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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Stop The Madness!

I stand by every freaking thing I say and do! And when I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and will admit where I see my wrong. My opinion is my opinion; And guess what? Opinions are like assholes everybody got them. But at the end of the day, we can all agree to disagree. By the way, that's what I say about people reading my blog, you can disagree with me, but when you personally attack me, that's a boundary.

So yesterday I wrote a blog about some tweets that my followers sent me from someone else's timeline and boy didn't I get my ass kicked. The young men, "Went-in" on me as we say on Twitter. Now often I fight back with word for word, but I didn't yesterday. Why, because for one I thought my blog was fair and I had said everything that needed to be said.  And honestly, I didn't really need to because my timeline took up the battle for me. You Rock! Yesterday's Blog Click Here!

At the end of the day, the young men reduced it to joking and that I that had taken it all out of context; And this is how he and his homeie's get down. While, people can say whatever the hell they please, I know I sure do, I don't think AIDS is a joking matter. I mean we don't joke about other health issues the way we joke about HIV/AIDS. I don't see a darn thing funny about the possibility of someone contracting HIV or laughing about someone living with this horrible illness.

I have never heard someone joke about a woman getting her breast removed because of breast cancer.  I'm so over it. I wrote a blog a year ago about the same thing. I've even known AIDS Activist, not living with HIV to participate in the joking.

Joking about HIV/AIDS perpetuates the stigma and shame that is already attached to this disease, especially in the African-American Community.

I'm going to say it Loud and Clear, I will challenge any joke that is sent my way. I see nothing funny about my 15 pills a day. The Stigma and Shame must STOP! People must be allowed to live with dignity with this disease.

There are many who cannot speak up, who are to afraid to speak up, who live in shame and fear of rejection with HIV.  Well, those days are long gone for me. God has given me a voice and a platform and I will continue to use it until the day I die. And I hope my voice will lend courage to others living with HIV to stand tall.

I understand, don't get me wrong, it took me seven years to get to a good place with my status. And my mother still rejected me, still said,  "See I told you." But people are going to treat you how they are going to treat you. You can only change how you respond.  I told my mother, "AIDS is to hard to fight both of you, so you can stay and we live in peace, or you can get the hell out of my life."

We are in this together and We have to stop the madness! What's the quote, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

Post Script: I was so emotionally drained after all the "mean" tweets yesterday. But I never surrendered to the madness. God allowed me to keep my wits about me. At one point I said, "Just so you know, I've not said what I could have said." One young man  said, "Me either"

So late last night that same young man tweeted me,"Beautiful Black Sista," I told him I didn't have the energy to fight. But he came in peace. He actually had a really important HIV question that one of his followers had asked him. So I moved beyond self and answered the question. What I know for sure, it's not about me, but how God uses me. I pray that I always remember that !

If I had never written that blog, I would have never answered that young lady's question... "What happens when two people with HIV have unprotected sex?" Answer: They can reinfect each other with a different strains of the virus that could accelerate their illness. If the other person is taking medication, they will be reinfected with the their medications strains that are resistant to HIV, which may not work for the other person.  

Live in your purpose, and let nothing deter you!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Every morning I thank the Lord for another day and then I grab my IPad to see what's happening on my Twitter timeline. And I hate when I wake to madness; And that's exactly what I got this morning.  Lawd knows I wasn't expecting tons of re-tweets showing me foolishness some young people had tweeted.

I re-read the tweets over and over again and then I crawled out of bed and got connected to my morning IV drip, turned the teapot on and re-read them again. As I sat in bed with a wonderful cup of English Breakfast tea, allowing this medicine to pump through my veins, I knew my timeline was waiting on a response.

And I also knew that what I wanted to say and needed to say couldn't be said in a 140 characters. My first reaction was, they can't possibly believe this shit they tweeted. Like seriously!

I try never to respond to tweets such as these without investigating. So I ventured to each of their timelines to get a feel for who they are and I'm not sure if I was relieved or disappointed. I saw that both timelines were full of madness, and that's what twitter is all about; Freedom of speech in the best and worst ways, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Sometimes you know when the ugly is for real, like you can feel it. But then other times you can't really guage it.  You don't know if people are tweeting crap for attention and shock value or if they are sincere. So after viewing their timelines, all I can really say yet again, is, Seriously? Vulgarity and Vulgarity was the theme of both their timelines.  And that's fair, if that's what they choose to tweet and people want to follow them.

