Chewbacca Mom Now: Candace Payne Opens Up about Trusting God and Saying No

Candace Payne talks about joy, her latest project and what happened after her unexpected fame.

- Posted on Dec 17, 2018

Candace Payne

Candace Payne’s life transformed forever in May 2016 when she posted a video of herself laughing hysterically while wearing a Chewbacca mask. The video went viral and “Chewbacca Mom” became a household name. The stay-at-home mom could not have imagined all that happened next.

 “We all have seasons,” Candace said in an interview with “Some seasons are going to be busier than others. Some seasons are going to be more restful. Now I’m a stay-at-home working mom.”

In the two years since the video went viral Candace has published several books, starred in a TLC web series and went on tour with Mandisa. She’s made appearances on late night talk shows, met J.J. Abrams and, as she shared in her Guideposts cover story in November 2017, was able to fulfill a dream of taking her family to Disney World. It’s been a busy, but joyful time.

Her latest project is Consider It Joy: A Six-Month Guided Bullet Journal, a follow-up to her 2017 book Laugh It Up!: Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy.

 “I feel like people need a tool in their hands to actually uncover and get the joy that they are fighting for,” Candace says. “[The journal] has habit trackers to help you keep account of how much space and time you are devoting to things that aren’t worth it in comparison to the joy that I know I could have?”

Cultivating joy is something that has always been important to Candace. She never expected her video to go viral or the opportunities that would come from it. But she saw God’s hand at work.

 “The opportunity afforded me was not a forced open door,” Candace says. “I think a lot of people are trying desperately to push things open when you just have to be obedient in the little things that God's asking of you.”

A few weeks before the Chewbacca video went viral, Candace had an intense prayer time with God.

“I was asking God, ‘Are you real? If so, I’m all in,’” Candace says. “To this day I feel like I’m just walking through open doors.”

For Candace, the real challenge has been believing that God trusts her to handle the opportunities in front of her.

“It’s a beautiful thing to finally realize that God wants to trust you with [things] because He loves you and has a plan for you,” Candace says. “I think a lot of people hold back from walking into what they’re meant to do because they don’t feel as though they’re trustworthy to God.”

Part of trusting herself has required being confident in saying no. From the outside it may look like Candace is doing it all, but she says she actually so ‘no’ to business propositions more than she says ‘yes.’

She uses a simple tool to evaluate whether an opportunity is right or her.

“I say all the time to my husband and team, ‘That doesn’t belong on my beam,’” Candace says. “What I mean by that is I have a balance beam that I'm asked to walk every single day. As a mom, as a wife, as Candace, as a speaker, an author, whatever. There are only so many things that I can balance at a time. I have to realize what belongs on there and what doesn't.”

That’s the heart behind the Consider It Joy journal.

 “I really wanted to give people more than just advice about joy,” Candace says. “I wanted to give them the ability to actually own it in their every day.”

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