Lisa Doyle–Beauty in the world, Part 1: Leaving people better than you find them

Lisa Doyle embraces a mantra she’s had since age twelve. She found this quote on a decoupaged piece of cardboard in 1983:

“One day I would like to teach a few people
many and beautiful things
that will help them teach a few people.”
–unknown, A Teacher’s Prayer


The remarkable thing about having this quote since age twelve is that she was a foster child at that time, had difficult teen years going from place to place, even running away to get back home. Yet this quote stayed with her.

This sentiment of teaching beautiful things, coupled with troubling experiences growing up, is what led her to want to help foster children. This came to fruition last year in aiding the development of the non-profit Chosen, Inc.

But before that, Lisa’s favorite way to teach beautiful things was in leading women’s Bible studies, sharing the Word of God. She says, “I can’t change people but I can share the truth with them and hopefully impact them in love.”

Lisa’s overall mindset is leaving people better than you find them.

“There’s so much beauty in the world.
We focus on the bad instead of focusing on the good
and what could be better.
We need to be uplifting each other.”


Uplifting starts at home by surrounding herself with art, poetry, and music. Classical music for stress relief. Hip-hop and rap for house cleaning. Each room is a splash of color: a pacific blue kitchen, a kiddie pool blue office, a hulk green grandsons’ room, a gourd orange bathroom.

Double-sided capes so that grandsons Owen and Oliver can easily change from one superhero to another.

Lisa paints for fun, anything with color: hearts, faces, signs—whatever a mood may inspire. A favorite is reverse oil painting on glass, building up layers. Nowadays, she more often uses acrylics with the grandkids—less expensive and easier clean-up.

She wrote poetry over the years and has bound it together in a book, as her life story.

She especially loves photography, candid shots that capture the layers of the person.

Self-portrait: “Corridor of Grey” –See more of Lisa’s artistic photos on Instagram (see below)
One of Lisa’s favorite photos: her sons Nate and Zak with her grandsons Oliver (almost 1) and Owen (newborn), 2014.

Finding and preserving beauty is a favorite pastime. Downtown Waukesha is full of such treasures, an art community of jewelry, painting, and sculptures that she revels in.

Yet some of the most attractive works of art take her by surprise.

“I like the times I’m caught off guard by something beautiful.
A sunset. A kind moment between my grandkids.”


The Netflix show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” epitomizes Lisa’s philosophy of life—what we should be doing with friends and other relationships. In each episode, Jerry Seinfeld picks up a friend in a car that he’s picked out just for that person, for that time. They go for coffee and hang out together.

Lisa mentions that in one episode, one of Jerry’s friends said, “Whatever I do, someone’s always blogging or tweeting what I did wrong.”

“Why do we focus on the negative?” Lisa says, “There’s so much we can embrace and enjoy about each other.”

Lisa decorated and sent this card to a loved one to brighten her day.

Another thing Lisa enjoys is sharing the following tale as the impetus for creating the non-profit Chosen, Inc.

This is a true story.


Once upon a time, a little girl named Amalie (Mali) was born. Her mother Lois gave her up for adoption. Mali grew up with her adoptive parents, Tom and Karen, and an adopted brother Joe.

It was a semi-open adoption, so once a year, Karen sent a letter with pictures of Mali to Lois. All the way up to age eighteen.

One day, a few years later, Lois asked to meet Mali. It was her dying wish.

Tom, Karen, and Mali went to meet Lois. Karen thanked Lois for giving her the privilege of raising and loving Mali.
Mali’s blood siblings showed them the photo album of Mali’s life. Lois had saved every letter and picture that Karen had sent each year.

Karen was deeply moved. In short, she asked to use the album and went on to author the adoption story, published as the book Dear Lois.

Eventually, Mali and her husband Jason were moved to found a ministry to support adoptive families, and started taking the legal steps to do so. They filed for a 501c3 to create a non-profit status.

Dear Lois then became the vessel to support this organization, officially launched in May, 2017. Karen spoke at many events, sharing her story. All the book proceeds went—and still go—to Chosen, Inc.

The End of the Beginning of a Beautiful Tale . . .
Much more to come . . .


Lisa Doyle’s rough and tumble childhood and adolescent years in a variety of Wisconsin foster homes served as the incentive for climbing aboard this venture. Her husband Mike works with Tom in exterior restoration. Lisa and Karen have been friends a long time, starting with their sons’ eighth grade missions trip to Mexico in April, 2007.

Join me next time to learn more about how Chosen, Inc. is helping dozens of adoptive and foster families in the greater Milwaukee area.

Dear Lois by by Karen Schlindwein & Amalie Bowling

When has a difficult time (for you or someone you know) been the catalyst for doing something good for others?

Please leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Ever musing,


P.S. Next time: Lisa returns to share more about the non-profit Chosen, Inc. Learn how you can support this ministry no matter where you live!

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20 thoughts on “Lisa Doyle–Beauty in the world, Part 1: Leaving people better than you find them

  1. You know—and introduce us to—the most interesting people! What beautiful stories from Lisa and Mali. My parents always told my (adopted) brother that my sisters and I were given to them, but my brother was chosen by them. And I can’t imagine life without him!

    1. Being ‘Chosen’ is so important! It looks past the brokenness to a hope that says ‘I love you, you’re worthy’ especially when you come from circumstances that are painful or could be if you were focusing on them, rather than the gift of what’s in front of you.
      I love, love stories that happen in real life.

  2. A difficult time for me was when my dad broke his back in a car accident on our way to church. The other driver broadsided us in an intersection. My dad was in the hospital for 9 weeks and was forced to change jobs. Things seemed tough for us a family financially. After my dad recovered, when we were at church one Sunday, I saw him open his wallet and take out several bills to give to Mr. X. I told him that we couldn’t afford to do that because we were “hurting”, I thought. He told me that Mr. X had just lost his job without reason and that there were many people who were more needy than we were, and that as Christians, we needed to help where we could. I’ve never forgotten my dad’s illustration of Christian charity and the Lord has blessed me with the means to, in small ways, share the blessing of abundance that God has gifted to me.

    1. Wayne, thank you so much for sharing that wonderful story. Your dad certainly led by example in how to give generously, even with “little.” His actions spoke louder than words and made their impact, still evident today.

  3. Thank you Laura and Lisa. I loved learning more about Lisa that was news to me, and I’ve “known” her for years! What an inspiring blog.

    1. Laura has really done beautiful things on this blog. Every person she has shared about, is truly inspirational. I am blessed to have been a part of this!

  4. Laura, the way you capture her is outstanding. Lisa is so amazing and she really does impact the lives she’s a part of. She has a different way of thinking and definitely teaches it. She’s more than just my sister. The way she carries herself, you would never know past trials and tribulations. I always wanted her to publish her poetry and poems. They tell a story. Her story. One that Jesus gave her! I Love You, Lisa. You truly are a blessing.

  5. Thank you for sharing Lisa’s story, Laura. Lisa, you truly bring love, speak life, and give encouragement in the midst of reality to those you know. I love how God has shaped you to reflect Him. Thank you for being willing.
    You’re exceptional and I am grateful to know you. 🙂

    1. I am so grateful for your comment! Thank you for your kind words. It is a joy to know that God is using me for his Glory!

  6. What a beautiful quote to have as a mantra! And what a wonderful mission to help these children. It reminds me of how I’ve been adopted into God’s family, chosen as His child, forever loved and made His own.

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