Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Common to Mankind

I recently thought I should chalk 2017 up to a challenging year:

  • I developed an arthritic condition in my back that leaves me unable to walk periodically (3 episodes this year).
  • I experienced the worst case of poison ivy I have ever seen (lesions from my shoulders to my shins, continuing to develop for almost one month, while on steroids).
  • We had our first experience with bedbugs; took 53 days to completely eradicate them.
  • Dave found out that the job he loves (teaching anthropology and missions and intercultural communications at Moody Spokane) is coming to an end (the school will close at the end of the school year).
  • We are walking with some family members on that difficult part of life's road: the final stretch.
  • And the one that has pierced my heart: our oldest son decided that he doesn't believe in God and at the end of the summer he informed us that he does not want relationship with us.
The good news is that faith grows stronger when under stress, and my turning to the LORD has been a great source of comfort.  Also, I have practiced giving thanks for so many good things from this year:

  • Dave and I celebrated 25 years of marriage; we went to Hawaii for the first time!
  • Our three sons at home are a great source of joy.
  • One son participated in a mission trip independently.
  • Another son has so many good prospects for college and scholarships.
  • We have more family living nearby (in Spokane) than ever before.
  • We are part of a wonderful community of faith, and we enjoy some significant, long-lasting friendships.
  • Day by day, our every need is met.
Last night, we were meeting with a group of people who are very dear to us, and this verse came to my mind:  "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1Cor. 10:13)

The temptation to think my year has been hard was looming in the forefront of my mind.  (It seems kind of silly in light of the international refugee situation, so please forgive me.)  I am a living testimony that God is faithful.  My small trials are not more than I can bear.  I can endure... with HOPE:
Though my body may be wasting away, my spirit is growing stronger.
Every earthly life has an end... and then the real life with Christ begins!
Truth stands the test of time... and the truth sets us free.
Every one of my challenges this year has been something common to man (illness is inevitable and frailty often comes after many decades, bugs invade homes, jobs come and go, children rebel against their parents... ).

God remains my source of hope.  He fills me with joy and peace.  I continue to trust Him.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Beine Family Christmas Letter 2016

December 2016
The newsletter formerly known as the... Beine Banter

Well, the Beine Banter is no more, but several have asked for an update from the Beines. It has
been almost one year since making a major change: leaving Wycliffe Bible Translators, after 28 years of full-time missionary work, to transition to a full-time teaching position as Professor of Intercultural Studies at Moody Bible Institute, Spokane. Beyond much encouraging daily interaction with students (who are the next generation of missionaries), I (Dave) have enjoyed continuing to direct an honors program (my current honors prodigy is studying medical anthropology) and I published a chapter in a missions book this year ( ). 

During the summer, I enjoyed the opportunity to lead thirteen students on a trip to Vienna, Austria
to study the European refugee crisis in depth. At the end of that trip, I rented a car and visited interns whom I supervise in Italy and Spain. I also visited missionary friends in France, as well as friends and family in Germany. It was a wonderful experience that reminded me of the close student interaction I used to enjoy while directing the summer SIL programs.
2 The Beine Banter
We have suffered Nepal withdrawal this past year, but interactions with our Nepali-speaking neighbors here in Spokane, and continued involvement with the growing South Asian community here, has helped to lessen the pain a bit. We still miss Nepal! I was offered an opportunity to co-teach a medical anthropology course at a university in Kathmandu next Spring... but it conflicts with my teaching schedule here in Spokane, so for now we have no Nepal travel plans on the horizon.

This past year brought more injuries. After an injury-filled 2015 (Nick tore his ACL requiring surgery, Nate tore a ligament in his ankle and Josh broke his arm) we had hoped for a quiet medical year. New Year's Eve (2015) began with Kimberly tearing her meniscus and MCL in her knee while playing broom ball in our backyard with the boys and their friends (she has a mean reputation on the court). Her subsequent visit to the doctor revealed arthritic deterioration in her joints that is more typical of someone decades older than she is. This came as quite a blow to someone who has taken good care of herself and who thrives on exercise; it is probably written in her genes. This reality has been a source of discouragement several times this past year. Early September found Kimberly in the ER with bulging and torn discs in her back, with loss of right leg function that kept her from walking for six days -- likely related to the progressive arthritis.

