Mad for…Scott

One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord. And He will repay him for his good deed. (Prov. 19:17)

A West Point graduate, Scott Zigmond is the husband of a warm-hearted wife named Joanie and he’s the father to five girls! His military background is impossible to miss, because it really does permeate his personality in the same way that bright sunshine pours into my east facing bedroom windows each morning!

Positive, hard-working and thoughtful, Scott is also a spiritual guy. His faith informs his choices. He’s a devout guy who I often see at mass. I chose the quote that I did for him today because in the time I’ve known him, I’ve watched him do pretty amazing work for others in his church family and the community at large– at St. Louis de Montfort, Guerin Catholic, and OLMC for example. Additionally, he and Joanie have both made extremely meaningful contributions of time, talent and treasure to Samaritan’s Feet, a charity that has put over 7 million pairs of shoes on the feet of impoverished children around the world. It’s meaningful and awesome work that I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing first-hand. If you’ve not heard of them, it’s worth taking the time to learn more at

Here’s the thing about Scott and his glorious family full of beautiful and intelligent women…he makes integrity look cool. He’s this tall, sharp-looking guy who is quick-witted, intelligent and friendly. Life is all about making holy choices that will honor God and that’s what he’s all about. The unique combination of giftedness provides a powerful witness to those around him!

As we have been raising our (very different) families, I’ve had the pleasure of watching the Zigmond clan from my nearby perch. The Zigmond house has far superior levels of estrogen, than the Thieme home, it’s true. However, what Scott does as a father is very impressive. His daughters share his strength of character and leadership skills. I have no doubt this happened in part because he supports, encourages and loves in very visible ways. Sometimes, it’s extremely inconvenient with all his work and other responsibilities, but Scott is ever present for his young ladies and their events and activities while also focusing on faith and community. He’s a hard worker who is joyful and self-sacrificing at the same time. He’s articulate and he’s funny. I have long felt great respect for him and am overdue to say so! Today, as we are ALMOST to Father’s Day, I wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU, SCOTT for being such a terrific witness to those around you about how important it is for men to lead their families in faith! You are an amazing dad and I wish you a VERY HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!

Mad for…Linda

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. (Matthew 11:28-29)

It might seem a tad peculiar that as we begin Father’s Day weekend I would want to introduce you to my faith-filled friend, Linda Ray. However, I promise you there is a method to the madness. As you can see from the photo above, she is the mom of two absolutely beautiful daughters, Lucinda (center) and Rose (right). They are both very bright and accomplished students as well as fine human beings.

It’s not at all that I have run out of wonderful men to feature, it’s more like I wanted to properly honor a woman that has played the role of two parents to two little girls since her husband, Carson, passed away in 2007. Linda is a friend I know from church and from my oldest son’s grade school days. Linda’s oldest daughter, (who would now be 21 years old or so and about to enter her senior year at Purdue University this coming fall, I believe) was a classmate of my son, Nick. I believe they were in the 4th grade when Lucinda lost her Dad. I remember Carson as an artsy guy with a lovely smile who was talented behind a camera and who clearly loved his girls.

Also, though, I remember that when it must have felt that her life was falling apart around her, Linda ran to the Lord. It seemed to me that she quietly handed her world-weary heart to Jesus and put one brave foot in front of the other and just kept on going. Yes, she worked hard and played the role of both mom and dad every single day. Yes, she must have had many moments where doubt overwhelmed her. However, the Ray girls have thrived, and Linda, by her quiet and graceful example, has shown me and many others how to trust our good and gracious God with our very lives. By watching her smile and hearing her always positive words for others (myself included) she has encouraged me to remember that God loves us more than just a little. If we simply call His name, He will swoop down into our lives and pour out overflowing grace.

As I have been writing each day about the folks around me that I think make a positive difference in the world, it has occurred to me that often those who make truly lasting impacts aren’t the usual suspects. Often, they are folks passing by in the background, quietly and courageously living their lives and carrying their crosses– out of love. Linda is such a woman. Today, as we begin to celebrate the terrific fathers all around us over the next few days, I want to say THANK YOU LINDA, for being a beautiful example to me and others of what selfless love looks like! You are stunning and exceptional, and without a doubt I know Jesus smiles at the work you have done and continue to do, in His name!!