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Monday, January 27, 2014

* BOOK REVIEWS for my book series, Adventures of Fisher and Rigley

My sons and I recently had our first book, "I Love You... Infinity" from our series, Adventures of Fisher and Rigley published. The reviews are post below.

Link to our FaceBook page:

Link to our book on Amazon:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

70x 7 (Matthew 18: 21-22) - FORGIVENESS isn't always easy, but it is necessary.

70x 7 (Matthew 18: 21-22) - (Forgiveness isn't always easy, but it is necessary)

“Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven.”
(Matthew 18: 21-22)

  Why should I forgive this him or her? They never see their wrongs so they never apologize, and they keep doing it.  I am hurt repeatedly from this person with a less than kind nature. I have tried everything to communicate and make peace, but nothing works. They don’t deserve it… Well, we didn’t either, but Christ did it for us. Christ cancelled our debts and we must forgive those whom sinned against us.  We need not worry about someone else and have faith that God has everything under control. No matter how hard we try to make someone see something, first look at your own mistakes and bring it forth and deal with it. Then, when addressing forgiveness for someone else, remember God is the only one that can change someone’s heart and transform him or her. It is not our place or judgment in what is right or wrong or what should be done no matter how we feel. God is our fair judge. We all fall short and God is on the receiving end of all of our failure yet he forgives us and lets us keep trying.

  Think about how many times we have made mistakes (sinned) or even more so continue to make the same mistakes over and over (a definite need for repentance). God still forgives us. More simply put, as a mother I have a natural LOVE for my boys and duty to raise them into good Christian (my choice) men with a good moral compass. I need to guide and correct them as well. When they make mistakes or do something wrong, I have to discipline (correct them), guide them (show them a better choice/path), and teach them (The Word) so they grow in wisdom and then follow up with understanding and love.  We forgive our children and continue loving them unconditionally and keep teaching them to grow into amazing, loving, compassionate, and successful adults no matter how many times we need to redirect them. We do it because we love them. NOW, think about this, God is OUR Father, and we are his children. Think about ALL of our mistakes that we make (that we are aware of or not, big or small) every single day and how many times he forgives us. We mess up constantly, but he still love us. How many times have I prayed and said: God, I am so sorry, I can’t believe I did it again. I thought that I could do better, and he still forgives me. We are guided by The Word and the example Christ set for us. I can only be corrected when I ask him to help me. I can only forgive when he helps me to and we know it is not always easy.

THINK ABOUT this: When someone really hurts us and sins against us we don’t want to even have him or her around, how are we suppose to forgive them especially when they don’t care and keep hurting us? We are so quick to remain angry and hurt that we lose focus on God and we fester on what we want someone to do for us to move on and be happy. Now, WHAT IF GOD did that? What if he said, forget it, they are hopeless, and I am tired of forgiving them. I forgave them for the last time!  Well, he loves us and that isn’t the case. As hard as it may be we need to forgive others, for us to feel free and be happy as Jesus cancelled our debt, we must forgive others as he does. When we hold on to bitterness we let that person control us. We don’t have to carry that stress. Let go and let God.

God takes care of justice. Thoughts of how can this person constantly test ones faith, keep harm in ones life, keep hurting people, lying, and/or repeating this or that… then I was reminded of this scripture.

“The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Galatian 6:6-10

I have faith that God always works things out and we need to focus on him. We need to forgive other like we have been forgiven. If we hang on to bitterness and don’t forgive, we really are not displaying love for others. Love is most important and part of loving, is forgiving. 

 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
(John 13:34-35)

"'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?' Jesus said to him, '"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself"'" (Matthew 22:36-39).

Monday, January 20, 2014

Give attention to your children! Love & Enjoy!!!

I woke up this morning so thankful again for my two beautiful sons. It amazes me that not only do I love them more everyday, but they actually teach me to love more. I woke them up with silly kisses on their cheeks and rubbing their backs while softly saying, wake up boys, good morning, and I love you. If you start their day out right then they with continue to have a good, positive outlook on the rest of their day. I just love to love on them. Children are such a blessing.  I actually am very blessed to have grown up in a household "rich in love" as my parents would say. We are very affectionate and I show my sons this as well. The pure love of innocent children is so enriching to your life. We as parents need to encourage this love and not obscure this kind of love by letting the business of life get in the way. We need to enjoy each other and life. 

