from where I’m sitting.

She is sitting in the passenger seat, looking right at me as I perfectly serenade her with the entire second chorus of our favourite song. As I start telling her about my passion for flying and for travel, I can tell she is no longer paying attention.

He is sitting in the driver’s seat and I am listening to him sing each word so confidently, yet so wrong; his fingertips playing an invisible drum set on the steering wheel. Carefully, I watch his jaw clench; cheek pulsing as it tenses. His eyes light up as he talks about his passions for flying and for travel. Sitting there, staring at him, I can’t help but freeze.

She is sitting in the passenger seat and I doubt she has even blinked in the last five minutes I have been talking. It’s obvious that her mind is elsewhere. She has that goofy smile plastered on her face; clearly losing interest in the current conversation. Though I keep talking, because I know it’s not often that I get to say much when I am with her. While she is lost for words, I may as well take my chance.

He is sitting in the driver’s seat and he knows as good as anyone that I am hard to shut up, but for once in my life I am speechless. Frozen, with a goofy smile plastered on my face, I take in every bit of him. His entire face is gleaming and it is the most beautiful thing. He speaks so passionately. His motivation and drive inspire me as I look at him, proud to call him mine.

She is sitting in the passenger seat and I am beginning to seriously wonder if this woman can fall asleep with her eyes open. I start talking more about the places I want to visit with her. Surely this couldn’t bore her, I’m talking about her now! I tell her how this world is so incredibly big, but together, anything is possible.

He is sitting in the driver’s seat, continuing to talk with that sparkle in his eye. He has no idea just how much my heart longs to be his forever.  He looks over at me every once in a while and I can’t help but think, he is everything I never knew I needed. He sees the entire world as something incredibly big that he can conquer and yet if he had asked me what I see my world as, the answer would be him.

I didn’t mention a name, but you thought of someone didn’t you?

Keep smiling. x

my sister is the reason I believe

I decided to share my testimony in the form of poetry. Feel free to read it below or watch it by clicking on the video!

My Sister is the Reason I Believe | My Testimony from Jess Shipton on Vimeo.

My Sister is the Reason I Believe // my testimony 

This is the story of  why I believe in a God who loves me,
A small part of my journey that has helped form my testimony.
Back when I was five, I didn’t think much of God,
It was all just a story that I had been told.

But it took just one moment and everything changed.
I began asking questions and knew I wouldn’t be the same.
Who knew that one thing could make such an impact,
In a way that I was confused as to how to react.

It all happened one afternoon while our family was weeding the yard.
My three-year-old sister with flawless skin was the next minute scarred.
She had hooked a hockey strap to the collar of our dog,
Holding tightly to the other end as he chased people going for a jog.

The next part is where some fun quickly turned to disaster,
As the pair of people passed by, our dog began to run faster.
Failing to let go in time as she stumbled past,
She tripped on a metal garden rake lying face up on the grass.

As the situation unfolded before us and the seriousness was unveiled,
Mum and Dad raced over to my sister and realised she had been impaled.
A deep wound above her ankle, but no blood in sight,
The rake was protruding from her body and she was in for a fight.

Within the blink of an eye, a relaxed afternoon was now an emergency.
The sound of laughter quickly shifting to cries of urgency.
It is strange how in these moments, despite how quick everything moves,
It seems to slow down and feel like nothing will improve.

I sat down on the front porch as the neighbours calmed me down,
But meanwhile all I heard was loud sirens all around.
I can’t even express what was going through my head,
All I could see was flashing colours of blue and red.

Moments later, she had been rushed to the hospital,
A cheerful three-year-old girl with a body so little.
This is where she stayed for a few days and nights,
And we were given news that something didn’t go right.

She had an oxygen embolism which is as badas it sounds,
Where small amounts of air within the blood circulation are found.
The doctors informed Mum that my sister had stopped breathing,
And the monitor was flat lining as her heartslowly stopped beating.

The confusion, the sadness, the anger and the worry,
All these mixed emotions as the nurses could only say sorry.
The Doctors were meant to clean her wound with saline solution,
But hydrogen peroxide was the accidental and fatal substitution.

When you are having lots of fun, two and half minutes doesn’t seem like forever,
But when something like this happens, it’s hard to think it will get better.
However these few minutes seemed like an eternity to my Mum who was with her,
All the anxious and scared feelings that were blurring together.

