Maxine’s 40 ways to LOVE

Thinking of ways to explore the world outside the crib 🙂

Parents posing me with their restaurant attire =) Ready to serve!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

I can’t believe I am already here, I still remember when I turned 16! LOL…but I guess they say “time flies”! Well, it sure does…in a blink of an eye! And after having kids, I feel like it speeds up somehow. But I wouldn’t take anything back nor do I regret anything that has happened in my life so far. 

As I reflect on the last 40 years of life God has given me, I can only be thankful for all the trials and triumphs that He has placed in my life to help shape me into who He truly wants me to be. The way I was brought up, the choices I made, the people that came into my life, the places I visited, the churches we became a part of, my workplaces, my colleagues, schoolmates, neighbors, extended family members, my marriage with an amazing Godly man, my wonderful dear children, have all impacted me in one way or another to mold who I am today. 

Of course, I am always continually growing and learning. Growing up, I was always super quiet and observant, I would usually share how I felt through my actions and my words would come later. As I grew older, I started to find my voice and learn to speak up when the time was right. My confidence grew and continues to grow in other parts of my life and I love seeing how the Lord is placing different opportunities for me to practice some new skills.

I know that our days are numbered. God knows what’s next in store. I live knowing that I am only here for a moment, knowing we are just journeying through until our eternal home with Jesus. With that always in the back of my mind, I try to take each moment with intention (and some naps in between =) ). 

In all things, I have concluded that it all comes down to love and all that it encompasses. And as I write these, they are mostly for my children to pass down to the next generation (if anything were to happen to me, these are the things I want them to remember…I know so morbid, but you never know). So here is what I have learned and grown in the last 40 years. 🙂 

