Kelli McKnight
About the Author

Kelli is crazy about a good story. Her favorites involve 28 years of marriage and motherhood. She spends her days practicing speech pathology, raising longhorn cattle, and mentoring young women.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Kelli,
    My disorders of speech…hmmmm…..short-fused and ill tempered words, words spoken in haste without passing through the filter of God’s Word, sarcasm, self-centered-I-didn’t-get-my-way words, words that tear down instead of building others up…I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that if we are not in continual connection with God – reading and meditating on His word, being and abiding in His presence, holding our tongue and speaking less at times, then our communication with others is going to be less than godly. How can I build others up if I’m not being poured into by His Word? God gives us the Holy Spirit as our Counselor (our speech therapist if you will). Unless we allow ourselves to be trained up in proper speech patterns by Him, our words will be just empty, hurtful ramblings. Loved this analogy and God bless you for the great work that you do!
    Bev xx

  2. Hi Kelli,

    I just graduated from grad school and started a job as a school-based speech-language pathologist…And I really needed this this morning. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

  3. You nailed it. I see myself so clearly in this scenario everyday. I have been in his word though more recently and have noticed a visible difference in my words, my demeanor, state of mind. It humbles you and brings you to a state of peace if you will. The fruit of the spirit is being fed and it is visible. I have been an angry person for a long time. My marriage and my children have suffered because if it. I’m learning through the word that His way is peace. And his wisdom will guide you through it all, the bad and the good. God bless.

  4. Wow, this is amazing and insightful. . . .sometimes for me it’s a matter of knowing when to speak and when to be quiet. (Maybe some listening therapy, too?)

  5. Thank you for this post. I can say petty things to the ones I love when I am hurt or upset. I always regret it later, but know the damage is already done. I need God to help me to speak life into my love ones lives, even when I am not in the best mood. Someone please pray for me, thanks!

    • Good morning Shanice, I pray for you that God leads you to speak life and light into others. Amen.

    • Shanice, I too have always struggled most with my words directed at the ones I love most. It’s so frustrating! I pray God’s Spirit prompt you in those moments to give pause and allow Him to direct your speech. Blessings on you!

  6. My SLP heart is often convicted when my words hurt instead of heal or encourage. Thanks for the therapy, Kelli.

  7. Kelli,
    I love your line, “hearts connected to God wisely choose words that serve Him first”. So encouraging that if we’re filled up with Him, the outflow of our hearts through our words will be light to others.

  8. Kelli,
    This was so timely and deeply resonates with me. I am getting ready to write two letters to each of my teens and this challenged me as to the importance of the state of my heart before I do so. Words are so powerful and can build up or tear down. I love what you said:
    “Language is a thought wrapped in speech that connects us with others. If used as designed, one word connects to another and another, creating a beautiful dance of connection between two hearts.”
    I pray that my letters truly connect with the hearts of my children and that Holy Spirit guides my pen as I share my heart.

    • I’ll be praying for these letters! Our words to our teens carry such impact (even if they make it seem like they don’t!) Blessings on you as well Lori!

  9. Yeay KellI, Finally a SLP reference to scripture! Loved it. May God always guard our mouths so we can speak truth, peace and love to others.

  10. I’m also a school SLP and this really spoke to me as it seems we’re having some struggles in our school right now. It’s so easy to allow the negativity seep into our own attitude and speech. I appreciate this article and it gave me a new perspective on getting some speech therapy from our Creator! 🙂

    • Hey Jada, I’ve recently been so convicted between this link between my vocational calling and my spiritual need. My strength can so easily become my weakness! Prayers for you as shine light in your workplace.

  11. I used to provide childcare, I had a little boy who was three and we so much trouble understanding him. He was frustrated. And so we were. When speech therapy was suggested, his mother said he was just a baby. I think there are a lot of big babies running around too. I hear it all the time, the petty, making fun and mocking, of faith. Christians need the Holy Spirit as speech therapists.

  12. Kelli-
    Your description of the little boy not being able to express what he was thinking touched me. Have a young adult family member with language processing issue, not diagnosed until high school, saw speech therapist reluctantly for a brief time…has some difficulty connecting with others. Wondering if you can recommend any resource/book that focuses on this? Thank you.

    • Amy,
      It’s hard to know what to recommend without knowing exact details, but the work being done at might be a place to start. Blessings as you explore options.

  13. This week has been one of those weeks here too…snot stained clothes, tantrums, kicked shins, hits, slaps, and refusals, but this picked me right back up!! Amen!

  14. Kelli,

    I grew up with a speech disorder. I was born with two punctured ear drums and couldn’t hear at all. Three surgeries later the right on is fixed. I spend my entire schooling (1-12) in speech therapy. We work on the S, T, D, etc. Now I need to work on my Christian speech. James 3:9 says “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” I say we could all use some speech therapy when it comes to our Christian speech. Out of the heart spews good and evil. May God help us all with our Christian speech!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth!
      Thank you for sharing part of your speech story. I know God is working in and through you! Love the James 3:9 reference, so convicting. Blessings on you as well!

  15. Dear Kelli,

    I work in an elementary school as an aide to students with various difficulties including speech delays. There have been some additions and changes to our program recently and it has been an emotionally challenging and frustrating time for me. What a great reminder to make sure I fill my heart full of Him before I speak so that I don’t end up speaking simply out of my frustration. Thanks for sharing!

  16. How blessed we readers are to read your post! I am an SLPA and struggle with demands of my caseload… I have begun to view them as the little flock God has entrusted to me and that is so helpful. Your insights about our own need for spiritual speech therapy is wonderful and encourages me as well as I interact with our adult daughter with Down syndrome! So good to know of SLP believers out there!

  17. “Words are a direct reflection of the one who controls the heart. When we speak life and light into our broken world, it brings the connection our soul craves and the glory God deserves.” Beautifully said, Kelli. Quote-book worthy! And definitely a worthy goal to strive for: allow the Spirit to control the heart, and our words WILL bring glory to God (Luke 6:45). Thank you for the tactful, well-framed challenge!

  18. I’ve been blessed with a gift/talent for bringing calm and order to situations and discussions that start to get heated and adversarial – and I often find myself in situations where I use that gift. However, there are times ….. (like a meeting yesterday where some unkind implications were said – about me as well as others – and the atmosphere started getting a little warm) …. when some of that gets to me and I sort of “shut it down” and don’t use the talent and gift that God has given me. “Words are a direct reflection …….” is a marvelous statement, and one I’ll remember for those “times” when I need it most. Hope you don’t mind that one of the male cohort reads these posts. Been around a long time (I’ll bet I have grandkids older than your children), and will take inspiration where ever I can find it. Thank you!

    • FINALLY, a male responds. I was beginning to think that this site was for women only. I have been uplifted by some of the entries on here. I’ll stay. KEEP ON KEEPING ON!

    • Welcome and Thank you, Dick! It’s the daily struggle, this battle over the state of my heart that pours forth speech….Love that you and Jim stopped by for some universal truth!

  19. What a blessing to have good lay this at my finger tips – thankful first to God and then to those of you sharing. All I know is God’s got this – knowing what I need.

  20. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

  21. Kelli-
    I work as a pediatric SLP. I love your quote “I have the honor of sitting in the holy place of struggle with children of all ages.” This has completely changed my perspective as an SLP. Thinking of our work as a holy place brings new meaning to our work every day. Thank you for your words.