Our first son has flown the coop. Nick graduated from high school and has begun his first year at the University of Washington. He secured a prestigious ROTC scholarship that is covering his tuition and providing a stipend as well. He also received a generous university grant and several small private scholarships that covered his first year expenses completely. A great start to an expensive endeavor. He wants to study engineering, followed by service in the Air Force. I guess we instilled the traveling bug? As a graduation gift, I took him to Europe. When the Moody excursion in Austria was finished, we rented a car and drove to Italy (we got to watch the European Championship in several countries), the French Riviera (Nick really liked Monte Carlo), Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, Lyon France, Frankfurt Germany, and Salzburg Austria. It was an amazing trip... and a great last father/son opportunity before launching him off.

Nick in a cockpit... not sure if he will compete for the pilot slot yet... and in his sleeping space at college.
3 The Beine Banter
Nate is a junior in high school this year. He is a fantastic scholar and an amazing musician (trombone). He was selected for the prestigious Joel E. Ferris Jazz Orchestra and was invited to perform a piece for a senior composition recital at Whitworth University (quite an honor as a high school student). He is teaching piano lessons and also working for Spokane Parks & Rec. (managing sports leagues). Did I mention that he is highly motivated?! We look forward to seeing where he will go to college; we are in the midst of regular discussions about the options and about how he will pay for the privilege. We are very hopeful for scholarships.

Jake is enjoying a new group of friends as a freshman in high school. He has really grown in his faith this year and is a very mature and helpful young man. He is also quite the scholar and musician. He plays French horn in the concert band and trumpet in the jazz band. He played varsity baseball while in junior high and he hopes to try out for the high school team in the spring. He started working this year, as a dishwasher at a local Chinese restaurant, in preparation for paying for car insurance that will begin in March.

Can you pick out our Jake?  
Josh began junior high at a new school and is having a very good experience. He is following in his brother’s academic footsteps... and he has a definite passion for music! His electives are both in music: he plays trombone and drums in the regular band as well as in two jazz bands. He often stays after school to practice percussion with the student teacher from a local college. It is nice to see him thriving. Last Spring, he performed in the Spokane Children’s Theater production of Seussical the Musical (he really enjoys acting) and in the Fall he played tackle football, and his team finished strong. He has such a unique combination of interests. 
"I really wish my kids could get motivated"!- Dave

                      (Josh ready for his first junior high concert)

We also managed to get in one final vacation together as a family this summer: we visited Yellowstone National Park, thanks to the kindness of some Wycliffe friends who let us stay in their West Yellowstone cabin for a whole week. We managed to get in over 40 miles of hiking in the Yellowstone back country (the boys did some more strenuous climbing) and we drove the entire park, also making it around the Grand Tetons. What an amazing place! We didnt get much sleep that week, as the boys really enjoyed the crepusculars (animals that are active primarily during twilight) and they talked us into getting up early to reach the park at dawn, as well as staying late in the evening, to see them again at dusk.


During the summer, my sister and her family moved to Spokane from Seattle. It has been really nice having family close by. My parents spent the Christmas holiday with us also. More opportunity to enjoy the gift of family! 
                                (David and bigsister Denisa)

Kimberly served as a chairperson for the Ferris High School Jazz Orchestra Annual Swing Dance and Auction again this year. It was her second year in this position, which is pretty much a full-time job for parts of the Fall. The event raised about $17,000 for the band, which has been such a huge blessing for all of our kids, and for so many more (our band has about 170 students this year). It feels good to give back in this way; funding for the Arts is not as high as it used to be. We have decided that we would not want to live in a world without music.

