We Choose Virtues Youth Virtue Journal (A Review)

We Choose Virtues Review

We Choose Virtues sent us their Youth Virtue Journal plus PDF downloads for the Youth Mentor’s Handbook, Youth Character Assessment, and List of scriptures. This set is geared towards ages 12-18, and is designed to be used as a mentoring tool. It was originally created for the Idaho Court system to be used for counseling youth.

The Youth Virtue Journal is about 100 pages and covers nine virtues: attentiveness, contentment, forgiveness, gentleness, helpfulness, honesty, obedience, perseverance, and respectfulness. The overall tone is one of making positive statements regarding each virtue such as “I am honest.” It reminds me of speaking positive affirmations over oneself.

Each section starts by stating what the virtue is and is not followed by the youth writing one of their dreams in the dream journal section (back of the book). Next, there is a Take a Look at Me Now list of questions to help them evaluate how they are doing in regards to this virtue. Next, they rate themselves on a scale of one to ten. After this is the Take a Look Around list of questions which has them think of people who do and don’t exhibit these virtues, and evaluates how this applies to their life.

We Choose Virtues Review

Then comes the Take Some Good Advice section which lists various quotes about the virtue, and even has a section for the mentor to write their own advice on that particular virtue. Then it’s back to the dream journal to think about how this virtue might help them reach that dream.

Finally, they are asked to write some thoughts on any of the questions that stood out to them, choose on a scale from one to ten where they would like to be with this virtue, and then personalize the virtue (“I, Audra, am attentive…”).

The Youth Mentor Handbook gives you some tips on mentoring with these materials, as well as a general how to use them. To further facilitate a mentor style relationship, there is a Youth Character Assessment form to fill out with them to help evaluate them on each virtue before and after using the book. Finally, since this was designed for a court system, they have included a download of bible heroes and memory verses to be used with each virtue.

We Choose Virtues Review

How We Used It

I used this with my son (age 14). First, I read through the handbook and looked over the materials sent with it. Then we dove in. I read the “is and is not” for each virtue, and then gave him the book for the dream journal. Then he joined me again for the first set of questions. I’d read them, he would answer, and then we chat about them. Then he assessed where he is now with each virtue. Next we did the second set of questions together. I read the quotes, took a moment to write my own advice, and then he would take the journal again and finish out the last couple of sections. To go deeper, he then read about the bible hero, told me how they reflected the virtue, and then he copied down the memory verse. We repeated this process for each virtue. The recommended pace for a mentor style use is for one hour once a week with each virtue taking two weeks. Since this was between my son and I, we simply worked through it at our own pace.

What We Thought

Overall, this can be a handy little tool. We started out doing each section, but then we dropped the dream journal. Christian really didn’t see the point since we already talk about his dreams and goals. We also didn’t see a need for the assessment form since each virtue asks them to assess themselves anyway, and it was something we discussed each time.

Our favorite sections hands down were the first set of questions which really helps you think and evaluate your character in various situations. Here’s an example of one of the questions: “Do I know how to handle people’s feelings with carefully chosen words?” Well, ouch. I know I don’t always. We also really enjoyed the quotes and I loved sharing my own mother’s wisdom. I also like the printout with bible heroes that exhibit these virtues and the memory verses. I have a feeling we will revisit the questions, quotes, advice, and scriptures from time to time.

Christian also likes the look of the book especially the mechanical-ish looking dudes (check out the photos of the cover and sample virtue to see what he means).

Pricing and Other Information

Youth Virtue Journal (with downloads) is available for $17.00.

We Choose Virtues has generously given the TOS Crew’s readers two promo codes to choose from:
1. MAY-JUNE: *Promo Code BIG50 for 50% off our amazing set of 12 11×17 Kids of VirtueVille Posters! This is the first time we have ever offered these posters at this price. They are great for school classrooms, Kids Church, or your homeschool room. Kids love them for their bedrooms, bathrooms and kids’ hallways.

2. JUNE-AUGUST: *Promo Code BTS20 for 20% off anything in our WCV Store. This includes any product for kids or youth. Let’s start School with Virtues this year!

*Only one promo code per order

You can learn more about why Heather and Elton McMillan Jr. started We Choose Virtues on their About Us page. You can also find them on Facebook, Pinterest, and their Blog.

Click to read Crew Reviews

*Pricing and information is accurate to the best of my knowledge at time of posting.

Crew Disclaimer

Finding Serenity in Chaos

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Sometimes life gets a little crazy. I know you know this. Right now, we are spending far too much time going to various doctors, and related medical appointments. We’re trying to find a solution for my fatigue and sinus issues plus an answer to my son’s chronic head pain. I think it’s safe to call it chronic when today marks nine weeks since it first began. He’s in pain every day, all day. He does school as he can, and misses out on a lot of activities.

On top of this, we have some personal family issues demanding attention and energy – the kind that kick you in the emotional and spiritual teeth. Thankfully, our family is pulling together to face it all.

I felt like we desperately needed a schedule to help us through this time, but that was a futile attempt. An impossible task really. No two days are the same. So how does one find serenity in chaos?

