Laugh It Up! with Candace Payne + Giveaway

I remember getting a text from my friend and assistant Lindsey one day in May of last year. She wanted to know if I’d seen the Chewbacca mask lady who made a video in her car while in the Kohl’s parking lot. I had no idea what she was talking about. As of today, over 140 million people have viewed the video she was referring to of Candace Payne, aka Chewbacca Mom exhibiting pure joy with that Star Wars themed mask.

Today, Candace is a fellow author at my publisher Zondervan and she just released her book, Laugh It Up! Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy. She is spreading a little bit of her joy around by guest posting here and giving away five copies to my readers. Now, here is Candace!


Laugh It Up by Candace Payne

I honestly believe the lessons I learned in the anonymous years of being a stay-at-home mom shaped the “suddenly” moment of becoming Chewbacca Mom.

I’ve never felt more pressure and stress than the night I walked the red carpet at the Country Music Television awards. And not by the kind you might naturally assume. I have one word to summarize it all. SPANX. I had no need of Spanx ever before in the thirty-seven years I’d spent on this planet.

That night was one of the most surreal moments of my life. I enjoyed the evening like it was my last, soaking in every conversation with celebrities and artists between commercial breaks. I didn’t want the night or the experience to end.

With my family at work and school, I flew home the next morning and walked into an empty house with lights off. However, I also walked into an unmistakable smell.

The culprit was throw up found in my ornery pug Opal’s dog crate.

So this was my grand welcome-back-to-reality party right on the heels of the most surreal night in the history of the life of Candace Payne.

Red carpet to dog vomit, y’all. Just like that.

It was then I asked myself the question most of us frequently ask ourselves: Who am I?

Isn’t it funny how often we find our identity in what we do or achieve in our greatest moments? When we describe ourselves, we report in snapshots of our best moments, hoping that the sum of them will become who we truly are.

Even when we don’t describe ourselves to anyone else, we tend to struggle internally with our identities being wrapped up with what we do instead of who we are. The problem with such thinking is that we begin to believe that we find our worth in what we do day to day instead of who we are at the core of our being. Effortlessly, this can and will more than likely lead to discontent or prideful thinking.

We forget that what we do with our days (glamorous or not) is already an extension of what we value.

I long to have integrity and a heart that chooses love over arguing, complaining, and blame. I try with every effort to cultivate the kind of character I aspire to and ground my worth in that, rather than letting my worth be defined by my opportunities.

Inward character trumps outward opportunity every time, and I want to cultivate the kind of character I can be proud of whether I’m backstage, center stage, or when no one is looking at all.

Joy knows this so well. She lives in every moment fully content. I am not suggesting Joy doesn’t aspire to great moments and highlights that would “ooh and awe” the crowds. I am suggesting, though, that she also aims to live in the moments that get thrown on the cutting room floor. Joy knows that the secret of being content is found in being fully satisfied with who you are when no one is looking, no matter what role you are living.

Whether you’re backstage, center stage, or whatevs, claim your identity and get comfortable in it, and let this lead you to Joy.



Congrats Michelle Vasquez, Dianna Vanhemert, Phyllis Wiley, Christina M. White, Robin (november 16, 2017 at 9:29 pm). You each won a copy of Candace’s book. Please check your email and reply with your mailing address and our publisher will get it to you asap.

Candace is giving away five copies of Laugh It Up! to my readers. Comment below and let us know what area of life you are looking to experience defiant joy in. U.S. Addresses only please. Winners will be announced here on Monday, November 20. **if you are reading this on email, click here to enter.

Laugh It Up by Candace Payne


Candace Payne is a viral sensation whose Facebook Live video of trying on a Chewbacca Mask became the most-viewed Facebook Live video to date. Candace recently released her first book, Laugh It Up! telling the rest of the story behind the woman in the mask. Like most of us, Candace Payne has often felt overlooked, undervalued, and insignificant. But she has also discovered the secrets to unshakable joy that no circumstance can take away. Candace lives in Texas with her husband, two children, and ornery pug. Connect with Candace online at CandacePayne.me.

Be sure to check out Candace’s Laugh It Up Illustrated Faith Bible Journaling kit.


(Visited 536 times, 1 visits today)

Similar Posts


  1. I would like to experience oveer-the-top joy in my interactions with others so that they will see the joy of Christ in me.

  2. I would really like to experience more joy in parenting. Have 5 kids ages 16,14,12,9,3 and a blended family due to first spouse death is challenging. I daily feel as if I am failing and so badly just want to experience joy in this journey.

  3. love to have more joy in family togetherness. Saw you on home & family,really would like your book after your interview there

  4. I would like defiant joy in every area of my life but especially in the waiting period of job/finances.thank u for giving us a chance to win.

  5. Just got report grades for my teen. It’s his first one in HS. The boy who never missed being in honor roll in his entire academic career… has a bad first report card in HS. I need defiant joy as I am knee deep in parenting a teen. I want him to be independent. But when he doesn’t something like not do his work because he doesn’t feel like it…. UGHHH!! I want to be a joyful mom again but how in heck do I do that as my teen and my tween dare to push my boundaries?!? Yah. I need defiant joy in spite of my sometimes defiant boys.

  6. I want to experience joy in everything! Raising my children, being a wife, while I’m work. I want a smile to radiate from my face that comes from deep within my heart!

  7. I’d love to experience defiant joy in the daily of raising 4 kids and being a good wife to my husband. I love life, but it’s at times lacking joy!

  8. I spent too many years digging out of depression and now I’m greedy and wanting joy everywhere in my life. Whether it’s in my ministry with my husband in our misfits, I’m one too so that’s written in love, mission congregation or the ladies Bible study or hanging out with my grandchildren; I want to laugh and be thankful and know who I am in Christ.

  9. I would like to find defiant joy in now that winter is heading to our Midwest city. Everyone gets the winter dull drums, eats too much and hibernates as we are sometimes trapped inside for days. I want to be sure to make the most of this time with my family by playing board games or reading or making pillow forts. In my alone time, I want to be productive and work on scrapbooks and family pictures cleaning out clutter and better healthier dinners.

  10. I would like to experience more defiant joy in the daily role of parenting teen agers. I know the season is fleeting and I want to enjoy it, but some days it just sucks the life out of me. I love what Candace already shared and laughed out loud at some of it, too. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  11. I’m looking for joy in my family life right now. Experiencing an unexpected loss of a love one and family sickness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *