I Lift My Eyes Up

Every once in a while I sit down by my kitchen table, pull out my computer and listen to some of the songs I’ve recorded over the years. I hear a lot of things when I listen to myself. Usually it’s the amazing work of my team, producers, musicians, mixers and masterers. I also have the bad habit of listening to myself sing and hear how I think I could have done better haha (typical).

But today, I’m listening to “I Lift My Eyes Up” and I don’t hear errors, I just hear hope.

Brian&MarikaThis particular track was composed by my friend Brian Doerksen. He has influenced a generation of songwriters, and definitely if you go to church pretty much anywhere, you’ve sang songs he penned for the world to sing.

I wanted to share it today and maybe it will also bring you hope in the midst of your day, just like my moment at my table, and many other moments throughout my entire life. I first sang this song when I was about 14. The hope in it was as real then to me as it is now, and I was honoured to have the opportunity to record a new version (about 20 years later of the original release) about 2 years ago in the studio with Brian himself for the “Unstoppable” Album. It was surreal singing it with him, and I treasure the moments. This man and his music changed my life forever. I am blessed to have gotten to know some of his story behind the songs and am even richer because of his friendship and the friendship that evolved with his longtime (and my first time) producer Philip Janz and his wife Brenda. It was extra special for me at the time being typically a “pop recording artist” and getting to record a gospel track that I’d grown up with. It was a real gift.

Sometimes when I find myself unknowingly and well meaningly aiming for success, for validation, for platform, for influence – when I fail, falter, and feel like I’m even fading away – my hope remains the same and I know that there is so much more to behold, to live, to dream and to understand my identity

“I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from you, Maker of Heaven, Creator of Earth” Psalm 121

~ M

Hanging with 5 time heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield

I get to be part of a brilliantly creative sometimes high risk entertainment industry. I have huge ups, but then unfortunately I have depressingly huge downs. I am an artist, and there is nothing shameful about it. Brian Doerksen is a Juno award winning artist and songwriter. He has written some of the most profound life giving songs God breathed songs that are still sung all around the world in churches today. He is also a dear friend. He says this about artists: that we have ” this freedom of expression to create what isn’t, to see what is not and make it so “. What a privilege to be a part of this! I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I do like being recognized for my work. Even after many successes, radio singles, magazine articles and awards, every single day can be a huge challenge, and I still want to feel like I matter on a personal level. I don’t look to awards to validate me, my heart is that I am creating real change with my music, especially in the lives of young women, but it’s always great to be recognized in the community. This past week I had the privilege of being awarded the Vancouver SAGE Foundation’s Recognition in Arts and Culture award for my career in the music industry.  The best part – my whole family attended looking quite stylish I might add, and I got to perform on a grand piano ( my perfect instrument ). It was an intimate event with guest speaker 5 time heavy weight champion Evander Holyfield.  It was pretty cool I must say! I also got to meet Senator Yonah Martin, as well as meet Anti-Bullying campaign hero Carol Todd. A great adventure of an evening. Dream BIG people, Dream BIG!