Her husband used to beat her so frequently, she took her children and ran away from home

Overcoming Misery: An Amazing Resilient Journey
The unfortunate truth is that some people have a hard time ending violent relationships and starting over.

But in the middle of these difficulties, inspirational tales of bravery and tenacity surface. Cara Brookins, a mother of four, is one such example. She undertook a life-altering project that would drastically alter her family’s destiny despite having little money.

After her second abusive marriage ended, Cara Brookins, who was emotionally spent, turned to a novel project for comfort: building her own home. She learned the skills required by viewing instructional videos on YouTube. After selling their property in Bryant, Arkansas, she embarked on a search for a new location where she could offer a secure sanctuary to her four children. Her family didn’t seem to have many economical options, but she wasn’t giving up on trying to bring them all back together. She acknowledges, “But I had no idea what that would entail.” Cara had the audacious idea to build her own house from the ground up at that point.

She remembers, “It felt like the right thing to do in our situation.” “Looking back, I know it sounds crazy, but that was my only perspective.”

Cara obtained a building loan of about $150,000 and paid $20,000 for a one-acre plot of land. She taught herself basic construction skills including setting up gas lines, plumbing, walls, and foundations by watching YouTube lessons. Her children, who were between the ages of two and seventeen, worked diligently for nine months to build the 3,500-square-foot home. While eleven-year-old Jada used buckets to collect water from a neighbor’s pond and combined it with 80-pound bags of concrete to build the foundation mortar, her fifteen-year-old son Drew helped with the planning.

Working during her kids’ school hours, Brookins reflects on the experience and says, “It felt impossible every step of the way.” She would drive her family to the construction site five miles away after school so she could work on the house until the wee hours of the morning. YouTube videos at the time were frequently hazy and showed several methods for doing a task. For $25 per hour, Brookins employed a part-time firefighter with building skills to augment their expertise. She admits, “He had more experience than us.”

Cara and her kids ultimately moved into their five-bedroom home on March 31, 2009, naming it Inkwell Manor in honor of her dream of becoming a writer. Following that, Brookins wrote multiple books and a biography called “Rise: How a House Built a Family,” which will be available on January 24.

As Brookins recalls the process of creating their own shelter, she admits, “We felt ashamed that this was our best choice. We weren’t really proud of it. But as it happened, it was the most self-empowering choice she could have taken. “Anything is possible for you to achieve if I, a 110-pound computer programmer, can build an entire house,” she says.

She offers simple yet meaningful counsel to those who are suffering adversity: “Select one objective and stick with it. Decide on a big goal you want to accomplish, start small to get there, and ask people who also need healing to accompany you. That has a tremendous amount of power.

The most moving account of Cara’s and her kids’ incredible experience can be found in their own words. As they relate their moving story of bravery and hope, keep an eye out:


Cara’s incredible story, which represents the resiliency of survivors, is proof that even in the face of unfathomable adversity, there is always hope for a better future.

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Her husband used to beat her so frequently, she took her children and ran away from home
Condolences to Al Roker