Author Archive for Barb Lishko

Blessed daughter, sister, wife and mother. Married to my darling husband Mark for 32 years, loved and challenged by our five young adult children. Working full time in the Diocese of Phoenix as a youth and marriage minister for over ten years. Writing for me is a means of sharing my observations of the Lord's work and Presence in everything from the smallest to the most obvious moments.

Time to Fertilize: A Marriage Metaphor
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Time to Fertilize: A Marriage Metaphor

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My friend Todd, a landscaper, likes to say, “Stop looking at your neighbor’s yard and fertilize your own.” This is in reference, of course, to those who think the grass is greener everywhere except under their own feet. Couples too often look at their own complicated, messy lives and wrongly presume it’s better with someone […]

Upside
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Upside

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The last month has, at times, been a blur. After being hit by a car on my bike just over a month ago, I have had to look at life through a different lens. Is there really an “upside” to tragedy? Indulge me as I reflect on the lessons I believe God is trying to […]

Unexpected
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Unexpected

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Our third son married his beloved fianceé just over 2 weeks ago. What a beautiful day it was. Everything was perfect. Family and friends were in town from both sides, great jubilation saturated the air. The weeks leading up to the wedding were filled with expectation and busyness. I remember a prayer I had raised […]

Sweet Silence
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Sweet Silence

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Shielding my eyes from the blinding sun, I sensed, rather than heard, a presence to my left as I stood in line waiting to board the plane. His face was about five inches from mine. I could see his lips moving but could hear nothing. Finally I faced him squarely and he repeated himself. “What’s […]

Not According to Plan
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Not According to Plan

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There are the plans we make, and then there are God’s plans. Sometimes, they line up. Take for instance last week. I thought I had it all figured out. Easy trip to the airport with one small caveat, the necessary requirement of bringing the old family dog into the friendly skies. Never having done this […]

Poem: "The Arrival"
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Poem: “The Arrival”

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The Arrival Arrival of what, perhaps you ask? What is so important, am I up for the task? There are presents to buy, wrap and give, I have a life and I’ve got it to live. It’s Christmas after all, what’s else matters, lights and trees, and gifts that flatter. What does it matter if […]

"What's on Fire?!" An Advent Tale or Two
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“What’s on Fire?!” An Advent Tale or Two

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Dutifully, Catholics go on the hunt each year for the highly coveted, purple and pink candle ensemble vital to any serious Advent wreath. I’m eighty-seven percent sure that I buy a replacement set after Christmas in anticipation of the following liturgical season. I proudly congratulate myself for thinking ahead, taking advantage of the sale price, […]

The Law of the Herd, a Thanksgiving Story
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The Law of the Herd, a Thanksgiving Story

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I love the holidays. What an awesome opportunity it presents to get our large family together. One Thanksgiving a few years back, we were especially blessed to be in full force with all twenty-nine of us. The two military boys and eight college students had graced us with their presence. Additionally, several of the teens […]

An Open Letter to Brittany Maynard
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An Open Letter to Brittany Maynard

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Dear Brittany Maynard, You don’t know me, and sadly, I don’t know you. I have something to tell you. Why should you care what another voice among millions is saying? Because I have good news. Like so many, your story has crashed into my world, just as cancer crashed into yours. As expected by your […]

Happy Boy Makes Mass
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Happy Boy Makes Mass

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Last year I remember rushing into mass minutes before the opening song. Exhausted from hours of setting up for a ministry event, I was unable to prepare for mass properly. Sliding into my usual spot I jumped to attention as the procession began. My eyes naturally scanned the area directly across the expanse to those […]

Forever and Ever, Amen: Part III
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Forever and Ever, Amen: Part III

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In my previous articles on marriage (part1 and part2), I offered some thoughts courtesy of Archbishop Sheen on the male and female relationship, and our unique perspectives regarding marriage. St. John Paul II also has some remarkable things to say that may add greater depth. In his great work on The Dignity and Vocation of […]

Forever and Ever, Amen -- Part II
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Forever and Ever, Amen — Part II

