I don't quite remember when I fell in love with tea but I do remember the most special moments of me drinking tea. I was eighteen years old and I went to live with my biological mother for four months. I had just met her months earlier and it was awkward for both of us. She and her ex-husband lived a very quiet life in Boulder, Colorado. He was a professor at one of the universities and she was a housewife. After years of drug addiction and being in and out of jail, she deserved the break. I was homeless so she and her husband agreed to let me come live with them. Each evening my mother and I would find a spot in the living room with a cup of tea and a book.

Now, years later, I'm a self proclaimed tea expert. I start each day with a wonderful English Breakfast tea to get me going. As the day progresses, who knows what wonderful tea I will crown queen. But for sure, I have at least three cups of tea a day. And yes, when I can, I have tea everyday at about 3:00 P. M. I love to invite my friends over for tea and cupcakes and so far everyone thinks it’s a delightful experience. I am always in search of the best blend of tea. Yes, I’m a tea snob, I prefer loose tea but I do like some bags also. I have learned not to judge a book by it’s cover. Some bags can be quite nice. And yes again, any Diva knows, what you drink your tea out of is very important.

Tea for me is a way of life. It's wellness for the mind body and spirit. Here, I will explore every expect of tea possible, with a high concentration on wellness. I will review the best teas, the best places to have tea, the best ways to brew tea, the best tea accessories, what tea goes best with what foods, and the list goes on and on. I plan to share my passion for tea with you. And I've been told, nothing I do is ever boring so be prepared to go on this tea journey with me.

RLT Collection Tea Ball Frosted Clear Beads!

Mint Medley by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

About This Tea:

Until recently I had never drank Peppermint Tea made with loose leaves. And Honestly, I will probably never go back. The freshness of loose Peppermint Tea cannot be denied. When I open the can of Mint Medley, From The Persimmon Tree Tea Company, I feel as if I stepped into a garden of peppermint leaves. It is a perfect blend of organic peppermint and spearmint leaves grown in the US.

Mint Medley has become a favorite and I find myself reaching for this tea tin almost everyday. It is great for on-going nausea. The health benefits and endless. It relieves muscle aches, headaches, migraines, stress. And now that it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and I have a mean cough, I'm sure it will help to relieve some of this congestion in my chest. Mint Medley has been in my tea cup more than any tea as of late. It has really helped with my winter cough, congestion related to this bout of pneumonia. You can read my full review on The Persimmon Tree Tea Company Mint Teas.

RLT Collection AIDS Awareness Tea Ball!

Welcome to my world of books! As an pre-teen books changed my world. I fell in love with the writers of the Harlem Renaissance period and the more I read the more I wanted to read. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It spoke to my own degradation and gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

I love to read! Inside a book I escape into someone else's life. There is something wonderful about turning to the next page of a wonderful story. Something intoxicating about the smell of the book and the story it brings to life. Reading brings me joy, and these days with my health in the balance, I find solace in my books.

I spent hours in my bedroom sequestered with the door closed reading the classics from the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes, Larsen, Hurston, Wright and Baldwin. Books became my escape and my salvation. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

Reading is the one thing that the pain of my life could never take away from me. It was the thing that helped to make it better. And even today, living with AIDS, books continue to be the safest place for me. It’s the one thing that belongs to me that AIDS cannot take away from me.The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS.

The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS. I have read hundreds of books from many different genres and I will pick the best of my reads over the years. I warn you, it will not be exclusively white or black, male or female, fiction or non fiction, it will be all of them.

I’m so excited and I’m grateful to everyone who wants to be a part of this venture. We already have 110 Book Club Members. You can email me @ RLTReads@raelewisthornton.com. The Twitter hashtag is #RLTReads. We can make this book club as wonderful as we want to make it. Who says that Oprah has to have the only ownership to a wonderful book club?

This Month We are Reading In My Fathers House by E Lynn Harris

Read along and join our discussion July 19th at 7 pm CST

For more Tea with Rae "Vlogs" Click here to visit her youtube channel

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Reflection: Get Out Of God's Way!

