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.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Year of Loss: the enlarging of my heart

It has been some time since I have posted any thoughts on this blog.  The time represents my space for healing.  Healing from what?…from the gaping hole left in my heart where once dwelt a dream of mothering a daughter.  Really, we have had some significant losses in the past year: a fire, a beloved ministry in Nepal…the the winds of change, a baby girl…to a different plan.  We also have lived with a much longer list of gains: a rebuilt house, a different kind of ministry, four sons who are moving toward manhood with integrity, wisdom, love and exuberance, friends to comfort us, friends to exhort us, friends to cry with us, friends to listen, friends who remind us of the magnificence of God and His plan beyond our small understanding.  My theme for the year is: God is the author.  I am not writing the story.  I am a character and the script is not mine to write.  The good news is that I have had a glimpse of the end of the story: there is a bride and a groom at a banquet…joy unending…everything is right, just as the author intended from the beginning of the story.  And I know that this author has thoughts far beyond the greatest story that I ever imagined.  So, I choose to be a cooperative character instead of interrupting the story over and over to make suggestions on how I think the next scene ought to go.

I want to share with you some details of our past year, and then share with you the effect this has had on my heart.

First of all, I want to share that moving back into our "new" old house has been a blessing.  It is interesting to get to the other side of this event and to realize that it was not a major tragedy.  First, we lost no life.  And then we were covered by excellent insurance, and we were blessed by a friend overseeing our re-build, and the restoration and re-building company was trustworthy and did a very good job, and the things that we no longer have were not that important, and most importantly, in our time of need, we were loved and held up by a huge number of people who served us in our time of need.  And now we live in an up-to-date version of the house that we all love.  Ultimately, the loss of our house was actually counted as gain: we discovered how many people truly love us and were willing to love and serve us in our time of need. 

So, what about Nepal?  There are probably some of you who do not know that we plan to stay in Spokane for an extended period of time (maybe 3-5 years).  It was a combination of factors leading to this change.  I, Kimberly, was becoming exhausted with our globe trotting, not so much from the packing and traveling and transitioning, but from the adjustment from elder care in the U.S. to G.P. care in Nepal that included maternity and pediatric work, not to mention the strain of working in a second language (and I only seemed to recall the language in the short time we stayed there, as opposed to making actual progress in speaking better Nepali).  Then there was the strain of planning the curriculum for the kids each year, particularly with the older ones who were beginning to think about preparing for college.  I was feeling all these pressures, and then it seemed that things were shifting in Nepal, which I count as grace from God.  You see, I think that David was willing to come home for the sake of some rest for his exhausted wife (he is more of a nomad who was not ready to change our rhythm), but over our most recent time in Nepal, it became very clear to David that we were supposed to take a break.  Our Nepali partner was called to be a senior pastor at his church; what a wonderful calling!  His installation happened on the day that we were leaving Nepal.  There were many changes going on in the community in Tansen, and unfortunately, I was finding that my tolerance for ongoing change had some limits.  Then, there were the mounting number of churches that now find it too difficult to support us, so we were facing some significant financial changes.  It really seemed that there were multiple signs pointing us toward a change of pace, for a time.  So, we tentatively set that time at 3-5 years and made our transition to Spokane.

One thing that few people knew of was our ceremonial giving back to God this idea of adoption.  We had a drawing of the two girls that we thought we were being led to adopt (it was a composite of multiple dreams); we had names picked out for them; we imagined personalities that they might have.  At the ceremony, around our fire pit in our yard in Tansen, we prayed, cried and burned the drawing, claiming that we did not want anything that God does not want for us.  We were burning up all of our ideas about adoption.  We only wanted God to resurrect whatever might be His will.  We (particularly Kimberly who has had a deep desire for two daughters) found an interesting peace in this process.  We felt quite content to carry on with the work that was right before us.

This brings me to an opportunity to share with you about the ministry that I am a part of in northern Idaho.  I work for a wonderful company that goes to see the elderly in their homes, or in assisted living facilities, or in skilled nursing facilities.  We give very holistic care.  We take care of some very complicated medical needs (some patients come to us on more than 30 medications, with multiple chronic illnesses), we help family members make challenging end-of-life decisions, we provide emotional support in coping with their complex lives, we provide a loving touch for some very lonely patients, we share the good news that God has planned eternal life for those who know Him (and many of our patients are at the end of life), we pray for our patients who desire prayer support, we accept Medicare and Medicaid payment without limiting the percentage of patients with that form of payment (this means that we must do fundraisers to actually pay our bills and make ends meet, this means that we provide on-call coverage through the night without pay, and this means that we learn to check thousands of boxes and complete reams of paperwork in order to have the privilege of loving this sometimes lonely and very needy segment of our population.  The joy in this work is being encouraged by my colleagues who demonstrate to me what it looks like to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this corner of U.S. life.  I count it a privilege to work with Onsite for Seniors, and I ask you to pray for our company, as the work is not easy, and we must work within a system full of problems, and we serve a population that faces some significant suffering.

So, just as I was getting back to this work among the elderly, a college-aged girl, here in Spokane, saw our book that had been at the adoption agency for quite some time, and she chose us to adopt her baby girl, who was due in about three months.  We were thrilled.  We wondered if this might be some of the reason that we were coming home for a while.  So, we got to know this young pregnant gal, and really liked her.  We were meeting with her regularly and gradually making plans for the adoption.  Some of this preparation was to re-start lactation so that I could breastfeed this baby girl.  I was there at the home delivery of this precious, healthy little girl.  I supported the young mom in the early days after the delivery.  She decided to keep the baby until the courts made the adoption legal.  Still, we made plans to bring this baby home, and we prepared a special place for her (in our home and in our hearts).  Three weeks after her birth, our day in court was finally coming.  But, the birth dad stepped in a couple of days before the court date and said that he did not agree with the adoption.  The end.  The adoption was aborted.  

I am so thankful that this young mom and her precious daughter are surrounded by a supportive church and she is really working hard to make some better decisions for her future.  I will forever love these girls and pray for them.  And…my heart has broken wide open.  The hurt seemed to break something loose inside of me and I found myself completely confused about what I am here for.  I have longed for more children…I do not know why…and I have longed for daughters.  So, I took some time off of work.  I became a stay-at-home mom for a little while, while all of my children are in public school all day.  I had some opportunities to volunteer on some projects at their schools, but mostly I had time to grieve.  And God is sufficient for every season, including the season of grieving.  And my heart is healing.  And I see the privilege of participating in a ministry that very few people chose (holding the hands of those who are passing out of this life) .  I see that when God wants to make more room in your heart for His grace, He breaks it wide open…and expands it.

We are facing these, and other, changes in our life.  We feel a bit like we are on a walk in a mist-shrouded forest.  We keep walking but it is difficult to see where we are going.  The destination is unclear.  The path can seem a little cold and uninviting.  But Dave and I have always loved walks through the forest, and who are we to think that all days will be sunny and warm with a clear destination?  Life has many seasons and all sorts of twists and turns in the journey.  Still, God is THE AUTHOR of all things: this world, my faith, our lives and eternity.  And as for me and my household, we choose to play our part in the story, with eyes wide open to catch glimpses of the author.  As for me this year, I choose to give up the practice of trying to re-write the story; that is not for me.

Thanks for listening!
Kimberly, for the Beines