Good Morning!!! The CIG is loacated in downtown Lubbock.. Im originally from Dallas, and had only been to downtown once or twice in 12 years. I fell in love with the old buidlings and the people down here, it was a community that opened their hearts to me. The one thing that irritated me.... the homeless population, my heart was not very kind. As you all know,for the last 3 years I have worked & fed the homeless and poor,and now they are apart of me but the Lord had a lot of work to do in that department. Through the mission we met Bear... one of a kind. He is 6ft plus, 250 lbs, shaved head, more tatoos that I can count and the loudest voice I have ever heard(louder than me)A friendship started slow, getting to know each other. I learned he had been in and out of prison since he was 18... and back in for parole violation. Over the last 3 years his journey has taken him from the streets, to employed, having an apartment, loosing his job and his loosing his apartment. Shelby and I have walked him to jail because of another parole violation(heartbreaking). I sent letters and money while he was away. He was released in January last year. I learned what parole meetings were and made sure he went. Going back to the streets was not a option, he moved in with us. I learned what an ankle monitor was and his curfew(many times we were running into the house so no trouble was made) The Lord blessed him with a job across the alley....he was able after 5 months to get his own place. When I learned his company was moving across town in May, my first comment..."Who will feed him"? he eats with us breakfast and lunch. I try not to mother him but its tough (he is 45)...I want him to know, his past does not define him, the Lord has guided him and loved him even when he wasnt lovable to anyone else. Next month I will not see him at the bar everyday, and my heart breaks, but I also celebrate the work he has done in him and me. If you step out of your comfort zone and really allow the Lord to use you..wow I have no words, Im better because of Bear and I love him! The greatest love.... is when you love someone completely different from yourself. Happy Monday yall, if you pray to make a difference, the difference really happens in you:)
Good Morning!! Its ALL about ice cream. That creamy ice cold sweet food brought alot of emotion and discussion last night and actually caused me to get a little irritated. On Monday nights, the CIG serves at St. Benedicts chapel, its a place for the hungry to come. My crew always prepares great food, and then it is taken down to the chapel where it is served by a great group of volunteers. Every week for 3 years I have served alot of the same people.( last night 116) I serve ice cream for dessert, they love it. From week to week they will ask for a different flavor and I try to remember their request. Its just like anywhere you go, you have the ones that love to cause trouble. One guy in particular, will stand at the door and knock, if we are running a little late, he then proceeds to come in and starts talking..."Who is going to give me their ice cream" and then takes others ice cream and hides it so he can have it. Last night he was loudly professing he had 5 bowls of the sweet cream. I just couldn't stand it anymore, and proceeded to tell him how selfish his actions were. Slap me over the head..... I allowed his actions to get the best of me, over ice cream. Our precious heavenly father has given me this great opportunity to serve and I am to feed them and love them, guide them. We all have someone in our life that really gets our blood boiling..... it is how we react to them that can really make a difference in their life and yours. Happy Tuesday yall!! its how we repond to be others actions that will make the lasting impression, not what they did to irritate you:)
Broken and Blessed
Good Morning!! A year and a half ago, I was trying the claw my way out of the recession, everyone that worked here was frustrated and emotionally exhausted. Besides my business being down, my equipment was breaking one piece at a time and my appliances at home were breaking. I felt I was at my breaking point. One of my co-workers came to me and reported something else was not working properly. I threw up my hands and shouted.... "everything around me is broken except for me." That was on a Tuesday, and on Wednesday I broke my foot in two places. I have often thought of those days and that phrase I shouted. In some way I felt, "Hello Lord, have you forgotten about me?" I felt scared, and unsure and yes broken, but the Lord was preparing me, he was making me strong and thankful. When you are at your breaking point it is so hard to keep focused and stay faithful to him. We all feel forgotten when we are in the valley trying to claw our way out. Being broken brought a whole new meaning to me the day I broke my foot. I was wallering in misery and he gently shook me up. I was given rest and a new persepctive, I realized I was not broken, that I had been blessed. Happy Monday yall, if you are in the valley, stay faithful..... he may bend us to the point of breaking, but he wont allow you to fall in a million pieces. May yall have an amazing blessed day:)
April 20, 2012
Good Morning!! Alot of our guest are very onery and that's how we like them, makes our day alot more fun. We have become pretty cheeky in our response to them. The other day one of them comes in, we will call him Mr. L. I know he is going to to start running his mouth. As I am guiding him to the rest of the group, he stops to talk to other tables, this is what us girls call "politicking". I stop and patiently wait for his visit to be over and we proceed to his group. as we approach his table, he is the last to arrive, he says..." I have to behave today, those people over there go to my church." My instant response, "Wow, your going to behave because they go to your church, Jesus lives in this joint and sees your actions and you dont change them for him." Of course his lunch companions almost spit out their drinks and laughter errupted. The word" touche' "was mumbled to me. This story is so true for all of us. We watch our actions and words when others are around but our heavenly father stays with us always. Happy Friday yall, I absolutely love Mr. L, he brings great joy to me and when I speak to my guest, the Lord is really pointing it back to me. I have really thought about what I said to him and I want as a child of God, for my actions to reflect as if he is sitting at one of my tables. Think about this as you go through your day.... are your actions as if he was right there with you. Have an amazing friday:)
Believe in the Impossible
April 18, 2012