I remember at this time I didn’t really know God at all,
But I was praying to something and of that I am sure.
A constant stream of thoughts and unspoken words,
That I knew that somewhere out there was being heard.

Meanwhile my parents were waiting in the hallway,
Where the nurse – mascara running down her face, had something to say.
She placed her hand on Mum’s knee and explained the cardiac arrest,
How something beyond us saved her and for that we are blessed.

Fifteen years later and I can’t fathom what happened that day.
My sister shouldn’t be here, but every night I pray.
I pray to a God that I now wholeheartedly believe in,
My sister is a living miracle and for that I will always thank Him.

With a scarred ankle that still remains as a reminder of her brave fight,
It serves as her testimony in which she continues to shine God’s light.
God knew that she needed to be here and that her short time on Earth wasn’t done.
And just like that, a life full of love and kindness begun.

My sister is one-hundred percent the reason I believe,
In a God that is bigger and greater than I could perceive.
She is a walking, talking, sometimes annoying, miracle,
But a life without her would be nothing short of unbearable.

While this is my story of how I met a God who loves me,
I challenge you to truly acknowledge the way he cares unconditionally.
Whether you have found Him yet or you are still searching,
Take courage in the infinite blessings and his constant nurturing.

He is my Heavenly Father full of compassion,
And a heart that pours out a love that will never go out of fashion.
At the end of the day, there is only one thing he asks you to do,
In order to be saved, you must believe His Word is true.

So what have you got to lose? This is real talk now.
If you look at how incredible this world is, you can’t help but ask how.
All you have to do is believe with all of your heart,
And if this God is more than just a story, you will be set apart.

Keep smiling. x


Open doors.

Earlier this year one of my beautiful friends tagged me in a post on Instagram about a writing competition for a young women’s Christian magazine. I screenshot it and one afternoon while I was sitting in my room mindlessly flicking through my pictures, I came across the screenshot and decided to give it a go. Instead of asking ‘why?’ I asked ‘why not?’ What did I have to lose anyway?
Almost two months past and I still hadn’t received anything from the magazine. To be honest, I had forgotten about the competition altogether – I had other priorities such as Uni and work.
Well here’s where things start to get exciting. This morning I religiously checked my emails, dreading what new Uni readings I would have to annotate by next class. Little did I know that one email in particular was going to open new doors for me. I clicked on an email from a lady whom I had never met, nor heard of. In short, it was referring to a new magazine issue that was being published soon and how she was looking for articles relating to the theme. She finished by thanking the team and signing off with a few “x’s”. I selected the email and was about to press ‘delete’ when I stopped, re-read the email and thought, what are the chances of this being an accident?
I decided to reply to the stranger and asked her to confirm if I was meant to have received the email. She replied within minutes apologising for the confusion and informing me that she would love to have me on board the team of writers. This meant that I would have the ability to contribute to the MICI (Made In Christ’s Image) Magazine through my writing. In case you needed reassurance  – I said yes.
Inspiring people through my writing is something I have always dreamt of doing and slowly, but surely, it is finally becoming a reality. It’s amazing what can happen when you take chances, step outside your comfort zone and try new things. One open door can lead to so many wonderful new opportunities and experiences. So just take that first step. Be courageous. Try something different and be bold.
So before you select what could be a new opportunity to achieving your dreams and click ‘delete’, stop for a moment and think, what do you have to lose? Give it a go and just do it.
Keep smiling. x

Future Avenue

So I recently got my P plates and have come to the conclusion that despite that awesome feeling of finally having freedom, I actually prefer driving with other people in the car. I love driving and being in control, but I feel more secure when I have someone in the passenger seat. Probably because there is actually someone there listening to me talk. Driving by yourself can be daunting when you don’t know how to get somewhere. No road map or GPS. It’s just you and the road. All of a sudden, your mind starts to become hazy and you are unsure of where you are. You are lost and you don’t know what’s going to happen next.

Don’t get me wrong, the fact that the future is unknown is exciting, but it scares me too. We spend all our childhood years wishing that we were all grown up and out there in the real world. Then we finally get there and can’t help but ask ourselves why we were so silly. We long for the days of being six-years-old again, where tying our shoe laces was the biggest of our problems.

I wish life had a pause button, so I could really soak in and enjoy what life has to offer at the moment. Before I know it, all my friends will be going their separate ways, ready to embark on their own amazing journeys. Some will go overseas, for a short time or maybe forever; others might stay here, score their dream job and raise a family. Truth is, I have no idea where my friends will be in the next five years, let alone this time next year, but I know for sure that God has some incredible plans for them.