Kimberly is making plans to return to work in 2017. It will not likely be in medicine, but rather as an editor, hopefully. She is still passionate about medicine, but the American medical system is still dysfunctional enough that she is not yet ready to return to it, having already burned out from its brokenness once.

Perhaps the hardest thing we faced this past year was the loss of a ten-plus year adoption dream. Early October brought the expiry of our final home study in an attempt to adopt a daughter. You may remember the various close calls along the way, but we decided that if it didn’t happen by the time this third home study expired we would accept it as God’s will that we NOT adopt. We had hoped to adopt daughters not granddaughters. It was clearly not God’s plan for us. Kimberly had processed this loss some time ago, but I waited right up until the final hour, so this really hit me hard when the time came. It was a fairly melancholy Fall.

We look forward to 2017 expectantly... with hope and with peace and with joy.  We hope the same for you.

-the Beines

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Healer at Heart

Andrew, Simon, James and John…fishermen.  They knew mending nets, they knew when to go out in the boat and on which side of the boat to throw the net, they knew how to haul in the full net.  And one day, their lives were radically changed.  This man…this God…he came into their little corner of the world and turned it upside down.  He knew them…and still loved them.  He spoke words of life.  He challenged them.  Sometimes, they found themselves at a loss; Jesus’ words could be difficult to understand.  Jesus once asked these men if they wanted to leave him (like the others who were deserting when his words were difficult).  Simon Peter wisely replied, “Lord, to whom would we go?  You have the words that give eternal life.  We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69)  

Yet, the way to stick with Jesus was not always obvious.  After Jesus’ death and resurrection, things were particularly confusing.  After years of traveling with Jesus and doing all kinds of fascinating and new things, they returned to what they knew: fishing.  Was Jesus disappointed in them?  I don’t think so.  As he stood on the shore, he advised that the men throw their net on the right-hand side of the boat…and they caught 153 large fish!  Oh the thrill!  Jesus must have deeply understood these men.  

But, was Jesus trying to make them great fishermen?  No, and yes!  He understood the fabric of these men: they were fishermen.  And, Jesus assigned them to keep fishing: but for men now.  He took their natural talents and passions and he expanded them for spiritual service.  What did this mean?  From my reading of the Scripture, this meant travel, this meant jail time, this meant persecution, this meant being misunderstood…and this meant hope that does not disappoint, this meant experiencing miracles, this meant seeing lives turned around, this meant healing, this meant contentment, this meant living a challenging life of purpose and satisfaction.  Even if it meant a cruel death at the end this earthly life (just like their Master), it meant the peace and courage to endure, knowing they would inherit eternal life and goodness beyond their wildest imaginations.  These men lived out their earthly lives as fishermen—it was the fabric of who they were—with purposes only fully understood in heaven.

Fast forward many centuries…there was this girl who dreamed of becoming a doctor at the tender age of twelve.  She was a hard worker and she excelled in academics.  She worked many jobs along the way so that she could have the privilege of getting a medical degree.  She thought that she would be a high wage earner one day and leave the class of working poor, where she spent her childhood.  Something wonderful happened along the way in this worldly plan: she met Jesus Christ who convinced her that His way of living was the way that she wanted to live.  So, she finished that medical degree, so that she could go to the ends of the earth and serve people in need (those who experienced a poverty that she had never known).  This was a wonderful experience, working alongside her missionary husband and raising four fun-loving sons.  

Then, one day, everything changed.  The door closed on the “ends-of-the earth” opportunity, and she found herself unable to sustain the practice of medicine as ministry in her home country (while wanting to invest deeply in her husband’s and sons’ lives).  Now, her licensure slips away.  Her search for new work in medicine has yielded nothing, and she believes this to be God’s will for her.  She still loves medicine; healing seems to be the fabric of her being.  