If you catch my timeline on Friday's you may be shocked. For Real my #FuckinFriday Tweets are provocative and over the top and some of my timeline love them and some can't wait for Friday to be over, they just hang in there for something else. I mean, I got unfollowed by another AIDS Activist because she didn't like my cussing.

What I love the most about all of this is that the people on my timeline who saw those tweets thought enough of my work to say, help, set these young people straight before they end up with HIV. Help them see the reality of this disease. And for that I'm grateful.

But the truth of the matter, I don't know if these young men are just on some bullshit trying to shock the hell out of people to get a large following or not. But I wonder what the people on their timeline think? The ones that read these tweets; If they take them at face value or not. That's what bothers me the most. You will a lot of power with your tweets and they can lift up or tear down, they can inform with the best of information or they can perpetuate misinformation.

So let me set the record straight. AIDS is the number one killer of African-Americans between the ages of 25-44, not a gun shot  And with  African-American being 52% of all cases of HIV in the United States, it's hard to believe that every black person doesn't know someone either living with HIV or have died from AIDS.  Or maybe not! I mean if I had HIV these guys would be the last two I told on the face of this freaking planet. Laughing at Sexually Transmitted Diseases is no joke. And with the kind of stigma and shame they are tweeting, I would be afraid to tell them that I was infected.

But oh Let me set the record straight again, up top was an example,actually I have been living with HIV for 28 years and AIDS for 19 and I thank God there is nothing a person can say or tweet to make me feel ashamed. Those days are fucking over!! I look good for a woman living with this disease over half of my life. I hope you don't think you can look at a person and tell.

And by the way, I read on one timeline that they make their women get tested for HIV. But the HIV test is as good as it is. So if you get tested today, it's for the sex you had 3 months ago, not the sex you had last night. And in the reality of life, if the pussy aint in your pocket my Brother you have no idea what it's doing when it aint with you. So go on and fuck bare back, but understand, AIDS takes prisoners and it's harder to live than to die with AIDS.

And I got to say this... Laughing at Shingles, Huh? Yes Shingles is in the Herpes family, but it comes from the Chicken Poxs strain of Herpes, not from slinging your dick. If you have ever had the Chicken Poxs, Shingles will  most likely be in your future.

Oh Lawd, this was a lot to take in this morning, but it's the life and area we live in. At the end of the day, people still have to make their choices, about what they tweet and how they have sex. My prayer is that is doesn't bite ya in the ass one day.  Seriously!!!!

ps... I wonder if I will get cussed out for this blog... Let's wait and see...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

That's What Friends Are For!

Monday with my IV medication in tote, I made my way to New York to participate in the Dionne Warwick That's What Friends Are For Town Hall Meeting. I was honored to have been asked to be a panelist. But I was most impressed that Ms. Warwick decided to celebrate 50 years in entertainment hosting a town hall meeting focusing on HIV/AIDS.

I was double impressed that the Town Hall Meeting was hosted at Harlem United, a full service agency focusing on the mind, body and spirit for people living with HIV/AIDS. Think about it, Ms. Warwick could have done anything, anywhere, but she chose to focus on a health and social issue affecting African-Americans and she did  it in its epic center.

There was an esteemed panel of experts around HIV/AIDS, Jacoby Johnson, Soraya Elcock, Rev. Kevin Taylor, Dr. L. Jeannine Bookhardt-Murray, along with Tony Nominated, AIDS Activist Sheryl Lee Ralph, Former Manhattan Borough President, C, Virginia Fields and BET's Ed Gordon was the moderator.

Ms. Warwick sporting RLT Collection F/W 2011 Collection
I could tell you all about it, but instead I'll let you watch part one of the video of the Town Hall Meeting to get a tone of the evening that did not sugar coat one thing. Part Two is coming soon. The only disappointment for me was that the auditorium was not packed and NO mainstream media thought it important enough to cover.

I learned a lot about Ms. Warwick on Monday. She was the United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United States Ambassador of Health.

Ms. Warwick traveled the world bringing attention to important health issues, as she puts it on, "Her dime." She was appointed during the Reagan years and it lasted through the first year of Clinton's administration.

