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.

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 […]

Stronger Than
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Stronger Than

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This great quote from St Ambrose bears deeper reflection; “Stronger than the person who conquers the strongest fortresses, is the one who conquers himself; nor is there any greater height of virtue.” “Conquering self,” what is that all about? There is a great term often used in statements about chastity called, self-mastery. This word says […]

<em>Gimme Shelter</em>, Why America Can't Be Bothered
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Gimme Shelter, Why America Can’t Be Bothered

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I got a chance tonight to grab a few friends and go see Gimme Shelter staring Vanessa Hudgens. I was looking forward to supporting a movie that would tell the story of a young woman’s struggle through a harrowing life and teen pregnancy. It would be a movie that would not insult my ears with […]

Pouring Ourselves Out
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Pouring Ourselves Out

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Trying to come up with an intentional and authentic name for a blog is challenging. It needs to encompass a bit of who we are, and inviting enough for further readership outside of one’s own loving mother. I ended up choosing; Poured Myself Out In Gift. It is not something mind-blowing to be sure, or […]

Gumdrop Catechesis and Marshmallow Sermons
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Gumdrop Catechesis and Marshmallow Sermons

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I really can’t remember the last time that a homily made me squirm in my seat and cast a downward glance at being convicted of my sinfulness. I can’t call to mind ever leaving mass with a zeal and fiery passion to go make a difference that was so hot I wanted to jump in […]

The "Y" Cord
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The “Y” Cord

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I would like to think that it all started with the “Y” cord, but I know that is not so. Maybe it would be more accurate to state that perhaps it started with the words, “Why not?” We were presenting a marriage preparation class to thirty-five couples the other day, and wanting to give them […]

Violated: A President's Visit
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Violated: A President’s Visit

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I awoke before dawn and was assaulted by the knowledge that today the President of the United States was coming to our little neck of the world. From the moment I heard about his little visit I had been torn, frustrated and angered. Why here, why come to a high school in a remote southern […]

The Narrow Road
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The Narrow Road

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Our original intention was not to climb the mountain, rather it was to take the Gondola up and walk down the 3 mile, 3,000 foot elevation change. The $52.00 price tag changed our minds and so did the perky young attendant, “Oh, I climbed the mountain yesterday and it only took an hour and a […]

Marriage is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
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Marriage is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

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In my previous article I outlined a hypothetical and all too common scenario observed among young couples today. Decisions made early in their relationship can have an impact on their future marriage. How can we effectively help our young couples achieve happy, faithful, lifelong marriages? This quote by Arch Bishop Fulton Sheen bears deeper reflection, […]

Does Marriage Change People?
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Does Marriage Change People?

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“Marriage changes people, she’s different now” stated the young man speaking about his new wife.  “We lived together for two years, then suddenly”, claims the new husband, “the ring popped on and she changed?” Is she really different, I wonder? Did the marriage really change her? Many engaged couples I meet are already sexually active and […]

Glad You Asked
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Glad You Asked

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“Why do you bring God into every conversation?” This simple question was posed to me recently by someone I love dearly. Let me attempt to explain. How do you not bring the Author of Life into life itself? How can I speak of the reason for my joy, my hope, my strength without naming its […]

Consecration to Mary
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Consecration to Mary

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He approached from the far side of the table taking the seat next to mine and posed this question, “How did I know that Mary really interceded in my life and could the blessings I encountered really be possible?” Perhaps, I could give him some “concrete examples?” I had just finished giving a little personal […]

Father, Forgive Us
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Father, Forgive Us

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My initial response to the outcome of the election was visceral. Fixing my eyes on the heavens, tears pouring down my cheeks, I searched for answers in the night sky. I did a lot of praying for this election. Issues that should abhor any God-fearing human didn’t seem to sway, move or even nudge the […]

An Advent Tale: What's On Fire?
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An Advent Tale: What’s On Fire?

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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,  proudly lauding myself for thinking ahead, taking advantage of the sale price, and […]

My Fellow Christian Americans…I am Confused
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My Fellow Christian Americans…I am Confused

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All of us are immersed in this politically charged atmosphere.  Like lightning hitting dry brush, words can easily set off a firestorm. There are some who love this climate, mostly politicians I imagine, or perhaps those who have something to gain financially or otherwise in the process or outcome.  The rest of us begrudgingly tolerate […]

Fruitfully Productive in a Different Way
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Fruitfully Productive in a Different Way

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I am a worker in the vineyard of the Lord in a bona fide way; I work at the Catholic Church. That certainly does not imply that only those who work in churches are in the vineyard, no, the world is the vineyard and there is lots to do in every corner of it. What […]

Chivalry is Not Chopped
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Chivalry is Not Chopped

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I got the rare chance the other night to watch the Food Network show, Chopped. I have seen the show maybe two or three times. It’s an interesting premise. Professional chefs challenge each other to create something delectable and wildly authentic using the most ridiculous combination of ingredients, in a constrained, high pressure feat of culinary […]

A Coward No More: Friendship and Politics
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A Coward No More: Friendship and Politics

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I have a very dear friend I have known since high school. We were both baptized Catholic as babies, raised in Catholic homes, and received all of our sacraments. I was in her Catholic wedding and she was in mine. We are Godparents of each other’s children. Where we stray is in our political convictions.  […]

Airport Fiasco
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Airport Fiasco

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“Wait right here while we recheck your bags,” advised airport security to my daughter. We stood there in stocking feet, staring blankly.  Suddenly, she giggled and leaned in close whispering, “I know what it is.”  I pointed out that voluntarily disclosing that information is usually the best policy in these situations. “I know what it […]

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