Do you listen to a voice in your head? I don’t mean a literal voice, of course, but an echo of things others have said to you that guides your decisions or perspectives?
Some of us hear a voice that name-calls, chides and shames, commenting on our mistakes.
Most of us deal with those negative voices, which don’t comfort or correct us, but bully and criticize us. Psychologists think these types of “little voices” in our heads come from our childhood experiences, and if we allow them to rule our thoughts, they can trap us into unhealthy behavior patterns where we act in ways to avoid the pain those voices cause us.
Helena, the heroine of my novel A Mother For His Family, listens to the berating voice of her mother, even when her mother is hundreds of miles away. She can’t quite escape her mother’s judgment, disappointment, or irritation as she makes decisions and starts a new life as a convenient bride to John, Lord Ardoch, in Regency-era Scotland.
I remember the first time I realized Helena heard this voice in her head. Helena was an insignificant character in my first novel, The Reluctant Guardian, who did nothing but look down her nose at the heroine. For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking of Helena, and I gasped when I realized why she’d acted that way. It had everything to do with her upbringing and her need for acceptance and affection from her parents—things she was denied. Then she suffers a terrible trauma, and her sense of self-worth plummets.
Thankfully, John walks beside her on her journey to know God and see herself in His eyes.
As someone who often listens to negative voices but works to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit instead, I journeyed with Helena as we trained our minds to hear Him and think of things that are honoring to Him and true because of Him. I frequently come back to Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. KJV
As Helena overcomes her past with God’s help—and John’s—she is able to shut out her mother’s disparaging voice and listen to the voice of Truth. And that’s when her story really begins.
A Convenient Arrangement
Lady Helena Stanhope’s reputation is in tatters…and she’s lost any hope for a “respectable” marriage. An arranged union is the only solution. But once Helena weds formidable Scottish widower John Gordon, Lord Ardoch, and encounters his four mischievous children, she’s determined to help her new, ever-surprising family. Even if she’s sure love is too much to ask for.
All John needs is someone to mother his admittedly unruly brood. He never imagined that beautiful Lady Helena would be a woman of irresistible spirit, caring and warmth. Or that facing down their pasts would give them so much in common. Now, as danger threatens, John will do whatever it takes to convince Helena their future together—and his love—are for always.
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances. A pastor’s wife and mom of two, she loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her on her website, www.susannedietze.com, and sign up for her newsletter for an occasional cheery hello: http://eepurl.com/bieza5
Congratulations, Connie S.