It starts with Jesus. When we lean on Him, and spend time with Him, He gives us peace beyond understanding and joy to overflowing. Some days I forget this, and it shows in my attitude.

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He also gives us wisdom, such as showing this mama that a rigid schedule is not the answer. Instead, I need to find the natural rhythm for our days. I’ll write more about that once I finish processing what that looks like.

Next, we need to keep our eyes open for those moments that relax us and allow us to see the beauty surrounding us. We had a crazy, tiring, storm filled day of driving home (two cars) from our trip this weekend, but my husband stopped for a break.

We trekked in the rain over to the powerful, pounding waterfall, and stood in awe for a few minutes. The lush green landscape made a perfect backdrop to the tall, white rushing water crashing into the gray rock-filled pool below.

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I fully believe God made nature to be a soothing, healing balm to an anxious heart. Spend time outside even if only for small moments when life gets crazy. Step out on the porch, or at the very least, look out the window at the flowers, trees, grass, hills…

Other moments of serenity can be found in calm music, especially praise and worship, a cup of tea, snuggling under a soft, warm blanket, and other small delights. Make a point to bring these moments into the chaos for you and your family. It helps you continue the battles that come at your family.

Are you struggling right now? What are some ways you find serenity in the chaos?

Broken…Five Minute Friday

Joining Lisa-Jo and the Five Minute Friday community in freewriting about the word Broken. Click the button to join in or read other freewrite entries. Confession: sometimes I edit a little. and I always forget my timer.

Go —->


That’s me.

But I’ve learned to embrace this brokenness.

How can I not? It’s here among the pieces where I see God working. He selects these shards of mine made clean by tears mixed with His blood. Places them into the design of my life.

How can He make something beautiful from something shattered?

Then I look at His hands, and I see it. Bruised. Battered. Broken.

Like me.

For me.

The Artist works-fragments of self fitting together in Him. A masterpiece in progress.

As I am.

A work of art that will culminate at life’s closing.

Beauty from ashes. A butterfly from a cocoon. A mosaic from the broken.



Climbing Mountains


Over behind the houses across the street, are huge rolling hills. My daughter and I decided to climb them to get a photo for my blog header. The sun began dipping low behind the hill, so we moved fast. Too fast. I’m not in good shape. In fact, breathing is a challenge thanks to my struggle with sinus issues. But we made it to the top, took our photos, and then I got super nauseous and felt like throwing up. But we made it!

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Part way up…

Two days later, we tackled our “mountain” again. One foot in front of the other. Every glance filled with hope the top is near. Breathing was easier this time. And when we reached the top, we took time to look around and enjoy the amazing view.

You know, God does awesome work. As I looked around the vista, I thought, God is bigger than all of this. How can we not worship Him?

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Still to climb…

Life brings mountains. Mountains of all sizes. Some days we plod on and on ever higher in hopes of reaching the top. We keep looking up, at Him, stretching ourselves, pushing on, relying on His strength to get us there. He walks beside us, leads the way, carries us – whatever we need in the moment we need it.

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And when we reach the top, we look back the way we’ve come, and marvel. Marvel at what it took to get there. Marvel at how far we’ve come. And then we look around, and we take in the awe-inspiring view. The wonder of the beauty He has wrought. Our heart dances with God’s.

hill top

We head back to daily life feeling tired yet exhilarated. And we know. We know that next time we face a mountain, it will be a little easier because God is climbing it with us. We can look back at other mountains, remember the experience, and place one foot in front of the other with a deep knowing that we can conquer this one, too. Faith will get us to the top.

The Lord is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

Psalm 23

I love Bible Gateway for quick scripture references when I’m writing. Under the scripture I’ve looked up are the footnotes, and a couple stood out for me in this passage:

~ beside still waters or beside waters of rest
~ in paths of righteousness or in right paths
~ the valley of the shadow of death or the valley of deep darkness
~ goodness and mercy or steadfast love

foggy lake

We are still walking through some valleys, and I need to ‘lie down in green pastures and walk beside waters of rest’. I need to remember His goodness and mercy, His steadfast love.

Why is it we forget our need for daily filling of His life giving water? And when shadows and darkness crawl across the landscape, I lift my eyes crying for help.

How much stronger would I be if I prayed for His purpose instead of my own? Do I give as much as I take in my relationship with my beloved Jesus? If I take an honest look, I’m undoubtedly so much more a taker than a giver. It smarts when I look close at my walk with the Lord.

birds in flight

How about you? Are you walking through a valley? If you are, I want to encourage you to rest in Him. Seek Him out, and let Him fill you. Let Him sustain you, and give you strength.

How about those of you who are on the mountaintop? I encourage you to be fervent in your pursuit of Him. What can you give Him?

Let us not get into a habit of always requesting, and never giving Him our praise, our service, our wholehearted love and devotion. Let us not grow weary in our journey.

One last thing, I read an interesting post today which prompted some of these thoughts: Why I Don’t Pray by Michael K. Reynolds. Is it any wonder I clicked over to read a blog post with this title? I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.