Today is our Hannah’s tenth birthday! Hannah is our seventh grandchild. She is such a beautiful, sweet little girl, and as smart as they come! She came into this world looking like a rosebud and was the little princess of the family after her two older brothers. Now she has four older siblings since the adoption of another brother and, for the first time, a sister. She is still the baby of the family, although she could pass for one of the teenagers as she is as tall as some of them. Hannah has a very loving heart just like her mama and daddy. She loves animals and is always trying to add to the family by bringing in some new “pet” or another, whether it be a butterfly, lizard, baby rabbit or some other critter she can chase around the yard.
She had been begging for a hamster for her birthday. Julie was adamant—no hamster! They already have two dogs, Pumpkin and Pebbles—enough in terms of vet bills, boarding bills when they go on vacation and responsibility. She bought a couple toy hamsters and hoped Hannah would be happy with that.
The Sanchez family loves to celebrate birthdays BIG! They decided to celebrate Hannah’s birthday yesterday instead of today since Sundays are filled up with church and don’t leave much time for birthday festivities. Hannah wanted to go to a farm nearby where they raise miniature horses and invite visitors to stop by. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain so that idea had to be postponed. “Well, could we go to Petco instead and just look at the animals there?” our little animal-lover asked.
“Yes, but we are not bringing home a hamster!” So off to the pet store they went. And a couple hours later they came home—with a guinea pig instead!
“Biscuit” they called her. I was incredulous! “What happened?” I asked. Julie had been so resolute in insisting there would be no more pets—especially rodents!
She started to gush. Guinea pigs are so sweet, she said. Docile and calm, great little companions who love to cuddle with their humans, easy to care for… she went on and on. Sounded like Julie had fallen in love as easily as the kids had. The moment that little critter had cuddled up to her and laid its tiny head on her chest, her nurturing instincts had kicked in and she was a goner. David wasn’t any better. So Biscuit came home as the family pet, not just Hannah’s.
They Skyped with us to show us their big surprise—and boy, were we surprised! We talked for a while, but finally lost the connection and had to quit. I called Julie back later and started off, “You crazy lady! Bringing home a guinea pig!”
“Well, that’s not quite the end of the story, Mom,” Julie confessed. It seems that after they finished Skyping with us, Julie got to thinking about what social little creatures guinea pigs were; how Biscuit’s cage was under a window and that it might get a little cold in the winter; how it wouldn’t really cost any more, or be any more work to care for two guinea pigs as it was for one… Biscuit needed a sister! Besides, they had just received a rebate check that was the exact amount another guinea pig would cost! She went off to talk to David, and before you knew it, the whole family was on the way back to the pet store. They came home with “Bubbles,” Biscuit’s little sister, playmate and cuddle companion! (Let’s hope they both truly are girls!)
Crazy lady, indeed! They now have two dogs, two guinea pigs, five kids, and hopefully, a new baby very soon (by adoption!) That’s a houseful!
I spent some time this morning doing research on guinea pigs just out of curiosity. What I discovered almost made me want to run out and get one (or two!) for myself! Almost. It seems that we could all be a little more like the guinea pig—at least in temperament!
- Guinea pigs are docile. They almost never bite. We, too, should refrain from being ugly to one another. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32) I wish we could all remember that more often—rather than jumping off the gun and being so quick to accuse, criticize, fight, take offense, or in other words—bite. Romans 12:17- 21 says, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:14 reminds us to, “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
- Guinea pigs are sweet and gentle. We should be known by our love, the Bible says, and have the fruit of the Spirit evident in our lives. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” (I John 4:7) “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” (Romans 12:10) “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22, 23) The world should see a difference in our lives.
- Guinea pigs are sociable, friendly and love to cuddle. We are meant to love our neighbor as ourselves, to be supportive, to bear one another’s burdens and to just be there when we are needed. The book of Proverbs has several things to say about friendship: “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity…. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother… Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” (Proverbs 17:17. 18:24, 27:9) Romans 12:13, 15 reminds us “ Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. (Romans 12:13, 15) Edifying and encouraging others is not just for their benefit, but for ourselves as well. The warmth we give out to others when we “cuddle,” is returned to us simultaneously. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:12-16)
Want to try a little experiment this week? Be a guinea pig! Or at least, act like one! You will bless others—and yourself!
Happy Birthday, sweet Hannah!