By Lorie Watkins
Hey Y’all! Well the weather is finally beautiful here and has been for many days consecutively. I know that some areas are still battling some cold but our battle has now changed to pollen (and soon so shall there’s). I hope that everyone had as great of an Easter as we did. It is such a special reminder to us as to how much our Savior loves us. Speaking of love, I’ve often heard the statement being made in jest “Something only a mother could love”. Well I think that we all know how precious, wonderful, and forgiving a mothers love can be. So with the month of May also comes Mothers Day! I thought that it might be great to break from my normal article format and do something special for this occasion. We’re going to hear from a few “Road Moms” this month and what it’s like to raise children on the road. I wanted to let you hear from moms who have kids on the road right now as well as those who have raised there kids, and quite well I might add. I believe that you’ll not only recognize these successful mothers in every way, but enjoy what they have to say.
My children grew up on the ROAD! Their father, Joe Isaacs and I started traveling in full time ministry in 1986. Before then we did have public jobs and only traveled on week ends. I must say that even just week end traveling with 3 kids, all under the age of 5 was challenging. I always knew that we had this calling on our lives, to work for THE LORD. We were determined to either sing, play music, testify, preach….just to be a servant for HIM. I never planned on our entire family being a Gospel Singing Group!! What happened to our family just unfolded as time went on. All of my kids, Ben, Sonya and Rebecca went to public school. Juggling their school work and extra curricular activities after school was also a full time job. I was very adamant about them receiving a good education. I wanted them to sing Gospel Music because they chose to, not because it was the only thing they knew how to do. Somehow we managed. They started singing at a very young age. They also started playing their instruments in their young teens. Song writing also came easy to them. I have to admit that while they were young it was difficult to drag them away from their friends and home for the week end out! But as they got older they also realized that we had job to do for Jesus. All the kids got saved at a very young age, so their hearts were fixed on working for the Master too. I couldn’t be any more proud of them. They have grown up to become fine adults. Their talents never cease to amaze me! I think I’m their biggest fan. Traveling with my family now is so rewarding. We are actually partners and I respect their input and opinions in every avenue of our business. Of course, I am their mother and they spoil me, but as their so called “manager” too, sometimes its hard to separate the business side of what we do with the personal side. We make it work, by the help of GOD. I am very blessed to be traveling with my kids I also have the treat of traveling with my grandchildren really often. I guess I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone right now! I am a “HAPPY MOTHER “, so I wish all of the rest of you out there….HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!
Being a road mom has been a dream come true! God is so faithful. On June 24, 1996 my son Levi Payton Bowman was born. I remember the first weekend I took him on the bus. He was 10 days old. At first it was overwhelming to learn how to pack for a family, not just myself. I had to remember formula, pacifier, diaper, bibs, and so much. Trying to learn how to sleep in a bunk with a baby, a bunk just big enough for one. Learning how to keep a crying baby from waking up the entire bus. Learning how to be ready on time to sing when your baby is playing at your ankle. But it didn’t take long before I had set a routine and learned how to keep the bus stocked with EVERYTHING!!! On November 22, 2000 my daughter Jakobi Seren Bowman was born. She was 8 days old for her first bus trip. Jakobi adjusted just as fast to the “road, bus life”! It has been so special to be able to do what God has called me to do, and be a mom. I have the privilege to work and minister and come to the bus every night and tuck my kids into bed. It may be a bunk, it may not be the
same time every night, but I still get to share those moments with them. When you love the Lord and you want to serve Him, then God makes a way. When the school years come around, God makes a way for that as well. I must say that it is not easy. It does come with some difficulty. But who don’t struggle? We are all in the same boat, Road moms and regular moms. Becoming a parent didn’t come with an instructional manual, so we each have to pray for Gods guidance and do the best we can. I am so proud of my kids. My husband John Bowman has been the greatest husband and father I could have ever married. It takes a team to make a family work the way God designed. I couldn’t do what I do, or be who I am, without him. So, I just want to encourage any mothers reading this article, no matter what life has in store, whatever job or situation you may be in, cherish your babies. Spend as much time with them as you can. They grow right before your eyes! When you love the Lord, He will make a way!!!!
Karen Peck Gooch
I think the greatest challenge of being on the road is being a “Road Mom.”
Matthew was ten days old when he started traveling and Kari was three weeks old. Many times I called on the Lord to help me! Between fevers, colds, restless nights, the “terrific” twos, growing pains, and now home schooling, I can honestly say we’ve made it through with God’s love and grace. When we’re home, I try to make sure that they have as much of a normal life as possible. We’ve always tried to make the road fun and interesting for them. I love traveling with my family. With a thankful heart I am proud to say that both my children, now 17 and 13, love the road. The Lord has blessed me beyond measure!
Being a Mom is a very rewarding and sometimes difficult job. I home schooled my son Joseph for five years. My husband David and I decided to put Joseph in 6 grade public school. This was a difficult decision for us. Joseph was always with me 24/7. Now it was time for him to come off the road and stay home with his Dad. I did a lot of crying and praying. One day Joseph and I were riding down the road, and we started talking about him going to public school. I was doing everything I could to hold back the tears, and he said “Mom God has called you to sing. He will take care of me and I will be ok.” From that time on I realized that God had everything in control. Joseph loves school and is very involved in sports. He travels with me in the summer. God is Good and I am very blessed.
I have enjoyed being a “Road Mom” for more than 30 years. Although my kids are grown, being a mom is one job that never ends. I have always felt that one of the best things that I could give my children was for them to see a strong and active relationship between me and the Lord. By working daily to have a stronger bond with Him, in turn God blessed me with a strong relationship between my husband, myself, and our children. Part of having a great relationship with my Savior I believe is due to following His calling upon my life to sing for Him. I think that all moms will agree that whether in a house or a bus, when raising children there is no manual to follow except the Bible, staying on your knees, and stepping back from whatever is going on and taking the time to listen. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything that is going on, but with kids you never know what will happen next and there are no short cuts to this job. I feel that being a parent is one of the most important jobs and greatest honors that God gives us. I’m so proud to know that my kids have a great relationship with the Lord and are following the call He has upon their lives. All of the laughter and tears, smiles and trials make it a journey worth traveling.
I know that I am extremely blessed to have grown up on the road with loving, supportive, Christian parents. I don’t believe it matters so much as to where you are raised as long as it has those last three things; loving, supportive, Christian parents. A special THANKS goes out to these wonderful ladies that I’m proud to call friends from my heart. I’ll be listing the websites of their ministries at the end and I hope that you’ll log on and support them all. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! Remember that this life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows but with the Lord guiding us we will make it through on the winning side. Check in next month to see who’s gonna be next!