Akwaaba! It’s another episode and we have another lovely sister and fabulous woman of God; Annette Dei. Sit back and enjoy.
Ama Duncan (AD): Ps. Annette, welcome and thank you for joining me all the way from the US. I’m excited about all the golden nuggets you’re going to be sharing with us.
Annette Dei (P.AD): Thank you Lady Ama for having me. It’s always a pleasure to have a conversation with you.
AD: Please tell us about your life as a Ghanaian girl; how was it like growing up?
P.AD: With my accent, a lot of people try to figure out where I am from. Many people think I’m from the Caribbean. But I’m proudly Ghanaian and African. I was born and grew up in Ghana. My Dad left for abroad when I was 2 years and my Mom joined him shortly when I turned 4. So I was raised by a community of strong women; my grandmother being the leader of the pack. I grew up with her and my Aunt in Kumasi. I spent a few years with my dad before he left for the US. And after my mum joined him, the next time I laid eyes on my mum was when I was 10 years. So it was mostly writing letters to communicate with them. My parents divorced when I was six. And after my mum came back, they got me into Secondary School at Kumasi Anglican for 2 years. But I badly wanted to go to boarding school instead. My Aunt happened to know the Assistant headmaster at Aggrey Memorial and he was willing to admit me for Form 3. My family took me to the school and left me, only for me to be told the said Assistant Headmaster had been transferred! This is how on that same day, I was put on a ‘Bone Shaker’ amidst tears to Assin Manso Secondary School! I believe God had his hand through it all. I had a great three years. Imagine me as a city girl who now had to get used to farming, going to the river to fetch water, etc. I just grew to love it. Getting to Upper Six was when my Dad invited me to live in Canada. I went to high school there shortly and then went to the University. After graduating and working there for a while, I wanted to be very explorative so I packed my bags and moved to Connecticut, US. I’ve been here since 2002.
AD: OMG! I can only imagine how that experience made you feel! Wow. Like many women, you wear several hats as a wife, mother, pastor, speaker, a wholistic wellness coach, Women’s health practitioner, etc…what are some of the tips, strategies and tools you’ve been using so you can show up consistently doing what you love?
P.AD: This is one of the questions I get asked a lot, how do I do it. I remember the first time I was asked this question. It hadn’t really occurred to me. An elderly woman in the church pulled me to the side and asked me how I do it; always in church on time, managing my kids, etc. She said the only time she saw my daughter with mismatched socks was when I left for Ghana hahaha. That was when it occurred to me to go back and think about it. I guess it was not my intention, but it was just part of my nature. There is a saying that Africans are always late and I did not want that to be my story. So I’ve always been time conscious of things that I do.
The first thing that I realized is that for me to be consistent, I have to be mindful of time and respect time. Because once you lose time you can’t get it back, make the most use of it. I also found out that when you don’t write things down, you forget it. And as a result people may not even trust you or want to do business with you. So my calendar is my best friend. I live by writing things down. Every night before I go to sleep, I look up the events I have the next day and then I am reminded of it.
The second thing I do to stay consistent is block time to reflect and retreat. People who know me know how important this is to me. For me, my faith-walk with God is my anchor in life. So the more I’m taking my spirituality seriously, the more I’m becoming a better person in my business, relationships, friendships. God, in the Bible, instructed us to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. The Sabbath day is a holy day. Many times people take it too extreme but I realized that God gave this instruction before sin even came into the garden. So it has nothing to do with our sinful nature. Why did God instruct Adam and Eve to work six days but then retreat on the seventh day and give it to him? Imagine this, a car travelling many miles cannot go consistently unless it stops to refuel. Because there’s only a certain amount of fuel the car can contain. You cannot over fuel just because you’re going on a very long journey. In the same vein, we need to retreat to refuel as well. It was like a light bulb went off in my head after I got that concept.
AD: Beautiful, I love the analogy with the car. If you won’t do that to a car, why would you do it to yourself right? You’ve been running The Sabbath Retreat Experience which is a part of your Beauties of Eden ministry. Tell us about both please.
P.AD: Beauties of Eden was birthed at a place of prayer, from the tail end of 2008 to 2009. There is this routine my husband and I practice; going into a new year, we fast for the last week into the new year and ask God what is our assignment for the season. You know the purpose is lifelong but assignments are seasonal. So I was praying on the 31st and I heard a still, small voice in my ear saying I’ve called you to be a woman. It sounded weird because last time I checked, I was a woman hehehe. It was just not sitting well with me. So while I was there, I heard back ‘go and find out what womanhood is all about’. I went on a journey and started reading and understood what women were created for. Although the world has perverted that, God created Adam and Eve, male and female, in the image and likeness of God. So according to God’s plan, he created man and woman equal. And the church doesn’t want to hear that, but I’m not the church. I am a Bible-believing Christian. I am proud to be a woman. But in life, there are systems and ranks even in the Kingdom of God. I went back and studied womanhood in God’s eyes. God created us equally and looking at his assignment God said it was not good for him to be alone so let me create a help mate. King James Version uses the word ‘comparable’ suit mate to him. I began to understand that whatever opportunity I’m presented with, I need to operate as a helper. When I step into an atmosphere as a helper, I need to bring some solution to a problem because that is what a helper does. With that understanding, that was what Beauties of Eden was born out of 10 years later. It took me 10 years to study and understand this. Beauties of Eden is a community of women where we don’t look down on ourselves as being just a woman, but then whatever atmosphere we step into, you can be like Jael, Deborah, Esther or Mary in the Bible! It’s a community of women who know who they are, who are not limiting themselves mentally. It is not good for man to do what God has called him to do alone. Not just men but women too. We need help – collaboration – we need one another.
