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, April 29, 2013

Monday Reflection: When God Says So...

I write my blogs when God gives me an Aha Moment! It's like this, I could be in the shower, reading a great novel, knitting, designing bracelets, having a tea moment, cuddling with my baby girl Sophie, talking with a friend or even walking to the post office when it hits me. BAM! Profound, silly or prophetic. It hits me in my gut and I know I have to give to you what has been placed in my spirit.

So lately I haven't been blogging and I'm wondering why? I can't blame my health because other than my regular, I'm having a bad "HIV" day as I call it, crazy fatigued  that makes me want to stay in bed a couple of days, my health has been good. March and April no major complaints. Thanks be to God!

Since my health is not the problem, what's my problem? I was sitting on the plane half way to Austin, Texas  last week thinking about it.  "What the heck is going on with you girly?" I asked myself. You have been so off blogging, I sighed to myself.

What makes it so bad, I know many of you are waiting and look forward to this wisdom God has given me to give to you. Not blogging is out of God's will for my life. It's a place where I minister. I get it, so ummmmm what's my problem?

I wonder, has God stop talking to me or have I stopped listening to God? I've be thinking a lot about this lately and feeling guilty.

The best way to put it, I've been feeling like a child who knows she is disobeying a parent. You  know what I'm talking about. You have that guilty look all day, praying that your mother doesn't discover the truth.  I've been like Eve hiding from God in the garden after she ate the forbidden fruit. The thing is, God knows the truth already, He just wants you to admit it.

As I was looking out over the clouds, I said to myself, "Rae you have been busy doing everything but what you really should be doing."

Yep! God is talking and I hear God very well, but I confess, each morning I wake and have one excuse or another why I'm not going to blog on that day. I've allowed background noise to interfere with the message. You see, the background noise comes from my alter ego. The one who thinks she knows it all and has the answers to everything. She is in direct conflict with faith and God's will. "She to grown for her own good," as the old folks use to say.

I've allowed my alter ego to speak louder than God. This is not a good thing because my alter ego, relies on herself and not on God. She's the one that says, "I've gotta make it happen, so me and Sophie ain't homeless."

My truth about not blogging is simple,  I've been balancing those couple of bad days a week that I have fatigue, with working on my Spring/Summer 2013 Bracelet Collection. I was so sick December thru February that I got behind. Typically I try to start designing a collection a couple of months before the season.

So in March, in the back drop of being so sick the early part of the winter, I had this overwhelming anxiety about money. The speaking engagement I had last week at the University of Texas, Austin was the only thing on my speaking calendar. With summer fast approaching and colleges out for the summer, bracelet sells are the only income I have coming into my humble abode. With no new bracelets on the website I started to panic.

Panic has a way of controlling your life. It clings to your thoughts and make you do what you shouldn't do. This is why people trample each over in a crowded room  trying to get out. The immediate danger makes you so irrational that you bring more harm to yourself and others.

In these last two months, especially this month. I've been spending my time worrying about money, instead of blogging; and that has created imbalance in my life. I've been giving my bracelet business all of my attention. God has blessed my bracelet business and I love love love designing! But designing and selling bracelets is not my ministry; NOPE!

That 2 1/2 hour flight brought me back to my senses. I have been out of the will of God and the purpose of God for my life. Lessons in the past have taught me, when you get out of God's will for your life it becomes a messy mess and it has a long, painful clean up time, taking you even further away from God's plan for your life.

Yep!!! When we do what we want, rather than what we were ordained to do, when we apply our logic, when our alter ego does the talking, we get further out of God's will. I've done this in other ways over the years. Being with men I know I ain't got no business being with; Wasting my pretty on madness. Hanging with a crowd that didn't have my values but it was better then sitting at home alone. The "it" group is always fun, but never meaningful.
Spending money on "things" for the wrong reason and the list goes on. Doing what we know we should not do and not doing what we should do. I've learned in 50 3/4 years that being in God's will is the best life with the best possible outcome.

It hit me like a ton of bricks... Girl get back on your life path! You don't have speaking engagements, but God has given you a voice, a message, a ministry and a vehicle to reach people. 30,000 people read my blog monthly. I couldn't speak to that many people in a month no matter how hard I tried.

So I'm back!! You can expect 4-5 blogs a week starting this week. I have book reviews, tea reviews, stories to tell about my crazy ass life, and whatever wisdom God gives me to give to you.

The money? Well God always works it out! I may not be able to get a designer handbag (my weakness) whenever I want one, but me and Sophie will never go hungry. I just have to do what I'm suppose to do and let God do the rest. My faith has to take center stage. In a nut shell, I must practice my faith as I live in purpose.

When God speaks, you not only have to listen but you must also act. The bible says, "obedience is better than sacrifice." In the end, your way will never be better than God's way.

 Equally important, when you are not being true to God's purpose for you life, you are cheating God's people of your gifts and talents.

Post Script: Follow RLT Collection on Instagram for updates on the collection, giveaways, and all of your bracelet fashion and trends from around the world; its @RLTCollection, my personal Instagram is @RaeLT

ALSO... I'm looking for a new blog editor.. please email l.renae@raelewisthornton.com if you are interested.

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