Honoring my Dad and Glorifying my Father

I live with a sports nut.  Really.  I watch more sports in a year than 85% of America…well, that’s a guess:)  I love sports too.  I grew up watching the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Reds, and West Virginia Mountaineers with my dad.  Actually, we’d watch whoever was playing.

Now, my favorite part of sporting events is the story.  You know those “behind the scenes” looks at the sports hero’s life?  (I think just about every channel is running a Tim Tebow story these days!)

Tonight, we were watching the National Championship pregame with interest, knowing that Nick Saban (Alabama’s coach) is from West Virginia.  Our whole family gathered to learn more about this small town boy “making big.”

Nick Saban’s interview centered on the influence of his dad, who died at age 46 while jogging.  Nick said of his dad:   “[He was the] one person I could talk to in the world that it wasn’t about his best interest but mine.”

I understand that!  My dad wanted NOTHING more that the absolute best for my sister and me.  This interview began hitting close to home.

Nick said he called home after coaching his second college game to tell his dad about the game.  Instead, his mom told him about his dad’s death.  Nick volunteered to move home immediately to run his parent’s store and take care of his mom.   His mom refused saying, “Your dad would want you to do what you set out to do.”

My dad would want that too even though “what I set out to do” always seem to boggle his mind.  He mostly thought I was always biting off more than I could chew…he was mostly right:)

Nick’s story continued.  He stayed with coaching, and tonight he’s coaching his third National Championship game.  He said during each game he considers,  “What would your dad say about that or think about that? “

His ultimate goal?   “I want to make my father proud.”

Coach Saban’s devotion to his dad resonated with me.  It so closely mirrored my feelings about my dad.

Wow.  Of all nights – of all days.

On January 10, 2008,  my dad passed away.

This day – tomorrow – never ever gets any easier.  I don’t miss him less.

On Friday morning, I walked past Mahone Tire in Marietta, Ohio.  The door was open, and they had a load of tires on the sidewalk.  My dad worked in a tire store and that smell overwhelmed me, reminding me of him, visits to the store, and so much more.

As I continued down the sidewalk, I asked, “God, please help me.  Help me not to mourn anymore.  Help me to quit counting down til January 10.  Help me to honor my dad.  He would be ticked if he saw me wallowing in self pity – if he knew I was still hanging on to some major anger about his death.  At what point am I going to give this up?”

Very clearly I felt this in my heart:  “I am my father’s daughter – my earthly father and my heavenly father.  I live as a representative of him and Him.  My life should be a legacy to my dad and a glory to my Father.” I stopped and typed it into my phone, not wanting to forget.

This is God’s message in  1 Corinthians 10:31  “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Every choice I make, I try my best to filter through this verse.  Regardless of what others think – regardless of the opposition and snide comments behind my back, I ask myself, my husband, and my God, “Will this bring You, God, glory?”

Somewhere deep inside I also ask, “Will this make my dad proud? Would he be proud of who I am? What legacy am I leaving?”

Whatever I do, I want my heavenly Father to be glorified.  Whatever I do, I want my earthly dad to be proud.

This year as I mark another anniversary – another year without my dad – it feels a bit different.  I am sad.  I have been sad for a few days.  But, I have a new sense of purpose.  Without my dad, I wouldn’t be here, so any glory my life brings to God – any work God does through me – is the legacy my dad leaves.  My dad continues on through me.

What better way to honor my dad and his memory than to live a Christ-honoring life?  What better way to honor my Lord and Savior – my heavenly father – than to live a Christ-honoring, God-glorifying life?

Whatever you do today, tomorrow, or next week, do it all for the glory of God.

So simple.  So profound.  So life-changing.



  1. Amazing tribute Sarah!!

  2. Eloiaw Ors says:

    Awesome Sarah. Enjoyed this so much.

  3. Absolutely Beautiful. May you find peace on this day, and on all January 10th’s to come. 🙂

  4. Julie Wagner says:

    Sarah, the date I count down to is July 3, when my dad passed away. There has been 28 July 3rd’s. I was only 13 so I don’t have that many memories. Cherish all the memories of your dad, which I’m sure you will. I loved your post. I definitely know those feelings.

  5. Carolyn Mullins says:

    Sarah, beautifully said. A bit close to home for me also. Words of wisdom for us all to remember and strive to live by. My dad always bought our tires from Mahones in Parkersburg. I suspect he and your dad may be talking tires in Heaven….love ya…from one Daddy’s girl to another….and I mean both earthly and Heavenly 🙂

  6. Brenda Schiesser says:

    Sarah, year 21 without my Dad is coming up in May………it still makes me sad. I’m so glad you had a good relationship with your Dad……that is something I didn’t get to have. Hope the day went by with good memories of the love.

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