It is no secret that  the early days of the AIDS epidemic were scary and President Reagan's refusal to mention the word AIDS out of his mouth did not make it easy. Ms. Warwick recanted a piece of history that I never knew and proud to learn.  President  Reagan was recognizing her work at the Washington Press Club and as he spoke of her good works, she asked, "And what am I working on  Mr. President, and with reluctance he mumbled, "AIDS."  It's interesting that the media only recounts the official interview where Reagan mentions the word AIDS for the "first time."

Nonetheless, Ms. Warwick has been a giant in the advocacy of HIV/AIDS since the very beginning.  No one will ever forgot her pulling together a group of friends  to record the song, That's What Friends Are For that raise 3 million dollars for HIV.

Ms. Warwick, reinforced her commitment to HIV/AIDS on Monday night. And she was loud and clear. While former President Bill Clinton has done great work on AIDS in Africa, she is going to challenge him to expand his work to AIDS in the United States, where African-Americans are hit the hardest.  Make no mistakes, AIDS in the African-American community is comparable to some Sub-Saharan counties.

I commend Ms. Warwick for her continued work around HIV/AIDS. Listening to the panelists and the audience, Ms. Warwick said that, "She had learned a lot." This town hall meeting was a renewal of sorts for her efforts; And believe that she will not only challenge Bill Clinton to focus more on HIV/AIDS in America, I believe that she will challenge all Americans to do better and in doing so, it will remind those impacted with HIV/AIDS that we are not alone in the struggle because that's what friends are for.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Reflection: God's Perfect Plan In Rain and Shine

Have you ever seen the sun shine bright during the rain? It's such a wonderful sight full of joy and pain. As a little girl I wondered with awe how they do that?

As I grew up, I was sure scientist had some complicated explanation that I never bothered to learn because even as a child I instinctively knew that it must be God making miracles. I mean only God can bring sunshine in the midst of pain. That's exactly what God did in my life last week. Last Sunday I was at the darkest of dark places both physically and emotionally; And honestly I couldn't see my way out.

Last Monday's Reflection talked about how God delivered me from that dark place emotionally with a lot of prayer. But honestly, I was only lifted from the dark of darkest, but the overall emotional pain of managing my health these days didn't go away.

But it was like a film was lifted and I could see through the fog. Of course the physical pain never went away. But that lifting was just enough to get me out of bed and press my way, muddling through as best as I can. Yes, I was still in the fog, but I could see images of something better, as I pressed my way. Sometimes all you need is just a little relief to keep you moving.

As I was moving through the fog some wonderful  and unexpected things happened to help further along the work that I do. My Blog, won the Peoples Choice Award for CBS Chicago Most Valuable Blogger. I was so excited, humbled and grateful. It was the boost that my spirit needed.

Not even two years old to think that my blog would receive such an honor. But I'm clear, your support is the fuel behind the engine. There are days when I don't feel well enough to blog, and then you tweet me and ask am I blogging today, and I press my way. You read it religiously, you share it with others and equally important, you thought me worthy enough to cast your vote, some even countless times. THANK YOU!!!

Yes, God knows how to throw a little sunshine our way, even during the rain. As I press my way, I understand that you may never get what you want all at once. We live in such a Gold Card world in which, Name it and Claim it Christianity has helped to give people the impression that it will happen all at once, the way you want it. But the Bible says that God's time is not our time nor are God's ways our ways.  But one thing is for sure, God's plan for our life is shaped to perfection for all that we are, and all that we need. 

Now let's be clear, God didn't give me HIV that created my situation.  I made choices with the free will that God gives us all and HIV was the consequences of how I used my free will.  But what's so awesome is that God had a plan even for the choices I made; And as I try as best as I can to cope with the ugliness of HIV/AIDS, God is also making the best out of  my bad situation. God has given me purpose an has rewarded me for my obedience.  It's true, God will lift you up and elevate you even in your bondage; And don't be confused, only God could do such a thing. 

 Remember the three Hebrews who refused to obey King Nebuchadnezzar over breaking God's Law? They were thrown into the fiery furnace and God delivered them out of their obedience.

But check this out, it's even deeper than you think. God delivered them from the furnace, but they were NEVER delivered from bondage in Babylon. Instead they were given a special place in their bondage. Yes, only God can lift you up while in bondage and that's like the sun shinning while it rains. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Reflection: I Wanted To Give Up.. But God And Twitter...