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In part I of this series, I wrote about two fractured marriages as well as some thoughts to consider from the mind of Archbishop Fulton Sheen on matters of love, sex, and marriage. For years I ignorantly thought Bishop Sheen was a dinosaur in today’s world on such matters. Anyone who has read or listened […]

Forever and Ever, Amen -- Part I
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Forever and Ever, Amen — Part I

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“I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” Poetic words, wouldn’t you agree? These simple, straightforward promises made at the altar by a man and a woman “seal the deal” so-to-speak. The […]

Do Whatever Makes You Happy
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Do Whatever Makes You Happy

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These seemingly harmless well-intentioned words, can appear on the surface to be a wonderful wish for someone we love or care about. I submit to you however, that they are rather more platitude than love, and more harmful than good. The world is filled with people far more experienced than I in many areas of […]

Just Hepping God
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Just Hepping God

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After finishing up one of the marriage classes we offer to couples preparing for marriage, we facilitators will often talk about what went right and necessary improvements. It seems no matter how much we prepare technology to work properly, it invariably has us jumping through hoops and frustrating us crazy. We joke about gremlins and […]

Unbearable Loss
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Unbearable Loss

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My earliest recollection of Caitlin was in her mother’s womb. Her mom and I were both pregnant with daughters. Information we did not know at the time, but would later bring great delight. This “wasn’t our first rodeo” as they say, I was on child number four and Caitlin made six. The girls were born […]

All My Love, Mudder
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All My Love, Mudder

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I am affectionately referred to by my three sons as, mudder. I do not know whence it came from, but it works. As a self-proclaimed writer of thoughts and words I have a tendency to author notes when issues or behaviors need to be addressed. According to our daughters, they can tell by the opening […]

A Burning Heart
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A Burning Heart

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There are many and varied images that we see of Jesus Christ. One that seems to cause the greatest curiosity may be the Sacred Heart image. This is the image where Jesus is pulling back his cloak to reveal his heart which is flaming and surrounded by a crown of thorns. Jesus appeared to St. […]

Swinging At Junk Balls and Other Life Lessons
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Swinging At Junk Balls and Other Life Lessons

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Fr. Matt was our guest speaker at a recent Date Night, the purpose of which is to enrich marriages. We had an incredible turn out and as I sat there smiling to myself and thanking God, Fr. Matt spoke on some common communication challenges. A counselor had shared with him a baseball scenario that could […]

Seeking Peace
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Seeking Peace

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Sitting here in the glory of this spring morning, a quiet breeze touches my cheek and tickles the leaves as it passes by. It’s intoxicating fragrance dances in my nostrils. Amazingly I am at peace, sucking in every possible ounce of this moment. I am usually running at breakneck speeds as I untangle, connect, and […]

Dear Engaged Couples
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Dear Engaged Couples

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One of the things I hear the most from engaged couples is that they do not pray together. This is crucial for a successful marriage. Remember that marriage is a covenant relationship. It takes three- bride, groom and God. No more than we can imagine a day going by without speaking to one another, just […]

Mothering and Miracles
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Mothering and Miracles

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This past Sunday in the continental U.S. mother’s everywhere were remembered and cherished by cards, calls and candy — not necessarily in that order or limited to those means of gratitude. I too am a mother and now a grandmother, but it wasn’t always so. The road to motherhood was deliberately delayed as I made […]

Measuring Up
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Measuring Up

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How many times do we place unrealistic expectations on others? How many times do we place unreachable expectations on ourselves and then beat ourselves up when we fail to measure up? I dare admit publicly, I am guilty of both. The problem is I am fairly easy on myself, making excuses to minimize culpability. When […]

Squeezing Lemons
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Squeezing Lemons

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Our flight had taken off from Phoenix and we were happily heading west to Los Angeles. The animated chatter of the Barbie dolls heading for Cabo for Spring break floated throughout the plane. Halfway into the flight, after receiving my beverage, everything changed. Suddenly the plane was heading back to Phoenix and one engine was […]

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