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What Hangs By Your Door?

Flowers, Faith, and Food for Thought

January tends to bring with it many new beginnings. 2023 brought the official opening of “The Gardens at Whitmer Woods.” It gave us a space to welcome many of you to our beloved acreage; what a gift to establish new names and faces, all the while reconnecting with friends and faces of the past, as well. 

With the start of 2024 comes another first for “The Gardens at Whitmer Woods”, the launch of our official website and blog. It is certainly a work in progress, but we are excited to get the ball rolling. Obviously, these are two tools allowing you to better see and learn about us, all the while allowing us to serve you and know you better. This year is a very special one for us, and I look forward to all it will bring! 

175 years ago this year, my great-great-great grandfather, Josiah Whitmer, along with his parents and siblings, settled here along the banks of Sugar Creek, in Cedar County, Iowa. What a blessing and sweet surprise it is to be a steward to a bit of that very land some six generations later.

Growing up, this land has held some of life’s sweetest, sacred, and most somber moments for me. This dirt has helped to not only grow and shape generations of crops, but it has served to cultivate the very lives of those stewarding it. One desire I have is through this blog to share some of those moments and the fruit of the labor. Often, as I work in our gardens, such moments come to mind…

Grandpa Willie

Grandpa Willie's Picture

Grandpa Willie was known to many, and many were known to him.  I can honestly say, I don’t think I ever took a moment with him for granted.  Be it in the barn, in the car, on the tractor, in the field, at the breakfast table or in the garden, time with Grandpa was like an ice cream cone on a warm summer day. Time with him was so sweet, and it never lasted long enough.  

Grandpa’s faith was like his garden. Its roots ran deep and strong.  So much of my faith was shaped by his. I remember an occasion when I asked him if he had a life verse.  He didn’t hesitate and said, “As a matter of fact, I do. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, …Aspire to live a quiet life, mind your own affairs, and work with your hands.” 

 What Hangs By Your Door?

Years later, I found that very verse in a special framed print and knew I had to have it. Now, by our front door, hangs that same passage.  It is our desire that as we garden, gather, and give we share that same testament.  It’s a testament to Grandpa, but moreover, it’s telling the story of who we desire to be.  

As this new year starts, what hangs by your door? 

sign by door

Please comment below. We would love to hear from you.

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The picture of Willie brought tears to my eyes. Bruce, the city boy, loved working on the farm with Willie and his sons. He was so kind, gentle, loving, and wise. I thank the Lord for the privilege of knowing him and your Grandma Rachel. They left behind a beautiful heritage of faith that continues to bear fruit for eternity. To God be the glory!


By our door hangs a sign that says, “We open our home in love and grace and ask God’s blessing on this place.”


What a great life verse! Thank you for sharing. I will definitely be highlighting that one in my Bible. We can’t wait to read and see what more you have to share.

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Thanks so much for your encouragement, Nicole. Hugs to you!

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