Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Definition . . .

It's Lent.

In the Catholic faith that means giving something up for the 40 days that span from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.

This Lenten "Sacrifice" is to remind us of the 40 days of fasting and prayer that Jesus experienced in the desert.

Some people have re-defined the Lenten Sacrifice. Instead of giving something up, they try and do something good for 40 days. Frankly; that usually turns out to be harder than giving up a particular vice.

A few years back I tried to deny my sweet tooth its satisfaction by giving up chocolate. That choice negatively impacted all those around me as I was grumpier than ever!

I also thought the chocolate sacrifice would help me loose weight. Not even close. I gained weight. My brain was so fixated on its desire for chocolate I kept trying to eat other things to satisfy my cravings. Nothing worked.

This year in an "Oh my gosh I need to think of something to give up for Lent" moment; I went with the first thing that popped into my head.


Six hours later on day one I was already re-thinking my choice.

How stupid could I be? I am the type of person that has to have some form of dessert with every meal.

By hour eight, immediately following dinner, I began to rationalize. What technically defines dessert?

Dessert usually comes after a meal. What if I wait two hours, then have a snack that happens to be a cookie. Is that dessert? Technically no, that would be a mid-evening snack. And so my twisted logic went on and on trying to figure out how I could get some treats without breaking the rules.

By day two I decided the only thing that would end this mental debate would be to look up the actual definition of the word "Dessert."

I went to and crossed my fingers for a definition in my favor!

dessert [dih-zurt]
1. cake, pie, fruit, pudding, ice cream, etc., served as the final course of a meal.
2. British. a serving of fresh fruit after the main course of a meal.


Later that day I used my new found knowledge to my advantage when there was a birthday celebration at work. They rolled out the ice cream cake and started passing around slices.

"Why, yes I would like a piece," I said.

One of my co-workers looked at me and said, "Didn't you just yesterday tell us you had given up dessert for Lent?"

"This is not dessert," I said. "This is a free standing celebration of someones birthday not preceded by a meal. Therefore I am perfectly entitled to my slice of ice cream cake."

Yes, I know, my lack of will power is sad.

I have also decided that a late night decaffeinated white chocolate mocha from Starbucks does not count as a dessert. That is a drink.

The good news is, I am totally not grumpy like when I gave up chocolate.

It's all in the definition!

The Song Of The Day - The Definition by Brandy


  1. However, the picture is of a Coffee Bean Ice Blended, not a Starbucks Frappucino :)

  2. Erin - I totally thought about the fact that the "drink" of choice in the picture was from Coffee Bean...which I am not even a fan of...and my thought was the only person who will call me out on this is Erin. So good job on meeting my expectations! LOL

  3. even i am not that sneaky and sly to bend the rules of something that has been around for many many years. and i am even honost on saying that i fully admit to breaking my lenten promise multiple times. should we not be honost?? hmm?? aren't adults supposed to be the role models for the younger children?? hmmm??? haha


  4. what can i say, if just jon writes about food his fans come a flocking. and do not try to pass off coffee bean as starbucks; erin and i are coffee bean fans. and what to do about your poor niece meg, well just jon maybe you had better pray on that one. fear not though just jon, our priest had given up snack foods and the day after ash wednesday as he sat working on the sermon for church he was eating a bag of chips. he wondered what we thought of him. it reminds me of when we look in the mirror, and see a couple of extra pounds , but if we turn just a little it doesn't look quite so bad; or when the scale gives us a number we don't like, we just say it must be broken; or when we can't button our jeans, we just blame it on the washer or dryer. we are always able to walk away content.
    you keep working on it all just jon. your fans think you are doing just great.
    love, mom

  5. How about take the "What would Grandma Jennie Do?" route. First off, if it was a Sunday, then it was defintely okay to enjoy that sweet, because even God rested on Sunday. Then there was special occasions. Any time we visited was treated as a special occasion therefore we would be allowed to indulge once again, because visiting Grandma was truly a special occasion. With that said...I am chosing to live by the motto, "every day is a special day, live it to enjoy it."

  6. HI Jon,
    Your Godmother is going to "weigh" in on this one! HA Yes Brian, Sundays you can "fudge" it. Likewise St. Pats and other feasts. Since there is a saints feast basically everyday you have lots of wiggle room. But seriously it shouldnt be a guilt thing. It is about making little sacrifices to strengthen yourself and remind yourself of Christ's ultimate sacrifice. Being a drag at someone's birthday celebration is not what it is about. It actually works out real well in our house. I have cut back on sweets so Mike can have the top of the cupcake with all the frosting and sprinkles which is all he really wants and I get the plain cake bottom. Darn Girl Scout cookie time always coincides with lent but they freeze well until after lent! P.S. Lent ends on Holy Thursday as that is the begining of the Tridium and so no longer lent. However after going that long and the solemnity of Good Friday, what is 3 more days? Makes Easter morning Easter candy filled breakfast all the better!!!

  7. that mom person is laughing even harder now. what have you gotten yourself into just jon? and i am going to call aunt maryellen to make sure she doesn't miss this one
    love, M

  8. this is the most amazing lent post ever. thanks to webster's, i think i will give up dessert every year!