  1. Love God
    • We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:9). God is Love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior, I’d be happy to tell you more and how He can transform your life in ways you wouldn’t believe (for your good and for His glory). He loves you more than you know. He shows us how to love with an unconditional kind of love and through His strength, we are able to love even our worst enemies. 
  1. Love Others
    • Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31). By being kind to our neighbors and others we encounter every day, we are showing them the love of Christ. We can help others out of the goodness of our hearts and put a smile on their faces. Instead of treating others in an impersonal way, we can be friendly and kind with them even when we don’t know them. The love of Christ is not only for those we know but the strangers we meet along the way as well.
  2. Love Now
    • The past is the past, the future will take care of itself, focus on what’s right in front of you and love what’s in front of you now, before that time is gone. The days are long, but the years are oh so short. 
  3. Love Joyfully
    • Think about the good in others. What brings them joy, what brings you joy? How can we joyfully be loving one another (even in the hard times)? 
  4. Love Patiently
    • Be patient with yourself, with others, with how others are growing in their own season/stage. Teens, you will also grow old one day, treat your elders kindly. Elders, you were also once teenagers, they need your patience and presence now more than ever.  
  5. Love Gracefully 
    • When you meet someone, you don’t know what stage of life they are in, what season they just went through or are going through: hormone changes, health pains, family hardships, emotional baggage, break ups, etc….. love them for where they are at, showing grace upon grace, not judgment/assumptions. 
    • “A friend loves at all times.” – Proverbs 17:17
  6. Love Respectfully 
    • Respect others’ space and place. Some people are not ready for a hug or advice…give them space to process and let them ask you when they are ready. 
  7. Love Delightfully 
    • “Fight to delight” (quote taken from my bestie). For every complaint and criticism find 3 things to praise or compliment/encourage. The news is so hard to watch, at every turn, it is usually negative or stressful, which then in turn can cause anxiety or feeling overwhelmed. How can we delight in something good around us and help make the world a better place?
  8. Love Thoughtfully 
    • Take time to think write a card/letter. Writing requires attention to detail and vulnerability. It takes more time, energy, and just overall effort than a text. Writing your love is an exercise in thoughtfulness!
  9. Love Completely 
    • “Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14) Get to know someone’s heart and intentions and not just make assumptions…usually they are not what you think. Get to know the person’s story and what makes them, them. 🙂
  10. Love Regardfully 
    • Regard other’s feelings, concerns, and thoughts. Don’t let your own insecurities get in the way of regarding someone else’s needs. Know when to say sorry and remorseful. Have true repentance. Learn from your mistakes and move on. 
  11. Love Faithfully 
    • Love in any relationship is work. People give and receive love differently as well. Learn to see how others receive love, it may be different from how you give it or receive it, but understand that in it all, they are showing their way of loving someone. 
  12. Love Peacefully 
    • Words can bring life or they can tear down. Be there for others when they need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on,  someone to uplift their spirits, someone to pray for them.
    • “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” – Ephesians 4:29
  13. Love Healthily 
    • Learn to love without anything in return. It is better to give than to receive. Also, learn how to take care of yourself as well. Your mental health is important and take time to see how to take care of your body, mind, and spirit. A walk, exercise, spa day, quality time with a friend, counseling, pets, art, time in God’s word, dancing, singing, music, etc….you’ll find your niche and what truly brings you joy. 
  14. Love Gratefully 
    • Be grateful for all the wonderful gifts from above that brings you life.
      Take the time to thank the person you love, even for “little” things, such as taking out the trash and doing the dishes; Thank the Lord for a brand new day…His mercies are new every morning; Thank the postman for delivering your mail, especially in the rain; The friend that came over spontaneously ‘cuz they knew you needed a shoulder to lean on; The cashier at the grocery store who had a hard day, but is still bagging your groceries. A little gratitude goes a long way. 
  15. Love Fruitfully 
    • With Love, all things grow better – showing all different types of fruit from love and the Holy Spirit – more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) 
  16. Love Carefully 
    • There is so much pain and loneliness in the world, you can be pretty sure the person next to you on the bus or the checker at the grocery store could use a kind word, a smile, or a helping hand. Get off your cell phone and talk to them. Get to know them. Ask them how their day is going… and mean it. Remember their name.
  17. Love Mindfully
    • Listen to others well. Hear their story. You have yours. They have theirs. Everyone has a story to tell. Mindfully listen. 
    • We need to connect more deeply with our lives and the people in them, rather than living a detached, disconnected existence. It can be as simple as asking, ‘How was your day?’”
  18. Love Little
    • If you take time to look at the little things, how a spider makes his web, how mother birds feed their young, how bees make honey, you’ll see and know that God is always taking care of His creation…that means YOU too.
    • “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” – Matthew 6:26
  19. Love Big 
    • Celebrate that person when they are in your life – birthdays, graduations, marriages, milestones, job promotions, etc – it’ll come and go before you know it. 
  20. Love Gently 
    • Be gentle with your words to those around you. The saying “actions speak louder than words” also works vice versa. Words are replayed in one’s mind and thoughts over and over. Words can either help/heal or hurt. Speak words that will bring life to one another. 
    • Avoid making generalizations like “You always” or “You never”.
    • “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2) 
  21. Love Wisefully
    • If there is something you are worried about or frustrated about, look at what you can do about it (and give it up to God to take care of) and not what others should do… you are responsible for yourself and God will guide you and lead you to a place of peace and understanding.  
