Parents pushed to the edge by a screaming toddler—or a recalcitrant teen.

Kids pushed to the edge by one more math problem.

A minor scratch that you ignore becomes inflamed.

A rude coworker dominates yet another meeting.

Every irritating situation has a tipping point. I’d bet that right now at least three scenarios are flashing through your mind in your own life.

Times patience evaporated. Times you spoke words you wished you could take back. Times you stomped off because you just couldn’t deal with the issue one more minute.

We all hope we will treat other people with compassion, understanding, and grace. But let’s be honest—it doesn’t always work that way.

Not even in communities of faith. Members leave congregations. Churches split. People get hurt. And sometimes ignoring the source of irritation is not the healthy—or gracious—response.

These themes are familiar to our human experience, and they turn up in my latest novel, Meek and Mild. When an Amish district along the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania starts to fracture, and strong personalities start to take matters into their own hands, everyone pays the price. Clara. Andrew. Fannie. Yonnie. They’re all caught at an intersection they’re not sure how to navigate.

Maybe you’ll recognize yourself in the events that push them to the edge.

Meek and Mild is book 2 in the Amish Turns of Time series.