Good Morning!! Last spring I wrote of my friend Bear.....in and out of prison since he was a teenager, he came into our life 3 years ago as a homeless, jobless man. A year and a half ago we walked him back to jail for a parole violation, where he spent 7 months and then released to Shelby and I on an ankle monitor. I wrote of the company he works for was.... moving from across the back alley to across town. I have missed him sitting at the bar daily and in some ways irritating me, just like a brother would do. As he says, he has been owned by the State of Texas for over 20 years... either by being in prison or being on parole. This summer there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel....his parole was going to be up in July. He has been within this reach before and choices that he made extended his time. Shelby and I all summer kept saying "Bear dont mess this up." It was a beautiful Tuesday morning when Bear and his boss Matt came in for breakfast...."Today is the day... I go for my last visit and pay my last bit of money." Bear doesnt get giddy...but he was giddy!!! I was so proud and happy for him. It is amazing the transformation that has transpired since Bear no longer belongs to the "State of Texas." He no longer look as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders....I guess in some ways he feels like all of us, he is free to go wherever he wants....to do whatever he wants....but he is choosing the right path. My heavenly father loves my friend Bear with all of his heart and blessed him with amazing people in his life. The couple that Bear work for came straight from heaven. They have guided him, gave him advice and loved him..and sometimes he is hard to love(like all of us) Happy Beautiful Thursday....I have watched first hand the love of our heavenly father work in the lives of others... This amazing couple has done things for Bear that Shelby and I could not do, we were to close in some ways to give "tough love". This last Tuesday morning Bear came in for breakfast with his boss, it had been a while since I had seen him, we picked up right where we left off...our normal banter back and forth.....My heart was singing praise, God is good to have allowed Sheby and I to be on this amazing journey with my friend Bear...yes he is truly a free man and to him there is nothing better. I am so proud for him it has been a long hard journey, but he has made it through a better changed man!! WOOT WOOT I am excited about his future:)
Good Morning!! In this precious life the Lord has given us, we are continually moving forward. Every day is an amazing blessing that comes with great challenges. I feel lost and wandering in so many ways......There are days that I feel I am making the right steps and then WHAM I hit a brick walll. I am a planner and I dislike scrambling to catch up. My motto is to be proactive instead reactive but lately I am having to react to keep me above water. Do you ever feel this way....or are you going through some challenges that you do not see any light at the end of the tunnel? I read this morning..."My children what do you need today? Is it comfort; is it courage; is it healing;is it guidance? I say unto you what ever it is that you need look to me and I will supply. I will be to you what the sun is to the flowers; what the water of the ocean is to the fish and what the sky is to the birds, for I will give to you light, life and strength.".....Happy Beautiful Wednesday yall, I needed to read these amazing promises today. Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Sometimes do you ever get tired of praying about something in your life.....asking for his will to be done. I know I do, but then I realize he is the one I want to talk to..... his promises are there and I know its his plan not my plan (ok ,yes that makes me crazy because as I said...I am a planner). In this journey he has given me I am learning to absolutely trust in him and I am not saying its easy, it brings fears and doubts but in his word he has given me promises that he will provide me with all that I need to go thru this journey. If you are struggling with turmoil, fear, sickness or uncertainty remember he will provide for you just as he does for all of his creations....the beautiful flowers, the fish of the ocean and the birds of the sky...he made us in his image and he loves us. Ask him yall he is there and waiting for your eyes to be on him. I cant imagine going through life not believing in these promises!!
Good Morning!! Last week one of my regulars came in... it had been a while since i had seen her, so catching up with her made me giddy. I went over to her table and the talking started. The usual "How are things going took place". She proceeds to tell me a situation with her son,not quite to the teenage years but close. He is invloved in boy scouts and has been for a long time. Like all kids, heis finding his own style. He showed up to the meeting in jeans that are called "skinny jeans". The scout master proceeds to call him out in front of all of his peers.... "those jeans are not appropriate you need to go home and change." Other words were said by this man, the more I listened, the more I became infuriated. My sweet friend is a mom that was angry.... angry that this adult would embarrass her son over his choice of jeans. As children, we are judged enough by our peers but as adults we need to teach our kids, how to be accepting. 1975 I was a 1st grader....I remember like it was yesterday. My mom sent me to school in a dress I did not like. The morning bell rang and we all settled in to our desk, my teacher proceeds to tell every little girl "how pretty their dress was", except for me, she skipped me intentionally, my heart was broken and I was embarrassed. Isn't it funny.....36 years later, I still remember my feelings. Happy Beautiful Monday yall.....Our actions and words are so powerful and they can shape a childs future or they can change someones life's. This boy scout leader will never get that day back, he can say words of forgiveness but he planted a seed for all of the other kids that were there that day. We need to embrace each other and our differences. "Today will never come again, be a blessing, be a friend, encourage someone,take the time to care....let your words heals and not wound." If we plant seeds in our children to embrace each other and their difference's can you imagine the joy that would be brought to our heavenly father. Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it......caring, loving children....grow up to be caring loving adults.....and they reflect the love of our precious heavenly father which is all inclusive, doesnt matter what kind of jeans you have on!!
