I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Homeschooler, Kill Your Dreams

Homeschooler, Kill Your Dreams. Here's why

Written by Krista Smith.

My husband and I chose a different path than most regarding higher education and the job market; and we choose to speak a different path to our children.

In short, we tell them to:


I’m serious…lovingly…we do! As youth leaders for years, my husband and I poured into teenagers who were really amazing people— but a lot of whom were also incredibly entitled. They wouldn’t work here or there because it wasn’t cool enough or it didn’t pay exactly enough money. I still know a few of them today...and do you know what? Most of them have spent significant time living unhappily-ever-after in their parent’s basements looking for that "perfect job which pays exactly enough money." Their 4-year degrees, unused, because they either don’t want or are unwilling to do the jobs that require their particular degree. Or conversely, they can’t find an employer desperate for a “Universal Studies” major.

It all boils down to two things:
How you define “life-success," and what you see as the purpose of a job.

How do you define “life-success” in your homeschool? 

Is it:

  • Make a lot of money.
  • Have a big house.
  • Have a nice car.
  • Go on 2 vacations per year?

Before I became a follower of Christ, my list looked just like this. But over the nearly 15 years I’ve been a Christian, God has done some heavy-duty demo in my heart (praise Jesus!). Today, through His love and guidance my list looks more like this:

  • Surrender completely.
  • Give more away than I keep.
  • Raise children who are madly in love with Christ and follow Him no matter what He asks.
  • Live thankfully for every blessing and even many sorrows because of what they teach us about Christ.

If I can tick off all of those things by the end of my life, then I will have succeeded. And if my kids grow up and do the same thing, you can just write “NAILED IT” on my epitaph.

My kids have an awesome example of killing their dreams in my husband’s life. My hubby always wanted to be a full-time musician. Not because the Lord told Him to, but just because He wanted to be one.

But my wise husband has learned to Kill His Dreams. Why? Because only when our dreams are out of the way and nailed to the Cross, can Jesus’s dreams for us be realized and acted upon. My husband never went to a day of college. Right before we got married, he gave up the full-time musician dream and started working at a bank. And to be honest, most of the first 6 years of that job stunk.

But because God shifted the way we think about jobs, he was able to tough out YEARS of A.W.F.U.L. work situations. He stuck with it because loving his job wasn’t as important to him as obeying God, feeding his growing family, or growing God’s Kingdom. He started at the bottom of the totem pole as a teller, with no banking experience. Since then, he has worked with integrity and honesty. And now, 9 years into banking, my husband (with no college degree) is the manager of two banks! Because of his “boring” dream-killing job, we’ve been able to give crazy amounts of money to missions, our local church, orphans, widows and other amazing ministries over the years, not to mention adopting our own precious daughter. None of this would have been possible if he were on the road 47-weeks/yr. on a tour van with 7 other dudes.

And awesomely, my husband leads worship at our church and is more passionate about music than ever! It’s not about a slip of paper with BS written at the top of it (no pun intended). It’s about how hard you’re willing to work, and how much manure you’re willing to wade in (for YEARS) because it’s not about you. It’s about Jesus and His family who live in your house, and His Kingdom who live right next door.

Homeschooler, Kill Your Dreams

Here’s the truth….you don’t have to love your job. 

There. I've said it. And I tell that to my kids all the time.
In ye olden-days people worked for two reasons:
#1: To not die
#2: To help their family not die.

Throughout history, people never had this huge angst-riddled decision about whether to be a graphic designer or an engineer. Usually, they just did what their parents did. And that was good enough!

Most of the rest of the world still work for those very same two reasons.

Now, you might love your job. That’s SUPER fortunate! But your job isn’t, nor was it ever meant to be the meaning of your life—it’s meant to feed your family and to be a conduit pipe for Jesus’ blessing to the broken, lost, and hurting in this world so that they can see Christ living today through the hands and feet of His followers.

Can you do that as a stay-at-home mom? You bet. Can you do that as a sanitation worker? Absolutely! But maybe God IS calling you to do something that requires a big degree—like being a nurse or CPA or city planner! Then you go do it! You get that 4…or...5-year degree. But do it because God said so; because it works into HIS dream somehow and not just because “that’s what people do."

As of right now, one of my children wants to be a stay-at-home mom and the other wants to be a missionary. Neither of these jobs requires a degree, but both will change the whole world. And I am one proud mama!

