Good Morning!! Yesterday morning I am sitting in one of my booths, completely unmotivated. Alysha is at the bar placing 4 brown paper sacks in a row, names scribbled across each one, and she is dropping change in them. "What are you doing making lunches for your kids?" She looks at me, only the way she can, and informs me its for some of our regulars. My heart swelled with joy & the words "Thank you" came from my lips. I was like a proud mom watching her. You see Alysha has been with me from the beginning. She was apart of the CIG before we ever opened her doors. Responding to the ad in the paper she applied and was hired. I honestly can not put into words our journey we have been on together. She has taught me to be tough, she informed me early on we were located in the "hood" and to be careful. She is a single mom to 4 beautiful children and she works hard everyday for them. We have a connection, she weathered the recession with me and never let me give up... more than once she has said the words, "I've got your back" and she means it from the bottom of her heart. She has been my teacher. We have memories, that only we share, she has been by my side as we have gone from 55 seats to 165 seats, and when I have doubts, she always says "We got this". Her laugh is infectious and when she loves...oh mylanta its with her whole heart. She has grown and changed over 4 1/2 years and I'm proud of her. Its amazing.... all of the feelings and memories came from her filling a little brown paper sack. Happy Friday yall..... My prayer for yall today, that yall are blessed enough to have someone in your life, like Alysha. I love her and am thankful:)
Good Morning!! My office and desk are an absolute mess... I am looking for a new Bible card that was given to me yesterday. Lifting up my ancient key board, calculator, mouse, books and growing more frustrated with myself because I'm organized everywhere except my office and my garage(whole other problem). Crimson appears in my chaos and reports yet another issue, I assume my look is a blank perturbed stare, her words to me .... "Just Breath", as I look down to take her treasured advice, I see a card laying there.... Our God has not promised smooth sailing, just a safe landing. Right up side the head yall..... Boy does the Lord have my number, and when I sway from what I know is true, he reminds me. Happy Thursday yall, whatever is going on today, remember God is Good ALL the time, I was just sent a message from a precious friend and those were his words. If you are treading through rough waters right now, remember he will guide you to that safe place.:)
Good Morning!! year when the Pioneer Hotel was starting her facelift, the steel workers that were workin became our regulars. This crew was from all over, coming here to work & making Lubbock a temporary home. One of the workers was not your typical steel worker. She stands maybe 5ft. tall and soaking wet a 100lbs, covered in tatoos and more personality than I have ever seen. We started small ...talk in the mornings and over time grew to a friendship. She began to open up about her past, and I began to love her more and more everyday. She came to hear me speak at my church (about the homeless) she did not know I fed the homeless, and I did not know at one time she was homeless. The moment she told was one of the most powerful moments in my life. In December, their work was done and it was time for them to move on. Many tears, hugs, phone numbers and pictures were shared. Her picture hangs on the wall going into my kitchen. Yesterday morning at 6:30 my precious friend walked in the door, I squealed like it was christmas, "Passing through, and I wanted to see you"... those were her words.. with tears in her eyes, she said for some reason you have made a lasting impression on my life. Her life spent in prison for 20 plus years and people looking down on her. My words... you have left a footprint on my heart, that will never be erased. As I sit this morning and think of my sweet friend... she is someone I would never have taken the time to know, but the Lord had a different idea. She has changed me, and in doing that my Lords love had a lasting effect. Happy Wednesday yall, you never know whos life you can touch, open your hearts and eyes to those around you:)
I have faith in you
Good Morning!! Last week one of my best friends brought me a beautiful, shiny hanging plant.... I think it is called an ivy, not sure. As he is handing it to me, my heart starts racing and I feel absolute panic. "Why would you give this to me, you spent your hard earned money on it, its beautiful, and Im going to kill it" My sweet Jr said.... "I have faith in you, you can keep it beautiful". Those words he said to me.. I have faith in you, meant more to me than the plant. When those around you are struggling, whether it be with their self confidence, an addiction, their school, their relationships, be their cheerleader, those words to someone in doubt are cherished words, they can change a mind set & attitude. As for me and my shiny beautiful plant, I am to make sure it stays beautiful, because someone has faith in me. Happy Tuesday yall, its amazing how powerful our words are, choose them wisely, because they can change someone:)
The Biggest Loser
Good Morning!! I went to dinner with my son Taylor last night, he dropped me off at the house and as Im walking in my house, I realize I have left my t.v on. The show blaring from the t.v., The Biggest Loser. Ya know its a pretty inspiring show.... but all I kept thinking? I live with a biggest loser, and no I dont mean it that way. My son, Taylor, has battled with his weight for a long time. Its ...a journey, and as a mom it is heart breaking. Over the years we have hired trainers & bought memberships. These things didnt work, because he had not decided he wanted to change. Last September he purchased, with his own money, a membership and declared, "This is it, Im doing this". Failing for him was not an option. He would go to class, go to work & then hit the gym. He would fall in bed exhausted and do the whole thing again the next day. The most amazing thing to exprience? Taylor was not making excuses, he was facing his fears and challenges. Since last fall he has lost 70lbs... its the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Total transformation inside and out. I'm learning from my 19 year old son, to face my challenges and fears and over come them. There is no easy way to reach our goals... its up to us to work hard. My favorite saying, "Clear eyes, full heart, cant loose." Everyone faces BIG challenges and fears but Taylor has put these words to actions. Happy Wednesday yall....