Good Morning!! I am 100% a sports mom. I have worn many team shirts with my boy's name and number blazed across the front or back. Every photo taken has been displayed. I have worn those round little button-pins that has their picture in them. When I look at them today.... my memories are taken back to a special time, I cherish these photos and smile when I think..."I loved wearing my son's picture pinned to my shirt."......only others that have displayed these pins know how special they are. Yesterday I was crazy busy trying to get ready for a lunch catering, I walked through the front entry hallway 100 times loading up carts, out of the corner of my eye, something catches my attention and stops me in my tracks.....I walk over to one of the walls and hanging on a little nail was a round button pin...... in this center of this pin was a soldiers pictures, the backing behind it was red, white, blue and yellow ribbon. I stared at this treasured picture for what seemed to be forever...my thoughts, "who is this precious young man, who hung it there and what does it mean." I proceeded to ask all of the crew if they knew who this brave soldier was. As a mom I know how precious these pins are.... it shows who you love and who you support and you just do not give them up unless there is a purpose. Happy Friday ya'll..... Shelby was not in the grill yesterday, he was working off site...last night I was sharing the stories of the day and when I came to this mysterious picture that appeared on my wall his words to me... "Maybe this soldier or his family need prayer"....gosh sometimes he is smarter than me and it makes me crazy....my thoughts I will pray for him every time I walk by this treasured photo. This morning as Cindy and I gazed at this photo....her words..."maybe it is someone that comes in everyday and they want to see this precious photo....its a comfort." Ya'll I am not sure why this precious photo is hanging on my wall...but what I do know it is someone's absolute cherished blessing and so I will pray. To others it may be strange but to those of us at the CIG it is an honor that someone has placed this picture on our wall.... I can not seem to get it off my mind.... what a journey for whoever is the owner of this precious picture. I pray ya'll have an amazing blessed day and if it pops in your head say a prayer for this soldier and family...the Lord knows who you are talking about!!
Good Morning!! The crew and I catered for an organization last night called Marian Moss. This organization helps individuals with disabilities and disadvantaged conditions with employment options. The majority of the guest were adults that in some form or fashion have special needs, the other guest in attendance were either family members of these precious adults, volunteers that help with the individuals or the people that run this great organization, needless to say, it was a festive evening. The crew and I were crazy busy...just for a split second I looked around the room at the 200 plus people and my heart was full.....it was a room full of our heavenly father's "perfect blessings." Last year an article came out in the AJ the title, "Heading the call".... this article talked about business's that gave back to the community, the CIG was apart of this article for feeding the hungry..... so many people came to me after it was printed, many with the same words..."I had no idea the Cast Iron Grill did this."......I had those same words on the tip of my lips last night.....I saw so many of the CIG regulars that are associated with Marian Moss. One of my precious regulars was there with her adult daughter that has a disability....never would I have guessed this amazing journey she has traveled with her "perfect blessing". Another one of my regular's is a mentor to a young man..... she told me how much she loves mentoring him..... "what an amazing blessing he is to me, a difference has been made in my life, because of him." Happy Beautiful Wednesday ya'll... Everyday I learn something new about my CIG regulars.....they are amazing people, with amazing hearts that are rooted deep with passions, a passion that is to help others. I know that life is crazy busy, just as I was last night.....but if you take a second to look around, you will be amazed at the "perfect blessings". The Lord has blessed me with feeding the hungry and I know this is not for everyone just as volunteering to help adults with disabilities may not be your calling either, but what I do know our heavenly father wants us involved in something other than ourselves, our families or our jobs. When I talk to a regular about volunteering at Casa or one of the local attorneys is having lunch with a group of teenagers..."Guiding them with choices through this tough life".... my heart overflows to see others involved...their passion is ignited. When you set out to make a difference in others lives....it is really your life receiving the blessing. These are Helen Keller words.... " I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble." .pretty powerful!! May your day be blessed....volunteering ya'll, I honestly can not describe the feeling, you just have to do it!!!
