Understanding How My Values Influence Me

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Conservative, Christian, Childfree, and Pro-Life. These are my core values.

What a combination, huh? If this is your first introduction to me, great! This is where I want you to start. For a long time, I cared more about what others think of me than I did about remaining true to who I am and what I believe. I never sacrificed my beliefs to make someone else happy, but I have remained silent in the face of disagreement and criticism of my values.

Because that’s what these are. Values.

As a Christian, I want all people to come to Jesus and be saved. My morals and values all stem from following Jesus and telling others about the gospel along the way.

Christianity in a Secular World

A recent poll surfaced a new trend in Christianity in America: it’s declining. More people are apparently choosing a secular worldview, worshiping the god of self and pleasure instead of finding purpose in a life serving God.

I grew up in the Lutheran church. I was confirmed just after turning fourteen, in 2007. We went to church every Sunday and usually stayed for Sunday School. One of my favorite classes in high school was Bible because the teacher often went on long, interesting tangents about things like exorcism. My Church History class in elementary school was fascinating as well as educational.

The Decline of My Faith

When I went to college, I found a tiny, tiny church close to campus. It was part of a sister synod, meaning their doctrine and style of preaching was close to my home church.

But I only regularly attended for a year or a year and a half. I slowly felt my faith draining away and I didn’t know why, or how to stop it. I envied others’ good relationships with God. A hole opened up inside. I left my Bible and Catechism closed, intimidated by them. I didn’t forsake my Christian values, but I didn’t stand up for them either.

Now I know that this was the work of the Devil, and this is what the Devil is good at.

After graduation I tried again in a new city hoping this time, it would be different.

But I never truly felt welcome there. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why, but something happened there after which I stopped going as often, despite remaining a member.

What Not to Do In Church:

During communion one Sunday I ran my thumb over a tiny nick on then-boyfriend-now-husband Tim’s cheek—neither of us knew where it came from. A man sitting behind me in the overflow section tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You shouldn’t have hit him so hard.”

I stared at him with my mouth open a little, looked at the altar, then back at him, and angrily whispered, “Not appropriate!” while feeling rage and disbelief building inside me.

He looked at me as if he wasn’t sure of what he said wrong, and said “Are you saying he had it coming?”

So I turned around again. I gave him a look of incredulity, and said “Wow.” And then ignored him the rest of the service, steaming.

After we were about to leave, another member came up to my car and had me roll down the window, and asked about what had happened. She explained that the man in question had to take testosterone shots and when he missed a shot, he said offensive things to people because of a lack of a filter. He’d offended her frequently.

She hoped it didn’t drive us away.

Unfortunately, it did.

I couldn’t understand how someone in the church could say something like that to another believer, even if he didn’t have a filter on his mouth. It was disheartening and the hole inside grew wider.

My Faith Now

When we moved in with my in-laws, I looked around for a church yet again. I went to a service on Mother’s Day, 2017, and felt so welcome that I have been attending ever since. I transferred my membership from the previous church. The vibe I got and still get from my church is nothing less than inclusion, acceptance, and support. Their values show up not just in the sermons, but in how the congregation treats everyone.

But I could still feel that hole.

On Christmas Day in 2018, I asked my mom if I could borrow her study Bible. It has explanations along the bottom sections of each page, giving insight and cross-references. Starting on January 1st, 2019, I began reading the Bible in chronological order of when each book roughly took place.

Every morning, I read a chapter or a few chapters of the Bible. Each day that goes by is transformative for my faith. I’m now planning to read the entire Bible every year.

I can feel that hole filling up and filling in. It feels much better to let my faith flow than to hold it under a cup. I don’t claim any credit for finding my way back to God. All credit goes to the Holy Spirit, who gives the gift of faith and guides believers on the path.

And that’s the first of my values that’s important to me: living my faith.

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21

Conservative Values on a Liberal Internet

Conservative voices are being silenced right and left all over the internet. The one most people will recognize is Steven Crowder, a comedian and conservative commentator who’s had a regular show since at least 2009. He and his brother were among the first creators on YouTube invited into the Partner Program (monetization from videos) and this year pulled the plug on monetizing any of his videos at all.

Similarly, YouTube automatically demonetizes Australian-American Sydney Watson because of her political opinions.

The internet has become a liberal playground, meaning everyone must play by the liberal rules.

I value the entire Bill of Rights, but most crucial are the right to free speech and the right to bear arms.

My favorite bumper sticker says this: “I proudly cling to my religion and guns.”

Respect for the Bill of Rights

Free speech: I don’t believe there’s such a thing as “hate speech.” People have the right to say whatever the hell they want, and people have the right to be offended by it. But I don’t believe people should be criminally punished for saying hateful things.

Guns are a touchy subject in America but I 100% believe everyone has the right to keep and bear arms. Guns are the great equalizer. I think “gun free zones” are the stupidest thing imaginable, because it’s a neon sign pointing out defenseless victims for those who would shoot them up.

Those are the big two for me.

Small Government, Low Taxes

Big government costs money and they want to stick their noses in our business. No thanks. The economy booms when taxes are lower and the government isn’t butting in.

Socialist values don’t jibe with how conservatives live.

Freedom from Oppression & Tyranny

Talk of gun registration or “mandatory buybacks” raises my hackles. The first step to a dictatorship and controlling the populace is getting rid of the means to fight back—taking our guns.

I don’t know about you, but I also don’t like it when people tell me what I can or can’t do or say.

Seriously… adding the “okay” hand sign to a list of hate speech? Come on. Every day that goes by leaves me more and more baffled about the things this country is doing.

