Confession: I am a mom who yells.

The day had been a long one, and I tried to meet each new challenge head-on, not creeping through, anxious. The kids seemed to be thriving and I actually made dinner, from scratch, for the first time since April. Aaron was busy on another car repair (are they really endless?) and the sun was settling toward the horizon when I lost my grip.

Out, out, out! I bellowed. Then afraid as I saw how not one of them flinched. When my mother bellowed us, we flinched. My kids have become immune to my anger, and it shocks me, flays me open, and leaves me bleeding at heart. In a softer voice then, "Why not go swimming?"

Can we in our clothes, Mama?, two clamor. Can we go skinny dipping?, another voice asks. Yes, yes, yes, just get out, oUT, OUT!, I say. And they happily do. I'm thinking, my kids are two lazy to put on suits, one way or the other.

I sit in my swing and listen to the laughter. My sister-in-law comes over, and encourages me even with her bright clothes and a rushing niece who first comes to hug her auntie before begging to swim, too. We play with kittens, and everyone gets wet, even the Mamas, from hugs.

I think about not shouting, and not being anxious, and lift silent prayer for continued healing. "Why am I so bad at this?" I wonder for the millionth time since birthing my second in 2005. It is hard to see why God would ever call me to mother 4 kids born in 4 years (all single births, by the way. With a few miscarriages in between). But His words whisper, "I settle the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children." (Psalm 113:9).

No mother ever wants to fail her kids. I don't want my kids to be marked by this season of anxiety. But the truth is, I am not perfect. I pray God fills the holes I dig each in my children's souls. And that I can learn His quiet way. I don't know why He chose me for these four kids. I love them to pieces. But I am THAT mom that I never wanted to be. The one who yells. My temper has finally been trapped in my voice, but I want it gone, eradicated.