Mad for…Lara

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. (Audrey Hepburn)

I saw this photo of the beautiful Zweibel family and since my mind was already on all the college kids I am going to miss horribly as they head back to school, I knew the Lord was urging me to write for just a moment about the very sunny and loveable Lara Zwiebel. I could just as easily have chosen her gorgeous and talented sister, Anna, but today I have a few things to say about her little sis. Lara is an utterly stunning young lady, both inside and out! She’s pictured at left, above, with her parents and her older sister, Anna!

Lara is a Louisville native who is a student at the University of South Carolina. I’m not sure if her sorority sisters know what a beautiful voice she has, (she’s incredibly gifted) but I am certain that those friends of hers are better for having met this intelligent, compassionate and sunny young woman! Thanks to her Aunt Lisa and her cousin Christian, the Thieme family has had the chance to get to know her a bit over the years. This past winter when I was struggling with my health, I received the most lovely handwritten note from Lara. How many college students do you know who will take time out of their crazy world to write a thoughtful note to a woman across the country they really don’t even know that well? This is an integrity filled, selfless gal– that’s my point.

Her words were bright and in them she revealed to me the depth of beauty that resides in her heart. It was a meaningful gesture. She was not only articulate and kind, but her words were filled with gratefulness for the small moments and her faithfulness and good sense of humor were both readily apparent. As I re-read her note (which you KNOW I kept because I am a woman who adores a nice piece of mail filled with kind words) it reminded me of this sort of quirky awesome quote I noticed this week.

“With optimism, you look upon the sunny side of things. People say, ‘Studs, you’re an optimist!’ I never said I was a optimist. I have hope because what’s the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven.” (Studs Terkel)

That made me laugh and it pretty much sums up things up nicely, huh? We might as well choose to see blessings and giggle a little through this life, like Lara clearly tries to do, because what do we gain from choosing otherwise, am I right sweet girl?

As you begin your junior year, I hope you will see the sunny side of everything, work for the best, press past any mistakes, and achieve great things! The sunshine you sent me back in February? I’m sending it right back at you, wonderful, smart, big-hearted Lara! Thanks for being a giant scoop of awesome sauce! Go Gamecocks!

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