Could it be that God is calling Kimberly not to laboratory tests and prescriptions but to a different kind of healing, with spiritual impact?  Am I healing when I take a friend’s mother to the neurologist?  Am I healing when I listen to and counsel college students?  Am I healing when I care for my neighbor’s children, or walk with a friend through her husband’s alcoholism?  I believe that I was fashioned to bring healing, health, and restoration, as one of God’s many instruments.  The power comes from Him and I let it flow through me in a new domain.  This time, it is not in a societally/worldly recognized format.  But I live to please God, who is Spirit.  And as I do this, the world might not understand.  He has seen fit to notice me, to use me, to bring goodness to this world through me.  May all that He has purposed with my life come to pass, to the praise of His Name!

Our home group is studying some of the writings of Francis of Assisi.  Last night’s passage really captured my attention:
Be careful that you do not adopt the world’s manner when it
comes to being ‘wise.’  The world tells us we must be careful to
see to our own interests first, to plan all that we say and do
cautiously, so that in loving and giving to others we do not give
up anything that is ‘rightfully’ ours.  May God forbid that we
call this ‘wise,’ when it is nothing but worldly and selfish calculation!
As God’s sons and daughters, we should be without the kind of
guile that gives to others only when it will mean a good return in
some way for us.  We should seek, before God, to be His humble
servants, pure in our heart’s desire to give and do, just as He
directs us….
God’s Spirit will come to rest upon you, and upon anyone who
will live this way, enduring to the last the constant temptation to
live for yourself alone (Isaiah 11:2).  The Father has promised
that if we obey His command to love others, He and His Son,
our Lord Jesus, will come and make their home with us and
dwell with us forever (John 14:21-23).  Moreover, we will be seen
and known as children of the heavenly Father because it will be
obvious to all that we are busily, faithfully doing His work and not
seeking our own ends (Matthew 5:45) (A Day in Your Presence,
Devotional Readings Arranged by David Hazard, pp. 41-42)

This passage challenges me at my core.  It begs the question of why I have struggled in letting go of my employment.  Yet, I see that I continue to work in this world.  God provides this work.  I do not look for it.  It comes my way.  And when I respond, through healing service, I am filled with joy.  Thanks be to God!

Finally, I was looking at the Psalms today, and Psalm 84 caught my eye.  Here are some excerpts:
What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD…
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become
a place of refreshing springs…
They will continue to grow stronger…
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand
anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do
what is right.
O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.

Next to this Psalm, in my Bible, I found written: “2014.”  I think that year was my “valley of weeping.”  And now I see this valley as a “place of refreshing springs.”

(Much of the above pondering has been fleshed out with the help of a wise and godly counselor.  I am thankful that God has captured this man’s heart and that he shares what he has learned from the Master with people like me.)

Gratefully, a daughter of the King of kings,
full of joy, still a healer at heart,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Today, as I walked around my neighborhood admiring God’s color scheme for this time of year and feeling the fresh cool air against my face, I found my heart filled with thankfulness for the peace of this time for me.  It seems that my boundaries have closed in a bit (I’m not traveling to Nepal, I’m not commuting to Idaho for work; I am serving my local neighborhood in Spokane) and I find peace.  I guess it was time for me to make my rounds a little closer to home, and I am blessed in this.  There is no lack of need in my very own neighborhood and God has brought students (elementary, high school and college), moms (of biological kids, of foster kids, of adopted kids) and refugees to my door, that I might serve them in their need.  And I cannot fail to mention that it is a privilege and a joy to be my husband’s wife (help-meet) and my sons’ mother….cooking, cleaning, organizing, driving, listening, cheering on, photographing, praying and loving.  

We even had an opportunity recently to rejoice in the baptism of the mom of the infant that we once thought we would adopt; we truly rejoice in the newness of her life and the hope that she has for the future.  She also has a wonderfully supportive church to help her raise up her beautiful children.  So…I have peace in my current work and in the opportunity to say “Yes” to people right in my neighborhood.  Still, I remember those throughout the world who suffer, and I pray that God is scattering His children such that those suffering will find “neighbors” in their corner of the world.  Also, I do miss medicine.  Something stirs in my heart whenever I consider human health.  At the moment, I do not see where practicing medicine fits into my life, but perhaps someday it will.