Good Morning!! Last year I was interviewed for an online travel site. The writer was from up north, he stumbled upon the CIG as he was heading back home. The Cast Iron Grill stuck with him. He called to ask if I would talk to him about this little grill. He asked me about the staff.... "We are like an island of misfit toys.....none of us the same, we are broken in some areas, wounded in other ways and strong in so many ways, it works, we embrace each other and all of our differences, just like our guest, not one the same but none are excluded." I am sure most of you can remember back to being a teenager and all you wanted to do is fit in...of course there were those that were completely different, I was one of those. When I had the amazing opportunity to be a stay at home mom, I embraced it, I did not have to fit in anywhere. In the 15 years of being with my kids I became comfortable in my own skin and had finally embraced who the Lord made me to be...but then he dropped me in the grill...to be completely uncomfortable. As ya'll know my life has been nothing but change for the last few months.... new house, new town, new school, new church... geez even a new grocery store. I find myself trying to fit in.....wanting to fit in. Shelby and I attended an event this weekend and we left early...feeling uncomfortable in our own skin. Happy Beautiful Tuesday ya'll....... Have you ever felt this way? I am not sure why the Lord has put my family and I on this particular journey.... it has been a long time since I have felt like a misfit toy....but it has renewed my heart .... I know I was becoming complacent in my life, just as I was when I stayed at home.... I need to feel like that misfit toy to become everything the Lord has planned for me. Are you feeling uncomfortable in your own skin? Hold on because that is when the Lord is preparing you...feeling this way isn't the greatest feeling, but knowing that something great is coming, I will embrace the feeling of being a misfit toy!! May you be blessed and not to comfortable in your own skin:)
Good Morning!! As you all know Tuesday was the 5th year birthday of the CIG.....There is only one person, other than me, that has been on this journey every step of the way, Alysha. We were remembering all of the great times and heartache that we have shared....tears flowed as we laughed at each other and the people that have come into our life. I was saying..."Others just don't get it.. how much we love our amazing guest that walk in the door." Her next words said to me I will always remember, "Teresa, its like Thanksgiving is being celebrated everyday at the Cast Iron Grill, the kitchen is loud with amazing aromas filling the air. We are excited to see our guest that have become treasured friends and family walk in the door, there are stories shared(because everyone has a story) and plenty of hugs, and I am thankful!" Happy Beautiful Friday ya'll.... its amazing, that anyone would ever refer to work like Thanksgiving.... as Shelby and I were driving home that afternoon I told him of her words and I could not stop my tears from flowing..... To experience this feeling of Thanksgiving everyday is a gift from our heavenly Father. Is it always grand at the CIG ,NO!! because its real life and it is a restaurant that is really tough sometimes but I learned from Alysha's words that I want to have a heart of Thanksgiving in every way and everyday. Psalms 107:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;his love endures forever." This week when my alarm has gone off, my eyes pop open and the first words from my lips.... I love you Lord and thank you..... No matter what is going on today....financial issues, health issues, depression or people are just making you crazy, remember Alysha's words...everyday is like Thanksgiving...it will change your heart !! A minute, an hour, a day or a whole life of thankfulness.... gosh I love that:)
Good Morning!! My B was born with severe ear problems that lead to no equilibrium. Constant pain and screaming from the day he was born. I would take him to his pediatrician and he would dismiss me as a crazy mom...when you can vacuum around the bed of a sleeping baby and he does not move or wake up...there is a problem...when the time came for him to crawl or even babble in a baby's sweet way there was none of this from him. We would prefer to not take him places because he was always discontent (screaming) I flew to my dads with my precious boys for the weekend(other passengers never liked us) Returning home at 6:00 am Monday morning came and the flight took off. My boys and I sat in the front row and 6 other business men were staggered throughout the plane. The flight attendant tried every way to help me with my B. Shelby met us at the gate and I am in tears...it had been rough. We exited through the glass doors to the parking lot( completely deserted) Out of nowhere a Lady starts saying "EXCUSE ME, EXCUSE ME" I turn to see the gaudiest lady I had ever seen...Jet Back puffy hair, loud silky shirt, and big huge baubles hanging from her neck..I meekly say "yes", "Did you know your baby scream's a lot!! before I could answer...Her voice softens and she proceeds to tell me "Get him help now, before it is to late" my son was the same way and he had trouble walking and never heard or spoke a word." as I turn to Shelby, Taylor says "Where did she go?" and she was gone. A friend of mine ,Bob, was overcome with grief when the anniversary of his mom's death rolls