

It is selflessness…

Sacrifices, worries and disdain-

It is… Countless blessings-

Pouring out & getting filled up the same.

It is being brave. Gasping for air

While you’re enjoying the race

Because if u blink too fast u might miss a moment, a change in pace…

Motherhood is Unconditional Love,

Overflowing joy & grace

It is forgiveness

Strength & Gentleness-grasping onto Faith

She is stability & light in a dark place…

 

So the next time you see her-

That Single mom, 

That “Stay at home Mom”

That business running mom-

That childless mom…

Hug her.

Tell her u admire her strength.

Tell her, she’s Gods masterpiece.

Please think before you speak.

She may not need to hear your thoughts of “Omg how do u do it?” 

Reminding her she’s “Got her hands full”

She may just need a sister, a friend, a lending hand.

 

Sister, You are Gods loving arms… Don’t you see? He kissed the earth when he made u a mother

-Erica

erica

 

The day my son said: “Hi Joe, Come on in”

So I have been wanting to write a blog for a while but not sure what I should write about.  I’m passionate about so many things… I love to travel. I love holistic living. I love to run and workout. But what I love the most, are God’s gifts from above: my three children. So why not start my first blog sharing my experiences with my middle child Kethan (pronounced like “Ethan”) and give you a glimpse of the last six months with Brain Balance Center.

I first need to give you a back drop of my son. When he was about two years old,  I noticed he was not talking very much, nor socializing with his sister; so he started Early Intervention and it was at the moment they told me: “your child is showing signs of a child under the spectrum.”  At that time I didn’t even know what all of that really meant. In the following school year he started the Preschool program, and boy!, was I glad I enrolled him. He was so blessed to have Mrs. Hauser, a teacher of 35 years of experience in Special Education, whom my son made an instant connection with.  It was because of her dedication, and patience, my son made so much growth in speech and following directions.  He discovered his passion for reading and always had a book in his hand (still does today.) Actually he started reading before he even started verbally communicating. I would be driving down the road, and he would shout “STOP.” I remember as if it were yesterday. But even though academically we had no concerns, behaviorally, and socially we did. He didn’t behaved at the same level as he peers, he was constantly distracted, and frequent tantrums when transitioning from one activity to another were a norm. One of my biggest concerns was his lack of interest to have new friends. When people asked him, who were his friends in school, he would reply: “Neíma and Alvyn.” (his siblings)

Years went by and now he has started second grade and I still see did not see or hear Kethan interacting with classmates, nor a request to have a playdate. He mainly liked to play alone in his room, or with his sis and bro (and I usually prompted him) So one day, after a check up, I asked his pediatrician, “Doctor, do you know of a place I can take my son for Behavioral Therapy, or like a social group?” Her answer was: “did you read the book Disconnected Kids?” “Nope. I never heard of it,” I said.  “It’s a book about a functional doctor that created a holistic program that has proven to achieve amazing changes in behavior and academic performance. “What is this program called?” I asked desperately. “Brain Balance.”

That same day I called and made an appointment and never looked back. For those of you who never heard of this type of center, Brain Balance is a program that believes that neurological disorders (ADHD, LD, Dyslexia, ASD symptoms) are primarily a result of environmental factors, and hence, is correctable. It is a hemispheric based program: since brain in balance is the core problem, (where one side of the brain is weaker than the other) then what they do is stimulate one side more than the other. Some activities include sensory, motor, academic, biochemical modalities, and behavioral. In my son’s case we discovered he is right brain weak (immature social behavior, lack of emotional control are some examples.)