What happened to "Old fashion values?" I know, sad to say they are sometimes referred to as old fashion family values in general. See, when I grew up my parents were at all of our events. They were involved in everything we did.  We sat down as a family, prayed, and ate dinner all together without a TV on or phones. We talked about our day and shared stories. That kind of time is important in bonding as a family. Setting traditions like that will carry on and create close, heartfelt memories.

View this following example from these children's thoughts. The other day I took my boys to the park and there was another mom there with her two children. I left my phone in the car so I wouldn't be interrupted while playing with my boys. As my boys and I were playing tag I noticed the other children were just starring at us playing and smiling. They looked eager to have their mom play with them as well. I could tell by the way they would look at us and have a huge smile and then look at their mom on the phone. We invited them to play, but they were timid and chose not to. We went on the swings and had a contest on who can swing the highest and touch the tree branches with our feet. I think I laughed more than my boys did. It really feels good to be a kid. I noticed the other kids pulling on their mom's shirt and calling her name. She had been on the phone since she walked out of her car. She hadn't said a word to them beside "SSSHHHHH" and "NOT NOW, I AM ON THE PHONE!" I felt so badly for them. Think how that rejection can echo in a delicate child’s ears, heart, and mind. They saw us playing and all they wanted was for their mom to play with them. They continued to seek her attention and she would walk away covering her free ear. Take my boys in this situation verses the other two children, what state of mind and heart does it leave these children in, now and for the future? During all the time of my boys and I running around, I heard that mom calling out for her son repeatedly. He was gone. She yelled for a while without actually walking around looking for him. I kept looking around to see if I noticed where he was. Finally, she told whoever was on the phone (in an annoyed tone) I have to go, my son ran off somewhere. He finally appeared sometime later. He was in the bathroom. She would have known that if she had just listened and acknowledged him when he tried to tell her. That just made my heart so sad. What are people teaching their kids when everything else is more important then they are.

         What quality of life is one giving their children if they just offer worldly opportunities, buy them off with gifts, and not spend precious time with them? It's a sad thought actually. Not to forget that if you teach them and show them love, they will share that back. Think about this, if you are older or when you are and you haven't given your children the time they need they may not have that to give it back to you either. Now, think about sitting alone with no one to take care of you or just spend time hanging out with you when your elderly because they don't have those values instilled in them or the natural desire to care for you.  This reminds me of a song, "Cats in a Cradle" by: Harry Chapin. If you have ever listened to the words, it is relatable to this topic and can make you think. What you give to them is what they will know and be capable of sharing. They are a reflection of you. Wouldn't it be nice if you showed them a better way of loving so they can hand that down each generation rather than an empty life without the enjoyment of cherished, precious family memories? 

You can’t buy their love and respect either. Kids know the difference. Sure, buy them everything and think they will love you more. Not true! All that does is condition them to come to you when they want something for the moment. You become a Disneyland parent. It’s kind of like instant gratification. That feeling fades quickly. Show them faith, love, respect, to have integrity, and give them your time and attention. Teach them to work hard and to take pride in their work. You build trust in consistency and being reliable. Follow through with what you say and they will carry on that trait as well. In these things you can have a lasting and close relationship. 

Have you ever been running around, making dinner, trying to get something knocked off the list and your little one keeps calling on you for attention? Instead of just saying one moment or let me finish up, just stop and acknowledge them. Ask, hey what is it that you want, my love. Most of the time all they want is a hug or to tell you they love you. Pay attention parents, kids are a blessing, not a chore. 

     Give your children the love and attention they deserve. Relative to school, don't just place all the work of teaching your kids on the teachers. Help them at home. In fact, pay attention to their grades and help them to excel and want to achieve better grades. Make it fun, but get involved. When my older son needed more attention in some areas of certain classes, I got a tutor and I also asked how I could tutor him at home. The more people involved in the learning process, the more your child can grow. We made learning even more fun. Example: Spelling was difficult, so we made a fun game of black light- spelling word- treasure hunt.  I remember when I was younger we painted words or pictures on an area of the walls with laundry detergent (you can’t see it unless you had a back light). I used that and painted the spelling words on the walls in a hallway for my son (It washes right off). He used a backlight to find the words, write them down, and then repeat them aloud. He received 100% from then on. We don't have to continue that game because it clicked somehow. Now, we have spelling bees in the cars between my two boys. Competition brings out a fun learning exercise for my boys. BTW- He just got all A's and made the Principle's List. My other son did the same. I am so proud of them.

