Her husband beat her often, so she took her children and ran away from home


After Cara Brookins’ second harmful marriage ended, she was emotionally devastated. To heal, she built her own house by learning from YouTube tutorials.

In 2007, the mother of four had to sell her Bryant, Arkansas home that she lived in with her soon-to-be-ex. She then started looking for a new home.

The computer programmer analyst couldn’t afford everything she wanted at the time, but everything was too small. Brookins wanted to reunite her family, but she didn’t know how.

Brookins came up with a plan to build her own home from scratch.

Brookins, 45, says it seemed as though anyone in our position would have done the same thing.

In hindsight, I understand that my perspective was unique, and it may seem irrational to others.

Brookins spent $20,000 on a one-acre plot of land and took out a construction loan of about $150,000.

She started watching YouTube tutorials to pick up skills like laying a foundation, constructing a wall, setting up a gas line, and installing plumbing, along with other building methods.

During the nine-month construction of the 3,500-square-foot home, her children, ranging from 2 to 17 years old, helped her.

Brookins received assistance from Drew, who was 15 years old at that time, in developing the plans.

Jada, who was 11 at the time, had to carry water from a neighbor’s pond using buckets since there was no running water available. She then mixed this water with 80-pound bags of concrete to create the foundation mortar.

Brookins, who worked during the children’s school hours, remembers, “It felt like an impossible journey from start to finish.”

Brookins brought her family to the construction site, which was five miles away, after school. They worked on the new home until late at night.

In the past, YouTube videos were not clear and provided various methods to finish a task.

Brookins decided to hire a part-time firefighter who had experience in construction for $25 per hour to handle the challenging tasks. She remembers that he had more knowledge than them.

On March 31, 2009, Brookins and her kids settled into the five-bedroom home. She named it Inkwell Manor to reflect her dream of becoming a writer.

Brookins has since written numerous books for middle school and young adult readers, including a memoir titled Rise: How a House Built a Family, set to launch on January 24th.

Brookins managed to overcome her sadness by constructing the house. “We were extremely embarrassed that constructing our own refuge was our only option,” Brookins explains.

We didn’t feel proud of it, but it ended up being the best thing I could have done for myself.

She claims that if a 110-pound computer programmer like herself can construct a whole house, then anyone can achieve whatever they put their mind to.

Choose one goal and commit to it. Identify a significant objective you wish to achieve, and gradually work towards it. Additionally, invite others who also require healing to join you on this journey. This approach holds immense power.

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