Book pages folded into heart, and pink rose on book. Inspiration from 2023.

2023 Word of the Year + What Did I Learn?

     It’s hard to believe it, but my fourth annual word of the year post has arrived! It’s 2024, which means it is time for me to reveal what my word of the year was in 2023. Curious? Keep reading to find it, and see if you can guess which word it is in the following verse.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

     Did you guess it? My word of the year for 2023 was:


     I hadn’t really thought about it until I was writing this post, but this was the second year in a row that I had one of the fruits of the Spirit as my word of the year (temperance became my word of the year for 2022). It was my desire that God produce more love in me and grow me in my love for others, something that will be a lifelong journey. Let me share a few Scriptures and thoughts on the topic of love. These aren’t all necessarily things I learned in 2023, but they are good reminders for each of us.

     Keep reading because at the end of the thoughts, I’ll give you a peek at my inspiration board for last year. I make a picture board for inspiration every year, but this is the first year I’ve shared it on the blog!

Poofy crocheted heart with cluster of small flowers on a doily

1. God Is Love

     The most important thing to remember about love is its source: God. Why do we even care about love? Because God is love, and we are made in His image. This is why there is the desire for love in each of our hearts. We each have a longing for God that nothing else can satisfy. He is love! It’s Who He is, His very nature.

2. Love Casts Out Fear

    Fear is a powerful opponent, but it quells and dissipates when perfect love is present. Where is perfect love? Well, it’s everywhere, really, because God is love. He is Perfect Love! And He is everywhere. The more we let Perfect Love have control of our hearts, the more He will cast out our fears and replace them with His perfect peace.

Twine woven hear with fake flowers and ribbons

3. True Love Comes Only From God

     All true love comes only from God. If we want to love someone more, whether God or the people He has placed in our lives, trying to do it on our own will never work. We must turn to Him, the source of our love, and ask Him to put it into our lives and let it spill over to those we come in contact with.

Let all your things be done with charity.

1 Corinthians 16:14

4. God’s Love is Unconditional

     No matter what, God loves you, and He loves me! Our circumstances, fears, and shortcomings cannot change this fact. Nothing can separate you from God’s love! True, when we are not walking in fellowship with God, this changes how He shows His love for us, but it does not and cannot change the fact that He loves us tremendously.

     God is our Father, and He loves His children. The day I started writing this post, I was meditating on the Lord’s Prayer, and the phrase, “Our Father,” stood out to me. Jesus loves us so much that He suffered and died on the cross so that we could also be the children of His Father. Isn’t wonderful that there was no jealousy and He wasn’t afraid to share His Father, but He wanted us to be adopted into His family! That’s amazing. Amazing love.

5. Love is More Than A Feeling

     This is true of every one of the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, and all of the rest. They are not based on our feelings! And even when we can’t feel God’s love and presence, that does not change its reality. 2023 was a challenging year for me, and the feeling of God’s love and nearness was not always tangible, but that did not change the fact that He never left my side and continued to love me through it all!

Ready to see my 2023 inspiration board? Here it is!

This was the first time that I designed one Canva rather than printing things and assembling them with glue or tape. I was quite happy with how it turned out, enough that I made this year’s board in Canva too. It was also my first time doing a watercolor-themed one which was fun!

As a side note, many would call a board such as this a vision board, but I prefer the term inspiration board. Making a picture board does not mean your goals will somehow just happen (believe me, I didn’t do that well with some of mine), but it is inspirational and quite fun to have a picture version of what you would like your year to look like, especially for a visual person like me.

Simple Takeaway

  1. God is love, and He is the source of our ability to love Him and others.
  2. Perfect love casts out our fears.
  3. No matter what, whether you feel it or not, God always loves you!

Let’s Chat!

     Do you pick a word of the year? Do you ever make inspiration boards or do you just write out your goals?

     Until next time, happy 2024!

In Christ,


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  1. Beautiful post, Bethany! I love what you said about our desire for love. It makes so much sense that it stems from being created in the image of God. And I like the inspiration board. 😀 <3

    1. Thank you so much, Vonnie! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I really enjoy making my inspiration boards each year, and that’s one of my favorites so far. 🙂

  2. Love the inspiration board!

    1. Thank you so much, Gail!

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