Connections and Love
Good Morning!! It is so amazing how a tough, sad, stressful event can bring amazing blessings into your life. I was so giddy to see my big brother in August, it had been years for no reason except time got away and even though I loved him so much we lost a connection somewhere along the way. When September came and my daddy had his surgery, stroke, seizure and coded it changed me and the family that loves him so.... Over the last 2 months I have talked to my brother so much... Since he has never been to the grill I have told him about it, he has gone onto my website and read my blogs and looked at the pictures, that is when he saw the shiny, metal plates of people's memories. Happy Beautiful Tuesday .... I opened up my mail this weekend and there I found these cherished plates , my sister-n-law is from British Colombia, Canada and they wanted the grill to have a special piece of them. A few weeks ago my Daddy wrote about his journey and how he had experienced the abundance of Gods grace and love through all of this, his faith stronger than ever.... It is hard to say but with this heartache I have experienced I received the most amazing gift ... a connection and love. I have also experienced my heavenly fathers grace and love..... It is not about waiting for the rain to pass.... It is learning to dance in the rain... I am truly blessed .... we danced and are better for it. Wow all of this from a shiny little plate hanging proudly with love at the CIG!! As my daddy said... God is good all the time!!
Random Acts of Kindness=Life Changers!
Good Morning!! For every person that walks through the doors at the CIG, I believe there is a purpose, our heavenly Father has brought them here for some reason. A young mother, her face pretty and yet etched with stress & sadness and knowing she has a journey that I can not even imagine....I believe her to be too thin because she is not eating, yes she is a mother focused on her children, one with a disability and she makes sure they eat and then her needs are second. These are God's Children that make an impact on me and the very fiber of the Cast Iron Grill....Yesterday Krissy, Shelby and I were up in the offices and Krissy was sharing this mom's journey....tears streamed from my eyes and she tells of a mom wondering what her kids would eat for dinner and could she take a kids meals of chicken tenders to them when the offer was made. I was taken back to a time when I had an infant and we had chosen for me to become a stay at home mom....money was tight & sacrifices made but never did I have a fear of my precious son not being able to eat....as a mom I have no words for this. Happy Beautiful Wednesday yall..... Krissy found this young moms address and Shelby and I made our way through town to see her....we so were on a mission to make a small difference in her day, maybe in her and her childrens life. As we stood in her driveway, tears rolled down her cheeks as she thanked me for coming and for what was extended from my hand into hers. I received a text last night, one of thankfulness, she made meatloaf for her precious family and they were content as they all fell asleep.....her words have stuck with me.."I will be praying for you, your husband and the Cast Iron Grill. This is what life is about, God is Good All the time and when he uses his children great things happen.......random acts of kindness can be life changing yall.....
That awkward moment when I come out of the ladies room into a dark restaurant lit by a single hallway light & I see my brother -n-law standing in the dark dining room with boxers on and pants around his ankles...... I look at him and say ..... Ummmm "hey Shawn"... We scared each other... I bet he changes clothes at his work next time instead of mine... I will never look at my dining room the same again... <-_->
I'm not sure what happened in the last 10 hours for me to say... This is our new baby .... But my B is content & happy. Oh boy potty training and no sleep ......yea they are both worth it😊
Happy Birthday, Junior!
6 years ago a precious man walked into the grill and stole a place in my heart..... He is my true regular that has very rarely missed his morning cup of coffee at the CIG. Tonight his family and I celebrated his 80th birthday. I was so honored to host such a special occasion and an amazing family. Happy Birthday Junior, I love you with all my heart!
