A Soldiers Story
Good Morning!! A soldiers story..... Yesterday I am refilling coffee to a guy that has become a regular since we opened the doors at this new place, he comes in 3 or 4 times a week, sometimes just for coffee or sometimes to eat but always to have great conversation with the girls. He asked me a questions yesterday that took me off guard, because it is the question I ask so many..." So what is your story? how did you get to where you are today?"... I paused and started talking,honestly I was not very interested in what I had to say, I was more interested in why he was asking and what his journey was. He soon took over the talking and told me his journey of being a soldier. He spent a lot of time in Iraq, for years he was in harms way.... he talked of the stack of letters he would receive, they were a addressed to "ANY SOLDIER in IRAQ", he would read them and then answer these strangers back. He said the 1 questions kids would always asked, "Are you afraid you are going to die?". His answer would always be..... "there is a plan in place for my life and I live it everyday, not knowing how my book will end". Pryor to going off to war he ended up in a cemetary, he did not share why he was there but that was not important.... he talked of walking through and looking at the headstones, people's loved ones remembered with a few words and then he spotted a book laying across a grave and he picked it up to look at it....it was a book of blank pages. Happy Beautiful Thursday yall!! This book of blank pages is what kept this soldier going through the war. Last night I was thinking about his story and the book full of empty pages, I wondred what it meant to the loved ones that placed it on the grave.....The one thing we have in common with this soldier? we do not know how or when "our book" will end but I know I want a book full of pages that tells a life that is full!! There is a plan in place for each of us...are you living it ? As a christian, I know my name is scrawled in the book of life......but I want my book that I leave behind not to be blank, I want it to reflect our heavenly father and living the plan he set out for me.....think about it....would your book be blank or full? May your day be full and plenty of entries added to the book of your life!!
Listen to His Calling
Click Good Morning!! Last week I had the great opportunity to meet a guy that I can not get off my mind..... I only had a second to chat, my line was growing bigger by the minute. He came in with a regular and told me a little of his journey. He was a business owner in this town.... I knew of his business and I knew it was successful, he felt the call from our heavenly Father to go to Africa to be a missionary, my mouth dropped opened and my heart listened intently, he sold his business and he and his wife went to do our heavenly fathers work, he never looked back... I received a card the other day from a friend on FB, he had read my status and knew I was struggling. He is an attorney that was truly burned out on his job, last year he left his career and did something completly different, concrete work. Leaving his career was what he felt the Lord calling him to do, about 6 months ago he felt another stirring in his heart to help others, with legal needs, free of charge. He told me his feelings of being scared. No matter how much we live our passion and do our heavenly fathers work, we all still have to have money to live on..... this journey he has been placed on has been difficult at times but it has taught him so much.....made him stonger in his faith!! I received a message last week from a women that had heard me speak to her ladies group....the message actually broke my heart... she is a work -stay at home mom, she feels like the Lord has laid a dream in her heart. Her words to me " I do not have the space, funds, ability, experience or energy.....basically I feel he is calling the wrong person but the feeling will not go away." Happy Beautiful Wednesday yall!! Living out out and doing what the Lord has placed in our hearts is not easy, the missionary did not tell me how others reacted all those years ago when he felt our heavenly father calling but can you imagine? I bet people thought he was crazy giving up his business to go to Africa..... I can relate people in my life, including Shelby, thought I was crazy the day I bought the CIG.. Everyday I am learning what it is to do the Lords work and sometimes I feel lacking in so many ways....but there is the 1 thing I know for sure, he does not call the wrong people.... it takes great courage, strength and faith to say..."ok Lord, I will do it and I have faith that you will teach me, guide me and equip me" Ephesians 2 says we are created in Christ to do good works and God has prepared us in advance..... 3 different journeys, 2 of them fulflling what the Lord has planned for them... the other is like so many of us, feeling the stir in our hearts but not sure how to answer the call...."There are things only you can do and you are alive to do them. In the great orchestra we call life, you have an instrument and a song and you owe it to God to play them both sublimely." This was written on the card my friend gave me. Is the Lord caling you? I am the poster child for being scared to death to hear his call, I want to cover my ears and heart and say "OH NO I dont want to".....if he is calling you....he is already preparing you! My prayer is you listen.....we are all here to do his work!! to edit.
