Franciscans Feature ‘Lay it Down’ by Kristen Graves

by Sister Julie Ann on July 1, 2011

In this month of July that celebrates all that is good in our country, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity feature Kristen Graves’ song ‘Lay it Down’. We highlight those individuals who like St. Francis of Assisi are committed and “called to heal the wounded, to bind up the broken, and to recall the erring”… witnessing  the best of humanity.

Comments from Kristen Graves

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity feature Kristen Graves 'Lay it Down' the month of July.

“‘Lay it Down’, is a song about finding humanity in each other and taking on and sharing someone else’s burden.  My husband runs a non-profit and we have been traveling to Mexico for the past ten years working with needy children and families.  This spring I met a woman named Socorro, and her three children while working in the jungle of Southern Mexico.  She came to one of our monthly food distributions even though she had lost her registration card – as a homeless family – they shuffle from place to place, and somewhere along the way she had lost it.  Because we recognized her it didn’t pose a problem, but she had to wait until the end of the afternoon with the new registrations so that we could get all of her information again.  When we got to the end of the afternoon, there were about 20 families left, and all of them knowing her story, moved to the side so that she and her children could pass through the line first.  In that moment, I witnessed the best of humanity, and Socorro, being the best mother she can be to her children inspired me to write the song.”

About Kristen

Kristen Graves is a folk/pop singer & songwriter with a voice that commands attention, lyrics that catch your heart, and melodies that stay with the listener long after the evening ends. Her songs have a coziness to them like a well-worn winter blanket, but don’t underestimate her; she can pack a serious emotional punch at a moment’s notice. Picture an energetic Sarah McLachlan, or Tracy Chapman with a pop edge, and you’ve found Kristen Graves. Kristen has been writing and performing her own songs since 2000. As an acoustic singer & songwriter she has toured nationally since 2002. She has written and recorded four albums, and has independently sold thousands of copies of her CDs, most recently releasing her new 3-song EP entitled, ‘Lay it Down.’

Originally from the Midwest, Kristen began Classical piano lessons at age 6, studying and developing her talent until she began to write her own music at 18. Picking up the guitar during college, Kristen wrote, recorded and produced two albums, launching a solo career by the time she graduated in 2004. At the same time, beginning to volunteer and travel to an orphanage in Oaxaca, Mexico, she met fellow volunteer, Bryan Nurnberger. Soon after, Bryan founded Simply Smiles, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing bright futures for impoverished children. The couple has been working together combining arts and philanthropy ever since. 

*featured songwriter, Connecticut Songwriters Association, 2011!!

*playing ‘live’ at Kavarna, Green Bay, WI, on July 23, 2011!

*playing ‘live’ at the Cup o’ Joy, Green Bay, WI on July 29, 2011!



14 thoughts on “Franciscans Feature ‘Lay it Down’ by Kristen Graves”

  1. As I listen and ponder Kristin's song, “Lay it Down” the gospel for this weekend immediately came to mind; Jesus is praying, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,for although you have hidden these thingsfrom the wise and the learnedyou have revealed them to little ones…Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

    This song about Socorro, and so many other women and men in desperate need, is giving the gift Jesus offers to each of us–hope, comfort, a place to “lay down” whatever it is,  to be welcomed into His embrace through the goodness and generosity of those reaching out in His Name!Thank you for sharing yourself with us Kristin!

  2. Sister Carol Juckem says:

    Thank you, Kristen, for reminding us that we are called to share each other burdens, both the sorrows and the joys. Who doesn't have some kind of burden? How important it is to remember this as we go along the day to day journey! God bless you! Sr. Carol

  3. Sister Monica, novice says:

    This is a very beautiful and passionate song. We are called first and foremost to love.

  4. sannette says:

    Thanks Kristen, for sharing your song and reminding us of those who struggle so hard to make a go of it. We all need to know that His yoke is sweet and His burden is light. If we turn to Him, He will be with us. May the homeless find a way home.

  5. Sr. Delores says:

    What a powerful song and message!   I often hang on to my burden and think  I am to carry it myself.   Thank you for reminding us to truly lay it down.  God bless  you, Kristen!

  6. srsharon says:

    Kristen, what a blessing to share your wonderful musical talent with all walks of life especially the impoverished.  The Lord bless you in your important ministry and thanks for sharing!

  7. Sr. Leslie says:

    Kristen this is an extremely beautiful song. Your voice is very wonderful too and it really carries the emotion you're expressing in the song. Have fun at the Cup of Joy it is a special place.

  8. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much!  I had a great time at the Cup O Joy as always.  Thank you for your kind words and well-wishes!  – Kristen

  9. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much!  I have a wonderful time getting to know all different kinds of people, from all different backgrounds.  It's what makes us all great!  Thank you for your kind words.  -Kristen

  10. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much!  Yes – welcoming help can be a difficult thing to do!  But, when we all work together, things are so much easier.  🙂  Thank you for your kind words.  -Kristen

  11. Kristen says:

    I hope they all find their way home too…we're working on it!  Thank you for your kind words.  -Kristen

  12. Kristen says:

    I agree!  Love is always the right answer!  Thank you for your kind words about my music.  -Kristen

  13. Kristen says:

    Thank you, Sister Carol!  Everything is so much easier when we lean on each other.  🙂  Thank you for your kind words about my song.  -Kristen

  14. Kristen says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Sister Mary Ann!  Socorro is a wonderful woman that has changed my life, and thanks to her – she is opening the hearts of many.  Thank you for listening, and thanks for this opportunity to share!  -Kristen

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