Good Morning!! It was a typical crazy day at the CIG and I was still learning the ropes. I delivered 4 plates of food to C2, meaning my cougar room. A small room with 6 tables, all the tables were filled with either men in business suits or men in uniform, C2 was no different, 4 of Lubbock's bomb squad were sitting here. I place their plates in front of them, ask if all was groovy and quickly head back to the kitchen. The noise of the kitchen can be overwhelming sometimes....and the voice that rose from that noise was pure panic!!! I hear Alysha running towards the kitchen yelling "911 in the cougar"... we run smack into each other and she is yelling.."OH MY GOSH", I grab her shoulders and tell her I was just there, what is it? with eyes huge and out of breath she throws up her hands and stumbles with the words..."Ketchup everywhere!!" I run back and see my precious guest, my ceiling and tables splashed with ketchup.... C2 ketchup EXPLODED when they opened it. It took me a few days to get over being horrified and to see the humor....ketchup exploded on the bomb squad. I had been open a few weeks when I met my first widower, his precious wife had just passed and he had wandered into the CIG. My first time to share tears with a complete stranger....today he is still one of my cherished guest....remarried and full of joy, our heavenly father restored his JOY. The CIG has celebrated many precious baby's being born and many of my precious friends leaving this earth and celebrating in heaven. The crew and I have hid in every corner of this old building waiting to scare each other and laugh until our belly's hurt. We have been caught singing and dancing at the most inappropriate time. I never knew 5 years ago what the Lord had in store for me.... I had prayed to make a difference in 1 person life and he gave me the grill. Today I celebrate each one of my guest, friends and each crew member that has been apart of this amazing journey. Happy Beautiful Tuesday ya'll. Thank you for opening your hearts to us and making a difference in our lives. Yesterday, I sat with my friend Donna that has breast cancer...it was not a good day. All day long I could not get her off my mind, I sat and prayed for her in the quite of my office and I am so honored the Lord has allowed me to be apart of her journey all because of the CIG....strangers become guest, guest becomes cherished friends..these friends that I love with my whole heart. I praise the Lord for this precious gift he gave me.....and countless memories to last a life time.
Good Morning!! This week is my 5yr anniversary....tomorrow actually being the day. Shelby and I are driving yesterday, both of us quite. He looks over at me and says, "What are you thinking?", I know for most men this is a loaded question. My reply....what do you think it is? he shrugs and I tell him "of course the move" He knows I am referring to the CIG changing locations, if I let it, this situations could consume me. Back in January my words...."I am not sure what the Lord has for me, but I do know it is full of change and I am not sure I am up to fulfilling his task for me." This 5yr anniversary will be sweet in so many ways, I am thankful and proud of what the CIG has become. My heart is so full of other mixed emotions as well. The other day, one of my regulars stopped me to ask if the rumors were true...."Are you really changing locations?" we talked of what was to come, and I glanced over at his precious girlfriend and she had tears rolling down her face, for once it wasn't me crying. She expressed her sadness over the CIG leaving and what was to become of it? My heart was so full.... I hugged her and told her, "this will be great...whatever happens." Happy Monday ya'll......This week will be a week of remembering for me....priceless and precious memories have happened at the 18th and K building. Are there days, weeks or months you are feeling totally unsure or that you are just not capable of the task ahead? The one thing I know..... he made us and he love's us. Faith is not believing he can, its his knowing he will. "Alone" I am not equipped or capable to fulfill the task ahead, but with him by my side " All things are possible." When I start feeling overwhelmed, I stop and replay these beautiful memories he has given me.... where I have been and where I am is truly by the grace of God. Celebrate this beautiful Monday....and when doubt creeps in.... replay ALL the great blessing he has blessed you with!! WOOT WOOT its going to be a great week!!
Good Morning!! I was sitting on the porch with Hank the cow dog. I was completely lost in my thoughts when I look up to see my elderly neighbor walking across the street with a plate in her hand. She introduces herself and hands me the plate....it is warm to the touch and when I lifted the foil I found the most beautiful homemade choc. chip cookies. " I wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood and let you know how excited I am that you and your family are here." She tells me of living on this block for 46 years.... "Its great to see young people move in." This made me smile, I love being considered "young people." We talked a while, I so enjoyed every minute, as I am telling her "Thank you" I could not stop the tears because I had experienced pure kindness from a stranger, as I enter my house with this precious gift my heart was giving "thanks" to our heavenly father, thanking him for giving me this blessing. The friend of B's that I told yall about was on the news this week, they told of his meningitis and his tumor, out of his mouth... "Getting sick was a blessing because they found the tumor in my head." As I am watching this precious child of God my heart was giving praise for the amazing blessing that was happening right in front of me. Yesterday afternoon Shelby receives a text from our friend Rick Greer.. the words that display aross his screen was about the JV football game. "Are you READY!!!" Shelby texted back and forth and even said to me "Gosh I wish he could come." (Rick left the hospital Tuesday to be cared for by hospice) A few minutes later, the text came that he was coming to Idalou to watch his son Ryan and the green and gold wildcats do their thing. Shelby was like a kid on Christmas morning, his precious friend was coming to watch a game. As we watch the white pick-up pull into the gates,knowing our sweet friend was in it.... I honestly have no words.... Happy Friday yall!!! the reason I have told of these 3 amazing blessing is because me personally with the CIG has had a pretty tough week....business really down and as I start to worry either about bills or that my girls are not doing good financially, the Lord has put more amazing blessings right in front of me. When you start to stress...open your eyes and heart to the amazing gifts the Lord has put in your life. As Rick sat in his wheelchair with a bright green Idalou hat on and watched the mighty wildcats win their game, my heart was full and I had to say God is so good to allow us to experience these cherished blessings!!
