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, August 15, 2011

Monday Reflection: Embracing The Newness!

I say often that Monday's are filled with fresh possibilities, for it starts the beginning of the week. And I believe that there is a newness for each of us to uncover. Last week is gone and will never come again, that's an absolute fact. To stay stuck in last week is to squander the gift of newness that God has placed before you.

Now I know some of you are saying, she just don't understand. Last week is over, but the stuff of last week is still real in my life. I do understand, #For Real. But I also understand that some of this is of your own doing. You have allowed the issues of the former week to infiltrate your newness and now it has become infected. Some of that stuff really was resolved.

The problem is that it wasn't the outcome you had hoped for so you stay stuck hoping that the situation will change.  If that man walked out of your life, let his ass go. He probably did for you what you were unable to do for yourself. Be grateful that he is allowing you to get on with your life rather than stay and kill every ounce of your spirit.

And if  on the other side, God gave you a second, where you could think with a clear mind, and you walked away from the chaos with some of your dignity in tact, then why are you doubting God? There is nothing like a clear mind, it cleanses your soul. Why would you want to infiltrate yesterday's ugly with today's pretty?  The same thing can apply to that job you lost. Some changes aren't always a bad change. 

God always has a plan. The problem is we live in a right now society and we want quick solutions to what we perceive as a problem. We go from one relationship to another because we don't want to spend time with ourselves.  We take the easy and most comfortable way but that way in the end does more damage to the sprit. 

We see a lost of a job as a disaster, when actually it may be a blessing. When was the last time you actually had to re-write your resume and in doing so, celebrate your accomplishments? Shoot, you may discover that you had been selling yourself cheap. I'm just saying, some of this stuff we hang on to should have been let go a long time ago.

Nothing can grow in dead soil, but be cling to dry dirt like fertile soil. And in doing so, we create more misery for ourselves. That is not the place that God wants us to be. The Bible says, that He came that we might have life more abundantly. So why do we deny ourselves the joy stuck in pain. 

Photo by @ChicagoCabbie
Now I do understand on the flip side, some of this stuff has no other place to go, it's stuck to us like Gorilla Glue. Like having HIV or Lupus, is what it is. Some issues just never get resolved. Even the void of a lost one can linger and weigh you down. I understand this clearly, it's the life I live daily.

But I also understand, while I can't change the situation, I can change how I see it; even week to week. God gives us fresh eyes and a clear mind to use for our goodness. While I accept the bad with grace and dignity, I seek the good for God's glory. Each time I smile against the odds I say, "My body my be hurting, but my heart is happy." Only God can do such a thing, create diabolical opposites in one body.

There is light even between the darkness. Look at this cloud above us; Its God wonderful creation. And while there is darkness all around us, there is a light that will never leave us. So each new week, I assess the former week; I throw out that which has no place in the gift of newness that God has placed before me. I dare not squander this precious gift of life or an ounce of the newness that He graciously gives to me. Life is Better than Death Any day.. Any way... 

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