Step 1: See mention of possible gathering and feel like that high school nerd again, super excited for even a chance to go hang out with the cool kids.
Step 2: See actual details of Edel and then see price tag.
Step 3: Lament as to why airlines cannot still have round-trip, cross-country fares for under $200 like back in the good old days.
Step 4: Try to figure out total cost and see if there can be any possible justification for spending $500+ on a mini-vacation for one.
Step 5: Decide it is too selfish and way over budget to attend given the cost. Besides, tickets are sold-out by now anyway, because you know - everyone wants to hang out with the cool kids.
Step 7: Find out that there are some mamas who are trying to unload their tickets because things came up and they cannot attend.
Step 8: Work through all the numbers and possibilities again to see if there is any chance to find a last minute way to get to Austin at minimal cost. Realize that you cannot justify shortchanging one of these mamas who paid full price and trip will still be way too much and now on short notice to the family.
Step 9: Make other plans for that weekend so as not to become a crazy Edel-attendee stalker with moderate success.
Step 11: Read recaps of the weekend and cry on the inside, because your soul really needed that. Alas, also realize that "it is good that you are here" relates to wherever you are, because God is working his glory in those moments too. But still...
Step 12: The light bulb pops on. Realize that because your soul really needed that, it probably was in reality less a frivolous use of money on a short self-vacation, and more an investment in yourself as a wife, mother, and woman in an isolating world. (Thanks Cate for your recap - it definitely helped me reach this little "aha!" moment.)
The moral of the story - I am saving my pennies starting now to make it a possibility to attend in the future if I can score a ticket. Not because my friends and family aren't enough, but because sometimes you need the community of kindred souls who aren't engrossed in your daily life to help lend a hand and draw you out of the mire. Thanks to all of you who have shared how God moved in your spirit during the gathering so those of us far away could experience the fruit of the weekend as well.