“Once I had bought all these supplies and they were all piled up, there was no way out,” Brookins explains. “There wasn’t enough money to pay anyone to put them together. There was no plan B.” – Cara Brookins
An amazing and heartwarming story out of Arkansas. Mother of four, Cara Brookins, was the victim of abuse at the hands of her husband. Initially, she thought she could manage it but, as the abuse grew increasingly violent, she knew her children (aged 17, 15, 11, and 2) deserved a better home life.
Finding her moment and her courage, Cara left her husband and moved her children into a small house. While driving around town and reflecting on the difficulty of raising her four children in that woefully undersized home, Cara passed a tornado ravaged home in desperate need of a professional rebuild: “It was this beautiful dream house and it was sort of wide open. You don’t often get the opportunity to see the interior workings of a house, but looking at these 2x4s and these nails, it just looked so simple. I thought, ‘I could put this wall back up if I really tried. Maybe I should just start from scratch.’”
With only enough money to purchase the necessary building materials and an acre of land, Cara quickly realized what she had just signed herself and her family up for, “Once I had bought all these supplies and they were all piled up, there was no way out. There wasn’t enough money to pay anyone to put them together. There was no plan B.”
The challenge: build a two-story, five bedroom home requiring everything from poured concrete, to wood framing, masonry, and drywall. With the help of her three older children (the youngest of the four only being two years old at the time) construction began. “It was not something that was a great match to us physically, but my kids got up every day and they came out here. I was working all day and they were in school, and we would work into the night sometimes by headlights. It was incredibly intense. There was nobody going to the movies. There were no dates, no hanging out. It was all hands on deck.”
As the house began to take shape, so too did the family. Cara explained that the act of building their home gave this young family a strength and validation that the abuse had nearly taken.
With the house built, and the family secure, Cara now turns her attention toward women across the country in a similar situation to what she once found herself in. To them she offers this advice: “Forget everything you’ve been told about taking baby steps. Everybody says, ‘If you just take a small step every day, it will get better.’ In my experience, though, it doesn’t. You have to make a big leap. It has to be this huge, enormous act. For us, it was building a house. For somebody else, it could be something totally different. But you need to do something big that changes your perception of yourself.”
Cara has written a book about this experience entitled “Rise, How a House Built A Family” which will go on sale January 24th.
Content and full article available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mother-of-four-cara-brookins-builds-her-family-a-house-by-watching-youtube-tutorials/