I guess it is hard to comprehend how little we actually know. I suppose I find it difficult to get my head around the uncertainty. The possibilities are endless. If someone came up to me right now and asked me where I see myself in the next couple of years, I would probably answer something along the lines of “I would love to inspire people through what I write, because I love making people smile.” I honestly don’t know if I have any other talents or if God can use me through writing. It’s times like that where I need to stop and think; if God has a plan and a purpose for everyone, He definitely knows what He is doing with my life. I just need to let Him jump in the passenger seat beside me and be the GPS. And yes, sometimes there will be dirt roads along the way and I will lose satellite reception or I will run out of fuel and have to get out and push, but those are the times I will need God the most. Those are the times I need to let Him take the wheel and trust that He knows the way.

Keep smiling. x

One day

One day I will be done with school,
Graduation, it comes and goes.
I’d go to university and study,
Where that takes me, only God knows.
One day I’m going to work somewhere,
Where I can inspire others through what I write.
I’d love to make a difference,
I want to make things right.
One day I’ll move out from home,
I’ll say goodbye to my old bedroom.
I’ll pack my bag with all my things,
Clothes, pictures, books, perfume.
One day I will have to pay the bills,
Electricity, water and phone.
I’ll be out there against the world,
Doing it all on my own.
One day I am going to travel the world,
See everyone and everything.
I will go to Italy, Paris, Brazil,
All the places I’ve never been.
One day I will get married,
And we could travel the world together.
We would do all we could,
To stay in each other’s lives forever.
One day I’m going to know what it’s like,
To be in my parent’s shoes.
I’ll have kids of my own creating chaos,
While I’m trying to watch the news.
One day things won’t be so easy,
Because life will always get tough.
I might fall into debt or lose my job,
Then just feel like I’ve had enough.
One day I’ll wish I could rewind the clock,
Back to a younger version of me.
When I considered a hard decision to be,
Whether to have a hot chocolate or tea.
One day I’m going to look back on this,
I’ll sit there and I’ll say,
“Am I happy with who I’ve become,
Have I done everything I said I would one day?”
So that’s a little something from me.
Keep smiling. x

The happy butterflies.

So I had a go at writing a shorty story; enjoy.

“Katie, darling, you have cancer.” It was exactly a year ago today that I was told I would only be alive for another six months. But here I am, seventeen years old and still managing to cope. Each day another piece being added to the puzzle of my life. The only thing that scares me is that I know my puzzle has one hundred pieces, and I have already pieced together ninety-nine. There are tubes attached to me everywhere and there is no escaping them. Each tube clings to me like a thirsty leach. I feel uncomfortable, but I suppose I am used to it now.

Mum walks through the doors and sits down beside my hospital bed. I am going to miss her. She is one of the most incredible women in the world and she means everything to me. After Dad walked out on her eight years ago, things have been really hard for both of us, especially this. Mum encourages me, she supports me and she is the strongest person I have ever met. I can still remember her waking up at four o’clock one morning to drive me two hours away for my Under 10s dance concert. She did my hair and makeup when we arrived and I was so excited. I told her I was starting to get nervous and she rubbed my tummy and said, “It’s okay sweetie, that means the butterflies are happy!” She kissed me on my forehead and hugged me tightly. My dance was over before I could say the word ‘ballet’. I came first and Mum treated me to ice-cream at the park nearby. I sat on the swings as she pushed me. I was swinging so high it practically felt like I was flying. Back and forth, back and forth. I remember telling her, “Stop! Too fast! The wind is going to freeze my eyeballs open forever!” I jumped off, “Mum it’s your turn!” I pushed as hard as I could and she made it barely a few centimetres off the ground. She laughed at me with her hearty, contagious laugh. I stood there staring at her and crossed my arms, furrowing my eyebrows and exaggerating a frown. Next thing I knew, we were both rolling on the ground in stitches. I miss those days when life was care-free. When school wasn’t so hectic. When I had time to partake in dancing competitions; or rather, when both Mum and Dad had time to even come and watch. Those days when Mum and Dad were happy together, completely in love. Those days when I could laugh with Mum about the silliest things. Those days when I didn’t have cancer.