  22. Love Wonderfully
    • Be in awe of the wonder of life around you. God has made everything with precise details and worth. Stand in awe of the wonder of His amazing love and grace. 
  23. Love Compassionately 
    • Stop comparing, condoning, criticizing others/things…there’s enough negativity in the world, don’t add to it. Learn to show compassion, care, comfort to those around you and continue to ask God to show you how.
  24. Love Silly
    • It’s ok to be silly. Many of us need to lighten up and find ways to make each other smile and laugh more. Remember that saying…”Laughter is the best medicine.” When I see the young and elderly laughing and loving together, it’s the best! 
  25. Love Celebrations 
    • Learn to celebrate when people are thriving in where God has called them to be. We get excited when little babies take their first steps, eat their first foods, start talking….we can also celebrate ones in college who had a hard time writing, someone who was lost and now found, someone who couldn’t and now can, reconciliation with family members. Celebrate before it’s too late. 
  26. Love Forgivingly 
    • Forgive as Christ has forgiven you. You will get hurt in life, there will be hard times. Learn to forgive others genuinely, learn from it, and move on/let go. Love keeps no records of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5) 
    • “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
  27. Love Fearlessly 
    • We have to shed our fears, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7)
    • Don’t be too afraid to talk to the stranger next to you. Be bold and fearless in sharing Christ to those around you. 
  28. Love Sacrificially 
    • We need to become less self-absorbed and more invested in those around us. Don’t shift blame and heap it on others, rather take responsibility for your own actions. Love means sacrifice when it comes to speaking your opinions. Instead of jumping on your spouse’s opinion, listen to them without interruption. 
    • There are times in marriage where sacrifice means staying quiet even when you know you’re right. If you are about to have an argument with your spouse, you could ask yourself this: “Does this really matter? Will I still care about this tomorrow?” Very likely, the answer is no. Choose your battles wisely and pick being a peacekeeper over a nitpicker.
    • There is no greater example than Jesus. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
  29. Love Kindly
    • When we love difficult people or choose to love even when we do not feel like it, we demonstrate our reliance on God and allow His power to be displayed in and through us. To love like Christ, be kind to others even when we don’t think they deserve it. 
  30. Love Deeply 
    • “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) 
  1. Love Sincerely
    • “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9) 
    • The key to being thoughtful is keeping your loved one’s interests, desires, likes in mind (making a care package, creating a date night, family nights, letting them go for a girls night/guys night, etc). 
  2. Love Openly
    • With an open heart, get to know others for who they are and not who you expect or want them to be. God is the one to change hearts, not you. Everyone has their God-given gifts and talents, you can learn from them just as much as they can learn from you. Learn to see how their gifts and talents help shape the world as well. But listen to what God has for YOU, don’t start comparing yourself to others. God’s not done with you yet.
    • God will open doors and also close doors. Sometimes He closes that door in order to open another one! He knows just what you need. Be open to what He has in store for you.
  3. Love Growth
    • God is not done with you yet. There is so much growing in life and sometimes even pruning. God knows what’s best for you in the season that you are in. Trials will come, but so will triumphs. 
    • “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4
  4. Love Pursuing-ly 
    • If you love someone, especially deeply, you continue to pursue them. Introverts, extroverts, ambiverts all need/want to be pursued. Don’t be afraid to reach out. We are more alike than different. 🙂 If you say you want to get together with someone, take time to look at the calendars together and pencil something in before you forget. 🙂
  5. Love Boundaries 
    • Know when to say NO to things so that you can say YES to the right things. It’s ok to have boundaries. This took me a long time to learn and now I am able to truly do what God’s called me to do.
    • For your love to be healthy, you must give your partner the freedom to prioritize their own needs and desires, even when that means taking some alone time to focus on their own life—their work, health, friendships, or creative pursuits. Support them well, as they support you.
  6. Love Rest
    • Know when to stop, rest, breathe and be still. Take deep breaths…it’s all going to be ok. God’s got it all under control. You don’t need to worry or fret, rest in Him and in His faithfulness/provision for your life. He is FOR you! 
  1. Love Unexpectedly 
    • Love without expectation, don’t expect anything back nor consider the fact that your affection/love is not being reciprocated. It doesn’t matter if it seems like you care more than the other does or that they don’t initiate sweet words or give complimentary thoughts like you do. Don’t mind their flaws, difficulties or past mistakes because we want all of who they are anyway, wholly and entirely.
  2. Love Unconditionally 
    • It’s not always easy to love when your own cup is empty, but God always can fill it up with His Word and use others around you to show you His love. When your cup overflows, you have more to give as well. When you love unconditionally without expecting anything, you’ll establish a special relationship. Your relationship will be pure and honest because you are not merely using another to satisfy general self-interested desires.
    • “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
  3. Love Always
    • Loving others can be difficult because they are human and you are human. But in this difficulty we come to better appreciate the quality of God’s love for us. And when we love others in spite of their lack of lovability, God’s Spirit shines through, He is glorified, others are edified, and the world sees Christ in us. Continue to press on in love.
    • “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13 

Love with your all, God will do the rest. 

In the end, there is no fear in love. Love conquers all.

Love to the max, always, 

Maxine Sudarma 






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