Soulhouette: This is M.E.

I know… I haven’t blogged in forever. But I promise it’s with good reason…

I’ve been otherwise occupied planning the next big move…

After a lifetime of writing, a few years of wandering in a musical desert, about 2 more years of focused studio time, lots of learning, plenty of tweaking, two single releases and a music video… I’m so excited to finally unveil my first full project with an album release concert on November 19, 2016!!! What a fitting way to celebrate my birthday weekend, wouldn’t you say? Pretty much… So, let me tell you a little bit about the album:

It includes many of the original songs I’ve highlighted in this blog. It tells my story. It paints listeners a picture of who Maya Elizabeth is…honestly…truly. The lyrics reflect my experiences and struggles with self-image, worries about my worth, pleas for forgiveness, and doubts concerning my purpose. Then they resolve to address my Creator’s perspective, His masterful design capabilities, and His gracious love for those who don’t even know how to receive it.

These conflicting and contrasting thoughts describe the album’s title, ‘Soulhouette: This is M.E.’ I assume you might like to know what the term “Soulhouette” means and how it emerged. First, note that it’s a play on the word silhouette. Here’s an earlier reflection of mine that sums up the significance:

image-1In allowing me to face the struggles I address in my lyrics, God reveals to me the person He created me to be and the purpose He designed and destined for me to fulfill. I am discovering and striving to embrace the image He gave me, to see myself as He does. I’ve learned my outward appearance and people’s perceptions of who I am are merely shadows or silhouettes–dark outlines of my shape or a simple suggestion of who I might be. But, as I engage and entertain the Light, my true image become more visible. More light means more truth. Light exposes my complete figure, as truth releases me from the dark thoughts that once ruled my life.

As I’ve shared before, writing these songs has helped me process situations so I can recall what I know to be true and combat not-so-lovely thoughts. This phenomenon is precisely what birthed this project, and exactly the impact I’m hoping it will have on listeners. If you’re in the area, or planning to be that evening, I invite you to join us for a night of live music, healing, truth and love! And, whether or not you experience ‘Soulhouette’ live, I believe listening to this album will help you continually renew your mind, offer you hope for your future, and encourage you to live on purpose.

Get excited, grab your friends, and get your tickets! I’ll see you all on November 19!

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Say Oh!

“Each breath that we breathe is a display of His mercy.

So even weary hearts can sing a song of thanksgiving…”

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Sometimes I lose enthusiasm. Who doesn’t, though? There’s no shame in feeling ‘blah.’ There is shame, however, in letting that ‘blah-ness’ dictate your actions.

Here’s what I try to remember (and I’m grateful to have parents and friends who remind me often) when being overwhelmed makes me underwhelmed…when I’ve lost sight of my vision…when I’m barely trudging along…when I have trouble mustering up excitement about what I’m here to do…when I forget to celebrate…

I’ve been anointed. That’s not to say that I’ve been drenched in coconut oil (though my curls might appreciate that). But basically, being anointed means despite my doubts, my nature, or my flaws, God is merciful enough to breathe life into my lungs everyday so I can perform a specific set of skills with unnatural, unexplainable ease. Re-phrase… I don’t/can’t empower myself to do what I do. I don’t get bragging rights. I sing and write to inspire other people because my Creator gifted me the ability and the passion. And if I neglect that truth, He has every right and ability to revoke the privilege.

I’ve been appointed. A generous Creator destined my existence. He’s crafting my story to inspire and relate to somebody, so no matter how skeptical I am of my impact, it’s His impact to make. He’s burdened me to do something that someone else might not do as effectively, and not because I’m naturally any more skilled or worthy, but literally because He said, “Hmm… Maya Elizabeth…here’s a voice. Because I love you, I’m going to entrust it to you. Use it to introduce the world to healing, truth, and love… All the things that I am…”

I’ve been chosen. He’s etched my name on the very thing He gives me chance after chance to wake up and run after. He’s even merciful when I crawl… Do you get where I’m going? I have no excuse, essentially. I’m not here for me. I don’t exist to make art for my own delight and pleasure. At the end of the day, I’m not hustling to pat myself on the back. It’s bigger.

I’ve been graced. It is my responsibility to keep going. It’s my duty to remain steadfast and devoted, to act honorably, to live a life worthy of the gift and pleasing to the gift-giver, to show gratitude for every inhale, and bestow blessings with every exhale.

Even on a blah day, or during a blah week, month or beyond, I have every reason to sacrifice what and how I feel. If I’m alive, I have an assignment to fulfill, contributions to make, and seeds to sow. I’ve been selected and equipped. That, in my opinion, is pretty motivating and exciting. Just the thought gives me reason. So, although I sometimes have a hard time getting excited about my day-to-day, I should be grateful just to have a day-to-day and live it intentionally.

Anyway, the purpose of this rant was to describe the message in my latest single, The Anthem (Say Oh). As you listen, I hope the lyrics meet you where you are and provide somewhat of a pick-me-up to reignite your enthusiasm and your commitment to living on purpose. In every season, give thanks and keep going. That, essentially, is what this song means to me…