In this unique time for me, I have had plenty of time to consider what is important in life.  I am sorry to say that too often, I have run around expending much energy trying to serve others as if I were trying to prove something…perhaps my love for my heavenly Father?  Guess what!  He doesn’t seem to want me running myself ragged performing all sorts of antics as evidence of my love for Him.  I sense Him wooing me to His side, that I might hold His hand and walk along with Him.  Sometimes He will help me to do hard things; sometimes He will fill me with His joy just because He loves me.  The critical point for me is that I trust in His sovereignty and that I walk WITH Him, not running ahead and not lagging behind.  This requires the discipline of quieting myself, and all the noise of this world, so that I can invest in what is most important: relationship with God.  Nothing else seems to ring true as a right purpose.  Nothing else seems to make me feel so alive.

His peace sometimes surpasses my understanding.  I simply give thanks.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Unchanging One

I have been so refreshed by so many things in this time of rest.  We have not experienced a Spring in Spokane for years; I forgot how many trees flower in the Spring in this city.  The beauty is captivating me.  I have found so much Scripture to be an encouragement to me. It is remarkable how timeless is the word of God; thousands of years has not made the words irrelevant.  I find the words of the Bible lead me to hope, to peace, to trust, to appreciation, to joy…to Jesus, the One who loves me beyond my wildest dreams.

As we all know, our experience here on earth is not at all like God (who is the same yesterday, today and forever); I find many things changing.  One of those things in medicine.  I am wrestling with whether or not I should continue to practice medicine.  I feel sad that I do not see a place in the current medical profession where I fit.  The concept of health is something that still excites me, particularly when I think of holistic health (physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, relational health).  Yet, when I am in the midst of working in medicine, I seem to lose sight of that which inspires me (the passion seems to drain away).  I have been trying to understand this.  Recently I stumbled across this article:

               "Excerpted from “How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession,” The Daily Beast commentary by Daniela Drake, MD, MBA, April 14, 2014 — By the end of this year, it’s estimated that 300 physicians will commit suicide. While depression amongst physicians is not new—a few years back, it was named the second-most suicidal occupation—the level of sheer unhappiness amongst physicians is on the rise. Simply put, being a doctor has become a miserable and humiliating undertaking.
Not surprisingly, many doctors want out. In fact, physicians are so bummed out that 9 out of 10 doctors would discourage anyone from entering the profession. It’s hard for anyone outside the profession to understand just how rotten the job has become—and what bad news that is for America’s health care system.
Unfortunately, things are only getting worse for most doctors, especially those who still accept health insurance. To make ends  meet, physicians have had to increase the number of patients they see. The end result is that the average face-to-face clinic visit lasts about 12 minutes. Neither patients nor doctors are happy about that. What worries many doctors, however, is that the Affordable Care Act has codified this broken system into law. While forcing everyone to buy health insurance, ACA might have mandated a uniform or streamlined claims procedure that would have gone a long way to improving access to care.
Yet physicians have to go along, constantly trying to improve their “productivity” and patient satisfaction scores—or risk losing their jobs. And now that Medicare payments will be tied to patient satisfaction—this problem will get worse. Doctors need to have the ability to say no. If not, when patients go to see the doctor, they won’t actually have a physician—they’ll have a hostage.
Almost comically, the response of medical leadership—their solution— is to call for more physician testing. In fact, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)—in its own act of hostage-taking—has decided that in addition to being tested every ten years, doctors must comply with new, costly, "two year milestones." In an era when nurse practitioners and physician assistants have shown that they can provide excellent primary care, it’s nonsensical to raise the barriers for physicians to participate. It is  tone deaf. It is punitive. It is wrong. No wonder doctors are suicidal. No wonder young doctors want nothing to do with primary care. But for America’s health to be safeguarded, the wellbeing of America’s caretakers is going to have to start mattering to someone."

