Book notes: Laugh It Up! by Candace Payne

Laugh It Up by Candace Payne book summary review and key ideas.

Laugh It Up!: Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy by Candace Payne

Synopsis:

“The world knows Candace Payne as “Chewbacca Mom,” the wife and mother of two from Dallas who captured the hearts of nearly 200 million people around the world with nothing but a toy Chewbacca mask, a smart phone, and infectious laughter.

Laugh It Up! tells the rest of the story behind the woman in the mask. Like most of us, Candace has often felt overlooked, undervalued, and insignificant. But she has also discovered the secrets to unshakable joy that no circumstance can take away, and Laugh It Up! will help you discover and experience the same.

  • Do you feel tempted to give up on your dreams? Joy stays the course.
  • Do your knees knock when thinking about the future? Joy hopes for what can be.
  • Do you feel unseen and unnoticed? Joy is content whether backstage or center stage.
  • Do you feel crushed under the weight of regret? Joy loves you enough to weep with you, but also enough to help you move on.” -Audible

Opening thoughts:

I got this book because it was under recommended and saw that it was by that lady who went viral as Chewbacca mom. I chose this book for this month because it was shorter than most other audiobooks but also I feel like the theme of the month is going to be happiness, joy, and voices of strong women

Key notes:

  • Joy is a fighter 
  • After going viral, she became branded as Chewbacca mom and news outlets were saying that her video was a video people didn’t know they needed
    • It was teaching people about joy, though she admits that joy did not come easy in her life

Joy Likes to Play – Chapter 1: Finding the Happy and Homeless

  • She remembers most of her childhood, her family struggles financially and moved very often
    • 9-year-old Candice made an unconscious decision to find happiness in homelessness
  • Ask: what did I do as a child that might spark excitement today?
    • What do I wish I could do that I don’t make time for?
    • What brings me life that I have abandoned because I’m too old or busy?
    • Where is joy calling me to play?
  • Stop and say yes to play and listen to the call of joy

Joy Stays the Course – Chapter 2: Don’t Quit Your Daydream

  • Joy is always content with the simplest of things even while she hopes for more
  • You can’t have genuine joy without hope

When Comparison Calls, Joy Doesn’t Answer – Chapter 3: Uh Oh, Joy Has a Frenemy

  • When you play comparison’s game, you always end up the loser
  • Give yourself permission to be an amateur at life
    • We’re all in process
  • Joy is fully present and content where she is
  • You are worthy of joy and nobody can take that away from you
    • You don’t have to earn it
    • Shut out the shouts of comparison

Joy Evicts Shame – Chapter 4: When God Plays Matchmaker

  • One of life’s greatest joys that we will ever experience is to be fully known and fully loved
  • The resolve comes when you daily choose joy over shame

Joy Always Gives the Benefit of the Doubt – Chapter 5: Saying Never, Meaning Always

  • We are all amateurs at life trying figuring out how to love others and even more importantly how to love ourselves
  • We crave relationship because we were created for relationship
  • You may be living your worst day, but grab onto hope that it isn’t your last day
  • Her new marriage list:
    • I will always stay. I will always forgive. I will always hope for the best in him. I will always wipe the slate clean at the end of the day. I will always champion and fight for our marriage.”
  • Shame is reactive and passive

Joy Doesn’t Fear What Ifs, but Hopes for What Can Be – Chapter 6: From What If to Why Not 

  • What if’s steal our hope and drive a wedge in our relationship with joy

Joy is Content Whether Backstage or Center Stage – Chapter 7: Backstage, Center Stage, or Whatevs

  • 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
  • Contentment is very much a learned behavior and response
    • It’s a choice about how we react to the world around us

Joy Always Tells the Truth – Chapter 8: Stop Shoulding Yourself

  • There is such freedom when you embrace what you don’t know and acknowledge your shortcomings
    • You don’t have to have your act together all the time
  • Write out your list of lies you tell yourself and tackle them one at a time by replacing them with empowering truths

Joy Won’t Let You Cry Alone and She Won’t Let You Cry for Long – Chapter 9: A Boy, His Joy, and Buzz Lightyear

  • She had a humble prayer to God to help her bring her kids to Disney World
    • After the video went viral, her prayers were answered when she got invited to the park

Reader’s note: Damn, I just cried for like five minutes while driving in the car listening to the story about how God answered her prayer such a big way

It Shakes Off the Haters – Chapter 10: Later Hater

  • Sometimes all you have is a voice
  • Hate is easy to spot but hard to wash off
    • However, there comes a moment when you have to shake off hate and ignorance, even if it’s the only thing you’ve ever known or been taught
  • A heart full of joy doesn’t fear correction, it welcomes it because it offers the opportunity to grow
  • Have a heart that is not easily offended
  • Joy never runs out. You are full of it
  • The night before she made the Chewbacca video, she felt she was called by God to go to a Popeyes chicken before church
    • She ended up giving $20 to another woman in order to sew into her dream after hearing and obeying God’s voice in her head
    • She called and told her pastor the story that night and the rest is history
  • Her pastor says this book is not a product of a video that went viral on a Thursday
    • It is the product of a $20 act of obedience that took place in a chicken joint on a Wednesday night
  • Live a life of authentic joy that cannot be shaken or stolen

Main ideas / Themes:

  • Joy is a fighter 
  • Stop and say yes to play and listen to the call of joy
  • Give yourself permission to be an amateur at life
  • One of life’s greatest joys that we will ever experience is to be fully known and fully loved
  • We crave relationship because we were created for relationship
  • The secret of being content is found in being fully satisfied with who you are when no one is looking,
  • Contentment is very much a learned behavior and response
  • There is such freedom when you embrace what you don’t know and acknowledge your shortcomings
  • A heart full of joy doesn’t fear correction, it welcomes it because it offers the opportunity to grow
  • Have a heart that is not easily offended
  • Joy never runs out. You are full of it

Closing thoughts:

Such a great story! I love how the core ideas of her life are to follow joy and actively make it a part of her life. While she admits her life isn’t perfect, she still constantly kept her faith and knew she had to keep being her best self.

I also love how she incorporated how her faith has been a big part of her life. When I write my own book, I also plan to emphasize what a big part my faith has played in my life and everything good that has happened, as well as how it helped me overcome my challenges and struggles.

Overall, a cute story shared be an extremely genuine and authentic woman. I think many people will get huge value out of it.

Nutshell:

“Chewbacca Mom” Candace Payne shares how her defiant joy has played a huge part in her life.

Rating:

3.5/5

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