Last Night there was a part of me that wanted to give the fuck up! Now don't get me wrong, I didn't want to die, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to live in my life. I'm being straight honest. Last night I was in such a dark place I didn't know if I would make it till tomorrow or even if I wanted a tomorrow, at least as I know it.

I understand how someone can punch out of living and push a cart for the rest of their life. It's the easiest way to stop living in your life. There are no expectations of yourself or from anyone else, you just go with the flow.  Yep, I was a complete and total mess. Physically I was at such a low point I couldn't even think clearly and that created an environment for the real warfare, not for my body, but for my mind and spirit.

You see, no matter what happens to the body, if a person's head is clear, then so is their spirit. It's the spirit that makes you want to live and participate in life. What you think undergrids your spirit, which gives life to what you do. The Bible says, "As a Man Thinketh so is he."

But last night I was so lost in the physical effects of my IV medication that I couldn't think clearly. Yesterday was day 11 on this IV medication and I can't even describe with justice how it affects me physically.

The nausea NEVER leaves and the fatigue is so intense, the simple act of getting out of bed makes you want to lay right back down. And the nausea adds a weary element to it all. It's a crazy cycle that goes like this: I need to eat to help curb the nausea, but I'm to weak to make food, yet I still crawl out of bed to fix the food and that makes me even more tired and within 30 minutes of eating I'm nauseated again. Weary ain't even the word for it!

So I laid in bed all day yesterday and muddled through. I had beads in my lap, working on bracelet designs for my new collection most of the day; Hoping that it would take my mind off  how I was feeling and at the same time, try to fight back, if only in a small way.

But by 8:00 p. m., I seemed to have lost all hope. I started to cry. A darkness swept over me and I started to cry out. But I didn't know what to say to God, so I just moaned. It was time for my next IV infusion and I honestly didn't know how I could go on.

In all of my anguish, as usual, I picked up my IPad to Tweet that I was getting ready to get connected to my IV when I spotted one of my followers, 100 Praying Women and in a second I had just enough clarity, I Tweeted to them, Please Keep me in your prayers. I'm on day 11 of this IV med and I'm so sick.. This struggle is major. And before I knew it, my timeline was tending with prayer request and prayers for me. They then put out a call to World Prayr who also put out a call for prayer on my behalf. Twitter World was praying for me, all over the World.

Grandmama use to sing a song, I'm so glad they prayed... I'm so glad they prayed... I'm so glad they prayed for me.
I connected to my IV and laid down with some meditation music and a calmness came over me. None of the physical issues changed, but I was able to rest my body and wake this morning with a clear mind and now I'm back at it.

You see, all it takes is a moment of clarity. And in that moment you have to act; Its God's voice guiding you to the light. I could have allowed my pride to get in my way. I mean everyone thinks that I'm Super Woman and can do anything and withstand anything. I've been such a trooper living with HIV/AIDS these 28 years that there is this expectation that I will never stop marching.

But I get weary just like Moses and in that time I need an Aaron's to hold up my arm as the battle goes on.  Last night, there were many Aaron's that held me up, when I was so tired I didn't even know how to pray.

If I had held my pain to myself, no one would have known that I was hurting, people can't help if they don't know. Yes, there was a part of me that wanted to give up, but in an instant God gave me clarity, I acted on God's voice and that  has rendered me strength for another day. Thank God They Prayed For Me...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Arm Candy!

Imani Collection, White Coral, Cross From Pairs
My Anniversary Sale is thebomb.com. This is the only time of the year that you will be able to purchase RLT Collection at 30% off.  It's my way of saying Thank You for all your support. I know some of you have had your eye on that one particular bracelet, well now is the time.

And guess what? Someone persuaded me to extend the sale to September 16th, so it's done! The coupon code for your discount at checkout is Celebrate.

And remember, my bracelets are limited editions so once it's gone, it's gone! Like many designers, I choose the best and working tirelessly to create fresh and exciting pieces for the collection. New designs are on the way and they are breath taking.

Markeeda Wearing Agate Stackables from her 10 stack mix and match
I'm proud that you have made my bracelets your arm candy. My intent for RLT Collection is to design bracelets for Every woman; Every price point and Every personality.

