Timbo’s at the Door

Sometimes doors fly open. Don’t let them hit you in the face and knock you down. Anticipate them and take advantage of chances to practice your approach and your delivery. I’m learning.

Last weekend, I navigated some inviting opportunities. I was supposed to perform Come Ye at a function on my campus, but other obligations conflicted with the rehearsal schedule. I wasn’t meant to walk through that door, and thankfully I didn’t bother picking the lock, because I would have been too preoccupied to notice another that swung right open.

Quick background before I explain door #2… When I was in high school, my dad introduced me to Leon Timbo‘s music. For those who are unfamiliar, I liken him to a male India.Arie, so to speak. His tone is enchanting. His sound is soothing. His acoustic guitar playing is masterful. Inspired, I bought and played his songs over…and over…and over.

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Okay, fast forward to last Friday… In addition to finally hearing Timbo live, one of my favorites was gracious enough to share his stage and let me open the show. Right… how Sway?

Well, a dear friend and sweet soul (Thanks boo!) introduced me to her connects, advocated on my behalf, and trusted me to show up prepared. And, to make a long story short, I just held onto resources, words of wisdom from lovely people, tons of support, and collected experiences & skills, and trusted God to walk me through the door He’d assigned. He’d been piecing together my path to that point all along.

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For instance, I’ve sung and played Come Ye so much that I should be sick of it. I’ve journaled, contemplated, drafted/redrafted web content, and hash tagged enough on social media that I’ve become comfortable introducing myself and communicating my main message succinctly. I carry my track and/or guitar with me wherever I go. When people ask how they can find me, I know exactly where to direct them. In fact, I was able to share with an eagerly receptive audience that night how they could search “Maya Elizabeth” and buy my first single on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and other online music distributors (I know I’m not slick…Shameless plug).

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Of course, I’ve got plenty of additional prep work and practice ahead of me. I’m learning as I go, but I’ve got to be ready to get going if I really intend to learn anything. This incredible opportunity has played a roll in my continued development, introduced me to more creatives with amazing talent, and (by faith) will lead to doors on doors on open doors.

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Timbo, Christen B, & Me

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My One Thing

 

There is nobody

who loves me the way

you love me.

Even though I’m just nobody

You chose ME to be somebody…

 

So…this cover is kind of old…but lyrically still relevant to my life. I adapted the tune from a familiar song (I’m more than positive you’ll pick up on it).

 

 

So take this offering.

I lay me down at your feet.

You were once

just a something,

but now You are

my one thing…

© Maya E. Hairston

 

You’re Lovable

Psalm 139 poetically describes the purest and most dynamic love any being could have for another. The writer’s tone conveys an unparalleled and incomprehensible intimacy between the Creator (the subject) and His workmanship (the voice). I’d encourage you to read the Psalm for yourself, but, from my reflections, here is a summary and proof that you are, indeed, lovable:

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  1. He knows you. He examines you as His flawless craftsmanship. You are a masterpiece. He studies your every move, watching as everything He foreknew comes to fruition. Yes, He knows you extremely well (1-6).
  2. He follows you. His presence envelops you even in your darkest moment. He, in fact, has conquered your darkness with His inextinguishable light (7-12). Yes, He is with you, no matter where you go.Image-1-2.jpg
  3. He anticipated your arrival. He watched carefully and patiently as your delicate intricacies developed. He saw everything you were, and everything you would become. Yes…even before you were aware (13-16).
  4. He thinks about you…fondly and often. Yes, just as He is ever-present in your life, your valuable life is ever-present in His mind (17-18).Image-1-3.jpg
  5. He woos you. He shows you His perspective. He unveils the truth about your surroundings and the habits they influence. He offers redemption. Yes, though you were once what you now despise, you cling to Him all the more because He opened your eyes (19-24).

You’re Lovable (Shine)

Don’t listen to them…

those lies in your head.

You’re lovable!

Don’t let ’em tell you,

“you’ll never be more.”

I know you will,

because I’ve spoken

and it’s written in my Word.

Check Psalm 139.

I made you so fine.

Yes, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

So, I’m gonna shine my light

into your dark place

and pull you out,

because I want to see you shine for me one day.

But you’ve gotta believe…

you’ve gotta receive the gift I gave

for you to live.

I love you…

© Maya E. Hairston, 2011

Here’s How You Know You’re Doing Exactly What You’re Supposed To

Last week I officially launched what I’m referring to as my music movement. I published my website (http://www.mayaelizabethmusic.com) and made my first single, Come Ye, available for listening. Several individuals have asked how I feel about this exciting new journey, and with everything else going on in my life, my most honest answer is simply that I’m overwhelmed. I’m starting to process what it means to finally begin releasing my music and exposing my magnum opus, so to speak (at least to this point in my life), and wanted to share two realities I believe confirm I’ve made the right decision in pursuing this path. Encountering the following factors strongly suggests you’re moving in exactly the direction you ought.

