lent 2015: why I gave up dessert during lent

Jesus is over there, sweating blood and being abandoned by God Himself, and I’m over here giving up my free DQ cone for Lent. #worldsapart

The above was a tweet of mine from yesterday. Last night I was thinking more about it and thought I’d share just a little bit more. Thanks for reading. 

I was driving 3boys to Dairy Queen to get a free small cone to celebrate DQ’s 75th anniversary. I was thinking about that cone and how good it would be and how hungry I was even though it was only 3pm and… then I remembered: I gave up dessert during Lent.*

So I prayed / meditated / reasoned with God, 

Ice cream would so hit the spot right now. And I know you don’t love sacrifices just for sacrifices’ sake. And it’s free. And DQ free cone only happens once every – what – 25 years?? And I’m actually really hungry. And I don’t want to model unhealthy food abstinence to my boys… 


I didn’t give up dessert during Lent to try to impress you with my sacrifices. You’re already impressed with me.

I didn’t give up dessert during Lent to try to make you happy. You’re already happy – with me and in general. You’re not so moody or emotionally immature that a little ice cream abstinence could really improve your overall well-being.

I gave up dessert during Lent to remind me that you, Jesus, are sweeter than anything that could ever cross my tongue and dissolve into my belly.

I gave up dessert during Lent to create a daily trigger in my brain and palate and food rhythms that would make an extra space or two for me to think of you and remember your life and death and life anew.

I gave up dessert during Lent to help me to sense the reality of my smallness compared to you; knowing that no matter what I chose to give up for 40 days from my first-world, cushy, comfort-filled life, it would seem infinitesimally small compared to the brilliant, visionary, focused, sacrificial man of sorrows you were every moment of your life.

Man, I want to be like you when I grow up! 

And so, here we are, Jesus, talking about all of this because of the reminder of a forgone dumb, little, free swirl ice cream cone.

Mission accomplished, Lent. Well worth ditching the cone today.

Why did you give up something for Lent?

*This year I gave up desserts during Lent except for on Sundays, as my friend Jeff [yes, that Jeff] taught me — Sundays during Lent are to remind us that even while we are remembering Jesus’ death, he is risen! that he is currently alive and that is worth celebrating and worth not forgetting just for somberness’ sake.


So, a funny, tangential story:

As was writing the original tweet, I asked my husband, Jason, who was sitting next to me, “What is another way to say ‘no comparison’? I’m trying to find an appropriate hashtag…” He said (completely unaware of what I was writing), “What about, ‘eat that!’” I said, “Sorry. I meant ‘no comparison’ from the other perspective – like I’m the one who got beat. In this case, totally inappropriate.” #eatthatjesus?? Hahaha.


One response to “lent 2015: why I gave up dessert during lent”

  1. I love reading your conversations with yourself…and where they lead. Your friend the Holy Spirit (or is it Jeff?) adds great insight that touches my heart. Thanks, Jocelyn.