    Most importantly, the best trait to teach a child is to have faith. Faith for us is trusting in our Lord, Jesus Christ. I believe he is our savior that paid a debt for all of us. We know that we are held accountable for everything in life including being obedient to the Word.  We are very blessed to enjoy every moment together that we are given. Be thankful and cherish your time with those you love, always. As you know, time is precious and our children and family are even more precious. ENJOY them!!!


Jillian Schmidt

Saturday, January 11, 2014

GET CREATIVE: The journey in creating an exciting & successful book series

  Visualize this; a single mom and her two young sons writing down their sayings and experiences in a memory book which then turned into published books creating a whole children's series. The amazing journey and wonderful memories in this adventure turned into a blessing and story itself.  This has taken on a life of its own and now turned into a business. This is my boys and my story. We wanted to share these loving experiences by turning them into this series, Adventures of Fisher and Rigley. My sons, Max and Sam, also being young authors in this adventure, have been a part of this whole process. They helped write the stories, chose the characters, helped in character development, and chose the names.

 I find myself excited that we finally have physical copies of our first published book in hand that we actually wrote. "I love You... Infinity" is the first in our children's series for Adventures of Fisher and Rigley.  I am truly ecstatic and thankful for our family, friends, neighbors, and customers (at the restaurant I own) that are buying copies to show support, yet I have a huge task ahead of me on how to market and promote this series.

 This year long process from writing the series, choosing one of the stories to start with, illustrate, choose a logo, character development, trademark, draft approvals, final approvals, copyright, print, advance review copies for review, etc, and the list goes on. Although this has been a huge 'learning as I go' process by doing this all myself so far, I find myself needing to go in a different direction. I have taken on a lot, though I do love it, I found that I really need more support and connections to open doors for this to take off. A motivated publishing firm is necessary. I also need a distributing company to pick up this series and also get picked up by national stores. This leads me to where I am at this moment in taking the next steps to find a literary agent. Again, I continue this journey on this learning train. I am preparing a fun hook to catch a literary agent's attention in what will hopefully be a captivating query. I am also compiling a list of reputable companies to send them to. It is kind of ironic I guess, I am researching what companies that I would want to represent me and once I choose them they then get to do the same with me. This thought actually just let my mind wonder a moment as I pictured a literary agent's assistant's facial expressions as she (could be a he) reads my hook in my query and then I came to when I accidentally just giggle aloud thinking I could influence her decision to pass my query on by using my bubbly personality that I was trying to send in a vibe of positive thoughts.

   It goes without saying that I have just begun a new path in this process. As I am focusing on branding my series' characters (they are so lovable and fun) and promoting this 1st book, I need to also prepare for the next book and that whole process again. This time I hope I hit the holiday market. Through no fault of mine this first round of books came in two months late causing me to miss the season. I just had to regroup and move on to the main plan, CREATE AWARENESS for my book series. I am doing this by word of mouth, sending samples to newspapers, social media (this blog, Facebook, and Twitter). Fortunately, I own a restaurant, Sandbar Pizza Grill in Melbourne Beach, FL which enables me to promote locally with the daily traffic from our regulars. I have a list of schools and libraries to do an "author reading" as well and send order forms home with the students. Now, how do I get into Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, and get picked up by a distributor like Scholastic? Well, I realized as I am self taught thus far, I am now in need of a professional that is proficient in this career field. A good publishing company will take care of all this, but a great agent with get me there.  I really want this to be a success and this book business is not my areas of expertise... Yes, I admit it.

I find that this whole process is long, yet fun. Actually, it seems that this is one journey after another. I am looking forward to what comes next and so on. I also look forward to sharing this and the continued blogs in this process towards reaching my goal in becoming a vibrant and exciting writer that can bring everything to light and life. When you are PASSIONATE about something it is very enjoyable and absolutely worthwhile. Here is a CREATIVE IDEA: If you think it or are doing it, write it down. Who knows maybe this blog is the beginning of a future book idea for me in sharing my experience in the writing, publishing, and selling book business. I hope to gain some great insight along my travels in the fun world of writing that I get to help shape and then share with all of you.

Stay updated at:


Jillian Schmidt


Friday, January 10, 2014

Please check out my new page for my new children's book series, Adventures of Fisher and Rigley. My first book of the series, "I Love You... Infinity" is just launching. and follow me on Twitter at:

This is just the beginning...