First, when your choices and actions align with your purpose, their outcomes positively, and, I’d dare say, divinely impact others’ lives. You can’t possibly know all that everyone within your immediate or extended reach might endure. When what you produce, share, represent, express, or reveal meets multiple people–all from varying backgrounds, circumstances, experiences, etc.–exactly where they are, at exactly the right time, with the exact message, revelation, or encouragement they need, there is no explanation apart from the Supernatural. In these instances, you can rest assured that you’re operating not just in your strengths, but, moreover, in your gift-guided, God-granted, duty-driven destiny. You’re totally tapped into your best offering to honor your Creator, and your most productive and fulfilling contribution to empower the rest of creation.

But, also, you know you’re succeeding in your life’s mission when you face unparalleled opposition. If doing what you’re supposed to was easy, everyone would choose wisely, but the road less traveled is exactly that… Whether you choose to believe it or not, destructive forces work continually and all the more diligently against your progress when you determine to let faith lead you. The day after I’d launched and supporters flooded my timeline and inbox with exciting affirmations, my elation began to subside and give itself over to discouragement. For every lovely thought, it seemed there were ten more negative, doubting, anxious lies screaming, “Defeat! You’ve done nothing of real worth. Busy yourself. Your work was in vain. You deserve no rest.” And the worst lie of all…”Fraud! You barely embrace the hope your lyrics boast.” That was the final straw… That’s when I knew my enemy was in full-fledged attack mode. That’s when I realized rehearsing the truth was even more relevant and necessary than before.

So I’ve resolved: Yes, it’s true. I don’t have it all together. No, I’m not worthy of my gift and its potential impact. However, I know, even beyond my doubts, that my Creator commands my courage (Joshua 1:9). He demands that I suit up for battle to withstand the spiritual forces that rattle my mind (Ephesians 6). And, finally, He has already empowered, equipped, and authorized me to rightfully claim victory (Psalm 118:14)! These are just facts, and they’ve never brought more comfort than they have this past week.

Perhaps you identify with the two realities I’ve just explained. Keep on pressing. You’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to.

Come Ye

I’ve never been diagnosed as clinically depressed, but I can identify with the physical toll sadness and doubt take when they manifest. I naturally internalize my thoughts, busy myself unnecessarily, and place a lot of pressure on myself. As a result, I have struggled with acknowledging and addressing my emotions in a healthy manner instead of waiting until stress forces them to surface. Sometime during my sophomore year of college, I had just taken a long shower to try clearing my thoughts, shut off all the lights so that my dorm room was as dark as I felt, and was crying myself to sleep.

Growing up, my dad often encouraged me to overcome anxious and burdensome thoughts by pondering freeing truths. In my attempts to refocus my thinking that night, I very clearly heard my Creator whisper the lyrics that became Come Ye. That night lying in bed, this new tune was as plain and precise as a familiar melody, and the lyrics that accompanied it flowed with incredible ease. The moment was unquestionably divine. Weeks later, I stumbled upon this passage:

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

I was never meant to bear the burdens I place on myself. In order to live an abundant life, exercise my gifts to their fullest potential, and impact the world, I have to first resolve that I will be anxious about nothing (Philippians 4:6).

For me, this song provides healing, speaks truth, and boasts of the Creator’s unfailing love. And now, it is my absolute pleasure to announce that I’ve launched the #MayaElizabeth music movement, and Come Ye, my first single, is available for listening at http://www.mayaelizabethmusic.com.

Come Ye Cover

As always, my hope is that others will experience the same positivity and encouragement when they listen to and connect with my music. So, for a reminder of where to turn in the midst of weakness, overbearing doubt, emotional depletion, and/or all of the above, take a listen to  Come Ye as you meditate on these lyrics:

Chorus

Yes, I will be

Your protection from the enemy

he’s not ahead of me

 

and I will snatch you up

and hold you

when you’re falling and you’re

falling fast

 

Don’t loose your faith

But know that I can handle your doubts

You might not see it

But I’m already moving

Right here, right now

My Weary Prayer

These past few weeks…. limited capacity… dwindling motivation.

Still, strength in the Strongest… be Stronger in my weakness.

You get all I can give…

Multiply it.

Sustain me.

Amen…

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A little inspiration…

(Now, of course, I meditate on an old original…)

‘Til My Battle (Chorus):

Until my battle is won

You know I’m fighting

Although my battle is His

So I’ve got victory!

No, I’m not gonna stop…

Gonna reach the top…

I won’t let it go.

And I’m going hard,

’cause He saved me soul.

 

© Maya E. Hairston, 2016

Wedding Flow

 

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Today I took a mini road-trip to New York to sing in and celebrate a friend’s wedding. Both the ceremony and the couple were radiantly beautiful, and my heart is full from a long but exciting day!

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As drained as I am from the trip and everything else falling off of my plate, I’m so grateful I got the chance to witness the union and to have been involved in making the lovebirds’ special day even more memorable.IMG_2022

I share this simply to note that I’m more and more convinced there’s nothing more gratifying than pursuing your passions and sharing your gifts with others. If you’re willing, using your gifts will open doors for you to enjoy life the way you were meant to. The more you share, the greater your ability to meet, inspire, impact, rejoice with, and enjoy precious moments with people.

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A thankful bride and groom, encouraging words from the guests, and the opportunity to do what my Creator designed me to do made today’s excursion every bit worth while. I have faith this won’t be the last or the greatest of the gift-guided experiences to come.

 

 

Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Mills! God bless your covenant union!

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