Without enough money to buy a home for herself and her four kids, Cara Brookins felt trapped in an abusive relationship with her husband. So, she decided to take on an epic DIY project: building a house from scratch.
Brookins took out a small bank loan, bought an acre of land, and watched hundreds of YouTube tutorials. Then, she and her children mixed mortar, laid bricks, nailed wood, and handmade counters.
Now, the family lives in the 3,500-square-foot house, which has five bedrooms and a three-car garage.
"Building our own house wasn’t something we were proud of at the time," she wrote on her website. "We kept it largely secret even from my coworkers and the kids’ friends. The shame surrounding domestic violence takes a lot of work to sweat away. Little by little, we found our strength and our family bonds."
Brookins' book Rise, which comes out January 24, according to Mashable, describes their emotional journey in more detail.
"We did what everyone said was impossible. We built a house, and we rebuilt our family," she says in a video on her website. "What's holding you back? Forget everything you've been told about taking baby steps, because if you want to achieve great things, start with a step so big, so impossible that it forever changes who you are. ... Find your big step. Make a big change. What will you build?"