By the Grace of God
Good Morning!! For by the grace of God .......I have thought about these words so much lately. ......When tragedy hits like a 2x4 and you are a child of God, you know it is by the grace of God that life continues but it takes awhile to get to this phrase. A couple of years ago, my dad calls and tells me news that broke my heart...."Mrs.M's grandson has been shot and killed(early 20's).....please be praying for them." Mrs. M's family was like my family growing up...we were very close. She was best friends with my mom and when she passed away she embraced my MJ (other new mom) just like she did my mom. We have done life with this family for 40 years......hearing the tragic news of a young man helping a friend and his life taken in an instant was heart breaking, my heart broken for his mom, kim. While my dad was in ICU last month Mrs M kept vigil with us around his bed, she full of life in everyway, I ask her how Kim was doing since her horrific loss....she begins a story I will never forget. She talks of her grandson and the decision kim made to donate his organs, not only would this families life be changed forever but strangers life's would also be changed, they would receive apart of this young man..... A while back Kim calls Mrs. M and says..."They keep writing letters and I do not want to know them, to talk to them, to meet them," they would be the organ receipients...they were expressing gratitude and thanksgiving to this grieving mom. One reciepient would not stop writing.....Kim called Mrs M and said..."she will not leave me alone, would you go with me to meet her?". Happy Beautiful Thursday and it is by the grace of God that healing began.......the heartache and loss didnt stop but living returned. This women's life was changed by this tragedy, insteading of being in the land of the "dying" she was able to regain her health and life and live in the land of the "living". She lives in another state and is in ministry at a church....they did not know how she was infected with a disease but they did know without "new" vital organs she would die.....can you imagine her testimony? and so life has been tough lately but not as tough as these 3 ladies...and they all claim, "By the grace of God" they are all still standing, out of tragedy and loss and friendship has been formed where lives were shattered, there was life renewed & that is only by the grace of God!
I feel as if I can not breath & my heart is truly broken . My B's Precious puppy Duece was hit by a car this afternoon and he didn't make it. Duece has spent the last few weeks on the patio at the CIG, he could not be left alone because if all of his surgeries over the last 5 weeks. He stole a lot of hearts at the grill he was a precious funny friend that loved us Stephens with his whole heart. I experienced something today that I never have at the grill..... When Duece became loose we ALL ran after him.... Knowing he was in danger, the girls of the grill did everything they could and when he was hit they ALL just took control , for the first time they guided me and helped me. They loaded our precious Duece and went with Shelby to the vet..... I realize through tears and heartache I am truly blessed with amazing strong girls who have amazing hearts. Prayers for my B... Duece you were amazing I so am so going to miss what was to come.... A glimpse of your life truly wasn't enough.
Gov "shut down" won't shut us down!
Good Morning!! Last month a couple came in for breakfast. I stopped by their table to check on their meal, "Everything great today yall?" Their reply was yes & then she started telling me of their journey. They were heading to the East coast to visit their son and grandkids, her excitement was contagious as she shared......"Our son is in the navy and he is being promoted to master chief". Her pride was evident as she talks of HER hero....he is not just a navy guy, he is a great husband and an amazing father of 4, one with a disability, he called and asked if I would be the one to pin his new medal on his beautiful dress white uniform". My heart was so excited for this mom and dad, they were so excited to be apart and celebrate in this very special ceremony..... Tuesday the grill was crazy busy(what a blessing) as I look out in the foyer at the sea of people waiting in line I see a group familiar green fatigues...I make eye contact with my regular that is part of this group, she tells me a table of 6 and I start looking for a place. I got to know this regular through her husband that has been a regular of mine for many years now.....I never knew she served in the US Army, actually the US Army hospital, until last Spring, she started bringing in a group of girls with her, all adorned in the Army green. I got these soldiers a table and proceeded to take care of all the other guest.....a little while later my precious regular comes up to me and asked my permission for her to do something a question I will remember forever..... Happy Beautiful Thursday yall....In the middles of the chaotic, loud, busy grill my regular stood up and spoke in her commanding voice and the grill stopped. She promoted 3 of these soldiers right here in the middle of the dining room. I stood back with tears running down my face as we all watched these soldiers get "pinned" & promoted. My precious regular explained to the 180 guest present that since the government "shut down", there are no ceremonies right now and no venues available for promotion but these soldiers deserved to get recognized and promoted. Oh Mylanta it was an amazing blessing to be apart of this special occasion....it may not have been as grand as the regular that was able to pin her son with the dress uniform on and many family and friend present but it was special and truly a gift. This is the grill....flawed in so many ways & yet our Heavenly Father allows amazing "perfect" things to happen. I am honored to have been apart of these soldier journey.