Clear Eyes Full, Hearts Can't Lose
Good Morning!! 11:45 am on Friday the CIG is full and we are on a wait....we are still down a fry cook and missing a server, I could feel it in my bones, it was going to be a rough one. The week had been a gift from our heavenly father, every shift Monday thru Thursday had run fantastic and then the wheels fell off......when I come off the floor and end up in the kitchen for an hour, the CIG is in trouble. Ticket times running 20 to 25 minutes ,orders being called out wrong and an issue had happened that now had cold food going out, I look up from plating food and one of my girls has tears running down her face....her tables were not so kind for all of the issues going on(completely understandable) I stop what I am doing, I grab and hug her...."It is ok, it is a bad day at the CIG,we will get through it, the next day will be better...go back at there buy their lunch, smile, apologize and apologize that I cannot personally go talk to them.....we are a little buried and I cannot leave the kitchen!" Welcome to the crazy world of the restaurant business and even when it is bad, and I mean bad.... I love it because when we get it right there is no better feeling. We had plans to open on Friday nights come February 1st, meaning this Friday.... with much prayer and conversations with those close to me I have decided to postpone Friday nights until I can get a handle on daily operations. My heavenly Father has blessed the CIG beyond my wildest dreams, but I am not honoring what he gave me if I can not run it the right way ALL the time.... my guest deserve the best of us every time the doors are open. Happy Beautiful Monday yall.....my staff is amazing and they working extremely hard to get it right but I feel Friday nights are too much for them and me right now. All of us at the CIG take our job very seriously but we have big sense of humors.....Friday when we closed the doors I am talking to all of the girls trying to find out who all was mad, how many tables we bought and who will not come back, all the time assuring them they did great job.... Alysha says something to one of her guest that still cracks me up.... he was asking her for his check, he was being very sweet but let's her know he may be a little late back to work, as she is handing him his check she ask" Do you want me to write you a note to get you back into work so you do not get in trouble?"......The whole table laughed at her remark and she made a bad situation a little better with humor...... Our heavenly father is in control and I know he brought me to it he will bring me through it but I have to make the right decisions. Nights at the CIG will come but right now we are going to work on getting breakfast and lunch right. Failure and wallering in our mistakes is not an option and so we swing back our doors today for breakfast and lunch learning from Friday and looking forward to a great week of ......of awesome food, lots of hugs, big deep belly laughter and cheeky servers. The CIG is learning it is not about falling, because we all do that ,but it is how we get up that counts!! I will remember my favorite phrase as I guide this great place he has given me..."Clear eyes full, hearts cant loose"!!!
Good Morning!!! I was deeply engrossed in Taylor's baseball game when I realized my B was not playing where I could see him. I get up from sideline chair and start looking for him, I see him across the field playing catch with a man I didn't know.... B was 3. I run over, look at the man and tell my B.." You have to stay where I can see you and what have we talked about talking to strangers?" B hung his head and the man said, "In his defense he has not said 1 word to me, he made eye contact, showed me his ball in hand and threw it and we have been playing catch.., and by the way he hasn't dropped one, he is pretty good for a little fella".... Baseball season is here & my B had to try out yesterday, by batting only, because of his arm, when I talked to him last night... His voice was filled with excitement just to be on the field that he loves so much.... His love for the game has always been there. Happy Beautiful Saturday y'all..... Baseball season is here.... And my heart is full of every emotion ...we will sit & watch as he plays in Sand storms, rain, freezing cold and beautiful sunshine... We love the game.... My B loves this game injured and all .... He is happy just to be back on a diamond that has brought frustration, stress and absolute joy....
