We’re stepping over boxes around here. We’ve been in the new house, our new home, just a week today. Sitting here in the kitchen feels a little strange, like it’s not really my house, as if I’m only visiting. I feel like a guest here–except that I’m not a guest, I am the host. 

One of the things we knew when we moved in, was that we wanted to practice more “open door” living here. It’s tempting to use the boxes and unpacking mess as an excuse not to let others in, but just this evening, I found myself opening the slider to my neighbor and inviting her into my disaster of a kitchen. I ignored the dinner dishes piled up on the table and both sides of the sink, and waved her in. I didn’t think about it until afterwards, how I normally wouldn’t invite someone into the middle of my mess. But the hospitality that’s been extended to us in the few short days that we have called this space home is contagious, and when she appeared at the back door, I slung it open without hesitation. And it felt good.

It felt better than good. 

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” ~Brene Brown

The truth is that while it can be uncomfortable inviting people into our unfinished business, that’s the heart of who we are. We are not polished and perfect, we are not untouched and dust-free. We are dishonest when we aren’t real about our clutter-laden hearts, about our disheveled attitudes and mental disarray. What use is there in trying to hide all of that from those who want to know us? We ought to let them in anyway–even if our junk isn’t all neat and tidy. 

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” ~Brene Brown

Right now, there are 4 large, overstuffed black trash bags piled in my entry way. They are the first thing you’d see if you swung by for a visit. There’s a box full of flattened boxes and two towering boxes of bubble wrap and plain, crumpled newsprint waiting to be transferred to someone else in need of moving supplies. Almost nothing is where it belongs, and this could stop me from opening my door. This could be a legitimate reason for me to force visitors to remain on the front stoop, rather than inviting them in. Probably no one would fault me for wedging myself between would-be guests and my box-stacked entryway. But I’m forcing myself to open my door anyway. 

“Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” ~Brene Brown

I can already tell this new neighborhood is nothing like where we came from. I feel pretty confident that I’m going to continue to learn about opening my door whether my house is ready for it or not. It’s okay to let people see you in process. It’s the most honest thing we can do.  Sharing our vulnerabilities with others opens other doors. When we let others see our imperfections, our cluttered homes, our still-unpacking process, we make space for them to be imperfect too. 

Today, I’m hosting a friend here for coffee. I will open my door wide, scoot the mess out of the way and let her fully in. I’ll probably make a skillet cookie for her kids, and we will skip the formalities in favor of honest conversation. 

Easy Gluten-Free, dairy-free Skillet Cookie
Serves 8
A quick and delicious treat for when the neighbors kids come over to play, or your friend drops by for coffee.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 10 Tbsp.Ghee, divided
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour (I used Domata brand, it is a cup for cup substitute for regular flour)
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  9. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy-free chocolate chips may be used)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with 2 tablespoons of melted Ghee
  3. Add the remaining 8 tablespoons of ghee and the sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, mix well.
  4. Stir together the fdluten-free flour, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix on low until combined.
  6. Stir in the dairy-free chocolate chips.
  7. Press the cookie dough into the prepared skillet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are crisp and the cookie is golden and cooked through.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Serve warm.
  1. This is a super easy, completely adaptable recipe. Add nuts if you like, or swap out the ghee for real butter. Use regular, semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips if you prefer, and if you are making this with regular flour, simply make that swap too.
  2. This giant cookie is a no-fail, guaranteed crowd pleaser.
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Kris / Posts / Blog
Kris is a writer and artist living in the middle of Ohio. She loves Jesus, people, and words. She is most often found in her tiny kitchen, where she plays with her food. Having recently mastered the art of preparing perfectly crisp dino-nuggets--she is her children's hero.
  • SimplyDarlene

    Gentling our hearts toward others, and our own selves, is so needed during the unpacking and settling in process.

    May God bless you, Kris, as you shine His light in your new neighborhood.

    March 28th, 2016 9:44
  • Avatar
    Bri McKoy

    Kris! How I wish we lived closer. Everything you wrote is true to who I know you to be. I know you would swing your doors open no matter what. You are such a gift and inspiration to me. xoxo

    March 28th, 2016 16:01
  • Avatar
    Kristi Ahrens

    I LOVE this! I struggle with this so much. I’m so nervous that people will think I don’t care, or I don’t try, or I’m lazy, or my priorities are wrong if my house is not nice. What the heck?! That is such tomfoolery. Life is too short to not be with our people for fear of looking less than perfect because hello, we are less than perfect. Thank you for writing this!!

    March 31st, 2016 12:28

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