Choosing a Childfree Life in a Child-Centric Society

Most people go through life following the scripts other people and society give them.

“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage.”

As if the baby is inevitable and all women are destined to be mothers.

This is one of my strongest values. Most people who know me, including my coworkers, know that I am staunchly childfree and will never have children.

To some people, the thought that a woman doesn’t want children means that woman hates children. “How could you??”

(News flash: I don’t hate children. I’ve got a niece, and I’m a counselor for 9- and 10-year-old girls at Panther Camp. I can give them back to their parents.)

I Thought I Wanted Children, Once

Like many women, grew up thinking I would have children. It was the progression of life. Grow up, fall in love, get married, have children. Somewhere in there, maybe have a career. I didn’t know how it would all fit together, blindly trusting that somehow it would all work out.

But then I started paying attention to where my money was going. What things I saved for. The plans I had for my future. Children didn’t fit in. I worried. Was I doing it all wrong? What kind of woman was I to not want children?

When I finally realized that I was not obligated to have children, and nor should I have them just for the sake of having them, my world opened up.

Weight lifted from my shoulders.

I will never have children, and anybody who thinks otherwise should 1) check themselves and 2) read this open letter about it.

Pro-Life Values in an Abortion-Crazy Country

It seems strange for a childfree person to also be pro-life, right? But I’ve always known that I’m not one to conform or go with the flow of popular opinion.

I believe life begins at conception, and that every child conceived is worthy of life, despite how his/her parents may feel.

Like Steven Crowder, I believe there are four choices.

  1. Abstinence
  2. Contraception
  3. Adoption
  4. Parenthood

The only “choice” I cannot, will not, and never have agreed with is abortion. Ending the life of a child in the womb is despicable to me. For more context, please watch Steven Crowder’s “I’m Pro Life, Change My Mind” videos. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). His views on abortion are exactly mine.

It’s shocking how callous many people are about murdering unborn children.

Because of my childfree life, I’m firmly planted in the “contraception” camp. This means almost paranoia-levels of birth control.

Imagine my relief when I found out that my insurance covers sterilization at 100%! They consider it preventative healthcare since children are a huge burden on the healthcare industry.

Now that’s some serious birth control.

Authenticity, Integrity, & No More Hiding

My values discussed here directly relate and influence my writing about everything here. I will no longer hide my opinions behind the desire to please everyone who reads this. This is me showing authenticity and integrity with how I live and write about my life.

How Faith Connects

My mental health has improved as I’ve given more of my anxiety to God. Worry is the antithesis of trusting in God.

28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

How can I know what kind of person to change myself into if I don’t read the Bible? My example for a perfect life is Jesus Christ. I can’t possibly hope to measure up. But my purpose is to become someone who serves with my skills, and everything I do to improve myself should reflect my Savior.

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Even deeper than that is living a Christian lifestyle. This one is hard, but it also means I can share the gospel by how I live. I might be childfree, but I don’t hate children.

And for Type 1 Diabetes… I believe God allowed this disease into my life to teach me how to lead, how to be an unshakeable person, and learn how to make the best out of a crappy life circumstance. I don’t blame God for my diabetes—I praise Him for it! It’s a test of faith: do I make myself a victim to this disease or do I take the reins and control it?

How Conservatism Connects

In 100% honesty, I don’t understand how the liberal mindset equates with good mental health. Constant outrage, accusations of intolerance, name-calling when others disagree, and unfounded moral superiority feel toxic to me. All that negativity affects the mind.

With self-improvement and lifestyle, it’s about choosing the high road and not sinking to the same level of outrage and accusation. It’s about responding to things with love.

Even though insulin prices are astonishingly high for uninsured (and some insured) patients, insurance before the “Affordable” Care Act was way more affordable than it is now. The only thing I liked about the ACA was being able to stay on my dad’s insurance until I turned 26. Literally the only thing. I will never support socialized healthcare.

How Childfree Values Connect

Realizing that I don’t need to follow the traditional LifeScript that all women should be mothers did more for my mental health than setting boundaries did. I don’t have this weight of worry on my shoulders that I’m “doing it wrong” when living my life.

As for self-improvement, this value lets me approach my thoughts with a clear view of what’s important to me. The childfree lifestyle we are building is letting us clarify exactly how we want to live and what to bring into our lives.

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One reason behind our decision to remain childfree is the risk of passing on my Type 1 Diabetes. I could never forgive myself if I made the choice to have a child and that child inherited my incurable disease. I wouldn’t wish Type 1 Diabetes on my worst enemy—let alone my own child. There are plenty of T1D parents who don’t have T1D kids, but for us the risk is too great.

How Pro-Life Values Connect

Not killing unborn children has a great positive effect on mental health. I’m not living with the delusion that abortion is okay. If you want a good story about how “pro-choice” affects mental health, read up on Abby Johnson. She worked for Planned Parenthood for 8 years before leaving. When the clinic asked Abby to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old fetus, it horrified her, she left Planned Parenthood, and now is a vocal anti-abortion activist.

I will never advocate for the “pro-choice” beliefs when talking about our childfree lifestyle or personal growth.

Despite how horrible I think it is to genetically pass Type 1 Diabetes to children, I also believe that every single child diagnosed with it deserves to learn how to live this life. Diabetes is not a death sentence—it’s an opportunity to grow beyond what society expects of us and become leaders and advocates for better research and treatments.

Still Here?

That’s the summary. While I focus this blog on mental health, self-improvement, lifestyle, and type 1 diabetes, it’s important for you, my lovely readers, to understand exactly where I’m coming from in each place.

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