Good Morning!! Why is it when someone says to me..."See ya", I want to say..."Wouldnt want to be ya". Yes its pretty immature but it makes me smile, a memory of being a kid. Life today is full of raising kids, making business decisions, being married, paying bills, in other words pretty serious and daunting stuff. The memory of being a child conjures up the saying "child like faith". When we were kids, nothin was impossible, we truly believed that anything is possible. One of my regulars is running for office, he is a goldfish fish in a BIG pond. His task ahead of him is tough...the other day he pulled some pebbles out of his pocket, "Do you know what these are?", I had no answer, I just shook my head. "Last weekend, when I was on the road, a guy brought them to me, they are from the valley where David knocked Goliath down, I have kept them in my pocket, to remember...The impossible is possible with my faith in God". This made me giddy, I was struggling with decisions that require ALOT of child like faith, to believe in the impossible. Whatever the impossible that is going on in your life.... a health diagnosis, financial problems, a relationship gone bad, just remember nothing is impossible, you just have to believe, just like David did in that valley so many years ago, we have the same God that knocked that giant down. Happy Wednesday yall, when you are facing the impossible, remember what is like to be a child, just step out and believe.:)
April 16, 2012
Good Morning!! One of the draw backs of being in the restaurant business... bad feet. Those first few steps when you get out of bed, pretty painful, I know many of yall experience this. I have resorted to pedicures every few weeks, which is something I really dont want to take the time for, but they seem to help. After a very stressful & emotional week, I headed to get a pedicure Saturday morning. The lady sitting next to me started making small talk after a few minutes she asked what I did, I told her of the Cast Iron Grill. She knew me from my post on FB. My post about stretch marks had really stuck with her. She shared her beautiful journey...adoption of 2 teenagers a year and a half ago, making sure her 9 yr. old was good, divorce from her best friend and working full time. As they lathered and messaged our feet, tears rolled down our faces as she shared her precious childrens journey. We talked about her job and the one thing that stuck out to me... She was a christian and her job was her ministry,everyday she lived to make a difference and show our heavenly fathers love. When I left the toe shop I felt like I had been to church, this precious lady had opened up about her journey and made a difference in my life. What an amazing blessing to have bad feet, or I would have never experienced her journey. Happy Monday yall, you never know when your journey can make a difference, open up and share it. The Lord has put you in someones path for a reason:)
promise with a capital P
April 13, 2012
Good Morning!! You will never exeprience this day again.... be the person the Lord planned for you to be. There is a song I love, I am a promise, I am a possibility, I am a promise with a capital P, I am a great big bundle of potentiality...... yes I know sometimes I think like a 3rd grader, but what a GREAT song. Our creator made us full of promise. Live up to the potential the Lord has for us. Happy Friday, if you know the song, sing it, it will make ya smile. I pray yalls day is amazing and blessed:)
Always Be Kind
April 13, 2012
Good Morning!! A couple of years ago I was decorating the grill for Christmas. My heart really wasnt in it, ya know just get it done, because that is what is exepected of me. I have this person in my daily life that I find really hard to be kind to. He very rarely speaks when spoken to, never smiles and when he chooses to speak, no matter what it is ,its gruff. As I'm decorating he walks into the grill, stops and looks around. The words out of his mouth still to this day do something to me. "These decorations remind me of my dad... on Christmas, when I was a teenager, he killed himself in front of me". And then he walked out. This man, that drives me crazy, gave me a glimpse into his journey, why he is the way he is. His actions have not changed but his journey changed me, made a difference in my life and how I look at those around me. Happy Thursday yall..... is there someone in your life you just dont get? that make you crazy or angry? If they could tell you their journey, I have a feeling you would feel different about them. Be kind yall even when you dont want to, you could make a difference in their journey!!
Our marks tell our story.
April 11, 2012
Good Morning!! When the beautiful weather starts, the Stephens family live in our bathing suits, the other day I had mine on and my 19 year old asked about my stretch marks..."Do they bother you?" I looked down at the jagged marks that spray across my belly and I could have been frustrated, because honestly what girl would'nt be, but my heart felt joy. "No they are my reminder of you, I believe its my badge of honor, I'm a mom". We live in a world that tries to be perfect. We all have a journey and some of those journey's leave marks on our life, they are reminders of where we have been. A person that looses weight, usually has stretch marks, they are a reminder of how much work they have done, and where they do not want to go again.The scars left from surgery... a celebration that the Lord has brought you through. These footprints on our outward appearance tell a story of our life, some good some bad, but they are apart of who we are. I look at my stretch marks and they are a reminder that the Lord blessed me with being a mom. My scars bring memories to me, some great and some make me want to be better. Happy Wednesday yall, embrace your scars and marks, they tell your story!!
We never walk alone.
April 10, 2012
Good Morning!! When you walk into the CIG on Mondays, you will hear me say "Happy Monday". You would not believe the looks I get and the comments I receive. My Monday yesterday was very stressful, it was an emotional roller coaster. By the time I hit St.Benedicts last night, I was a ball of nerves and not the best version of myself. Licking my wounds on the way home and not feeling very joyful, I was angry. I dragged myself onto the treadmill and turned on my dvr. The program recorded was Bishop TD Jakes. As Im walking trying to clear my head, his words coming from the tv, while you are treading water for survival, he is there to pick you up from drowning. He is walking on water to save you.The CEO of the universe, created you and loves you. After my day yesterday, I felt like I was drowning but my heavenly father was there to grab me and give me strength. All of us go through our days with valleys that seem so big, but we have a promise from our heavenly father he is with us on the moutain tops and carries us through the darkest valleys. Happy Tuesday yall, Im so thankful for his promises and I have always said ministry does not just happen in a church, it happened on my treadmill last night. Remember when you feel like your drowning, our heavenly father is the one walking on water to save us. He pulled me from the water cleared my heart and mind.
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.