Tuesday, July 24, 2012

bananas, jelly beans and bubblegum

We have a new family game that we play whenever we're driving anywhere. I'm not sure who came up with the official 'rules' ~ if the girls made it up or if they've borrowed it from friends ~ but we've adapted it to suit ourselves and it's been a fun thing to play on all of our summer trips so far.

Basically we keep our eyes open for rare types/colors of vehicles and whoever sees it first yells out the silly name that's attributed to it. For example, if we see a yellow vehicle we yell out "Banana!" A convertible {of any color} is a "jellybean", motorcycles are "blackberries", pink vehicles are "bubblegum", purple ones are "grapes." And if we see a gross color we can give it our own name such as "booger-berry" or "barf-berry." AND if we can combine them it's even better! It's actually pretty fun to be the one to spot a "banana blackberry!"

The thing that amazes me with this game is that yellow, for example, is actually not as rare of a vehicle color as you think it is! I mean, certainly it's more rare than red, blue and silver ~ but I'm surprised at how often we get to call out "Banana!" It seems that when you are specifically looking for a particular color/type of vehicle, they seem to just jump out at you all over the place.

"Bubblegums" are a lot more rare, but even those pop up from time to time. Nobody has yet to be able to claim seeing a "bubblegum jellybean" though, but you can be sure that if it ever happens, that person will have a great sense of pride in their rare find!

I was thinking about this game the other day and realizing that it's a lot like finding things to be thankful for ~ like my 1000 Gifts posts. So often it seems like we are surrounded by negativity. We're having a bad day/week and it makes us feel like nothing is going our way. Things to be thankful for seem like they are few and far between...like those yellow vehicles. But if we just keep our eyes open to the blessings; if we intentionally seek out the good, we will find that there are actually many more things to be thankful for than what we originally realized.

And I like to look at the "bubblegum jellybeans" as miracles. We may not see a pink convertible every day in our travels...but they are certainly out there. We just might have to look a bit harder ~ and longer ~ to spot one.

The really cool thing is that once you start this intentional seeking thing, it becomes a natural part of you. Now we call out "Blackberry!" anytime we see a motorcycle ~ not just on road trips. Whether we're on a long drive to the lake, or biking to the park, or even if we see one on TV. It has become second nature for us to spot these gems.

And I am living proof that it works the same way with counting your blessings. Keeping a running list of gifts in my life ~ amidst all of the negativeness that surrounds us in this imperfect world ~ becomes a wonderful habit.

There is also a sense of anticipation in this act of actively looking for rare and hidden vehicles. Who will spot the next "Grape" and what exactly will it look like? And imagine if/when we actually DO spot a pink convertible?

How incredibly cool!

I, for one, don't want to miss out on that discovery. So I'm going to keep my eyes open for the next miracle that God is going to reveal Himself through. Whether it comes through a simple "banana" or the highly sought-after "bubblegum jellybean", there are more blessings out there than we realize. We just need to open our eyes to them.


Kathy and Carl said...

It's a great game with a pretty important message. Thanks for the reminder to keep my eyes open!

LaughingLady said...

I discovered that, too, when I started participating in Thankful Thursdays and then keeping a gratitude journal. There are ALWAYS things to be thankful for ~ even when life seems pretty sucky. And it does really seem like God rewards those who actively strive to recognize and be thankful for even the smallest of blessings. :)

TammyIsBlessed said...

So true, what a great reminder that we can be intentional about what habits we're forming (and not forming!).