Good Morning!! At the first of the year I wrote of a guest, that became a friend. She was working on the majestic Pioneer building, here in downtown. Her daily breakfast jaunts to the CIG developed a friendship. The saturday morning I found out she had been homeless was life changing for me, she had shown up at my church to listen to me speak of feeding the homeless and her life story revealed to me....orphanged, then homeless and then prison for 20+ years. I wrote of her moving on to the next town, working on another job and how much I missed my sweet friend. Last week, right as lunch was starting, I was standing in the kitchen, and I here one of the girls say...."Oh my gosh Teresa is going to be so excited, look who is coming in" I come around the corner and low and behold my sweet little friend is walking in. Brown spikey hair, with a colorful bandana, overalls and a beautiful smile with arms outstretched to me. I felt it was Christmas. My embrace was tight and felt with every fiber of my being and yes there was hugs for her sweet husband, that takes great care of her..... but really its ALL about her. We sit and catch up....we laugh and enjoy each other. The reason I am writing about my sweet friend is what she said to me. She points to her husband and says..... "He has been taking me to church even with vodka on my breath." My first thought, I hope these church people know how special she is...her life journey truly gut wrenching." My family and I went to a new church a few weeks ago and I have never in all of my 42 years of life experienced more kindness and being truly welcomed to a new place. I honestly felt guilty, because I know, I was never that friendly and welcoming to new people in the church's I have attended. Happy Beautiful Wednesday yall.... Sometimes when we see someone different than us we turn our back or have short conversations with them just to get by.... the person that is dressed in your eyes strangly, have purple hair..... or they have vodka on their breath, they matter and sometimes they are the ones the Lord puts right in front of our hearts to teach us something. My prayer is for all of us to accept ...... we are all different, with dents in our fenders, it may not be vodka on our breath but we all have along way to go. If I would have turned my back to this amazing child of God, I would not experienced the pure joy she brings to me. Its easy to be friends with those like us but even better to be friends with those that are different than us. May your day be full of blessings!!
Good Morning!! When Friday gets here, everyone at the CIG is exhausted. We have pushed ourselves to our very limit for 5 days...... we tend to get a little short with each other. When the clock moves to 2:00, we turn off the sign, shut the door and proceed to shut this popcicle stand down. On Friday, I schedule no meetings in order to get out of here quickly my brain by this point is on overload. I shut down around here the old fashioned way....no computers everything done by hand and on a good day it takes an hour. One of my girls comes to me and ask if she can leave early to go to her kids pep rally "Yes" was my reply but now I am really on a time crunch to get her out of here. The clock is telling me its 2:15 and I havent started shutting down ...... As I am making my way down the hallway, one of the girls comes to me and says "The couple on 9 really wants to talk to you", "Do you know what they want?" was my instant reply( I know shame on me) she said that she had asked, but only wanted to talk to me. I proceed to make my way to this table and honestly not with a great heart. This guest of mine proceeds to tell me how much she appreciates my "stories"..... her journey over the last few years tough and she points to the man across from her, I glance at him.....he is wearing dark glasses and is not looking at me or engaging in the conversation. I have been holding her hand as she has been talking to me, I let go, and put my hand towards his and there was no reponse. This precious lady on her tough journey mumbles his name and says..."She is holding out her hand to you" My heart sunk.... he could not see me or my hand. Tears begin to roll down my face as she tells of his journey, surgeries over the last 4 years and minimal eyesight today. Happy Beautiful Tuesday yall.... I am the first to say, I get so caught up in my world that I do not want to take the time to stop and ask "How are you doing?" I walked passed this couple twice....I smiled and asked how their meal was but that was it. The Lord had a different agenda for my afternoon, to listen to them because their journey was going to make a difference in me. Take the time yall, to stop and listen, the other person may really need to share something that is going to make a difference in you. May your eyes, ears and hearts be open to those around you....sometimes we feel like we have no time and our precious heavenly father is showing we "always" have time for others!!
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.