Good Morning!! A little over 3 years ago I am standing at the counter and I see one of my regulars pull up..... I watch him slowly walk in and I greet him with a little confusion, "Hey Doc you eating here today?" his look of confusion now matches mine.... "Yes, Teresa I eat here every Tuesday with the guys"... Ummm Doc today is Monday!! He laughs off his mistake, we hug and promise to see each other tomorrow and I insure him his secret is safe with me(showing on wrong day)... this would happen 4 more times but now I would greet him outside.... This man, Doc, as I called him was part of my cherished mens group that has been comng to the CIG for 5 years. He was a retired OBGYN and had the amazing blessing to deliver over 8000 babies during his life. He came into my life at 82 years old and I watched his health decline. He was the sweetest kindest man I have ever met and a sense of humor that would make my belly ache. He stopped driving a few years ago and one of the precious guys would bring him down for bible study and breakfast. His sweet wife would tuck his money in his pocket to make sure he could always pay......it became a game of find the money and many times it left me beet red and him walking away laughing.....he always made my morning!! The last 2 years, finding his table became harder.... so I would grad his arm and we would take a little stroll through the CIG laughing and talking the whole way...... my friend Doc is now taking a stroll through the beautiful streets of gold and my heart breaks.... Happy Beautiful Friday yall.... I did not know the man that delivered all of those babies or that sat on many medical boards, he was at the top professionally and his work made a difference in so many peoples life.... I knew a kind, funny, smart man that shuffled from his car to the grill and had a problem remembering things and he made a difference in my life. My precious friend Doc is being laid to rest today, oh it is not him, he is whole and well living with our heavenly father. On Tuesday I talked and laughed and remembered our friend with the fellas that come in on Tuesday and it hit me...... I want to live a life that when I pass, I am remembered with humor and lots of love. We didn't talk about what his professional life was, we talked about the amazing man that had touched our lives...the difference that had been made because we knew him. I am learning it is not about what we do, it is about who we are and when we try to be the best version of ourselves everyday.....that is when we are making a diffrence. My life will be forever changed, it will be sweeter and better for knowing my friend doc, I loved him with all my heart.... To his precious wife and family I pray "perfect peace" and my gratitude for sharing your special husband and dad with me, he was such a blessing.... over the years I have had the opportunity to meet his special family and he has left his mark on them, his kindness and love will live on through them. I will be working today when my Doc is laid to rest but he will be on my mind....."Doc it is not goodbye, it is I will see you later", I look forward to taking a stroll with him again....I love my job.....but this is the hard part.....loosing those that have taken your heart!.....We only live once...but if we live it right, once is enough!! and Doc lived it right!!
Pay it Forward
Good Morning....paying it forward.... In 2008 I met a father and son dou. The dad was a retired farmer and suffering from dementia, his son had retired early from his job so he could take care of him full time. Everyday they would make their way to town and sit at the CIG for lunch....their outing for the day. These two became part of our CIG family. We laughed together and cry together as the son would tell me "how bad things were getting". When I received the call in 2010 that his dad passed my heart broke for him.....his world completely turned upside down. The next few years brought health problems to the son, now a dear friend....and his presence at the CIG became non-existence. I called from time to time just to check on him but never heard back. His number was on a sticky note taped to my computer and when I moved my office to the new location, I tucked his number in one of my desk.....still wondering what happend to my friend.... A few days after our grand opening, Alysha comes to me and says.."Go check out 61".... there sitting in booth 61 was my friend that I had not seen or talk to in almost a year...." I have missed you, what happened?" with tears rolling down his face and now mine, he tells me the memories at the old place were just too much for him....that was his "dad's place". We hug and talk like two old friends that had not been apart. We promise each other "new memories wil bel made at this new joint. Happy Beauitful Wednesday yall.... my friend has been in almost everyday since to eat, laugh and make "our memories. Last night, Shelby and I wander in to the mexican food place in Idalou and there sitting at a table was my sweet friend eating with some of his friends. As he is leaving he comes and sits with us and we visit for a while, I am enjoying every minute.... when he gets up to leave he learns from the waitress his bill has been taken care of.....I was thrilled for him!!A while later Shelby and I are about to leave and Shelby tells the waitress please give me the check of the older couple sitting behind us...no we do not know them but we wanted to make a difference in their night. We go to the cashier to sign the card and realize it is just 1 check....Shelby says, "ok now I need mine!!" sir your's was taken care of by the genteman that was sitting down with yall. A small simple random act of kindness brought such joy to Shelby and I....the cashier looks at us and says..."When you are a blessing , you will be blessed"......... my friend made a difference in my night and we paid it forward to someone else.... today choose to give a blessing to someone....you never know the difference you will make...as the CIG walls says.."see how beautifully God has added one more day in your life, not necessarily because you need it but because someone might need you". Amen !!! I waited for my sweet friend to return to the CIG....God knows our hearts and what is going on and he places people in our paths to make a difference....make a difference yall and pay it forward!!