So I can go and on about how the program works, but the positive changes I have seen in him socially, and his behaviors for the last six months is what made me want to write this blog. One particular case where I visually noticed was at the Christmas play at school last year. He so excited to be one of the many students singing and dancing to perform for the parents. When he came out with his class in his homemade red costume as an elf, he spotted my dad from afar and shouted with excitement “Abuelo, you’re here!” And to my surprise he sang along to ALL of the songs, did the motions with no problems, clapped on beat and was engaged the whole 35 minutes of the show. At the end of the show he did something humorous and unexpected to everyone. He grabbed the mic and did a solo for the last ten seconds of the finale. I was literally in tears. And of course the battery on my phone died at that instant (what are the chances, right!) Side note, DO NOT buy BLU phones.

Some slight changes were happening at home as well. Kethan was interacting more with his sister and brother than he ever did before. They now play tag outside, he loves to play hide and seek with “abuelo”, and fights over Lego pieces with his brother and says things like: “Alvyn you are not being fair, and you are making me mad when you steal my blue Lego piece from my room.” This is NOT something he would have said months ago.

Even though all the things I mentioned above are clearly signs that the program is working for my son’s needs, nothing left me more in awe than what happened two weeks ago. Remember when I said he didn’t develop any friendships yet, which is something that around five or six you start to see in children.  Then one day I hear the bell ring. “Kethan, go open the door please. See who it is” I told him. He opens the white glass door and says with a grin of surprise: “Hi Joe, how did you find my house. Come on in.” I was sitting in the kitchen finishing my dinner as my son had this conversation, and my daughter and I exchanged looks and we smiled, because we couldn’t believe what was happening at that moment. “How cool to able to witness this” I thought. A few minutes later, Kethan laced his shoes and joined his friend Joe from school and (neighbor) and played outside on the trampoline all while laughing and chatting like a typical 7 year-old knows best…until the sun went down.

Fast forward time and yesterday we received his report card and his teacher comments said “We have seen great improvement with Kethan’s social skills, making new friends, and his ability to regroup after getting upset.” To read these words mean the world to me, and to my family. It has not been easy driving almost 1 hour (one way!) three times a week to the center, keeping up with the exercises at home, and changing the way we eat to ONLY clean eating (I can talk about this in another blog.) To see everything my son has accomplished in such a little bit of time in the program, it makes me think that the sacrifices in the last six months have all been well worth it.

I have no doubt that my son will strive to his full potential, and one day become the best scientist I have ever known, as he constantly reminds me. Brain Balance Achievement Center was the answer I was looking for my son. Gracias papa Dios our paths crossed, for the future looks brighter now…

 

 

 

“Always take the scenic route…”

If you can get the opportunity to do some traveling and you’re a nature and yoga enthusiast, Nicoya, Costa Rica is for you!! I’m not necessarily a “yogi” but I like to indulge every now and then, so while here in Costa Rica I decided to visit the Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort. It’s breathtaking views and serene atmosphere are the perfect place to relax, appreciate life, and enjoy nature. It’s studios sit atop a mountain and look down on the jungle of the small town of Nosara. I even had the chance to buy an all natural juice of pineapple, ginger, and passion fruit that was beyond refreshing and so delicious! 

Costa Rican’s have a theme or a “way of life” called: “Pura Vida” or “Pure Life.” And how fitting for a country that is mostly jungle and volcanoes! The pace of life here is absolutely and 100% the opposite of life in my hustle and bustle state of New Jersey. Not only is it relaxing to get away period, but to get away and enjoy life in one of the five “Blue Zones” of the world is so incredible to me.

What is a “blue zone?” There are only five blue sones in the world, and they are geographical locations that have some of the longest life expectancies. Maybe it’s that same pace of life, or the minerals and calcium from the pure water, or the abundance of fruits and vegetables…. whatever it is, the people live longer…. and I kind of want to be a part of that! 

I absolutely love Costa Rica! By the way, I just heard some howler monkeys as I’m sitting here writing this. 

Surfs up!

