“Laugh It Up!” by Payne

Candace Payne - Laugh It Up! Book Review

First of all, let me just say that if you’re looking for something authentic, real, vulnerable, deep, life-impacting, and funny as all get-out, then you found the motherload! You can pre-order it right here, right now: http://amzn.to/2z4pKo7.

You’ll laugh! ? You’ll cry! ? You’ll crave tacos! ?

Oh my goodness, y’all. This book. This. Book! Whew!

Chewbacca Mom Made Us Laugh

Most of us first discovered  Candace Payne on Facebook. She was streaming the unboxing of a personal purchase with her friends and family via Facebook Live: a Chewbacca mask that makes Wookie sounds when the mouth is opened.

“You go, girl!” is what I thought as she explained this mask was her birthday present, and she would not be sharing it with her children. (This is something all mommas understand—we do NOT share the “precious” with little humans who break things.)

In case you missed it, or you want to laugh again, here is the video that catapulted Candace Payne to fame as “Chewbacca Mom.”

Candace didn’t spend hundreds of dollars in online seminars on how to build a tribe or sell a webinar course. She simply went live on Facebook sharing her authentic, unbridled, defiant joy with her friends and family, and the entire world responded.

Viral Video Creates Instant Celebrity 

The opportunities that have come her way as a result of the most-watched-ever Facebook Live video have not been squandered: They have been cherished, stewarded, and leveraged for maximum impact.

She has toured Facebook headquarters; been presented with a Chewbacca Mom action figure at Hasbro headquarters; met Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies; enjoyed an all-expense paid trip to Disney World with her family; appeared on a variety of TV shows from Good Morning America to the Late Show with James Corden (including Carpool Karaoke with Director JJ Abrams). Oh my gosh…watch the carpool karaoke & try to get through it without laughing. It. Cannot. Be. Done.

Who Is This Woman & Why Is She So Joyful? 

When I learned Candace had written a book and was building her launch team, I kinda begged to be on it. I may have offered tacos.🌮🌮🌮

Being part of the team not only provided me the opportunity to read the book before it’s published (Nov. 7th is THE DAY), but it also gave me the chance to interact with Candace numerous times in a private group via live video chats.

Over the last couple of months reading the book, listening to Candace explain her purpose for writing it, and experiencing first-hand her heart for people, I’ve become convinced this book was written for a higher purpose than a good laugh—although you WILL most definitely laugh!

The real purpose behind Laugh It Up! is to offer the reader HOPE.

I think most people will start reading this book out of pure curiosity: Who is the woman behind the mask? How could she laugh for 3 minutes straight? Was she always this way?

What will keep them reading is much deeper than that. The real question behind the curiosity is this: Can I experience this type of joy, too?

In Laugh It Up!, Candace shares the challenges she’s overcome in her life—homelessness, sexual abuse, bullying, marital conflict, body image issues, cyber bullying—and how in spite of all the trials and tribulations, she found a way to live life with defiant joy.

I never want to magnify my struggles compared with yours. I only offer my experiences and the journey I have traveled to embrace freedom and live with defiant joy.” (p. 85)

I may have colored the chapter concept drawing. ?

Each chapter features illustrations hand-drawn by Candace for a purpose. She is an artist, and if you examine the symbolism in the illustration, you’ll see where you’re headed. It’s like a sneak preview. Here are a few of the chapter concepts:

  • Joy is a fighter.
  • Joy likes to play.
  • Joy stays the course.
  • When Comparison calls, Joy doesn’t answer.
  • Joy evicts shame.
  • Joy shakes off the haters.

Candace explains:

Those aren’t concepts that I just kinda came up with. They’re from my faith! They’re from the depths of who I am…from my faith! When I say something like ‘Joy evicts shame,’ there’s actually stuff that I’ve read in the Bible that supports that…and has shaped that in me.” (Facebook Live)

By personifying emotions (e.g., Joy, Hope, Contentment, Shame, Fear, etc.), the author paints word pictures to point out proactive steps for a joy-full life despite external circumstances.

Well-Written, Deeply Profound & Laugh-out-Loud Funny!

Beneath the surface of her personal stories and hysterical commentary, you will find a cheerful life coach challenging you and cheering you on to make the changes you need to make in order to live a joy-full life. Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom I highlighted in my copy:

No matter the trial or triumph, I find it’s easier to silence the calls of Comparison when we are content with our lives. Contentment is the antidote to Comparison.” (p. 54)

Don’t relent for one second in your fight for Joy. Either you allow the sum of your darkest memories and mistakes to occupy your thoughts, or you allow Joy to have the remote control and remind you that you are seen, valued, and loved.” (p. 73)

Live authentically with the grace to know risks are where bridges of joy are forged over many waters of disappointments, regrets, failures, and lists of can’ts.” (p. 155)

Candace is the real deal. She is vulnerable, authentic, and courageous—three of the attributes I value most in life. She’s also hilarious!!! I laughed out loud so many times while I read her commentary on life’s unpredictable adventures, I surprised myself. But I don’t want to ruin those moments for you. Read it. You’ll laugh. I guarantee it!
So, if you have not guessed by now, I definitely recommend Laugh It Up! for anyone who needs a good laugh, is curious about “Chewbacca Mom,” and enjoys tacos.
But more importantly, I STRONGLY recommend this book to anyone who is yearning for Joy and Contentment; needing to evict Shame and Fear; and searching for Hope in this life. This book is your G.P.S. for getting there.
⚡ BREAKING NEWS: Candace has also created a video-driven 6-week study to accompany her book. It’s entitled “Defiant Joy” and will be released soon. AND she’s already writing book #2. Candace Payne is here to stay, and I’m so glad!!!
Click here to order: Laugh It Up!: Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy by Candace Payne

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Forgiveness Is Freedom


Have you ever noticed that the words GIVE and GIVEN are in the middle of forgiveness? I guess I never really thought about it. Until today. And now, that which has been seen cannot be unseen. 

ForGIVEness is a noun, and as such, it is a thing. It is something you can give, and it is something that can be given to you—whether you choose to receive it or not. Isn’t that interesting?

Psychologists have long contended that the offer of forGIVEness benefits the person giving it regardless of the recipient’s reaction. Why? Rarely do the people we need to forgive have a clue how much harm they have inflicted or the extent of the pain they have caused. Can I get a witness?!

ForGIVEness is not about fighting for justice or holding the offender accountable—that’s completely different. ForGIVEness is an attitude of the heart. It’s about us and our willingness to trust God’s sovereignty: Do we trust God enough to forGIVE someone for hurting us? Our family? Our friends? Our pastor? Our animals? Our possessions? Our bank accounts?

Click here to continue reading my devotional at “Rooted at the Throne” hosted by Rachael Carman.