For the longest the only goal that I had for my life before God takes me to glory is to tell my story to as many people as possible  as a way to help enrich the lives of others

Since I've launched RLT Collection, I have a second goal, to have my bracelets on as many arms as possible. I invest money, time and energy  to make RLT Collection the best it can be. I want my bracelets to be a must have for women! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Love Blogging!!

Me and Dwana at  at Bloggers Tea  the Peninsula
I love being a blogger and everything about it.  It's definitely the new media; A way for ordinary people like myself to reach the world.

I'm so glad that I stepped out on faith a year and half ago with my blog because it has certainly paid off. Nope, no money, but I've met a lot of wonderful women through my blog, which has forged some wonderful friendships.  But most importantly, I've been able to touch lives world wide that I never would have if I hadn't started blogging.

Venturing out into this New Media was scary because I never saw myself as a writer. I am undeniably a speaker. But if the truth be told, when I first started speaking, I didn't see myself as a speaker either. But in such a short time, I have been able to take my message to places I would have never on the speakers circuit. And on the other end, it has increased my speaking engagements.

Overall, the e-mails and support that I have received as a result of my blogs have been nothing short of phenomenal.  Blogging has been a way for me to expand my ministry. But one of the greatest honors, is that my blog has made it to the CBS Chicago finals, as one of Chicago's Most Valuable Bloggers in the Health/Fitness/Medical category. You can vote for me once a day until September 9th. Vote HERE

Me and Dwana at a bloggers Event
To think that I didn't even believe I could do it and now my blog has been nominated as a Valuable Blog by CBS. I'm grateful for the strangers on Twitter that encouraged me. This one woman, Dwana, not only encouraged me, she started sending me e-mails about blogger/social media events and tools to help me make my blog the best it could be. At first I thought she was crazy, but then I finally met the face behind the tweets and e-mails and the rest is history, as they say.

Dwana and I have become very close and she is still trying to make my blog the best it could be, while working a full time job, blogging at her own site, Healthier, Happier, You @Houseonahill.Org, and the managing editor for Chicagonista Blog all things Chicago. But I think her most important job is raising her teen soon, I fondly call the Prince.

Raijean, Nikia and Kim at a Fashion Bloggers Event
It's been great hanging out in the bloggers world.  Three of my favorite fashion/lifestyle bloggers are Raijean, Nikia and Kim. Together we are our own rat pack. While we have lots of fun together, we also support the growth of each others blogs without any ugly competition. Nikia's blog Chi Town Fashionaita also made it to the the CBS Blogger Finals in the category of, "Everything Else." You can vote for her here.

There are some bloggers who never Retweet others blog post or give them any kind of PR because of fear that their blog will not shine.  But all of us, Dwana, Raijean, Nikia and Kim, do our best, support others and let our own work speak for itself.

The thing is, blogging is a way that we can share with our readers the best of what we know. It also focuses us to be our best. You will see us out and about learning all that we can. While some people take blogging loosely; A way to share what's on their mind, some of us, try to move beyond our own boundaries to provide diversity in our information.

To help my blog grow, I have attend Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula Hotel, sampled tons of teas, read up on dating, sex, sexually transmitted diseases, clothes and beauty and at the same time, attended serious Bloggers Conferences, like the one hosted by Chicagonista. I'm even keynoting a bloggers conference in October, Show Me The Blog, in St. Louis, MO.

Conferences, are an opportunity for me to learn and share with other bloggers as a way to help my blog grow and be the best it can be. Theses conferences are a great way of sharing information and bonding in a way that inspires you to be the best blogger that you can.

 I'm happy to have forged a wonderful friendship with Bloggers at the top of their game. But equally important, I am glad that I moved beyond my fears and self-imposed limitations to allow God to use me  through this new form of communication. Someone asked me on Facebook one day, "Where I get my topics?" Honestly, I just let God lead me. I'm never sure from day to day what I will write about, in spite of the fact, I have tried to work from a blog schedule like many bloggers do.  It does not work for me. I just begin typing and God does the rest. But in doing so, I try to share the fullness of what I know from self-love  to the best of life as a way to help enrich the lives of my readers.

Thank you for helping to make my blog a success by your readership!! Please help me grow continue to, share my blog with everyone you know. And don't forget to VOTE everyday until September 9th. Thanks! You Rock!