– Keisha

Meet Beverly and the rest of The 7

I once heard a phrase,   “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double.”
When I went off to college I was blessed to meet six very important women who would later become the very thing I always longed for, a sister. We are very similar, but at the same time so different. I first met Erica in 2000 at our yearly AG youth convention. The first thing I noticed was her love for the color PINK! She had pink everything, pink shoes, pink jacket, it was so awesome! She and I hit it off instantly. Reminded me of the friends I had in New York, trendy, raw, real, tell it like it is. She may not know this but she became my motivation and the driving force behind my decision to attend Valley Forge. In 2001 I started Valley Forge Christian College. Move in day I met this crazy white girl from Jersey, Jessica. All I remember was her charisma and infectious, cheerful personality. She was filled with the joy of the Lord.  Fast forward to today, she remains that constant joy and strength in my life. She has gotten me through some of my toughest spiritual battles. When I didn’t know where to turn, she’d offer godly wisdom and direct me to a scripture for it all. Somehow we always find a way to laugh about it later. That same year I met this beautiful looking young woman. I was into big earrings then and all I remember was Oriella’s dazzling handmade cultural earrings. They completed her indigenous look. I thought, who is this girl? She must be studying abroad. Her compassion is what stood out to me the most though.  She became better known as, “Mama O” and it really did fit her perfectly. She made sure we ate, we were on time for chapel and selflessly gave everything she had to us all. While speaking about compassion another wonderful woman comes to mind. I met Laquetta my second year of college, through Erica. Her big blue eyes were so captivating, all the while comforting. What I remember the most, was the demonstration of love for her son, Baylor. Their bond was solid as a rock. I thought, wow how does she do it all? She’s a full time student, and a great mommy. I will never forget how she nursed me back to health after my first panic attack. She was so gentle and nurturing. She allowed me to stay at her place and forget my troubles. Sort of reminded me of the way my mother cared for me.  She may not know it, but she has inspired me to become a better mother. While at college, I would accompany Oriella and Erica to church often. Iglesia Sinai in Philadelphia became my home church. That is where I met Keisha and Jamie. Keisha was the pastor’s daughter. I remember meeting her and thinking, “well she’s rude!” She seemed pretty stuck up and unfriendly. But see, God has such a mysterious way of doing things. We later became cordial and although we only spoke in church, we became very close friends in 2005. I went through a very bad break up and Keisha was there to pick up the pieces. We decided to become roommates and lets just say 2005-2007 were two of the best years of my young adult life. If it weren’t for her my life would have taken a very dark and ugly turn. She brought back laughter, optimism and energy to a life that had been torn down by deceit and disrespect. She has always had a way of effortlessly lifting you up when your down, and I am grateful she is in my life. Last but not least, there is Jamie. As mentioned before I met Jamie at church and through the other girls. I remember when I first heard her sing. She had such an angelic voice and an excellent heart of worship. She sang from the heart, she ushered in the presence of God in such a way that made you feel as though you were sitting at the feet of Jesus.  I love her very much. Perhaps I’ve never told her since we haven’t had many opportunities to share alone time, but she is someone who I would trust eyes closed. You know she always has your best interest at heart. She is beyond beautiful. Beyond loving, caring & sweet. She is a gem, a diamond of a person.
These six women I look up to immensely, they challenge me, they scold me when I’m wrong, they encourage me, lend a listening ear, laugh with me, cry with me, but more importantly they pray with me. They challenge me to become a better friend, mommy, wife and woman. With them I have learned a different kind of love, forgiveness, compassion and loyalty. Doing this blog is a testimony of God’s faithfulness to us all. It exudes hope and the power of unity in Christ. Together we make seven.. In Hebrew the “number 7 is the divine number of completion. A covenant promise (in Hebrew, the expression literally translated as “to seven oneself” means “to swear a covenant”) These girls have truly made me complete. They are more than friends, they are my sisters. Our friendship has been a delightful journey. A beautiful celebration of diversity, devotion and true connection. The Lord remains our pillar through it all… I can imagine Jesus saying, “To my seven…  ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:23

7 friends