It is such a wonderful thing when God gives you a revelation that brings you extraordinary peace. That's what happened on this New Year's Eve to me. That day I did some of things that make me happy. I had afternoon tea with my girlfriend and fellow blogger Kim. She brought the cupcakes and I provided the tea. That evening I had a wonderful dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel and then I went to church. After church, I took a stroll down the Mag Mile, came home and took my baby girls for their last walk of the year. I had some bracelet designs floating around in my head so I worked on them until 12:00 am.

At midnight, I paused from my busyness to talk to God. As I was in mediation and prayer, I remembered the last New Year's Eve filled with turmoil. I said, "Thank You God for this New Year. Last year was filled with such chaos, hurt, and stagnation." And in that moment God spoke to my spirit, "My daughter, I removed the chaos from your life 25 days into the new year in 2010, it was you that held on to it."

My mouth fell open and I sat on my sofa in awe of God in this revelation. It was true, I had rejected my boyfriend's departure with all that I had. I knew in my heart that God had done for me what I was unable to do for myself, but I fought it with all of my might. I knew that he loved me dearly, but where he was in his life, our relationship couldn't flourish. I won't tell his story here, it's not mine to tell.

And so he made a decision to leave because his life was complicated. He needed to work life out for himself. I know he had to go because my life had become crazy. He became my life, all that I am disappeared into him. Someone told me one day, the person that you talk about the most, think about the most, is your God.

The three months we lived together, he became my God. My vision became obstructed by my own desires. I lost site of God's purpose for my life. I spent all my time trying to help him get to where God had intended for him rather than being where God had intended for me to be.

Those first two months after he left, I almost had a nervous breakdown. For Real! But God pulled me back. I started tweeting and blogging and that helped me to refocus. I began to see clearer more each day. And with that clarity, I reclaimed my own life's purpose. But honestly, my heart was still hurting. I spent the entire year hoping and praying that he would pull it together and walk right back in that damn door. But he never did. My aching heart affected my health. And the stress of it all ultimately created these ongoing stomach issues I've been having for 5 months.

WOW! Sitting there talking to God was such a revelation! And after I gathered myself, I then asked God for forgiveness. I had interfered with God's plan for my life out of my own selfish desires to be loved and to be in love. I used the free will God gave me in such a way that it led me down a path of heartache and stagnation. I know I'm not the only person that has done this, but maybe the only one bold enough to admit it publicly. On a side note, there's an African proverb that says, "He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured." Just Sayin!

Yep, there's someone else out there trying to hold on to what you should let go, looking at his/her Facebook page, making yourself crazy, and drawing out closure, and delaying your healing in the process. And, by the way, blocking the goodness from coming into your life.

Now let's be honest, we do this with relationships but we also do it in other areas of our lives: school, work, our projects, and even with friends. We hold on to dead weight like it's a million dollars, but really if we are honest, it's just some old ass rocks that serve no good purpose in our life. The good doesn't outweigh the bad but still we hold on to it for dear life. Remembering the little good and explaining away the bad with stupid rationalizations. It never stops. We want what we want rather than what God gives us. And sometimes we fight back and in the process get the beat down of our lives. Our happiness could have come a lot sooner, our wounds could have healed a lot quicker, but we got in God's way.

We hold on to what we should let go, and at the opposite end, we let go of what we should hold on to. Sometimes we let go because the dream isn't actualizing soon enough. We surrender too damn soon! In this microwaveable society, we forget that God's time is not our time. God's ways are not are ways. Yes, the fact that God has given us free will has complicated matters a great deal. We make choices every day out of our own selfishness. We jack our own self up, not God. God wants the best for us and opens those doors for us to go through. But we interfere with what God has planned for us. And when you are not on one accord with God's purpose for your life, your life does not flourish.

So my best advice as you go into 2011 is to get the hell out of God's way!

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