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interview with lindsey wheeler // bottle of tears

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lindseyfamily photo by La La Photography

Name:  Lindsey Wheeler
Age: 34
Business:  Bottle of Tears
website  //  facebook  // twitter  // instagram


I have known Lindsey for 13 years and am so glad we can share her story with each of you. A story of “God uses ALL things for the good of those who love Him.” Romans 8:28. She is a fighter. Everyday. And in the midst of her fight, she loves {well} and prays {well} for others….others in need of someone to tell them their tears matter. – jenn

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you feel called to do?
I am Lindsey… mom to Eliana (aka #elianatheoneandonly)…an athletic, caring, generous, hilarious little 7-year-old that we adopted from Guatemala. I am wife to Chris Wheeler…a passionate, servant’s heart, crazy, fun husband who works with orphan care ministry at Show Hope. I am a fighter of Lyme disease and the owner of Bottle of Tears– a unique outlet through which friends can share comfort with one another by sending a vintage glass bottle with a beautiful Psalm included. I feel called to love the lonely, grieving, and broken. My deep desire is that you know that God sees you. He loves you. There is purpose in your pain. And, He’s not done with you yet!

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How did your business start?
Bottle of Tears isn’t something random. It is a vision that God gave me in the midst of my own pain and suffering. I am a 34-year-old wife and mom that struggles every single day of my life just to get out of bed. In the midst of a particularly rough weekend with Lyme disease, I participated in a women’s event online from my bed. I remember feeling so overwhelmed for other women that were stuck at home just like me. I had to do something to help and encourage. And that’s where Bottle of Tears began. I love all things vintage and have always loved vintage bottles. I love the beauty of knowing that these bottles have had a story, and I can’t wait for them to bring hope to others that are struggling. I also know the value of surprises and gifts when life feels like it’s been turned upside down. Mail is like gold for me, especially on days that I have not been able to get out of bed. And people’s gifts and cards always seem to come on the days I have needed hope the most. I pray these bottles will do the same thing for so many all over the country.

What type of response did you get when you started Bottle Of Tears?
Honestly, I went into this having no idea what the response would be. This began as a fundraiser for my medical expenses because insurance companies won’t provide long-term care for Lyme patients. But, this has turned into way more than a fundraiser. I started sharing different vintage bottles with quotes about grieving, tears, and hope on my Instagram page. It’s been a little over 4 months and I’ve sent hundreds of bottles all over the country. I am blown away every single day by the emails I keep getting. People have shared unbelievable stories about their bottles and how perfect the timing was of when their bottles arrived on their doorstep. Psalm 56:8 is just so profound…that Jesus sees and records every single tear we cry. I love watching people care for their friends and family.

Tell us about the Bottle Prayer Wall?
Every person’s story is so unique. I love that I get to pray over every single story and bottle that I send out. I pray for the person by name. Soon, I can’t wait to share their stories and prayer requests on the Bottle of Tears Prayer Wall (with their permission) so that they will have a community praying for and encouraging them!

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What do you hope to accomplish through Bottle of Tears?
I love that when someone is grieving or struggling, they now have a visual reminder that God sees them in their pain…that He counts and cares for every single tear that they cry. My desire is that they feel loved when they read Psalm 56:8 and that they feel a glimmer of hope when a package arrives on their doorstep. My prayer is that the bottle and scripture arrive the exact day that they need it. Really, I just want them to feel so loved by Jesus!

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Is there an area in life or business that God is calling you to take a risk?
Everything I’m doing feels like a risk because it’s out of my comfort zone. I keep reminding myself to take the next right step.

What are your fears within that risk and how are you navigating it {well}?
I definitely battle fears of failure and of not being enough. It’s a crazy thing starting a business even in the midst of my battle with this disease. I have okay days and bad days. I have to combat the lies that are running through my head with prayer, community and scripture. I want this to be all about the comfort that Jesus has given me.

What do you know now that you wish you had known 5 years ago?
I would tell Lindsey 5 years ago that she is going to make it!! I would tell her to step out in faith even when it isn’t easy. I would tell her to hang out with friends even when she’s tired. It’s so easy to isolate yourself when the dark season turns into years of pain.

How do you create margin in your life for your business, family, friends and the Lord?
It was a bit tricky in the summer because Eliana was home from school, and I did most of my work at night after she fell asleep. I’m excited that she is starting 1st grade with an amazing teacher, and I will have my days to be able to work on Bottle of Tears.  Discipline does not come naturally, but my husband and I are committed to living more disciplined lives in 2014!

What scripture do you cling to?
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” II Cor. 4: 16-18

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What is your favorite go-to easy meal for your family?
I’m in the middle of a crazy detox, so my husband does most of the cooking! He is a pro at homemade guacamole and salsa!

How has your faith played a role in your journey as an entrepreneur?
I wouldn’t be here answering these questions without my faith. It is the reason behind everything I am doing. Hope in Jesus is it…especially if you are in the middle of a difficult season. On days that I feel overwhelmed or discouraged, I remind myself that this is all about Jesus. He is the one that led me down this path.

If you weren’t doing what you are doing today, what would your dream job be?
For years before getting so sick, my dream was to be a licensed professional counselor. I love people and their stories.I love that I still get to be a part of people’s stories through Bottle of Tears…and I get to encourage through emails and social media. Who knows what the Lord has in store?!

Name 3 people you would want to invite to dinner?
I had the amazing privilege of meeting Jessi Connolly (Naptime Diaries), and Lindsay Sherbondy (Lindsay Letters) for a brief time in Nashville a few months back. Our time was definitely not long enough. They prayed over me and encouraged me more than they will ever know. I would love to throw them a huge dinner party! Also, I have been following Lisa Leonard (an amazing business woman and jewelry designer) for years. Can’t wait to meet her in person soon…she would be a great addition to the dinner. I admire these 3 women!

Salty or Sweet?
Today it is sweets because I can’t have them on my detox!

2 Comments on interview with lindsey wheeler // bottle of tears

  1. Aj
    September 28, 2014 at 8:01 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you for printing. I have a dear friend and mentor who is battling this disease exactly how Lindsey describes. This is a great insight and I hope encouragement to her.

    Reply
  2. Mary Helen Wheeler
    September 17, 2014 at 11:16 pm (3 years ago)

    Thank you for interviewing our beautiful Lindsey! She is a beautiful and brave daughter of the King! We celebrate the beautiful way God has led her to establish Bottle of Tears and the many ways He is using her to bring comfort and blessing to those who receive one if her bottles with
    Psalm 56:8 rolled and tucked inside.

    Reply

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