A place of joy and celebrating
Good Morning!! One of my friends, who is also a regular, can sometimes be a little cranky! He called out my name this morning and asked "Since when do you have karoke going on?" My staff was singing.... My response... Singing means they have a happy heart, they are content! When I hear the sounds of singing coming from my crew, it brings pure joy. I have a plaque in my faith room with the saying. "Sing as if no one is listening and dance as if no one is watching." Singing and dancing are a form of celebrating this amazing life the Lord has given us. Happy Friday yall, the CIG...it is what it is... a place of joy and celebrating. Celebrate with song and dance this amazing life the Lord has given...if it makes my heart full, can you imagine what it does to our heavenly father:)Come on yall sing a new song!!
Heartbeat of the CIG
Good Morning!! Let me tell you about the 4 amazing guys in my life. Where the guest know my girls.... the guys in the kitchen? they are the heartbeat of the CIG. Between them they have 40 plus years of restuarant experience. They push themselves to their physical limit every day. They care about the quality of food they are putting out. 3 of them have custody of young girls, they are single dads, when they are exhausted from here, they still have a full time job at home with their precious daughters. They sing with me, they laugh and they dance. They are the first ones here with me at 4:30 and always the last ones to leave. They are KIND and when I hire thats the key word. They are dealing with 7 stressed out waitresses and an absolutely crazy boss and a full open kitchen.They are constantly receiving contructive criticism and praise. I have prayed for every single one of them, before I ever knew them. They are here, because the Lord brought them here. They are my teacher and they make the CIG look good. The one thing they do, that makes my heart sing? They cook every Monday for the mssion....and they take great pride in it. When I feel the weight of the world or life is just tough, I look at the amazing people the Lord has put in my life. I dont deserve them, but Im so thankful for them. Happy Thursday yall... who are you thankful for?. Im so underserving of these 4 guys, but Im thankfull, the Lord gave them to me:)
Enjoy the little things
Good Morning!! In front of my home I have one of those garden flag holders. I change the flag out every holiday, or season. I have a yellow one with the words..." Enjoy the little things". This greets me every afternoon when I pull up after work. This yellow flag, faded from the beautiful sun, always takes my mind to joy. I think about the little amazing things in my life and I become thankful. Lifes little treasures are the most amazing gifts from our heavenly father. One of the greatest things in my life... experiencing "pure joy". When I think about what brings me pure joy, its not being successful or being financially secure, although these things are great, but its turning my face up towards heaven to feel the sunshine or dipping my feet into the beautiful lake. My sixteen year old crawling in bed with me to watch a movie oh that is pure joy. I have been married 20 years in May.... and when Shelby and I have a memory at the same time and share a laugh, wow I treasure it. Happy Tuesday yall... this little garden flag, is such a powerful daily reminder.... enjoy and cherish the little things, because when we look back, they are really the big things that brought JOY:)
Good Morning!! I have a sign that hangs in the grill..."Young at Heart, slightly older in other places". Spring break starts today for kids ranging from 5 yrs old & up through college. I so remember this treasured week, we would wish for great warm weather so a tan could get started, listening to your favorite music with the windows rolled down, hanging out with friends & making memories that will be talked about for months to come. Even though I have not had a spring break for along time, I remember in my heart like it was yesterday. I pray for safe travels for my oldest son & that memories are made that he will cherish always. My youngest is working for me to pay a ticket and I'm Giddy about spending time with him....umm I dont think he feels exactly giddy, but I look forward to the memories we will be making together for spring break. Happy Friday yall....pray for ALL the spring breakers next week, and I hope a smile or laugh comes when you remember your spring break:)
Love with actions and in truth
Good Morning!! I was a stay-at-home Mom for 15 years. I was the mom that was on top of everything, my kids had my full undivided attention. Flash forward to the last 4 1/2 years, and I have been the recipient of the mother of the year award to many times....I forget things, I have not been to the grocery store in 5 months... I just dont have the time to get out ALL of the red dirt stains from those treasured baseball pants and last night? I BOOKED a catering when there was a special event going on in my sons life. I really can not describe the feeling I have when I know I have disapointed my kids, when I let them down... I tell them "I'm so sorry, I will do better", they forgive me....but if my actions do not reflect this prase, eventually the realtionship will suffer, my words are empty and hold no value. As a christian, I fall daily and disappoint my heavenly father, but if I say I will do better and then I continue with the behavior, what happens to my relationship with him? it crumbles. I do not want a crumbled up relationship with my kids and especially not with my creator. When I say I will be better, I need to practice it and live it. Happy Thursday yall... I for one will take my mistakes and be better.... 1John 3:18 "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth". Oh how I love this verse....dont just say it yall, jumped into action and live those words.... "I will be better"!!!
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.