Blog Links For:
Dwana's Blog Houseonahill.org
Nikia's Blog ChiTownFashionista.com
Raijean's Blog Swag-Rai.com
Kim's Blog- AGirlAboutStyleAGirlAbout Style.com

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Reflection: A Time For Change

Fall is my favorite season. It is a clear example of God in action and the complexity of His wonder. How can you not look at the different color leaves and not think how great God is?

I find hope in this season. I think, boy, if God can change one leaf different colors, then what can He do for me? If dying leaves can exhibit so much beauty, then what beauty lies within my sick diseased body?

If the new and the old leaves can live for a while together in harmony, then what does it say for my broken immune system, and my will to live; opposites coexisting in one body.
Yes, fall is full of wonder and reminds me how great God is and the complexity of His miracles. I latch on to the wonder of fall and use it to exit from the lazy summer and jump start my world into full throttle down the road of life.

When I woke this morning I was so weak I didn't want to get out of bed. But I felt the cool breeze come through the window and it reminded me that I was alive and change was on it's way, for such a breeze can only happen in the fall.

So I crawled out of bed into this newness, bathed and connected myself to my morning IV medication. With tea and scone in tote I began to walk the road of my life with faith grounded in God's awesome wonder of His miracles, that are clearly exhibited in fall.

Yes, fall is the signal of my new year. For me it's a time for change, hope, reevaluation and perseverance.  I hold onto fall, because it is the time that I see God doing the most with His creation of nature. Without man's intervention, God determines the land scape and creates a visual masterpiece right before our eyes. This masterpiece full of wonder, mystery and contradictions, provides hope for my shattered body and spirit.

If God can do it for leaves, then He can certainly do it for me. If both the dead and the living leaves can bring forth so much wonder, then why not my broken body and spirit do the same in my living vessel. So I'm forging ahead as we enter into fall and I'm not letting anything get in my way of the wonderful miracles God will work for me and through me.

I challenge you to embrace the wonder of fall and make the changes that will help you be the best that you can be. Crawl out of your bed into the newness of life! Ground yourself in faith and the miracle of fall and see God work miracles in your life too.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hoping For Tomorrow On Today

When I woke this morning with tears streaming down my face, guilt gripped my very being. As I lay there I wondered how could I already be wishing for another day and God just blessed with this one. "What's wrong with you woman?" I asked to myself. "Take it one day at a time." But at that moment, one day at a time seemed like an over used quote.

 How could God expect me to deal with my weak and broken body that is chipping away at my spirit like a determined woodpecker? To hell with making it through the day like this; So sick  from this IV medication that you can even hear it in my voice. Beat down from the herpes infection that I was wondering if they could just cut out my vagina and vulva to resolve this issue once and for all.

Everything that entered my head this morning was as ugly as the illness that I am facing. So the best I could do is hope for another day, with new thoughts that didn't compound my already defiled body.  Yep, hoping for tomorrow on today seemed like the best solution, even if it was the most unrealistic solution. Wanting it to all go away was all I wanted at that moment. But I knew wishing it away was futile, it is what it is; Too late to change my destiny.

As I dragged myself out of the bed I knew that I had to face this battle like a true warrior.  I had to find the strength to stand tall, when all I want to do is lean. The side-effects of this medication sticks to you like gorilla glue and they never go away until you are off.

 Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if it was just one thing. And while I'm used to fatigue, this particular fatigue just wipes you out and you feel like nothing and the nausea is just maddening. But I think the worst of it all is trying to smile through the burning when I use the bathroom.

A Week's Worth of Foscarnet
The medicine foscarnet is so strong that it burns your skin as you pee. I actually have to wash each time I use the bathroom or it will burn a sore.  It's one thing to urinate over an open herpes lesion, it's another thing to urinate over an open lesion with a mixture of pee and a potent medication.

In the end hoping for tomorrow does not take away the reality of today. In the end, all I can  really do is man-up and get the hell out of my feelings.  Yes, I'm tired... Yes I'm sad... but in the end, I have to face today and press my way.

I know in my heart that a better tomorrow will come one day, for that is God's promise to us.  But God's time is not our to time, so I've just got to find the strength to continue pressing through the todays until I'm blessed with a better tomorrow.

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