Takeaways from Chewbacca Mask Mom-Candace Payne

chewmomSurely by now, you’ve had a chance to watch Candace Payne’s video where she unboxes her new Chewbacca Mask and dons it for all of her FB Live viewers, who at that point, were really just a handful, she admits. Surely when she was broadcasting, she had absolutely no idea how her life was about to change, or that she would be thrust onto a worldwide platform in such a short amount of time.

If, by some chance, you’re not one of the 170 million viewers who has seen the video, please take 4 minutes and just click the link above before moving on with the blog, or else you won’t get it. You’re so welcome. Enjoy, but don’t forget to come back!

I’m really excited for this gal. I mean, to see how she is handling all this newfound publicity is a treat. I watched how, less than 48 hours after she had originally posted her video, she was asked to speak to a group of teenagers at a fine arts event. What she said to them was simple, yet profound, and made me respect her for her sincerity as much as her humor.

As I’ve watched this unfold over the week, I’ve been collecting some takeaways from her journey that I’d like to share with you.

The Chewbacca Mask Mom

chewbacca takeawaysIt’s the simple joys in life.

Okay, so this is just a stay at home mom who was struggling to get back into exercising. She hops over to Kohl’s while her kids were in school to take back some yoga pants that didn’t fit, but while she was looking for new ones, she got frustrated, and decided to head over to the toys. She was like, “not today, yoga pants, Ima head on over to look for something for my kids.” I do that. A lot! Anyone else? So, I get the “I’m not loving how I’m feeling in my skin right now, and it’s easier to just shop for the rest of my family instead” thing she was working with that day. But instead of finding a toy for her kid, she bought a toy for herself.

I love that so much. A simple mask. It brought a smile to her face in the store. She probably picked it up and laughed out loud when she heard it roar. And moms with toddlers strapped into their carts who were looking at Carter’s clothing just a few feet away probably turned their heads to find this woman, by herself, enjoying a toy.

When is the last time we just enjoyed a toy? Not our smart phones, not some super expensive toy with all the bells and whistles, but just a simple toy. Can we even do that anymore? I realized the other day when we were at the dentist office, that just sitting and playing toys with my kids is really difficult for me. Allie and Caroline were each getting their teeth cleaned, and I was in the toy nook with Kate. We played with blocks, puzzles, dolls, and read books for what felt like an eternity. It was less than an hour. Even though I had to consciously keep myself from getting on my phone or picking up a magazine (and that was quite a battle), I ended up getting a lot of joy out of discovering the new toys with my toddler.

Laughter brings the world together.

She posts this and it goes crazy-viral. Why? There’s nothing particularly fantastic about a woman playing with a Chewbacca mask in and of itself. But it was the laughter, the smile that she wore before she even put on the mask, and especially after it was on, that curls the ends of our mouths upward.

Everyone needs a reason to laugh. This world…it’s tough. It’s hard. Horrible things happen to good people. The news is scary every day (we don’t watch the news for that reason). Politics…don’t even get me started.

So when this gal just cracks up at herself in the mask, everyone around the entire world, can breathe out a collective sigh of relief. For those 4 minutes, it’s all we have to focus on. Her laughter is rich and comes from a deep place. It wasn’t forced or fabricated for her audience. She was seriously cracking herself up. And in doing so, she gave everyone else permission to do the same, if they so desire.

Being yourself: It’s worth every penny.

Thank you, Candace, for just being you. You is good enough. Your quirkiness, your silliness, your ability to laugh at yourself, we need to see that because this world keeps trying to tell us that we have to fit into a mold that usually we just don’t fit into. So be yourself, sister! On every interview from here on out, on each video you post. Who God made you to be, and how He made your body, mind, and personality is just fine.

In a world where plastic lives are plastered at every turn, one ounce of authenticity is worth its weight in gold. People who can show that they don’t have their crap together, and it’s okay, are like unicorns these days.

You never know when or how God’s going to give you a platform. Be ready.

Again, sister friend did not expect to become an overnight sensation when she posted this video. But she was ready when it happened. Watching other interviews post-maskcapade, she makes it very obvious that she is a child of God, and her relationship with Him is paramount in her life. He has trusted her with this platform, and she says she will use it for His glory.

We never know if or when God is going to put the spotlight on our lives. Sometimes it’s the result of a fun or awesome event like it was for Candace. Other times, it’s when we walk through tragedy that the most eyes are watching our lives.

In either circumstance, may we be found to be ready. The Chewbacca Mask Mom put it this way when speaking to those high-schoolers:

“It doesn’t matter how talented, how anointed, how gifted, how passionate or how willing you are if you’re not fit to do the things that God has called you to do. And that is spiritually fit.”

In order to be spiritually fit, we’ve got to put in the time and the effort. When I decided that I wanted to get back into shape after having 4 babies and 2 miscarriages in 6 years, my body didn’t just bounce back because I thought it should. No, I’ve been putting in the time and effort in the kitchen and in the gym, and it’s just now beginning to get where I want it to be.

The good news: time with God is never wasted. We want to “be someone special in the Kingdom of God” or “be used for His glory,” but when our time in the Word doesn’t reflect our claims, our true motivations are revealed. Wanna do the things that God has called you to do? Wanna be all God’s called you to be? Wanna be ready to take the stage when He opens the door? What are you doing now to prepare for then?  

Don’t try to make a name for yourself. His name will always out shadow yours.

This. This right here. I watched her say this, and my heart stung and leapt at the same time. It’s so tempting to make a name for ourselves. Our social media accounts are filled with selfies and snippets showing off the highlight reels of our lives. I’m guilty in this area on many accounts.

May our lives be reflections of His glory. May we become less as He becomes more. May we spend less time building our platforms, our names, our reputation, and more building His. At work, in our neighborhoods, at the grocery store, in the community, on the sidelines of the soccer fields and baseball fields…let’s go ahead and give God glory through our words and our actions and our thoughts and our facial expressions and with whom or what we listen to.

My prayer is that this sister who has been thrust out in front of all to see, feels her Heavenly Father’s arms around her, keeping her close to his heartbeat, and that the world will tangibly feel the joy that comes from being in that position.