Good Morning!! "It is not part of God's plan that each one of us has beauty or fame, but I believe He did intend for all of us to know the kindness and compassion of a friend." This phrase is in the front of a book I received from a precious friend..... this friend I have talked about a few times, she was a contract worker on the beautiful Pioneer building. She was left parentless and grew up in an orphange, eventually homeless and her choices landed her in prison to become a women. She does not live here anymore but her travels bring her through Lubbock and she always find her way back to the CIG. The Saturday after our opening on Wednesday, she walks into the grill...."Ms Teresa how did it go?" I proceed to tell her the craziness that had ensued that week.... for the first time since I had met her, she saw me at my total weakness. We visit awhile longer and then it is time for her to hit the road. I go back to work, trying to fix the problems that had happened in a few short days, I was feeling completely overwhelmed....about an hour later I hear my sweet friend walking back in the front door....my look of surprise said it all..."Ms teresa we are driving to Amarillo to get clothes, but we will be back Monday morning at 6:00 am to help for a few days." Usually I would say no, I have got this, but those words did not escape from my lips..... I needed help!! My friend and her sweet husband came back early Monday morning and became apart of the CIG. The 3 days they were here was such a blessing..they bused tables, washed dishes, cleaned bathrooms, learned prep and worked side by side with the best crew in town....they gave unconditionally to a friend in need and never once asked for anything in return. Happy Beautiful Tuesday yall.... this picture is of my precious friend....yes she was still smiling after a grueling 3 days of work..... ironically I thought when the Lord gave me my friendship with Jean, it was to make a difference in her life but that is not what friendship is, it is 2 people making a difference in each others life. I often think what would my life be without my friendship with Jean....her and I so different but yet so much alike, she has taught me so much about life. Our heavenly Father places amazing people in our path....our hearts have to be open and ready. I am thankful and so humbled that Jean is my friend.....she has made me better and isn't that what relationships are all about. Open your hearts ya'll, you never know when the Lord is waiting to bless you with an amazing relationship. I am undeserving of her love but so thankful for it. May your day be full of amazing ,loving, fun relationship.....it is the coolest thing ever to experience true friendship!!
Groomed for God
Good Morning!! Before the rest of the story..... Tuesday I shared of our journey with my B, Monday we sat in the doctors office as he shared the news of B's arm, what the doctor saw on the xray was not good, a torn UCL in his throwing arm, meaning a ligament and as I said our hearts were broken. My B is a pitcher and plays short stop and needs his powerful arm to hurl that little white ball acrossthe field. Back in September, B had made his way to Amarillo for a game..... this team he was playing with did not have enough players for the tourny so they called and ask B to come play. Shelby receives a call ..." I am on my home Dad, I hurt my arm.... and this is how it started.... the first advice rest and see what happens. and it was never better. I told of my precious family coming together for prayer..... Surgery always a possibility but time is running out for surgery and a year or more of healing.... he only has 2 more seasons left before graduating. Before I shared his jourey with yall on Tuesday, Shelby and I were driving into work Tuesday morning, both dreading his MRI and I tell Shelby.... "I am claiming that our heavenly father has got this..... that what the doctor saw is not there today.... I believe in the POWER of prayer" We have been waiting for the results and the greatly anticipated call came yesterday right before lunch started... " There is no tear in your sons arm, his arm is sprang and very worn but we believe we can get it there to play again" Shelby is receiving this news tears start running down his face.....tears of pure joy, relief and giddyness!! Happy Beautiful Thursday yall.... I truly believe in the power of prayer and to watch my B at 17 embrace what he was facing.... I honestly have no words. We have received a lot of phone calls since Tuesday, friends reading my words of B's injuries and they get it... they are baseball parents that have a heart of passion for the game. I was talking to one of them and my words, "I think what breaks my heart is this is what he has been groomed for....high school baseball....this is his passion, what do we do without it!!" and then my heavenly father speaks to me very clearly and reminds me... "No, he has been groomed to be a man of God to live his life for me.... baseball is just a small gift I have blessed him with". WOW, lessoned learned!!! My heart is full, thank you for your prayers.... In this beautiful life we have been given we ALL will face disappointment, heartache, scary diagnoises but we always have HOPE and FAITH..... We are HIS children.... and he wants us to be groomed to let his light shine for all to see. I will change my words.... my B has not been groomed for baseball....he has been groomed to be an amazing strong man of God and all the other blessings are icing on this beautiful cake called life. The power of prayer.... there are no limits.... and it changes your perspective on whatever has your life upside down. May you bow your head and call his name he already knows what is going on, he just wants you to come to him and spend time with him!! FAITH, HOPE, LOVE and prayer these are what we are groomed for!!!