around, this year he just could not shake it. He walks outside of his place of business to pray....or more like plead with our heavenly father to ease his pain. An elderly gentleman pulls up to Bob's business gets out of his car and walks right past him, he then turns around an walks back and says.." God told me to tell you that everything is going to be alright, and that he loves you." Bobs mouth dropped open and he thanked him and told him he "needed that", the response from the stranger one word "Good". The car flipping over and over threw Shelby's mom to the side of the highway... total chaos was erupting on that busy highway in Dallas. There were two men, one named Dan, that came to her side as she lay there with little breath left in her.... These precious men began to pray quietly with her.... they then realized a man had gathered at her feet and was praying loudly.... and then he was gone. Happy Beautiful Thursday ya'll... I share these 3 stories....first of all because they mean so much to me. When we are in doubt, scared, in deep sorrow or just unsure our heavenly father is there. I have experienced his love and comfort in so many forms... I believe miracles have happened right in front of me. These strangers that have become a part of my journey or Bobs journey or Dan's journey are something we will never forget. Our precious heavenly father lets us know all is going to be well. Joshua 1:9... "The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go". He loves us and cares for us and the strangers he puts in our lives, Life changing!! Enjoy the beautiful rain...it is a gift!!
Good Morning!!Twice a month on Tuesday mornings I meet with the St. Benedict's board, as I was walking out of this meeting yesterday, I hear Sam carrying on....he was fired up!! "What has you in such a tizzy?".....two words came out of his mouth "Reverend Johnson." To me his name is JJ and boy was I giddy to learn he was in the house. I have come to know and love him because of Johnny, the precious, outspoken preacher that shines shoes and preaches the gospel to every person that sits in his chair. I make my way up to the front...so excited to see my friend.. as I turn the corner my heart skips a beat.... a huge hug is waiting for me, a smile and always a warm welcome. JJ is the pastor of the oldest black church in Lubbock, he is the snappiest dresser and has the biggest personality and sense of humor I have ever known. He has his doctorate in Theology, his masters in family counseling and his undergraduate in education. To talk to him, is like reading a book of information. Before the lunch rush started, I sat in the foyer laughing and talking with these two precious men, one of my absolute favorite past times. I was laughing and carrying on when some guest started walking in... I sat them and they mentioned me in the hallway with these guys..."Ya know when I am hanging with these guys its like I am sitting in church!!" Happy Beautiful Wednesday ya'll..... as I am sitting my cherished guest I have the great opportunity to hear Johnny or JJ discuss, argue or preach the words of our heavenly father. On a daily basis, I feel as if a revival is happening in my hallway. There are many days I turn the corner and a co-worker is praying with these men. God is so good....I am reminded on a regular basis.. ministry doesn't just happen in a church it happens wherever his children gather and his word and love are spoken. Its the coolest thing in the world that these men are apart of my life....but what is even cooler they are apart of so many other people's life. They love the Lord with ALL their heart and they show it by loving and caring for others....we all are not preachers but as a children of our heavenly father we can show through our actions who we love and who we serve. I am so thankful for these two preachers that have wandered into my life.....they have created ministry to those in need and it happens right in my hallway, in my life and in my heart. When you are with others wouldn't be great if they said "Wow hanging with________ is like sitting in church" .....its all about creating ministry wherever you are or what ever you do.....and its good for the soul, I can promise you that!!
I woke up this morning remembering .... I celebrated with many today over the 5th birthday of the CIG but never far from my thoughts were the events that happened 11years ago. We all have said the words "we will never forget." I sat in my living room with tears streaming down my face... As most of us watched we were not sure what was happening. Mine and Shelby's dear friends live across the river in Jersey, his mom traveling into the city for work... My precious friend lost one of his dear friends that day as those two towers fell. In the days, weeks and months that went by, tears sprang every time I saw a flag being flown...this day in history lead to a different word, I'm proud to say my sweet, brave , strong nephew has helped in the war on terror by serving this great country in another country so far away. Today is a day we remember.. The dads, moms brothers, sisters and grandparents that never came home .... Dreams broken and heartache overwhelming. We see years later how awesome our heavenly father is... He heals the walking wounded and brings joy where sorrow runs like a river out of it's banks . This great country is still healing ...... And yes life goes on, but we will never forget!!
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.