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posted: 8/13/2014 1:47 PM

What impact are you making with your life?

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By Annettee Budzban

" … What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

-- James 4:14 (NIV)

I recently attended a memorial service for a beloved friend and in-law. It was a bittersweet occasion; although the loved one will be greatly missed, we were celebrating that he is in his heavenly home.

During the ceremony, my favorite part was when friends and family came forward and shared how he had touched their lives in a special way. It was wonderful to hear the endearing details.

Some gave accolades of how he fixed their computer or shared a fun time with them. Others expressed their life-changing encounters when the words spoken by him saved their marriages or changed their perspective on life for the better.

I've heard it said that on each tombstone there is a dash from the time of our birth until our death, and the life encounters during the dash is what matters. What is a dash? It is a brief mark between the beginning and end. It connects the two.

Each of us has a dash placed from our beginning to end. Some of our dashes are longer than others. Some of our dashes leave more of a lasting impact on others for the good. Whether the dash be long or short, it's the impact that counts.

Each one of us has an opportunity to make a difference in the life of another. We don't have to do anything outstanding in order for it to stand out to the person we are helping. It's the little things that add up and make a significant difference.

I'm not sure our loved one knew the full impact he made in the lives of others during his dash, but the people he touched knew. As a matter of fact, his dash is making one more difference as I write this column.

Each day we have an opportunity to fill in the blanks of our dash. A conversation, a loving touch, lending a helping hand to someone in need, sending a get-well note or sharing our lunch with someone else are all acts that make a difference. From this day forward let's stay mindful to make our dash have a lasting effect.

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. Join her at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at Panera Bread in Round Lake Beach. Invite Annettee to speak to your group or event. She can be contacted at Annetteebudzban@aol.com or (847) 543-8413.

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