Sparkles by Ashlee: faith, funny, + fulfilling dreams

Welcome to Sparkles by Ashlee, a Christian lifestyle blog over faith, funny, and fulfilling dreams. I'm Ashlee Staerk, and I'm a teenager in love with Jesus and writing stories for His glory in Iowa. Grab your fave drink (I'll take a Dr. Pepper), and peruse my blog, where I document what God is teaching me, encouragement He lays on my heart, the good and the bad in life (always keeping it real), and my journey of trusting God with my dreams!

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I Got Baptized Again!

On Sunday, I got baptized again at church! My mom did, too. We both were baptized as babies, but we wanted to do it again because we wanted to make it public that we were followers of Christ. It's not required, and it certainly doesn't determine if you're going to heaven or not, but we still wanted to do it in front of our church.

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I've learned two things over this event:

1) It's so not worth it to worry.

I was freaked out about being baptized because I'm a major introvert, and while I know a lot of people at church, I still don't know even half of the congregation yet. Plus, have you ever seen me swim and get out of the pool when I've accidentally swallowed water or didn't completely blow out my nose?! You don't want to, I'll leave it at that. But thankfully, that didn't happen. It was actually an amazing experience. And I have seen this pattern a lot in my life where I stress about something only for it to be nothing. God always remains faithful, remember that.

2) It's so worth it being patient and persistent in prayer.

My mom and I have wanted a new church for awhile. We found our new church back in August after months of praying about it. We also needed to connect with other Christians who were strong in their faith. Especially ME. Going to a public school is absolutely emotionally exhausting. There's so many people who are a) a total different religion, and while I believe we need to still love and accept those people, it's exhausting to not have any other Christian friends, and b) say they are Christians, and that's as far as it goes. And not to mention the stuff they teach us.

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So long story short, we needed a place like this. A place where we can get our minds set on what is truly important - the Lord. A place where we can encourage and be encouraged by other brothers and sisters in Christ. And I've honestly never been more sure of God's existence because you can see it in our church and the peace people have.

We were very scared at joining a new church because of fear and doubt. But one day Mom and I just did it. We showed up for a service, and it was extremely evident that our new church is the real deal. While not perfect, I can tell that a lot of the people here love Jesus and want to live for him. And it's so amazing to have this place in my life.

I'm so glad we decided to come. It's constantly a war with Satan and the lies he tries to make us believe. He tried very hard to make us fear trying to come here, and we procrastinated for a long time. But thankfully God won, as He always does.

Life is about perspective. For example, it's going to be really muddy soon as we make the transition from winter to spring (hopefully that will be soon; Iowa doesn't know how to do transitions very well). You could be discouraged about that, or you could be really excited to go out in your new pink rain boots and walk your dog. Willy and I are especially fond of this idea, so BRING ON THE MUD.

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And I could be upset that I am sick and have been for two days going on three. Which I am. There's nothing quite as great as waking up at five in the morning feeling like you are eating knives. But on the bright side, I got donuts (two!) and am having time to lounge in bed all day and blog. Which might not actually be good fitness wise, but that gives me an excuse to run when I feel better. Actually, I think running in the cold is what caused this mess. (See also: hurling up my lungs and blood.) But you know...perspective...donuts... Don't mind if I do!

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So that's all I have for you today. You should like my Facebook page here for more. Thanks for tuning in, go splurge on some donuts and try not to get sick!

Have you been baptized before - what was it like? What's your go to when you're sick?