Breast Cancer Awareness @ CIG
Good Morning!! The month of October, for the last 5 years, the CIG crew members have shown support for Breast Cancer awareness. I started this Friday tradition in the 10 month to honor my mom that died 20 plus years ago from this disease but now it is so much more than honoring the passing of my mom, it is a celebration of all of the amazing women that have fought and won over this disease . Happy Beautiful Saturday & Happy Race for the cure day.... Yesterday as the crew was decked out in shirts with funny saying and pink everywhere you turned, it was an amazing atmosphere . I have 2 motorcycle policemen that are my regulars, they were sitting in their normal booth but turned around looking as if they needed something, I walk over and ask if all was good..." Yes just trying to read all the great shirts". One of them begins his story ... Actually his wives story, "she is a 2 time breast cancer survivor, she is an amazing women that has beat a horrible disease , thank you for showing y'all's support for a cure and early detection."... Lunch was crazy yesterday , a lady with a red ball cap answered the #3 for her guest , as I am walking her back to faith she stops, takes off her hat and says "thank you for showing your support", underneath that red ball cap was beautiful short hair growing back since her treatment. Donna is the women center in this picture, she is more than a cherished regular, she is my friend...., I was on her journey of diagnosis, treatment, healing and now being cancer free for over a year. It is an amazing blessing to see these beautiful amazing survivors..... The big pink cross that is on the wall behind all of us girls was a gift from Donna last year, everyday I walk into the Faith and see this beautiful cross and it reminds be of HOPE, not the despair that I use to feel when I thought of this disease. Today and everyday I honor the women that have fought hard and survived & for all if the family's that no longer have their warrior my heart is full of compassion, love & understanding, I get it!! This is the day The Lord has made, we will rejoice!!
Good Morning!!The last few months have been extremely hard..... to watch a place I love so much slowing down and my breakfast is barly visible has been a tough one to swallow. As I was trying to accomplish other things to what I thought would make the grill better I allowed others to run the breakfast shifts and then I realized wow they did not have the best interest of the CIG & I have a big FAIL with breakfast and with my amazing guest. The last 4 weeks have brought a lot of staff changes and myself taking ahold of the gift the Lord gave to me, my precense on the floor visible at all times. Yesterday I realized how much I had missed it when two things happened.....The CIG received a call yesterdy morning asking if we would feed a DPS officer that was in town...his journey was one of honor and a heart of service... he was chosen to escort the body of a slain officer that was killed on duty. The person calling knew he had had an exhausting journey and needed to be feed before his journey back home. The answer to feed him was an automatic yes and we waited for his arrival..... Yesterday my manager, Krissy Harrelson, celebrated her 1year of being clean & sober, clothed in a black shirt with the phrase "Party Sober" she was celebrating her huge accomplishment. I never knew a Krissy that wasn't sober but I am so proud of her.....thankful for 2nd chances because of our heavenly father. Many of our regulars share the same journey with Krissy.....addiction controlled them and sobriety has set them free....Happy Beautiful Friday yall..... yesterday the DPS officer was sitting at table 11 waiting for his breakfast, I was watching him, my heart wondering exactly what the last 24 hours had been for him. I scan the grill and I see Krissy talking with some of our precious regulars very much in deep conversation.... and then two things happened almost simultaneously.....The officer received his food and before picking up his fork he folded his hands and bowed his head and proceeded to pray, gosh I wanted to know his prayer...was it for the family of the slain officer or was it simply for the food placed infront of him I come back from daydreaming with Krissy and my Taylor standing infront of me desperate for my attention...."Look at what ___________ gave me!!" I look down at her outstretched hand and laying in the middle of her palm was a coin....A 1 year sobriety coin, our regulars 1 year sobriety coin..... My heart was full and I had experienced something rare that I had not seen in a while, not because amazing things had not been happening, it was because my eyes were not open to it....I had become to busy with other issues to notice......I am a walking poster of things not to do but I am also a walking poster of experiencing Gods grace & love.
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.