How Building a House Changed My Life

Have you ever felt lost and broken, not knowing what to do next? Meet Cara Brookins, a brave and determined mother of four who found herself in a similar situation. After her second abusive marriage ended, Cara was left emotionally shattered.

But instead of wallowing in despair, she took matters into her own hands and built her own house. This incredible story of resilience and determination will inspire you to believe that you can overcome any challenge, regardless of your age or circumstances.



A New Beginning

In 2007, Cara found herself in the difficult position of having to sell her family home. As a single mother on a limited budget, finding a new house seemed impossible. Determined to keep her family together, Cara knew she had to come up with a solution. Little did she know that her solution would change her life forever.

A Crazy Idea

No one else could see it, but Cara had a crazy idea – she would build her own house from scratch. The thought seemed daunting and unrealistic to others, and even Cara herself had her doubts. But she couldn’t shake off the feeling that this was the path she needed to take.

Learning from YouTube Tutorials

With little construction knowledge, Cara turned to the power of the internet for guidance. She spent hours watching YouTube tutorials on everything from running a gas line to building a wall and installing plumbing. Armed with this newfound knowledge, it was time to embark on an extraordinary journey.

A Family Affair

Despite the challenges and uncertainty, Cara’s children, ages 2 to 17, stood by her side throughout the nine-month construction process. Each of them played a vital role in bringing their dream home to life. From Drew, who assisted with preparations, to Jada, who diligently fetched water from a neighbor’s pond for the concrete foundation, the whole family worked together as a team.

Overcoming Obstacles

The journey was far from easy. Cara juggled her job as a computer programmer analyst with late-night construction work. The process felt overwhelming at times, but she persevered, fueled by the desire to provide a stable and secure home for her family.

Inkwell Manor – A New Beginning

On March 31, 2009, Cara and her children moved into their newfound sanctuary, which they lovingly named Inkwell Manor. It was not just a physical house; it was a symbol of their strength, resilience, and the power of their unity. This was the place where their lives took a new direction, and they were determined to make the most of it.

From House to Healing

Building their own home was not just a physical transformation for Cara and her family; it was a catalyst for personal growth and healing. Cara emerged from her depression, feeling empowered and inspired. She turned to her passion for writing and penned numerous middle grade and young adult books. Additionally, she wrote a biography titled “Rise: How a House Built a Family,” which will soon be released, sharing her remarkable journey with the world.

You Can Do Anything

Cara’s story is a testament to the power of determination and belief in oneself. As she says, “You can do anything you set your mind to.” No matter your age, profession, or circumstances, if Cara, a 110-pound computer programmer, can build a complete house, then you too can achieve your goals. So, choose a goal, take small steps towards it, and bring others who also need healing along the way. You never know what incredible transformations lie ahead.

Cara Brookins’ journey from brokenness to building her own house is an inspiration to us all. It reminds us that sometimes, the most significant transformations come from within and that we have the power to create the lives we envision. So, dare to dream, believe in yourself, and remember that it’s never too late to start again.

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