Let go of your dreams.
And encourage your children to think differently about the purpose of their future careers. You’ll never regret it; because in the space where your/their dream was, Jesus’s plan can unfold, and it will always be bigger, more hairy and more audacious than that paltry dream you had for yourself ever was.


Krista Smith is blessed to be the mother of three beautiful children and is privileged to homeschool them using an eclectic variety of methods. She has a deep and abiding love for tan-colored coffee, spending time with her family, and seeing children find their forever homes through adoption. But above all of these things, Krista is, first and foremost, a lover and follower of Jesus Christ. So, may the Lord and His Gospel get every ounce of honor, glory, and credit for anything she writes, says, or does.


  1. PREACH! Thank you for your speaking it plain--it's the truth that sets people free, not an emotional appeal.

  2. Love this, I actually had this discussion with one of my girlfriends last week. I wonder why more people don't think like this!? I feel like I am swimming against the current.

  3. Keep swimmin', girl! And keep on following after Christ... His direction is the real current anyway, right?! ;)

    1. I have said the same thing Krystal! Swimming against the current or going across the grain. Krista, what the absolutely PERFECT way to put that! Yes, it IS. To be honest, I only stopped feeling that way when I stopped caring what everyone else thought I should be doing, stopped trying so hard and just rested in Him and embraced my calling. I suppose it is then that I begin letting his current and direction carry me to where HE desires for me to go and stopped comparing myself to anyone else. Thanks for a great dose of revelation this morning! ;)

    2. I think that is definitely the key, Rachael...to rest in Him. Then everything else just falls by the wayside.

  4. I absolutely love this blog! This solidifies everything that I have believed or thought of within my heart. As a young lady, soon to be married, I was actively pursuing a teaching degree for elementary education. It is something I have always dreamed of. However, in my third year, half way through I have changed my degree program and I am now finishing college only with the intent to finish college. My soon to be husband is a pastor, I will be doing full time children's ministry, and homeschooling the many kids we will have some day. All because I killed my dream of having a classroom in the public schools. Love what you're doing!

    1. I think this is a conversation that all parents should have with their kids. I have a friend who would love to be a stay-at-home mom but has thousands and thousands of school loans to pay off. She went to med school and now HAS to work to just be able to pay off her debt. Good for you for recognizing God's leading early in your life.

  5. Hi. I appreciate the spirit of this post very much. Allowing God to refine and define us vs society or holding onto our own desires.
    I did want to comment, however, on the sentence that says that being a missionary doesn't require a degree. I'm guessing that it might depend on the type of missionary or the organization you go out with? My husband and I were on our way to be missionaries until health issues prevented us, but we spent over 10 years working on fulfilling the schooling, training and ministry requirements of our mission board so that we could be considered for missionary service. Some of the requirements for us were a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, successful completion of ordination studies, debt paid off, various ministry training seminars, and a minimum of two years in ministry in a church here in the United States. A lot of people think that that amount of training is overkill but it has resulted in a much higher retention rate of missionaries for that mission board who actually make it long term overseas vs other boards who do not require the same or similar training. They are better prepared and equipped for the stresses of it. We worked on those requirements from 2000-2012. I know that things have changed in the years since then, but one of the requirements now is that missionary candidates also have a learned trade to use alongside their ministry. There is also a physical exam that is required and my husband's health is what held us back from being able to complete thae process to go overseas.
    I just wanted to mention that in case it is helpful as a head's up for the missionary dream. Yes, I'm sure there are organizations that do not require so much training, but there are also those that do.
    Thanks for your article!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Well said, ladies. I think you are both 100% right. God has unique plans for each of us. For some, higher education and an alphabet soup of letters behind his/her name will be necessary. And for others, willingness will be all that is required. I have several missionary friends who would fall into both categories.

      I'm specifically thinking of two single friends of mine. One went to Bible college for nearly six years to earn a missions degree and then traveled to a closed country to teach "English" using the gospel and the Word as a primary teaching tool. The other went to that very same country to do the same. He had previously gotten a degree in science hoping to go into engineering. He had no previous experience with anything related to missions. One day, He felt called of God to do a short term mission trip to "teach English." It's been three or four years and he has no plans to return home anytime soon.

      Their preparation paths were so very different. Yet, the end place of service was nearly identical.