I don’t necessarily share all the views of this commentator, and I certainly know some providers who have found a way to rise above it and to serve with joy, but I realized that I might not be the only physician struggling with losing my joy in my profession.  It may take me some time to sort this out, and truly, I am content whatever I am supposed to do.  For now, I am a wife and a mother and a friend and a sister and a neighbor…and a daughter of the Most High King.  That is enough.  And He is good; and I am free to live under the umbrella of His love and goodness; and I am thankful.

So, now you know some of the things rattling around in this brain of mine.  Thanks for listening.

:-) Kimberly

Monday, April 21, 2014


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.  (Psalm 23: 1-3a)

This is my current theme.  A year and a half ago, our house burned down…and we started over.  Simple.

In the last year, much has changed: 
Our ministry in Nepal shifted; will we return?  No answer.
I burned out in my job; will I work in medicine again?  No answer.
We attempted two different adoption situations: those children were not ours to raise; will we adopt?  No answer.

We have very few answers.  Dave and I have found time recently to walk and pray on a daily basis.  This is a pure gift.  We do not know where we are going, but we do sense that God has a very specific destination in mind.  We do not know what it is; our small minds struggle to discern God’s plan.  Still PEACE rests upon our souls.

We are not skilled at resting.  Yet, it seems that God has ordained a rest for us.  Particularly Kimberly:  I feel that He has MADE ME lie down in green pastures.  I am accepting this as a gift.  And yet, I find it a discipline to be learned.  I WAIT upon the LORD…for no particular thing or plan, just the small still voice of direction whenever He deems that I should get up from this place where I perceive Him restoring my soul.

For those who don’t know, I was burning out at my job…I was developing physical symptoms that were concerning... and now I am not working.  I was encouraged to seek counsel and a medical evaluation.  So far, the medical tests do not reveal any particular disorder or illness.  I believe I simply became worn out beyond my ability to carry on; I needed rest.  I am finding that rest, and my symptoms are resolving.  I will continue with counsel, seeking to better understand why I sometimes drive myself so hard.

Some things have remained the same: I still live with five great guys: one is a man….the four others are in various stages of becoming men.  There is so much to discuss and to explore at this stage of life, with three teenagers in the house.  It is a blessing to have time to appreciate this stage of life.

So, now you know…

Monday, March 10, 2014


not our house…but my spirit…

Exhaustion…less motivation…frustration/cynicism/negative emotions…difficulty focusing…slipping performance (less efficiency).  These are some of the symptoms I have been experiencing.  The diagnosis is fairly elementary: burn out.

I must also consider whether this is depression.  I have found myself crying on my long drives to and from work (not at all characteristic for me).  My observation is that I still find joy in my devotion to my family (providing food, cleaning, chauffeuring, attending kids' activities, etc.) but I think I am burned out in regard to the practice of medicine.  

I also accept that my heart is somewhat sick since the adoption fell through.  "Hope deferred makes the heart sick," the Proverbs proclaim.  I think I am slowly healing.  I definitely accept the outcome of our adoption attempt to be God's will.  As part of the process of accepting this loss, I have tried to STOP HOPING to adopt girls.  After all, what if it is not God's will for our family?  And yet, I am not able to let it go.

So, what shall I do about this burn out and heartache?  First, I am cutting back on my work hours (thankful for the grace of others where I work), and then I am seeking counsel (already from many friends, but also from a professional).  I know that God is good.  We each get our chance to walk through dark places…to hold onto the LORD.  I believe that my brokenness is no surprise to God.  He still has a good grip on my hand; I just cannot see where we are going.

When I saw the picture at the top of this blog today, I remembered the HOPE that I felt right after the fire.  I did not know what I was hoping for…I simply had a strong sense of HOPE, as a gift.  Recently, I have lost my grip on that hope; I do not know where it has gone.  Still, I have known God in our light days, and I will know Him even better in these darker days.

I am so thankful for my faithful family (the five guys I live with, as well as all of our "family" who pray with us and do life with us) as I walk this new terrain in my journey.