Mary Did You Know?
Good Morning!! I am a creature of habit...every morning, for 5 years, I start my coffee and turn on my pandora radio and start the long process of getting ready. I switch between country and praise and worship but for the month of December I listen to christmas music. A song that I fell in love with was "Mary did you know".....it talks about Mary being a mom to a man that would walk on water, heal the blind to see and would be the King of Kings. I have often talked that Mary was the first mom we saw grieve for her child as he hung on the cross, she loved him and her heart was broken.....there is nothing like the love of a mother for her child. When our kids face adversity, sadness and dissapointment it is sometimes hard to remember our heavenly father loves that child more than we do...and there is a perfect plan in place. When my B was born with health problems and we were deciding on surgery for him, I was torn what to do. Here was a precious boy that could not walk, could not talk and had no equilibrium.... but the surgery may not help. We are a baseball fanactic family.... and we had hopes for both of our boys to become.."boys of summer"...there is nothing sweeter than hearing the crack of the bat and feel the excitement in the air.... baseball was a long thought from my mind, I just wanted a well son. We were facing hard choices as young parents.....I receive a phone call from a friend, "Is everything alright with B?" I tell her what we are facing surgery or no surgery and she says... " I had a dream last night..."B was standing in a stadium and he was giving his testamony to many people." My frist words..."he was talking?" I knew instantly this was a gift....here was my answer and we would have many surgeries after the first but I had confidence we were doing the Lords will when it came to B. Yesterday, we make our way to another doc. for my B, this time a sports medicine doctor. He has an injury in his throwing arm.....Happy Beautiful Tuesday yall....yall know, if you are a parent, the broken heart that happens when you see a look on your childs face that is total sadness and disappointment. As the doctor tells us what he saw on the xray, my heart is sinking, he schedules an MRI this morning to further see what is going on. Last night we gather on the bed and we pray.....my words to B is the verse hanging in the FAITH room....Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. PLans to give you HOPE and a future. I know my heavenly father loves my B more than I do and he has a great plan in place. My B says to me last night....it is not over yet mom maybe I do surgery maybe not, we will see and so I am taken right back to that precious little boy that could not walk or talk and instead of having a heart of sadness, I have a full heart of love and praise... whatever you are facing today remember.... Our heavenly Father loves you and yes he has a plan for you. May your day be full of amazing blessing and full of FAITH, HOPE and LOVE.... I am counting on these words today!!
Good Morning!! Yesterday my family of 5 filled out a card full of questions at church.... one of the questions...."Have you commited your life to Christ?"....... When my precious family was finished filling the card out they passed them to me, as I flipped through them my heart was at peace..... I was present when Shelby and the boys commited their life to Christ but just seeing it in front of me brought a peace like no other. Our hearts being right with our heavenly father, does not mean a perfect life or a perfect world but it does mean we have the ultimate physician, father, friend & protector that we can call on and he loves us and guides us....he eases our pain and anxiety. We live in a world that we are unsure of sometimes, it can be scary but if we have a heart commited to him we have the utlimate peace. Happy Beautiful Monday, my prayer for each of you.....If you were asked this question, would your answer be "yes"!! No amount of success or money or good deeds can give you an eternity with our Lord and Saviour, giving your heart to him and comitting your life and accepting him will give you a beautiful eternity..... Just a thought for today.....let your life and light shine that others will want to know how to ensure their eternity is spent with our heavenly father, when your heart is right....that is when life is beautiful no matter what is going on!!
I opened the Cast Iron Grill in October 2007. Lots of changes have happened in the last 5 1/2 years. The CIG started with 55 seats in an office building located at 18th and K. After five years, we were bursting at the seams with now 167 seats, and 24 wonderful co-workers working on top of eachother to make it happen. 2012 the Lord chose a different journey for the CIG. We relocated the CIG and opened our doors on January 2nd, 2013, just four blocks away from the old location! It has changed my world completely! All of these stories are the happenings of the people and the joy and celebration that make the CIG what it is.