AD: I like your perspective of the creation of man and woman! Before I let you go, please complete the following with a short phrase or sentence:
a. If I could advise my younger self in one short sentence, I would say “be mindful of every 24hrs and live it with intention”.
b. I am fabulous because “I am uniquely me”.
c. One book that has greatly helped me in business is “Business Boutique by Christy Wright”.
AD: A little bird told us The Sabbath Retreat Experience is happening in Ghana. Tell us more please.
P.AD: Before I talk about that I want to share some of the importance of retreat for a business woman …or man. The mind is built with millions of neuron pathways. But the mind as magnificent and as powerful as it is can come to a halt when it’s overloaded. So you will find that when you’re supposed to meet a deadline and you’re so stressed, especially a self-defined procrastinator like me hehe, you realize that you cannot be your best self when you’re stressed. Why? Because you have certain neuron pathways that are able to process information and bring solutions and when we’ve overworked it, our businesses don’t thrive because we don’t yield the best results. Bill Gates is the man he is today because of the power of retreats. I’ve read that myself about him in books. Every month, he takes 3 weeks to work then he takes the last week, 7 days, to get away and read to clear his mind. If a business man like him is able to do that to move forward, then there must be a lesson to learn there. Luke 21:37 says Jesus spent his days in the temple teaching but he spent his nights on the Mount Olives. What was he doing? Communing with the Father in prayer. He retreated from the crowd at certain points in time. No wonder he was able to walk on water; do the impossible. If we want to do amazing things, if we want to do mind blowing things in our businesses we cannot be a machine that’s constantly going and cannot afford to take a break.
So The Sabbath Retreat Experience is not leisure, it is a need. You do not have to go to any exotic or expensive place. It can be taking just a day off work in the week. It will not be a loss but rather a gain. It’s in the retreating that you will get those amazing ideas to do business because at work or in the bus the brain is just busy thinking of what will keep you alive in the next moment. That is what led me to the Sabbath Experience. I was feeling burned out and I came across Psalm 46:10a. It says ‘be still and know that I am God’. God needs us to be still in order for us to know. I got burned out some years ago and flew to another state. I spent almost 1500 dollars for 2 nights because it was last minute. Someone may say I’m crazy but what I was able to birth out of that, that 1500 dollars was a drop in the ocean. When I went back the following year, I told myself ‘Annette, it’ll be selfish to not share this with other women’. That was how The Sabbath Retreat Experience begun. We retreat and have directed sessions of solitude where whatever is discussed during those sessions, you go back and reflect on it and ask yourself questions about your own life. You do not have to wait to be burned out before you come for the retreat. We’re bringing it to Ghana and it’s for just a small group of women because I also do a one on one with every woman who comes. We have icebreakers, an evening of girl talks, etc. On Sunday, we do Communion and Dissolving. One may ask what is dissolving? That is a session where whatever burden you brought you write it down and there’s a station between you and your God and there you say I’m letting go of all these burdens and I’m dissolving them. I have about 3 or 4 retreats I do all by myself and that I would say is my super power.
AD: It sounds so cool! Before you go, any final words for us?
P.AD: I want to look at you fabulous woman in the eye and remind you that you are fabulously created by God. You are a woman like no other. I don’t want you to look at your lack of resources. I want you to believe that wherever you put your feet, the resources will show up. God says wherever your foot shall tread, I have already given it to you. Do not limit yourself fabulous woman. The world is waiting for you to step out so do not disappoint the world. Step out.
AD: Step out indeed! How do we find you?
P.AD: If you’re interested in The Sabbath Retreat Experience we still have a few spots left. It’s from 15th – 17th October, 2021 in Takoradi. You can find it on allboe.com, easiest way to find us.
AD: Thank you so much Pastor Annette. You’re amazing and I love learning a lot from you and getting goosebumps from you, hehe. Our warmest regards to Pastor Dei and the kids.
P.AD: My pleasure. You are welcome.
Wasn’t that just fabulous. My goosebumps were just raining. I loved it. What spoke to you? Her perspective of how God created a helper for Adam was really eye opening for me. Supporting each other is exactly how God meant it to be. This interview was so powerful. Please share your takeaway in the comments below and don’t forget to check out The Sabbath Retreat Experience. Be blessed and spend time being still. Until I come your way same time next week, stay blessed fabulous woman.
About Annette Dei
Annette Dei is a pastor, speaker, a wholistic wellness coach, and Women’s health practitioner. She has a reputation for empowering women to live a life of impact, influence and fulfillment. Annette Dei describes herself as a Bride, Servant, and Soldier of Jesus Christ.
She loves her roles of being a wife and mother of 4 wonderful children. She is the Executive pastor at Calvary Redemption Center where she serves alongside her husband who is the Founder and Senior pastor. She affirms that the day she read Ezra 7:10 she was convinced of her life’s purpose. With an in-depth understanding of this scripture, she has purposed in her heart to study, live, and teach God’s word.
Annette is also the founder and leading lady of Beauties of Eden; a ministry that empowers women to be bold, confident and become ambitious helpers in building a greater tomorrow. Annette’s greatest passion is to encourage, equip, empower and inspire God’s children to live their God given purpose and to be fruitful here on earth.