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Blog | CC Payne

More Than a Son

There was a lone chair waiting on the beach. He asked our daughter to sit in it. Then he pulled the bar of soap from his back pocket, got down on his knees, and lovingly washed her feet, like Jesus. He told her he wanted to spend the rest of his life serving her, like Jesus. And he had a pretty good idea of what serving might look like:

Over the previous two years, Sam hadn’t just dated our daughter, Laurel; he had served her. He’d prayed for her and with her, helped her at every opportunity, made her laugh, encouraged her, comforted her, and cared for her. When she got really sick one night after taking her last final exam? Sam drove Laurel to the emergency room, rushed in and got a wheelchair for her, pushed her in it, and prayed for her all the while. (From her hospital bed, Laurel said to Sam, “I think I came really close to burning myself out this semester.” Sam quickly responded, “You ‘came close’? Does ‘burn out’ equal ‘death’? Because . . . look around.” They both had a good, long laugh—in the hospital!) When Laurel was released from the hospital, Sam packed a bag for her and moved her into his grandparents’ house, where they watched over her and tenderly cared for her around the clock—like she was theirs. A couple of days later, Sam and his grandmother packed all of Laurel’s things and moved her out of her dorm room. Then, when she was finally strong enough, Laurel made the drive home, with Sam following behind her.

From the first moment I met Sam, I could see the love, grace, and goodness of Jesus shining brightly in him and through him. As I’ve gotten to know him better, that light has only grown bigger, brighter and more beautiful. (Plus, he has a great sense of humor, even under fire; the importance of this cannot be overstated!)

I used to think that God had been so unbelievably generous to entrust Laurel to us that I couldn’t dare hope for more. But then I met Sam—and saw him in his Batman pajamas! And I silently, secretly hoped for a son. More than that, I hoped for a Sam.

Thankfully, after he washed her feet on the beach, Laurel agreed to be Sam’s wife. So, soon, he will be our son! I can hardly believe it! “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine . . . to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus . . . forever and ever!” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

My heart overflows with gratitude to God, to Sam’s family, and to Sam. This week, we celebrate his birth with all our hearts! And so it is with great joy that I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Sam!

P.S. I’m posting this early because I’m hoping to be the first to wish Sam a happy birthday!

P.P.S. This totally counts as a birthday card!

Mimi & Poppy

He never stopped referring to her as his “bride.” They met when they were seven-years-old, as the top two students in their class. They were fast friends, best friends, who could be seen walking to and from school together from grade school until they graduated high school. (He always asked to see her report cards.Continue Reading

A Leftovers Contest/ Party! Can you come? Please?

The Lexington Public Library’s beautiful new Eastside branch (located at 3000 Blake James Drive) is hosting a party in honor of my new novel, The Thing About Leftovers, on Thursday, October 20, from 6-8PM! The winners of a leftovers-themed recipe contest will be announced! (Recipes with photos must be submitted BEFORE Oct. 12! More detailsContinue Reading


Lynn Plourde has honored dogs—and the people who love them—in her new novel, Maxi’s Secrets (or, What You Can Learn from a Dog). I began tearing up on page 1, but the tears didn’t actually fall until page 2! That’s because we’re asked to accept a hard truth right up front: “Having Maxi in myContinue Reading

A Behind-the-Book Look

The Thing About Leftovers, a novel about navigating divorce and blended families, following your passion, and celebrating who you are, will be released by Penguin Young Readers on July 19th! In preparation for that, I’ve been doing interviews, during which I’ve been asked some great questions! So I thought I’d share a few of thoseContinue Reading

An Open Letter to Kentucky Christian University

As our daughter’s freshman year of college comes to a close, I’d like to thank everyone at Kentucky Christian University. We knew—after visiting KCU several times—that it was a special place and we had high expectations, but over the past year, KCU has exceeded every expectation! Laurel Grace arrived on KCU’s campus last August feelingContinue Reading

Come On Over

At this point, I think it’s safe to say that I didn’t get what I deserved as a parent—sorry, Mom and Dad! But I HAVE learned a lot from my daughter, Laurel Grace, who graduated from high school (with highest honors) in May, and then immediately set out on a mission trip to Cambodia, to workContinue Reading

The Man Who Sings for Me

My husband, Mark, doesn’t sing in church. Sometimes he hums. Sometimes he mumbles a few words in between humming, but that’s about it. Therefore, when we arrive, I always silently ask God to let me do the singing for both of us. But recently I got so choked up at church that I couldn’t singContinue Reading

The Gift of a Good Story

Looking for a special gift to give to a young reader? My latest novel, LULA BELL ON GEEKDOM, FREAKDOM & THE CHALLENGES OF BAD HAIR promises laughter, tears, laughter THROUGH tears, and ultimately a heart full-to-bursting with joy! Plus, if you buy a copy of LULA BELL…(or SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT), I’ll happily send you aContinue Reading

The Woman Whisperer

A week ago, when our beloved niece came to visit, we were all hanging out in the kitchen talking about foreign languages. Suddenly, my husband announced, “I speak Woman.” For a moment, there was only stunned silence. Then, I turned from the stove and said very gently, “No, sweetie, you don’t.” “You really don’t, Daddy,”Continue Reading