I look around the room, from Mum to all the cards and gifts that have accumulated over the past year. There’s a picture frame sitting beside my bed with a photo of my best friend and I at our Year 10 formal. Emma has been there for me through everything; from breakups with boys to last minute sleepovers on school nights. We have been friends since preschool and she knows every little detail about me; we are practically related. I can remember our formal, it was the best night. We both had helped each other pick out an outfit. We took nothing short of a thousand photos before we left her house for the formal. I don’t know how we managed to pose differently in every photo, but we did. However, this picture would have to be my favourite. It was actually accidental. We put the camera on self-timer, but as we leant in to take the photo we knocked heads and began laughing. The next day as we were looking at all the pictures we took, we realised that the camera had still taken the photo while we were laughing. It was the most genuine sort of ‘happy’ I had ever seen and it beat any of the peace signs, pouts, attempted winks and assortment of other poses. 

My eyes wander around, taking it all in once again. The greenish-blue hospital-coloured curtains are pulled back letting me see the breath-taking view of the beautiful garden outside. An old, tattered seat surrounded by small, prickly rose bushes overlooks a duck pond painted green by the hundreds of lily pads afloat. An elderly couple sit down and watch the ducks swim past, gracefully dunking their heads under the water and coming up at different intervals to take a breath. The man has a few slices of bread in his hand and gently rips it apart, giving them to his wife who scatters them generously on the grass in front of them. Within seconds, the elderly couple are the new popular attraction of the garden. However, the woman soon finds the twenty-odd ducks surrounding her feet and nibbling at her toes a bit too overwhelming and tries shooing them, before clinging to her husband’s arm and waddling away. Somehow, this made me smile.

I have always loved seeing elderly couples still together and so in love. After seeing my parent’s marriage crumble in front of my eyes, it makes me believe that anything is possible if you fight for it. I suppose it’s a reality check from the world today. Love is so beautiful, yet can be the cause of so much pain. If two people are so passionate about one another, then love really can last forever. Just as these thoughts flood my mind, Riley walks in. My train of thought goes completely out the window. He smiles at me; his dimples staring me right in the eyes. I am going to miss his cheeky smile, his dark brown hair and his warm eyes. He leans over and kisses me on the cheek. I can still remember the day he asked me to be his girlfriend just over two years ago at my favourite theme park. I was shaking and speechless. Not because I didn’t know what to say or because I didn’t want to be his girlfriend, but instead the fact that it was straight after we had walked off my first ever roller coaster ride. Obviously, once I caught my breath, I said yes. I guess from then on life has been a roller coaster ride in itself. Probably the longest and scariest one as well. It’s been full of ups and downs, twists, curves, spirals and times when I’ve been thrown completely upside down, but thankfully my Mum, Emma, Riley and God have all been there for me. They are the handlebars that I hold on to. I need them.

The doctor just walked in the door, a clipboard nestled under his arm and a pen in his hand. This was it, the test results were back. I hold tightly onto Riley’s hand. Was this going to be the last puzzle piece? “Mum, I’m nervous,” I whisper. I look at Mum sitting next to me. She smiles at me; her eyes full of hope, “Katie, don’t worry okay? Everything will be alright. The butterflies are always happy, remember?” I nod, wanting more than anything for her to be right. I mean, Mum’s are always right, aren’t they? I say a prayer and silently hope that the butterflies stay happy for another six months. I am not quite ready to fly away just yet.

Keep smiling. x

Crazy, out-going, happy girl? Enter: Me.

Hey, name’s Jess.

I truly think that writing stuff down helps you to clear your head and is a way of expressing your inner-most feelings and emotions in a creative way. I have enjoyed writing for a long time and one day hope to work in a magazine!

I am new to this whole ‘blogging’ world, so thought I would introduce myself. 
I am not your typical teenager. I don’t go out on a Friday night partying hard, smoking and doing drugs. To be honest, I don’t even see how that is labelled in our society today as even being “cool”. What’s so cool about getting drunk and waking up tomorrow not remembering what you did last night? Instead, I have my own set of beliefs that I stick by…

I believe you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.
I believe what doesn’t kill you makes you a stronger and better person.
I believe that you should live your life to the fullest!
I believe that God never lets you go through something that He doesn’t think you can handle.
I believe in living your dreams.
I believe long pants should never be worn with thongs.
I believe there is no such thing as the “perfect body” and that your imperfections are what makes you beautiful!
I believe a smile is a girls’ best accessory.
I believe the best things in life are free.
I believe in long hugs where neither of you let go.
I believe you can do whatever you set your mind to.
I believe in miracles.

Keep smiling. x