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.
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.
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.”
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!
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!